This turned out to be quite an interesting podcast from Desiring God Ministries where D.A. Carson is asked about the recent Supreme Court ruling. He answers questions such as “What would you say to Christians who feel angry and betrayed by the courts for this ruling?” and “What do you predict will be the fallout from this SCOTUS decision for religious freedom in America?”
Hat tip: Justin Taylor
Somehow I had missed this, but a friend sent me this link to reprints of Parker Society volumes from Wipf and Stock Publishers. If you have been looking for books in the Parker Society series, featuring writings by such as Whitgift, Grindal and Hooper, this is worth a look. Wipf and Stock has really rendered a valuable service to Anglicans worldwide over the last decade by making such reprints available.
Are Christians on the wrong side of history? This is an interesting discussion of that question from The Gospel Coalition, featuring John Piper, Tim Keller, and Don Carson.
From RZIM Canada we have a video series on “Short Answers to Big Questions”, where they will address fifty of the most common questions and objections about Christianity and attempt to give short, succinct answers to each of them. In this one, Dr. Andy Bannister answers the question “Isn’t religion just a psychological crutch?”. RZIM Canada notes that if you want to read more widely on this question, you should check out “Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense” by Francis Spufford (bit.ly/13y9c4d).
From Dr. Kendall Harmon of the TitusOneNine blog, here is a sermon on “What does it mean to live faithfully to Christ in our time?” – and it is very much worth hearing. To an extent it reminds me of something Bonhoeffer wrote in The Cost of Discipleship:
To confess and testify to the truth as it is in Jesus Christ, and at the same time to love the enemies of that truth, his enemies and ours, and to love them with the infinite love of Jesus Christ, is indeed a narrow way…The way is unutterably hard and at every moment we are in danger of straying from it. If we regard this way as one we follow in obedience to an external command, if we are afraid of ourselves all the time, it is indeed an impossible way. But if we behold Jesus Christ going on before step by step, we shall not go astray.
If you like the old hymn “Down to the River to Pray”, you will like this performance by Alison Krauss.
From Fr. Bill Klock of Living Word Reformed Episcopal Church in British Columbia, here is another sermon in his series on the Gospel of Luke, titled Today Salvation has Come to This House. In this message, Fr. Bill has some very good thoughts about Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus in Luke 19, and I appreciated what he had to say in this excerpt:
Jesus affirms Zacchaeus’ repentance and all that he’s done. He recognises his change of heart and he assures him of his place in the kingdom: “Today salvation has come to this house.” While everyone else considered Zacchaeus a traitor to his people, Jesus sets him before the crowd as an example of what looks like to be a true son of Abraham. And Jesus reminds the crowd of his ministry: “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” He didn’t come to affirm the righteous, but seek out the lost and to bring them back to the fold—he came specifically to seek out people like Zacchaeus and to bring them back. And in that Zacchaeus represents us all. The people of Jericho considered his actions treasonous. They looked forward to the day that Zacchaeus and his Roman friends would be judged and punished by God along with all the other sinners. But consider, Brothers and Sisters, that every one of us is a traitor. Our sin is cosmic treason against the God who lovingly created us. It matters little how big or small our sin, whether we’ve sinned a little or sinned a lot, because the holiness of God, against which our sin is measured, is perfect. All of us, little sinners and big sinners alike, are traitors. All of us alike, little sinners and big sinners, deserve judgement and condemnation and eternal death. But Zacchaeus reminds us of the loving and merciful grace of God. Jesus came for people like us. He came to seek us out and to save us from judgement. All we need do is take hold of him in faith. It’s hard. The rich young ruler is like many of us: not ready and not willing to give up the wealth that had become his god. Or maybe we’re like the people of Jericho, self-righteous and proud and judgemental: not ready to let go of our self-righteousness, shabby as it is. We find security in judging and condemning sinners worse than ourselves. Zacchaeus, though, reminds us that with God all things are possible. Even a cheating, selfish, money-grubbing, traitorous tax collector can let go and take hold of Jesus, and if Zacchaeus can do it, so can we with God’s help. If you believe and struggle to let go, pray with the Father who brought his son to Jesus for salvation: “I believe, but help my unbelief!” Jesus came to seek and to save the lost and he will build and strengthen your faith, he will give you the faith and the grace to let go that you might instead take hold of him.
Truly, salvation has come to this house and this world in the Person of Jesus Christ! If you’d like to hear the sermon, you can do so below.
Here is a video of Dr. Russell Moore giving his thoughts on the Supreme Court decision this past Friday. As he says, “This is not the time for Christians to panic. We have a God who is sovereign. The Supreme Court can do many things, but the Supreme Court cannot get Jesus Christ back into the grave.” (Hat tip: Anglican Church League)
Recently St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London had a week-long series of talks on What do Christians believe? A Week of Talks 2015 and this video is the first of those talks. In this one, Rev. William Taylor speaks on the foundational point of “Who is Jesus?”. This message is based on John 5:18-29.
Continuing with his series on the Book of Acts, here is another message from Phillip Jensen, titled “The Damascus Road Experience”. It is based on Acts 9:1-31, and of course he is talking about the conversion of St. Paul.