Good Humor

Just some good humor to start the week, and given that we are approaching the Super Bowl, I thought I would throw some husband/wife humor your way. (HT: Gunny.) You

  1. “IT’S A GUY THING”
    Translated: “There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical.”
  2. “CAN I HELP WITH DINNER?”
    Translated: “Why isn’t it already on the table?”
  3. “UH HUH,” “SURE, HONEY,” OR “YES, DEAR”
    Translated: Absolutely nothing. It’s a conditioned response.
  4. “IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN”
    Translated: “I have no idea how it works.”
  5. “TAKE A BREAK, HONEY. YOU’RE WORKING TOO HARD.”
    Translated: “I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner.”
  6. “THAT’S INTERESTING, DEAR.”
    Translated: “Are you still talking?”
  7. “YOU KNOW HOW BAD MY MEMORY IS.”
    Translated: “I remember the theme song to ‘F Troop,’ the address of the first girl I ever kissed, and the vehicle identification number of every car I’ve ever owned… but I forgot your birthday.”
  8. “OH, DON’T FUSS — I JUST CUT MYSELF. IT’S NO BIG DEAL.”
    Translated: “I have actually severed a limb but will bleed to death before I admit that I’m hurt.”
  9. “HEY, I’VE GOT MY REASONS FOR WHAT I’M DOING.”
    Translated: “And I sure hope I think of some pretty soon.”
  10. “I CAN’T FIND IT.”
    Translated: “It didn’t fall into my outstretched hands, so I’m completely clueless.”
  11. “WHAT DID I DO THIS TIME?”
    Translated: “What did you catch me at?”
  12. “I HEARD YOU.”
    Translated: “I haven’t the foggiest clue what you just said and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don’t spend the next three days yelling at me.”
  13. “YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE.”
    Translated: “I am used to the way you yell at me and realize it could be worse.”
  14. “YOU LOOK TERRIFIC.”
    Translated: “Oh, please don’t try on one more outfit. I’m starving.”
  15. “I’M NOT LOST. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE.”
    Translated: “No one will ever see us alive again.”
  16. “WE SHARE THE HOUSEWORK.”
    Translated: “I make the messes; she cleans them up.”
You can find more like the above here.

BTW, I’m approaching my 500th post for this blog, which is small numbers compared to some blogs. I think it has taken a toll on me, because I really feel like I’m tired of sharing my opinion. Does that happen to you? Bloggers are typically opinionated people and some days I feel like I just don’t have one any more. I know this would shock some of my friends, but it is what it is. After all, one friend once told me: “If Timothy doesn’t have an opinion on something, he will quickly form one.”

I tried to respond by saying that I didn’t have an opinion on Afghanistan, but quickly formed one. This was before the war there. But the point is that even when I read something that I feel is completely wrong and off base, I just don’t care to throw my two cents that way. Not sure what that means. Just writing some thoughts on the issue. Feel free to leave your opinion, even if its wrong, on the subject.

BTW, here is a great quote from Rush.

“Optimism is infectious and inspiring, but a lot of people don’t want to deal with optimism because they have to work hard to achieve it. Pessimism is easy: just sit around and mope. Reagan was the epitome of good cheer and optimism. Romney and Obama are both leading, and are both optimistic.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

From my Sunday evening sermon…

On April 9, 1945, just a few days before Allied Forces liberated the German concentration camp at Flossenburg, the execution order was given by Nazi German officials for a man who was committed to following Jesus Christ. The man understood what being a disciple of Christ meant. He understood that to follow Jesus Christ required complete and utter devotion to the savior. He also understood that often times, when one answers the call that Christ gives a person, it does not make sense to those around him, because often times, it means going to one’s death.

The man I am speaking of was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Dietrich did what he had to do for Christ. He died. To understand the full implication of what Dietrich did, you must understand that Dietrich had the opportunity to stay out of Germany during the war. He could have stayed in America where it was safe. He could have taken the easy route to being a pastor, and taken a sabbatical miles and miles from the horrors of what took place in Germany and in the concentration camps that saw so many come to death. But he didn’t.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer understood what it meant to be called by Jesus Christ and called to be a disciple of Christ. He knew that to answer that call, meant losing all that he had, his family, his friends and eventually his life. Because he understood the call of Christ, he could return to his homeland despite the rise of an idolatrous government. He wrote to Reinhold Niebur concerning his decision:

