A.W. Tozer’s challenge

HT: The Current Christian: Tozer Said It

The hope for the evangelical forces in America lies with the individual believer, and especially with the individual Christian leader. If enough influential Christians will rethink this whole thing and turn to the New Testament for guidance, there may yet come a new birth of revival among us. These leaders must see that the believer’s true ambition should not be success but saintliness. They must see that they are not called to imitate the world, but to renounce it, and that publicity is no substitute for the power of the Holy Ghost.

JP: More on A.W. Tozer here

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Meg and Jake Flaming

Pics from Meg’s wedding day

More photos at Meg’s Memo

Ephesus at night


Image is © TWAN photos

As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day starry night above the Temple of Hadrianus and the marble road or the Arcadian Street in Ephesus, built in 2nd century AD. This panoramic view shows Hadrianus Temple to the left, the Arcadian Street at the center and terrace houses to the right. Despite the light pollution of nearby town of Selçuk, the rising summer Milky Way rising can be seen over the ancient structures with bright planet Jupiter (near to opposition) as a signpost to the Arcadian Street. Ephesus was a city of ancient Anatolia. Ephesus hosted one of the seven churches of Asia, addressed in the Book of Revelation of The Bible. It is also the site of a large gladiator graveyard. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), and both were destroyed by the Goths in 263. The emperor Constantine I rebuilt much of the city and erected a new public bath. The town was again partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614. Today’s archaeological site lies 3 kilometers south of the Selçuk district of Izmir Province, Turkey.

HT: The World At Night (TWAN)

The precious Word of God

JP: Doug Roman comments on “how precious it is to hold the word of God in our hands and in our language”

The Bible in Translation: Our Heart Language

Excerpt:

A Quechuan woman named Ruth received [a Quechuan language] Bibles. She testified:

When we have the Bible in our own language, it brings spiritual comfort. It also makes us feel respected because it is in our own language. It is like someone is saying, ‘Someone has considered us worthy.’ Someone is giving us the Bible in our heart language.

In a day when there is a proliferation of English translations of the Bible and very likely entire Bibles in a number of versions, New Testaments, study editions, reference editions, multi-translation editions, interlinears, etc. lining our shelves we may forget how precious it is to hold the word of God in our hands and in our language. May we receive the insight of this Quechuan woman in a fresh and powerful way, namely that God loved us when we were unlovely and He spoke to us by His Son. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, [2] but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Hebrews 1:1-2, ESV).

You Have Your Clique…but do you have the Gospel?

JP: A worthwhile read on the danger of cliques. If we love our Lord and love our church, we need to avoid this trap!

You Have Your Clique…but do you have the Gospel?

Excerpt:

We like people that look like us, act like us, like what we like, and are similar to us; however, the Christian life is just not that neat. The point of the gospel is not to unite people according to the flesh, but rather to unite people in Jesus Christ. If I am a cliquey person then I am enjoying exclusive relationships with folks while also excluding others whom Christ has brought together. I have just unwittingly undermined a major aspect of what Christ has bought in and through his gospel! I have promoted my personal preferences to a position of supremacy and put the gospel in position of submission. This should not be.

As Paul says in Colossians, “Christ is all, and in all.”

This is it. It is Christ. My motive for relationships with other believers should be Christ and my desire for our time together should be the pleasure of Christ. If I have somehow flipped this on its head, replacing Christ and his pleasure for my own then I am a flaming idolater, worthy of a hearty rebuke. This idolatrous inversion is seen clearly in many church cliques but more subtly in our use of time in relationships.

The burden is to be Christ-Centered and Gospel-Boasting in everything with everyone. We should see our relationships, ranging from the close intimate friendships to perhaps the more casual relationships in our congregations, with the priority of making much of Christ, magnifying his power by preserving and promoting unity in him.

If you are a ‘cliquey’ person, get over yourself and fall in love with Christ and trumpet his unity producing gospel.

If you are not being intentional about relationships, make it a priority to exalt Christ with what you have eternally in common with folks. This will no doubt forge greater humility and love in Christ.

Doug Roman cites Will Durant

JP: From Wikipedia: “The Story of Civilization by Will and Ariel Durant is an eleven-volume set of books. It was written over a lifetime, and it totals two million words across nearly 10,000 pages. The series is incomplete: in the first book of the series (Our Oriental Heritage, which covers the history of the East through 1933), Mr. Durant stated that he wanted to include the history of the West through the early 20th century. However, the series ends with The Age of Napoleon since the Durants died before any additional volumes could be completed.”

More on Will Durant: here.

Doug Roman is the Pastor of Bible Baptist Church in Elk River.

A Historian on Christianity

All in all, no more attractive religion has ever been presented to mankind. It offered itself without restriction to all individuals, classes, and nations; it was not limited to one people, like Judaism, nor to the freemen of one state, like the official cults of Greece and Rome. By making all men heirs of Christ’s victory over death, Christianity announced the basic equality of men, and made transiently trivial all differences of earthly degree. To the miserable, maimed, bereaved, disheartened, and humiliated it brought the new virtue of compassion, and an ennobling dignity; it gave them the inspiring figure, story, and ethic of Christ; it brightened their lives with the hope of the coming Kingdom, and of endless happiness beyond the grave. To even the greatest sinners it promised forgiveness, and their full acceptance into the community of the saved. To minds harassed with the insoluble problems of origin and destiny, evil and suffering, it brought a system divinely revealed doctrine in which the simplest soul could find mental rest . . . Into the moral vacuum of dying paganism, into the coldness of Stoicism and the corruption of Epicureanism, into a world sick of brutality, cruelty, oppression, and sexual chaos, into a pacified empire that seemed no longer to need the masculine virtues or the gods of war, it brought new morality of brotherhood, kindliness, decency,and peace.

So molded to men’s wants, the new faith spread with fluid readiness. Nearly every convert, with the ardor of a revolutionary, made himself an office of propaganda (Will Durant, Caesar and Christ, 602).

Christians and the Sabbath

JP: Good article from Pulpit Magazine on the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day. Quote below is the introduction only. I encourage you to read the entire article.

Christians and the Sabbath

Are the Sabbath laws binding on Christians today?

We believe the Old Testament regulations governing Sabbath observances are ceremonial, not moral, aspects of the law. As such, they are no longer in force, but have passed away along with the sacrificial system, the Levitical priesthood, and all other aspects of Moses’ law that prefigured Christ.

Here are the reasons we hold this view:

Continue reading here: Christians and the Sabbath