No Other Gospel

After learning I would be beginning a new sermon series this week, a study of the book of Galatians, a friend and colleague who is an Army Chaplain asked me if I had read the relatively new book, No Other Gospel.  Though I had seen it, I admitted I was not really familiar with it.  He suggested it would be a good parallel book to coincide with the series of messages we will be offering at Grace Covenant between now and Easter.

I picked it up, skimmed it this afternoon, and expect to commend it to our congregation – at least to No Otherthose who want to do a little digging of their own over the next few months.  (I’ll read it more thoroughly as well.)

In the video above Justin Taylor interviews the author of the book, Josh Moody, who serves the historic College Church of Wheaton.  Moody explains the basis and the gist of the book.

5 Questions to Read the Bible With Heart & Mind

Clock Lit

Tremper Longman summarizes the entire thrust of his book, Reading the Bible With Heart & Mind, in five simple questions:

1. What does this passage of the Bible teach me about God and my relationship with Him?

2. What does this passage tell me about how God has acted in the past?

3. How does this passage change the way I think about the world and how does it impact the way I live my life?

4. How has God chosen to communicate these truths to me through the Scriptures?

5. How does this passage present Christ?

Great questions to help us get the most of our Bible study.

Seed of the Word in the Soil of the Heart

Sprout in Hand

“Truly, the Bible as the Word of God has an inherent power, but it is not a coercive power. That is, the Bible does not work it’s effects mechanically. We don’t change just because we read it. Out minds may be engaged in the text, but something must happen in our hearts as well. In the parable of the Sower (Matthew 13.18-23), the seed does not miraculously and independently transform itself into a flowering plant. The condition of the soil effects how well the seed takes root. Our hearts must be receptive to God’s Word in the same way the soil must be rich and conducive to the development of deep roots and luxurient growth. As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: ‘What you bring away from the Bible depends to some extent on what you carry to it.'”

Tremper Longman, from Reading the Bible With Heart & Mind

Bible Reading Plan for Slackers

Hebrew Scroll

I am long overdue to draft a post. But new year equals new beginnings, right?  While I will again eschew making any New Years Resolutions, except to resolve not to make any resolutions – (hey, it worked last year!)  … I do plan to get back into the swing of writing and posting.

Let me begin 2013 by suggesting a different kind of Bible reading plan, one that writer Margie Haack, of Ransom Fellowship, calls “The Bible Reading Plan for Slackers & Shirkers“.  She explains:

The big difference between this plan and any other I had tried was that it was not tied to any particular date. On any day of the week, say it was Friday, I read the assigned portion and happily checked it off. Fridays were good days and it is true I finished all of them before I finished the Saturdays, but then I simply read wherever I was behind.

I was not tempted to cheat, because there were no unsightly gaps. I knew it was going to take me longer than a year. And, after all, what is so inspired about doing it in a year? Nothing. I also liked not having to look up five different references in one day. You could just settle in and read an entire assignment which came from one book.

In short, here is a synopsis of some of the advantages of this plan:

  1. It removes the pressure to ‘keep up’ with getting through the entire Bible in a year.
  2. It provides variety throughout the week by alternating genres.
  3. It provides continuity by reading the same genre on the same day of each week.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sundays: Poetry
  • Mondays: Penteteuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
  • Tuesdays: Old Testament History
  • Wednesdays: Old Testament History
  • Thursdays: Old Testament Prophets
  • Fridays: New Testament History (Gospels & Acts)
  • Saturdays: New Testament Epistles (letters)

The benefit of a plan like this is that it provides guidance but it does not put promote guilt if we miss a day.  Just pick up with the next reading for whatever day it happens to be.

To download .pdf click: Bible Reading Plan for Slackers & Shirkers

The True & Better

In this brief video, Tim Keller shows us how Jesus can be seen throughout the familiar narratives of the Old Testament.  This is not an exercise like Where’s Waldo? , where you scour a picture to see if you can find the hidden face.  Nor is this mere metaphor.  This is God’s intended revelation of his grace that was to come.  Each instance is a typology in which, through real life historical figures and events, there is a foreshadowing of the life, work, and/or character of the promised Messiah.  This is why Jesus said to his disciples along the Emmaus Road: “All the Scriptures speak of me.”  (See Luke 24.25-27)