Archive for August 2012
Can you figure out how many passages are being (directly) referred to in this song? See the video and see the lyrics.
Praise God the Father, the Immortal Creator
For Your glory you made us, You’re the Sovereign Orchestrator
All that You decree will most surely come to happen
You’re awesome as can be and Your glory none can fathom
Nothing could ever stain You, the heavens can’t contain You
We thank You for sending Your Son to explain You
Otherwise we would have remained in the dark
but You sent Your Holy Spirit to spark a change in our hearts
According to Your eternal purpose and will
You determined to reveal Yourself to those who deserve to be killed
Those of us whom You foreknew adore You
We praise You that You predestined us to be conformed to
The image of Your Son who’s the radiance of Your glory
When I meditate on it, the weightiness of it floors me
So Father, we’ll praise you over and over again
Because You sent Your only Son to atone for our sins
Glory to the Father, Glory to the Son,
Glory to The Spirit- Three and Yet One
One in Your essence, Three in Your Person
The same in Your nature, distinct in Your working
Oh my soul- behold the wonder of the Trinity
Blessed be the Trinity, Oh, what a mystery!
I’ll stand amazed for the rest of my days
Pouring out my heart in Triune praise
Praise God the Son, Second Person of the Trinity
You’re distinct from the Father, yet you share in His divinity
Fulfilling an eternal covenant- You came through
To planet earth to save who? All the Father gave You
You became a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief
For the glory of Your Father You extinguished the beef
That stood between us at the cross- the Father’s anger released
The Shepherd slain for the sheep, the situation is deep
I can’t find the right language to speak, in fact it’s making me weep-
Just the thought of You saving this creep
You’re risen from the dead, I still can’t get this in my head,
How the Judge could leave the bench and go to prison instead
Lord Jesus, you’re amazing, Your bleeding is what saved men
It’s the reason why we’re praising, can’t wait to see Your face
In the meantime, please help us to see You as colossal
And by the Spirit live lives worthy of the gospel
Praise God the Holy Spirit, 3rd person of the Trinity
Distinct from Father and Son, yet share in Their divinity
Holy Spirit we praise You, You don’t like the spotlight
You’d rather point away from yourself and give props to Christ
But yet because You’re God, You deserve veneration
And You’re the One responsible for our regeneration
You apply the finished work of Christ to all the elect
Your call is effectual- You haven’t lost one yet
You comfort us when sin, Satan and the world got us bothered
And it’s only by You that we cry out “Abba Father”
You’re the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of Truth,
You graciously provide Your people with the gifts and the fruit
You help us kill sin and dis-attach us from our idols
If it wasn’t for You, we’d never understand the Bible
Because You wrote it- For our life it will surely suffice
Amazingly, You do it all for the glory of Christ!
Below is a copy of a method of apologetics (giving a defense for your faith) that I have come to hone and highly recommend – even as a better form of evangelism. The current approach was to a Roman Catholic and I left that in there to show a more specific side of it, but it could be applied to anything – keeping 2 Cor. 11:4 in mind. Check it out:
On a practical note, I do not think that you have to become completely versed in the Catholic Doctrine or apologetics to talk with them. When you get to talk to one (or two), the main point is to ask questions and evaluate THEIR answers, THEIR words – do not debate them/him. So,you can start the conversation down the right path by asking questions. You could say, help me understand . . . and pay close attention to his answers. Pick key words and phrases out of those answers and probe deeper. The point is that you are trying to understand exactly what he believes and ask questions that direct an evaluation of those beliefs. So, if you believed that the moon was made of cheese, I might first ask you to define “moon” and “cheese” just so I am sure what you are talking about. Once I got terms right, I might ask you what you mean by “made of.” Do you mean completely, or just the outside? [as ludicrous as this sounds, my point is that you continue to ask questions so you know exactly what you are talking about from THEIR point of view. Before you can show someone the way to truth, you have to know from where they are coming.] . . .
SEE BOTTOM FOR A SLIDESHOW OF THIS METHOD
The next step is to find out where they learned this from. ”Wow, I had not heard that before, where did you learn that?” You can use ambiguous language so that you are truly listening, but not necessarily agreeing. Then you can also find out in this step how versed they really are in their research on this topic. In this stage you might find out that they actually know very little about it. So, we have learned what they believe, where it came from and now, it is good to find out why they have come to believe that. You can even say here, “Now, how long have you been a member of the Catholic Church?” This is crucial.It is very common, not guaranteed, that something happened. Likely, people abandon what they held true and quickly follow a movement because of a single experience and an emotional response. If this is not the case, so be it – but it usually is unless you are in Utah and talking to a Mormon, or in the case with Catholicism they might too have grown up in it.
