Unless you’re right.
I’m just kidding.
But it makes it a little more worth it.
I grew up in a family that was very musical, learned the blues and everything like that. And I became a little bit frustrated with the simplicity of rock ‘n’ roll and blues. I started listening to a lot of classical music — mainly Bach, Vivaldi. Then one day on TV — I was about 12 or 13 years old — there was a Russian violinist (I can’t remember his name) that was playing solo violin: 24 Caprices for Solo Violin by Nicola Paganini. I completely freaked out, because I knew that’s what I was hearing in my head. I decided I was going to use all of the arpeggios and linear notes and wide vibrato of the violin. I’ve always been a little bit of an extremist, so I decided to go all of the way.
—Yngwie Malmsteen, king of the neoclassical shred guitar, on Weekend Edition
Well-read people are less likely to be evil. — The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket (via prettybooks)
The Law and John Coltrane -
It cannot be said too often that law-keeping can never be the means of sanctification, but it will certainly be the result… The new life of the believer, expressed in a new and active obedience, is itself freedom. “For freedom did Christ set us free.” “Oh how I love Thy law,” cries the Christian. Love now binds him in a manner that legalism never could; but this “bondage” is liberty itself. Love obligates him to an obedience to the will of God from which he has no desire to be released, and this is perfect freedom. As the liberty of a railway train is that it should keep to the track, and to jump the rails would bring nothing but disaster, so the believer, constrained by the love of God will run in the way of his commandments (Psalm 119:32). The Christian now does as he likes, but he has such a new and powerful set of likes that he is held to his Lord and Master in mightier ways than ever he had been held in his slavery to sin. His spiritual freedom is such as the musician experiences when the scales and exercises have become easy, and work has turned to play. The rules are lost in the delight of musical satisfaction.
by Ernest Kevan via Paul Brown author of Ernest Kevan: Leader in Twentieth Century British Evangelicalism
Giant Steps by John Coltrane
Adam in the New Testament, by J. P. Versteeg. Published by P&R Publishing, 2012. Paperback, 96 pages, list price $12.99. Reviewed by OP pastor D. Patrick Ramsey. (via New Horizons)
A comparison of Romans 14–15 with Galatians reveals that we need to distinguish between beliefs that are fundamental to the Christian religion and beliefs that are not. An example of the former is the historicity of Adam, which is the subject of J. P. Versteeg’s Adam in the New Testament: Mere Teaching Model or First Historical Man?
This short book was originally a contribution to a volume published for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Theological Seminary of the Christian Reformed Churches in the Netherlands over forty years ago. An English translation by Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., first appeared in 1978. This new edition remains substantially the same, except that it has a new title and includes a lengthy foreword by the translator.
Adam in the New Testament addresses the view that the New Testament does not present Adam as a historical figure, but as “an illustration, an explanation of the reality of Jesus as Messiah” (p. 4). In this sense, Adam serves as a “teaching model.” The biblical doctrine of Adam teaches us about the person and work of Jesus, not the history of humanity. Versteeg critiques this view in a number of ways.
First, he examines the New Testament passages pertaining to Adam. The most important one is Romans 5:12–21, and Versteeg devotes an entire chapter to it. He also considers Luke 3:38, 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45, 1 Timothy 2:13–14, and Jude 14. In each case, the author demonstrates the bankruptcy of the “teaching model” interpretation.
Second, the author examines the rabbinic references to Adam. He does this in order to refute the argument that the Jewish rabbis referred to Adam merely as a teaching model and that the New Testament should be interpreted in light of their understanding.
Third, Versteeg argues that if it was Paul’s intention to view Adam as a historical figure, then we cannot say that Adam is merely a teaching model without denying the significance of Paul’s treatment of Adam for us today. Similarly, we cannot deny Paul’s historical view of Christ’s resurrection without denying the significance that Paul saw in that event.
Finally, Versteeg helpfully lays out the consequences of denying the historicity of Adam. In so doing, he establishes that this doctrine is a fundamental one. Richard Gaffin takes up the same theme in his foreword and applies it to a recent book by Peter Enns. These two sections, along with the chapter on Romans 5, make this book well worth reading, especially by ministers and elders. The historicity of Adam is once again under attack, and one aspect of the argument is that it is not a fundamental doctrine. In others words, people are saying that the gospel is not at stake in the denial of the historicity of Adam. This book will show you otherwise. Highly recommended.
Am I the only one who doesn’t really like John MacArthur?
If you want to understand Reformed Federal/Covenant/Biblical Theology but don’t have the time or funds to read books, here are the best in mp3.
Preaching Christ from the Old Testament
Greg (GK) Beale
Why Is the New Heaven and New Earth Equated With the Temple?
The Structure of Biblical Theology
Theonomy, Christian Reconstruction, and the 1689 -
The 1689 sets forth a three-fold division of the Law
19.2. The same Law that was first written in the heart of man, (Rom. 2:14-15) continued to be a perfect rule of Righteousness after the fall; & was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in (Deut. 10.4) Ten Commandments and written in two Tables; the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty to man.
