mgpcpastor's blog

Leave a comment

The Spiritual Dangers Of Disconnecting From Creation (via Scott Martin at Gospel Coalition)

I do spend an hour and a half outside most days walking, but I’m not a huge fan of nature.
To say the least.
It’s a pretty well-known thing that anyone who knows me has heard about.

This article by Scott Martin points out how not experiencing creation on a regular basis cuts a person off from experiencing aspects of God’s presence, power, and character.

From the article:

… in our post-industrial societies, humans are growing increasingly distant from the wonder and communicative power of creation. Climate is controlled by a thermostat. Our windows rarely open. We need not notice weather, the seasons, and other cycles of creation unless we want to. Our food is delivered without any dirt getting under our fingernails, from places we know not where, in seasons of harvest we know not when. We barely notice when trees bud or creeks rise.
What do we lose in the Christian life without meaningful, intentional immersion in and connection to creation.
We lose a dimension of the grandeur and glory of God. We lose a sense of the sublime that we experience standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, staring down mortality in a Class V rapid, or intentionally exposing ourselves to the brutality of a winter storm. We lose a sense of wonder when we aren’t planting flowers, harvesting food in our garden, or watching a bird built a nest. We miss opportunities for gratitude and worship when we don’t take time to pause before the simplicity of a tree, taking in its bark, leaves, shape, form—and realizing this little piece of nature is perfectly achieving the purpose God set for it. John Calvin said, “There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in the world, that is not intended to make us rejoice.” But when we are far from the grass and colors of the world, we miss opportunities to rejoice.
We also miss a sense of healthy proportion and orientation. Exposure to creation reveals that we are small and God is big. It humbles us and reminds us of who we are in relation to a holy God.

Read the rest, along with some suggestions about how to reconnect with creation at the Gospel Coalition.

Leave a comment

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 7

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 7

Chapter 4 – Of Creation
I It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.
II After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.

Leave a comment

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 8

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 8

Q & A 19
Q What is God’s providence towards the angels?
A God by his providence permitted some of the angels, willfully and irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation,1 limiting and ordering that, and all their sins, to his own glory;2 and established the rest in holiness and happiness;3 employing them all,4 at his pleasure, in the administrations of his power, mercy, and justice.*5

Q & A 20
Q What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?
A The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth;6 putting the creatures under his dominion,7 and ordaining marriage for his help;8 affording him communion with himself;9 instituting the sabbath;10 entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience,11 of which the tree of life was a pledge;12 and forbidding to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.13

Q & A 21
Q Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created him?
A Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the commandment of God in eating the forbidden fruit; and thereby fell from the estate of innocency wherein they were created.*14

Q & A 22
Q Did all mankind fall in that first transgression?
A The covenant being made with Adam as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation,15 sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression.16

Q & A 23
Q Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.*17

Q & A 24
Q What is sin?
A Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.*18

*1 Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4; Hebrews 2:16; John 8:44.
*2 Job 1:12; Matthew 8:31.
*3 1 Timothy 5:21; Mark 8:38; Hebrews 12:22.
*4 Psalm 104:4.
*5 2 Kings 19:35; Hebrews 1:14.
*6 Genesis 2:8, 15-16.
*7 Genesis 1:28.
*8 Genesis 2:18.
*9 Genesis 1:26-29.
*10 Genesis 2:3.
*11 Galatians 3:12.
*12 Genesis 2:9.
*13 Genesis 2:17.
*14 Genesis 3:6-8, 13; Ecclesiastes 7:29; 2 Corinthians 11:3.
*15 Acts 17:26.
*16 Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 5:12-20; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22.
*17 Romans 5:12; Romans 3:23.
*18 1 John 3:4; Galatians 3:10, 12.

1 Comment

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 6

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 6

Q & A 15
Q What is the work of creation?
A The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of his power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for himself, within the space of six days, and all very good.*1

Q & A 16
Q How did God create angels?
A God created all the angels2 spirits,3 immortal,4 holy,5 excelling in knowledge,6 mighty in power,7 to execute his commandments, and to praise his name,8 yet subject to change.9

Q & A 17
Q How did God create man?
A After God had made all other creatures, he created man male and female;10 formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground,11 and the woman of the rib of the man,12 endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls;13 made them after his own image,14 in knowledge,15 righteousness, and holiness;16 having the law of God written in their hearts,17 and power to fulfill it,18 and dominion over the creatures;19 yet subject to fall.*20

*1 Genesis 1 (entire). Hebrews 11:3; Proverbs 16:4.
*2 Colossians 1:16.
*3 Psalm 104:4.
*4 Matthew 22:30.
*5 Matthew 25:31.
*6 2 Samuel 14:17; Matthew 24:36.
*7 2 Thessalonians 1:7.
*8 Psalm 103:20-21.
*9 2 Peter 2:4.
*10 Genesis 1:27.
*11 Genesis 2:7.
*12 Genesis 2:22.
*13 Genesis 2:7; Job 35:11; Matthew 10:28; Luke 23:43.
*14 Genesis 1:27.
*15 Colossians 3:10.
*16 Ephesians 4:24.
*17 Romans 2:14-15.
*18 Ecclesiastes 7:29.
*19 Genesis 1:28.
*20 Genesis 3:6; Ecclesiastes 7:29.

Leave a comment

From Smallest Seed

A video produced by A Rocha, featuring photos expressing aspects of creation care and enjoyment, set to the song From Smallest Seed.

Leave a comment

Walking Out A Thoughtful Life In Regard To What We Love (via Sandra McCracken)

Sandra McCracken and Sara Groves perform McCracken’s song Dynamite (from her album Desire Like Dynamite).
Here’s what McCracken has to say during the song:

“Some friends and I went on a pilgrimage to meet Wendell Berry one afternoon and had a conversation with him about life, life living in a city, what does a sustainable life look like, what does the word sustainable mean … all these kinds of conversations. Out of that came a few things that he directed us towards. One was where does the water in your area come from, and your energy?
I remember hearing the quote from Jonathan Edwards years ago, and it came up as I was exploring these themes, that we are shaped by our greatest desires. So we are free to choose, but we are always a slave to our greatest desire. As we’re motivated, as our life … we make small decisions through the course of the day, or we’re formed by habits. At the same time, at the base of those habits, is what we love. And so looking honestly at that is important work. It’s often hard work just staying awake, or becoming awake to it, and then being able to walk out a thoughtful life in regard to what we love.”

Leave a comment

Solar System To Scale

As Douglas Adams wrote, ‘Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.’
This video demonstrates that truth, as a scale model of the solar system is created on a Nevada lakebed.
The sun and planets are sized relative to orbiting distances.
The effect is compelling.