From Dean Phillip Jensen of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, here is the next in a video series on spiritual gifts, titled “Loving Gifts: Love’s Superior Way”. In this one he talks about 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.
Another text on the Thirty-Nine Articles: Samuel Wix’s “Scriptural Illustrations of the Thirty-Nine Articles”
Tonight I came across a quite interesting text on the Thirty-Nine Articles, this one being Scriptural Illustrations of the Thirty-Nine Articles. This was compiled and published in 1808 by the Rev. Samuel Wix, who was a High Churchman. It is quite interesting to me that although he was High Church, even writing elsewhere on desiring to reunite Anglicans and Romans, he also in Scriptural Illustrations of the Thirty-Nine Articles writes about Article XXII in very much what I would call classical Anglican terms. I’ll add this link to the resource page on the Articles a bit later.
Another free book in Kindle format: “Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free” by Tullian Tchividjian
On a related note to the quote from Ryle yesterday on trials: there is a free Kindle book now available from Amazon by the Rev. Tullian Tchividjian, titled Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free. This book addresses some of the same things as the Ryle quote, and the description on Amazon says this:
In this world, one thing is certain: Everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real) like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, best-selling author Tullian Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots trying to deal with it, and the comfort of the gospel for those who can’t seem to fix themselves—or others.
This is not so much a book about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering—it is a book about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counterintuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a book, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.
And the author does indeed contrast “the theology of glory” with “the theology of the cross” – bringing, I think, a Biblical perspective to this. As trials and suffering are something we all face, this is not a bad book for anyone.
We know we all have to go through trials of some kind as we live our lives in this world; these trials are assuredly used by God in His maturing of our souls, our being formed more and more into the image of Christ. I wanted to share these thoughts from J.C. Ryle on trials, from his Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of John. This comes from what he writes about John 15:
Trial, to speak plainly, is the instrument by which our Father in heaven makes Christians more holy. By trial He calls out their passive graces, and proves whether they can suffer His will as well as do it. By trial He weans them from the world, draws them to Christ, drives them to the Bible and prayer, shows them their own hearts, and makes them humble. This is the process by which He “prunes” them, and makes them more fruitful. The lives of the saints in every age, are the best and truest comment on the text. Never, hardly, do we find an eminent saint, either in the Old Testament or the New, who was not purified by suffering, and, like His Master, a “man of sorrows.”
Let us learn to be patient in the days of darkness, if we know anything of vital union with Christ. Let us remember the doctrine of the passage before us, and not murmur and complain because of trials. Our trials are not meant to do us harm, but good. God chastens us “for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.” (Heb. 12:10.) Fruit is the thing that our Master desires to see in us, and He will not spare the pruning knife if He sees we need it. In the last day we shall see that all was well done.
From commentator Bill Whittle comes this reflection on the 45th anniversary of the Apollo flight where man first walked on the moon. The notes say: “Its been 45 years since man walked on the moon for the first time. Have we been challenged since? Or are we a windless sail, full of potential without a direct challenge? We tamed a continent, we conquered the skies, and we did fly to the moon–don’t let us, as a people, only have political discussion as our challenge.” I agree with this for the most part but I do fear we have to resolve our besetting political (and economic) issues before we can do this.
From the Rev. Vaughan Roberts of St. Ebbe’s Church in the United Kingdom, here is an audio sermon titled The call to change the world that is based on Matthew 5:13-16. In this message, one in a series on the Sermon on the Mount at St. Ebbe’s, Vaughan Roberts talks about one question we should ask ourselves: do we spend as much time seeking to serve the Lord in the world as we do in the Church? Are we being salt and light to the world as our Lord says?
Here is another presentation by Dr. William Lane Craig, noted scholar and apologist for the Christian faith, on “The Doctrine of Man.” In this one he talks about the body and even gets into the Apostle Paul’s use of the term “body” – soma in Greek. As he points out, there are different and serious theological implications – including for our someday resurrection -from the position that would equate the soma not with the body but with the self or the self with the body. The transcript for this can be found here and I found it quite helpful again.
Here is another in the series of audio lectures by Dr. John Woodhouse of Moore Theological College in Australia, this series being on the Book of Amos. In this one, Dr. Woodhouse’s talk is titled No More Mercy, and the Scripture passage being exegeted is Amos 7:1-9. Dr. Woodhouse talks about quite a few things, including this question: does modern man take God seriously?
If you have not seen it yet, Dr. Al Mohler has written quite a post on ‘Get with the Program’ — The Church of England votes to ordain Women Bishops. He has an excellent point about the consequences of this “great adventure” as it is labeled by the Archbishop of Canterbury:
That “adventure” will leave conservative evangelicals in the Church of England increasingly out in the cold, despite all the talk of “mutual flourishing.” The measure approved by the synod means that women bishops will be bishops in full, with mandatory recognition of their episcopal status by all within the Church of England. This will leave conservative ministers under the authority of bishops they do not actually believe to be bishops in fact. It is hard to imagine “mutual flourishing” in that circumstance. The measure also called for the appointment of one conservative evangelical male bishop in coming months — which means that the church has just committed itself to appoint a bishop who does not believe that at least some of his colleague bishops will meet the biblical requirements.
It certainly does not make sense, does it? Dr. Mohler closes with a quote from the Very Rev. William Ralph Inge, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in the early 20th century, that absolutely fits our situation today: “Whoever marries the spirit of this age will find himself a widower in the next.”
Hat tip: Anglican Church League