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Having thought a bit about preaching this week, here is the preacher who has helped me see the nature of true preaching more than anyone. 

PaulBlackham

 

Here Blackham is at his best unpacking the Sermon on the Mount at Tarleton Farm Fellowship.  (Also see the “Other Sermons” tab above for some brilliant All Souls sermons from him).

 

Matthew 5:1-12 – Blessed are the Spiritually Rubbish

Matthew 5:13-20 – Making a difference

Matthe 5:21-26 – Violence 

Matthew 5:27-32 – Sex

Matthew 5:33-37 – Truth

Matthew 5:38-48 – Revenge and Love

Matthew 6:1-4 – Generosity

Matthew 6:5-8 – Secret prayer

Matthew 6:10 – Your kingdom come

 Matthew 6:11 – Daily Bread

Matthew 6:13 – Deliver us from the evil one

Matthew 6:16-18 – Fasting

 

Matthew 7:1-7 – Judging others

 … More to come…

 

Other topical talks focussing particularly on the Sermon on the Mount.

Jesus and Money

Jesus and Power

Jesus and Sex

Jesus and Violence

 

More talks from Tarleton Fellowship (including sermons covering most of John and Acts)

 

Three favourites from the above are Jesus and Money, Matthew 5:27-32 – Sex and Matthew 6:13 – Deliver us from the evil one.

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These are my concluding thoughts for a blog discussion here

So for the three of you who know what I’m referring to…

 

Here’s what the discussion is not about:

It’s not about progress of knowledge.

It’s not about trust in Messianic prophecies.

Those are important questions for another time.

 

Here’s what I am not saying:

I am not by any means saying that the Angel is the only title by which Christ is known in the OT.

Neither am I saying that every divine Person of the OT is Christ (the Appearing LORD reveals God Most High in the power of the Spirit).

I am not saying that Christophanies are the only or even the main way by which Christ was present to the OT saints (there were also the promises and types).

I am not saying that everyone who had true faith had to have met the pre-incarnate Christ.

I am not saying that conscious faith in the Mediator stands or falls on an identification of the Angel as Christ.

 

 

What I am saying:

The Angel who is both of the LORD and is the LORD was correctly identified by OT authors and saints.  This shows that they had a trinitarian conceptuality able to identify the distinct, divine Person of the Mediator. 

The Angel – the Sent, Appearing God from God – can be none other than the Image of the invisible God, the eternal Christ.

Reticence to identify the Angel as Christ betrays a quite different conception of revelation, mediation and doctrine of God.

There seems to be two interdependent presuppositions informing this reticence:

1) OT saints could not grasp a divine, distinct Mediator

2) OT saints did not need to grasp a divine, distinct Mediator.

1) remains stubbornly opposed to the plain sense of the Angel texts.

2) is what’s really worrying me…

 

What I am worried about:

I still think solus Christus is threatened here.

While-ever the ‘anonymous Christian’ position is entertained…

While-ever the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures are considered as pre-incarnate Son (a truly bizarre and worrying proposition)… 

While-ever mediation is considered a broader concept than the concrete Person of the Mediator…

While-ever phrases like ‘ultimate’, ‘final’, and ‘par excellence’ dominate the discussion (as opposed to ‘eternal’, ‘universal’ and ‘only’)…

While-ever the history of interpretation on this issue is set aside, driven as it has been by solus Christus

While-ever such stubborn resistance has been put up to the obvious meaning of the Angel texts…

While-ever it is considered that even if the Angel was a divine Visitor, He needn’t be Christ…

‘Christ alone’ is patently under threat.

 

Some might feel I insist on a particularly strong version of ‘Christ alone.’  In my opinion ‘sola’s stop being ‘sola’s when they are weakened.

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A parable

Nice huh?

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The issue is not progress of knowledge but object of faith.

Amen! Amen!

Go and enjoy this post but I dunno – maybe comment here rather than there.  Your call.  But some blogs aren’t as much free-for-alls as Christ the Truth.  Both kinds of blogs have their place and it’s good to respect the differences.

 

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This looks to be a very helpful resource.  Especially for youth work:

Peter Chilvers has posted 11 short evangelistic talks using clips from popular films. 

Let him know if you use them.

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What’s so new about the New Testament?

The ‘Already Relevant Bible’

Hiding Stuff in your Heart

Created Grace vs Grace as a Person

Hilarious quip by Barth after a sermon

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Been commenting here.

What do you think?

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athanasius1

c.293 – 2 May, 373

Out of His great love, [Christ] became what we are so that we might become what He is.  (Against Heresies)  

Why not celebrate by listening to two outstanding talks by Mike Reeves on his life and teaching.

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Dan Hames tells us why here

He covers:

‘You don’t have time’,

‘You think the bible’s all about you,’ and

‘You think your bible reading is for God’s benefit.’

