Sunday, September 6, 2009

Preach the word (2 Tim 4:1-2)

All Christian preaching should be the exposition and application of biblical texts. Our authority as preachers sent by God rises and falls with our manifest allegiance to the text of Scripture. I say manifest because there are so many preachers who say they are doing exposition when they do not ground their assertions explicitly--"manifestly"--in the text. They don't show their people clearly that the assertions of their preaching are coming from specific readable words of Scripture that the people can see for themselves -- John Piper
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Janice's textile

Janice's textile work
Janice likes to work in textiles, embellishing by tearing, shredding, decorating, weaving, knotting, beading, embroidery, beads, and who knows what else. This is one of her more recent pieces. Maybe I'll see if I can post a flash slide show of some of her work. If I do, you can watch this blog for the address.

Glory in the cross

Paul wanted the focus of his preaching to be the cross of Christ. To that end, he made sure that he didn't employ the pop-wisdom and oratorical flourishes that attracted audiences and built reputations in his time (1 Cor 1:17; 2:1; Gal 6:14).

Would it be reasonable to equate Corinthian pop-wisdom and oratorical flourishes with the media production values being prescribed for today's pulpits? Is it to be the lights of Broadway or the light that shines brighter and brighter until the perfect day (Prov 4:18), which enlightens the narrow way (Matt 7:13-14), the only way to truth and life (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Outside the "fabric" of space and time

The philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716, at right) wondered why there is something rather than nothing, then wondered why it is the way it is. He concluded that God had created the best world out of any that are logically possible. I won't argue the merits or problems with that conclusion, but it does make me think that modern physicists are sniffing around the door of the same issue.

Following string theory, modern physicists have also moved from the question of "how" to the question of "why." This is the necessary result of pushing up against the absolute boundaries of space and time, to ask what it was like "before" time and space existed and therefore "outside" of space. At the border between the non-existence of time and the absolute beginning of time, the "how" pushes me to the one who exists eternally outside of time. At boundary between the non-existence of space and the absolute beginning of even still-empty space, the "how" pushes me to the one who fills heaven and earth (Jer 23:24) so that there is nowhere isolated from his protective presence (Jer 23:23).

In turn, that makes me wonder at the grace that God shows by living among us, though the heavens and earth cannot contain him.