Why we Worship

PSALM 47

Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!


Why Scripture?



 
God's Reputation


Recent Posts

God? Who Needs Him?
May 31, 2013
Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming – “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Imago Dei
September 12, 2012
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Why Can't I Pray?
August 18, 2012
The bible gives us several reasons, but according to Jeremy Taylor, a deceitful heart is at the root of prayerlessness.

It's Not Rocket Science
July 23, 2012
To keep in step with the Spirit should be our daily quest. And if we are successful at that, all of life falls into place.

Theological Steak
April 10, 2012
These words by P. T. Forsythe on the magnificence of Christ's work are to theology what Ruth's Chris is to a good steak.

Describing the Indescribable
February 11, 2012
What we have in Christ will take all eternity to describe. But for one segment of one sermon, a great preacher made a mighty attempt.

Making Sense Of It All
January 30, 2012
Where are things headed? Is there rhyme and reason to the endless cycle of summer, fall, winter and spring? Is there a plan in place, or is randomness the explanation?

Oh My God, What Have We Done?

May 31, 2009

Poets often see things as they are before the "general public" - you and me. Their insight into faith matters needs to be considered, and perhaps on occasion could even serve as a wakeup call.


This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.' Jeremiah 6:16

Thomas Hardy, the English poet who is best known for his novels, considered poetry his first love. He had early exposure to the church of England, and then was influenced by the Baptists, choosing ultimately to reject both influences.

But as you will see in his poem GOD'S FUNERAL, he lis unable to shrug off the loss of God without a last and lingering look over his shoulder, leaving an unmistakable mist of regret and fear pervading the work.

God is now for Hardy the....

Mangled.....Monarch of our fashioning,
Who quavered, sank; and now has ceased to be.


So, now that we have "gotten rid" of God, what do we do?

'And who or what shall fill his place?
Whither will wanderers turn distracted eyes
For some fixed star to stimulate their pace
Towards the goal of their enterprise?'...


Hardy get it - there is no longer any fixed center. Everything is up for grabs.

Some in the background then I saw,
Sweet women, youths, men, all incredulous,
Who chimed as one: 'This is figure is of straw,
This requiem mockery! Still he lives to us!'


Is this a reference to believers who hold to a risen Christ, against all odds, in every age?

I could not prop their faith: and yet
Many I had known: with all I sympathized;
And though struck speechless, I did not forget
That what was mourned for, I, too, once had prized.

Still, how to bear such loss I deemed
The insistent question for each animate mind.....


Hardy refuses to gloss over the influence of a culture that chooses to live as though there were no God.

And gazing, to my growing sight there seemed
A pale yet positive gleam low down behind.....

Hope springs eternal. "It's not so bad," says the crowd. "We'll be allright. You'll see."

Whereof, to lift the general night,
A certain few who stood aloof had said,
'See you upon the horizon that small light --
Swelling somewhat?' Each mourner shook his head.


This world needs light. And so alternative sources are sought after. The search is ongoing to find an appropriate substitute for the unsubstitutable.

And they composed a crowd of whom
Some were right good, and many nigh the best....
Thus dazed and puzzled 'twixt the gleam and gloom
Mechanically I followed with the rest.


Hardy is unable to fight the gravitational pull of the spirit of the age. He gives up without putting up much of a fight.

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) in his poem DOVER BEACH, addresses the disappearance of faith, using the metaphor of ocean waves that crash on the sand, as they wet the sand, and then receed back to where they came from.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.


Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their ways and in the ancient paths. They made them walk in bypaths and on roads not built up. Jeremiah 18:15




 





Outrage and The Holiness of God

March 5, 2009

A jaded Christian is an oxymoron. Anything that is hurtful to God must hurt us as well. We must not become so self-protective that we are not emotionally impacted by rebellion against God. And any such identification pleases God.


"Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it." Ezekiel 9:4

During the middle part of the 20th century, Wilbur Smith "stood in the gap" for God in the academic theological climate, as winter closed in and loss of trust in the written word accelerated. First at Moody Bible Institute, and then at Fuller Seminary and finally at Trinity Seminary, Smith stood firm for the accuracy of scripture, and its trustworthiness.

In his book THEREFORE STAND, Smith holds up Paul and his challenge on Mars Hill as his inspiration, and a model for future generations to follow.

Luke tells us that when Paul beheld a city of such learning polluted by thhis mass of dead superstition, he was provoked, really, provoked to anger. The Greek word here is parozuno, which means to stimulate, to urge on, and then, to irritate.

In the Septuagint we find that in almost every case in which this word is used the reference is to the anger of God....As God is provoked to anger with the sins of His people, for rebellion and idolatry, so Paul, possessed by the Spirit of Christ, was provoked to anger with these awful monuments proclaiming the victory of Satan, the power of darkness, and dooming men to an ignorance of God, to a degrading superstition, to a perpetual darkness, and to an unending despair.

Only in one other place is this particular word found in the New Testament, and that is in Paul's beautiful hymn of love, where he says that love is not easily provoked - but though not easily provoked, it can be provoked, and when it is aroused, it becomes wrath.

Would to God every Christian could have and experience like this, even if only once in a lifetime, as he beholds if not the visible idols of men, then at least the false cults that draw the souls of men away from Christ - books written for the express purpose of destroying the faith of young men in God, universities into which precious lives have come with all the hope and glow of youth only to be bowed out, with a sheepskin in their hands and their hearts filled even with a hatred for everything religious, and a loathing for Jesus Christ.

It is time we were moved by some of these things. Calvin was right when he said, "Those who are not touched when they see and hear God blasphemed and do not only wink thereat but also carelessly brush over it are not worthy to be counted the children of God, who at the very least do not give Him so much honor as they do an earthly Father."
 





O Christmas Tree
December 8, 2008
They're beautiful, they bring back lots of memories, and gifts look wonderful at the base of their branches, but in a Christian context, do Christmas trees "belong?" Do they have any theological significance? Perhaps.....

A Voice Crying In The Wilderness
November 2, 2008
God has a standard that he requires of his creatures. And when we fall short of the mark, he anoints prophets to be his mouthpiece. So just where are today's prophets? And will we pay attention in time?

Why God Will Not Tolerate Idolatry
October 15, 2008
You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3





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