Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Wall of Denial

100 Best Movie Lines in 200 Seconds

22 words

What it Means to Accept Christ as Savior from Sin

From the tenth sermon ('True Grace Tends to Holy Practice') in Edwards' 15-sermon series Charity and Its Fruits, on 1 Corinthians 13--
That act of the will which there is in justifying faith tends to practice. He who by the act of his will does truly accept of Christ as a Savior accepts him as a Savior from sin, and not only as a Savior from the punishment of sin. But it is impossible that anyone should heartily receive Christ as a Savior from sin and the ways of sin, if he is not one who sincerely has a mind to part with all the ways of sin; for he who has not a mind that sin and he should be separated cannot have a mind to receive a Savior to part them. . . .

The very notion of trusting in God is resting or having an acquiescence of mind in a persuasion of another's sufficiency and faithfulness, so as to run the venture of it in our actions.
--Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Works of Jonathan Edwards, Yale ed., 8:300-1

It was the second sentence above that really arrested me--'He who by the act of his will does truly accept of Christ as a Savior accepts him as a Savior from sin, and not only as a Savior from the punishment of sin.'
Dane Ortlund

U2 - Love Rescue Me [with Bob Dylan]

Buy It Here From Amazon $10.47 Rattle & Hum

Get The DVD for only $6.69 U2 - Rattle and Hum

Operation Fast And Furious

G.K. Chesterton On Two Ways to Despise a Dandelion

From chapter 26 of G.K. Chesterton’s Autobiography:
The only way to enjoy even a weed is to feel unworthy even of a weed.
Now there are two ways of complaining of the weed or the flower; and one was the fashion in my youth and another is the fashion in my later days; but they are not only both wrong, but both wrong because the same thing is right. The pessimists of my boyhood, when confronted with the dandelion, said with Swinburne:
I am weary of all hours
Blown buds and barren flowers
Desires and dreams and powers
And everything but sleep.
And at this I cursed them and kicked at them and made an exhibition of myself; having made myself the champion of the Lion’s Tooth, with a dandelion rampant on my crest.
But there is a way of despising the dandelion which is not that of the dreary pessimist, but of the more offensive optimist. It can be done in various ways; one of which is saying, “You can get much better dandelions at Selfridge’s,” or “You can get much cheaper dandelions at Woolworth’s.”
Another way is to observe with a casual drawl, “Of course nobody but Gamboli in Vienna really understands dandelions,” or saying that nobody would put up with the old-fashioned dandelion since the super-dandelion has been grown in the Frankfurt Palm Garden; or merely sneering at the stinginess of providing dandelions, when all the best hostesses give you an orchid for your buttonhole and a bouquet of rare exotics to take away with you.
These are all methods of undervaluing the thing by comparison; for it is not familiarity but comparison that breeds contempt. And all such captious comparisons are ultimately based on the strange and staggering heresy that a human being has a right to dandelions; that in some extraordinary fashion we can demand the very pick of all the dandelions in the garden of Paradise; that we owe no thanks for them at all and need feel no wonder at them at all; and above all no wonder at being thought worthy to receive them. Instead of saying, like the old religious poet, “What is man that Thou carest for him, or the son of man that Thou regardest him?” we are to say like the discontented cabman, “What’s this?” or like the bad-tempered Major in the club, “Is this a chop fit for a gentleman?” Now I not only dislike this attitude quite as much as the Swinburnian pessimistic attitude, but I think it comes to very much the same thing; to the actual loss of appetite for the chop or the dish of dandelion-tea. And the name of it is Presumption and the name of its twin brother is Despair.
Justin Taylor

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Coen Brothers Working On A Movie About 1960s NYC Folk Scene - Who would you cast as Bob Dylan?

Joel and Ethan Coen, beloved auteurs of such fine films as Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and No Country For Old Men, to name a few, are in a New York state of mind for their next film, which focuses on '60s-era Greenwich Village and its burgeoning folk music scene.
The LA Times says the brothers are working on a script loosely based on the life of Dave van Ronk, a "legendary musician who presided over New York's iconoclastic coffeehouse period." van Ronk helped guide the early careers of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Phil Ochs, amongst others, and posthumously published a memoir titled after his nickname "The Mayor of MacDougal Street."
The Coens said at a Lincoln Center talk earlier this month, "We’re working on a movie now that has music in it [that's] pretty much all performed live, single instrument." There's been no word on casting yet, but fingers crossed for a transgender Dylan cameo (a la Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There.)

22 words

You Make Me Feel So Young - Oscar Peterson - A Jazz Portrait Of Frank Sinatra

You Make Me Feel So Young, The Oscar Peterson Trio
From A Jazz portrait Of Frank Sinatra, buy it from Amazon for $8.86 A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra (Dig)

You Can't Fix Stupid

When Others Hurt You

After exhorting his people to meekness and long-suffering when hurt by others, Jonathan Edwards anticipates an objection:
Some may be ready to say that the injuries they receive from men are intolerable; that as the other person has been so unreasonable in what he has said or done, it is so unjust and injurious and ungrateful and the like, that it is more than flesh and blood can bear. . . .
Edwards answers the objection with a series of questions.
Question 1. Whether he thinks the injuries he has received are more intolerable than those which he has offered to God? whether they are more base, unreasonable, ungrateful, aggravated, and heinous; more in number or on any account whatsoever more provoking?

Question 2. Do you not hope that God hitherto has or will bear with all this, and notwithstanding all, exercise infinite love and favor? . . . Has not God long forborne to punish, and do you not hope that he either has or will blot out all your sins . . . ?

Question 3. When you hope for such long-suffering of God do you not approve of it?

Question 4. If it be excellent and worthy to be approved of in God, why is it not worthy to be imitated by you? . . . Is it well that you should be forgiven . . . but not worthy for God to desire that you should do so to your fellow creatures?

Question 5. . . . Will you go and tell God that if ever you did so intolerably you would not have him bear with you?

Question 6. Was not Jesus Christ trampled on and trod underfoot a thousand times more than ever you was? Did he turn again? Did you never tread underfoot the Son of God more than you were ever trodden? And is it a more provoking thing for men to tread on you than for you to tread on Christ?
--Jonathan Edwards, 'Long-Suffering and Kindness,' in Charity and Its Fruits, Works of Jonathan Edwards, Yale ed., 8:204-5
Dane Ortlund

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Print Money and Release Oil Reserve is our current policy but don't Cut Spending or Drill for Oil

Bonnie Raitt - Runaway (Live 1977)

My friend Will MacFarlane is playing Guitar and Norton Buffalo is on harmonica (R.I.P.)

