tagged me, and I rather like this one..
Name three characters (from books)...
1). You wish were real so you could meet them.
2). You would like to be.
Kay Harker or Elizabeth Bennett
3). Who scare you.
Abner Brown or Professor Weston from Perelandra
tagging Carla and Dan.
The Atonement looks to be heating up as the big theological pot-boiler right now. I've watched the various back and forth with increasing dismay and also quite a bit of encouragement that there are still mainstream voices willing to stand for truth even when it means breaking fellowship.
When Steve Chalke began promoting his abberant theology regarding the atonement, the Evangelical Alliance seemed to deal with it by tutting at him, and dialoguing the atonement down to something he could agree with, thus 'solving' the problem. The relentless promotion of a social work in place of the gospel, and the growing attack on the heart of the faith - Justification - makes for a very uneasy time in the UK church. I fear it is going to be a time of schism. And yet, I think that is almost a good thing.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not rejoicing in infighting and disunity. But you know what? These things have existed since the year dot in the church, and if it's going to happen, I am relieved that it's actually forcing people to restate some of the most fundamentally important doctrines of Christian belief.
I am relieved that there are still enough people who think that a biblical understanding of our Justification is a hill to die on. I am one of them, and my line in the sand is this - I worship a thrice Holy God who is good and perfectly loving. He must punish evil, because that is part and parcel of what makes Him a just judge. In His great love, he has taken that punishment for His people so that they go free. He does not wink at our sin, He blots it out.
If God could 'just decide to forgive', then what was the cross for? Yes, undoubtedly Christ is victorious on the cross - that's what the resurrection is all about. I've said it before, and it pains me to say it again, but I must.
If you refuse to believe that Christ took your deserved punishment on the cross, then He most likely didn't, and that means that you must. This is a fearful, fearful thought. Please, do not be found at the judgement seat of the most high God insisting that He must just forgive you. You come through the substitutionary death of Christ, or not at all.
Phil Johnson's treatment of propitiation and all that it means to this question ishere, and I highly recommend it to the two or three readers of my blog who don't already come by way of Teampyro.
Personally, I'm still in a very wobbly sort of place post-natally, but I'm unable to hold back from stepping up to the plate about this, even though I'm not in much of a debate mindset right now. My line in the sand is drawn, and here I will most definitely stand.
It's bright and warm in the UK right now, and my girls are enjoying the garden. We have a small square back garden - mostly laid to lawn, but with a ramshackle patio on the few feet surrounding the house. We do have a big patch of earth that we cleared last year and plan on using to cultivate something edible at some point. Biggest problem with that? It's clay. The only thing that soil is likely to produce is a few terracotta plant pots for me to grow things in.
When it rains, our whole garden becomes a big bowl full of water. Over winter, we were seriously considering turning it into a paddyfield, and having a crop of rice. We're slowly trying to dig some grit into it to improve the drainage, but I fear it is a futile effort.
I'm always amused watching the girls play. Time and again, I'll see them doing something and think 'I want to remember that'. I know I won't - it just isn't possible to store every second of their lives in my memory. The moments we remember are most often not the ones we consciously shelve away. I try to write down things that they say - snippets of conversations, idiosyncratic vocabulary and so on.
But I know I can't store their daily activity, not even with photos and video. It's one of the things that really underscores my finite nature, and fills me with awe that the Lord knows each of our lives intimately, and has no need to try and capture them. He exists in an eternal now, and never 'doesn't have time' to sit and just watch.
So that's what I'm about today - I'm taking the time to sit and watch them pottering about, digging, collecting and running off steam.
This kind of stuff makes me blush a little, it has to be said. But I'm very pleased to have something else to add to the sidebar, and I plan to use it as an encouragement to make that side of the blog a wee bit more interesting
Aaanyway, Carla awarded me this spiffy little badge and one of the privileges of having one is to nominate 5 other worthy blogs. So, here goes..
