I invite you to look at--

My Website where you will find: ordering information and chapter summaries for The Beauty of God for a Broken World; audio sermons; a few poems and hymns; and some other essays.

My Videos where you will find a few two-minute videos on various subjects related to The Beauty of God for a Broken World.


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Book Review--One Thing

One Thing: Developing a Passion for the Beauty of God
by Sam Storms (Christian Focus, 2004)

This is a beautifully written book. Sam Storms has adopted John Piper’s phrase to describe himself as a Christian Hedonist. Like Piper (and like me), Storms has been captivated by Jonathan Edwards’ description of God’s glory and beauty. After introducing the importance of beauty as a category for understanding and enjoying God (3 chapters), Storms illustrates the beauty and majesty of God with chapters on Handel’s Messiah, Galactic Grandeur, and Microscopic Majesty. He concludes with three chapters on the vital importance of beauty for a healthy, happy Christian life.

“The essence of loving living as a follower of Jesus isn’t in trying harder but in enjoying more. I’m not saying you can change without trying. I’m saying that enjoyment empowers effort. Pleasure in God is the power for purity” (p. 128).

While Sam Storms has the same understanding of God’s beauty as I do, our books are nevertheless quite different. One Thing is more devotional, my Beauty of God for a Broken World is more theological. Storms does an excellent job of illustrating God’s beauty. I have attempted to defend it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Calvinistic Evangelism

Titus 1:1 Paul a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen by God....

As the apostle Paul traveled through Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and the islands of the Mediterranean Sea, he preached the gospel with the goal of bringing those chosen by God to faith. He preached to everybody, but his purpose was to be God’s instrument in fulfilling God’s plan for the elect. We see this in the account of Paul’s ministry at Corinth. Paul had been driven out of several Greek cities by mobs of angry Jews. When the same trouble arose in Corinth, he was apparently considering his escape route, but the Lord had different plans for him.

Acts 18:9-11
And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; 10 for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

The reason Paul stayed in Corinth for so long was that God revealed to him that there were many elect in the city. That is the same thing that encourages us to proclaim Christ in our work places, in our neighborhoods, and around the world through our missionaries. We know that God has His elect people everywhere, so we do not give up. We proclaim God’s truth to everyone who will listen because we want God to use us to bring His elect to faith.

A few years ago a woman joined our church to the dismay of her friends. They said, "You shouldn't go to that church. They are Calvinists, and Calvinists don't believe in evangelism." The woman replied, "This church does a lot more evangelism than your church does." We take as our models George Whitefield, William Carey, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, all of whom were earnest, Calvinistic evangelists.

Sunday, December 27, 2009