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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 3

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 3

Q. Did God create man evil and perverse like this?
A. No. On the contrary, God created man good and in his image, that is, in true righteousness and holiness, so that he might rightly know God his Creator, love him with his whole heart, and live with him in eternal blessedness, praising and glorifying him.

Q. Where, then, does this corruption of human nature come from?
A. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden; whereby our human life is so poisoned that we are all conceived and born in the state of sin.

Q. But are we so perverted that we are altogether unable to do good and prone to do evil?
A. Yes, unless we are born again through the Spirit of God.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 16

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 16

Chapter 9 – Of Free Will
I. God has endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that is neither forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined to good or evil.
II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which is good and well-pleasing to God; but yet mutably, so that he might fall from it.
III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
IV. When God converts a sinner and translates him into the state of grace, he frees him from his natural bondage under sin, and, by his grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so as that, by reason of his remaining corruption, he does not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but does also will that which is evil.
V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutable free to good alone, in the state of glory only.

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People Prefer Electric Shocks To Being Alone With Their Own Thoughts For Fifteen Minutes

This seems so weird, but is based on the premise of being without company, phone, pen, paper, book, music or anything.
The whole situation stands at odds with the observations about having too much to do or being overloaded with busyness.
The very situation we contend plagues us, we’re actually addicted to.
People apparently can’t last even fifteen minutes totally alone with themselves.
Given the choice they administer electric shocks to themselves just to have something to do.
I wonder how the same experiment would go, but giving people the choice of watching The Bachelor?
Try the fifteen minutes alone thing some time.

Read about the experiment here.
There’s lots of analysis around the internet as well.

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Created For Relationships

From Tim Keller:

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Two New Posts From David Cook

Two new articles written by David Cook (moderator-general of the Presbyterian Church) have been posted at the Presbyterian Church of Australia website.
One is a thematic followup to a previous post where David observes that
“no political philosophy can change the heart of people. Humans are in rebellion against their creator, they want what he can give, they just don’t want him.
By not having him, they regress further and further away from the model of what God created people to be – that model would become flesh in the Lord Jesus – and so greed, corruption and crime become our daily fare.”
David then points to Jesus as the only one who can change our corrupt hearts.
The other post is about a plan in his home church, the aim of which is to encourage and help people read the Bible.
“Promoting regular, careful, prayerful reading of the God-breathed word is surely a vital part of our pastoral calling and a vital part of our walk with God and growth in godliness.”

Read both posts here.

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When A Billionaire And A Millionaire Brawl On A Footpath (via David Cook)

David Cook writes about the stoush that has all the features of one of those red-neck reality shows, except this time the combatants are filthy rich.
While it may seem that these two are simply ordinary men, David suggests that their behaviour is actually indicative of a society which is forgetting what it is to be truly human.

An excerpt:

Sunday’s brawl at Bondi, between wealthy old mates, James Packer and David Gyngell is further clear evidence of the state of human nature and no amount of money can cover it up.
Rajend Naidu summed it up best in the Australian’s letters column on Wednesday, ” The punch up between James Packer and David Gyngell is a reminder that no matter how high the human ape climbs, contained within its bodily frame is the indelible stamp of its lowly animal origin” .
Another Packer, JI, had his classic, Knowing God, published in 1973, and then in 1978, his less well known, Knowing Man, published as ‘For man’s sake’.
In Knowing Man, in making his point that humankind has turned its back on God, he says,that has left behind a world in which people simply do not understand themselves, “The human being in his lucid moments knows that he is half ape and half angel, a kind of cosmic amphibian, grand in his powers pathetic often in his performance…we swing between aspiring to be like angels and consenting to act like apes”.

Read the whole piece here.

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The Testimony Of Rosaria Butterfield

My wife will be interested in this video.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield’s website describes her as “a former tenured professor of English at Syracuse University. After her conversion to Christianity in 1999, she developed a ministry to college students. She has taught and ministered at Geneva College and is a full-time mother and pastor’s wife, part-time author, and occasional speaker.”
Her testimony is getting a lot of attention, as is The Secret Thoughts Of An Unlikely Convert the book she wrote outlining her conversion and the changes to her life that followed.

I’ve set the video to start after someone else’s introductory comments.