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In his autobiography, Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen reflects on the profound impact his relationship with his father, had on his life and performance persona.

Those whose love we wanted but could not get, we emulate. It is dangerous but makes us feel closer, gives us an illusion of the intimacy we never had. It stakes our claim upon that which was rightfully ours but denied. In my twenties, as my song and my story began to take shape, I searched for the voice I would blend with mine to do the telling. It is a moment when through creativity and will you can rework, repossess and rebirth the conflicting voices of your childhood, to turn them into something alive, powerful and seeking light. I’m a repairman. That’s part of my job. So I, who’d never done a week’s worth of manual labor in my life (hail, hail rock ‘n’ roll!), put on a factory worker’s clothes, my father’s clothes, and went to work.
One night I had a dream. I’m onstage in full flight, the night is burning and my dad, long dead, sits quietly in an aisle seat in the audience. Then … I’m kneeling next to him in the aisle, and for a moment, we both watch the man on fire onstage. I touch his forearm and say to my dad, who for so many years sat paralysed by depression, “Look, Dad, look … that guy onstage … that’s you, that’s how I see you.”

Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Schuster, 2016, pg 414


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Sinclair Ferguson’s Preface To Reformation Worship

When the Gospel was rediscovered at the Reformation a focus on worship accompanied it.
Paying heed to the practice of worship from the past is an insight into the impact of the Gospel on the gathered people of God.
This is based on an understanding of worship as a whole as a means of grace, something from God to us (vertical downward focused); rather than something that people are doing for God (vertical upward focused), or developing an effective content delivery system (horizontal focused) primarily to educate non-Christians.
In reality all three aspects have to be acknowledged and incorporated; and I’m sure the current horizontal obsession will mitigate over time and we’ll see less of Sunday morning as Christian TAFE and something a little more … worshipful.

Sinclair Ferguson writes an introduction to Reformation Worship, a new book on this classic subject.

This isn’t a plea for a wooden adopting, or a slavish imitation, of any or all older liturgies; nor is it an intimidating and metallic insistence that we should use them today “because the reformers used them.” That could—and almost certainly would—have a deadening effect on our worship. Most of us do not live on the continent of Europe, and none of us lives in the 16th century.
Our greatest need is for worship in Spirit as well as in truth today. But older liturgies should stimulate us to careful thought, and cause us to ask how we can apply their principles today in a way that echoes their Trinitarian, Christ-centered, biblically informed content, so that our worship, in our place and time, will echo the gospel content and rhythm they exhibit.
This is no easy task, and it requires wisdom, tact, sensitivity, and careful communication of principles and goals. But it’s also true that, at the end of the day, people tend to learn and to grow as much by experience as by verbal instructions. They need to sense and taste the help and the value of a better way. And since their appetite may have been blunted by a diet of modernity, it’s important to advance little by little.

source


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Nobody Welcomes Grace. At The Same Time Everybody Pants For It (via Paul Zahl)

Grace has to be the total paradigm, mix it with anything else and it can’t exist.
From Paul Zahl.

How can grace end-run its way around standards and yardsticks? It sounds unfair.
It is unfair, but it is completely unfair. It is the other side of the law, which is total grappling, a totally unsuccessful and failed grappling, with judgment. Because the law is completely fair, grace has to be completely “unfair.” The atonement makes grace “fair,” as is apparent in the teaching concerning the cross, But from our point of view, from the standpoint of its recipient, grace is unfair.
The unfair character of grace makes it persona non grata in the cut-and-thrust of the battle of life. Nobody welcomes grace. At the same time everybody pants for it; everybody wants it every second of every hour. Grace is an either-or proposition; it is not both-and.

Grace In Practice, Paul F. M. Zahl, Eerdmans, 2007, pgs 70-71.


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Don’t Fix Normal

A lot of articles that I read by Karl Vaters make a lot of sense.
I’m looking forward to having a read of this book.


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God’s Grace In Your Suffering

God’s Grace In Your Suffering is newly released from the reliable David Powlison.

It is a short read, with eight chapters representing daily reading material.


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The Bible In Australia

Saw this mentioned on a blog I read and thought it looked very interesting.

It certainly seems like a unique treatment.

So, it’s on the acquisitions shelf and reading will soon commence.


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The Character Of Jesus Revealed On The Cross (via Fleming Rutledge)

Fleming Rutledge on Jesus’ remaining completely in character while on the cross.
And what a character it is.

Jesus waging a battle on the cross. The whole business of the two thrives dramatises the intensity of his struggle to absorb into himself the malice of those who were reviling him, while at the same time turning his attention toward the one who was looking for a work of redemption. Jesus, in his death as in his life, was entirely directed to the ultimate welfare of others. His entire ministry was directed outward from himself. The kinds of things that preoccupy you and me apparently did not enter his mind. Things like, how am I doing, did I get enough praise today, does that person appreciate me, is that other person over there getting ahead of me, am I slipping behind, am I letting people walk over me – these kinds of things had no hold on him. He was so utterly secure in himself that he was free for others in a way we can scarcely imagine. Therefore, it is exactly in character for him even in the midst of his agony to be mindful of the criminal hanging nearby. Such a thing appears to have been in his nature.

Fleming Rutledge, The Seven Last Words From The Cross, Eerdmans, 2005, p. 75.