Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On Augustine and the Will

... bound, not with the irons of another, but my own iron will.... Because of a perverse will was lust made; and lust indulged in became custom; and custom not resisted became necessity.... But that new will which had begun to develop in me, freely to worship [You], and to wish to enjoy [You], O God, the only sure enjoyment, was not able as yet to overcome my former willfulness, made strong by long indulgence. Thus did my two wills, one old and the other new, one carnal, the other spiritual, contend within me; and by their discord they unstrung my soul.
- St. Augustine. The Confessions of Saint Augustine, translated by J.G. Pilkington (New York: Liveright, 1943).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On God, Man, and Scripture

Question: What is the chief end of man?
Answer: Man's chief end is to glorify God (1Cor 10:31), and to enjoy Him forever (Ps 73:25f).

Question: What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?
Answer: The Word of God which is contained in the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments (Eph 2:20; 2Tim 3:14-17) is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify God and enjoy Him (1Jn 1:3).

Question: What do the Scriptures principally teach?
Answer: The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man (2Tim 1:13; Eccles 12:13).
 - Charles H. Spurgeon, A Catechism With Proofs (Pasadena: Pilgrim Publications, 1985).

Monday, October 13, 2008

On Justin Martyr to Trypho, A Jew

"But if you [a Jew] remain hard-hearted, or weak in [forming] a resolution, on account of death, which is the lot of the Christians, and are unwilling to assent to the truth, you shall appear as the authors of your own [evils]. And you deceive yourselves while you fancy that, because you are the seed of Abraham after the flesh, therefore you shall fully inherit the good things announced to be bestowed by God through Christ.

For no one, not even of them, has anything to look for, but only those who in mind are assimilated to the faith of Abraham, and who have recognised all the mysteries: for I say, that some injunctions were laid on you in reference to the worship of God and practice of righteousness; but some injunctions and acts were likewise mentioned in reference to the mystery of Christ, on account of the hardness of your people’s hearts.

And that this is so, God makes known in Ezekiel, [when] He said concerning it: ‘If Noah and Jacob and Daniel should beg either sons or daughters, the request would not be granted them.’ And in Isaiah, of the very same matter He spake thus: ‘The Lord God said, they shall both go forth and look on the members [of the bodies] of the men that have transgressed. For their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be a gazing-stock to all flesh.’

So that it becomes you to eradicate this hope from your souls, and hasten to know in what way forgiveness of sins, and a hope of inheriting the promised good things, shall be yours. But there is no other [way] than this, —to become acquainted with this Christ, to be washed in the fountain spoken of by Isaiah for the remission of sins; and for the rest, to live sinless lives.”

- Justin Martyr, Chapter XLIV.—The Jews In Vain Promise Themselves Salvation, In The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Ed. Philip Schaff, (Grand Rapids: William. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On the Relationship Between Logic and Fire

What is preaching?

Answer: "[it is] logic on fire! eloquent reason! Are these contradictions? Of course they are not. Reason concerning truth ought to be mighty eloquent, as you see it in the case of the Apostle Paul and others. It is theology on fire. And a theology which does not take fire, I maintain, is a defective theology; or at least the man's understanding is defective. Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit and should never be allowed to enter one."

- Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

On Martin Luther and the Apocrypha

"During the council of Trent [1546], Martin Luther argued against the canonicity of the Book of Maccabees, citing the New Testament, early church fathers, and Jewish teachers in support. The Roman Catholic Church responded by canonizing the Apocrypha."
- Paul D. Wegner, The Journey from Texts to Translations (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999).