Monday, July 11, 2011

True Case for Christianity

"The case for Christianity today and perhaps always rests on its witness to the world that such appeared in history.  Bonhoeffer was right that Christ is the strength of Christianity and we may hope that those who gaze equally at evil and at Christ will believe too that it is only under his protection that anything can live.  According to Christianity, good and evil in their fullest intensity could not pass each other by in history, but came into climactic conflict with the historical appearance of Jesus.  Christians have believed that only when the full intensity of evil was borne in historical time by one who emerged the victor could the temporal progeny of Adam gain redemption.

- Stephen N. Williams

Soli Deo Gloria

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy 502nd, John Calvin

Our hope is in no other save in Thee;
Our faith is built upon Thy promise free;
Lord, give us peace, and make us calm and sure,
That in Thy strength we evermore endure.

- John Calvin

Soli Deo Gloria

Value of the Hymnal

"The hymnbook and hymn-based worship thrive on hands-on printed material.  A hymnbook is a portable, readable, concrete body of work.  The words are there, easily at hand and available even when the projection screen is turned off.  The music is printed.  It can be read and learned by being seen.  It is in its own way an excellent primer for sight singing.  Even those who cannot read music in the academic sense of the word learn to see and follow pitch curves, rhythms, and harmonic textures simply by watching them move around on the page.  And often the approximate reading leads to precise reading...We must remember that a musically educated singing church - congregation, choir, and above all, carefully trained children - not only comprises a fitting worshiping community, but enriches a musically wayward culture itself."

-Harold Best

Soli Deo Gloria

Acceptable or Unacceptable

"The fact that some worship in the Old Testament was regarded as unacceptable to God is a reminder that what is impressive or seems appropraite to us may be offensive to him."

-David Peterson

Soli Deo Gloria

The Object of Worship

"We worship our Creator-God "precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so."  What ought to make worship delightful to us is not, in the first instance, its novelty or its aesthetic beauty, but its object: God himself is delightfully wonderful, and we learn to delight in him.

In an age increasingly suspicious of (linear) thought, there is much more respect for the "feeling" of things - whether a film or a church service.  It is disturbingly easy to plot surveys of people, especially young people, drifting from a church of excellent preaching and teaching to one with excellent music because, it is alleged, there is "better worship" there...Although there are things that can be done to enhance corporate worship, there is a profound sense in which excellent worship cannot be attained merely by pursuing excellent worship.  In the same way that, according to Jesus, you cannot find yourself until you lose yourself, so also you cannot find excellent corporate worship until you stop trying to find excellent corporate worship and pursue God himself...As a brother put it to me, it's a bit like those who begin by admiring the subset and soon begin to admire themselves admiring the sunset."

- D.A. Carson

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Worship as Revelation and Response

"Worship is conversation between God and human beings, a dialog that should go on continually in the life of a believer.  The worship service may provide the beginning of certain aspects of the conversation; it also should help us anticipate what God may communicate in the days ahead and remind us what our continuing response should be.

-Donald P. Hustad

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Taking God Seriously

"Such taking God seriously is...decidedly countercultural. We live in an age and a culture that want instead to turn the worship of God into a matter of personal taste and time, convenience and comfort. Consequently, we need the biggest dose of God we can get when we gather for worship on Sunday morning—to shake us out of this societal sloth and somnambulism and summon us to behold God’s splendor and respond with adoration and service and sacrifice. Taking God seriously, being immersed in his splendor, unites us with a community that practices the alternative way of life of following Jesus, of participation in the kingdom of God."

- Marva Dawn

Soli Deo Gloria

Monday, July 4, 2011


"It's time for the Church to free itself from the religious holiness of the Pharisees and begin to manifest the holiness of the Kingdom.  It's time for us to realize that our calling is to serve people sacrificially - including prostitutes, tax collectors, and enemies - rather than judging them.  It's time we cease getting Life from the rightness of our beliefs and behaviors and return to getting it from the one true source of Life.

Gregory A. Boyd, The myth of a Christian religion: losing your religion for the beauty of a revolution (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2009), 65. 

Soli Deo Gloria


"The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all."

A. W. Tozer. The Pursuit of God. Christian Publications. 1948. pg. 17.

Soli Deo Gloria


Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. -Jesus

Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, July 1, 2011

Unspeakable Worth

O could I speak the matchless worth,
O could I sound the glories forth
Which in my Savior shine,
I'd sing His glorious righteousness,
And magnify the wondrous grace
Which made salvation mine,
Which made salvation mine.

I'd sing the characters He bears,
And all the forms of love He wears,
Exalted on His throne:
In loftiest songs of sweetest praise,
I would to everlasting days
Make all His glories known,
Make all His glories known.

Soon the delightful day will come
When my dear Lord will bring me home,
And I shall see His face;
Then with my Savior, Brother, Friend,
A blest eternity I'll spend,
Triumphant in His grace,
Triumphant in His grace.

-Samuel Medley, 1789

Soli Deo Gloria