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My Epitaph

If I die, put this on the stone (Not that I expect this to be soon!)


A sinner saved by grace
Gone to be with his Savior
What a glorious day!

Understanding The Love of God

Does God love everybody (or everything)?  I found D. A. Carson’s Categories in The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God very helpful here.  He breaks God's love into 4 parts.

1)God’s providential love over all that he has made - God loves birds, and cows, and insects, and even cats.  God loves inanimate objects like mountains and iron.
"God creates everything, and before there is a whiff of sin, he pronounces all that he has made to be ‘good’ (Gen. 1).  This is the product of a loving Creator…The birds of the air find food, but that is the result of God’s living providence, and not a sparrow falls from the sky apart from the sanction of the Almighty (Matt 6).  If this were not a benevolent providence, a loving providence, then the moral lesson that Jesus drives home, viz. that this God can be trusted to provide for his own people, would be incoherent.” (16-17)
2)God’s salvific stance toward his fallen world - Can you say to your nextdoor neighbor who doesn't know Christ, “G…

Another Day Trip - Northampton (Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening)

Took a trip with the fam to Northampton, MA, about a two and half hour drive each way from home.  I procrastinated this visit for awhile, even though I love Edwards, simply because there is so little about Edwards at Northampton.  Even though he pastored there for many years and it was the home of the First Great Awakening, the town seems to barely recognize this fact.  It's a fun town to walk around in, with plenty of shops and restaurants, yet the only real remaining reminder of Edwards legacy is his church, First Churches of Northampton which has a few token memorials to him.  On their website it is clear that they no longer accept Biblical authority and are uneasy about their historical connection with Edwards.

I consider Jonathan Edwards to be the greatest American theologian, and a man who truly treasured God and exalted Christ, holding firm to the Scriptures.  He truly loved his wife and children, and ministered faithfully (though not perfectly) in Northampton.  No doubt he…

The Sweet Satisfaction of Being Done!

Good writing that makes for good reading (IMHO)

Good writing that I love to read is:

a) clear - I know what I've read when I read it. The author doesn't try to be obtuse, but clear and concise.

b) vivid - The language is engaging, creative, and memorable.

c) diverse - The writer knows the English language, and how to use (but not overuse) metaphors and adjectives.

Priorities

1. God
2. Spouse
3. Kids
4. Church
5. World

If I mess with this list in anyway, I am in serious danger. To replace 1 with 2-5 would be idolatry. To replace 2 with 3, would create a weak marriage. To replace 3 with 4, would be hurtful, unfair, and sinful (a particular temptation for pastors.) 4 must always come before 5, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (Gal 6:10). The desire should be to see 5 become 4.

The "moral" non believer puts 2-3 in the place of 1. The nominal christian puts 4 in the place of 1. The typical unbeliever puts 5 in the place of 1.

I've seen the damage of messing with this list, and it's not pretty. May God help me to keep it in order!