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The Rev. Kyle Wallace: “Obedience and Life” (Matthew 22:34-46)

November 21, 2014

From the Church of the Good Shepherd in North Carolina we have another audio sermon by the Rev. Kyle Wallace, titled Obedience and Life.  In this message, based on Matthew 22:34-46, Rev. Wallace asks: how are we negotiating our obedience to Jesus in this life?  Are we seeking to be obedient to Him in every area of life?  These are important questions we all must face.

Another book free on PDF: Redeeming Philosophy: A God-Centered Approach to the Big Questions by Vern Poythress

November 20, 2014

Tonight I came across yet another free book on PDF – Redeeming Philosophy: A God-Centered Approach to the Big Questions, by Professor Vern Poythress of Westminster Theological Seminary.  The description of the book from the publisher’s website says:

Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I find meaning?

Life is full of big questions. The study of philosophy seeks to answer such questions. In his latest book, prolific author Vern Poythress investigates the foundations and limitations of Western philosophy, sketching a distinctly Christian approach to answering basic questions about the nature of humanity, the existence of God, the search for meaning, and the basis for morality.

For Christians eager to engage with the timeless philosophical issues that have perplexed men and women for millennia, this is the place to begin.

Prof. Poythress is professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary, where he has taught for over three decades.  He has a keen insight and if you think about these “big questions”, I believe you may find this book very helpful.

(Hat tip: Vincent S. Artale Jr.)

 

Something Different: Sting and Edin Karamazov perform “Fields of Gold”

November 19, 2014

This is something different, all right: Sting and Edin Karamazov perform “Fields of Gold” on two lutes.  I like lutes quite a bit and this is quite pretty.

The Rev. Charlie Skrine: “You don’t need to be an expert!”

November 18, 2014

This is a “sermon bite” from St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London, titled “You don’t need to be an expert!” It is taken from The Word and human wisdom, a sermon on Paul’s speech in Athens (Acts 17:16-34). In his treatment of this famous passage, the Rev. Charlie Skrine argues that it is not necessary to be an expert in a given field to communicate the gospel. A Bible and the Holy Spirit are the only essential prerequisites for effective evangelism; Christians should not hold back from speaking about the gospel. The whole sermon can be downloaded for free here.

Something Different: Tenet performs Charpentier’s Psaume 50

November 17, 2014

This is a performance by the choral group Tenet of a piece by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, titled Psaume 50.  This is the Psalm that begins “Miserei mei, Deus” and this is a lovely performance of this composition by Charpentier.

From AnglicanTV: “Anglican Unscripted”, Episode 137 – “Will the ‘Real’ Pope please stand up?”

November 16, 2014

From Kevin Kallsen and George Conger of AnglicanTV, here is another report on Pope Francis.  I do think that the Pope, like any other clergy, must be careful of “willful misinterpretation” by the secular media in the West, as George Conger points out.

The Rev. William Klock: “Full of Light” (Luke 11:29-36)

November 15, 2014

From Fr. Bill Klock of Living Word REC in British Columbia comes this sermon,Full of Light, based on Luke 11:29-36.  Fr. Bill here talks about the spiritual state of Israel in Jesus’ day – which was dark indeed.  And he goes on to make an analogy to us here and now:

Israel had covered her light for so long that now she hd become dark herself.  Her eyes had gone bad, but she didn’t understand that.  Think of Mr. Magoo: blind as a bat, but completely unaware of the fact.  Israel had become a spiritual Mr. Magoo.  She didn’t realise she was blind and, Jesus warns, because of her bad eyes, she was about to blithely walk into disaster.  The light was shining brightly, but because she refused to see it, the room might as well have been pitch black.  And so as Jesus preached the kingdom, Israel rejected him because she couldn’t understand.  He performed miracles to back up his kingdom message, but Israel were so blind that she attributed those miracles to demonic power.

The Good News is that there’s hope.  Israel simply needs to open her eyes and so do we.  Jesus’ call is to respond to the light and to live by it while there’s still time.  God sent Jonah to Ninevah to call the people to repentance or in forty days his judgement would come.  Jesus came to call Israel to repentance and he repeatedly pointed to judgement that was to come in forty years.  Israel’s light continued to be darkness; Israel continued to reject his message and refused to repent.  In a.d. 70 God came in judgement, using the Romans to destroy Jerusalem and to destroy the temple.  It was a not so subtle hint that in Jesus the fulfilment of all his promises to Israel had finally come.  The kingdom was no longer about a literal plot of land and no longer about a literal temple.  The kingdom was now to be found in Jesus himself and it looks forward to a day when all of Creation is ruled by God and made his temple.

But brothers and sisters, the judgement that came on Israel in a.d. 70 points to a greater judgement that we still await.  Like Israel, we need to embrace the light while we still have a chance.  When Israel failed to be the light God had called her to be, he sent Jesus to be the light himself.  You and I now live in the light of Christ, but again, how often are we guilty of keeping that light to ourselves the same way Israel did?  How often do we hold Jesus closely while we condemn the world around us?  How often do we hide our light under a basket as if it somehow needs protection—as if the world could somehow snuff Jesus out?  How often do we allow the light in us to turn into darkness?  Instead, we need not only to allow the light of Christ to permeate our whole selves and to transform us, we also need to remember that Jesus calls us now to be lights—to go out into the world and to shine so brightly that we drive the darkness away from and out of others.

Indeed, we do need to strive to let the light of Christ shine through us that we might be lights ourselves!  If you’d like to listen to the full message, you can do so here.

A new devotional book by John Piper for Advent 2014: “The Dawning of Indestructible Joy”

November 14, 2014
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John Piper’s first Advent devotional book has been so well received these last two years that Desiring God Ministries has now partnered with Crossway Books to produce a new set of meditations for this December: The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent. These 25 short readings begin December 1 and lead us into Christmas Day in hopes of keeping Jesus at the center of our season. The new book is now available for purchase in paperback (and for electronic readers), as well as free of charge in PDF.

These are not the same readings from their first Advent reader, Good News of Great Joy, which continues to be available through Desiring God Ministries, alongside this new volume from Crossway. If you’ve enjoyed Good News of Great Joy before, consider trying The Dawning of Indestructible Joy this year!

Dean Phillip Jensen: “The Promise of the Son” (Genesis 5)

November 13, 2014
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This talk by Dean Phillip Jensen comes from a series of talks on Genesis 1-12 sometime ago at a conference.  The title of this video is “The Promise of the Son” and it is based on Genesis 5.  It is indeed a wonder and a comfort that the Gospel is seen even at this time in Scripture, upon the Fall.

Dr. John Woodhouse on the Thirty-Nine Articles: Article 1. “Of Faith in the Holy Trinity” or Which God do you trust?

November 12, 2014

This is a new discovery for me – a lecture series by Dr. John Woodhouse of Moore College in Australia on the Thirty-Nine Articles.  I’d call it an introduction to, and overview of, the Articles, and the first of these lectures is on Article 1. “Of Faith in the Holy Trinity” or Which God do you trust?  I’d say this is well worth hearing, particularly because these truths as expressed by our spiritual forefathers may very well show us our own blind spots.

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