An Open Letter To Mr. Grace-Loving Antinomian

There seems to be a fear out there that the preaching of radical grace produces serial killers. Or, to put it in more theological terms, too much emphasis on the indicatives of the gospel leads to antinomianism (a lawless version of Christianity that believes the directives and commands of God don’t matter). My problem with this fear is that I’ve never actually met anyone who has been truly gripped by God’s amazing grace in the gospel who then doesn’t care about obeying him. As I have said before: antinomianism happens not when we think too much of grace. Just the opposite, actually. Antinomianism happens when we think too little of grace.
Wondering whether this common fear is valid, my dear friend Elyse Fitzpatrick (in C.S. Lewis fashion) writes an open letter to Mr. Grace-Loving Antinomian–a person she’s heard about for years but never met–asking him to please step forward and identify himself.
Dear Mr. Antinomian,
Forgive me for writing to you in such an open forum but I’ve been trying to meet you for years and we just never seem to connect. While it’s true that I live in a little corner of the States and while it’s true that I am, well, a woman, I did assume that I would meet you at some point in my decades old counseling practice. But alas, neither you nor any of your (must be) thousands of brothers and sisters have ever shown up for my help…So again, please do pardon my writing in such a public manner but, you see, I’ve got a few things to say to you and I think it’s time I got them off my chest.
I wonder if you know how hard you’re making it for those of us who love to brag about the gospel. You say that you love the gospel and grace too, but I wonder how that can be possible since it’s been continuously reported to me that you live like such a slug. I’ve even heard that you are lazy and don’t work at obeying God at all…Rather you sit around munching on cigars and Twinkies, brewing beer and watching porn on your computer. Mr. A, really! Can this be true?
So many of my friends and acquaintances are simply up in arms about the way you act and they tell me it’s because you talk too much about grace. They suggest (and I’m almost tempted to agree) that what you need is more and more rules to live by. In fact, I’m very tempted to tell you that you need to get up off your lazy chair, pour your beer down the drain, turn off your computer and get about the business of the Kingdom.
I admit that I’m absolutely flummoxed, though, which is why I’m writing as I am. You puzzle me. How can you think about all that Christ has done for you, about your Father’s steadfast, immeasurable, extravagantly generous love and still live the way you do? Have you never considered the incarnation, about the Son leaving ineffable light to be consigned first to the darkness of Mary’s womb and then the darkness of this world? Have you never considered how He labored day-after-day in His home, obeying His parents, loving His brothers and sisters so that you could be counted righteous in the sight of His Father? Have you forgotten the bloody disgrace of the cross you deserve? Don’t you know that in the resurrection He demolished sin’s power over you? Aren’t you moved to loving action knowing that He’s now your ascended Lord Who prays for you and daily bears you on His heart? Has your heart of stone never been warmed and transformed by the Spirit? Does this grace really not impel zealous obedience? Hello…Are you there?
Honestly, even though my friends talk about you as though you were just everywhere in every church, always talking about justification but living like the devil, frankly I wonder if you even exist. I suppose you must because everyone is so afraid that talking about grace will produce more of you. So that’s why I’m writing: Will you please come forward? Will you please stand up in front of all of us and tell us that your heart has been captivated so deeply by grace that it makes you want to watch the Playboy channel?
Again, please do forgive me for calling you out like this. I really would like to meet you. I am,
Trusting in Grace Alone,
Tullian Tchividjian

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Little Electric Engine That Could? I Don't Think So

Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues / I'm Ready (1994)

Religion Without Christ is Idolatory

The best religion, the most fervent devotion without Christ is plain idolatry. It has been considered a holy act when the monks in their cells meditate upon God and His works, and in a religious frenzy kneel down to pray and to weep for joy. Yet Paul calls it simply idolatry. Every religion which worships God in ignorance or neglect of His Word and will is idolatry.
They may think about God, Christ, and heavenly things, but they do it after their own fashion and not after the Word of God. They have an idea that their clothing, their mode of living, and their conduct are holy and pleasing to Christ. They not only expect to pacify Christ by the strictness of their life, but also expect to be rewarded by Him for their good deeds. Hence their best “spiritual” thoughts are wicked thoughts. Any worship of God, any religion without Christ is idolatry. In Christ alone is God well pleased.
I have said before that the works of the flesh are manifest. But idolatry puts on such a good front and acts so spiritual that the sham of it is recognized only by true believers.
–Martin Luther “Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians”
A Puritan At Heart

English Poet Francis Thompson’s “The Hound of Heaven”

“The Hound of Heaven” was first published by English poet Francis Thompson in 1893.

You can listen below to Richard Burton’s reading of it, followed by a short excerpt from Ravi Zachiaras on Thompson’s being addicted to opium and being the object of God’s pursuit.

Justin Taylor

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What Do We Do When The People Running The Country are Morons

John Primer, Billy Branch - Sugar Sweet - Chicago Blues: A Living History

Charles Spurgeon on Doubt

Some of you are always fashioning fresh nets of doubt for your own entanglement. You invent snares for your own feet, and are greedy to lay more and more of them. You are mariners who seek the rocks, soldiers who court the point of the bayonet. It is an unprofitable business. Practically, mentally, morally, spiritually, doubting is an evil trade. You are like a smith, wearing out his arm in making chains with which to bind himself. Doubt is sterile, a desert without water. Doubt discovers difficulties which it never solves: it creates hesitancy, despondency, despair.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kenny Burrell - Saturday Night Blues

Kenny Burrell - Chitlins Con Carne - The Original

Star Wars - General John Madden

Dems Not Serious About Tax Cuts

We’re Worse Than Broken

I’ve been hearing the word brokenness a lot lately. In casual conversations and from up-front speakers, the term has become synonymous with sinful. In fact, for many, it has replaced this older, more-bothersome word.
To some extent, this makes sense. Our experience of alienation from God does indeed feel like we’re broken. We’re not living the lives we were created for. We’re not connecting with others with the level of intimacy we were designed for. We’re cut off from the kind of connectedness with God that he intended.
But I’m concerned with the reduction of the full and multifaceted concept of sin, as it is described in the Scriptures, into a buzzword that feels more at home in our therapeutic culture than in God’s Word. My concern is twofold.
For believers, the word doesn’t go deep enough to move us forward in sanctification. God describes our sin many ways—almost all of which are far worse than “broken.” We’re rebellious, idolatrous, lost, enslaved, disobedient, adulterous, and—in case the point wasn’t pressed far enough—dead. If we see our sin as mere brokenness, our repentance and abhorrence at sin won’t push us in the opposite direction hard enough. And our appreciation of the cross as the only cure will be replaced with self-effort and legalism.
For non-believers, when they hear us speak of our brokenness, there is common ground, to be sure. But we fail to convey the dire straights that only the gospel overcomes. Most people in our world today hear “brokenness” as something that is done to us, something we are victims of. But the Bible’s description of sin is far more active than passive, more something we do—willingly, rebelliously, idolatrously, and knowingly—rather than something perpetrated upon us by others against our will, contrary to our nature, or different from our cravings. When people hear that our biggest problem is that we’re broken, the gospel seems like a strange fix. Jesus’ death on the cross seems extreme and unnecessary, the maniacal overreaction of an overzealous deity.
Thoughtful faith and faithful thinking involves the careful choice of words that come out of our mouths and reverberate in our minds.  by Randy Newman
Gospel Coalition

