Friday, May 23, 2008

Prayer Request

Please remember to pray for the family of Stephen Curtis Chapman as they prepare for the funeral of his young daughter tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Missing Links - R.C. Sproul

The last few weeks I have been busy and have not posted some of the notes from Together for the Gospel. Please do not think that this is because these messages were not as good as the others. In fact, the opposite is true. I enjoyed these so much that I wanted to take time in posting the notes and I just never got around to it. Anyway, some people may already have downloaded and listened to these, but the notes may serve as a reminder of the powerful messages from God's word.

Notes from the message by R.C. Sproul:

*There is no one image that can explain the cross. It is a multi-faceted event and a magnificent tapestry.

*There is an image that has receded almost into oblivion - the idea of a curse inflicted by God on His Son. Recall that when the New Testament speaks of atonement, it does so in terms of substitution, satisfaction of God's wrath, ransom, and victory over death. See also Isaiah 53 and ask yourself "how can the Father be pleased to bruise His Son?" It pleased Him because He accomplished His eternal purpose of restoring us.

*The idea of a curse today is associated with voodoo or superstition, but the biblical categories for curses are not superstitious. Remember the fall of man provoking a curse on the serpent, the earth, and women. The giving of the law attaches a curse to the covenant with its negative sanction in Deut. 28:15-19. Old Testament prophets pronounced curses in the name of the Lord. Isaiah calls a curse on himself in Isaiah 6 when he beholds the holiness of God. These statements are in the Bible, yet we often ignore them, preferring to the hear the blessings and not the curses in Scripture.

*So...what was it to Jesus to be cursed? Look to the benediction: "May the Lord bless you and keep you, etc. Consider that the antithesis of these elements were the curse for Christ. A vivid malediction emerges: "May the Lord curse you and abandon you. May the Lord keep you in darkness and give you only judgement. May the Lord turn His back on you and remove His peace from you forever."

*We cannot image the weight of this curse. Yet, Jesus redeemed us from this same curse by becoming the curse for us. He did not simple take the curse of our sins, he became it. God is too holy to have looked upon Jesus, who became the primitive, obscene curse of sin. Jesus endured the malediction, when even the sun did not shine of calvary. Christ cried out on the cross. Was He in a quoting mood? No, this is not just a Psalm quote, not the cry of a disillusioned prophet, but a cry from the depths as He bore the curse of being utterly forsaken by the Father.

*There is little of this curse found in the pseudo-gospel of today. The Gospel is more than unconditional love which requires no need for repentance. God does love us, even in corruption, but we are still under the curse. We will either bear the curse, or flee to the One who bore it for us.

More Conferences...

Over Memorial Day weekend, Ben and I will be attending the New Attitude conference. New Attitude is part of Sovereign Grace. Speakers this year include John Piper, Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, and Joshua Harris. In addition to this line-up of speakers, we are looking forward to the music. At Together for the Gospel, music was led by Bob Kauflin. The hymns were arranged beautifully and it was a joy to sing and be led by him. If you are interested in worship leadership, check out his blog or his book - Worship Matters. We have an extra copy of the book if anyone is interested.

I feel terrible that I still have not finished posting the notes from Together for the Gospel. I am off today for Kentucky election day, so I am planning to organize my thoughts on the sermons and post them. Better late than never!

P.S. I know that I have linked this blog within an inch of its life, but each link is a good one!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Things that go bump in the night

So...Friday night we were really tired and went to bed around 10:00. At about 10:45 I heard a noise outside. I thought it was my imagination and tried to go back to sleep. Just then, someone started to jiggle the doorknob of our apartment! It scared me and I tried to wake Ben up to come to the door with me. He was out cold, so I went into the living room alone. The person was still trying to get the door open! I started yelling, "Who's there?" and holding the chain lock. The person yelled back, "Open!" Finally, I screamed for Ben to come into the living room and he (all 6 feet and shirtless) flung open the door. In our doorway stood a tiny Asian man with two boxes of Smuckers Uncrustables under his arm. Seriously. We believe that he was staying with family and had come to wrong apartment, but he didn't say anything. He just left. In the end, I think we scared him more than he scared us.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Creation Museum

Yesterday, schools were out for Oaks Day, and Ben and I went to the Creation Museum. This museum is a walk through history dedicated to Creation science. The museum is just about an hour and a half away from us, so it was a nice little day trip.
The museum is filled with live action dinosaurs, moving figures, multi-media, a large-scale ark, a garden of Eden and much more.

We loved learning about the history of skepticism, the intricate design of our world and the way that the flood still changes it.

This museum is no small place - it offers over 65,000 square feet of exhibit space and took us about 2 and a half hours to walk through. The grounds feature a beautiful botanical garden with gazebos and fully lit dinosaurs. We wish some of our friends from Mississippi could have seen this!

T4G Part II

I had only heard Dr. Mohler preach once before, and I was was very excited to hear his message at Together for the Gospel. I have to admit, that he was a bit over my head. There was so much information that I could not process it all fast enough! He was addressing pastors and seminary students for the most part, and it could be that they are used to hearing the terminology, whereas I had to stop and think about it more often. Nevertheless, God spoke through His servant! If I could give him my thoughts on the sermon, this is how it would go:

Thanks to Dr. Mohler for tackling the difficult topic of why so many hate the atonement. As he introduced the sermon, he turned to Acts 16:26 and also brought forth some questions to consider and answer throughout the message.

*Is the resisitance to the blood of Christ a new thing?

*Why do professing Christians hate it so? - I was struck by the story that you told and by how often I perceive that people (myself included) do not want to deal with the blood, the suffering, the death...I am committed now to study of the Cross and to a new daily focus on Christ's sacrifice.
Particularly helpful was the 3 grouping theories of atonement:

1. The Cross has its affect on humanity

2. The Cross has its affect on hostile spiritual forces.

3. The Cross has its effect in God who propitiated Himself.

Thanks also for the reminder that God demands and provides the penalty for my own sin.

(For a fuller understanding of his message, I recommend downloading the sermon and listening for yourself!, Also, check out Dr. Mohler's blog.)
SIDE NOTE: I want my friends at New Home to read Dr. Mohler's book Culture Shift when we come back this summer. I think you will all particularly relate to his ideas about an exit strategy from schools. I'll bring my copy home!