God Moves in a Mysterious Way

On Sunday I shared the poem, "God Moves in a Mysterious Way" by William Cowper (1731-1800), with Downtown Cornerstone. It's an oldie, but a goodie. You may be familiar with it. Over the years it has become deeply meaningful to me. Cowper was a contemporary and friend of John Newton (author of Amazing Grace). He struggled with significant bouts of depression throughout this life, even to the point of attempting suicide on a number of occasions. Yet, amidst his personal darkness, he learned to see and sense the mysterious, gracious and sovereign presence of God. It was out of this brokenness and despair he wrote this poem. If you're hurting, struggling or confused, take heart, my friends, God moves in a mysterious way. 

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Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection | A Brief Review

Jonathan Dodson and Brad Watson have written an incredibly helpful, culturally accessible and doctrinally sound book in Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection. The premise of the book is simple, in the words of the Apostle Paul, "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins." (1Cor15:17) If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then everything else he said or did is of little importance. However, if he did rise, that changes everything about everything. That makes the resurrection of Jesus perhaps the best place to start for those examining his life and claims - and that is where Raised? comes in. 

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The shadowy place between belief and unbelief

In October a news report came out concerning a small Norwegian town, deeply tucked between steep mountains, that is stuck in shadowy darkness for six months of the year. In order to bring more light into town they installed mirrors - yes, mirrors - on a nearby hillside to reflect the sun into town. You can read more hereThough it is an imperfect analogy, I was struck by how similar this is to how we often view following Jesus. 

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How to read the Bible without reading the Bible

Have you ever picked up your Bible, read it, put it down, and walked away feeling like you didn't read it? I have. What happened there? The Bible is just like any other book and, at the same time, unlike any other book. Like other books, there are printed words, sentences, and paragraphs that are intentionally arranged to communicate specific ideas. You should read the Bible literally, in that it is a piece of literature. Yet, at the same time, it is utterly unlike any other book. The Bible claims to be the divinely inspired revelation of God to fallen humanity (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Therefore, when we approach the Bible we are not merely approaching a piece of literature (though it is that); we are approaching a piece of literature that is God's direct revelation to us. Given this dual nature of the Bible it is possible, if not all-too-common, to read the Bible without really reading the Bible. In so doing we harm ourselves by cutting off God's primary means of grace in our lives. How do we read the Bible without reading the Bible? 

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How to go about reading your Bible in 2013 (for those who feel like its already too late)

Every January there is a flurry of blog posts (like this one and this one) and encouragement to make a plan for your personal reading of the Bible (among other things) in the new year. That’s good. But, the reality is you may already be behind or too busy to come up with a plan. In fact, most of us are, which is why I’ve waited to post this until now.

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Torrance on the importance of Jesus' humanity (amidst his divinity)

The very humanity of Jesus Christ makes salvation possible, for here in the man Jesus, God comes alongside us as another man and within our historical existence with its temporal relations, choices, and decisions, He acts there upon us personally through word and love, through challenge and decision. God does not come to manipulate man, but to save him personally in personal reconciliation with the Father, and so He confronts man in such a way, that while He judges sin and exposes man’s heart with all its evil, He forgives him and draws out his heart in surrender and love to Himself. And yet in all that, God has come to be one with man, and to act from within man, and as man to yield to the Father in obedience of a true and faithful Son, and so to lay hold of God for us from the inside of man. It is within that union of the Son to the Father that the sinner is drawn, and given to share...it is the action of God as Man in Christ which delivers man from himself and draws him out in surrender to God.
— TF Torrance, The Hypostatic Union