I tried to post a picture of John-John enjoying ice cream with me this summer.
Read HABAKKUK by Walter Chantry (cvbbs.org); also delight in and discipline your children and grandchildren.
Fun With Grandmother August 26, 2009
Walter Chantry writes briefly and to the point. He is plain and simple. He is also serious. He edits BANNER OF TRUTH MAGAZINE and most of his books are published by BANNER OF TRUTH TRUST. I recently cleaned out my library and discovered that most of the books I treasure now were published by BANNER over the years. They are the ones I’m not willing to toss out as I downsize and simplify.
Another connection I have with Walter Chantry is his mentor, Ernie Reisinger. As my pastor, he encouraged me to teach and write. Ernie wrote the preface for my OLD PATHS FOR LITTLE FEET (carolbrandt.net) and gently led me into a reformed interpretation of the Bible. Ernie was largely responsible for BANNER OF TRUTH TRUST opening an American distribution center and office. And he was one of the founding leaders of the church where Chantry was pastor for 39 years.
HABAKKUK will help you get thru these demoralizing political times. I know many of you are anxious about these things as you raise your children or babysit your grandchildren. What will their future be like? Will America or England or Scotland or Western Civilization survive? Are we going to totally lose our culture and its Christian heritage?
“In the Scripture, God’s severe correction of his sons has even come during times when there lived saints with outstanding measures of grace. Yet he did not use their gifts to revive. As Habakkuk spoke of his dread of Babylon’s crushing blows to Judah, still to come, he was speaking of times in which not only he, but also Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel lived. Yet their prayers and their faithful ministries were not employed in quickly accomplishing a revival that prevented severe chastisement.” (p. 42)
Go to http:cvbbs.com/inventory. This link to Cumberland Valley Bible Book Store will enable you to buy HABAKKUK for $6.95.
Inerrant, not Literal August 17, 2009
The doctrinal building block of looking at the Bible as inerrant is a big deal. Christian history shows us that. The Protestant Reformation in the 1500’s and the Puritan Revival in the 1600’s and then evangelical revivals since have turned on this view of scripture.
Inerrancy says that all scripture is “breathed” by God, thru the pens and voices of real men who wrote or spoke in their own languages of the time.
Literalists usually believe thaat too, but are very concerned about when to take it each word as it is written. In poetry, like a Psalm, or prophecy, like Isaiah or Jeremiah, taking something literally can really affect the meaning and application of the passage.
Moses wrote while camping in the Sinai desert. Finally, John the apostle, who knew Jesus intimately enough to lean on his chest as they talked quietly, wrote letters and about his visions while on a Greek island, exiled because of his claim that Jesus was the one Moses’ had said was coming.
Who cares whether we use the word “inerrant” or “literal?”
Look at Isaiah, for instance. In chapters 43 and 44, the preacher is calling on the nation of Judah to turn back to God and His plan for saving them. He predicts the greatest world empire of the day, Babylon, will be destroyed (v. 14). He then draws a refreshing picture of streams in the desert and wilderness beasts praising Him because He refreshes and redeems this community of people who have nothing to fear. They are God’s loved ones.
But, to quibble over whether there are literally streams in the deserts and ostriches praising God is to miss the whole point. The gospel is here. Jesus is here. There is no other rock or foundation upon which we can stand for survival into eternity. The Holy Spirit brings about praise and refreshes us as much as water in a desert.
Taking it all as without error would include remembering that in 516 or so BC, Persia invaded Babylon and sacked the greatest city and empire the world had ever seen. Isaiah got it right. He, of course, got it right in his first book about Judah being the only nation saved from the Assyrians too. And he had predicted the Babylonian takeover of the Assyrians. His prophecies were never wrong.
Inerrancy was a banner of the Reformation. It led to an exaltation and study of God’s word. That led to repeated revivals. The literal approach came in later, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s as people struggled against those who had rejected inerrancy. But, it has led to the rejection of a lot of the Reformation doctrines.
Read your Bible like this–for yourself, in your own language. As God’s word, without error if the translation is right. But, always with a view of how it affects your heart. For instance, why do you care about the Babylonian Empire? If Isaiah got it right about that, then you can trust his predictions that God would provide a Savior, provide righteousness for you, and sustain and strengthen you in whatever you are facing today.
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaish 41:10)
That is why inerrant, not literal, matters. Inerrancy with application leads to personal experience in worship.
Chewing on Truth (For Teens) August 13, 2009
Oh, my gosh. School is about to start. All that humanism, secularism, paganism being shoved down your throat. Can you identify the difference between h/s/p and biblical Christianity? Are you able to think like a Christian in the midst of all this?
The most important thing is for you to learn to read, write, think, and do your math.
Look for someone you can help. Like sit with them at lunch so they don’t feel so bad.
Find someone who can help you during the day. Someone who loves Jesus Christ and reads their Bible. Read yours….try reading the Psalms, Proverbs, the gospels. Do you know what the gospel is?
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3).
Tonight think about these two basic truths of Christianity. Dwell on them; Chew them over. I will do it too.
THINKING LIKE A CHRISTIAN August 7, 2009
I hope your summer is turning out to be a time of reflection and quiet.
It’s not over yet, at least for those of us without children in school.
Somehow Paul’s letter to a small group attempting to establish a Christian church in Greece has survived all these years since 60 or so AD. He has some lessons on Christian thinking that are very potent for summer reflection.
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayewr and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:4-9).
Now this passage is often used as a call to positive thinking. Don’t be deceived. That is not Christianity; it is psychology. The Greeks already knew a great deal about living true to their philosophies. But, this church plant, like us, needed to be given a living example by watching Paul living out the gospel—-always expecting unmerited favor,
always pressing on toward holy living,
always hoping that today might be the day of Jesus’s return.
My friend, mentor, and teacher, Leilou Brady, has been my living example of this kind of thinking. I’m a very slow learner, but she remains patient with me–saying and living it over and over again. Who is your living letter? Who are you showing the hope of the gospel?
Are you attempting to think positively—or do you have the spiritual experiences and hope of the gospel?
Keep thinking like a Christian. Quietly reflect. Dwell on, chew it over.