 

In this context the Bible is given to us as a gift to feast on, rather than a project to complete before judgment day.  We will find we go to it to savour and enjoy, and when we miss a day we might feel hunger pangs, but we could never feel guilt, fear, or condemnation.  In the same way that skipping breakfast is more of a missed opportunity than a morally dubious choice; not going to the scriptures for nourishment is not a matter of calling down the anger of God, but of omitting to take advantage of his good gifts to his children.

Nice.

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Here’s a snippet from Watchman Nee, read the whole quote from Dev:

Now the breaking of the alabaster box and the anointing of the Lord filled the house with the odor, with the sweetest odor. Everyone could smell it. Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered; been limited, gone through things for the Lord, willing to be imprisoned by the Lord, just being satisfied with Him and nothing else, immediately you scent the fragrance.

There is a savor of the Lord. Something has been crushed, something has been broken, and there is a resulting odor of sweetness. The odor which filled the house that day still fills the Church; Mary’s fragrance never passes away.

…We like to be always “on the go”: the Lord would sometimes prefer to have us in prison. We think in terms of apostolic journeys: God dares to put His greatest ambassadors in chains. “But thanks be unto God, which always leadeth us in triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest through us the savor of his knowledge in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14)

 

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Kids eh?

Go and read Dev’s posts on kids.

Here he reflects on the theological lessons learnt from having a baby.

Here he discusses what childlike dependence on our Father means.

Great stuff.

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I love Dev Menon…

… and I don’t care who knows it.

Read here as he discusses baptism, Genesis and the cross.

By the way, did you know he has a PhD he’s getting a PhD in some science or other (viva pending).  Whatever the case, please address him as Dr Dev.  Or Menon PhD. 

Here he does scientia Christi.  Check out this extract from his latest findings…

…So day one – the light shines in the darkness – in the midst of the waters of death and judgement

Day two – the word is stretched out – or rather stretched out and beaten out the expanse – now we have 2 water divisions – one under the THIRD heaven (throne room) and one below

So then Christ will separate out from the waters above and we will separate out from the waters below to create a new life – the THIRD WAY – where God and Man will dwell together – the new life – through the cross, where He is beaten and stretched out – suspended above heaven and earth

So then in the new creation – this time the division is by fire – all will be baptised by fire, first Christ, then His people – and live a new life in the new ‘Expanse’ – the new way – He will draw in from the heavens His Father to live this new life, and from the seas of judgement He has called and fished His people out to live with Him

All the rest will remain in the fires of judgement, the outer darkness, cast away both rebellious angels and men alike…

Read the whole thing here. Now!

Also his latest comment on this blog.  Made me cackle.

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Total Sermon

They say the problem with young preachers is that they try to say everything.

I say that’s only a problem if they fail.  Dan Hames does say everything.  Brilliantly! 

Enjoy.

 

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You’ve gotta read this!

…Ted [Haggard], gentle readers, is now living proof that “it” doesn’t work the way “it” is supposed to work. Ted is now a living demonstration that, darn it, we aren’t fixable. A good church with a kickin’ band? Great shoes and suits? Sermons researched by assistants and delivered with the proper film clips and jokes? Nope. Tear filled illustrations? Prayer groups? Sermon series on mp3? Book? Seventeen verses of the latest “I love you Jesus” song? A big smile?

All worthless for real sinners like Ted and yours truly.

No Ted, it’s resurrection or nothing. It’s Jesus does the whole deal or there is no deal.

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Read the whole thing.

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Sorry Barack…

From Byron:

Advent is the time when we remember that we are not the ones we have been waiting for.

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…in the same week you find out that both Ron Frost and now Paul Blackham have blogs!

Paul’s is less a blog, more of a one man theological mega-resource. 

You will be introduced to his excellent ‘Book by Book’ bible studies.  These are ready-made resources (DVD and all) to be used individually or in groups.  The books covered thus far with DVDs are:   

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Psalms, John, Philippians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians.  Esther, 2 Corinthians and 2 Timothy are coming.

Watch sample episodes and read overviews…

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You can also read his articles on issues such as:

Did the NT writers misunderstand the OT

Explaining the Trinity

The Trinitarian God

The Life of Jesus

The Death of Jesus

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But perhaps my top recommendation of all – visit his Frameworks page where Paul is building up a doctrine course podcast by podcast.  I did Paul’s Frameworks course about 8 years ago at All Souls Langham Place.  It remains hands down the most challenging, profound, heart-warming, life-changing and Christian theology I’ve ever been taught.  Everyone… Everyone… will be fed, challenged and equipped by listening to these.

So go to it…!

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This is hilarious!

ht Stephen Murray

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Ron Frost has a blog!

I had no idea Ron Frost has a blog (thanks Dan for highlighting it).  Joy of joys.

A spreading goodness is an extremely readable and insightful blog about bible-soaked, Trinitarian affective theology.  Try these posts as an introduction:

Make this the year – getting into the bible

Living by faith – what is faith anyway?

Choosing to rule my emotions? – the will or the heart?

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