This winter I did the following for the first time:
- Put up a bird feeder
- Spent Christmas with in-laws
- Read a Tolkien book
- Used salt on my driveway
- Used an impact driver for something around the house
- Drove on the 401 with my wife
This winter I did the following for the first time:
“The gospel (saith he) persuades rather than commands. But, say we, it both commands (as the law doth), and with a more strong obligation of the constraining love of Christ, beside the authority of the Lawgiver, and also persuadeth; so here be no differences at all; for Christ hath not redeemed us from the curse of the law, to free us from active obedience by his grace to the law, that we should be sons of Belial, from under all yoke, but that with a stronger tie, we should live in holiness and righteousness to him who died for us.
Objection. O then (saith Towne) I am sure if we be faster tied to the obedience of the law than before, we have no help by Christ, but rather he hath made our case more miserable – why do you unloose the cords, and abate so much of the rigour of the law.
Answer 1. Miserable be they, with Herod and Pilate, who call it a miserable case, that Christ’s silken cords of love, and ties of free gospel-bands, oiled and sweetened with the love of Christ, renders us no help, but makes our yoke and law-chains heavier. It is happiness, not misery, and sweetest liberty to serve God. But to Antinomians, Puritanical walking, and strict adhering to the law of God, as a rule of righteousness, sweetened and perfumed with gospel-grace, to perform any personal obedience (they lay all on imputative mortification abused, not rightly expounded) to God is bondage.
Answer 2. The rigour of the law is not in commanding holiness, the law then should be unjust, but in that it now obligeth us to obedience under a curse, when we are utterly unable to obey; but Christ abateth the rigour of the law, in that, (1.) He removeth the curse, which Towne seemeth to esteem a poore courtesy Christ hath done us. (2.) Giveth grace to obey. (3.) Pardoneth in Christ’s blood the sinful defects of obedience. (4.) Justifieth us not by law (that door to heaven is shut, never to be opened to sinners), but by faith (which is his own gift), laying hold on the righteousness of Christ freely, and of only pure grace imputed to us.”
– John Knox in Spiritual Antichrist 2:122, 123
“The gospel is to the end of removing an absolute law-gospel antithesis in the life of the believer. How so? Briefly, apart from the gospel and outside of Christ the law is my enemy and condemns me. Why? Because God is my enemy and condemns me. But with the gospel and in Christ, united to him by faith, the law is no longer my enemy but my friend. Why? Because now God is no longer my enemy but my friend, and the law, his will, the law in its moral core, as reflective of his character and of concerns eternally inherent in his own person and so of what pleases him, is now my friendly guide for life in fellowship with God”
– Richard Gaffin in By Faith, Not by Sight, 103
“In discussions of law and gospel, one commonly hears that it is important, not only to preach both law and gospel, but also to preach the law first and the gospel second. We are told that people must be frightened by the law before they can be driven to seek salvation in Christ. Certainly there is a great need to preach God’s standards, man’s disobedience, and God’s wrath against sin, especially in an age such as ours where people think God will let them behave as they like. And very often people have been driven to their knees in repentance when the Spirit has convicted them of their transgressions of law.
But as we have seen, it is really impossible truly to present law without gospel or gospel without law, though various relative emphases are possible. And among those relative emphases, the biblical pattern tends to put the gospel first. That is the pattern of the decalogue, as we have seen: God proclaims that he has redeemed his people (gospel), then asks them to behave as his covenant people (law). Since both gospel and law are aspects of God’s covenants, that pattern pervades Scripture.”
– John Frame in Law and Gospel
“The disposition to construe the demand for obedience in the Mosaic economy as having affinity with works rather than grace arises from failure to recognize that the demand for obedience in the Mosaic covenant is principially identical with the same demand under the gospel. When we re-examine the demand for obedience in the Mosaic covenant (cf. Exodus 19:5, 6; 24:7) in the light of the relations of law and grace in the gospel, we shall discover that the complex of ideas is totally alien to a construction in terms of works as opposed to grace. Obedience belongs here no more ‘to the legal sphere of merit’3 than in the new covenant. The New Testament believer is not without law to God but under law to Christ. He delights in the law of God after the inward man”
– John Murray in Law and Grace
“So the definitions that sharply separate law and gospel break down on careful analysis. In both law and gospel, then, God proclaims his saving work, and he demands that his people respond by obeying his commands. The terms “law” and “gospel” differ in emphasis, but they overlap and intersect. They present the whole Word of God from different perspectives. Indeed, we can say that our Bible as a whole is both law (because as a whole it speaks with divine authority and requires belief) and gospel (because as a whole it is good news to fallen creatures). Each concept is meaningless apart from the other.”
