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Ortberg On Repentance

John Ortberg from ‘The Me I Want To Be’.

Repentance is not low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem causes me to believe that I have so little worth that my response does not matter. With repentance, however, I understand that being worth so much to God is why my response is so important. Repentance is remedial work to mend our mind and hearts, which get bent by sin.

For some readers the phrase ‘worth so much to God’ will sound offputting, but Ortberg’s point is worth noting.
Having a character that cultivates repentance is not the same as having low self-esteem. This is not ‘worm theology’ in the sense that we constantly think the worst of ourselves and endlessly denigrate ourselves and run ourselves down.
This is recognising the seriousness of our sin and greatness of our redemption, achieved by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Any value that we place upon ourselves flows from our union with Christ. We have been redeemed by the infinite value of Christ’s atoning work.
Repentance is part of our recognition of the value of that work.
Our motivation for turning from sin toward righteousness is not fear of punishment or hope of reward: it is love for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Preacher As Curator Or Creator?

At Head – Heart – Hand David Murray notes that blogs take two main forms, those that are composed largely of material collected from other sources or those that are composed of material that is created by the hoster of the blog.
Murray distinguishes those who compose these two types of blogs as either curators or creators.
This blog is predominantly a collection of links to other material. I want to share what I’ve been reading, doing and find amusing with others.
When I’ve got original material I post that as well.

The main point of Murray’s post is that he applies these two categories to those who compose and preach sermons:

I think this distinction also applies to preachers. Creators are preachers who pour over the Scriptures, and think deeply upon them, prayerfully meditating and reflecting upon God’s Word. When they begin sermon preparation, they begin with their Bibles, not commentaries. And they don’t open another book (or Logos!) until they feel they have really exhausted their own minds and hearts.
Curators, in contrast, are preachers who do very little of their own thinking and meditating on the Scriptures. They mainly read commentaries and theologies, and listen to others’ sermons. They then cut and paste it all together. Their sermons are usually sound and well organized, but often somewhat stale and predictable.

Read the rest of Murray’s thoughts here: Curator or Creator?

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10 Questions Christians Can Ask Themselves About Being On Facebook

Should Christians be on Facebook?
R.C. Sproul jr, from the Ligonier Blog.

Usefull questions that target your spiritual state, not your legalism or guilt quotient.

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Legitimate Ways To Preach Christ From Ecclesiastes

Sidney Greidanus identifies three difficulties in ‘Preaching Christ From Ecclesiastes’:

1. Selecting a proper preaching text;
2. Formulating a single theme; and
3. Preaching Christ.

In his treatment of the third of those points Greidanus writes:

‘Ecclesiastes contains not even one “messianic text”; there is not promise of the coming Messiah. How does on preach Christ from a book that has no messianic texts?’

Pointing out the unfortunate historical dependence upon allegorical interpretation, Greidanus then goes on to briefly review seven “legitimate ways of preaching Christ from the Old Testament” which are taken from his book, Preaching Christ From The Old Testament.

Redemptive-Historical Progression
Promise Fulfillment
Longitudinal Themes
New Testament References

Greidanus contends that of these seven ways promise fulfillment and typology (with a couple of possible exceptions) are not applicable.

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The Unhealthiest Drink In The World

Last week I posted a link to a blog post on Harmful  Drinks In America.

Last night the news featured the number 1 place getter on the list, the Cold Stone PB&C (Gotta Have It size, 24 fl oz). ‘PB&C’ stands for ‘Peanut Butter & Chocolate, with milk’. 24 fluid ounces equals about 710 milliliters.
The Cold Stone company’s own nutritional details will inform you that one of these represents a single day’s calorie intake in a cup. To add further perspective, the second worst drink on the list measured around 1500 calories and the third worst just over 1100. Both of those drinks have larger serving sizes than this. It’s concentrated calories in cup.
This suggests that the PB&C’s two year reign as the unhealthiest drink might continue for a while to come.

1. Worst Beverage in America
Cold Stone PB&C (Gotta Have It size, 24 fl oz)

2,010 calories
131 g fat (68 g saturated)
153 g sugars

Sugar Equivalent: 30 Chewy Chips Ahoy Cookies

In terms of saturated fat, drinking this Cold Stone catastrophe is like slurping up 68 strips of bacon. Health experts recommend capping your saturated fat intake at about 20 grams per day, yet this beverage packs more than three times that into a cup the size of a Chipotle burrito. But here’s what’s worse: No regular shake at Cold Stone, no matter what the size, has fewer than 1,000 calories. If you must drink your ice cream, make it one of the creamery’s “Sinless” options. Otherwise you’d better plan on buying some bigger pants on the way home.

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The Blue Lake Renamed ‘Waawor’…

…unofficially for the next week to mark ‘Reconciliation Week’.
Here’s the local ABC webpage report.

I’m not a huge fan of renaming places, but the locals here have a stunningly ordinary track record in naming things.
If the best we could do after more than 150 years was ‘Blue Lake’ I have some sympathy for using the name that the lake had before white people arrived.

‘Blue Lake’, ‘Cave Gardens’, ‘Main Corner’, ‘Commercial Street’.
Can you discern a trend?
They’re not so much names as a place coupled with an adjective.

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450th Anniversary Service: Scottish Reformation

The recent General Assembly of the Church of Scotland included a Service to mark the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation.
It’s a little sad that the Church of Scotland can’t simply maintain the biblical theology which marked the reformation as their tribute.
A Roman Catholic cleric takes part in the service, bringing one of the readings.
In September the Presbyterian Church of Australia will mark the anniversary with a service that will coincide with the General Assembly of the National Church.

Anyway, here’s the video of the Scottish service.
In addition, this link is to a pdf copy of the service order, so you can follow along, or see which parts you’d like to skip to. It’s very long, some of you will be selective, I’m sure.
I don’t know how long the links will remain, but they’re good today.

Vodpod videos no longer available.