19.5. The moral Law doth for ever bind all, (Rom. 13:8-10; James 2:8, 10-12) as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the (James 2:10-11) authority of God the Creator; who gave it: Neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, (Matt. 5:17-19; Rom. 3:31) but much strengthen this obligation.
19.3. Besides this Law commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel Ceremonial Laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, (Heb. 10.1; Col. 2:17) prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions (1 Cor. 5:7) of moral duties, all which Ceremonial Laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only Law-giver who was furnished with power from the Father, for that end, (Col. 2:14, 16-17; Eph. 2:14, 16) abrogated and taken away.
19.4. To them also he gave sundry judicial Laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by vertue of that institution; their general (1 Cor. 9:8-10) equity onely, being of moral use.
Theonomists acknowledge only a two-fold division of the Law. See Sam Waldron’s “Theonomy: A Reformed Baptist Assessment“. Here is a snippet.
Is the Theonomic view of the Mosaic “Judicial Law” consistent with the Reformed tradition?
This is a pressing question for Theonomists. On the one hand, in asserting “the abiding validity of the law in exhaustive detail” they appear to teach the binding obligation of the “judicial law” of Moses on society today. On the other hand, the divines of the Westminster Assembly and Calvin, their mentor, clearly teach the “expiration” of the judicial law of Moses and deny that it is as such binding on nations today. The critical statement in the Westminster Confession of Faith is found in 19:4. Having clearly distinguished the moral, ceremonial, and judicial law, the Confession states, “To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require.” Calvin elaborates on this very point in his Institutes. His statements are so similar to that of the Confession that it is probable that here as in so many other places he had a formative impact on the Confession.
“I will briefly remark, however, by the way, what laws it may piously use before God, and be rightly governed by among men. And even this I would have preferred passing over in silence, if I did not know that it is a point on which many persons run into dangerous errors. For some deny that a state is well constituted, which neglects the polity of Moses, and is governed by the common laws of the nations. the dangerous and seditious nature of this opinion I leave to the examination of others; it will be sufficient for me to have evinced it to be false and foolish. Now, it is necessary to observe that common distinction, which distributes all the laws of God promulgated by Moses into moral, ceremonial, and judicial; and these different kinds of laws are to be distinctly examined, that we may ascertain what belongs to us, and what does not… .
What I have said will be more clearly understood, if in all laws we properly consider these two things-the constitution of the law and its equity, on the reason of which the constitution itself is founded and rests. Equity, being natural, is the same to all mankind; and consequently all laws, on every subject ought to have the same equity for their end. Particular enactments and regulations being connected with circumstances, and partly dependent upon them, may be different in different cases without any impropriety, provided they are all equally directed to the same object of equity… . Whatever laws shall be framed according to that rule, directed to that object, and limited to that end, there is no reason why we should censure them, however, they may differ from the Jewish law or from each other. The law of god forbids theft. What punishment was enacted for thieves, among the Jews, may be seen in the book of Exodus. The most ancient laws of other nations punished by theft by requiring a compensation of double the value. Subsequent laws made a distinction between open and secret theft. Some proceeded to banishment, some to flagellation, and some to the punishment of death. False witness was punished, among the Jews, with the same punishment as such testimony would have caused to be inflicted on the person against whom it was given; in some countries it was punished with infamy, in others with hanging, in others with crucifixion. All laws agree in punishing murder with death, though in several different forms. The punishment of adulterers in different countries have been attended with different degrees of severity. Yet we see how, amidst this diversity, they are all directed to the same end. For they all agree in denouncing punishment against those crimes which are condemned by the eternal law of God; such as murderers, thefts, adulteries, false testimonies, though there is not a uniformity in the mode of punishment; and, indeed, this is neither necessary, nor even expedient… . For the objection made by some, that it is an insult to the law of God given by Moses, when it is abrogated, and other laws preferred to it, is without any foundation; for neither are other laws preferred to it, when they are more approved, not on a simple comparison, but on account of the circumstances of time, place, and nation; nor do we abrogate that which was never given to us. For the Lord gave not that law by the hand of Moses to be promulgated among all nations, and to be universally binding; but after having taken the Jewish nation into his special charge, patronage, and protection, he was pleased to become, in peculiar manner, their legislator, and, as became a wise legislator, in all the laws which he gave them, he had a special regard to their peculiar circumstances.”
Also see Dr. Waldron’s three-part lecture series “Theonomy: A Reformed Baptist Assessment”
I. Introductory Considerations
II. A Critique of Theonomic Eschatology
III. A Critique of Theonomic Ethics
Reforming Cell Groups
My church is currently going through the book of James. Yesterday’s message was from James 3:1 “A Warning For Teachers” . After the worship service we were discussing cell groups. When I got home I noticed Brian Dempsey tweeted a link to a Robert Truelove (Christ Reformed Church, Lawrenceville, Georgia) post “The Problem With Cell Groups“. Below is the outline, follow the link for full text.
- Cell Group Leaders need to be Teachers.
- Churches wishing to have an effective, biblical Cell Group ministry will have to invest in the training of men to lead them.
- Our Churches need to be Confessional or at the very least have their doctrinal commitments well defined.
- Women have no business teaching a co-ed cell group, period!
I don’t know when this happened, but glad it finally did!