Friday, June 24, 2011

Stevie Ray Vaughan - "Chitlins Con Carne"

This is a great cover of the Kenny Burrell standard. Stevie Ray Vaughan "Chitlins Con Carne". Track 8 on "The Sky is Crying" album. Released in November of 1991 it is a collection of SRV's unreleased studio tracks.
Buy The Sky Is Crying from Amazon for $8.34 Sky Is Crying

We Are Not Justified By Sanctification

"One is unlikely to assert that we are justified by sanctification, but, whether done intentionally or not, that is what happens when we allow the teaching of Christian living, ethical imperatives, and exhortations to holiness to be separated from and to take the place of the clear statement of the gospel. We can preach our hearts out on texts about what we ought to be, what makes a mature church, or what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives, but if we do not constantly, in every sermon, show the link between the Spirit's work in us to Christ's work for us, we will distort the message and send people away with a natural theology of salvation by works. Preaching from the epistles demands of the preacher that the message of the document be taken as a whole even if only a selection of texts, or just one verse, is to be expounded. Every sermon should be understandable on its own as a proclamation of Christ. It is no good to say that we dealt with the justification element three weeks ago and now we are following Paul into the imperatives and injunctions for Christian living. Paul wasn't anticipating a three-week gap between his exposition of the gospel and his defining of the implications of the gospel in our lives. Nor was he anticipating that some people would not be present for the reading of the whole epistle and would hear part of its message out of context."
Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching The Whole Bible As Christian Scripture, p. 237
Paramount Blog

Darth Vader Plays Golf For Money

B.B.King featuring Willie Nelson - Night life

New Cigarette Warnings

Is It a Sin to Act Against Your Conscience?

Martin Luther said, “To act against conscience is neither right nor safe.” Was he right?
R. C. Sproul answers:
Here we must tread carefully lest we slice our toes on the ethical razor’s edge.
If the conscience can be misinformed or distorted, why should we not act against it?
Should we follow our consciences into sin?
Here we have a dilemma of the double-jeopardy sort.
If we follow our consciences into sin, we are guilty of sin inasmuch as we are required to have our consciences rightly informed by the Word of God.
However, if we act against our consciences, we are also guilty of sin. The sin may not be located in what we do but rather in the fact that we commit an act we believe to be evil. Here the biblical principle of Romans 14:23 comes into play: “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” For example, if a person is taught and comes to believe that wearing lipstick is a sin and then wears lipstick, that person is sinning. The sin resides not in the lipstick but in the intent to act against what one believes to be the command of God.
The dilemma of double jeopardy demands that we diligently strive to bring our consciences into harmony with the mind of Christ lest a carnal conscience lead us into disobedience. We require a redeemed conscience, a conscience of the spirit rather than the flesh.
The manipulation of conscience can be a destructive force within the Christian community.
Legalists are often masters of guilt manipulation, while antinomians master the art of quiet denial.
The conscience is a delicate instrument that must be respected. One who seeks to influence the consciences of others carries a heavy responsibility to maintain the integrity of the other person’s own personality as crafted by God. When we impose false guilt on others, we paralyze our neighbors, binding them in chains where God has left them free. When we urge false innocence, we contribute to their delinquency, exposing them to the judgment of God.
You can read the whole post here, excerpted from Sproul’s booklet How Should I Live in This World?  
Justin Taylor

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Junior Wells - Yonder Wall

Artist - Junior Wells; vocals and harmonica, Buddy Guy; guitar, Jack myers; bass, Billy Warren; drums
Album - Hoodoo Man Blues buy it from Amazon $11.57Hoodoo Man Blues
or $8.99 MP3 Download Hoodoo Man Blues

Seinfeld Star Wars

Life, A Little Unsatisfying Until the End - A Look At Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris

Woody Allen still believes in movie magic. His latest film, Midnight in Paris, requires no CGI or pyrotechnics to transport his main character, Gil (played in great neurotic bursts by Owen Wilson) back to the jazz age of the 1920s. Only the sound of church bells marks the change, when suddenly an old car appears and Gil is whisked inside, taken to a roaring party where Cole Porter sings at the piano and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald draw Gil into his world.
It’s Gil’s dream coming true. Gil is an American writer who once lived in Paris and regrets ever leaving. Instead of inspired years walking the Paris streets, he moved to California, became a very successful “Hollywood hack,” and is now poised to marry the self-centered Inez, played brilliantly by Rachel McAdams. Inez wants to enjoy their trip and go back home, marry, and settle down to a luxury life in Malibu. While she and her obnoxious mother press Gil to buy $18,000 dining room chairs, his heart departs for the Paris streets, and Allen presents the city to us in all its glory, unapologetically showing off the clichés of the city with beautiful cinematography. David Denby, writing about the film in the New Yorker, observes, “[Allen] seems to be saying, “Yes, these are clichés, but they’ve become clichés because this is the most beautiful place on earth.”

Wandering, Wondering

During their trip to Paris, the rift between Gil’s romanticism and Inez’s realism is continually exposed, and they begin drifting in different directions. Paul, an old flame of Inez’s, shows up with a strong dose of pseudo-intellectualism, using the streets and museums as a prop to continually pontificate. Everyone who runs across him finds him pedantic except Inez, and the rift between her and Gil grows wider. (Like other pseudo-intellectuals in Allen’s films, Paul is thoroughly skewered before too long.)

Each night Gil returns to the streets, and finds himself again in the 1920s, wondering aloud about his career, his novel, and his discontent. Gertrude Stein, the Fitzgeralds, Salvador Dali, and Ernest Hemingway listen, encourage him, and welcome him into their inner circle. Corey Stoll is hilarious as Hemingway, perpetually talking about death, love, and courage, swilling wine and asking if anyone will fight him. He confronts Gil’s weakness and fear, challenging him to make the brave decision, whatever that particular decision might be. One scene in particular seems like a glimpse inside the mind of any artist (or perhaps even Allen himself), where Gil airs all of his fears about success and failure in work and love, and Hemingway confronts him in bursts of characteristic prose, pushing him onward.
When whisked away in time, Gil doesn’t escape to the real roaring twenties. Instead, it’s an idealized world, perfectly tailored (by either his imagination or the power of movie magic) to prepare him to make his bold decision (ending his dead-end engagement and leaving his career as a movie hack). It’s a funny take on providence; something had to intervene to prepare Gil to make the fearless decision. For him it comes from the affirmation of Gertrude Stein and the punch in the gut from Ernest Hemingway. Artists battle fear constantly; fear their work is actually bad, fear they’ll be rejected, fear they’ll be forgotten. Allen’s world of the twenties seems like a laboratory for overcoming that fear.

