January 2008


I have meaning to link this, but have forgotten on numerous occasions. Reformation Heritage Books now has a blog called: Reformation Heritage Book Talk. You will be able to read reviews of RHB titles as well as read and hear interviews with some of their authors and booksellers.

My friend, Michael Dewalt, is the administrator and may be emailed with your reviews of RHB titles.

Enjoy!

God is pleased with the joy of His children. It is His will that they delight themselves, value the benefits, fully trust in His Word and in His promise, and jubilate, leap for joy, and sing His praises with joyful and singing lips. Cheerfulness and joyfulness are a delight to Him. “But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” (Psa. 22:3-4); “Thou meetest him that rejoiceth” (Isa. 64:5). Is it your desire to do something which is pleasing to God? Is God’s nearness, His presence, and your familiar encounters with Him, your desire and your delight? Accustom yourself then to live joyfully by faith (II: 463-464).

When will the church start being the church? This is a question that many in evangelical circles are asking. The context of the question is the fact that many view church as one or two services a week and then a mind-your-own-business-spirituality the rest of the week.

This was not the practice of the Lord Jesus and his disciples, the early Church, the Reformation church, the Puritans, or even Victorian Christianity. There have been great periods of the church doing ministry and living out her faith to a degree that changed lives for the sake of the Gospel. This is our duty. I think of the words of Wesley: the world is my parish! We have a duty to mankind to bring the Gospel and its life changing message. This begins in our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities, and extends to all spheres of life with which we have contact. Most importantly, this is done in Word and in deed.

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

The Lord has been showing me this more and more and I know that there are many saints in the Reformed churches that are seeing the need for Jesus Christ to break into our lives and to make a people that are more than ‘Sunday Christians’. It is sad to see the Emergent Church and the Evangelicals doing more- and with less Truth. There is much work to do. The Lord Jesus said,

Matthew 9:37-38 The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

He also said concerning those who claimed to be Christians, but did not do these works that the Gospel requires of them:

Matthew 25:42-46 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

We have much to reform in the Reformed churches; much of which does have to do with doctrine, but with practice. Our heritage is filled with men and women who lived for the sake of advancing the Gospel; many of us are but consumers. My pastor has challenged his congregation with this.

What should be done from? Should we continue with individualistic consumerism, or be the Church?

One must not focus upon his corruptions for long periods of time in order thereby to sink even deeper into his misery and to be more brokenhearted; as if being more brokenhearted prior to conversion would make one more acceptable before God; as if it were a condition upon which you could, and without which you could not come to Christ; as if it were the basis for our liberty to receive Christ. Rather, brokenheartedness is only necessary to cause you to go out of yourself and to take refuge with Jesus. If this is brought about by sorrow over your sinful state, it makes no difference whether your sorrow and brokenheartedness are great or small. Their only purpose is to drive you, while yet unconverted, out to Jesus (II: 605).

One of the first classes that I took at Puritan Seminary was on the ‘Pastoral Theology of John Owen’. It is not a required course for M.Div students, but being a fan of John Owen I took the course. Derek Thomas is an incredible professor who reinforces the study of the history of the church.

Long and short: Someone has asked PRTS and Derek Thomas if they could be made available for free… and of course, the answer was yes.

Here they are:

Derek Thomas’ Course on John Owen

The tune is Ajalon. The selection number in your UP Psalter is 140.

‘Bernard of Clairvaux, a man so godly, so holy, so pure, that we should commend and prefer him before all the theologians of the Church.”

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