Things I've appreciated lately:
First off, 21st Century Reformation has a nice post called The 20th Century Two-Step. In post after post Brad turns a sharp eye on the practice of discipleship in the modern church. He's lovingly and constructively critical, which must be our starting place for change, methinks. This has been an excellent series.
2) Another of my favorite bloggers, Rebecca Writes, that light-hearted Calvinist (!!!), has just completed a five part series called His Workmanship. These are good. No, I mean really good! Read 'em, will ya? [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5]
3) Eucatastrophe is new to my blogroll. BTW, in case like me you didn't know, a eucatastrophe is a revolutionary turning point in history for the good. The tagline here is a quotation from Tolkein: "the Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man's history." Here I discovered the lyrics to an old hymn with which I was unfamiliar:
Weary, working, burdened one, wherefore toil you so?By the way, through Eucatastrophe I happened upon a link to Gospel-Driven Sanctification, by Jerry Bridges. As if that wasn't enough, Daniel's most recent post kind of unpacks Bridges' insights in a long but rewarding post entitled Real Men (and women) Are Gospel-Driven. Good words.
Cease your doing; all was done long, long ago.
Till to Jesus' work you cling by a simple faith,
'Doing' is a deadly thing -- doing ends in death.
Cast your deadly doing down -- down at Jesus' feet;
Stand in Him in Christ alone, gloriously complete.
4) On a different note, I draw your attention to a recent column at the Washington Times by Victor David Hansen: What Happened to History. Hansen is a refreshingly against the grain historian. Here's a sample:
5) I've discovered in the past year or so that, for me at least, keeping a daily journal requires a writing instrument and a blank notebook that are both aesthetically satisfying. No more sputtery ballpoints or spiral-bound cheapies from the drugstore for me. My utensil of choice is now the Staedtler Remedy. As for notebooks, now that my current book is nearly full, I've sent for my next Moleskine. Ah, the simple pleasures!
To appreciate the value of history, we must also accept that human nature is constant and fixed across time and space. Our kindred forefathers in very dissimilar landscapes were nevertheless subject to the same emotions of fear, envy, honor and shame as our own.
In contrast, if one believes human nature is malleable -- or with requisite money and counseling can be "improved" -- history becomes just an obsolete science. It would be no different from 18th-century biology before the microscope or early genetics without knowledge of DNA. Once man before our time appears alien, the story of his past has very little prognostic value.
6) Aron at Some Thoughts has a a good post on the sometimes contentious subject of Eternal Security. Sample:
If someone told you that you were guaranteed to win a footrace, would you loaf, or would you run all the harder? I think it would depend on the prize. If the prize was glory, you might start basking in it early–and loaf it. But if the prize is Christ–if you know that Christ Jesus the Lord Himself is waiting for you on the other side, that He himself is the prize that you’re guaranteed to win, how hard would you run? How much incentive would you have to persevere on the long upward climb? No matter what our theory, if we’re not ‘running so as to obtain the prize,’ then we have not truly known the value of the prize. If we’ve seen him, we’ll run with our all.7) Finally, do check out some of the newcomers to my blogroll: Broken Messenger, Miscellanies of the Gospel, and Fire and Knowledge.