Nostalgic Longing

Of course, real life doesn’t work that way, but we can be reminded by this fairy tale of the value that community contributes to creativity. We need mentors (like Stein) and brutally honest critics (like Hemmingway) whom we allow to speak into our work. This, of course, is true in any field, but is particularly true for creatives.
Gil eventually meets Adriana, a beautiful girl who’s taken up with Picasso. Just as he begins to dream of staying with her in the twenties, she confesses her own nostalgic longing for the turn of the century, the “Belle Epoque,” which she sees as the golden age of Paris. When they’re magically drawn back into that era, Gil begins to see that any era will be unsatisfying “because life is a little unsatisfying,” as he tells Adriana. In a moment that is pure Woody Allen, he says, after all, “these people don’t have antibiotics.” Thus Gil’s romantic love of the past is revealed, ultimately, to be escapist and disappointing.
Still, he finally follows his dreams to stay in Paris, and by all appearances, is better and happier for it. Romanticism points to a deep discontent in the human heart for a better time, a better age, and a better way of living. Creative angst is a powerful force, driving an inventor to build a better widget or an artist to tell a better story. It can also be an endless rabbit trail that leads us to conclude with the author of Ecclesiastes that there must be something more satisfying than money, power, and sex.
Allen’s conclusion—in this film and others—is lowered expectations. There is no “Golden Age,” only life, which was as full of dissatisfaction in the past as it is now. Christians shouldn’t be too quick to toss this conclusion off as fatalistic or too humanist. We live an incredibly narcissistic time where our expectations for life, love, marriage, and happiness are grandiose. We throw holy water on narcissism and count on our religious lives to generate the results we want. We romanticize all kinds of “Golden Ages” or “Golden Relationships,” imagining that Christian celebrities and leaders have the perfect lives we want, wishing we could step into their world, and imagining that the right combination of circumstances and religious obedience could earn them for us. “If I were married to (blank),” “If I worked at (blank).” Such narcissism needs the gospel to remind us that there has yet to be a “golden age” or a perfect situation, and that sin’s effects make all of life “a little unsatisfying.” We would do well to simply expect a little less.

Ironically Present

The irony is that such an acceptance actually frees us to be more present to our given circumstances. If an ideal world is impossibly out ofMike Cosper reach, we may as well make the most of whatever place we occupy. Getting our head out of the clouds of “what if” can open our eyes to what’s really occurring around us, and it frees us to be fully invested in where we are.
It also gives us a greater reason for hope. Movies rarely tell the “whole” story. It could be that Gil’s decision to stay in Paris merely delays his ultimate unhappiness a bit longer, and soon he’ll be looking for satisfaction somewhere else. That would be true to life, but it’s not necessarily a good story. Happy endings in movies ring a little false because a million things can go wrong. The beautiful French woman Gil meets at the end could be a complete lunatic. Or he could get robbed on the Metro the next day. Or his book could flop.
We either have to see the happy endings of movies as deeply flawed, as though there were an asterisk indicating, *of course, great tragedy is inevitable in the near future. Or we could see them as indicative of the human heart’s need for resolution. Happy endings, in that sense, are always eschatological. While we acknowledge that there has yet to be a golden age, every time a hero rides off into the sunset or a couple finds love just as the closing credits begin to roll, it’s a stammering effort within creation to say, “Come, Lord Jesus.” It’s a whisper of hope, longing for the day when all of our stories find a satisfying and joy-filled conclusion.
That will truly be a Belle Epoque.
by Mike Cosper  Gospel Coalition

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oscar Peterson Trio - You Look Good to Me @ Amsterdam

The Oscar Peterson Trio performing the piece You Look Good to Me at Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Oscar Peterson -Fly Me to the Moon

I Love Listening to Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson Trio - Fly Me to the Moon
from the album TRISTEZA - Bass:Sam Jones - Drums:Bob Durham

Buy it from Amazon $11.67 Tristeza on Piano (Reis)

Keep In Step With The Spirit

Packer, introducing the 2005 edition of Keep in Step with the Spirit:
My British peers used to think of me as a bit of an oddity, and maybe they were right. Pietists are supposed to be cool towards theology, and theologians are not expected to see the furthering of devotion as particularly their business, but I find myself to be at the same time a theological pietist and a pietistic theologian.

I call myself a pietist because I view one's relationship with God as, quite simply, the most important thing in one's life. God gave me pastoral instincts, and my desire for all theology, first and foremost my own, is that it should help people forward in faith, worship, obedience, holiness, and spiritual growth.

I call myself a theological pietist because I was always aware that biblical godliness, which is utterly radical in its moral and experiential thrust as it searches, shatters, reintegrates, and transforms us, is equally so in its intellectual impact, so that becoming mature in Christ depends directly on learning to think in terms of biblical truths and values and un-learning all the alternative ways of thought that the world offers.

And I call myself a pietistic theologian because . . . I have found the quest for knowledge, good judgment, insight, wisdom, and the discerning of limits in dealing with divine things inescapably urgent all along; and I have had that sense of urgency increased by being made responsible for sharing the outcomes of my quest widely, for the spiritual well-being of others.
--J. I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit (rev. ed., Baker, 2005), p. 10
Dane Ortlund

Trial Lawyers - Liars and Thieves

Erasing Hell and God Wins

Last week John Starke blogged at The Gospel Coalition about four new books that respond to Rob Bell’s Love Wins. (Since that post, I see that two more are coming: Bobby Conway’s Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die and Larry Dixon’s Farewell, Rob Bell.)
Last week Randy Alcorn, who wrote the foreword for Mark Galli’s God Wins, wrote a review of the book on his blog. Today he reviews reviews Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle.
Here is Randy’s analysis of how the two books compare:
I would describe Erasing Hell as passionate, biblically reasoned and pastoral. God Wins is historically rooted, theologically reasoned and journalistically precise. Someone who prefers thoughtfully presented theology and history might favor Galli’s book, while someone who enjoys careful exposition of key biblical passages and likes to connect with an author on an emotional level might prefer Chan’s.
I deeply appreciated both books; their content is sufficiently unique to justify reading both. I think it’s a God-thing that these small books are so different, yet complement each other with minimal redundancy. With their different backgrounds, personalities, life experiences, and writing styles, Mark Galli and Francis Chan each bring to the table things the other doesn’t. Reading them back to back, I found they produced a stereo effect that made the sound fuller than either on its own.
These are both small books. Combined, they are less than 80,000 words, which would total one medium-sized book, still smaller than most theological books. If you are thinking a book can’t be that great if it’s just a critique, realize that both of these authors don’t just respond to Bell, they set forth a positive case for a central biblical doctrine. . . .
I love that these authors don’t throw anyone under the bus for raising questions. But neither do they throw orthodox Christians throughout church history under the bus for believing the most difficult teachings of Jesus.
. . . God Wins and Erasing Hell will be invaluable tools for pastors and lay leaders to guide believers in evaluating these doctrines.
. . .  The best part about Chan’s Erasing Hell and Galli’s God Wins is that as I read both these books, God became greater and I became less.
Justin Taylor

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Muddy Waters - Let Me Hang Around

Albert King - Little Boy Blue

Why The Government Can't Cut Waste

The Difference Between a Legalist and an Evangelical (“gospel-believing”) Christian

