Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Fun...Tim Hawkins on Praying for "A Hedge of Protection"

Last week we skipped our regular installment of Friday Fun.  It was not an just seemed to be a little less than appropriate on Good Friday.  Have no fear, we are back!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Do People Come to Church on Easter?

Yesterday, it was wonderful to worship the risen Lord Jesus Christ together with church members and visitors alike at Calvary Presbyterian Church. Our sanctuary was full, necessitating the addition of folding chairs to accommodate the attendees. I don't know if it was the joy of the occasion or just the greater-than-normal number of voices, but the singing of hymns seemed especially passionate, and (at least for me) was even more enjoyable than normal.

My son is a bright, inquisitive boy, and on our way home from church, he asked me a question.  "Why," he enquired, "do so many more people come to church on Easter than usual?"

I explained to him that there were probably two reasons.  On the one hand, at any given church, not all of the "regular attendees" are there every week.  Though it might be different people each time, 10-15% of them (just to pick a number) might not be there on any given Sunday.  But on Easter, almost all of them will make sure that they are there on THAT Sunday.

As for the rest of the increase in church attendance, I told him that there are also plenty of people who feel like they should come to church on Easter, but don't seem to feel such a compulsion the other 51 Sundays each year.  As I said before, my son is a very smart boy, and he would not let me off quite that easy.  He pressed, "But why do they want to come on Easter if they don't the rest of the time?"

I had to admit to him that I did not have a good answer.  Perhaps they're going out to lunch with family afterward.  Regardless, we should be thankful that they are there on that day, because that might be the only time in the year that they really hear about the grace of God through Jesus Christ available to sinners like us.

So, in the same inquisitive, non-judgmental sense that my son asked me, I ask you, "Why do people who don't go to church the rest of the year show up on Easter?"  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Andrew Peterson - The Silence of God

Love And ThunderThis morning I came across this video over at Kevin DeYoung's blog.  I've mentioned on a number of occasions how much I appreciate Andrew Peterson's music.  He combines beautiful musicality and rich, poetic language to communicate deep, timeless messages.  The song The Silence of God from his album, Love and Thunder is certainly no exception.

It is far too common I fear, especially in the afterglow of Easter's triumph, for Christians to become triumphalistic, to think that all our troubles have been "nailed to the cross."  The reality of life is though, that we still suffer pain, we still face hardships, and there are still times when it feels like God is absent. As Peterson reminds us here, it is helpful, especially in those times to remember:
And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought

It's enough to drive a man crazy; it'll break a man's faith
It's enough to make him wonder if he's ever been sane
When he's bleating for comfort from Thy staff and Thy rod
And the heaven's only answer is the silence of God

It'll shake a man's timbers when he loses his heart
When he has to remember what broke him apart
This yoke may be easy, but this burden is not
When the crying fields are frozen by the silence of God

And if a man has got to listen to the voices of the mob
Who are reeling in the throes of all the happiness they've got
When they tell you all their troubles have been nailed up to that cross
Then what about the times when even followers get lost?
'Cause we all get lost sometimes...

There's a statue of Jesus on a monastery knoll
In the hills of Kentucky, all quiet and cold
And He's kneeling in the garden, as silent as a Stone
All His friends are sleeping and He's weeping all alone

And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought
So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
In the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God

A Word for Preachers...John Stott on Letting the Text Be Your Guide

"In our sermon preparation, we must not try to by-pass the discipline of waiting patiently for the dominant thought to disclose itself.  We have to be ready to pray and think ourselves deep into the text, even under it, until we give up all pretensions of being its master or manipulator, and become instead its humble and obedient servant.  Then there will be no danger of unscrupulous text-twisting.  On the contrary, the Word of God will dominate our mind, set fire to our hearts, control the development of our exposition and later leave a lasting impression on the congregation."

John Stott

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Carrie Underwood: How Great Thou Art

I don't know if you saw this Friday night, but if you missed (or even if you saw it, for that matter), it's well worth watching.  CBS broadcasted Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country, and Carrie Underwood (accompanied by Vince Gill) sang How Great Thou Art..