Once you have listened well, not debated and learned where they are, you can begin evaluating their words more. [For me, that means that I have to write stuff down while they are saying it so I do not forget] It is here that you could say, “Now, earlier you said A equals B. But, what about when C is involved, does A still equal B?” This process is an exercise in how much water a conclusion/belief will hold. If you believe that you have to be baptized to be saved and I can show you that the thief on the cross was promised paradise and then died before ”leaving the wood” AND that Cornelius’ house began to speak in tongues [a sign of the presence of the Spirit in believers in that time], you might have to conclude with me that there are cases where people were saved and had not yet been baptizes, therefore baptism may not be (is not) required for salvation. See what I mean? The process is to Start the conversation with questions and interest, Listen to their words and answers, Evaluate to yourself what they say, Question their words to a directed end. I call it the SLEQ (bad acronym for “slick”) method. You are merely helping them evaluate out loud their beliefs. No conflict, no arguments, more listening then speaking. In this process you are looking for what I call a “hiccup.” This is where they, because of your questions, say something like, ”Well, . . I never thought of it that way” or “I don’t know” or ”Hmmm, yeah, I don’t know.” This is when you have finally got them to stop their regurgitation of learned info and now they are really thinking about it. It is usually at this point that they are very willing to listen to you. I would stay very non-combative still by saying something like, “I only ask because some would say, ‘[a doctrine based on the truth of Scripture]‘ and I wonder how that works with what you have said.” Now they are still the main one’s talking,but at this point you have led them to compare their views with the Scriptures.
1. It is helpful to know about others beliefs, but way more important to know the Scriptures to use as the Rule to evaluate all other views by.
2. To talk with someone and be heard – YOU MUST LISTEN. Why would anyone listen to you about eternal things if you have not even taken the time to get to know them to understand what the mean by what they say. This isn’t Amway.
3. Start a dialog with him in the spirit of “help me understand more what you believe, where you learned it and why you came to this point and conclusion?”
4. Listen well, and then gently ask directed, evaluative questions.
5. If you get to that “hiccup”, be willing to let the conversation go for a couple of days or so. You have just gently unnerved a large portion of their worldview and they might need to digest that. Guaranteed, they will listen to you from now on. They might want to talk more then, and if so – by all means! However, you might need to say something like, “I am so glad you were willing to share with me today and have this dialog. I really want to think more about what you said. Could we pick this up over tea at “such-&-such” on “such-&-such” day and talk some more? They will likely say yes and now you have an established date with the intention of talking to them about this and only this subject AND they are coming to listen.
Click on slideshow below and once downloaded and open, click the slideshow/play function and it will auto-run.
It must be said that there is an attribute, both eternal and uniquely divine, about God’s will so as to say that it is immovable, immutable and the only reality there will ever be. (Job 42:2)
This is coupled with the fact that He provides some freedom to those who have been reborn and can thus be alive and make choices. It CANNOT be said that man ever has freewill, as a “free-will” would be able to do anything it wants to do anytime it wants to do it – only God can do that. Rather, we live within the realm of responsibility and Divine Sovereignty, as D.A. Carson writes. Yet, how if God’s WILL is sovereign over all can we ever make a choice. Well . . . we can and we cannot.
This is where the principle of complexity needs to replace ideas of contradiction. Two items may only seem to contradict, unless they are elementally opposed – then they contradict. Otherwise, they may be two corollary attributes of a thoroughly complex system. Here that applies to the reality that the tension between say, the imperatives (commands) in Scripture and the fact that God has no thing outside of His WILL, is no tension at all – it only seems to be. This applies to sin and the Sovereignty of God as well. His Will is complex enough to contain His will (providence with man) and it is neither a contradiction, nor a diluting of the integrity of God.
See the illustration below:
God’s providential will (the filial application of God’s Sovereign WILL to His relationship with mankind) lies always within His Sovereign will, namely because it is born out of it – as all things are. Yet, it is within the complexity of His will a real realm of [limited] choice – namely to please or not to please Father. These two categories are essential to even begin a dialog on the Will/will of God. For truly, no thing can ever thwart the WILL of God.