Saturday, August 28, 2010

the blessing of a stolen book

At least a year ago I lent someone my copy of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Normally I write down who has borrowed my books, but somehow I failed to do so...and never got it back. A bit disgruntled, I bought another copy, one without my notes in the margins and underlining. So I decided to read it again (the third time). It was like reading it for the first time, except for the familiar quotes that seem to read like Scripture (I know Lewis isn't inspired, but he seems close). While not my favorite Lewis book (that would be The Great Divorce), this is considered his magnum opus. People tell me it is a difficult book to read. On one level that's true; it deals with deep subjects...but there is no theological jargon or intellectual language. The result is a book that is simple yet profound. I hate to lose books, but Lewis himself when asked if we would have books in Heaven replied, "Only those we were willing to lend."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Managing Quotations

When I was a new Christian I began recording catchy quotes in the back of my Bible. After awhile I needed more pages and bought a journal. After awhile, my journal became cumbersome since these quotations weren't in any order. Eventually I put them in a MS-Word document, alphabetized by topic. Now when I hear or read a quote worth saving, it goes into the "quotations" document. Whenever I finish reading a book, I review what I've underlined and usually a few end up in my collection. I've been doing this for many years, and I'm getting close to 200 pages (if you'd like a copy, send me an email). When I prepare a sermon, I find this a helpful and quick way to find good quotes. This is something I'd recommend to anyone, an organized way to retain thoughts worth saving.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

the Mercy Seat

I heard Dr. Drake Williams from Tyndale Theological Seminary in the Netherlands speak on Romans 3:20, "God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished"

Dr. Williams pointed out some significant differences in translation for a phrase in verse 25…

NIV: “sacrifice of atonement” –Christ's death takes away sin.
KJV, ESV: “propitiation” –God’s wrath has been satisfied by thee sacrifice of Christ.
RSV, NAB: “expiation”/NAB God’s wrath has been covered and appeased; our condition has been rendered favorable.
NET, Tyndale: “mercy seat” Jesus is the mercy seat who intercepts God’s wrath and restores us to a relationship with God. *This is the most exact rendering of the Greek.

This Greek word is rendered "mercy seat" in Hebrews 9:5 as well. Under the Old Covenant, sins were forgiven but not absolutely/permanently taken away. Temple sacrifices had to be repeated; the Cross is the new Temple, and Christ’s blood covers our sin. The work is done.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Innocent" and "unjust"

I was reading an interview with a Moslem who was attempting to state the case that Islam is a religion of peace. Regarding so-called "extremists", she claimed that "we reject killing innocent people", then went on to quote the Qur'an, "If you kill one person unjustly it is as if you have killed the whole of humanity unjustly."

The problem with this is that Moslem leaders claimed that no "innocent" people died on 9/11, and that they died "justly". This is the problem we have with Islam claiming to be a religion of peace.