“I shall have no right, to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people… Christians in Germany will face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilization may survive, or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying our civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must choose; but I cannot make this choice in security.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer understood what it meant to be called by Christ to the point that he penned these words: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” This statement may be hard to swallow in our Christian culture that works so hard to get people “saved.” It is a tough statement and seems to be offensive. But I’m willing to argue that it is not so far off the message that Jesus himself preached. The problem with so many gospel messages of the day is that they are focused on getting the person to mentally assent with us, as opposed to getting them to align themselves with Christ. As we will see, Christ calls us to complete devotion to him, not just mental assent to him. He wants our hearts, our minds, our bodies, our families, our goods and yes, even our lives. He wants us to be willing to give all of that, for this is what it means to be a disciple. This is what it means to follow Christ.

Paper Boy circa 1965

Richmond Ave, Houston, Texas — As a gentle rain soaks the Coastal Plains of Texas, 4-year-old Timmy Jimmy runs for cover with his father’s newspaper.

The boy thought it an honor to get the paper for his dad on two accounts. The first was the simple fact that it was a pleasing act for his father. The second was that he got to use the umbrella. In a day when umbrellas have value because of the scarcity of money, it’s not often that Timmy Jimmy gets to use one.

The simple device is fascinating to him. He loves the way it pops open and the way the rain sounds as it bounces off, keeping him dry. He wonders if his umbrella is as magical as the one that Mary Poppins uses.

The times were much simpler for children in the mid-1960s. There were not a lot of toys to be had, not a lot of television to watch and certainly nothing like an Nintendo or XBox. The only x-box that he and his three brothers have any knowledge of is found in a game of tic-tac-toe.

Not that he longs for a return to those days. They were what they were. Unbeknown to him, those days were filled with social strife and tension. Today, he is glad that he was only 4 at the time. He didn’t have to worry about the Vietnam War, even though the images scared him on the afternoon news. He didn’t have to worry about the riots or LBJ or such nonsense as tuning in and dropping out. Now when he sees movies glorifying the era, he shudders. “Who would want to go back to that time?” he asks. “The hippies of that day are the stinking politicians we’re elected now!

Yes, it was a simpler time for Timmy Jimmy. But he is quite glad he lives in 2008 with his beautiful wife, two wonderful boys, golf, a wonderful congregation… and Blogger!

Hackers Attack Scientology

Most anyone who pays attentions to the cults, knows that the Church of Scientology, started by L. Ron Hubbard, are really tough on those who try to leave the religion. In fact, those who have tried to write about the religion have had their computers seized in order to keep them silenced. It really is quit scary.

However I have to say that this group known as “anonymous” is even more scary. They are actually taking on the Church of Scientology, in an attempt to expose them for what they are. That being the case, Tom Cruise better watch out. Watch the video. It’s a bit creepy.

The Rat & the Cow

I found this at Rivka’s place. She has another one that is even funnier that this one… but I better not post it here. We needed some good humor here!

I also found one about a cow that knows martial art, that is rather humorous.
Enjoy!

Peace on Dana!

By now, you may have heard of ESPN’s Dana Jacobson’s rant against Notre Dame, the Irish, and lastly on Jesus Himself. She was really rude and dropped the F-bomb all over the place. Here is what WorldNetDaily reported:

Jacobson, reportedly intoxicated, was speaking Jan. 11 at an event in Atlantic City, N.J., to honor ESPN Radio personalities Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic when she unleashed a tirade, saying, “F— Notre Dame,” “F— Touchdown Jesus” and finally “F— Jesus.”

You can read the rest of the story here, where it was just released that Dana J. was suspended for a week from ESPN after WorldNetDaily reported the incident.

If you are like me, your first reaction is probably that of anger and disgust that she would be so vulgar towards Christians and Christ. That is only natural. But I think the best way to treat this is to see it for what it is, a wretched sinner in need of grace. Please don’t let her “girl-next-door-looks” fool you. Underneath the pretty smile is a woman that needs the grace of God as much as any believer. Her drunken outburst is only evidence of what is truly in her heart. Jesus said, “out of the abundance of the heart, a man speaks.”

I wrote Gayle at her site that when I was in the Coast Guard in my younger days, I can remember that I had a habit of cussing like a Coastie. One day, a Navy chaplain stopped by and I kept right on cussing. Most of the other guys watched their language, but not me. One of my buddies even went so far to get onto me about it. I replied: “Look, I talk like this all the time, why should I change just because he shows up?” The Chaplain looked at us and said, “He’s right.”
At the time, I really thought I had scored a major victory for mankind every where. But all I was doing was living out of the abundance of wickedness that was found in my heart. This is what is to be expected from non-believers. Their hearts are wicked beyond cure, without hope except that found in Christ. So if Dana drops the F-bombs and even says them about my Savior, I think it best to leave it up to Him. After all, He put up with me quite a bit before He and His Spirit applied redemption to me.

