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Showing posts from May, 2009

The Apostles' Creed Course?

Daniel Newman outlines a possible evangelistic or Christian foundations course based around the Apostles Creed, in seven parts it covers...
God as Trinity, and how it makes sense of the world.Doctrine of creation, God’s purpose for the world, sin.Christ’s full deity and humanity so he can be our saviour, the atonement, its consequences.Assurance that sin and death have been defeated, Christ’s kingship, the coming judgement, the future hope of resurrection and life in the new creation.Work of the Spirit in the life of the believer, making us how God intended us to be, renewing us, equipping us to serve him, what it means to live as a Christian.Brought into a family that is set apart from the world, transcends all social, cultural and racial boundaries, public worship.The need for personal response of trust in the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit; baptism for those who want to do this who have not already been baptised; the need to re-affirm this for oneself if already baptised but…

Preaching on 'Love the church'

Three weeks today I'm preaching at Reading Family Church on 'Love the Church' - I'm pulling together the material for the Saturday sessions fine, but wrestling at the moment with what text to preach on the Sunday morning to serve the church and stir their love for Christ's church. 'Fam' has a dear place in my heart after years serving the Reading churches through serving the University CU and through the friendship and partnership I've shared with two of their elders. The church should be treated well and I'm particularly keen to serve them helpfully. Ephesians 3:10 is top of the pile at the moment but the possibilities are multitudinous. Your prayers (and suggestions) appreciated this week.

Great time with our church family today, worshipping the Triune God together this morning, Christ the Holy, Holy, Holy proclaimed by Jon Fielder - wowed again by Christ's claims to be God, and the Jews knew it hence they tried to stone him for blasphemy. And…


Been nice to have a couple of weeks off blog, not sure how much will be posted in the next few weeks (somewhere between nothing and lots) - got a bit of travelling and writing to get done as I move into the third quarter of my sabbatical. Enjoying it so far and just enjoyed a week away in north Devon with family and glad to be back in south Devon where it's still sunny enough to feel like we're still on holiday!

30 Today

Don't cry for me. I'm 30 years old today. In 1979 I was born six weeks early, spending my early weeks in hospital. I've just taken some time to read my Mum's diary of those first weeks which she lent to me when our son was born. I can't help but be thankful for the life I've been given. I have parents and a sister. I've always had a roof over my head, been well fed and given a good education. I've travelled around many European countries and to the USA. Blessings have been poured on me, all of them undeserved gifts.

I've spent the best part of my 20s employed to bring the gospel to University students in the South of England, plus seven Relay and six Staff, which has been an immense priviledge and joy though rarely free from frustrations.  Reflecting on the last decade I'm elated to be sat here with my wife of almost seven years and our nine week old son who is gurgling and smiling.

Solomon considered 'having it all' (which I don't,…

The Big One: The 1 Chronicles 1-9 Genealogy

If we think Matthew 1:1-18 is offputting, try Chronicles which opens with nine chapters of genealogy...

Stephen Dempster writes:
"Chronicles, the last book of the Hebrew Bible...begins with the genealogy of Adam and moves through the genealogies of the tribes of Israel. In particular, the genealogy of Judah is placed at the front of the list, and David's ancestors and royal descendants are prominently featured. After the remainder of the genealogies, history begins in 1 Chronicles 10 with Saul's demise and David's rise. The capture of Jerusalem and the reign of David become the focus of the next nineteen chapters. Again it is as if all history has been waiting, in this case not for Abraham, but for David from the tribe of Judah. Or in the words of Walter Bruggemann, all history is regarded as a footnote to David..."
Stephen Dempster, Geography and Genealogy, Dominion and Dynasty, p73, Biblical Theology edited by Scott HafemannEd Goode observes:
"...tells us s…

Nine Purposes of Biblical Genealogies (Marshall Johnson)

ht: Dan Roach, located in Andrew Hill, 1&2 Chronicles

"The basic purpose of the genealogy is to identify kinship relationships between individuals, families, and people groups. Marshall Johnson has isolated nine distinct functions that genealogies serve in the Old Testament"
Demonstrate existing relationships between Israel and neighboring tribes by establishing common ancestors (e.g., the relationship of Lot’s descendants to Israel, Gen. 19:36–38)Connecting isolated traditions of Israelite origins into a coherent literary unit by means of an inclusive genealogical system (e.g., the toledot formulas in Genesis [5:1; 10:1; etc.])Bridge chronological gaps in the biblical narratives (e.g., Ruth 4:18–22)Serve as chronological controls for the dating of key Old Testament events (e.g., the date of the book of Esther in relationship to the Babylonian exile, Est. 2:5–6—although the selective nature of biblical genealogies may compromise the accuracy of the genealogy as a chronolog…

Summertime Tagliarini and Chocolate Brownies

As the early summer gets washed out just in time for my birthday (on Sunday), I dived back to Jamie Oliver and his Summertime Tagliarini with some ciabatta bread on the side. The beauty of this is that it takes under 10 minutes to cook, and is massively flavoursome.

