Skip to main content

Sin is Environmentally Unfriendly: evangelistic preaching with guts like a puritan

Richard Walker quotes from puritan Joseph Alleine on environmentalism:
"...I think this would be a terror to an unconverted soul—to think he is a burden to the creation. 'Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' (Luke 13:7). If inanimate creatures could but speak, your food would say, 'Lord, must I nourish such a wretch as this, and yield forth my strength for him, to dishonor You? No, I will choke him rather, if You will give commission.' The very air would say, 'Lord, must I give this man breath, to set his tongue against heaven, and scorn Your people, and vent his pride and wrath, and filthy talk, and belch out oaths and blasphemy against You? No, if You will but say the word, he shall be breathless for me.'..."
Hear the voice of the cursed ground cry out agaiists the people it supports... worth reading Richards comments and the whole article - might not agree with every word but it's a fresh angle. Alleine's prayer as an evangelist is worth owning - and demonstrates that this isn't just a man speaking strongly against sin but that his goal is both sin-conviction and a taste that relishes the sweetness of God.
"O all-powerful Jehovah, who works, and none can hinder You, who has the keys of death and hell—pity the dead souls that lie here entombed, and roll away the gravestone, and say as to the dead body of Lazarus, Come forth! Enlighten this darkness, O inaccessible Light, and let the dayspring from on high visit the dark regions of the dead, to whom I speak; for You can open the eye that death itself has closed. You that formed the ear, can restore the hearing. Say to these ears, Ephphatha! and they shall be opened. Give eyes to see Your excellencies, a taste that may relish Your sweetness, a scent that may savor Your ointment, a feeling that may discern the privilege of Your favor, the burden of Your wrath, the intolerable weight of unpardoned sin! And give Your servant the command to prophesy to dry bones, and let the effects of this prophecy be as of Your prophet when he prophesied the valley of dry bones into a living army exceeding great!"
And you should see his "sinners prayer" in the next chapter, makes ours look just a little contentless, not least because it's over 1000 words long but why not start a relationshp on such clear terms! (suggested in chapter 7, point 10). Alleine offers language for the soul and goes after the heart, since he rightly notes: "Conversion turns the bent of the affections... and "if you will go on, you must die". 

Book also published as A Sure Guide to Heaven (Banner of Truth)

Timmy Brister on Joseph Alleine

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use (http://planningcenteronline.com/) tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue



2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin



3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong



4. Cornerstone - Hillsong


Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…