Some Christians read the Old Testament only in dim light. They enter one chapter after another like exploring a cavern, yet they squint and strain their eyes to answer questions. Why is this episode here? Why has the narrator told the scene from this angle? Where is this storyline heading? Why should I care about this long genealogy? How does this prophecy reach fulfillment? How do this character’s actions contribute to the plot, to the book, to the canon? Is this text built on earlier ones?
Such interpretive questions (and more) arise for every text, but after certain first-century events something became crystal clear: Jesus is the blazing torch for these caverns. The gospel message, the New Testament from beginning to end, is the light needed to see the glories of what has been there all along in ancient words.
ave you ever learned or taught a spiritual truth, only to then be challenged by it and fail? Just this weekend, I was deeply moved as I was typing these words for something else I am working on, “Sanctification is not about becoming a so-called better Christian; it is about knowing Christ better.”
This past Sunday, in our sermon series Teach us to Pray, we looked at this phrase in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
Now this phrase of this prayer would be really wonderful if it stopped at “Forgive us our debts.” That’s how most of us pray, if we’re honest. The Bible tells us we enter life with a debt–a massive gap between us and God (Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12, among others). Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection erased paid that debt and offers reconciliation with God. Anyone who has put their faith in Christ can pray this prayer with hope, knowing his debt has been forgiven.
But the prayer doesn’t stop there.
Greg Thornbury and classic evangelicalism
John Wilson interviews Greg Thornbury about his new book, Recovering Classic Evangelicalism: Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry:
HT: Joe Thorn
The voice is the preacher’s primary tool, and we need to keep it in good condition. Reminded of and freshly and uncomfortably impressed with some of the elements of vocal hygiene, and being very willing to help other preachers keep their voices healthy, and equally to spare anyone the experience of a doctor inserting what looks and feels like a car aerial into your nasal cavities, or worse, herewith some counsels (garnered over many years) on vocal hygiene tailored to the preacher, arranged topically, some or all of which may be helpful to some. A lot of it is sanctified common-sense, and I should imagine that most preachers do most of it almost naturally.