Eating is not a result of the Fall. When God created Adam and Eve, and placed them in the garden, He put them in a garden full of food. Food is not an unfortunate development. When Adam was cursed for his disobedience, the result was a curse upon the ground, a curse that meant that food was going to become harder to get. Thorns and thistles were to obstruct the growing of food. The Fall meant less food, not more food. The Fall meant a barrier to food, not the creation of food. In other words, plainly stated, sin did not bring about the creation of food.
In the new creation, we find that it is the same. Man is both created, and recreated, as an eating creature. God intends for us to take food into our mouths, and by this means, to restructure the world around us. Physical food is a great mystery, and spiritual food even more so. How can we restructure the world around us, evangelize our community, exercise dominion in the earth, throw down the idols, just by eating? Well, the answer is that we cannot do it just by eating—this is gospel food, and gospel food is always a curse unless it is received with living, active, evangelical faith. We come to this table in faith. We sit down in faith.
We rule on the earth, as kings and priests, as we do this. If we run away from this table in order to rule another way, we will only be humiliated. And if we get up from this table in order to hide, afraid the of the responsibility that comes with this, then we receive God’s discipline also. But come, He offers us more food.
We cannot understand the world around us apart from right worship. And yet, day after day, we see a world which cries out to be understood. We see conflict, distress, warfare, and oppression, and we sometimes despair of comprehending our role in it. This problem has been accentuated by the current war, but this actually is our condition all the time. It is just that now, others will come to us in distress and ask us what we think of the war. Our opinion is sought, and many of us do not know exactly what to say. This is because the questioner is often seeking a simple answer, contained with his idolatrous categories. “Are you for the war, or against it?” Yes or no? And many of us are unsure, not knowing what to say.
We are here to worship God, the only God, the living and true God. At the global level, the current war is a war between two false gods, the god of American secularism and the god of Islam. In the providence of our triune God, our lot as American Christians is bound up in this conflict, and so we may lawfully wish our troops well, pray for those many Christians who are involved in the conflict, and may pray that they perform their tasks ably and well. But we may only do this if we know how to keep ourselves from idols.
As Americans, we are more likely to be seduced by the gods of secular prosperity, whose names are NASDAQ and DOW, than we are to convert to Islam. We are to look with a wary eye at that which poses the greatest threat to our faithfulness. But thinking such political thoughts during the week is not enough.
We must worship the true God, and we must worship Him truly, fully and with a whole heart. That is why we are here. Worship Him! Come before Him, and ask Him to show you the ultimate vanity of every false god. The empires of men are smoke before Him, and every idol lies face down on the threshold like Dagon. Come, let us worship the God who made heaven and earth, and who made the new heaven and the new earth in Jesus Christ our Lord.
“So closely does Michael Wigglesworth approximate the unhappy popular conception of our seventeenth-century forbears that he seems more plausible as a satirical construction than he does as a human being. In their descriptions of a Puritan so obsessed with himself, with his own quest for salvation, that he suppressed or ignored all purely human experience, early critics accurately described, not the typical Puritan, but the atypical Michael Wigglesworth” (Daly, p. 129).
“It has been shown that, normally, the rise and fall of great nations are due to internal reasons alone. Ten generations of human beings suffice to transform the hardy and enterprising pioneer into the captious citizen of the welfare state” (John Glubb, The Fate of Empires, p. 24).
“Judging by the time and space allotted to them in the Press and television, football and baseball are the activities which today chiefly interest the public in Britain and the United States respectively. The heroes of declining nations are always the same—the athlete, the singer or the actor. The word ‘celebrity’ today is used to designate a comedian or a football player, not a statesman, a general, or a literary genius” (John Glubb, The Fate of Empires, p. 16).
“This doctrine of the triumph of the gospel encourages, and the fact that we need encouraging should be evident . . . A modern Christian has been watching the news on his nineteen-inch color TV set, in the living room of his home. He switches the set off and comments to his wife that the world is in a horrible condition. he wonders how long it can go on — he is very discouraged as he goes to the refrigerator for a cold drink. An old Puritan is tied to a stake, and is about to be burned alive for his faith. He lifts his head to heaven and rejoices that Christ is on the throne, and that He will be worshipped from the river to the ends of the earth. What is the difference between these men? Very simply, it is a matter of faith in the promise of God to save the world. One sits in ease and is overwhelmed with troubles. The other is surrounded by troubles, and yet speaks the word that goes forth conquering and to conquer. The first has won his life in what he thinks is a losing battle. The second is losing his life in what he knows to be a winning battle” (Mother Kirk, p.41).
“If there is just one exception, if even one single voice is raised in disagreement with the unison against the victim, then there is no guarantee of a favourable outcome. The drug loses its effect; the group’s unity cracks. If the hatred appears in the least bit lukewarm, doubt may spread, comprising the cathartic effects on the morale of the community” (Girard, Job, p. 111).
54. Idols for Destruction/Schlossberg/superb
55. Londonistan/Phillips/very good
56. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam/Spencer/quite good
57. Secrets of the Koran/Richardson/pretty good