Maybe that is what Jesus is doing for Dana. Her heart is filled with sin and wickedness. She needs to be redeemed from her worldly life and her eyes need to be opened to the truth of the gospel. She needs Christ, just as I did so many years ago and today.

In view of that, I would like to encourage all those who are believers not to respond with anger, but with pity, compassion and kindness towards her. Our anger will accomplish nothing. It is only the love of Christ that can take an f-bomb starlet and redeem her. Let’s pray for that and leave the anger at home.

Hat tip: Gayle.

Linebacker for Missions

I found this at Gunny’s place. While Texas A&M has faltered in their ability to win football games, they now have a new strategy in winning the biggest game of all: The Linebacker for Missions!

Enjoy!

John Piper — We Are Not Professionals

I’m reading John Piper’s book to other pastors entitled, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals. Already, he has my attention just with the title alone. I don’t know how many times I heard in seminary that Dallas Theological Seminary was a “professional” school. This was the rationale given for why we had to wear coats and ties all the time. Somehow, that made us more professional.

Piper’s argument is that we are not professionals at all. He writes: “WE Pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry. The mentality of the professional is not the mentality of the prophet. It is no the mentality of the slave of Christ. Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and heart of the Christian ministry. The more professional we long to be, the more spiritual death we will leave in our wake. For there is no professional childlikeness (Matt. 18:3); there is no professional tenderheartedness (Eph. 4:32); there is no professional panting after God (Ps. 42:1).”

Pastors are not professionals. They are shepherds. They are members of the very flock that they are set over to lead. That leadership doesn’t come in board meetings, committees, five-year action plans or any such nonsense like that. It doesn’t come in coining terms like “missional” and “holistic ministry” or “connectional ministry.” (The last two terms are redundant).

The true leadership of a shepherd comes on his knees, praying for his congregation, asking the Holy Spirit to guard them against sin and unbelief. It comes in praying that God would protect him from sin as well. It comes in comforting the one who has just lost a spouse. Where is the professional action plan for that? It’s not there. Comfort isn’t something you can market. It isn’t something that you can even plan for. It takes dependence upon God.

The same with church growth. You can’t plan that. You can’t bring that about. Remember that Paul fellow? He told us that one plants, another waters, but growth comes from the Lord. We can sit around and try to stuff the church into the business model all we want to. But in the end, you have manufactured piety, manufactured holiness, manufactured repentance, manufacture belief and manufactured believers. The church is weak today because it did adopt a business model some 50 years ago. Instead of pastors who are given over to holiness, we have men who are very astute at both entertainment and running businesses. But the church is not business or a place to be entertained. It is much greater than that. It’s the body of Christ, where the body needs a regular diet of God’s word and the sacraments. The body needs to be fed by the things spiritual, not physical. For the church to be healthy, it must feast upon God’s word and to submit to God’s word. This isn’t something that can be done with a business model. It takes prayer, humility, time and God’s Spirit.

I think Piper is right on the mark. I hope to glean a lot more from his book in the coming days. If you would like a copy of the book you can get it by going here and here.

New Priestly Order

RECENT SERMON: The following helps us understand why we no longer need to sacrifice bulls and goats as the Levitical Law prescribes. I preached this sermon several weeks ago.


One of the problems that Christians often have with skeptics is that the skeptic will charge us with not really following the Bible because we don’t go out and stone our disobedient sons and daughters, or we don’t follow the Levitical Law to the Letter. We don’t rebuild the temple and slaughter goats and bulls any more.

Therefore, they say to us that we don’t really follow the Bible completely, thereby trying to say to us that we are not true to the word of God, so why follow it at all?

The temptation for many is to simply say, “well, Jesus came to abolish the Law.” Or they say, “Well, that is the Law for the Old Testament, and we are not under the Old Testament anymore.”

The moment this is said is the moment that they respond: “O, so you don’t believe the entire Bible?”

The answer is that we do believe the entire Bible. When we come to Scripture, which is authoritative, we must admit that we are bound by all that is there. If the Bible says, “Don’t eat chicken on Fridays,” then we are not to eat chicken on Fridays. That is what it means to be under it’s authority.