(1.) They differ in their complaints. The legalist will complain more for want of holiness than for want of Christ; seeing he hath taken up with self-righteousness, it is his all, it is his happiness, it is his husband, it is his God. But the language of the evangelical Christian, who is dead to the law, is, O for Christ! O for a day of power! O to be wrapt up in the covenant of grace! to get an omnipotent power, determining me to comply with the gospel-offer.
(2.) They differ as to their comforts, – the legalist finds comfort in law-works, even in all his extremities. In the prospect of trouble, who comforts him? Even this, that he hath done many good duties. He wraps himself in a garment of his own weaving. Upon challenges of conscience, what comforts him, and gives him peace? He even covers himself with the same robe. In the prospect of judgment, what comforts him, and gives him peace? Why, he hopes God will be merciful to him, because he hath had a good profession, and said many good prayers, and done many good duties; but a sorry peace-maker. The only thing that gives a believer peace and ease in these cases, is the law-abiding righteousness of Christ, under which he desires to shrowd himself. He flees to the blood of Jesus Christ, saying, O I am undone, unless my soul be wrapt up in the mantle of Christ’s perfect righteousness; upon this righteousness of Jesus, I venture my soul.
Ralph Erskine (1685-1752), Gospel Truth, pp. 292-293
Paramount Blog

Monday, June 20, 2011

Muddy Waters - Good News

Muddy Waters - This Pain

The GOP Field Is Bland

Let us Eat, Drink, and be Merry, for Yesterday We Were Dead

From Russell Moore’s Tempted and Tried:
Don’t let your urges scare you. Let them instead drive you to pray for the wisdom to see what you were created to be and to do. Watch the triggers in your life that lead you to hunger for what you want, and be warned. But in the meantime seek to direct your appetites toward the ways in which the Word of God and the order of the universe tell us they can be fulfilled. And then seek to learn to long more for their ultimate resolution in a new creation.
This is another reason why the church shouldn’t neglect the Word of God, in every from God has given his Word–not just written or spoken propositions. God knows our frame and he knows we must not only cogitate on his Word-we must chew, swallow, and digest it. The Lord’s Supper is Jesus’ sign in bread and wine of his presence with us, of his dawning kingdom. Every time we gather together to eat bread and drink wine together, we hear Jesus announcing, “Your sensory appetites are real and good and created, and they are pointing beyond themselves to something beyond all you could ask for or even imagine.”
The Lord’s Table, then, isn’t just a visual aid to remind us, as though it were a memory-jogging tool. As we gather together around the Table, we are being trained to eat the ‘big table’ in Jerusalem. And we’re announcing to ourselves, and to the satanic powers in the air around us, what’s really true. “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die” is a sham. The alternative is not a refusal to eat, drink or be merry. That would be ingratitude. Instead, with the resurrected Jesus we sing out, “Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for yesterday we were dead.” –Russell Moore, Tempted and Tried, pp. 74-75
Ordinary Pastor

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Little Walter - It Ain't Right

My Dad was a great man, I really miss him on this Father's Day

                                                                 James Corbett Freer

Get This Clear In Your Mind

Romans 5:20-21:
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans: Assurance (Banner of Truth, 1971), 299–300:
What grace has done is not merely to counteract exactly what sin has done. If grace had done just that, and that alone, it would still be something wonderful. If the effect of grace had merely been to wipe out, and to cancel, all that had happened on the other side, we should have had a theme for praising God sufficient to last us through all eternity.
But, says the Apostle, it is not an exact counterbalance; what I have on the right side does not exactly tally with what I have on the left. In fact there is no comparison; it is a superfluity, an abounding, and engulfing, it is an overflowing on the side of grace.
We must hold on to this truth at all costs and get it clear in our minds.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Muddy Waters - Clouds In My Heart (Single Version)


This track was recorded live on July 26, 1963 from Big Bill's Copa Cabana. It was released in 1964 by chess records
Howlin' Wolf - Vocals Buddy Guy - Guitar
Jack Myers - Bass Fred Below - Drums
Otis Spann - Piano Jerret Gibson - Tenor Sax
Donald Hankins - Baritone Sax

Motivated by Christ’s love

We believers do need to be challenged to a life of committed discipleship, but that challenge needs to be based on the gospel, not on duty or guilt. Duty or guilt may motivate us for awhile, but only a sense of Christ’s love for us will motivate us for a lifetime.
— Jerry BridgesThe Disciple of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness(Colorado Springs, Co.: NavPress, 1994), 24-25
of first importance

Best Dads in TV and Film

Father’s Day isn’t until Sunday, but it’s never too early to appreciate good ol’ dad. Here are several categories and candidates for best fathers in film and television:

Best Protector: Bryan Mills (Taken) – Chances are you won’t recognize the name even if you’ve seen the good-but-forgettable 2008 action flick Taken. So why does Mills make the list? Because when faced with every father’s worst nightmare (his his 17-year-old daughter is kidnapped in Paris and forced in the sexual slave trade), Mills uses all his skills and knowledge (he’s a former CIA agent) to find her and bring her home. While the action is pure Hollywood, the message is universal: We dads will do anything in our power to protect our children.
Honorable Mention: The Father (The Road)

Best Cartoon Dad: Marlin (Finding Nemo)
Honorable Mention: Bob Parr (The Incredibles)

Best Father Figure: Admiral Adama – A case could be made that Adama was a father figure for all the remaining survivors of the thirteen colonies. But it was to Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, the fiancé of his dead son, that he best exemplified the role of daddy substitute. Their relationship was one of the best father-daughter roles on television.
Honorable Mention: Alfredo (Cinema Paradiso)

Best Liberal Dad: Steven Keaton, Family Ties
Best Conservative Dad: Hank Hill (King of the Hill)
Best Tough Father: Jacob McCandles (Big Jake) – When his estranged adult son James calls Big Jake “Daddy,” the Duke knocks his son on his can and announces: “You can call me Dad, you can call me Father, you can call me Jacob and you can call me Jake. You can call me a dirty old [SOB], but if you EVER call me Daddy again, I’ll finish this fight.” Lesson learned.
Honorable Mention: Red Forman (That ’70s Show)
Best Father to an Alien: Jonathan Kent (Smallville) – Most people wouldn’t know what to do if an alien landed in their field. But Jonathan Kent not only took in the strange child but raised him to be both a good Kansas Methodist and the World’s Greatest Superhero.
Honorable Mention: Trevor “Broom” Bruttenholm (Hellboy)

Best Dead Dad: Mufasa (The Lion King) – Not since the Ghost of Hamlet’s father has a dead dad had such a direct impact on a young prince.
Honorable Mention: Frank Sullivan (Frequency)

Best Widower Father: Andy Taylor (The Andy Griffith Show)
Honorable Mention: Ben Cartwright (Bonanza)

Best Stepfather: Mike Brady (The Brady Bunch)
Honorable Mention: Frank Beardsley (Yours, Mine and Ours)

Best Listener: Ward Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver) – Has there ever been a dad who listened to their children as much as Ward?
Honorable Mention: Charles Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie)

