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On Dante

Dante Alighieri’s long poem, The Divine Comedy, is perhaps the greatest book of the Middle Ages and one of the greatest books of all time. Dante himself can be called the greatest of all writers in Italian, being the first to write a great book in the Italian language rather than Latin. He inspired Petrarch, Bocaccio, and hundreds more. The Divine Comedy is a synthesis of the medieval worldview, in which he adopted the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas with additional insights from Aristotle and Ar...

January 17, 2023

10 Life Lessons from Luke 1

"And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." - Luke 1:45Our discipleship group has started reading through Luke at five chapters per week. They found Psalms a bit too difficult to understand, so we're going to something easier to understand. Here's ten life lessons from Luke chapter 1 that stuck out to me this morning. Pray for Hunter, Garth, and Nick as they read through Luke 1-10 in time for our next D group meeting. 1. The histor...

December 31, 2022

Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?

"Yahweh, who shall sojourn (גור) in your tent (אֹ֫הֶל)? Who shall dwell (שׁכן) on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly (תָּמִים), does what is right, and speaks truth in his heart...." - Psalm 15:1-2In this psalm of David, the big question is: what are the requirements for us to be able to live closely to God (v. 1)? The answer is personal integrity, especially in the way we treat one another (vv. 2-5). The benefit of personal integrity is being able to dwell closely to G...

December 28, 2022

Corruption

"They have all turned aside. Together they have become corrupt. There is none who does good, not even one." - Psalm 14:3.Here's some life lessons from Psalm 14:It is extremely foolish to say to ourselves God does not exist (v. 1). Most of us are not philosophical atheists, but many of us are practical atheists. Every single one of us is thoroughly sinful (vv. 2-3). These verses are quoted prominently by Paul in Romans 3.Evildoers eat up God’s people and do not call on God. They do this be...

December 26, 2022

10 Life Lessons from Rebecca McLaughlin's The Secular Creed (2021)

McLaughlin, Rebecca. The Secular Creed: Engaging Five Contemporary Claims. Kindle ed. Austin, TX: The Gospel Coalition, 2021. Rebecca McLaughlin’s The Secular Creed (2021) is required reading for this year’s Colson Fellows Program. It is a quick read at about 100 pages. McLaughlin’s insights are helpful, especially on the topic of women’s rights and feminism. Her arguments are well-reasoned and backed up by evidence. My biggest takeaway is that the coming of Jesus and the advance of Chri...

December 25, 2022

With a Double Heart They Speak

"Save (ישׁע), Yahweh, for the godly (חָסִיד) one is gone, for the faithful (אֵמוּן) have vanished from among the children of man. Everyone utters lies to his neighbour. With flattering lips and a double heart they speak." - Psalm 12:1-2In this psalm, David expresses his deep concern that godly men and women are vanishing from the earth. The whole human race is pack of liars. The powerful are enslaving weak. Their power is their god, and they don't recognise any master above them....

December 24, 2022

Break the Arm of the Wicked

"Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, 'You will not call to account'? But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands. To you the helpless commits himself. You have been the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer. Call his wickedness to account till you find none." - Psalm 10:13-15Psalms 3-9 were written by David. We don't know who wrote this psalm. Whoever it was was upset at the wicked's oppression of the he...

December 21, 2022

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American Nietzche

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was a Bostonian minister, magazine editor, diarist, essayist, lecturer, poet, and philosopher who has had an enormous influence on writers and thinkers in America and abroad. Much of his finest thought is distilled in his Essays (1841) and Essays: Second Series (1844), largely based on earlier lectures and journal entries. His optimism and boundless self-confidence was highly encouraging to the young American psyche. Emerson called for a g...

December 20, 2022

Sunk in the Pit

"The nations have sunk in the pit that they made. In the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. Yahweh has made himself known. He has executed judgment. The wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion (הִגָּיוֹן). Selah" - Psalm 9:15-16 In these verses, David pictures the nations sinking into a pit of their own making and being caught in a net they themselves have hid (v. 15). At the same time, God makes himself known and executes judgment for his people (v. 1...

December 20, 2022

What Is Man that You Are Mindful of Him?

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" - Psalm 8:3-4 In this psalm, David ponders why the God who made the sun, moon, and stars cares about man, who is seemingly small and insignificant? Why does God pay attention to us, given the universe is so huge and we are so small? Dr. Ross Pettigrew of Dunedin gives a wonderful talk about how the bigness...

December 19, 2022

You Who Test the Minds and Hearts

"Yahweh judges the peoples. Judge me, Yahweh, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous—you who test the minds and hearts, righteous God! My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day." - Psalm 7:8-11Modern man rejects the idea of judgment. But the Bible reveals God does indeed judge us (v. 8), as i...

December 17, 2022

The Sound of My Weeping

"Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for Yahweh has heard the sound of my weeping. Yahweh has heard my plea. Yahweh accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled. They shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment." - Psalm 6:8-10In this psalm, David is very greatly troubled and begs God to intervene. David's body is weakening (v. 2), he is surrounded by enemies (v. 7), and he cries in his bed every night (v. 6). He asks God to turn and deliver him (v. 4). Finall...