Meanwhile, my wife decided to make Jamie's Chocolate Brownies, served here with ice cream. The beauty of this dessert requires no explanation.

These are good gifts from God and they were received with much thanksgiving for their ability to sustain us and satisfy our tastes. As the evening sun creeps through the breaking clouds, this seems the moment to cite from Calvin:
It is proper to observe the reason, that, in the use of various kinds of food, we ought to be satisfied with the liberty which God has granted to us; because He created them for this purpose. It yields inconceivable joy to all the godly, when they know that all the kinds of food which they eat are put into their hands by the Lord, so that the use of them …

"You touch my church and I’ll smash your face!"

Michael Ots translates 1 Corinthians 3:17 with some flair and trembling.
John Piper adds: there are two ways to remove a foundation and destroy a church. One is to attack the foundation directly and break it up. The other is to slowly and subtly reshape the edifice so that its contours don't rest on the foundation any more. Paul says, If a teacher does that to a church he will pay with his eternal life

John Gill: "Him God shall destroy" body and soul in hell; for as their wicked principles and heretical notions are pernicious to others, they are damnable to themselves, and will bring upon them that judgment which lingereth not, and that damnation which slumbereth not.

Robert Jamieson: eternal death is the penalty of marring the spiritual temple—the ChurchThat's (a part of) what I call a love the church mentality.

This Jesus...You Crucified: The genealogy of Aaron and Moses (Exodus 6)

In Exodus 6:6-8 we see God's gospel. He will rescue his people out of slavery, with an outstretched arm and through judgement, so that they are redeemed, will know that he is the LORD, will be his people, and will be given an inheritance in the land. This is Christ's rescue of his people from sin's slavery, through the cross where his arms are outstretched and he bears the judgement that is ours, into the family of his people, the sure hope of the new creation in which we 'know the LORD'! 

Moses preaches this to his people but, v9, because of their broken-spirit's they do not believe. Will the LORD not then rescue them? No, he will do it! What's next? Moses must go to Pharoah. He protests once more because he says he has 'uncircumcised lips' (unbelieving lips?), nonetheless God give them words. Then comes v14-29 and then Moses protest is repeated in v30 - the narrative hasn't moved on. What's in the middle? A genealogy of Moses and Aaron. Wh…

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

The biggest problem for Studio 60 is that it's not The West Wing, it is Aaron Sorkin plus Josh Lyman, Joe Quincey and Danny Concannon (or at least, Bradley Whitford, Matthew Perry and Timothy Busfield), and the comfort of seeing credits with the names of Thomas Schlamme, Aaron Sorkin, W.G. Snuffy Walden etc.

We go behind the scenes at a Saturday Night Live style sketch show with Whiford, Perry, Busfield and Amanda Peet at the helm and some strong characters from D.L.Hugley and Sarah Paulson.

Whilst this is no Fawltey Towers I think it will benefit from being just one season, there wasn't enough material here to go on for years, but as a single boxset it's a perfectly interesting and entertaining enough look at hollywood and some fun characters.

Christ is proclaimed in the Old Testament, not ‘pointed to’

The Christian reads Leviticus 16.
‘It is relatively unsurprising to me that the manner and circumstances of Jesus’ death line-up exactly with the gospel as proclaimed in the Day of Atonment. That is why the rituals were given.’ The direction of travel in interpreting these things is not to examine at the accounts of the crucifixion, then clasp our hands to our mouths when reading Leviticus 16. We should read the Pentateuch, and nod knowlingly when we reach the Gospels. Christ is proclaimed in the Old Testament, not ‘pointed to’;And likewise, when Jesus preaches the Old Testament he preaches himself, when Philip preaches Isaiah 53 the Ethiopian wants to get baptised, when Paul preaches it he says I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen.