Your Sacred Calling. This is a blog by a lady named Stacy McDonald. Stacy and her husband, James, have had a huge influence on this family, and were instrumental in waking me up to the unthinking feminism I had been embracing. They were also among the first Calvinist thinkers we ever came across. Stacy is faithful, hugely committed to the practical implications of our faith, and a proper published author.
Dan makes my head hurt. While I was busy bashing out thoughts with nary a care for presentation, dear Dan proved a valuable 'style consultant' and made the blog readable. He also does all this greek stuff, dispensationalism and theology so heavy you need a JCB to deal with it, but with a wit that slices girders clean-through. Yes, he's a little abrasive when he thinks you're wasting his time because you haven't read what he's written, but do the work before you ask your question, and chances are you won't need to ask, because he's already thought of it.
Mr Turk thinks about stuff I never even realized you could think about. And then he writes it down on his blog. Yes, it takes ages to load on my computer because of all the pwetty gwaphics, but the text always loads first, and that's where the good stuff is. This is a man who knows the gospel isn't about law-making or license, and has supreme confidence that the Word of God does exactly what it says it will do, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Adrian Warnock often infuriates me, but I have a lot of respect for him. One reason is that he has all these clever little widgets on his blog linking to all manner of interesting articles and essays. The other is that he has the gumption to acknowledge the controversial aspects of his beliefs and defend them with good grace.
Finally, Jonathan Hunt doesn't post often, but what he does post is challenging and helpful. His recent piece on gossip was very good. he's one of a family of bloggers, it seems, and I enjoy visiting them all, but he gets the award as I found the rest of them through him.
Anyway, I know you've probably already come across most of these already, but there we are. Cheers, Carla, I do appreciate it.
So, you're in hospital. You're getting used to the routine - regular drugs rounds, breakfast, lunch and dinner, doctors ward rounds, cleaners changing your bins, mopping the floor, cleaning the sink...
You add some flavour to the daily rounds by adding in some time for using a nice long list of intercessions, bible reading, listening to sermon tapes and music, Audio-books and the occasional programme on Radio 4.
You mostly manage because your head is a bit foggy with the pain and the medication, and each hour takes time foward. But it's nice to have something to break up the monotony, so the odd newspaper or magazine is flicked through.
That's why I found myself reading Marie Claire. It was an odd experience. There were about 5 awfully worthy articles about Pakistani rape laws, forced marriages and teenage liposuction. Fawning-but-pretending-to-be-knowingly-cool interviews with various celebrities. Page upon page of vacuous fashion - disembodied outfits floating beside their shamefully extravagant price-tags. Adverts for 'Brands' featuring scowling women with improbably shimmering skin.
Peppered throughout this waste of tree were snide comments about men.There were problem pages with questions from women so befuddled by the empty space they've been told is modern life, that they need to ask how they should respond to a boyfriend who asks them to do something unspeakable. Any number of encouragements to take up the feminist cause crop up regularly.
To which the only credible response is - Why? 3/4 of an inch thick, and there is nothing of worth in the entire publication. The glossy fashion bored me to tears, the celebrity gossip was grasping and unpleasant, the worthy articles just came across as shallow hypocrisy surrounded by so much pap, and the feminist call to arms falls flat when you read the large classified section.
It was full of adverts for face-creams that spit in the eye of wrinkles, every conceivable cosmetic surgery procedure available, psychics and tarot readers and a couple of abortion clinics. Look at the lifestyle you can have, said the siren voice in the front section, isn't it sophisticated?
But the classified directory told a different tale - one of the exploitation of deeply unhappy women who want to look like the pinch-faced models, but don't, women who crave guidance, even if it comes from occult means, or a charlatan on a premium-rate line.
It cost Ant £2.90, and it was worth it, but only because it came with a pink umbrella, which has since proved very useful. The magazine itself? Well, I've never been happier to add to our big green recycling bin.