December 16, 2022

Make Your Way Straight before Me

"But I, through the abundance of your loyal love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you. Lead me, Yahweh, in your righteousness because of my enemies. Make your way straight before me." - Psalm 5:7-8This is another psalm of David, and it includes, like Psalm 4, the concept of God as a shield (v. 12). The stanzas alternate between a focus on the righteous and a focus on the wicked. In vv. 7-8, David enters God's house, bows down toward God's temple in f...

December 15, 2022

In Peace I Will Lie Down

"You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep. For you alone, Yahweh, make me dwell in safety." - Psalm 4:7-8In this psalm, David asks God to hear his prayer (v. 1). Other men love empty words and seek lies (v. 2), but David knows God has set apart godly people for himself (v. 3). God hears when the righteous call (v. 3). So David puts his trust in God (v. 5). God responds by putting joy in David's heart (v. 7) and giv...

December 14, 2022

A Shield about Me

"But you, Yahweh, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to Yahweh, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah. I lay down and slept. I woke again, for Yahweh sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around." - Psalm 3:3-6David's own son Absalom is rebelling against him, seeking to take his father's throne. This must have hurt David deeply. Betrayed by his own son! But David has been through this be...

December 12, 2022

10 Life Lessons from Abigail Shrier's Irreversible Damage

In Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters (2020), Abigail Shrier warns about the dangers of trans ideology especially as it relates to teenage girls. Shrier is a writer for the Wall Street Journal. She holds an A.B. from Columbia College, a B.Phil. from the University of Oxford; and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Importantly, she is not a Christian. Here are 10 life lessons from her important book: 1. The older (adult) trans community must be distinguished from the young...

December 10, 2022

Kiss the Son, Lest He Be Angry

"Now therefore, kings, be wise. Be warned, rulers of the earth. Serve Yahweh with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him." - Psalm 2:10-12Along with Psalm 1, this psalm sets the tone for the entire book of Psalms. Psalm 1 is about what attitude we are to have towards God's word. Psalm 2 is a summary of the story God's word reveals. It is the biblical story in a nutshell. ...

December 10, 2022

On His Law He Meditates Day and Night

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of Yahweh, and on his law he meditates day and night." - Psalm 1:1-2We don't know who wrote this first psalm, but we can be sure it opens the great book of Psalms for a reason. It is an invitation to be a righteous person. And how are we to be righteous? By paying close attention to what Yahweh, the Creator of the universe has said.A co...

December 9, 2022

10 Life Lessons from 2 Corinthians 13

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice. Aim for restoration, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” - 2 Corinthians 13:11 In 2 Corinthians 13, Paul continues to ready the Corinthians for this third visit. When he arrives, he doesn’t want to be forced to severely discipline certain sinning members of the church. He asks the Corinthians to examine and test themselves whether they are thinking and living in accordance wi...

December 2, 2022

10 Life Lessons from 2 Corinthians 12

"But [Jesus] said to me [Paul], 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Messiah may rest upon me. For the sake of Messiah, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul continues to “boast” about his weaknesses to show he is a true apostle, as oppose...

November 30, 2022

10 Life Lessons from 2 Corinthians 11

"If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." - 2 Corinthians 11:30 In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul continues to rebut the "super-apostles" who are leading astray the church at Corinth. Paul has "betrothed" the Corinthian believers to Jesus, but false apostles are succeeding somewhat in directing them to a different, legalistic gospel. Paul engages in "foolish boasting" to show he is a real apostle. Some call this chapter "Paul's fool speech." Here's ten life lessons for us to t...

November 27, 2022

10 Life Lessons from 2 Corinthians 10

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought into the obedience of Messiah...." - 2 Corinthians 10:5 In 2 Corinthians 10-13, Paul sternly responds to the the threat of "super-apostles" who are trying to dissuade the Corinthian church from following Paul and his teaching. In chapter 10, Paul asserts his authority as an apostle of Jesus and explains that the Corinthian church is his rightful "area of influence." Here's 10 takeawa...

November 26, 2022

Morning and Twilight

"Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day regularly. One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight. And with the first lamb a tenth measure of fine flour mingled with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and a fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering. The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and shall offer with it a grain offering and its drink offering, as in the morning, for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to...

November 8, 2022

An Increased Harvest of Righteousness

"He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness." - 2 Corinthians 9:10Paul wants the Corinthian believers to prove their love by contributing abundantly for the needs of the Jewish believers in Judea. He reminds them that God stands behind their giving. He supplies seed to the sower and bread for food. The result of the Corinthians' giving will be a huge harvest of righteousness. The Corinthia...

November 7, 2022

Widen Your Hearts

"We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians. Our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also." - 2 Corinthians 6:11-13Paul's relationship to the Corinthian church is as a father to his teenage children. As a parent, his heart is open wide. He wants to connect at deep level with the Corinthians believers. But many of the Corinthians are closed off (or partially closed off) to Paul. Paul u...

October 25, 2022 Posts 1-25 of 197 | Page next
 

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