Wheaton Conference Report from William B. Evans on N. T. Wright and the Impression of him by other Prominent Evangelicals

This is a good read (sent to me by my good friend, Erik Schaefer) for anyone who is interested in the state of “Wrightian” theology, i.e., the theology of N. T. Wright.  It provides the footnotes on many papers delivered at the Wheaton Conference in response to Wright’s theology.  The article is a balanced account, highlighting the gifts and the potential weaknesses of Wright.  Go here to read it.

Divine Revelation Fundamental to Suffering Well: Insights for Contemporary Counseling from the Book of Job

From the introduction (paper posted under “Other Writings” tab above):

“The thesis of this paper is that divine revelation is fundamental to that true transformation of the individual, the appeasement of that troubled soul when it gazes upon the sovereign wisdom and power of God displayed therein.  If the righteous sufferer is to be comforted and planted in the everlasting soils of divine communion, he must see God.  Thus, revelation is fundamental to counseling Job through the experience of his suffering because it manifests God, and in so doing, the character of God which teaches Job that God is greater than his circumstance of affliction.  Indeed, the circumstance is a tool in the hand of the Almighty.  Insofar as one’s counsel is derivative of this Word, the counseled heart will see with new eyes.  This brief sketch of Job’s experience and the insights attained from it for contemporary counseling will accord with the following outline: first, a description of Job’s predicament; secondly, a description of poor counseling exemplified in the words of Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar; thirdly, whether we can learn anything from Elihu as distinct from the three friends; and lastly, the place and content of good counsel, the Word of God and the essential attributes of God set forth within.”

Bibliography is not provided.  If you would like to view it, you can drop me a reply.

Notes on the Book of Job (With an Eye to Biblical Counseling)

The opening paragraph to my notes (just placed in “Other Writings” tab above):

“What follows are the notes that I took as I read through the book of Job.  As it was with the purpose of gaining insights for biblical counseling from the book of Job, the notes are slanted that way.  I hope that they might be of some encouragement to you, and that by them you might be directed to the biblical text itself, and to the magnificent revelation of God by which grace you will receive eyes with which to see Him and so be overcome by His meticulous wisdom, providence, and purpose – even with, in, and through your suffering.  For a less choppy, and I hope, clearer presentation of insights for counseling from the book of Job, see my paper on the subject which is largely derivative of these notes.  If you are wondering why bother with these notes, I submit to you that they include more than I was allowed to fit in the final form.”

The final paper will be posted tomorrow for anyone curious – it’s simply too late, and I need to go to bed.

The Most Essential Prosperity

I was reminded this morning, having finished reading Hebrews with my wife, Jenny, of the most essential sort of prosperity.  It is a prosperity that we are to strive for.  It is a prosperity that God aims at in all of his dealings with us, and the prosperity which we ought to assume He is working for in His discipline of us as true children.  What is this prosperity?  In a word, holiness.  Hebrews 12:14, “Strive . . . for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”  Holiness is the most essential sort of prosperity in this life.  Not health.  Not wealth.  Not libertarian freedom.  Not its consequent licentiousness.  On the contrary, holiness.  And why holiness rather than the rest?  Because the rest are all insufficient, inadequate, ineffectual to bring us into the most essential treasure: the presence of the one true and living God.  We cannot buy our way into His presence.  We cannot jog, bike, or swim our way into His presence.  We cannot argue our way into His presence.  We cannot present ourselves devoid of Christ, trusting in our own works, as a means of entering into His presence.  No, one million times over, no!  But there is a holiness, a conformity to Christ, a godliness without which no one will see the Lord.  Holiness in this life is the means of the eternal enjoyment of God’s presence in the life to come.  Holiness, the mark of the people of God, those who have grasped that sin is not only death to them, but ultimately full of lies and dissatisfaction and hell, and have thus, clung to Christ in faith – these have received the promises of the New Covenant – a new heart, new desires, a new cleansing of the soul, and a new spirit, namely, the HOLY Spirit.  And thus, we have been declared holy, set apart unto God, and we evidence this fact by holiness of life here and now.  Let us then cast off all that seeks to entangle us and keep us from glory on our way, and strive for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  It is the most essential prosperity.

A Sweet Reminder of God’s Dealings

Ligon Duncan preached in Southern Seminary’s chapel service this morning from 1 Kings 18.  It was a sweet reminder of God’s dealings with His servants.  You can listen to “Every Dream Lost.  Every Dream Fulfilled” here.

Samurai Letters Updated – 4/7/10

I would encourage all who know “the Samurai’s” to remember them as you pray, as I certainly am speaking to myself also lest I too forget their love for Christ manifest in the laying down of their lives in order that they may bring life according to God’s effectually saving work.  I would also encourage anyone, who having read these letters or else knowing them personally, to take part in writing them letters.  If you would like to do so, you can put that letter in the reply box related to this post.  I will then take them and place them with the rest.  They would be very appreciative of this manifestation of love, as also we should take heart by their own example of faith working through love.

A Paper on Psalm 8

Recently wrote a paper on Psalm 8.  I have added it to “Other Writings.”  It does lack the bibliography.  A synopsis: This Psalm is a beautiful song of respite from David in the midst of great turmoil.  God is concerned for the display of His glory.  He had given man a gracious and indispensable role in the advancement of that display until it filled the entire earth.  On account of the Fall, Adam and Eve lost their ability to perform this task in original righteousness.  Indeed, man, in their rebellion, are concerned not with advancing God’s glory but with opposing the display of it, particularly as it will be manifest through the Davidic king.  As David reflects on the fallen state of man, the plan of redemption through his line according to the promise of God (2 Samuel 7), and the creation mandate, he looks beyond himself to a time when humanity will have their dominion restored to them through his descendant.  This dominion is one of the dominant themes of the Psalm, for it is by God-given dominion exercised under God’s sovereign rule that man engages that task to which he was originally called.  This restoration of dominion comes through the man, Christ Jesus (Heb 2:1-18); and thus with it, our role in extending the boundaries of God’s majestic presence through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.