Watch the video below and be reminded that, as glorious a day as the first Easter morning was, there still is coming a yet more glorious day.  A day "when Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation..."

Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

He is risen, indeed!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

When We Weep in the Dark

When it comes to bedtime, my daughter is a world-class staller.  She knows exactly which buttons to push, which means that on many occasions, I just happen to be faced with theological questions at her bed-side. This night was one of those times, as she initiated a conversation about what happened at Jesus' tomb on Easter morning.

I was glad to have that discussion with her for a couple reasons, even if it did mean she got a little less sleep than normal.  I was glad, because what happened at that tomb on that day is far more important than an extra five minutes of sleep (and more important than just about anything else, for that matter).

But I was also glad to contemplate the events of that morning as it brought to mind one of my favorite sermons that I have ever heard preached.  When I was in seminary, Zack Eswine preached a message entitled "When We Weep in the Dark" from John 20 at a chapel service.  It beautifully captured what it is that disciples of Jesus are supposed to see at the tomb.

Click here to listen to this wonderful sermon.

Poor Sinner, Dejected With Fear

Pilgrim Days: Indelible Grace IIToday, between the terror and sorrow of Good Friday, and the joy and the excitement of Easter, my mind has been continually drifting back to the song Poor Sinner, Dejected with Fear by Indelible Grace.  It is from their album, Pilgrim Days, and highlights the confidence we can have in taking our brokenness to the One who was broken for us.

Click on the MP3 player below to listen to the song, following along with the lyrics, also printed below.

1. Poor sinner, dejected with fear,
Unbosom thy mind to the Lamb;
No wrath on His brow He does wear,
Nor will He poor mourners condemn;
His arm of omnipotent grace
Is able and willing to save;
A sweet and a permanent peace
He’ll freely and faithfully give.

2. Come just as thou art, with thy woe,
Fall down at the feet of the Lamb;
He will not, He cannot say, “Go”,
But surely will take out thy stain
A fountain is opened for sin,
And thousands its virtues have proved
He’ll take thee, and plunge thee therein,
And wash thee from filth in His blood.

3. The soul that on Jesus relies,
He’ll never, no never deceive;
He freely and faithfully gives
More blessings than we can conceive;
Yea, down to old age He will keep,
Nor will He forsake us at last;
He knows and is known by His sheep;
They’re His, and He will hold them fast.

©2001 MPJ Music / Velveteen Songs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Friday...But Sunday's Coming!

S. M. Lockridge:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Comments from the Easter Prayer Breakfast

I was moved yesterday when I heard these words from President Obama, speaking at the 2nd Annual Easter Prayer Breakfast.  I found them worthy of passing along as I'm not sure I could have said it any better myself:
There is something about the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ that puts everything in perspective. We all live in the hustle and bustle of our work. And everybody in this room has weighty responsibilities, from leading churches and denominations, to helping to administer important government programs, to shaping our culture in various ways. And I admit that my plate has been full as well. The inbox keeps on accumulating.

But then comes Holy Week. The triumph of Palm Sunday. The humility of Jesus washing the disciples' feet. His slow march up that hill, and the pain and the scorn and the shame of the cross. And we're reminded that in that moment, he took on the sins of the world -- past, present and future -- and he extended to us that unfathomable gift of grace and salvation through his death and resurrection.  In the words of the book Isaiah: 'But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.'
This magnificent grace, this expansive grace, this amazing grace calls me to reflect. And it calls me to pray. It calls me to ask God for forgiveness for the times that I've not shown grace to others, those times that I've fallen short. It calls me to praise God for the gift of his Son and our Savior.
(HT: Zach Bartels)

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom..Michael Williams on Sovereignty and Creation

"Sovereignty means just this: God wins!  As Isaac Watts expressed it in his famous Christmas hymn, 'Joy to the World!' the grace of God in Jesus Christ extends 'far as the curse is found.'  To suggest that the sin of man so corrupted his creation that God cannot fix it but can only junk it in favor of some other world is to say that ultimately the kingdom of evil is more powerful than the kingdom of God.  It makes Satan the victor over God.  Reducing the gospel to a strictly spiritual dimension of human existence concedes everything outside of that dimension to the enemy."