So how is it that we are not bound by the entire Law found in Leviticus? How is it that we do not build a temple in Jerusalem and still sacrifice?

It’s not because of tradition or the fact that we are smarter now than they were before, meaning, we don’t sacrifice because it’s bad for the animals. No, the only time that we are given the freedom to turn away from something Scripture mandates is when Scripture comes along and mandates otherwise.

This is what is taking place in the book of Hebrews. Last week, we saw that Jesus was of a different order of priests than the Levis. This week, we are seeing the reason why.

The Levitical priesthood was not sufficient to bring about the righteousness needed for our salvation.

Next week, we will seek the greatness of our Priest, followed by the New Priestly Service and then the New Covenant.

The point the writer of Hebrews is making, and the reason we don’t still sacrifice, is that with Christ there is a new order of things. Jesus brings about a new covenant, a new priesthood, a new temple, a new Jerusalem and so much more. Not that He abolished the Law.

Matthew 5:17-20 Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus seems to be saying just the opposite that many say. He is not abolishing the Law at all. Jesus is fulfilling it, living it out. He fulfilled it, not to remove it, but to bring about change.

J.C. Ryle writes: “The Lord Jesus came to fulfill the predictions of the prophets, who had long foretold that a Savior would one day appear,—He came to fulfill the ceremonial law, by becoming the great Sacrifice for sin, to which all the Mosaic offerings had ever pointed: he came to fulfill the moral law, by yielding to it a perfect obedience, which we could never have yielded,– and by paying the penalty of our breach of it with His atoning blood, which we could never had paid. In all these ways He exalted the law of God, and made its importance more evident even than it had been before. In a word, ‘He magnified the law and made it honorable.’ (Isaiah 42:21).”

The point is, that parts of the Law have been replaced or changed, and parts of it have not. To the skeptic and new believers, this is hard to see. How do we know which parts have been set aside and which parts have not? That is where our study of Scripture comes into play, and why we are preaching through the book of Hebrews.

We know that the moral law or the Ten Commandments, are still in place for both believer and non-believer a like. Not that either should gain an ounce of righteousness by keeping the moral law. But the law is there as a guide, in order to drive us back to Christ.

Yet, the ceremonial law has been changed for us. We no longer need the Levitical system and the Law that corresponded to it. For us to change that, would be tantamount to heresy. But we are not the ones changing the ceremonial Law. It is God who makes the change.

Change In the LAW

Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.

First problem we see with Levitical priesthood… it could not bring about perfection. This means that those in the system never reached the goal. The older systems could not bring perfection in order to bring salvation, or the forgiveness of sins, or atonement for the sinner. Not that God was faulty in giving it, but He gave the Law in order to show us our need for something more righteous, for even when we serve the Law to the best of our ability, we fall short in obtaining the righteousness we need for forgiveness.

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.

No matter how long the priestly system stayed in effect, it was weak because it could not bring perfection. Romans 7, shows that weakness, and we saw it in David. Psalm 51:16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.

It could not help David, or us, or the priests themselves. It was imperfect. Doesn’t mean that it is useless. It still has it’s purposes… to bring the sinner to the realization of His sin. Look at ceremonial law and you see how sinful we are.

The Apostle here is telling us that the reason for the change in priesthood. Remember last week we saw that Jesus was of a different order than the Levites. Here, we are seeing the reason, as we’ve stated:

It could not bring about perfection. If it could, then there would have been no need for Jesus to become a priest in the order of Melchizedek. If the law could have brought about the perfection, then there would have been no need for His sacrifice, for His life of obedience or any of the other things He did.

For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.

· God has a right to change the law. Remember, Jesus fulfilled it so that the change could take place and it was made effectual the moment the Father appointed Him priest.

· Christ’s once and for all death made the Levitical priesthood obsolete. This is why going back to the Temple system makes no sense. Who is the Temple, but body of Christ. All the sacrifice that is needed has been done.

Wrong Family

Another reason for the change is that Jesus was in the wrong family to be in the Levitical system, or at least it seems that way. Never intended to be in that family because of the weakness of the system.

For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.

· It is clear that He was of royal descent. Matthew 1, Luke 3, both show His descent from David. He was in line to be Messiah. But the term “Messiah” meant something else to the Jews. To them, the Messiah was a political figure, not a spiritual King. This might explain why Jesus rarely used the term. He preferred the term “Son of Man” because His Kingship is spiritual, not political.

