The Glory of Christ — John Owen

I love the Puritans, but not all of them were great communicators.  Not all of their writings have travelled well over the centuries.  John Owen is often considered one of the most difficult Puritan writers.  He’s brilliant, but he demands a lot from his readers.  Thankfully, R.J.K. Law made some of Owen’s writings a bit easier for today’s readers.  The Glory of Christ is one of several abridged and simplified works of Owen published by the Banner of Truth in its Puritan Paperback series.

This is a fantastic little book — filled not only with solid biblical theology, but also warmhearted applications. One of the key things I took away from Owen has to do with how we will see God in the age to come. God is invisible *and* immutable. So, Owen says, “We see the glory of God only in the person of Christ” (12). Because Christ has a human body, our vision of God in the age to come is connected to our sight of him. In him all the fullness of God dwells (Col. 1:19). Seeing Christ and his glory is how we will see God. This is true in a spiritual sense now already, but it will also be true in a physical sense after the resurrection. I highly recommend this book!  If you’ve never read Owen before, this would be a great place to start.


Preaching in the New Testament — Jonathan Griffiths

I just want to drop a little note about this great study on preaching from 2017.  The Second Helvetic Confession famously said that “the preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God.”  Those of us who’ve been preaching for a bit know the popular biblical supports for this statement, passages like 1 Thess. 2:13.  Jonathan Griffiths discusses those, but he also goes way further and deeper.  Exegeting the relevant passages, he deftly explains what makes preaching a distinct form of word ministry.  Along the way, he also implicitly makes a case for why only men can be preachers of the gospel.  It’s a book not so much about the “how” of preaching as the “what.”


I Recommend

This past week, I shared the following links on social media and I think they’re worth sharing here too:

Does Systemic Racism Exist?

That’s a provocative question in today’s environment.  Samuel Sey’s answer will stir up your grey matter.

When C.S. Lewis was an atheist…

This is an excerpt from Douglas Bond’s book War in the Wasteland.

Why haven’t we heard from ET?

Jon Dykstra considers the possibilities and comes up with what seems to me to be the most likely answer.

A Free People’s Suicide? — The End of Law and Order in the West

I’m sure you’ve heard the rallying cries of either defunding or dismantling police forces around the world.  What could possibly go wrong?  David Robertson provides some penetrating analysis of the spirit of the age, a spirit which is increasingly lawless and illogical.

Does the Condition of Your Church Facility Matter to Guests?

“I find that many church members take better care of their homes, boats, cars, motorcycles, and even their pets than they do their ministry facilities. Is this acceptable to you? It is not to me, and I suggest that the church (big “C”) wake up, take notice, and do something about it. I believe that God will hold each of us responsible and accountable for how we steward every resource entrusted to us.”  And even more than stewardship, this is about the gospel.  When we show that value the church and its facilities poorly, it reflects poorly on the rich gospel we aim to preach there.

Greed, Heresy, and the Prosperity Gospel

The White Horse Inn is one of my favourite radio programs.  This episode features a powerful interview with two ex-insiders from the prosperity “gospel” world.  Costi Hinn is a nephew of Benny Hinn; Michael Cerullo is a grandson of Morris Cerullo.

 

 


Book Review: Understanding Scientific Theories of Origins (Part 5 — Final)

The final installment of my (lengthy) review of this important book making the case for theistic evolution.

Creation Without Compromise

See here for Part 1, here for Part 2, here for Part 3, and here for Part 4.

The Extent of the Flood

As already mentioned, USTO disparages a “Bible-first” approach.  Instead, the Bible has to be understood, not only on its own terms, but also in terms of what God is revealing in the “second book” of scientific evidence.  Not surprisingly, this leads USTO to reject the notion of a global flood in the days of Noah.  They grant that the Bible describes some cataclysmic event of massive proportions; however USTO insists that it was not global.  Moreover, “the event is described with a specific theological and literary goal in mind” (241).  It is not meant to provide us with a “hydro-geological” explanation.

Once again we are presented with a false dilemma:  a global flood versus a “specific theological and literary goal.”  This dilemma is false…

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Movie Review: Spirit & Truth

The other day I mentioned Spirit & Truth as one of three must-see films.  Now you can read my full review of it over at Reformed Perspective.