Provided He Goes Along

“The unanimous community considers that it can judge without proof or trial: it own bloody turmoil is seen as a divine inspiration. As we have observed, no one is excluded from that communion — not even the victim, provided he justifies the violence and is not a spoilsport” (Girard, Job, p. 139).

No Mas

As some may know, I have had a link to the Little Geneva website under the Moonbats category, and which I had labeled as “Clever Zionist Tricks.” I am now removing that link because it appears as though the website has folded.

Whatever the reason, I am grateful that the number of attack web sites has now gone down by at least one. There have been some connections and affinities between these sites (Seabrook, Vance, Metzler, et al), and so this may have a broader effect as well. Let’s hope so. The author of the site also stated that he wants to live at peace with his neighbor in the next phase of his life. I wish him well in that effort.

Clamoring for Food

When you were a child, you came to the dinner table, knowing that your parents would have food for you there. This child-like faith went for years, for all of us, and it was not until much later that we all learned what that provision cost. All we knew was that parents feed their children. We are born knowing this. No one has to teach a newborn how to cry for milk, or where to look for it.

The Word tells us that we, like newborn infants, should desire the pure milk of the Word, now that we have tasted that the Lord is good. Two things drive us. Like all who are born alive, we are born hungry. There is an instinct within us, an instinct that shows us born alive within the kingdom; we seek out the food of the Word. This of course applies to the Word of God preached, but it also applies to the Word of God eaten, the Word of God in a cup. We have an instinct that drives us here.

But Peter tells us that children also develop an affection for the Word through their experience—now that you have tasted that the Lord is good, he says. You have been coming to the Lord’s table on a weekly basis for years now. Try to imagine for a moment what it would be like to go back to what many of us experienced for years, when the Lord’s Supper was observed periodically, rarely, or in some cases, never.

The Lord’s children should be characterized by many things, but this should be high on the list—the Lord’s children clamor for food.

Beloved of God

You are here as saints, as the elect of God, as Christians, as believers. Now one of the central things that believers must do when they assemble to worship God is—believe.

This means that we are not to conduct exercises in abstract theological problems. We are not doing math; we are meeting with God. So we must exclude a particular kind of reasoning; we must banish the logic of unbelief. We reason that since some members of the covenant fall away, then why could we not be in that number? This abstract calculus of election is not how the doctrine is applied in the Bible. This is not how it works.

You are baptized, and therefore I am authorized to address you as the beloved of God. You are beloved of God. Now, do you believe that? If you do, it is great comfort, and you received this comfort through the instrument of faith. Now what if you refuse to believe that you are beloved of God? If this is what you do, you must take note of what is happening. The problem is your unbelief, and not the truth of the declaration.

We want to move from the theological problem to assurance (or lack of it). But we are called to move from faith to the erasure of any practical theological problem. There is a problem, to be sure, for all who do not believe. Unbelief always causes problems.

“You are the beloved of God.” This is not a sentence that invites you to investigate it, find out if it is true on independent grounds, and then trust in it on those other grounds. That is essential unbelief. That is the heart of unbelief.

Jesus Christ died for you; His mark is upon you; you are therefore the beloved of God. Only one thing is required of you. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Today, if you hear his voice, believe what He says.

You are the beloved of God.

No Cartoon Puritan

“Earlier critics have noted [Edward] Taylor’s use of images drawn from the sensible world to figure the invisible things of God, and, after some initial disagreement, later critics have agreed that Taylor was neither a closet idolator nor a crypto-Catholic, but an orthodox New England Puritan, a category that recent scholarship has shown to be much larger and more various than we had earlier believed” (Daly, p. 162).

Pursuing What You Love

“This active use of time is of course for pleasure; its impulse is love. Everybody used to know this when the words amateur and dilettante were taken in their original meanings of ‘lover’ and ‘seeker of delight.’ We have turned them into terms of contempt to denote bunglers and triflers” (Jacques Barzun, The Culture We Deserve, p. 21).

Providentially Protected and Preserved

“So we must understand there are two different approaches to textual work. One expresses confidence that God has protected His Word down through history. This is a faith position — faith in God. The other presupposition says that it is up to man, through neutral, scholarly, and scientific means, to determine what the original text of the Bible was. This is a faith position too — faith in man” (Mother Kirk, p. 54).