Michael Williams
Far As The Curse Is Found

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Slaughter Was Great, and It Was Perpetual. Until...It Was Finished

I received an email yesterday from my alma mater, Covenant Theological Seminary, with this video included.  It includes a brief portion of a message from Covenant's President, Dr. Bryan Chapell, recently given at the spot thought to be the tomb were Jesus was buried.  Please take two minutes and watch it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Word for Preachers...Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Definition of Preaching

"What is preaching?...Logic on fire! Eloquent reason!  Are these contradictions?  Of course they are not.  Reason concerning this truth ought to be mightily eloquent, as you see it in the case of the Apostle Paul and others.  It is theology on fire.  And a theology which does not take fire, I maintain, is a defective theology, or at least the man's understanding of it is defective.  Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire."

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dr. Dan Doriani on Matthew 6:22-23

In Matthew 6:21, Jesus tells us, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  He goes on in the following verses to speak about this in terms of the eye.  Dr. Dan Doriani has this to say about his words:
“This passage is diagnostic.  If a man cannot tear his eyes away from money, if he lives for wealth, it is because his eye and heart are corrupt.  If the eye is dark, there is no hope, unless God Grants renewal.  No one can do what is right unless he can see what is right.  Therefore, Jesus’ message is not, 'Try harder,' but 'Examine yourself.'  So if you fail to follow Jesus, if you hoard and do not give, examine yourself! You cannot do what is right without the ability to see it.  On the other hand, if you know that you belong to Jesus, and yet you act as if you live for money, that is neither your true heritage nor your true self.  You know better.  God has set your heart on better things.  You will find peace and rest when your heart goes where it belongs.”
From The Sermon on the Mount: The Character of a Disciple (P&R Publishing), 160.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Radical Together

Saw this today at Doug Wolter's great blog, Life2gether:

If Only Air Travel Was Really This Quick

Tim Challies also posted a link to this today and I thought it was worth sharing.  Pretty cool stuff.

Check out the video below and watch an 11 hour flight from San Francisco to Paris, condensed to two minutes with time-lapse photography.  You would think once it gets dark out it might get kind of boring...but that's just when the real fun starts!

After watching the video, click here for an explanation.

SF to Paris in Two Minutes from Beep Show on Vimeo.

#TGC11 Audio Available

Audio of all the main sessions at the 2011 Gospel Coalition Conference is available for free download. Simply click here for access to this wonderful teaching on "Preaching Jesus and the Gospel from the Old Testament."

Friday Fun...Picture Perfect Prank

Tim Challies posted this one the other day and I thought it was quite good.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Teaching From The Gospel Coalition

Two years ago I attended The Gospel Coalition conference in Chicago.  It was a fantastic experience and I thought very seriously about attending the 2011 installment of TGC this week.

Though it didn't work out for me to go, thanks to the wonders of technology, I've been blessed by the opportunity to take in some of the conference's great teaching.  Yesterday I watched Albert Mohler's talk via the live online stream of the conference's plenary talks provided  courtesy of Desiring God and TGC.  Last night I reviewed hundreds upon hundreds of tweets tagged #TGC11 and got a good feel for Tim Keller's talk, which has now been posted online, and which I plan on listening to later.

After the conference is over I will post another entry with links to all the talks.  Though I haven't heard it yet, I look forward to hearing Allistair Begg's talk from last night.  According to Justin Taylor's blog, Between Two Worlds, he concluded with this quote from John Calvin:

Without the gospel
everything is useless and vain;
without the gospel
we are not Christians;
without the gospel
all riches is poverty,
all wisdom, folly before God;
strength is weakness, and
all the justice of man is under the condemnation of God.
But by the knowledge of the gospel we are made
children of God,
brothers of Jesus Christ,
fellow townsmen with the saints,
citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven,
heirs of God with Jesus Christ,
by whom
the poor are made rich,
the weak strong,
the fools wise,
the sinners justified,
the desolate comforted,
the doubting sure, and
slaves free.
The gospel is the Word of life.