· Jesus was from line of Judah. Levi provides the priestly line. The entire nation was meant to be a nation of priests, but the golden calf put that on hold. Exodus 19:6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” I believe it was the event with the golden calf that resulted in the Levites being the priests. There, when Moses asked who would stand with God, it was the Levites that came forward.

· But Jesus comes from a different line. He will not make sacrifices in the temple. His order actually predates the Levitical system, which was just there temporarily.

· Jesus was from the wrong family for the Levites, but the right family to be the Messiah and a priest in a better order: Melchizedek.

Melchizedek the Better Priestly Order

And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17 For He testifies:“ You are a priest forever, According to the order of Melchizedek.”

Here again, the writer stresses his point. Melchizedek and his priesthood come from another order all together. Not according to a fleshly commandment.

The Levitical Law is what brought about the priesthood. It is derived out of the Law, whereas the origins of Melchizedek’s priesthood come from the appointment of God. This means it is different in two ways.

First, Jesus does not have to base his priesthood on a genealogy that proved his descent from Aaron. He was like Melchizedek in that no ancestry is mentioned.

Hebrews 7:3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Last week, I forgot to address this verse It simply means that by comparison, genealogy is not important. The Jews were required to enter the priesthood by genealogy. Christ’s priesthood is a shock to the Jews. They wanted to know how it could be, since Jesus is in line with Judah. This passage doesn’t mean that Melchizedek was not a man, but his priesthood, by comparison, didn’t require the recording of his family line.

The writer is showing us a different priesthood, in which ancestry is NOT important.

But Christ’s priesthood is different in that it does not end. The Levites served on a temporary basis, because they eventually died. Only served until they were 50, and entire system ended with destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D.

Christ’s priesthood continues forever. It does not come to an end, as there.

Another area of difference we see in the two is the basis for service. The Levites served because of an external Law. The Law was where they got their authority.

Jesus serves because of “an inward power that characterizes an endless life.[1]

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Because of who He is, He can provide so much more through His priestly duties that those under the Law. The Law, in its weakness, even when followed, could not produce life. It became a burden for those under it because of the sinfulness of man.

But Jesus provides life. He is life.

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

We must admit that the law was good, especially for the believer, for in the Law we see our depravity enough to know that we are in need of something outside of us, something external, because we cannot live up to the Law and its righteous demands.

This is where grace and truth come into the picture. Jesus provides us what we need, and gives us the Holy Spirit so that we may live as we are to live. The law is powerless to help us. But His Spirit redeems us, gives us His righteousness, so we no longer need the Law to earn righteousness, then we in turn, out of a hear to gratitude and thanksgiving, look to the moral law as a guide for how we should live.

This is close to what Paul is saying in Romans 8.

Romans 8:3-4 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

It is through the Spirit that we have the benefits of His righteousness, and we have redemption applied to us. Christ has true life found in Him, and this is why the writer says that His priesthood has the power of the endless life. Or as one commentator puts it: the power of the indestructible life.

This means we become partakers of the endless life when we believe/trust in Him for salvation.

God’s Declaration

Some still might question His priesthood. But to do so means that they need to take it up with God, for He is the one that declares this reality.

For He testifies:“ You are a priest forever, According to the order of Melchizedek.”

It is the Father that makes this declaration about His Son. Remember, in the life of Christ there are certain times that God declared something about His Son, and when He does, we need to listen closely.

Here He declares the priesthood for His Son, thereby setting aside the Law for the priests. The Jews had to come to grips with this, and for many of them, it was too much. They returned to the old system, at least, until 70 A.D. when the temple was destroyed.

The Better Hope

Finally, the writer concludes this section by writing:

For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

The joy in all of this is the reality that we no longer have to strive with the Law. As our text clearly indicates, it makes nothing perfect. Since this is true, why do so many of erect our own laws? Why do we set standards that God’s word does not?

But that is a side note. The reality is that the Levitical law is set aside by God. He annulled it. Why? Because there was something better.

All throughout the Bible, as we progress from the Old Testament, to the New, we have the fulfillment and reality of Christ. In this reality, God is setting aside some Laws and requirements for us because the fulfillment of them has been made in Christ.

We see this in temple, the land, the sacrifice that is made, the priesthood, the Kingdom, everything. So to go back, at any time, to the Old Testament and try to reinstitute these Laws in ridiculous. If you want to please God, be in Christ. If you want to be in His presence, it comes through Christ.

