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Sunday's Hymn: O Worship the King

O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

The earth with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, Thy power hath founded of old;
Established it fast by a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.

Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

O measureless might! Ineffable love!
While angels delight to worship Thee above,
The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
With true adoration shall all sing Thy praise. 

—Robert Grant

Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.


Round the Sphere Again: Questions

About Assurance
How can I know I’m a Christian (Tim Challies)? And what is the right basis for assurance of salvation?

Of God
Both Mary and Zechariah asked God a question. “Why is Mary’s treated with respect while Zechariah’s is an occasion for spiritual discipline? (Justin Taylor)”

About the Dictionary
How do words get in the dictionary (Grammar Girl)?

And what is a dictionary, anyway? In answering this second question, Grammar Girl makes the point that 

most modern dictionaries are descriptive, which means they attempt to describe the language as it is actually used.

In other words, a dictionary isn’t going to tell you which words are acceptible and which are unacceptible. For that, you need a usage or style guide.


Christianity and Liberalism: Chapter 4

Good news! I finally have a copy of Christianity and Liberalism. It arrived Friday of last week by Purolator. Yes, for the first time in this round of  Tim Challies’ Reading Classics Together, I read from an actual book. 

Last week’s reading discussed the doctrines of God and man, what Machen calls “the presuppositions of the [Christian] message,” showing that liberalism was diametrically opposed to true Christianity on these points. This week, Machen moves beyond Christianity’s two great presuppositions to the means by which we receive the message, the Bible. 

“The Bible” says Machen, “contains an account of a revelation from God to man.” 

[T]he revelation of which an account is contained in the Bible embraces not only a reaffirmation of eternal truths … but also a revelation which sets forth the meaning of an act of God.

What’s more, this account itself is true because the writers of the Bible were kept from error by the oversight of the Holy Spirit. 

Modern liberalism, however, rejected the doctrine of an error-free Bible and claimed instead to accept the authority of Jesus alone. Yet that was not a true claim, because when it came to the words of Jesus, a typical liberal only accepted “those elements in the teaching of Jesus … which happen to agree with the modern program.”

It is not Jesus, then, who is the real authority, but the modern principle by which the selection within Jesus’ recorded teaching has been made. Certain isolated ethical principles of the Sermon on the Mount are accepted, not at all because they are teachings of Jesus, but because they agree with modern ideas.

And when you work that out, it all boils down to each individual’s experience being the final authority, and, when you boil that pan dry, you get no authority at all, “for individual experience is endlessly diverse, and when once truth is regarded only as that which works at any particular time, it ceases to be truth.”

To sum up: The foundation of true Christianity is the Bible; the foundation of modern liberalism is “the shifting emotions of sinful men.” Could they be any more different?

So far we’ve covered the presuppositions of Christianity (chapter 3) and the authority by which the Christian message is received (chapter 4). What comes next? It’s the message itself, starting with the person of Christ. See you next week for a summary of chapter 5.


Thankful Thursday

I’m thankful for phones and cell phones. Without a phone, I would have gone to my early morning dentist appointment only to find out that the dentist was sick. And it wouldn’t have been so convenient to make plans for a walk with a friend, either. I’m thankful that while I was at the grocery store I could receive a text telling me not to forget salsa. God created human beings to be inventive and creative so that we have many tools and gadgets to make our everyday lives easier, and for that I am thankful.

I’m thankful that God gave us work to do so our lives have purpose. I might get bored if all I had to do was sit in a recliner eating bonbons. I’m thankful that God has provided steady work for my son’s business, since all that work provides income for both my sons.

I’m thankful that my son and his wife found a new place to rent. There is nothing to rent at a reasonable price in this town, but through a friend they found a little house downtown to live in.

Throughout this year I’m planning to post a few thoughts of thanksgiving each Thursday along with Kim at the Upward Call and others.


Round the Sphere Again: While We're on the Subject

Trevin Wax discusses vocation (a recent Theological Term of the week) with Ben Witherington and Gene Veith. He’ll be posting this in three parts, with two posted already:

My friend Eddie, who recently started the blog Eddie’s Epics, has responded to my post Ordained Is a Wonderful Word, adding to what I wrote by explaining what God’s ordination means to believers. He writes:

I’m glad the Bible teaches this. I’m glad that it’s a truth. Otherwise, I’d be afraid of the moments that weren’t ordained, that didn’t have His purposes behind them, that were just random or extra. What would those moments be? What purpose would they serve? Even the moments in which I am weak ultimately produce the fruit of my reliance on grace!

Read his whole post.

A discussion with Sye TenBruggencate on presuppositional apologetics (Hip and Thigh). (I know I posted presuppostionalism as a theological term about a year ago, but it’s a subject I’m still thinking about.)