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom...Kevin DeYoung on Wisdom

Pray for wisdom, get steeped in wisdom.  This is different than guidance. Guidance is, 'There’s a right and a wrong move here, and I need someone to tell me which one I should do or I’m out of God’s will.' Wisdom is a life-long process of drinking deeply of the Scriptures so that we can learn to think God’s thoughts after him, so we can see things clearly.

Kevin DeYoung

Monday, April 11, 2011

Albert Pujols on 60 Minutes

Last night on 60 Minutes there was a profile of Albert Pujols.  The story did a great job of displaying the fact that Pujols' greatness extends far beyond the baseball field.  If you haven't seen it yet, please take a moment, watch the video below, and see why I am quite satisfied to have Pujols be the player my son emulates.

Also, if you get the chance, take a look at the interview below with Draggan Mihailovich who produced the story and click here to see some other "extras" from 60 Minutes.

A Word for Preachers...Phillip Ryken on Reformation and Proclamation

"There has never been an authentic revival or a true reformation in the church that did not begin with the sound preaching of God’s Word. The Word of God is oxygen for the fire of revival. There can be no reformation without proclamation. This was true is Josiah’s day, when the rediscovery of the Law reformed the temple. It was true in Ezra’s day, when the Law was explained and the people of Jerusalem cried aloud for mercy. It was true in Peter’s day, when Christ was preached and thousands were baptized unto salvation….If we desire reformation in our own churches, we must pray for our ministers, because reformation comes through proclamation."

Phillip Ryken

Friday, April 8, 2011

"Get Behind Me, Satan!"

Wednesday night I had the opportunity to preach from Mark 8:31-38, the passage where Peter rebukes Jesus for his talk of suffering and dying, and Jesus, in turn, rebukes Peter, saying, “Get behind me, Satan!”

Though we have, by the grace of God, been given eyes to see, our vision is often blurred. That is what happened with Peter and that is the message that stands behind Jesus’ healing of the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26) just before this passage.

The reason we often suffer from this condition is quite simply, we fail to focus on God. Jesus puts it this way in verse 33, "You are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."

The Things of God are Counter-intuitive (vv. 31-33)
In all fairness to Peter (and at the risk of making excuses for ourselves), it is somewhat understandable (though not acceptable) that we would fail to focus on the things of God. After all, the things of God are counter-intuitive.

Jesus was the Messiah, the One who (in the expectations of the disciples) was supposed to come in power and glory, defeating Israel’s enemies and providing true freedom and lasting peace. Yet here was Jesus talking instead about how he was going to suffer and be rejected and die.
This made no sense to the disciples who had a plan that was altogether different.  But having heard Peter’s accurate confession of him as the Christ (Mark 8:29), Jesus is now going to correct the inaccuracies of Peter’s expectations and plans for the Messiah.

This prompts me to consider this: How often do I need to have my expectations adjusted by God and how often do I insist on my plan instead of trusting in his plans? I saw the movie Adjustment Bureau last night, and at the heart of the plot is a couple who are trying to change the destiny that has been assigned to them by God, referred to in the movie as a mysterious character called “The Chairman.”

It occurred to me that I understand (and all too often share) their desire to want what they want and to think they know better than God what’s best for them. But the Christian’s view of God ought to be so much different.

Whereas in the movie, God was mysterious and unknowable, our God has made himself (and his love) known in the person of Jesus Christ. And unlike the characters in the movie, not only can we know God, we can also know, “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), even when our finite minds can’t understand what that purpose might be.

The Things of God are Costly (vv. 34-37)
Jesus not only was altering their expectations of what would happen to him, he was also re-shaping their expectations of what would happen to them. In an interesting and creative use of wordplay, having told Satan through Peter to “get behind me,” in verse 33, he goes on in verse 34 to set the terms for anyone who would “come after me,” the language in the original Greek being identical.

