Take Up and Read

I want to bring to your attention two blog series that are worth following and a couple of regular posts that I enjoyed.

First, Kevin DeYoung belongs to the RCA, a denomination that is close to compromising on the homosexuality issue. His church is presenting an overture on sodomy. He is writing a series of posts this week on why and how sodomy must be fought in his denomination. Here is the first, second, and third posts in the series. Today he posted the overture that he will make to his classis (think presbytery).  These posts take a lot of courage. It is easy for those of us in denominations that reject sodomy to think what he is doing is easy. But it isn’t.  DeYoung has been in this denomination his whole life. His family, going back a couple of generations, is from this denomination. His reputation has been forged preaching in RCA churches. No doubt, he will upset a lot of people for attacking this lie.

Second, Keith Mathison is one of my favorite writers and was very influential as I left Dispensational theology and came to covenant theology. He is doing a series of posts on eschatology over at Ligonier’s blog. Here are the posts that are currently up:
The Promise to Abraham
Blessings and Curses
The Davidic Covenant
Psalm 110

Here is a great post by Al Mohler on the challenges that will face the next generation of ministers. I would encourage you to note where he believes pastors will be tempted to compromise, places like evolution, sexuality, and the exclusivity of the Gospel.  Pray that the elders at Christ Church would not compromise on these particular issues.

Finally, here is wonderful praise from a man whose father sang with vigor in worship.  As I read, a couple of things struck me. First, fathers should remember that their approach to worship has a deep impact on their children. Second, the songs from worship should not be limited to worship. They should stretch out and fill the corners of our lives. Third, he speaks of hymns, but how much more should we sing the psalms with vigor. They are the very word of God.

Book Review: Age of Opportunity

Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens (Resources for Changing Lives)Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the best books I have read on shepherding older children. As I read it, I was constantly thinking about my own children and the congregation I serve. The book is really well-outlined, which allows for easy referencing after I was done reading. He did a good job of maintaining a proper biblical balance between focus on Christ, but not allowing this to obscure how teenagers should behave. One of the most important things he emphasizes is how much work and time good shepherding requires. This was a strength of the book. Yes, the teen years are a great opportunity to see your children grow in Christ. However, this opportunity requires great labor and dependence upon Christ. Highly recommended for all pastors and anyone who will be or is raising teenagers.

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Biblical Justice Primer: Righteous Judges

Last week I noted that any return to Biblical justice requires a return to God’s Word as our standard. However, merely having our laws built upon God’s Word is not enough. We must have the type of men behind the bench who will keep the laws.   I love to say, “We are only as good as the men who rule us.” This is especially true of judges. Unrighteous judges used the law to convict Jesus. (See especially Matthew 26:59-68)  In order for godly laws to be effective we must have righteous men holding the gavel.

In Deuteronomy 1:16-17 and 16:18-20 Moses tells us what type of men the judges are to be.

1. They are not to show partiality. That is why lady justice wears a blindfold.  No matter who is coming before the judge he is to show the same amount of care in making a judgment on the case. It does not matter if the man is rich or poor, great or small. Justice must be dealt. In America, we have the rich getting special treatment in the courts because of their money. And the poor getting special treatment because we feel sorry for them. In a biblical system your economic status does not determine whether or not you get a fair trial.

2. They are to fear God and not man. This is why the loss of a higher law is the death of true justice. If there is no law above the judge, he will be more easily persuaded by other men. He will not look to the bar of God where he must give account. But instead will be pushed by politicians or lobby groups or his wife. A righteous judge, like the righteous master in Ephesians 6:9, knows that there is a judge in heaven to whom he must give an account. 

3. They must not take bribes.  Money or positions of influence or lobbyists or best friends must not influence a judge. He must adhere with the precision of a surgeon to the law. Money makes us blind. How many judges have been put in office because they promised to do this or to do that? How many bought their positions?  Bribes are wicked and where they exist true justice is absent.