– John Frame in Law and Gospel
“WE have evinced the necessity of holiness from the nature and the decrees of God; our next argument shall be taken from his word or commands, as the nature and order of these things do require. And in this case it is needless to produce instances of God’s commands that we should be holy; it is the concurrent voice of the law and gospel. Our apostle sums up the whole matter, 1 Thess. 4:1-3, ‘We exhort you, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification,’ or holiness; whereunto he adds one especial instance. This is that which the commandments of Christ require, yea, this is the sum of the whole commanding will of God.”
– John Owen in Works 3:604, 605
“In conclusion, then, the points are these: first, the law is fulfilled in us when we love our neighbor as ourselves. Second, love is the outworking of genuine, saving faith. Third, therefore, the law did not teach us to try to produce meritorious works, but only taught us to trust the gracious God of the exodus and to live out the obedience of faith. Fourth, therefore, the Mosaic covenant is not fundamentally different from the Abrahamic and New Covenants, for we should obey the commandments of all three from the very same motive—not to win God's favor, but because we already depend on his free grace and trust that his commands will lead to full and lasting joy. The final point, then, is that we should delight in God’s law, meditate on it day and night (Psalm 119:97), and sing of his value to all generations (Psalm 19:7-14).”
- John Piper in Why The Law Was Given
My friend Ian has an excellent series of posts called “Reading And Error” on the Sola Scriptura Ministries International blog.
Here are a quote that I found helpful in outlining why sometimes we should “read error”:
“by reading error, you might actually learn something. In one sense, reading error can hone our understanding of the truth. By being forced to answer arguments, we can become firmer in our convictions and will be better able to articulate them. We may find some of our misheld convictions challenged so that we can change them to better reflect biblical teaching.”
“There was a law that existed at that time that you couldn’t have a drink unless you had traveled five miles and so my case officer, being a true Scotsman, interpreted the law that you had to stop and have a drink every five miles. The last few miles of that journey to Edinburgh was probably the most dangerous time I had in the whole world war.”
– W.W.II double agent Dushko Popov, quoted in Codename Tricycle, p.60
Not sure what to do over Christmas/New Years/Wintertime? Try these for a start, none are specific to a particular time (such as Christmas, New Years, etc.) and are just all-round great winter activities!
I know the news of religious conversions of musicians are a dime a dozen, but I figured I’d add this one to the mix.
Former Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen has apparently converted to Judaism (though he was raised Jewish). Jorma has linked to this story on his twitter account, so I’m assuming this is legit and not tabloid-ish.
The article says that “Jorma Kaukonen, the guitarist of legendary American rock band Jefferson Airplane, is another name” to be added to the list of distinguished religious Jews. Jorma is quoted as saying “According to the Book of Deuteronomy, ‘The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.’….God used the Jewish people in a unique way to give humanity the Bible – through special people like Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel”
Jorma was born December 23, 1940 in Washington, DC. He was born to a Finnish American father who was a State Department official and a Russian Jewish mother. He moved to California in the early 1960′s and that’s where he hooked up with Jefferson Airplane. Besides his work with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, he released over a dozen solo albums. He now lives in southeastern Ohio and runs Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp.
Here are a couple videos: first one older (with Jack Cassady on the left and Jorma on the right) and second one more recent (at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Ok, I’m trying to be more goal-oriented with my reading!
I started this feature in September to post notable quotes from ancient and contemporary sources on a variety of different topics from various different perspectives. Here’s some more!
“You have two hemispheres in your brain — a left and a right side. The left side controls the right side of your body and right controls the left half. It’s a fact. Therefore, left-handers are the only people in their right minds. “
– Baseball Pitcher Bill Lee in Sports Illustrated April 7, 1980
“…these ridiculous farces, worthy of the savages of Canada”
– Frederick the Great commenting on some of William Shakespeare’s plays, quoted in The Life of Frederick The Great by Norwood Young
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no effect on society.“
– Mark Twain in More Maxims of Mark (edited by Merle Johnson)
“Grace, as the seed in the parable, grows, we know not how. Yet at length, when God sees fittest, we shall see that all our endeavor has not been in vain. The tree falls upon the last stroke, yet all the strokes help the work forward.“
– Richard Sibbes the The Bruised Reed
“Russia must suppress all manifestations of extremism, on all sides, wherever they may come from”
– Vladamir Putin commenting on recent riots in December 2010