How do the PowerTeam, bashing babies’ heads on the rocks, and Jesus relate to each other?

I just finished listening to a 25-minute podcast that I thought was very well done [if you don’t have iTunes, you can still download the audio]. It’s a program called Nuclearity and it’s done by a fellow named Hugh Duncan [I’ve already syndicated it].

In it he interviews Tremper Longman, Dan Allender, Don Miller, Brian Loritts and their understanding of the relationship. It was very helpful for me and the last 8 minutes are worth the entire listening.

The issues it deals with:
– The Imprecatory Psalms
– Politics and Evangelicalism
– Old Covenant/New Covenant

Music Excerpts: Carmen, Queen, Derek Webb (ecelectic, huh?)

I thought it had much to say in how Christianity relates to government. Of particular interest is how the Christian view of the world, salvation, and neighbor is dialectically opposed to the teachings of Islam. I will dialogue more on this later, but I want you to listen to the program first.

|| link to full program ||
The Grossest Verse in the Bible

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  1. very thought provoking. Hugh is such a great – he’s a deep thinker, but he’s always able to make theology personal. Made me re-consider how I approach the culture.

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Mental Health and Spiritual Health

In an effort to nuance some of my thoughts on suicide that I posted at The Gospel Coalition, I want to write a few more posts here to answer some responses and excellent questions I have received in light of that post. Hopefully these will be helpful as you think through your own depression or those around you.

One of the first things I want to respond to relates to those who claim that if you just have enough faith you will not suffer depression. My question to that person is faith in what or in who? If you answer “God” or that you ought to have faith in “God’s love for you,” then I would say that the Bible does not teach us that category of faith equaling the lack of depression or sadness. To say so would make 3/4 of the Bible irrelevant to our experience this side of the Fall.

Just a couple days ago, I was reading Psalm 13:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I take counsel in my soul

and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;

light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”

lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;

my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the Lord,

because he has dealt bountifully with me.

We see here that David lived in reality. For someone to say that depression doesn’t happen to those who are full of faith obviously doesn’t live in the same world of betrayal and frustration and fear and pain that David lived in. . .that I live in. Therefore, such a counselor has no place in my counsel. They are out of touch with the reality that all Creation groans in the pains of childbirth awaiting the consummation of all things. We likewise groan. Longing for full, unbridled adoption. An adoption that has not bit in its mouth reminding it that life hems it in.

Such were Job’s friends. Miserable counselors for sure. As I have said, those who struggle with depression may actually be the most honest among us. Being struck by the reality of pain and suffering and that things are not the way they are supposed to be. May all who give poison under the guise of balm for our pained hearts be done with their sermonizing and lies.

Eleven Appearances of Jesus

In an effort to make our faith secure, Jesus appeared to his disciples on eleven distinct occasions. Here they are:

1. Mary Magdalene alone (Mk 16; Jn 20.14)

2. The woman returning from the tomb (Mt 28.9-10)

3. Simon Peter alone (Lk 24.34)

4. Two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Lk 24.13-35)

5. Apostles at Jerusalem, without Thomas (Jn 20.19)

6. Apostles at Jerusalem, a second time, with Thomas present (Jn 20.26-29)

7. Sea of Tiberias, seven disciples fishing (Jn 21.1)

8. To the Eleven, on mountain in Galilee (Mt. 28.16)

9. To 500+ disciples (1Cor 15.6)

10. To James alone (1Cor 15.7)

11. To the Apostles on Mt. Olivet at his Ascension (Lk 24.51; Acts 1.6-11)

This is mere speculation and devotional in nature, but I thought I would share it. As you may know twelve symbolizes perfection or completion. Could it be that Christ reveals himself through his Word to you and to me as the Twelfth appearance. Blessed are those who have not seen with eyes of flesh, yet see with the eyes of faith. After all, isn’t this what Luke is attempting to do in his gospel and sequel (Acts)? Isn’t he attempting to give an account to most excellent Theophilus (“Lover of God”)? By giving such an account, he wants to make our faith certain that not only these things happened, but they cause ripple effects into our own space and time.

Christ truly is walking amongst us through the power and illuminating power of his Spirit.

Things Concerning Jesus in the OT

I am preaching on reading Scripture devotionally this coming Sunday. I am using the Road to Emmaus as the backdrop to the message (Luke 24.13-35). I am playing with the thesis right now, but it is something like “God reveals himself so that we will be changed.”

In study, I came across this pithy quotation from J. C. Ryle’s sermon on the same text:

In what way did our Lord show “things concerning himself,” in every part of the Old Testament field? The answer . . . is short and simple.

Christ was the substance of every Old Testament sacrifice, ordained in the law of Moses. Christ was the true Deliverer and King, of whom all the judges and deliverers in Jewish history were types. Christ was the coming Prophet greater than Moses, whose glorious advent filled the pages of prophets. Christ was the true seed of the woman who was to bruise the serpent’s head–the true seed in whom all nations were to be blessed–the true Shiloh to whom the people were to be gathered, the true scape-goat–the true bronze serpent–the true Lamb to which every daily offering pointed–the true High Priest of whom every descendant of Aaron was a figure. These things, or something like them, we need not doubt, were some of the things which our Lord expounded in the way to Emmaus.

Of course, I am probably going to use this in the sermon. It hits me every time I read it!