Sing Unto the Lord

Henry Scougal
September 27, 2006, 1:47 am
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I bought this book at koorong (christian bookstore) because it was such a bargain and I had five bucks to spare. I had never heard of Henry Scougal before and so I was semi-curious to discover a new author. As I read it I found out a little about dear Henry (There’s a whole in my bucket). He died in 1657 at the ripe old age of 28 but even in his short life he managed to become Professor of Divinity at Aberdeen University in Scotland. As far as I can work out this is his only major published work and it wasn’t even originally intended for publication, it is a letter to a friend outlining what true religion is.

Henry tells us that true religion is not; an affiliation with a denomination of some sort; an external duty driven by fear and performance; nor is it a wholly based in the affections (desire, ecstasy, passion).

Rather, Henry reckons true religion is living a ‘Divine Life’. ‘Life’ in the sense that it grows and is fluid and ‘Divine’ in the sense that all power for true religion comes from God and points to God. I’m only about halfway through the book but so far it’s been great. Something I liked was this quote talking about Love for God and what it would look like: ‘The Love of God is a delightful and affectionate sense of the Divine perfections, which makes the soul resign and sacrifice itself wholly unto him, desiring above all things to please him, and delighting in nothing so much as in fellowship and communion with him, and being ready to do or suffer any thing for his sake or at his pleasure’.

In summary, it’s only a short book and well worth the read! Charles Wesley apparantly lent it to George Whitfield when Whitfield was not yet converted. It was a great help to him.. maybe it would be a good help to you in thinking about how to live your life wholly for God.

buying a Bible
September 24, 2006, 10:36 pm
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Hey all. I have been looking around lately to buy a new Bible. My old NIV has had the unfortunate experience of being devoured, not just by me in my study of the scriptures, but by my Dog in his study of what things taste good.
Have thought through a few different options. One thing I will miss about my old Bible is all the notes and underlinings I have put in over the years. However with a new more sturdy Bible I can keep all those notes for a longer time.
I have decided my next Bible will be an ESV. My prediction is that in five years the NIV will become more obsolete and less loved and people will need to choose sides between the TNIV and the ESV. Also one of my main reasons for holding onto the NIV was that my Youth group boys were younger and they understood it better. Now they are all men and leaving youth group so that argument is over.
I have come into two options one takes less time and more money and the other takes less money but heaps of time. I am tossing up between getting the ESV Journalling Bible or making my very own Blank bible, Jonathon Edwards style. The Blank Bible would be a cool project plus it keeps the centre column of references. It’s just going to be a pain to make. Maybe thats half the fun.

Talladega Nights
September 22, 2006, 4:23 am
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I went and saw Talladega nights last night with Ren and some others. Hilariously funny! However there was one part in the movie where Will Farrell’s character, Ricky Bobby said that when he prays he likes to imagine baby Jesus. Other characters go on to talk about their favourite Jesus and the movie goes on.

However I think this is an interesting comment for the movie makers to make. (I don’t know if this was even what they were thinking). They highlight how stupid it is for everyone to have their own versions of Jesus. There is only one Jesus. The Jesus of the Bible. To imagine him as anything other than how he reveals himself in the Bible is not only creating an Idol, it’s creating a way for yourself to not have to deal with the real Jesus and his real claim on your life.

Charles C Godden
September 20, 2006, 1:39 am
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I thought my family was boring but here’s a cool guy. After talking to Grandma she says that he is my Grandpop’s great uncle (my great-great grandfather’s brother).
You can read about him here on page 2.

John Piper, Jonathon Edwards, and John the Baptist
September 19, 2006, 10:51 pm
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Hey there everyone. Sorry I haven’t been blogging this week. I decided to not blog so much so as to spend more time reading and doing other productive things (like playing Half Life 2).
I have just finished one of my favorite books of the year – ‘The Supremacy of God in Preaching’ by Piper. The book takes you through the Goal of Preaching (God the father and his glory), the base of your preaching (God the son and his sacrifice), and the channel of your preaching (God the spirit and his indwelling work). I thought it was a ripper book. The other thing that Piper highlights is the huge effect Jonathon edwards has had on Piper’s thinking and life. This is evident through all Piper’s work but I haven’t had him speak so explicitly about it until I read this book. He encourages readers to find their own hero of theology and immerse themselves in them. The only trick is who to choose???
On the weekend we had some baptisms at my church. I found it to be a greatly emotional time as my good friend Jackson was baptised and marked a change in his life to live for Christ. He has been a christian for a while but he wanted to have a marker of his decision. My other close friend Jono was involved in baptising one of his Youth group kids. I thought this was great as well: partly because he is an encouragement to me in the way he pastors those under his care, and partly because his name is Jono and I could make John the baptist jokes. Keep praying for Flipside. They meet today but I don’t know if I’ll go or not.

Erina High School
September 13, 2006, 12:21 pm
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Hey yall. Renae and I went to Erina High School today to help run their christian group ‘Flipside’. Usually Dave runs it but he was away on staff conference. We loved it. It was refreshing reading the bible with people who have never read it for themselves before. I think that being involved in church youth groups and pastoring church guys and having christian friends I have not had as much experience in this kind of ministry. I loved it. Keep praying for flipside as they read God’s word each Wednesday.

September 11, 2006, 9:47 pm
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I reckon Hymns are a great way of teaching young people not to buy in to the consumerist culture that surrounds them. Its great singing Hymns at Youth Group and church because they give you a sense that ours is a historic faith and that many have gone before us. Most Christian music these days lasts about five or six years before the songs are discarded by the song leader as being out of date. I don’t think thats any great evil of the song leader, I think its just that songs these days are written to engage with pop culture (something that changes regularly) and so they are doomed the second they are penned to paper. Hymns on the other hand make no claims to be contemporary and so are in a sense timeless. On the flipside of that, Hymns can be tricky old things to sing and are not very accomodating to the outsider visiting church. So my strategy is keep singing good contemporary christian music and sprinkle in a smattering of hymns. thoughts?