The Spirit and The Cry (CH Spurgeon)

Charles Spurgeon:
Now, notice, it is the Spirit of God that cries—a most remarkable fact. Some are inclined to view the expression as a Hebraism, and read it, he "makes us to cry;" but, beloved, the text saith not so, and we are not at liberty to alter it upon such a pretence. We are always right in keeping to what God says, and here we plainly read of the Spirit in our hearts that he is crying "Abba, Father." The apostle in Romans 8:15 says, "Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father," but here he describes the Spirit himself as crying "Abba, Father."...The Spirit of his Son is crying "Abba, Father," when you are in the crowd or at your table among the family.... No stranger can understand the nearness of the believer's soul to God in Christ Jesus, and because the world cannot understand it, it finds it convenient to sneer, but what of that? Abraham's tenderness to Isaac made Ishmael jealous, and cau…

The Dawn of World Redemption

Nearing the end of studying Genesis, and getting moving on Exodus with our church I've been delving into some mp3s online. Blackham calls Exodus the biggest prophecy of the cross and rubs our faces into the text to catch what's going on. After Glen Scrivener's OT Law Seminar unpacked some cracking stuff in chapters 20-26 this gives some really helpful insight into the Biblical plagues.
Paul Blackham - Exodus 7 - Round One: Death on the NilePaul Blackham - Exodus 11 - The Blood that DividedFree registration required at

MP3: Unlocking the Gospel in the 10 Commandments and The Tabernacle

The genealogy of Esau!

Matt and I are studying Genesis 36-38 later this week in our ongoing journey through The Book of Genesis. It begins with Esau's genealogy. At the end of Genesis 35 Esau and Jacob are together burying their father Isaac. What should now happen? Genesis 25v23 - Esau should stick around and serve his younger brother as the LORD said should happen.

"These are the generations of Esau..." But, (v2) he takes Canaanite wives (whereas his brother and father take wives from Ur rather than from Canaan) - another warning to Israel before they march into mixed-marriages and subsequent idolatry in Judges, Ruth etc.
..and (v7) we land in the Lot-crisis again, there's not enough space for Jacob and Esau's families and so Esau goes to Seir in Edom... noted enemies of Israel (see Obadiah, Malachi...). Matthew Henry notes: "all things considered, it is better to have Canaan in promise than mount Seir in possession." 
From him comes many songs including (v16) Amalek from whom …

MP3: Doing a great Freshers Week (Michael Ots)

Avoid genealogies?

So, genealogies can lead us to the gospel - and I hope we'll see plenty of examples of that in the days ahead, but what about these warnings to church leaders, aren't they the best excuse to skip them altogether...
"I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be carefulto devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless..." - Titus 3:9

"...charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love..." - 1 Tim 1:4There is prohibition here but also positive instruction to stay true to sound doctrine and promote unity in the churches. No way Paul is telling Timothy and Titus to go for sound doct…

The Gospel Question: Who's Your Father?

"Genealogy (from Greek: γενεά, genea, "descent"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history.... often displayed in charts or written as narratives." (Wikipedia)What do names from the past have to do with life today? For the Christian the answer is everything. God's story is essentially the answer to the question "who's your father?"

Genealogy and The Gospel as Adoption
Someone did the research and I'm the 21st in a line of Bish's in Britain, a line traced back to 1269 and a guy called Johes de la Bysse, via five Henry's (surnamed Bysshe, Bishe, Bish...) one of whom was an MP in the 1600s, and there's one Sir too. Having a wierd name and access to a long family tree makes me just a little interested in genealogy. The same data tells me that the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, husband of Mary Shelley, is my seventh cousin, six times removed. Look on my works, ye Mighty, a…

Of genealogies

Today's sermon at church was from Exodus 6, a passage featuring the genealogies of Moses and Aaron (and some others). In the course of an afternoon punctuated by Nandos and cinema with brothers from church, I found my thoughts drifting on what we're to do with these lists of names which seem to be the least relevant portions of scripture to the casual reader?

I wonder, what profit might there be if we begin with the premise that this is deliberately written literature for a purpose, and not a jumble of random material to wade through? More reflections during the week...

More food from The Vicar's Wife and from Jamie Oliver

Continuing to cook new meals with Jamie Oliver's Old School Pork Chops from earlier this week. Plain old pork chops made tasty with apple and cheese and rosemary.

This evening we returned from Jamie Oliver to Elisa Beynon (The Vicar's Wife) and I cooked her Chicken with Boursin and Bacon with a white wine sauce, plus her Leeky Mash.

Followed by Elisa's Maman's Tarte aux Fraises, cooked by my wife at her insistence.