Christ’s prescription for his followers is that they must deny themselves and take up their cross. I fear that we miss the weight of what Christ is saying here. We speak of slight inconveniences as “our cross to bear,” missing the reality that the cross was not an inconvenience, but rather an instrument of torture and death.
Similarly, when we think of “denying ourselves,” what usually comes to mind is refraining from some pleasure we enjoy. But as R.T. France points out, this is to fall terribly short of what Jesus is saying.
“What Jesus calls for here is a radical abandonement of one’s own identity and self-determination, and a call to join the march to the place of execution follows appropriately from this. Such ‘self-denial’ is on a different level altogether from giving up chocolates for Lent. It is not the denial of something to the self, but the denial of the self itself."
It is only when we deny ourselves in this way that we will truly be able to take up our cross and follow Jesus, willing to live, or die, for him and him alone. This is counter-intuitive and it is costly. Why then would anyone choose this life as opposed to some other?

The Things of God are Compulsory (v. 38)
It is because the things of God are compulsory. The Scriptures tell us in Acts 4:12 “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." And Jesus himself says in John 14:6 "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This is quite exclusive language. And such exclusion might seem offesive to our "enlightened" ears. But Jesus is coming again. John speaks of a vision of such in Revelation 19:11-12 where he says, “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems…”

And Jesus it very clear in verse 38 how he feels about those who are ashamed of or offended by his words: “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

Let us not exhibit such shame by our failure to accept and to live according to his word. Let us find shame only in our sin, and let us then turn to the grace and mercy and steadfast love of Christ!  Let us proclaim with Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16), and therefore, “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," (Hebrews 12:1) and when we fail, let us look to the cleansing and atoning work of "Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

Friday Fun...Musical Parody

By now, you have probably heard Rebecca Black's song, Friday.  For all of its awfulness, it has somehow managed to be viewed more than 89 million times on YouTube.

This is a parody by Community Christian Church in suburban Chicago.  But given the fact that "Christian art" is far too often simply a poor, sanitized imitation of bad "secular" art, I guess it was only a matter of time until this popped up:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom...D.A. Carson on Holiness and Hypocrisy

"We human beings are a strange lot.  We hear high moral injunctions and glimpse just a little the genuine beauty of perfect holiness, and then prostitute the vision by dreaming about the way others would hold us in high esteem if we were like that.  The demand for genuine perfection loses itself in the lesser goal of external piety; the goal of pleasing the Father is traded for its pygmy cousin, the goal of pleasing men.  It almost seems as if the greater the demand for holiness, the greater the opportunity for hypocrisy.  This is why I suspect that the danger is potentially most serious among religious leaders."

D.A. Carson

Monday, April 4, 2011

Having the Wrong Expectations

Yesterday I preached from Matthew 11:1-15 on John the Baptist and the doubts and his question as to whether Jesus was “the one who is to come.” This is a somewhat technical term for the Messiah, and harkens back to John’s own messianic reference in Matthew 3:11, “he who is coming.”

John’s doubts, best as I can tell, seemed to stem from the fact that his expectations where somewhat off. Whereas he expected the Messiah to come, winnowing fork in hand, clearing his threshining floor and burning chaff in an unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12), here was Jesus with his gracious words and his miracles of mercy for the poor and the suffering.

Now John was right to expect Messiah to come as a righteous judge. Certainly his Bible had talked about that. But that’s not all his Bible had to say about Messiah and his coming kingdom. There were passsages such as Isaiah 35:5-661:1 which cast the work of Messiah in quite a different light than John’s (and the popular) expectations.

It was to these passages that Jesus was alluding when he sent word of his activities back to John: “the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them” (Matthew 11:5).

We often do the same thing John was doing. We tend to emphasize the parts of Scripture we like and ignore (or at least try not to think about) the parts we don’t. This is why there is such a chasm between the practices of different churches, all of which claim to find their marching orders in the Bible.

What we need to remember is that we are not called to choose between speaking the truth or speaking in love. We are called to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). We need to firmly grasp both poles, shading toward neither, and try to understand what all of Scripture has to say to us.

We need to take seriously those passages of Scripture that call us to precise theological understanding and the centrality of the gospel message of Christ’s perfect life, his atoning death and his promissory resurrection. At the same time though, we need to embrace those passages that deal with mercy ministry and social justice.

A failure to do this is exactly why John missed the fact that though Jesus would indeed one day return as a righteous judge, he did not come at that time in order to condemn the world, but in order that the world mught be saved through him (John 3:17).

