Ex-Pastor Ham

Theology ~ Religion ~ Culture | Tidbits from me | Links to others |

Month: April, 2017

April 28, 2017 Resources: Lessons from History; Fundamentalism; Neglecting to Gather; Providence and Evil; Wolves

Over the past year I have done a significant amount of reading on John Adams. This means – based on the the fact that you cannot read about a singular historical figure in a vacuum – that I have also learned much about Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Benjamin Rush, Abigail Adams, the clumsy arrogance of many British leaders, the rebellious spirit of certain over-zealous patriots, the debauchery and gross immorality of the French in the years leading up to their murderous revolution, and the bloody separation that marks the birth of our nation. One thing that reading our own history has done for me is to prove that we do not live in the best, or worst, of times. This article highlights that great benefit of reading, discussing, and applying history: ballast in turbulent waters.

Scott Aniol writes a great article that explains and defends (with clarity, simplicity, and brevity) the core idea of Christian “Fundamentalism.” And by this definition, I am content to be called one.

This article on Hebrews 10:24-25 and its application to church attendance caught my attention because I have been reading this passage in the incorrect way that the author describes.

God’s providence in an evil world.

Wolf. Heretic. False teacher. These words are easy to throw around without really understanding what they mean. With the grave implications of labeling someone such, we ought never to do so until we understand precisely what is meant by these terms.

O Christ, What Burdens Bowed Thy Head!

O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head!
Our load was laid on Thee;
Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead,
Didst bear all ill for me.
A Victim led, Thy blood was shed;
Now there’s no load for me.

Death and the curse were in our cup:
O Christ, ’twas full for Thee;
But Thou hast drained the last dark drop,
’Tis empty now for me.
That bitter cup, love drank it up;
Now blessing’s draught for me.

Jehovah lifted up His rod;
O Christ, it fell on Thee!
Thou wast sore stricken of Thy God;
There’s not one stroke for me.
Thy tears, Thy blood, beneath it flowed;
Thy bruising healeth me.

The tempest’s awful voice was heard,
O Christ, it broke on Thee!
Thy open bosom was my ward,
It braved the storm for me.
Thy form was scarred, Thy visage marred;
Now cloudless peace for me.

Jehovah bade His sword awake;
O Christ, it woke ’gainst Thee!
Thy blood the flaming blade must slake;
Thine heart its sheath must be;
All for my sake, my peace to make;
Now sleeps that sword for me.

For me, Lord Jesus, Thou hast died,
And I have died in Thee!
Thou’rt ris’n—my hands are all untied,
And now Thou liv’st in me.
When purified, made white and tried,
Thy glory then for me!

Anne R. Cousin (1824-1906)

April 10, 2017 Resources: Luther’s Bar Music; Insanity & Hope; The Rationality of Faith; Perfect Worship

“Martin Luther used the common drinking songs of his day as the tunes for his hymns,” they say. “So, we can too.” This one is of special note to me because I once had an intellectually brilliant and seminary-trained young man use a similar line in a conversation we were having about appropriate musical styles for worship. At the time, I did not know he was mistaken and had no answer. I’ve heard the claim repeated since then, but thankfully have also heard it thoroughly debunked. Here’s one example of the de-bunking (use CTRL+F to search the article for the word “bar” and also read the comments at the bottom where Scott Aniol more specifically addresses German “Bar Form”). The claim is simply not true (as it is usually intended) and the reason for the misunderstanding shows tremendous ignorance in this area on the part of the one trying to argue for it. (And let’s face it, even if it were 100% true, would we really want to sign off on everything Luther did and said? Me thinks not.)

The insanity of secularism and the genuine hope of Christianity

Premoderns believe that truth is “up there.” Moderns believe that truth is “out there.” Postmoderns believe that truth is “in here.” Without using these specific terms, Steven Anderson illustrates that Christians are premoderns and that faith in “up there” truth is not only not irrational, it is the only rational option.

There is only one possible perfection in every worship service, and though you can probably guess what it is, this is a helpful practical article of how to incorporate it.

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