Genesis (Ricky Gervais)

I'm starting to sketch out an evangelistic series on Genesis 1-4, obviously commentaries are helpful, but I've also found myself picking up Mary Shelley's Frankenstein again, the story of a man who turned god and made monster. I've been looking at John Calvin, Peter Leithart, Jim Jordon, Derek Kidner, Francis Schaeffer, Steve Levy and Ricky Gervais on Genesis. The latter is obviously not so much a technical commentary, but useful to consider how Genesis goes down with readers who aren't Christians...

The Narnia Code (repeat showing May 18, 7.30pm, BBC4)

C.S. Lewis wrote The Narnia Chronicles over fifty years ago, and they have never been more popular than they are today.

However, when they were first published, many critics thought them little more than childish scribblings, full of random characters and unexplained events. Even Lewis' good friend J.R.R. Tolkien thought them confused and misconceived.

Other scholars were sure that all this pointed to something more, something hidden beneath the stories, but although many tried, none could find this secret key of Narnia... until now.

The Documentary is worth watching for its content, the format isn't as imaginative and creative as the point its making, which is a shame, but still worth a look. I'm still waiting for Amazon to deliver the copy of Michael Ward's book Planet Narnia that I ordered three weeks ago...

ht: Michael Gilbart Smith

The determining factor of my existence is no longer my past. It is Christ's past

Being a Christian isn’t a lifestyle choice, or Jesus helping us to live a better life. The shape of the Christian life is modelled on Jesus. The shape of the Christian life is death and resurrection. It’s about his past no our past. We call this ‘union with Christ’ – it’s about us being joined up with him. John Murray calls it the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation. John Calvin - as long as Christ remains outside of us and we are separated from him all he has done for us is of no value to us…. But, by the Spirit, we come to enjoy Christ and all his benefits.
Galatians 2:20 – "I have been crucified with Christ, the life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me." AIn the words of Left Ear in the remake of The Italian Job, hearing how much gold they've got: Say it again! Say it again! We die in him. We live in him. Read Romans 6 which says much the same thing but will help us see where baptism fits in. …

Why Men don't like church?

Old Testament Gospel (William Cowper)

XX. Old Testament Gospel -
(Hebrews, iv.2)
1. Israel in ancient days
Not only had a view
Of Sinai in a blaze,
But learn'd the Gospel too;
The types and figures were a glass,
In which thy saw a Saviour's face.

2. The paschal sacrifice
And blood-besprinkled door,
Seen with enlighten'd eyes,
And once applied with power,
Would teach the need of other blood,
To reconcile an angry God.

3. The Lamb, the Dove, set forth
His perfect innocence,
Whose blood of matchless worth
Whould be the soul's defence;
For he who can for sin atone,
Must have no failings of His own.4. The scape-goat on his head
The people's trespass bore, And to the desert led, Was to be seen no more: In him our surety seem'd to say, "Behold, I bear your sins away."

5. Dipt in his fellow's blood,
The living bird went free;
The type, well understood,
Express'd the sinner's plea;
Described a guilty soul enlarged,
And by a Saviour's death discharged.

6. Jesus, I love to trace,
Throughout the sacred page,
The foot…

MP3: Don't cry for me: Ecclesiastes

Front Edge: South East Conference (May 16th)

‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples…’ Jesus (Matt 28)

This Front Edge Conference is designed to inspire and equip you to become increasingly effective in personal evangelism and motivate you to play your part in building evangelistically minded churches which see hundreds of people come to Christ.

The theme of the conference is Authority:

The Authority of Christ: How much authority does Jesus Christ actually have? Is His mission in the world going to be successful? Does the name of Jesus really have authority over sickness and disease?

The Authority of the Believer: Do we have real authority as His followers – to heal the sick, to help those who are suffering and bring positive solutions to peoples’ lives?

The Authority of the Gospel: Is the gospel message still relevant and powerful? Can we grow in confidence as individuals so that the conversations we have and the friendships we build have a genuine effect?

Join us on Saturday …

MP3: The charismissional spark of Church Planting (Acts 13)

Read The Book

Glen Scrivener says: read the Bible in 90 days, about 12 pages a day.. .
Read it like a book, which it is. You could start tomorrow, with Glen.
Ron Frost has help for the process...

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Spreading through networks

The theory that everyone in the world is six friendships away from everyone else is regarded by many as a myth. So what happens when the theory is put to the test? The thought that all 6.9 billion people on the planet could be closely connected to one another through their network of friends has a long-held fascination. For decades, scientists have tried to prove that the world is made up of social networks that are ultimately interconnected.