Jesus could have sharply rebuked John. Yet he didn’t. He instead gently refocussed John’s attention on the parts of Scripture he had been ignoring. And then he added in verse 6, “blessed is the one who is not offended by me." Not, “Blessed is the one who has perfect theology,” no matter how important sound theology is. And not, “Blessed is the one who has no doubts,” for we can always take our doubts to Jesus.

In the end, he says, blessed is the one who is not offended by me. Jesus realizes that he and his message are naturally offensive to us. It is offensive to us on the one hand because we think it’s terribly unfair that any would be excluded (except, of course, those that I define as really bad). Still others bring a self-righteous mindset to the party and are offended by this gospel paradigm that says you can do nothing to earn your way in and must trust solely in the grace of another.

But in the end, blessed is the one who is not offended by Jesus. That same Jesus who died for our sins and rose from the dead. The one who encourages us, even in the midst of our doubts. The one who reminds us that it is neither our best moments nor our worst which define us. Rather it is his best and his worst: His best day, lived out in perfection repeatedly without exception for 33 years; and his worst day, as he bore the penalty of our sins on the cross.

Sometimes when we experience doubts, the last thing we want to do is to let them be known. As we hide them away though, they are allowed to grow and to fester instead of being lovingly and thoughtfully dealt with.

John did the right thing in bringing his questions to Jesus instead of simply keeping his doubts to himself. Let us likewise take our doubts to him, in prayer and in his Word. Let us wrestle with our doubts alongside other members of his body. Not accusing God, but seeking his wisdom and his truth, and experiencing his grace.

A Word for Preachers...John Stott on the Power of the Word

"(One) conviction which preachers need about Scripture is that God's Word is powerful. For not only has God spoken; not only does God continue to speak through what he has spoken; but when God speaks he acts. His Word does more than explain his action; it is active in itself. God accomplishes his purpose by his Word; it 'prospers' in whatever he sends it forth to do. (Is. 55:11)"

John Stott

Friday, April 1, 2011

Jay Sklar on Delighting in Leviticus

Dr. Jay Sklar was one of my favorite professors when I was a student at Covenant Theological Seminary.  I had him for a number of classes and he actually preached at my ordination.

Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay him is to let you know what he accomplished in my two semesters of Hebrew.  I know it's April Fool's Day, but I'm not kidding when I tell you that taking Hebrew from Jay was an experience that I can only describe as "devotional."  Amongst the vocabulary and the parsing and the paradigms, Jay always found a Christ-exalting way to point us to the glory and grace of God.

Jay contributed to the study notes for Leviticus in the ESV Study Bible and is currently working on a commentary on Leviticus for the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series from IVP.  Today over at The Gospel Coalition blog, Collin Hansen interviewed Jay and shares the details in a piece entitled Daring to Delight in Leviticus.  In it we learn how to have a truly Christ-centered view of the book of Leviticus, and we get a glimpse at the joy this unlocks to us:
It’s only when we understand the sacrificial system of Leviticus that we can understand what it means that Jesus came and “made purification for sins” (Heb 1:3; cf. Lev 4). It’s only when we understand Leviticus that we can understand his atoning sacrifice wipes away every vestige of sin and impurity so powerfully that we can walk “with confidence into the holy place by the blood of Jesus” (Heb 10:19; cf. Lev 16 and esp. 10:1-3!). And it’s only when we understand Leviticus that we can understand that the sinlessness and purity and power of Jesus the Great High Priest is immeasurably beyond that of any levitical priest that ever lived (Heb 7:26-28; cf. Lev 9:7; 16:6)!
Click here and read Jay's other thoughts on such questions as why Leviticus is often difficult for us, what we must understand about Leviticus in its original context before we can apply it to our lives (as Jay had us recite before every class, "Context is King!"), and what exactly it means to preach Leviticus in proper relationship to Christ and the gospel.

Friday Fun...Chatting Babies

Perhaps you've seen this as it's made the rounds on the internet this week.  As soon as I saw it the other day, I knew it was destined for Friday Fun!