Modern Interpretations of the Parables

These short films are contemporary interpretations of some of Jesus’ parables.  Watched the interpretation of the “Good Samaritan” today in class.  Very intriguing.  Go here to watch this and others.

The Essence of Biblical Womanhood

I have really been praying that I would find my identity in the Lord rather than the approval of other people. I’ve found myself being hyper-sensitive to many thoughts and conversations I’ve had recently, but in the last day, many of the things I’ve been sensitive about won’t stand as anything before the Lord. You can help me pray in this manner, that I would see godliness as more important than anything else in my life. That godliness is what I strive to be an example of before men, well women. Not a nature enthusiast or a super saver or a great cleaner or an excellent cook or a workout queen or a money maker or honorable mom or the list could go on and on. Pray that I would be a godly woman.

~ Jenny Mahon

A Sermon on 1 Timothy 4.12 by Pastor Ryan Fullerton

This is a powerful sermon by an exemplary pastor entitled, “The Power of Example: How Not to Ruin a Perfectly Good Preaching Ministry.”  I suggest your undivided attention and practice.  I know that these words, in faithfulness to God’s Word, have been mainstays in my heart for the past week.  Enjoy.

Ryan Fullerton is one of my pastor’s at Immanuel Baptist Church.  To learn more about IBC, go here.

The Greatest Work for Preachers is that which Lies Within

Preaching is an exercise of which many are ambitious, and none more so than those that are least qualified for it; but it is not so easy a matter to perform this task aright.  To stand in the presence of God, and speak to his people in his name, with that seriousness, gravity and simplicity, that zeal and concern which the business requires; to accommodate ourselves to the capacity of the common people, without disgusting the more knowing ones; to awaken drowsy souls, without terrifying tender consciences; to carry home the charge of sin, without the appearance of personal reflection; in a word, to approve ourselves unto God as workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

You see, sirs, to what a dreadful and important charge you aspire.  Consider, I beseech you, what great pains are necessary to fit you for it.  It is not a knowledge of controversy, or the gift of eloquence; much less, a strong voice and bold confidence, that will prepare you for it.  Your greatest work lies within, in purifying yourselves, and learning that wisdom which is necessary to win souls.  Begin, I pray you, and preach to your passions, and try what good you can do to your friends and neighbors.  Be not forward in rushing into public; it is better to be drawn than to run.

The Life of God in the Soul of Man, by Henry Scougal, pp. 33-34.

Immortal Horrors or Everlasting Splendors

I am sure that you have read it before, but it is well worth reading and reflecting upon daily:

Per C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory, quoted in Created in God’s Image by Anthony Hoekema, pp. 96-97:

It is a serious thing . . . to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.  All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations.  It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. . . . It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

The Distortion of Humanity

Written in 1986, Created in God’s Image by Anthony Hoekema hits the proverbial nail on the head with the following “prophetical” paragraphs concerning the factors that threaten human values and the necessity of the Christian/biblical conception of man (I cannot agree more with much of this having watched an inordinate amount of news over the past couple of days that has highlighted afresh for me the effects of sin upon the human mind – we are truly on the brink of being a mindless, thoughtless society of persons in love with every wind of politically devised doctrine that raises itself up against that which is true and godly – anyway, to Hoekema who captures precisely this with regard to the doctrine of man):

Among the factors that threaten human values today are the following: the growing supremacy of technology; the growth of bureaucracy; the increase of mass-production methods; and the growing impact of mass media.  Forces such as these tend to depersonalize humanity.  New developments in biology, psychology, and sociology increase the possibility of the manipulation of the masses by the few.  Practices such as artificial insemination, test-tube babies, abortion, chemical control of behavior, euthanasia, genetic engineering, and the like raise questions about the dignity of human life.  Add to this such burning issues as racism, the problem of alienation (old versus young, conservative versus progressive, majority versus minority groups), the problem of equality between women and men, and the problem of decreasing respect for authority, and one can see why the question “What is man?” has acquired new urgency today.

Hoekema concludes:

Since each of the above-named views of man (idealistic – Greek philosophy; materialistic – Marxism) considers one aspect of the human being to be ultimate, apart from any dependence on or responsibility to God the Creator, each of these anthropologies is guilty of idolatry: of worshipping an aspect of creation in the place of God.  If, as the Bible teaches, the most important thing about man is that he is inescapably related to God, we must judge as deficient any anthropology which denies that relatedness.

Hoekema is right on target – in 1986!  24 years later, the hands of a select few in the tabloids and mass media have taken what it means to be human in the biblical sense and turned it on its head for the masses all over the world, so that what the masses see and hear on television or talk radio from sin-effected, thoughtless, self-contradictory, nihilistic people predisposed to wickedness and everything that opposes the Creator becomes, as it were, incontrovertible fact.  A fact that burdeningly signals the depravity of the times and the necessity of endurance on the part of Christians.  Only God can work that divine work of redemption that restores the human being – every faculty, soul, mind, and the use of the body – to its awakened and, well, redeemed state.  Let us hope, thus, in Him and the gospel that He has given for this purpose – the renewal of fallen humanity in the image of His Son.