Friday, February 20, 2015

Reforming Conservatism

In response to recent defeats and in the interest of moving beyond past successes, Jay Cost argues for reforming conservatism. His central point: “The animating impulse is not so much to increase or decrease the scope of the federal government, but to modify the way the government accomplishes its goals.”

He is correct in that “smaller government” is a relative term that does not speak to what the correct size of government is. His reference to “the way the government accomplishes its goals” implies that the goals of government are already understood. I am not convinced this is the case.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Christian life is about love

Yesterday I wrote about how the Christian life is not about commands, and concluded pointing out it is about friendship. Today I want to pick up on that and point out that relationships shifting from commands and obedience to love and respect is a sign of maturity.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Why the Christian life is not about commands

When I read Romans 14:23, I don't read, “Whatever is not of obeying the commandments is sin.” When I read Hebrews 11:6, I don't read, “without following the commandments it is impossible to please Him.” We are “not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Law was over us to point out our sin (Romans 7:7), punish our sin (Romans 13:4), and point us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Grace is not an alternate to law to point out our sin, punish our sin, or point us to Christ. Grace is Christ over us lifting us up out of sin (Ephesians 2:5,8). We “live by faith” (Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4), and “after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Galatians 3:25). “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4).

When Jesus gave us his “new commandment” (John 13:34), it was of a completely different nature than the law. Unlike the law, His commands are “not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Jesus did not say in John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you obey my commandments.” While Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15), and made similar statements in John 14:21 and 15:10-11, I don’t know of anywhere that He says or even implies, “If you don't love, you're sinning.” It's a completely different focus. His command is about shifting the focus from law to love. “These things I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:17).

Do we measure how well we love through how well we obey the commandments, or do we measure how well we obey His commandment by how well we love?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Your Turn Challenge Results

I don't expect this post to be especially valuable. I'm mostly writing it because I took on the 7-day Your Turn Challenge in my own modified way, and today would be my day to finish it. Feel free to skip this over, as that would probably be a good demonstration of what I'm about to describe learning to do.

Friday, January 23, 2015

One Day the Conductor Will Appear!

J. Vernon McGee has preached all the way through the Bible. One day I was reading his remarks on Psalm 2:12, and he tells a story that has really stuck with me. Perhaps that is because we, too, “live in a world where every man is tooting his own little horn.” His comments follow:

“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
Psalm 2:12

The late Dr. George Gill used to tell us in class, “ ‘Kiss the Son’ is the Old Testament way of saying, ‘… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved …’ (Acts 16:31).” “Kiss the Son.”

Do you remember who kissed Him? Have you ever noted what our Lord said to Judas after he kissed Him? The theologians today argue about predestination and election and predetermination and foreknowledge, and that this man Judas could not help what he did since it had been prophesied he would do it. Now I’m going to let the theologians handle that. I’m just a poor preacher who doesn’t know very much; so I stay away from those problems and let the theologians solve them.

However, after I listen to them awhile I have a sneaking feeling they haven’t solved them. Notice what the Bible says, and it is well to listen to the Bible rather than to the theologians.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Top 6 Things I Learned About Giftedness

It is from the late Howard Hendricks that I learned inductive Bible study.

It is from his son Bill Hendricks that I learned inductive people study.

Bill has made it his life's work to help people discover, what he calls, their giftedness. That is, how you are wired, what makes you tick, what makes you come alive.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Essence of Sales

Sales help keep the economy going. If you work in sales and want to learn how to do things better, you may find something here helpful. If you want to know how the process works, you're welcome to read this, too.

The heartbeat of the sale is the buying sign. Learning to recognize them and maximizing their potential is what a salesman does. It begins with creating an environment in which these signs can emerge.