This message from Dr. Russell Moore notes that the Church in America, long used to being the majority in our society, needs to be asking: what does it look like to be the minority? Dr. Moore here is calling for the Church to be a prophetic minority – which would actually be an improvement over being a lethargic majority.
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 To Receive for Himself a Kingdom. In this message, Fr. Bill has some very good thoughts about the Parable of the Ten Minas in Luke 19, and this excerpt applies it to us quite well:
Judgement came on Jerusalem and on unfaithful Israel almost two millennia ago, but you and I need to think on these things too. The judgement on Jerusalem was a sort of sacramental foretaste of the final judgement to come at the end of history. As we await the Lord’s return, what have we done with the minas he’s given us? This is about more than just using our talents and our treasure for the kingdom. It’s about whether or not we understand the values and priorities of Jesus’ kingdom and whether or not we’ve been living them out. Israel had the law and the prophets, but kept them as a showpiece. She wrapped them in a handkerchief and kept them safe. She hid her light under a basket when what the Lord wanted was for her to carry that light to the nations.
Brothers and Sisters, you and I have the law and the prophets. We also have the Gospels and the apostles and in the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Lord has made his home in us. But we need to think on what it means to be entrusted with his Word and Spirit. We’ve been given, we’ve been entrusted with, something far greater than the old Israel was ever given. But have we hidden it in a handkerchief for safe-keeping? Have we turned it into a showpiece? We pray every day, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” But do we know what that means? Do we understand the nature of the kingdom? Do we understand the priorities of our King? Do we love justice and mercy? Do we live in the grace we have been shown by Jesus? Do we seek to make them known to the world in our words and in our deeds—in our lives and in our proclamation? Think of the candles we give out at baptisms, lit from the Paschal Candle that represents the light of Christ in the world. We take those candles home and we put them in a drawer or a desk or a cupboard for safe-keeping. That’s fine. But do we do the same with the actual light of Christ that has been given to us? Brothers and sisters, that’s not why Jesus gave us himself. He was incarnate for us, he lived for us, he died for us, he rose for us, he forgives our sins so that we can carry his new life, so that we can carry his kingdom to the world. He gave us his light so that we can charge into the darkness to declare the good news to the world: Repent, for the Lord has come to Zion; the God of Israel has returned to his people; Jesus is Lord!”
Indeed, we should work to manifest the light of Christ in the world. If you would like to hear the entirety of this very worthwhile message, you can do so below.
From Explore God Ministries here is a thoughtful video by Mike Metzger on “How Should Christianity Engage in Culture?”. I would say his comparison of our time to that of the Babylonian Exile is an apt one.
Here is another in Dr. Don Carson’s excellent series, “The God Who is There”, and this video is “The God Who Declares the Guilty Just”. In this message, Dr. Carson explains Romans 3:21-26.
Here is an episode in a new series (“How Do We Fix It?”) from Jim Meigs and Richard Davies, and in this one they talk with Philip K. Howard on “How to Fix Our Government.” Philip K. Howard is an attorney and author of several books including his most recent, The Rule of Nobody. The writeup notes that:
All of us pay taxes, but how well is that money being spent? Many government services are poorly delivered. From the local DMV or zoning department to the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs, government can be a big tangled mess. For decades, Philip K. Howard has been a leading expert on how streamline government and make it work for all of us. His latest book is “The Rule of Nobody.” In this episode, Richard, Jim and Philip a lively conversation about the problem and how to fix it.
From another scenic stage – near Sundance, Utah – the Piano Guys perform “Nearer My God to Thee”. This arrangement for nine cellos is based upon and inspired by an arrangement of James Stevens for 9 voices. Quite creative, I’d say.
Continuing with his series on the Book of Acts, here is another message from Phillip Jensen, titled “When Holiness is Wrong”. It is based on Acts 9:32-43, and to say the least, the title is attention-getting! One thing he points out is that the problem for Christians is not how miracles happen, but why they happen.
A free ebook from Crossway: “Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me” by Kevin DeYoung
I thought I would mention a free ebook from Crossway that is available through July 14: Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me by Kevin DeYoung. You can read about it and download it on their blog at this link. The book is available in both Kindle format and PDF, and in it, Rev. DeYoung talks about the authority of Scripture and addresses questions about the Bible, using what the Bible says about itself in Psalm 119. Definitely worth downloading, but remember this offer is only good through July 14!
Speaking at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Darling Point in Sydney, the Rev. Dr. Ashley Null gave a very good message on the Book of Common Prayer earlier this year. If you are interested in this subject, this is very much worth hearing.