Happy Reformation Day!

“If the article of justification be once lost, then is all true Christian doctrine lost.”

-Martin Luther’s “Commentary on Galatians

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Where God Finds Us: Michael Horton Quote

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“Where do you think you’ll find God?  Some people speak of finding ultimate peace of mind in Tibet or rock climbing in the Alps. Perhaps it’s not surprising that we call spiritual epiphanies ‘mountaintop’ experiences.  Others talk about their experience of seeing the Dalai Lama, the spectacle of the Mass, or experiencing ‘transcendence’ at a Hindu ashram or Buddhist temple.  Some travel great distances to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment: to Lourdes in the hope of experiencing a miracle or at more Protestant venues, like Toronto or Pensacola to ‘catch the blessing.’  We’re always looking for revival: something exciting, awe-inspiring, and majestic…

We don’t expect to find God in the feeding trough of a barn in an obscure Palestinian village, much less hanging from an instrument of Roman execution.  Yet this is where God meets us.  While we are trying to climb higher, he descends lower.  Of all our faculties, our natural religious, moral, and spiritual instincts are actually the least likely to find God where he has found us.”

Michael Horton, “The Gospel Driven Life

We Have Absolutely No Control: Some thoughts on Pearl Jam’s “Sirens”

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I have to admit, when I first heard Pearl Jam’s new song “Sirens” I was a bit skeptical.  With its big reverb guitars, drums, and vocals it seemed liked the sort of dentist’s chair power ballad that Pearl Jam has railed against throughout its 20 existence.  This said, after buying the album and having a few listens, this gem of a song has slowly become one of my favorites.  The reason this is so is that the expansive themes the song explores match the huge sound of the music.
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What the Church Could Learn from Greendale Community College

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I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a huge fan of the  show Community.  The biggest reason I love it is that for all its off the wall hilarity, it offers a surprising depth and insight into the human condition.

Community3x08_0019More than this, Community even offers some themes that from a Christian standpoint give me pause.   This is especially true in the episode “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux” that I came across in recently in a marathon viewing session.  In this episode, Jeff Winger offers a definition of the Church that beats anything I’ve come across in my life. Continue reading

More Tullian Tchividjian

I’m sorry to keep quoting this guy, but he’s dropping some gospel bombs lately.

Ever since the fall of man in Genesis 3, we’ve been obsessed with ourselves. Add to that fire the fuel of the Enlightenment’s mantra, “Progress is inevitable”, and the “manifest destiny” DNA that has marked our country since its inception, and it’s no surprise that our man-centered culture of narcissism has seeped into the church. Whether it takes the crass form of “health, wealth, and prosperity” or the more theologically sophisticated form of an obsession with “sanctification” and “holiness”, the bottom line is, we have concluded that this whole thing is about our transformation, not Christ’s substitution. Continue reading

Great Article by Tullian Tchividjian in the Washington Post

ad42f582e20cff5a4a239936b3a04ac2“In recent years, a handful of popular books have been published urging a more robust and radical expression of the Christian faith. I heartily amen the desire to take one’s faith seriously and demonstrate before the watching world a willingness to be more than just Sunday churchgoers. The unintended consequence of this push, however, is that we can give people the impression that Christianity is first and foremost about the sacrifices we make rather than the sacrifice Jesus made for us – our performance rather than his performance for us. The hub of Christianity is not “do something for Jesus.” The hub of Christianity is “Jesus has done everything for you.” And my fear is that too many people, both inside and outside the church, have heard our “do more, try harder” sermons and pleas for intensified devotion and concluded that the focus of the Christian faith is the work that we do instead of the work God has done for us in the person of Jesus…  The heart of the Christian faith is Good News not good behavior.When Sunday mornings become one more venue for performance evaluation, can you blame a person for wanting to stay at home?

Check out the rest here.