Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

Do Good Anyway

Monday, June 18th, 2018

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you.

Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous.

Be happy anyway. 

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway. 

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.

Give your best anyway, for you see, in the end it is between you and God, it was never between you and them anyway. 

- Mother Teresa

Words to the Winners of Souls

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I (Kristin) stumbled across a little book today by Horatius Bonar entitled Words to the Winners of Souls. I am only part way through it, but I would highly recommend it to pastors and laymen alike. We are all called to be “fishers of men”, and so the words apply equally to us as to our overseers.

I find the book to be convicting as well as inspiring. How easily we get distracted by the cares of this world and forget the real purpose of our lives on earth! How cold is our religion and how we lack zeal! Is it any wonder why our churches are dying?

Here are a couple excellent quotes from the book:

“And who can say how much of the overflowing infidelity of the present day is owing not only to the lack of spiritual instructors, nor to the existence of unfaithful and inconsistent ones, but to the coldness of many who are reputed sound and faithful? Men cannot but feel, that if religion is worth anything, it is worth everything; that if it calls for any measure of zeal and warmth, it will justify the utmost degrees of these; and that there is no consistent medium between reckless atheism and the intensest warmth of religious zeal. Men may dislike and persecute the latter, yet their consciences are all the while silently reminding them that, if there be a God and a Saviour, a heaven and a hell, anything short of such life and love is hypocrisy and perjury!”

**********************

“Thus one has written: ‘The language we have been accustomed to adopt is this: We must use the means, and leave the event to God; we can do no more than employ the means: this is our duty, and, having done this, we must leave the rest to Him who is the disposer of all things. Such language sounds well, for it seems to be an acknowledgment of our own nothingness, and to savour of submission to God’s sovereignty; but it is only sound: it has not really any substance in it; for though there is truth stamped on the face of it, there is falsehood at the root of it.

To talk of submission to God’s sovereignty is one thing, but really to submit to it is another, and quite a different thing. Really to submit to God’s sovereign disposal involves the deep renunciation of our own will in the matter concerned; and such a renunciation of the will can never be effected without a soul being brought through very severe and trying exercises of an inward and most humbling nature. Therefore, if, whilst we are quietly satisfied in using the means without obtaining the end, –and this costs us no such painful inward exercises and deep humbling as that alluded to,–we think that we are leaving the affair to God’s disposal, we deceive ourselves, and the truth (in this matter) is not in us.

No; really to give anything to God implies that the will, which is emphatically the heart, has been set on that thing; and if the heart has indeed been set on the salvation of sinners, as the end to be answered by the means we use, we cannot possibly give up that end, without, as was before observed, the heart being severely exercised and deeply pained by the renunciation of the will involved in it. When, therefore, we can be quietly content to use the measn for saving souls without seeing them saved thereby, it is because there is no renunciation of the will–that is, no real giving up to God in the affair. The fact is, the will, the heart, had never really been set upon this end: if it had, it could not possibly give up such an end without being broken by the sacrifice. When we can thus be satisfied to use the means without obtaining the end, and speak of it as though we were submitting to the Lord’s disposal, we use a truth to hide a falsehood…for our ability to leave the matter thus is not, as we imagine, the result of heart-submission to God, but of heart-indifference to the salvation of souls…‘”

Worldviews in “Collision”

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

by Kristin

Recently, we viewed the new “debatumentary” about Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson’s tour around America. The two men debated the existence and goodness of God. Hitchens’ primary argument was that Christianity is “immoral”, and Wilson (craftily wielding the transcendental argument) challenged him to give a basis for his claim.

In my observation, Hitchens had difficulty in recognizing the paralyzing thrust of Wilson’s argument. An atheist can’t deny the existence of a Moral Lawgiver and an absolute moral law and then turn around and claim that the Christian’s belief in such goes against absolute moral law.

Let me explain using an illustration. Suppose Hitchens came up to me and told me that  Parliament doesn’t exist, that there are no lawmakers, judges, or policemen, and there is no Charter or Constitution — no law or enforcement of any kind.