Overall Best Movie Dad: Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird): I thought the book was overrated and the movie a bit bland. But Atticus sets the gold standard for dads in film.
Overall Best TV Dad: Cliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show) – Possibly the only thing better than having Bill Cosby for a father would be to have Cliff Huxtable as your dad.
First Things


You can find this song on the 1966 album "CHICAGO/THE BLUES/TODAY! vol 1"
Junior Wells - Vocals Buddy Guy - Guitar
Jack Myers - Bass Fred Below - Drums

Friday, June 17, 2011

U2′s Edge Loses Battle with Environmentalists

The Edge is an environmentalist and long time promoter of Greenpeace. He is also learning a hard lesson about the down side of stringent environmental regulations:
A plan by U2′s lead guitarist, the Edge, and his associates to build several mansions overlooking the Pacific Ocean was denied on Thursday by California officials, who said the project would be a visual blight on a pristine ridgeline.
The California Coastal Commission, which voted 8-4 to reject the controversial 156-acre project, also cited potential damage to native vegetation near the seaside enclave of Malibu.
The Edge, whose real name is David Evans, bought the ridge-top parcel of land for his proposed home in 2005 and has since been fighting to win approval for the development.
A spokeswoman for the Edge said the guitarist and his associates were weighing a potential lawsuit and other options to revive the project.
I hope they do file a lawsuit. It’s the Edge’s property; he ought to be able to build on it. Still I can’t help thinking this is a case of being hoist on your own petard.
Verum Serum

Let The Good Times Roll by Brad Paisley ft. B.B. King

The Beatles - Kansas City - As performed on "Shindig," 1964

The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop...

Dems Proclain Economy Turned Around

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You Will Not Escape Conflict In This Life

"Family life often leads to quarreling and conflict between husband and wives. Futhermore, frequent disagreements and disputes occur in government. Splinter groups form in the Church. Anyone who has watched all these conflicts would assume that nothing good could come from all of this.

The conflict between Abram, Sarai and Hagar in Genesis 16:6 is warning us to be prepared for troubles and to patiently tolerate. Don't think that you will escape marital conflicts or political disputes. Only foolish people, who are naive about life, think this way. Problems are common in Church administration as well. Splinter groups and other troublemakers in the Church cause all kinds of disruptions. Here on earth we live among unappreciative, stubborn people who will never stop spreading confusion and bitterness. (Amen)             In the light of this, we must remember this story and believe and trust in God, just as faithful Abram did. We must try to get along in peace and preserve harmony as best we can."

Martin Luther in Faith Alone

Imogen Heap and Jeff Beck - Rollin and Tumblin live at Ronnie Scott's 2007 from BBC 4 TV special

Cream - Rollin' and Tumblin' - Reunion 2005

Luke Skywalker Has OCD

The EPA Needs To Die

Jonathan Edwards on Being Long-Suffering

In the fourth sermon in Charity and its Fruits, a series of 15 sermons on love from 1 Corinthians 13, Jonathan Edwards preaches on the first quality ascribed to love in 1 Cor. 13:4--'long-suffering' (ESV 'patience'), makrothumia.

The definitive Greek lexicon (dictionary) describes makrothumia as a 'state of remaining tranquil while awaiting an outcome' or 'state of being able to bear up under provocation' (BDAG 612). The word is comprised of a prefix meaning 'far, from afar' attached to a root meaning 'wrath.'

After an extended beautiful exposition of why we should be long-suffering as believers and what it looks like, Edwards lists four motivations to makrothumia. Indented paragraphs quote Edwards.

1. The example of long-suffering in Christ.
He was a meek spirit and of a meek, long-suffering behavior. . . . He meekly bore innumerable and very great injuries from men. (197)
2. The unavoidable need to be long-suffering.
If we are not disposed meekly to bear injuries, we are not fitted to live in such a world as this, for we can expect no other than to meet with many injuries in this world. We do not live in heaven. . . . We live in a fallen, corrupt, miserable, wicked world. . . . The world has even been full of unreasonable men, men who will not be governed by rules of justice, but are carried on in that way in which their headstrong lusts drive them. . . . And therefore those who have not a spirit of meekness and calmness, and composedness of spirit to bear injuries in such a world are miserable indeed. (198)
3. The untouchability of someone who is long-suffering.
He who has such a disposition and frame of mind established that the injuries he receives from men do not exasperate his spirit, or disturb the calm of his mind, lives as it were above injuries, and out of their reach. He conquers them and rides over them. (199)
4. The glory of being long-suffering.
This spirit of Christian long-suffering and meekly to bear injuries is a true greatness of soul. It shows a fine and noble valor for persons thus to maintain the calm of their minds; it shows an excellent inward fortitude and strength. . . . It is from a littleness of mind that the soul is easily disturbed. . . . He that possesses his mind after such a manner that when others reproach him and injure him . . . can notwithstanding maintain in calmness a hearty good will to his injurer . . . he herein as it were manifests a godlike greatness of soul. (200-201)
--Jonathan Edwards, 'Long-Suffering and Kindness,' in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Yale ed., 8:197-204
Dane Ortlund

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The 125th Anniversary of the Death of King Ludwig II

A hundred twenty-five years ago, Bavaria's "Maerchenkoenig" (or "Fairy-tale King") Ludwig II died under very mysterious circumstances at the age of 40, his body found floating in Lake Starnberg, south of Munich. Today, Ludwig remains famous for the castles he built and attempted to build, most notably Neuschwanstein Castle, perched high in the Alpine foothills. The king was a romantic, a friend and suporter of composer Richard Wagner, and he hired theatrical set designers rather than architects to design his castles. More absorbed in his personal world than state affairs, Ludwig spent most of his time on his own projects -- emptying his personal coffers -- and left his ministers frustrated by his inattention. When his cabinet accused him of insanity, he was placed in custody after a brief showdown at Neuschwanstein Castle, and was taken to a castle next to Lake Starnberg. The following day, while out for a walk, Ludwig disappeared, his lifeless body discovered hours later. The death was declared a suicide, but many have rejected that ruling, and the demise of this popular king remains a mystery to this day. [30 photos]

Mark Hummel on "Creeper" - Harp Blowout 2011 @ Moe's Alley

Here's Mark Hummel doing his extended version of the James Cotton classic

Levon Helm Ramble At The Ryman "The Weight" on PBS

Jimmy Thackery and The Drivers - Why Don't We Do It In The Road?

This recording was taken from the CD "The Blues White Album" buy it here The Blues "White Album"

Lebron Chokes

Work Hard! But In Which Direction?

