Keller on “Explosive” Contextualization

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From his forthcoming Center Church:

To illustrate what is needed for effective contextualization, let’s turn to the world of demolition. Say you are building a highway and want to remove a giant boulder. First, you drill a small shaft down into the center of the rock. Then you put explosives down the shaft into the core of the stone and detonate them. If you drill the shaft but never ignite the blast, you obviously will never move the boulder. But the same is true if you only blast and fail to drill—putting the explosives directly against the surface of
the rock. You will simply shear off the face of it, and the boulder will remain. All drilling with no blasting, or all blasting with no drilling, leads to failure. But if you do both of these, you will remove the rock.

To contextualize with balance and successfully reach people in a culture, we must both enter the culture sympathetically and respectfully (similar to drilling) and confront the culture where it contradicts biblical truth (similar to blasting).

Tree of Life: Two Ways

The nuns taught us there were two ways through life—the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow… Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries… Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things… They taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.

I will be true to you, whatever comes.

Art Can Glorify God Because of the Goodness of Creation

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Art can glorify God because of the intrinsic good of creation, not because it has some transformative, redemptive power to usher in spiritual redemption… Poorly written novels — no matter how pious and edifying the behavior of the characters — are not good in themselves and are therefore not really edifying.

@WhiteHorseInn
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Like Abraham, Drive Away the Buzzards

AbrahamDear Zion,

In our sermon series on “The Gospel According to Abraham,” we’ve been introduced to the Covenant of Grace.  We saw how God furthered His Covenant of Grace with Abraham in Genesis 15, cutting the animals in half and passing through that valley of death to ratify His promise to Abraham and his offspring.  But did you notice the seemingly insignificant detail in Genesis 15:11?  “And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.”  Now why would God include this little tidbit of Abram trying to scare off some buzzards?  Is it just to fill in some of the details of the story?  Or, is God’s Word so rich and intricate, that even this easily overlooked verse can teach us more of God’s ways? Continue reading

Milton Friedman on Legislating Morality


I don’t agree with everything from the Milton Friedman-U of C school of thought. In fact, there are parts even in this brief segment that I have strong reservations about.

But is anyone strong enough to disagree with his opening assertion?

There is a fundamental economic law – which has never been contradicted to the best of my knowledge – and that is that if you pay more for something, there will tend to be more of that something available. If the amount you are willing to pay for anything goes up, somehow or other, somebody will supply more of that thing.

We have made immoral behavior far more profitable. We have, in the course of the changes in our society, been establishing greater and greater incentives on people to behave in ways that most of us regard as immoral.

If this is correct, how may this insight be applied to current moral challenges?

The Last Adam Rules the Common Kingdom

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So how does Christ now rule the many institutions and communities of this world other than the church? The answer is that He rules them through the Noahic covenant, for they are institutions and communities of the common kingdom. They operate according to the same basic principles and purposes as before Christ’s first coming. What is different is that God now rules them through the incarnate Lord Jesus, the last Adam who has entered into the glory of the world-to-come.

VanDrunen, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms p. 118

W.H. Auden’s Birthday

Funeral

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public
doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West, Continue reading