Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin
How Sweet And Awesome Is The Place by Isaac Watts
How to Roll Up Your Shirt Sleeves — Helpful tips from the folks at The Art of Manliness.
Is it Anti-Gospel to Teach Kids Self-control Before Conversion? — Owen Strachan provides wise and balanced counsel.
The Craft of Life-Changing Preaching (Paul Tripp) — “Preaching is not just a craft of content; it is also a craft of communication. You must meditate, pray, labor, and wrestle with how to communicate the truths you now understand to the particular people in your care.”
Kevin DeYoung’s latest book, The Hole In Our Holiness: Filling The Gap Between Gospel Passion And The Pursuit Of Holiness, just arrived in the mail. DeYoung poses the question, “Shouldn’t those most passionate about the gospel and God’s glory also be those most dedicated to the pursuit of godliness?” I’m looking forward to reading his answer.
The theme today is biblical counseling.
David Powlison on using Ephesians in counseling – “You will not go wrong if you plunge into Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Master it. Be mastered by it. Work Ephesians into your thinking, your living, your prayers, and your conversation. The Bible is vast and deep, and human life is diverse and perplexing. But in a pinch you could do all counseling from Ephesians. It’s all there: the big picture that organizes a myriad details. And Ephesians is not only ‘counsel,’ but also ‘counseling.’ It talks and walks method as well as content. Paul himself is a changed man. He lives out and teaches wise pastoral strategy. Ephesians aims to teach you how to live. That is a synonym for counseling biblically, for doing face-to-face ministry.”
X-Ray Questions – “Counseling that is faithful to Scripture must do justice to what God says about the whys and wherefores of the human heart…The questions aim to help people identify the ungodly masters that occupy positions of authority in their hearts. These questions reveal ‘functional gods,’ what or who actually controls their particular actions, thoughts, emotions, attitudes, memories, and anticipations.”
The Basics of Biblical Counseling (mp3) – A free, thirty-five part introductory course taught by Jim Newheiser, Director of The Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD). I’ve been through the material a few times. It’s excellent.
Psychotherapy and the Pursuit of Happiness – “Psychotherapy is no longer an intellectual movement today as it once was. But in the form of modern professional ‘caring,’ it has assumed a new role, which is to provide a peculiar sort of substitute friendship — what we might call ‘artificial friendship’ — for lonely people in a lonely age.”
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was an American theologian and preacher. He is probably best known for his sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. He was educated at Yale University and pastored Congregational churches in both Northampton and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Shortly before his death he served as president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). He is widely regarded as the greatest theologian America has ever produced. Edwards’ works are still in print—twenty-six volumes in the Yale University Press edition—and continue to influence the Christian church.
The Jonathan Edwards Collection at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Yale University) contains sermon manuscripts, theological notebooks, letters, and other material from Edwards’ library. A number of the items from the collection are available to view online. This is fascinating stuff!
I’ve included some of the images below. Make sure to click through to see the high-resolution versions.
Letter from George Washington
Efficacious grace notebook
Miscellanies, Book 3, Entries 761-880, p. 30-31
Farewell Sermon to the People of Northampton
You can view the rest of the items in the online collection here.
ESV Single Column Legacy Bible – A beautiful layout based on the Renaissance ideal of a perfect page. I’m considering picking one up.
The Lost Tools of Learning – Dorothy Sayer’s 1947 essay on classical education.
Science, the Bible, and the Promised Land – Matt Perman’s analysis of Genesis Unbound by John Sailhamer. Sailhamer argues for what he calls historical creationism.
In Preaching and Preachers, Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues that preaching isn’t merely about imparting information to the hearers. It’s a living transaction.
Any true definition of preaching must say that [the preacher] is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people…He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people. In other words he is not here merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there–and I want to emphasise this–to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people. He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, or only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very centre of life. Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again…
[Preaching] should always be a transaction between preacher and listener with something vital and living taking place. It is not the mere imparting of knowledge, there is something much bigger involved. The total person is engaged on both sides; and if we fail to realise this our preaching will be a failure…
[The preacher] is dealing with living persons, people who are in need and in trouble, sometimes not consciously; and he is to make them aware of that, and to deal with it. It is this living transaction…
If people can listen to us without becoming anxious about themselves or reflecting on themselves we have not been preaching…
[Preaching] addresses us in such a manner as to bring us under judgment; and it deals with us in such a way that we feel our whole life is involved, and we go out saying, ‘I can never go back and live just as I did before. This has done something to me, it has made a difference to me. I am a different person as the result of listening to this’…
Preaching is that which deals with the total person, the hearer becomes involved and knows that he has been dealt with and addressed by God through this preacher. Something has taken place in him and in his experience, and it is going to affect the whole of his life.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1971) 53-56, emphasis added.
Can Syria’s Christian Survive – “Nonetheless, many Christians fear any government that replaces the Assad regime might be dominated by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that could relegate them back to second-class status. They also worry their communities could be devastated in the crossfire between Syria’s largely Sunni Muslim insurgency and the well-armed Alawite regime, just as Christians in neighboring Iraq have suffered mightily in the sectarian wars there over the past decade.”
German Austerity’s Lutheran Core – Steven Ozment, author of The Serpent and the Lamb: Cranach, Luther, and the Making of the Reformation, discusses the ways in which Germany’s Lutheran heritage still influences the nation’s public policy. “But if their Lutheran heritage of sacrificing for their neighbors makes Germans choose austerity, it also leads them to social engagement. In classic Lutheran teaching, the salvation of the believer ‘by faith alone’ does not curtail the need for constant charitable good works, as ill-informed critics allege. Faith, rather, empowers the believer to act in the world by taking the worry out of his present and future religious life.”
A Nation That Believes Nothing – The teaser for Peggy Noonan’s WSJ article on the presidential campaign reads “Romney doesn’t need to talk about America becoming like Europe. He needs to warn us about America becoming like California.” As a Californian that caught my attention. And as a Californian I have to say I tend to agree.