Yearly Archives: 2008

 

Dec

31

2008

Ray Ortlund|8:41 AM CT

Going into 2009

Going into this new year of grace 2009, I am thankful for four things and concerned about four things.

Thankful:

1. The gospel is being rediscovered and rejoiced over and ransacked in a fresh way, as evidenced by Together for the Gospel, The Gospel Coalition, Acts 29, etc. God seems to be creating new conditions for revival in the future. I hope I see some of it in my lifetime.

2. The rising generation, now in their 20s and 30s, are both theologically-minded and emotionally-intense toward the Lord. This is a powerful mix. If they will stay focused, we’re in for some good days. Future buffetings will test us, and we are all weak. But the race of Hebrews 12:1-2 is always runnable, if we will keep our eyes on Jesus.

3. The age of parachurch usurpation seems to be ending, and the rightful, biblical dignity and authority of the church are being re-asserted. Since the church is where God locates his power (Ephesians 3:20-21), again, it looks to me like the preconditions of revival.

4. The Bible is the focus of renewed fascination and serious study. I see the success of the ESV Study Bible as one evidence here. Pragmatism is less acceptable as a form of validation, and biblical authority is increasingly required. This is the Lord Jesus himself touching us with his royal scepter, asserting his authority, for his greater glory and our greater power.

Concerned:

1. Too many churches remain uninvolved in and even unaware of the new things God is doing. They seem stuck in old patterns of dysfunction. Will they be left behind and lost to tragic inconsequentiality?

2. A tsunami of sin has been slamming us for years now, especially through the internet and increasingly filthy “entertainment.” When will we get sick to our stomachs, sick of ourselves, sick enough to cry out to God for the massive cleansing only he can give? We tolerate sins that put our Savior on the cross. When will we become indignant enough to change?

3. Even in churches and movements that God is blessing, still, prayer can appear to be perfunctory at times. What is our confidence — our cool personalities, or the power of the Holy Spirit in our weakness?

4. My generation and above has most of the money. What are we doing with it? Padding our comfortable lives, or plowing it into the cause of Christ? Lazy self-indulgence is a huge temptation for older people. But the next decade can be the greatest season of our entire lives, if we will invest our historically unprecedented wealth in the rising generations of Christ’s soldiers.

 
 

Dec

30

2008

Ray Ortlund|4:27 PM CT

Our intuitive theology

 
 

Dec

30

2008

Ray Ortlund|11:58 AM CT

An atheist believes

A fascinating Times article by an atheist makes the case for Christian worldview change as essential to Africa’s future here.

HT: Justin Taylor.

 
 

Dec

29

2008

Ray Ortlund|8:19 PM CT

What it takes to win

 
 

Dec

20

2008

Ray Ortlund|12:08 PM CT

What we can expect in 2009


The hallelujah chorus that Christ has been stirring in our hearts throughout 2008 he will sustain and intensify and deepen throughout 2009, to the praise of the glory of his grace.

Thank you for checking into the blog this year. I’m taking a break now. God bless you.

 
 

Dec

19

2008

Ray Ortlund|11:17 AM CT

The gospel


HT: Pure Church.

 
 

Dec

19

2008

Ray Ortlund|9:13 AM CT

That was a good man


HT: Vitamin Z.

 
 

Dec

18

2008

Ray Ortlund|8:49 AM CT

37 years today


Today is our 37th wedding anniversary. I loved her then, I love her far more now. God has smiled on me.

 
 

Dec

17

2008

Ray Ortlund|2:51 PM CT

Cheapening forgiveness

Justin Taylor recounts one couple’s struggle with the meaning of forgiveness here.

Commenting on Luke 17:3 (“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him”), John Stott, Confess Your Sins: The Way of Reconciliation, page 35, writes:

“We are to rebuke a brother if he sins against us; we are to forgive him if he repents — and only if he repents. We must beware of cheapening forgiveness. . . . If a brother who has sinned against us refuses to repent, we should not forgive him. Does this startle you? It is what Jesus taught. . . . ‘Forgiveness’ includes restoration to fellowship. If we can restore to full and intimate fellowship with ourselves a sinning and unrepentant brother, we reveal not the depth of our love but its shallowness.”

May the Holy Spirit come down on us all, such that true repentance finds true reconciliation. We need a massive cleansing only God can give.

 
 

Dec

17

2008

Ray Ortlund|9:55 AM CT

Audacious idea for 2009


Ligon Duncan lists ten reasons for reading Calvin’s Institutes in 2009 here.