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Calvin & Wine (via Gospel-Centered Musings)

Every wondered what it would be like to raise a glass with John Calvin?
Thanks to Michael Dewalt.

Reading Calvin in His Letters a fun piece where John Calvin uses a cask of wine to try and lure a friend to join him in Geneva…

When he would induce his friend M. de Falais to come to Geneva and take up his abode there, he slyly adds that he has laid in a cask of good wine for his benefit. “I wish very much that it may please God to bring you hither to drink of the wine upon the spot and that soon. If the bearer had left this earlier in the morning, you might have had a flask of it. If there were any means of sending you the half of it, I should not have failed to do so, but when I inquired, I found that it could not be done.” Calvin, we see, had some very human traits.

Taken from Henry Henderson, Calvin in His Letters (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 27. Read the original post.

via Gospel-Centered Musings


How To Treat Your Pastor

Via Paul Levy at Reformation 21 (from an article in something called The Rutherford Journal)
Read this to my pastoral colleagues in Mount Gambier this morning. It rang true to their hearts and to mine.

Fling him into his room, then tear the “Office” sign from the door,
and nail on the sign, “Study.”

Take him off the mailing list.
Lock him up with his books, his computer and his Bible.
Slam him down on his knees before scripture, before broken hearts,
before the lives of a superficial flock and before a Holy God.

Force him to be the one man in the community who knows God.
Throw him into the ring to box with God
until he learns just how short his arms are.
Engage him to wrestle with God all night through,
and let him come out only
when he’s bruised and beaten into being a blessing.

Shut his mouth forever spouting pointless remarks.
Stop his tongue from forever tripping lightly over every non-essential.
Require him to have something to say before he breaks the silence
and bend his knees in the lonesome valley of prayer.

Burn his eyes with weary study.
Wrack his emotional poise with worry for God.
Make him exchange his pious stance
for a humble walk with God and his people.
Make him spend and be spent for the glory of God.

Rip out his telephone. Burn up his files, put water in his petrol tank.
Give him a Bible and tie him to the pulpit
and make him preach the Word of the living God.
Test him, quiz him, examine him, humiliate him
for his ignorance of things divine.
Shame him for his good comprehension of fine answers,
sports scores and politics.
Laugh at his frustrated effort to play psychiatrist.
Form a choir, raise a chant and haunt him night and day with,
“We would see Jesus.”

When at last he does come to speak,
ask him if he has a word from God.
– If he does not, dismiss him!
Tell him you can read the morning paper,
you can digest the television commentary,
you can think through the day’s superficial problems,
you can manage the community drives,
you can bless the assorted baked potatoes and green beans
– better than he can.

Command him not to come back until he’s read and re-read,
written and re-written,
until he can stand up worn and forlorn and say,
‘Yes, thus saith the Lord’.

Break him across the board of his ill gotten popularity;
smack him hard with his own prestige;
corner him with questions about God;
cover him with demands for celestial wisdom;
give him no escape, until he’s back against the wall of the Word,
and then sit down before him and listen to the only word he has left:
the Word of God.

Let him be totally ignorant of the down the street gossip,
but give him a chapter and order him to walk around it,
camp on it, sup with it
and come at last to speak it backwards and forwards
until all he says about it rings with the truth of eternity.
And when he’s burned out by the flaming Word,
when he’s consumed at last by the fiery grace blazing through him,
when he’s privileged to translate the truth of God to us,
and is finally transferred from earth to heaven,
then bear him away gently, and blow a muted trumpet
and lay him down softly.
Place a two-edged Sword on his coffin,
and raise the tomb triumphant
for he was a brave soldier of the Word;
and ‘ere he died,
he had become a
Man of God.

Anonymous. Rutherford Journal – winter 1997

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Who Reads Books?

Stats from the USA:

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
(Source: Jerold Jenkins,
These, along with other stats were included in a post for aspiring authors to understand the challenges ahead of them.


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Mark Driscoll’s Easter Sunday Sermon Notes (via Mars Hill)

Apparently Mark Driscoll is not in the habit of preaching from notes, preferring to study up and then deliver.
But for his Easter Sunday sermon he used notes.
Here they are, an example of what Driscoll packed in 40 minutes:

Who Is Jesus Christ?

Jesus Christ – loved & hated

  • Jesus = Joshua (God is salvation)
  • Christ = anointed Messiah
  • 2000 yrs ago, mom, dad, brothers, 30 years, 3 yrs ministry
  • Resume simple (few hundred miles home, broke single, died young)
  • Famous – billions, calendar, Christmas birth, Easter resurrection

1. Jesus Said He Came Down from Heaven

John 6:38, 42 – “I have come down from heaven.” … They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”

  • Jesus – descend not ascend
  • God a man, NOT a man God

2. Jesus Said He Is More Than Just a Good Man

Mark 10:17–18 – As he [Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

  • No good people – all sinners
  • Not good man, God man

3. Jesus Performs Miracles

John 10:36–39 – “Do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works. …” Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

  • Fed hungry, healed sick, blind see, lame walk, deaf hear
  • Rule over physical world
  • Words & works

4. Jesus Said He Is Sinless

John 8:46 – “Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?”