There are no more ceremonials washings for the priest any more. Well there is, it’s called Baptism and we are all made priests. We all enter into His presence now. Why would we ever want to return to the Old System, especially since God has annulled that system?

The Better Hope

Christ is the better hope. Instead of a Law that cannot remove the curse, Christ removes it. Instead of a Law that cannot cleanse us, Christ cleanses us. Instead of a Law that cannot cleanse our conscience, we have our consciences cleansed by the blood of Christ.

Yes, the Old served its purpose, but the New is much better. Where the old priesthood did not perfect, the new one does.

By doing so, we have access to the Father. We are allowed into His presence. As the apostle says, we draw near to God.

This stands in contrast to the days of the Temple, when we had to stand far off at a distance. Jesus opened the way to God, and every believer now has full communion with Him.

Yes, the priestly system has passed away, and a new order has come about. But that was by God’s hand. So when you hear the skeptics talk about us not sacrificing, rest assured. We are just in not sacrificing because God made that system obsolete. You may not be able to explain why, but rest assured, we are still following the Scripture.

Benediction

Hebrews 13:20-21

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.


[1] Vos, quoted by Kistemaker, p. 196.

The Blanket Cave

I think this was one of our favorite games as a kid, throwing blankets over things to make a cave. It’s amazing the fun one can have in such a place with a bit of an imagination. Here is Andy on vacation back in Texas in a blanket cave that he and his cousins put together for the day. It was raining outside, so they had to do something to stay busy. The funniest aspect of it was that he got me to crawl inside his cave with him. Being claustrophobic, this was a major victory for me. I didn’t stay inside for very long. But I did crawl in for him. It was way too tight as you can see from the photograph.

This is one of the many photos we took and have yet to get printed. We’re still trying to catch up with photos of Joey and his birth, which was 8 months ago. We did finally get some frames to put some Joey’s shots on the wall. One of our friends got on to us because he just turned 8 months old, and there are still no photos of him on the walls of our home.

That is typically the case for the second child. However the good news is that we have a lot of photos of him. The third child usually doesn’t even get the photos taken, i.e., me! But I’m OK with it, I spent some extra time with my therapist going over the trauma of that little detail. We should be able to work through that in the next six months… and then on to more important tragedies, like the fact that we went to my grandparents for Christmas one year, and everyone got gifts but me. But I’m OK! No hard feelings here! My lovely bride went through the roof when she found out about that one. I think she still mad at my parents. But that is life, it happens.

Five Books

I noticed this list at Kim Riddlebarger’s blog. He posted on the best five books of 2007 and I already had number five on my list of books to get. I was given a CD of one of Bruce Waltke’s conferences in which he addressed his views of Biblical Theology. It was solid stuff and very helpful in understanding the Old Testament in light of the New Testament. He addresses the problem that many people have today in understanding the Scripture, they don’t understand the Bible as one unite, but make the mistake of thinking that the New Testament is for the church only, and the Old Testament was for the Old Testament Jews only. Yet, it is all one book, showing God’s plan of redemptive history.

I plan on getting all five for my library. I do trust his judgment in these areas since he is one of the top theologians on the West Coast, as well as one the best defenders of amillinianism. Here is his list:

1). Michael Horton’s stellar Covenant and Salvation: Union With Christ (Westminster John Knox). Michael’s response to Wright, Dunn, and Sanders is outstanding. Click here: Amazon.com: Covenant and Salvation: Union With Christ: Books: Michael Scott Horton

2). G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Baker). This is one of the most important reference books to come down the pike in years. I’m already finding it indispensible. Click here: Amazon.com: Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Books: G. K. Beale,D. A. Carson

3). Ken Samples’ A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth Claims to the Worldview Test (Baker). Ken Samples is doing yeoman’s work in making the critical philosophical and apologetic issues accessible to larger audiences. Ken’s also a great writer. Click here: Amazon.com: A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth-Claims to the Worldview Test: Books: Kenneth Richard Sa

4). Dennis Johnson’s Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures (P & R). This book should be read by every preacher as well as everyone who sits in a pew! How should ministers prepare to preach and what should God’s people be looking for in a sermon? Click here: Amazon.com: Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures: Books: Dennis E. Johnson

5). Bruce Waltke’s An Old Testament Theology (Zondervan). A great overview of redemptive-history during the Old Covenant era. Click here: Amazon.com: An Old Testament Theology: A Canonical and Thematic Approach: Books: Bruce K. Waltke,Charles Yu