Two weeks in a row the first lesson is taken from the last Book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. And once again I cannot resist preaching from this most mysterious Book. Despite the dangers of wayward interpretations, the Book can also vividly capture our attention and hold it with its rich imagination in portraying Gospel Truths. It we match the fanciful imagery with the truths taught elsewhere in the Bible, I believe the Book will prove most beneficial and inspiring.
Latest NewsletterGrace Notes 2021-11-17
It is always a good spiritual exercise to pay particular attention to those elements of the faith, taught in Scripture, that cut against the grain of our own sensibilities. Otherwise, if we only are enthusiastic concerning those teachings that we already agree with, we have no way of knowing if we are humbly trusting God’s Word. It is when God’s word challenges our sensibilities that we have a chance to learn to trust God.
The Church Year is winding down. The last month is the month of November. In fact, the New Church Year actually begins on Sunday, November 28, the First Sunday in Advent. I have a good friend, a fellow Lutheran Pastor, who likes to make a big deal out of the fact that the Church Calendar Year is different than the secular calendar. As he points out, people of faith mark time differently. And we know of a more significant time than the mere passing of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and so on. We know of something called eternity, which in Christ is more than duration, but a certain fullness.
I picked up a helpful principle from an author I enjoy reading. The author is Peter Kreeft. And if you are unfamiliar with him, he is a Professor of Philosophy at Boston College and The King’s College. He is a convert to the Roman Catholic Church. I encountered him because he often writes of my favorite literary mentor, C.S. Lewis. Kreeft has authored over 80 books on Christian Philosophy, theology, and apologetics.
Leslie and I attended a timely conference sponsored by Touchstone Magazine. This magazine labels itself “A Journal of Mere Christianity”. And the conference this year was entitled “No Neutral Ground: The Cost of Discipleship in a Secular Age”. The lineup of speakers were Hans Boersma, Allan Carlson, Rod Dreher, Anthony Esolen, S.M. Hutchens, Peter Leithart, Patrick Henry Reardon, and Carl Trueman. They were excellent!
A favorite Scripture verse for those who rightly want to emphasize discipleship in their church is Matthew 28:19-20. It reads, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Almost everyone emphasizes that the mandate involves going and that the recipients to be made disciples include all nations. Well and good!