Sex, Marriage & Fairytales

Inspired by Real Marriage, Mark & Grace Driscoll.

Theology Shmeology.. Love It!

Theology seems to be a bit unpopular these days. The idea that there is an absolute truth – as revealed in the Word of God – stands opposed to the postmodernist (objective truth) era in which we find ourselves. The mindset of objective truth is one popular in our culture and just the thought of someone telling someone else that they are wrong is seen as nothing more than a demonstration of self-righteousnous. This is especially true when it comes to religion! Oftentimes a church unashamedly teaching uncompromising theology is seen as archaic, legalistic and not seeker friendly. So why should we love theology?

Kevin DeYoung argues that the longing and pursuit of sound theology should be characteristic and central to the fibre of a God-glorifying church. Here are some of the reasons that Kevin DeYoung mentions (in his blog post Why We Must Be Unapologetically Theological) regarding the importance of being unapologetically theological:

  1. God has revealed himself to us in his word and given us his Spirit that we might understand the truth.
  2. The New Testament places a high value on discerning truth from error.
  3. The ethical commands of the New Testament are predicated on theological propositions.
  4. Theological categories enable us to more fully and more deeply rejoice in God’s glory.
  5. Theology helps us more fully and more deeply rejoice in the blessings that are ours in Christ.
  6. Even (or is it especially?) non-Christians need good theology.

Some pursue theological knowledge as nothing more than an intellectual exercise thus missing the whole point. We should not become arrogant  with our “superior” theology. The idea is not to recite all Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions or read Calvin’s Institutes every year just to impress your friends or church leader. The idea is to study theology to grow in your knowledge of God and the implications of that knowledge will not lead to forums of debate but to you serving God and sharing Jesus.

The truth is that there is an absolute truth and theology (def. the study of God) is the place where we find not only this absolute truth but also where we learn more of God as He has revealed Himself to us in the Bible. We should love studying God!

Practice What Is Preached

Have you really made an impact, an impression? Does your life bear witness to your faith in Christ and show the grateful response to your undeserved salvation? No? We seem to suffer from Gospel-forgetfulness.

It might be that you are a Christian and that your desire is to apply that what you have learned. This desire is usually at its strongest after coming into contact with the Bible, be it in church, small groups or conversation with a fellow Christian; yet you find yourself a week later without a single example of a practice that is implied from what has been preached.

Think about the previous sermon at your church or application discussion during last week’s small group gathering. How much have you applied?

  • Do you approach work as if it is for God, not your employer? (Col 3:23)
  • Do you serve with the gifts which has been entrusted to you? (1 Pet 4:10)
  • Do you busy yourself with charitable deeds? (Matt 25:31-40)
  • Do you give to your church with a willing heart? (2 Cor 9:7)
  • Does your spouse become more like Jesus because of you or in spite of you?  (recipe being Eph 5:21-33)
  • etc

So how does it work? How do I apply what I heard in church, read in the Bible and discussed during my weekly small group? What is the switch that needs to be flicked? And so we turn to Thomas Manton:

“What is the reason there is so much preaching and so little practice? For want of meditation…. Constant thoughts are operative, and musing makes the fire burn. Green wood is not kindled by a flash or spark, but by constant blowing.” —Thomas Manton (1620–1677)

As we constantly ponder the things of God, of Jesus and what has been revealed to us in His word we in effect discipline our minds; we redirect our hearts and find our hands busy with the things we want them to do.

Resolution #56

Introduction to The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards:

“Being sensible that I am unable to do any thing without Godʼs help, I do humbly entreat him, by his grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christʼs sake.”

There are some things worth fighting for and a certain Mr Edwards, with great resolve, took up a fight:

 #56 Resolved:

– Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be. –

Die Heiligheid van God (Looking Beyond Shadows)

God het Homself aan elkeen van ons gewys en uit onsself, as ons aan onsself oorgelaat word, teen dit inskop. Dit is vir ons so maklik om eerder God te verklein in iets wat Hy nie is nie, en dit is die wortel van afgodery. Ons verander God in iets wat ons pas.

Hierdie is die idee wat Tim Challies bespreek in sy studie van Dr RC Sproul se The Holiness of God.

Die probleem met ons is nie dat ons nie weet, of ‘n idee het van God en wie Hy is nie, maar eerder dat ons weier om dit te glo. Dit is weereens die oneerlikheid met onsself wat lei tot die aanbidding van ‘n afgod. DIe heiligheid van God is nie iets wat Hy wegsteek nie, dis sigbaar vir almal, nie net vir ‘n paar super-heiliges nie. Sproul stel dit so:

…The knowledge of God that is given through creation is not a knowledge we warmly receive and embrace. Instead it is our nature to abhor this knowledge of God’s holiness. It is characteristic of the reprobate mind not to want to retain God in our knowledge. We prefer to change the holy into something less than holy. It is this rejection of God’s majesty that leaves us with minds that are darkened. It results in a massive foolishness that has disastrous consequences for our lives. Once we refuse to honor God as God, our whole view of life and the world becomes distorted.

Challies vertel dan hoe Sproul aan die einde van die stuk die fokus verskuif na dit wat God waarlik is: goedheid, skoonheid en waarheid. Challies vertel hoe hy bid en dankie sê dat God is wie Hy is en vir ons wys wie Hy is.

Sproul verwoord die perfektheid van God, soos hy dit sien en God dit vir ons wys:

God’s perfection applies to all of His attributes. His power is perfect; it has no weaknesses or any possibility of weakness. His knowledge is not only omniscient but reflects prefect omniscience. There is nothing that God does not know or that He could possibly learn. Some modern theologians have tried to declare that God is omniscient but that His omniscience is a limited omniscience. They assert that God knows everything He can possibly known, but He does not and cannot know certain things, especially the future decisions of free agents. But a limited omniscience is simply not omniscience. And it is not perfect. This view of a limited omniscience robs God of His holy omniscience, which is a perfect omniscience. God’s love, His wrath, His mercy—all that He is—is perfect. Not only is He perfect, but He is eternally and immutably so. There never was a time when God was less than perfect, and there is no possibility that in the future He may slip into any kind of imperfection. What has been with God will be so forever. His perfection is immutable. It cannot change.

Laat ons gebed dan wees om waarlik aan wie God is vas te hou EN dit nie net te verstaan of sien nie, maar dit te glo.

Ontevrede met Jouself?

Luther op die lewe hierdie kant van die ewigheid:

This life therefore is not righteousness but growth in righteousness;
not health but healing;
not being but becoming;
not rest but exercise.

We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it.
The process is not finished, but it is going on.
This is not the end, but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.

via The Journey of Sanctification.