  • Thought/word/deed/omission/commission
  • “No one perfect”
  • Muhammad & Ghandi & Mother Theresa & Me– sin
  • Jesus alone good, category alone

5. Jesus Said He Is God

John 10:30–33 – [Jesus said,] “I and the Father are one.” [They] picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” [They] answered him, “… because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

  • Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, and Ghandi said not God
  • True or False

6. Jesus Forgives Sin

Mark 2:5–7 – When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” … [Critics said,] “He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

  • Sin against God (Ps. 51:4)
  • Only God can forgive (cross)

7. Jesus Said He Is the Only Way to Heaven

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

  • From heave, only way to heaven
  • Life, Death, Burial, Resurrection, Ascension – our way
  • Narrow Door – 1. Exclusive & 2. Inclusive

8. Jesus Said He Would Resurrect from Death

Mark 8:31 – He [Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

  • Cause – effect
  • Burden of proof

Jesus Died

1.    Beaten 2. Scourged 3. Crucified 4. Spear 5. 100lbs burial

Jesus Rose

  1. Moved stone
  2. Walked into town
  3. Scars – family, friends, 500 people, 40 days
  4. Jesus’ disciples transformed & death not feared
  5. Followers loyal
  6. Worship changed (Jesus focused, Sunday, communion)
  7. Jesus’ family
  8. Jesus’ enemies (Saul)
  9. Body never produced
  10. Tomb not enshrined (Yamauchi 50 in Jesus’ day)
  11. Christianity exploded


Who Is Jesus Christ?

  1. He is the Maker of heaven and earth
  2. He is the Alpha & Omega, the beginning & the end
  3. He is the Son of God
  4. He is the God man
  5. He is the Humble Servant
  6. He is the Man of Sorrows
  7. He is the Good Shepherd
  8. He is the Prince of Peace
  9. He is the Wonderful Counselor
  10. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah
  11. He is the Dragon Slayer
  12. He is the sinless Savior
  13. He is the Resurrection and the Life
  14. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world
  15. He is the sinner’s friend
  16. He is the Great High Priest
  17. He is the King of Kings
  18. He is the Lord of Lords
  19. He is the Way, the Truth, & the Life


His love is glorious, marvelous, gracious, generous, matchless & priceless

He came the first time in humility, He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead & to establish a Kingdom that will never end

He has sent me to command you – Acts 2:38 “repent and be baptized”

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Was Jesus’ Burial Cloth Folded or Rolled? (via Monday With Mounce)

Monday With Mounce is always interesting. Each week Bill Mounce explores an aspect of biblical interpretation.
This week he considers the account of the cloths in the empty tomb.
The point he examines was part of the sermon I preached on Sunday.

Having heard the resurrection story today at church, I reminded of the translation issues in this verse. Peter ran into the tomb and saw “the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen” (NIV 2011).
This is a change from the NIV 1984. “The burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.”
The ESV has the cloth “folded up” (also HCSB, NLT). The RSV has “rolled up” (also NRSV, NASB, NET).
There are differences of where the cloth was. Most translations have it in a separate place by itself (i.e., not with the other grave clothes, see NASB, ESV, RSV, NRSV, NIV, NET, NLT). Some commentaries talk about the face cloth being separate from the other linens the same distance as the head is from the chest, but all the Greek says is χωρὶς … εἰς ἕνα τόπον “apart … in one place.”
ἐντετυλιγμένον generally means to wrap something around an object (BDAG), such as linens wrapped around dead body (Lk 23:53; Mt 27:59). But BDAG give a second meaning of “fold up of a σουδάριον. (Jn 20:7). These are the only three uses of ἐντυλίσσω in the New Testament.
This illustrates one of the challenges of translation. When a word occurs rarely, it is hard to be precise in its meaning. It is a compound word of ἐν and τυλίσσω, and the later means “to twist up, to bend.” That doesn’t help much.
The “burial cloth” (σουδάριον) was evidently tied around the head so as to keep the mouth shut. Some have argued that the burial cloth still retained the shape of Jesus’ head, but most commentators agree that this says more than the text.
Whether it was folded or rolled up, the point is that robbers had not stolen the body, as they would have given little care for the neatness of the grave clothes. Whether Jesus’ body simply disappeared, raised as it were through the clothes, or whether the cloth covering his face was neatly placed to the side, the point is that the lie being spread by some of the Jewish leaders was not true.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!

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GPS And Moving (via Grasa Mesak)

Every blessing for Jo and family as they make a big move south.
Read her brief reflection on the GPS that makes her feel secure in such a transition.