Yesterday my good friend Kevin DeYoung blogged about the need to “make every effort” in the Christian life. He rightly noted that “effort” is not a four-letter word and that throughout the New Testament we are told that growth in godliness requires exertion. He writes:
It is the consistent witness of the New Testament that growth in godliness requires exertion on the part of the Christian. Romans 8:13 says by the Spirit we must put to death the deeds of the flesh. Ephesians 4:22-24 instructs us to put off the old self and put on the new. Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the full armor of God and stand fast against the devil. Colossians 3:5 commands us to put to death what is earthly in us. 1 Timothy 6:12 urges us to fight the good fight. Luke 13:24 exhorts us to strive to enter the narrow gate.
Kevin rightly affirms the fact that the Christian life is not effortless–”let go and let God” is not biblical. Sanctification is not passive but active. My concern here is to add to what Kevin wrote and identify the direction of our effort.
There is no question that Christian’s are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12) and that the sanctification process will be both bloody and sweaty. After all, daily Christian living is daily Christian dying. Jesus likened the pain of Christian growth to “gouging out an eye” and “cutting off a hand”–indicating that growth in godliness requires parting with things we initially think we can’t do without.
There does seem to be some question, though, with regard to the nature and direction of our efforts. And at the heart of this question is the relationship between justification and sanctification.
Many conclude that justification is step one and that sanctification is step two and that once we get to step two there’s no reason to go back to step one. Sanctification, in other words, is commonly understood as progress beyond the initial step of justification. But while justification and sanctification are to be clearly separated theologically, the Bible won’t allow us to separate them essentially and functionally. For example, citing 2 Peter 1:5-7, Kevin refers to the list of character traits that mark a Christian–faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Notice, though, what Peter goes on to say in v.9:
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
In her book Because He Loves Me, Elyse Fitzpatrick rightly says:
One reason we don’t grow in ordinary, grateful obedience as we should is that we’ve got amnesia; we’ve forgotten that we are cleansed from our sins. In other words, ongoing failure in our growth is the direct result of failing to remember God’s love for us in the gospel. If we fail to remember our justification, redemption, and reconciliation, we’ll struggle in our sanctification.
In other words, remembering, revisiting, and rediscovering the reality of our justification every day is the hard work we’re called to do if we’re going to grow.
Similarly, in Colossians 1:9-14 Paul says: You will grow in your understanding of God’s will, be filled with spiritual wisdom and understanding, increase in your knowledge of God, be strengthened with God’s power which will produce joy filled patience and endurance (v.9-12a) as you come to a greater realization that you’ve already been qualified, delivered, transferred, redeemed, and forgiven (v.12b-14).
Sanctification is a grueling process. But it’s NOT the process of moving beyond the reality of our justification but rather moving deeper into the reality of our justification. If sanctification could be likened to our responsibility to swim, justification is the pool we swim in. Sanctification is the hard work of going back to the certainty of our already secured pardon in Christ and hitting the refresh button over and over.
A couple chapters after Peter exhorts us to “make every effort” he succinctly describes growth in 3:18 by saying, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Growth always happens “in grace.” In other words, the truest measure of our growth is not our behavior (otherwise the Pharisees would have been the godliest people on the planet); it’s our grasp of grace–a grasp which involves coming to deeper and deeper terms with the unconditionality of God’s justifying grace. It’s also growth in “the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” This doesn’t simply mean learning facts about Jesus. It means growing in our love for Christ because of what he has already earned and secured for us and then fighting to live in a more vital awareness of that grace.
The reason this is such an important theme in the New Testament is because every temptation to sin (going all the way back to the Garden of Eden) is a temptation to disbelieve the gospel–the temptation to secure for myself in that moment something I think I need in order to be happy, something I don’t yet have: meaning, freedom, validation, cleansing, forgiveness, a sense of identity, worth, value and so on. Bad behavior, therefore, happens when we fail to believe that everything we need, in Christ we already have; it happens when we fail to believe in the rich provisional resources that are already ours in the gospel. Conversely, good behavior happens when we daily rest in and receive Christ’s “It is finished” into our rebellious regions of unbelief (what one writer calls “our unevangelized territories”) smashing any sense of a self-aggrandizing and narcissistic need to secure for ourselves anything beyond what Christ has already secured for us. As A.W. Pink put it, “Repentance is the hand releasing those filthy objects it had previously clung to so tenaciously while faith is extending an empty hand to God to receive His gift of grace.”
This is why when Jesus was asked in John 6:28, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” he answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him who he sent.” What? That’s it? According to Jesus, yes! Actively, our work is to daily battle the root of all sin: unbelief (Calvin said that Christians are in perpetual conflict with their own unbelief). Passively, our work is to receive and rest in his work for us which is a terribly painful thing because we are all seasoned “do-it-yourselfers.” As it was with Martha in Luke 10:38-42, so it is with us: we just have to be doing something. We can’t sit still. Achieving, not receiving, has become the mark of spiritual maturity. It is much harder to rest in his promise of grace than it is to make a list and try to live by it. With this in mind, Martin Luther wrote, “To be convinced in our hearts that we have forgiveness of sins and peace with God by grace alone is the hardest thing.”
Jesus was getting at the root of the problem when he answered what he did in John 6:28 because justification alone kills all of our self-salvation projects that fuel all of our bad behavior and moral failures (Read Romans 6:1-14). Sanctification, therefore, involves God’s attack on our unbelief—our self-centered refusal to believe that God’s approval of us in Christ is full and final. It happens as we daily fight (with blood, sweat, and tears–”making every effort”) to receive and rest in our unconditional justification. As G. C. Berkouwer said, “The heart of sanctification is the life which feeds on justification.” It is in this context that I’ve said before how sanctification is the hard work of getting used to our justification.
So, going back to Philippians 2:12, when Paul tells us to “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” he’s making it clear that we’ve got work to do—but what exactly is the work? He goes on to explain: “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (2:13). As is often, and rightly, said: We work out what God has worked in. Well, what has God worked in and what are we therefore to work out? God works his work in you—which is the work already accomplished by Christ. Christ’s subjective work in us is his constantly driving us back to the reality of his objective work for us. Sanctification feeds on justification, not the other way around. This is why in his Lectures on Romans Martin Luther wrote, “To progress is always to begin again.” Real spiritual progress, in other words, requires a daily going backwards. We are to work at fighting the sin that so easily entangles us and robs us of our freedom by fleeing to the finished work of Christ every day.
Sanctification, as someone once put it, is not something added to justification. It is, rather, the justified life.
Tullian Tchividjian

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brian 'Head' Welch - Ex-Guitarist of KORN - Tells His story

Albert King - Lovingest Woman In Town

Albert is backed by Willie Dixon's band on this seldom heard cut recorded in the early seventies. It features a good horn section.

