Archive for June 2011

Not magic

June 29th, 2011 — 2:20pm

“The grace of the Word of God is not magic. It is promised to the Church that is required and ready to serve it. If it makes strong what men make weak, good what men make evil, pure what men make impure, that does not mean that it does everything where men do simply nothing, where men perhaps do not stand under this requirement and in this readiness. When we have done all that was required of us, we must add that we are unprofitable servants. But if we infer from this that we might equally well allow ourselves to be idle servants, we are not trusting in the grace of the Word of God. When we do trust in it, we stand under the law of the Word of God which is laid upon the Church; we are active in its service (without the presumption of trying to compel its operation, or the folly of trying to see in its presence our own success).” (Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, p. 2.765–66)

Comment » | Biblical Authority

A meditation on good faith

June 26th, 2011 — 4:28pm

Once trust is broken (either because it has been violated, or because it is simply being withheld), no amount of rules, protocols, procedures, processes, or other strictures can make for a fruitful relationship. If I am not trustworthy, or if someone refuses to regard me as trustworthy, it is not possible that we should labor together constructively. Lack of trust is, by definition, a wedge between two who would labor together; one must ever be watching the other, ever imposing restrictions and boundaries on the other, for fear of what might otherwise happen. It goes without saying that energy poured into such surveillance is stolen from any tasks the two might attempt together. If it be objected by one withholding trust that his suspicions have rarely failed him, let him ponder that perfect love casts out fear, and that wise discernment belongs to the one, while suspicious paranoia belongs to the other. If productive work is to be done (with all the space for trial and error that this requires), there is much to be said for erring on the side of trust. This is the essence of good faith: not a set of rules imposed from without, but an agreement to trust, to be vulnerable, to think the best of the other, even to “believe all things.”

Comment » | Life Together

First Sunday after Trinity

June 26th, 2011 — 7:00am

“God, the strength of all them that trust in thee, mercifully accept our prayers; and because the weakness of our mortal nature can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping of thy commandments we may please thee, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Comment » | Grace and Life

Trinity Sunday

June 19th, 2011 — 7:00am

“Almighty and everlasting God, which hast given unto us thy servants grace by the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal trinity, and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the unity: we beseech thee, that through the steadfastness of this faith, we may ever more be defended from all adversity, which livest and reignest, one God, world without end.”

Comment » | Grace and Life


June 12th, 2011 — 7:00am

“God, which as upon this day hast taught the hearts of thy faithful people, by the sending to them the light of thy holy spirit; grant us by the same spirit to have a right judgment in all things; and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our savior; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same spirit, one God, world without end.”

Comment » | Grace and Life

Transpose the centre

June 11th, 2011 — 9:22pm

“Precisely in order that he may really appropriate what Scripture has to say, the reader and hearer must be willing to transpose the centre of his attention from himself, from the system of his own concerns and questions (even if he thinks he can give them the character of concerns and questions typical of his whole epoch) to the scriptural word itself.  He must allow himself to be lifted out of himself into this word and its concerns and questions. It is only from this that light can ever fall upon his own life, and therewith the help which he needs for his life.” (Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, p. 2.739)

Comment » | Biblical Authority


June 9th, 2011 — 12:47pm

The stuff that we throw over on our way to save the world is often the stuff that makes the world worth living in.

Comment » | Qohelet’s Musings

Sunday after Ascension

June 5th, 2011 — 7:01am

“O God, the king of glory, which hast exalted thine only son Jesus Christ, with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven; we beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send us thine holy ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our savior Christ is gone before; who liveth and reigneth &c.”

Comment » | Grace and Life

Ascension Day

June 2nd, 2011 — 7:00am

“Grant we beseech thee, almighty god, that like as we do believe thy only begotten son our lord to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell.”

Comment » | Grace and Life

A predictable little God

June 1st, 2011 — 12:19pm

“The longer someone is a Christian, the greater their propensity to diminish the Jesus of the Bible until he becomes a predictable little God who ceases to surprise them.” (Mark Driscoll, Radical Reformission)

Comment » | Qohelet’s Musings

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