And that's before you include Social Networking which can join up more dots, though in experiments I'd have to exclude a small proportion of my facebook friends who I've never actually met. In British Evangelicalism I reckon it's probably less than four degrees required - in theory two pastors and two UCCF staff could connect most of us. That's what networks do! Things like The Gospel Coalition: In The City further join things up... so too New Word Alive, Together for the Gospel, the regional gospel partnerships, the Newfronti…

For them, it's joyous: The designer will design for clients that don't exist. The photographer will never leave home without a camera.

Alex Charchar at Retinart on Natural Talent:
"Those that may appear to be naturally talented are more likely to be those who are more inquisitive. They are more curious and are the ones who have an interest in a field that allows them to constantly ask questions.... So what? Doesn't mean they're talented... If we're all curious and apply our questions to a field of which we are passionate, the questions and thought isn't really work—it's fun and exciting and gets our hearts pumping and minds ticking. It gets us high and drunk on questions and knowledge.... The illustrator enjoys spending their free time working out how best to bring his subject to life, drawing the same lines over and over. The designer will design for clients that don't exist. The photographer will never leave home without a camera. It's constant practice. It's hard work. But it isn't work like most others would think of, not for them. For them, it's joyous... the constant …

Acts 29 UK/Europe

Steve Timmis moves from his responsibilities The Crowded House Church to head up Acts 29 Church Planting in Europe.

Scott Thomas writes: " answer to a prayer that began in London after numerous men begged for help in establishing a gospel-centered work in their part of the world. “Go and make disciples of all nations” was the authoritative command of Jesus. We had no more excuses. We are honored to have Steve Timmis join our network as a proven pastor, trainer, church planter and author. We pray that he will be a movement leader through Acts 29 that will help assess, train and send out hundreds of church planters into a post-Christian world that needs the gospel desperately."

Acts 29 London Bootcamp, June 9-10, 2009

Steve Timmis is the co-author of Total Church with Tim Chester.Last week Adrian Reynolds reported that he'll be leaving his role with Yateley Baptist Church to take on new responsibilities at The Proclamation Trust. Sometimes the best thing for a man to d…

Creation Ex Nihilo? Creation Ex Christo...

I don't know the original languages so can't really test this, but how about this as a way to translate the start of the Bible:
“At the head (Christ) God (the Father) cut the heavens and the earth (by the Spirit)”Has the feel of being right. All things start with Christ and find their end in him. And then we can start reading Genesis 1 onwards as Christian Scripture. This week I'll be spending some time working on some initial outlines for an evangelistic series in the early chapters of Genesis (part of my Sabbatical), rather than get stuck in debates about origins it'll be refreshing to think about Christ.

I'll also be starting in Genesis 36-50 to conclude the journey through Genesis with Matt. And I'll blog the last part of chapters 25-35 sometime in the week.

T4G 2010 The (Unadjusted) Gospel

I was very generously taken to Together for the Gospel in 2008. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Can't see me making it to T4G10 but it's looking like another good conference.As in 2008 Anyabwile, Piper, Duncan, Mohler, Mahaney, Dever, MacArthur and Sproul are the speakers.

ht: JT

Update: T4G10 clashes with NWA10 though if anyone wants to buy me out of a week in Pwllheli to spend a week in Louisville I really wouldn't object at all...

Exodus 4: Sonship Received (3 of 3)

Download MP3 - Dave Bish - Exodus 4 at Frontiers Church Exeter

There is a great revelation of the victory of God Almighty and his firstborn son in Exodus 4. But, don’t miss the impact. The LORD: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals to Israel that they are adopted as his firstborn son. A new humanity among all humanity, adopted as God’s firstborn. Is your Christianity good news enough for that?

Our firstborn, Zach, is six weeks old. As our son he has a unique relationship with us, and Biblically speaking as our firstborn son he would be the chief inheritor of our estate. Similarly, God’s adopted firstborn will inherit all of God’s estate.

You know, there are times Zach wakes up and looks around and it seems to me, is overwhelmed by the world – all the colour and noise just engulfs him. At least, that’s my interpretation… Big things do that to us: A pregnancy. An engagement. A sporting victory. A new job. Israel should similarly be overwhelmed by bring call the firstborn of God.