“Is that so?” I said. “Well, I believe that all drivers should stop at red lights and stop signs.”

“It’s against the law to believe such a thing,” says Hitchens. “People like you are criminals and are poisoning the world.”

But hold on a second: Against what law? Hitchens just told me he doesn’t believe there are laws, lawmakers, or law enforcers. So what is he referring to? If there is no law, then on what is he basing his claim that my belief is “against the law”?  The answer is: Nothing. He has nothing to back him up. Hitchens’ claim is empty and meaningless.

The same goes with his argument against Christianity. He denies the existence of God (the Great Lawgiver and Judge) and by consequence the existence of God’s absolute moral law, and then he calls Christianity “immoral.” What does he have to back up that claim? Nothing. His argument is totally meaningless unless he can come up with an absolute moral law (other than God’s) which applies to all men equally across all cultures and history.

I think Wilson did an excellent job of keeping up the offensive and forcing Hitchens to defend his position. Wilson kept driving the point home that Hitchens had no ground to stand on, and hopefully — Lord willing — Hitchens will eventually come to see the fatal flaw in his atheism.

A ‘Face to Face’ Discussion on Holiness

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

by Kristin

A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook, asking “What does it mean to ‘strive for holiness’?

Here is the discussion that followed:

What does it mean to “strive for holiness”??

Kristin Kidd
Holiness means to be “set apart.” There should be an unmistakable difference between Christians and the world. We need to seek to be close to the heart of God, and because God is holy, this means we need to reject our sin, keep God’s law with a pure and right heart, and love as Jesus loved — sacrifice our selves for the good of others. (Not easy!)

J. T.
@Kristin, are Christians set apart *because* they follow a particular law or are Christians set apart *to* follow a particular law? What do you mean when you say we ought to “keep God’s law with a pure and right heart”? Which law? The Mosaic law? The Shema?

Kristin Kidd
@J. T., I’d say both, because I believe 1) that Christians are commanded to keep the law (John 14:15) and that we are known by our fruits (Matt. 7:17-20, Cf. book of James) and 2) that God is sovereign and that the Holy Spirit works in us, makes us new creations, and helps us to keep the law.
I said ‘pure and right heart’ to distinguish from the legalistic keeping of the law, which strains out gnats and swallows camels, and which neglects mercy and justice (Matt. 23:23-24).
If you ask me, the Shema is a summary of the Mosaic law (see Matt. 22:34-40). You have to distinguish between the ceremonial laws and the moral laws of the OT. The NT affirms the continued keeping of the moral law, but the ceremonial law (i.e. dietary laws, laws of animal sacrifices) were done away with through the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus and the instructions to Peter (Acts 10).

J. T.
@Kristin, I think you’ve made some helpful distinctions, however, I’m not sure that in John 14:15 Jesus is commanding his followers to keep the moral law. “If you love me, you will obey what I command,” (Jn. 14:15, NIV). Jesus expands on this a few verses later: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you,” and again, “This is my command: Love each other,” (Jn. 15: 12, 17 respectively). This seems to be similar to the Shema.
The Shema as seen in Matt. seems to be more than just a “summary” of the Mosaic law, the words Jesus uses, particularly in verse 40 seem to suggest that the Shema is a *fulfillment* of the Mosaic law.

Kristin Kidd
@ J. T. , Re: Love and law. Love is the fulfillment of the law, but love is shown through actions. Paul explains this in Romans 13:8-10. You cannot separate love from actions.
For example, you can tell your wife you love her, but if you steal from her (i.e. break the 8th commandment) you are not showing love. Your breaking of the law demonstrates your lack of love.
It’s the same with Jesus’ commandments to love. Love means keeping the law.

[Postscript: Just to clarify. Love (and the Shema) is a fulfillment of the law in the sense which Paul is talking about in Romans 13: if you love your neighbour, you will "fulfill" the law toward them by not stealing from them, not killing them, and so on.]

The God Imperative

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

If man was made to enjoy life in union and fellowship with his Creator, then living in alienation is to embrace insanity and an early death.