Simul Iustus et Peccator

To one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.
How is the Christian to see himself in this world? "Simul iustus et peccator" - "At the same time righteous and a sinner". Justification is forensic. In Christ, we are declared, counted or reckoned to be righteous when God imputes the righteousness of Christ (an "alien righteousness") to our account. Christ's righteousness ascribed to the redeemed individual without their personal merit. We are declared righteous in Christ, it is imputed to us -- it is counted as ours ... not infused in us. We are counted righteous in God's eyes because of Christ. But this does not make us righteous in ourselves. That will only happen at our glorification when Christ transforms these bodies to be sealed in righteousness. Justifying righteousness is something which always resides in the Person of Christ alone. The imputation of this "alien" righteousness is the only means by which man can be acceptable to God. As long as the Christian lives, he is guilty in himself, but "in Christ" he is righteous and accounted precious.
The Council of Trent itself reveals that Rome considered Luther's simul iustus et peccator to be a most serious threat to the traditional teaching of the Catholic church. The Roman Church contended that “justification” means making a man righteous in his own person. The Catholic reasons, “How can God pronounce a man to be righteous in His sight unless he is actually righteous?” He therefore thinks that a man must be born again and transformed before he can have right standing with God. In this system of thought, a man can have no real assurance of justification, for he can never be sure whether the Holy Spirit has made him righteous enough to be accepted of God.
Righteousness through Christ is called an “alien” righteousness because it did not generate from us. It is not our righteousness; it is his. It is an alien righteousness because it came from without, and now it is in a foreign land. It does not belong here; it is an alien righteousness. In Latin we call it simul iustus et peccator: simul, simultaneously; iustus, just; et, and; peccator, sinful. That is me – simultaneously righteous and sinful. That is my contribution to salvation -- my sin! At the same time that I am a sinner, God sees me as righteous because of the blood of Jesus Christ. That is the message of outreach -- it is the message of salvation.
Righteousness comes in two ways: coram deo (righteousness before God) and coram hominibus (before man). Instead of a development in righteousness based in the person, or an infusion of merit from the saints, a person is judged righteous before God because of the works of Christ. But,absent the perspective of God and the righteousness of Christ, based on one’s own merit—a Christian still looks like a sinner. The declaration involves God imputing to the believer's "balance sheet" or account the alien righteousness of Christ. The believer is not declared righteous by virtue of his own merit, but on the basis of the merit of Christ. When united to Him, it is justification which becomes the foundation upon which the believer can stand with confidence coram dei. The believer has no cause to fear in the presence of God because of His acquittal. The believer has only and always to look to the finished work of Christ on the Cross and hear God's declaration, "You are accepted." Because of justification the believer does not fear God's rejection because of the sin still present in his/her life. God does not look at the sin in our life except through the work of Christ. This tension is resolved in the Incarnate Christ, crucified and now risen for the life of the world.
Eternal life is Christ dwelling in His righteousness in the soul of the justified person. So eternal life is union with Jesus Christ. And the word for that union with him is faith. The sinners comes to him, rests in him, trusts in him, is one with him, abides with him; and this is life because it never ends. The united soul abides in the Vine eternally. Weakness, sin, proneness to sin never brings separation, but only the Father's pruning, which cements the union even and ever tighter.
the Judge of all the earth declares us "not guilty" when we believe because Christ was pronounced "guilty" for us on the cross. We are not first made righteous, then declared righteous; we are declared righteous by grace through faith in Christ, then made righteous! When we believe, God imputes Christ's righteousness to us 'as if' it were our own. However, it is HIS righteousness, that is why Paul says in Romans 1:17 that there is a righteousness that has been revealed from God, a righteousness not of our own, but a righteousness revealed from God and freely given to those who do not work, but to those who believe. In light of the goodness and graciousness of God who was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, we should daily repent of our own self-righteousness (our works), The words imply a declaration and pronouncement from the divine court of the believer’s right standing with God. “Justification” in itself does not mean a change in the man, but a declaration of how he appears in God’s sight.
Through faith we run to Christ and hold fast to Him, who satisfied the law on our behalf (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:10-13). In this way we are accounted righteous in the sight of God through faith alone, without doing the works of the law. We are simul iustus et peccator.
Luther recognized that even in a state of regeneration the believer still lives in the world and still in fact does commit acts of sin. There is no attempt to redefine sin to make it anything less than what it is. Rather there is a stark recognition of the dialectic of the Christian's acceptance before God and the fact that he still sins. Luther's phrase to describe this condition was that the state of the Christian between regeneration and ultimate glorification is simul iustus et peccator, at once just (or justified) and sinner. This is not a condition that will ever be transcended in this life. Rather, the believer must always rely on the finished work of Christ for his/her acceptance before God.

Embrace Doubt - With The PoMo Bear

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Testify - Live In Japan 1985

Weiner Gate Part 7 - Whose A National Embarrassment?

Those Who Come To Know God

D. A. Carson writes:
The only thing of transcendent importance to human beings is the knowledge of God. This knowledge does not belong to those who endlessly focus on themselves. Those who truly come to know God delight just to know him. He becomes their center. They think of him, delight in him, boast of him. They want to know more and more what kind of God he is. As they learn that he is the God "who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth," naturally they want those same values to prevail - not because their egos are bound up with certain arbitrary notions of, say, "justice," but because their center is God and they take their cues from him and his character. They boast in him . . . For the better we know God, the more we will want all of our existence to revolve around him, and we will see that the only goals and plans that really matter are those that are somehow tied to God himself, and to our eternity with him. Did not Jesus tell his followers to store up for themselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21)?

D. A. Carson, The Cross And Christian Ministry (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), 32-33.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Cold Shot - Live in Japan 1985

Today I Feel Happy – Darth Vader Emotions

The Whatever

The love of God to you

“Oh, you are not dealing with trifles when you are dealing with the love of God to you.  It is not a spare corner of the heart of God that He gives to you, as you may give a little love to the criminals in the jails, but the great, inconceivably vast heart of God belongs as much to every Christian as if there were not another being in the world for God to love!  Even as Jehovah loves His Only-begotten, so does He love each one of His children.”
C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the Old Testament (London, n.d.), III:568.
Ray Ortlund

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Trucks and Tedeschi Band - LOVE HAS SOMETHING ELSE TO SAY

This song is on the new CD Revelator

Buy it here for $9.99 Revelator

The Danger of Light and Joy

At the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, the company of the ring finally, against all desire, forces itself to leave the wooded elven kingdom of Lothlorien. As they leave, 'their eyes were dazzled, for all were filled with tears' (369). Gimli the dwarf asks--
'Tell me, Legolas, why did I come on this Quest? Little did I know where the chief peril lay! Truly Elrond spoke, saying we could not foresee what we might meet upon our road. Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord. Alas for Gimli son of Gloin.'

'Nay!' said Legolas. 'Alas for us all! And for all that walk the world in these after-days. For such is the way of it: to find and lose, as it seems to those whose boat is on the running stream. But I count you blessed, Gimli son of Gloin: for your loss you suffer of your own free will, and you might have chosen otherwise. But you have not forsaken your companions, and the least reward that you shall have is that the memory of Lothlorien shall remain ever clear and unstained in your heart, and shall neither fade nor grow stale.'

'Maybe,' said Gimli, 'and I thank you for your words. True words doubtless; yet all such comfort is cold. Memory is not what the heart desires. That is only a mirror. . . . Or so says the heart of Gimli the Dwarf.' (369)
Dane Ortlund

WeinerGate 6 - Weiners & Franks