Just as…

Generosity: Generous Christians enact the gospel story

You may be aware that a couple of years ago I was thinking of writing a book on money. The project eventually fizzled out somewhere along the way, though not so dramatically as the economy has.

I've been able to pull some of it together and hopefully it's sufficiently founded in scripture to remain applicable in change times. The first article is now on Theology Network: Generosity, and the second on Contentment should follow soon.

The Vicar's Wife's Cook Book by Elisa Beynon

Making pesto with Elisa Beynon's recipe, but then with sweetcorn and bacon instead of her recommendation of prawns.

All very tasty!

Since I denied my wife the opportunity to be a Vicar's wife (what you think about infant baptism and some other matters has its consequences!) I thought I'd buy her this Cook Book, and then cook from it for her.

Buy The Vicar's Wife's Cook Book from Amazon

Exodus 4: Why was Zipporah so afraid of Moses’ failure to circumcise his own son?

When I preached Exodus 4 last weekend I made no reference to the bit about Zipporah, partly because John Peel of Waterfront Church Plymouth had preached this for us recently. Jacky Lam writes on this:

"To begin with, this is a character-building experience for Moses to not over-spiritualise the gospel and fail to complete the sacraments. He himself was most likely circumcised before being put in the ark, being born in the tribe of Levites. If Moses was going to be the man to tell the Israelites about the Law, then he must take the law entirely seriously. The Angel (v.24 - “the LORD met him and sought to put him to death”) was very angry with Moses because of this failure to circumcise his son. Did Moses forget Genesis 17?

At least Zipporah did not. Apostle Paul understood the truth of taking the sacraments seriously (1 Corinthians 11:29-32), so why shouldn’t Moses? Zipporah, his Gentile wife, had at least a Christian understanding of the sacraments. She immediately circumc…

Free MP3s from Westminster Theological Seminary

Access for free: Lectures from WTS... E.J. Young - Cornelius Van Til - John Murray - Edmund Clowney - Sinclair Ferguson - Richard Gaffin - Vern Poythress - Darryl Hart - Timothy Lane - Tim Keller - Paul Tripp - William Edgar - David Powlison - Ed Welch!!!

I'm particularly excited at getting access to more of Ed Clowney on Preaching all Scripture Christianly, and David Powlison's work on the Dynamics of Change amongst other things. Dive in!

ht: JT and James Grant

The disciplines of gospel-repentance

PDF: "Repentance is the way we make progress in the Christian life. Indeed, pervasive, all-of-life repentance is the best sign that we are growing deeply and rapidly into the character of Jesus... in the gospel the purpose of repentance is to repeatedly tap into the joy of union with Christ..."

What's the alternative? Stick with irreligion and do whatever our sinful hearts desire? Or, pursue religion. The latter is described by Paul in Galatians 2:21 and 5:2-4 as nullifying grace, nullifying the cross, severing ourselves from Christ and 'falling from grace' - which ironically is what we normally call pursuit of irreligion. Since neither is the gospel way, what's the difference?

Instead - the call is to keep in step with the Spirit, repenting again and again to the cross of Christ.

Keller article ht: Milton Stanley
See also: Michael Horton on Union With Christ at Theology Network.

The Bible is given to us as a gift to feast on, rather than a project to complete before judgment day

Dan Hames writes at Theology Network:We will find we go to it to savour and enjoy, and when we miss a day we might feel hunger pangs, but we could never feel guilt, fear, or condemnation. In the same way that skipping breakfast is more of a missed opportunity than a morally dubious choice; not going to the scriptures for nourishment is not a matter of calling down the anger of God, but of omitting to take advantage of his good gifts to his children.

From the new Bible Reading section of Theology Network which also features David Gibson's great article on why we believe the Bible is God's word, and Mike Reeves' excellent Transformission 2008/9 preaching on The Word of God

See also Dan Hames' blog

More on The Song of Songs: The Song of David's Son

IN CHRIST ALONE: National Day Conference Uniting Theology & Music

Wycliffe Hall, Oxford , in partnership with Passion (USA), Worship Central (HTB & Alpha) and Getty Music invite you to a day conference to inspire, inform and refresh.

IN CHRIST ALONE: National Day Conference Uniting Theology & Music
Wednesday June 17th, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, 10-4:30pm

Speakers: Louie Giglio (Passion Ministries USA), Tim Hughes & Al Gordon (Worship Central & HTB), Keith & Kristyn Getty, Martyn Layzell (Survivor), Steve James, Charlie Cleverley, Vaughan Roberts and many more.

ht: Chris Oldfield