Monday, October 31, 2005

Anger and love are not mutually exclusive

Currently reading this at the moment, getting fairly raged up about the school of thought that denies the cross is about penal substitution.

If the Cross of Jesus Christ is not about penal substitution, at least in part, then it seems to follow that God is not angry with us, neither on a corporate nor personal level.
It would seem then to follow, that God is not bothered by sin, let alone angry with it. He can tolarate it, He doesn't mind it. He will indulge our lustful worldly passions. How can you worship a God like this? A God that doesn't mind the fall, a God that is happy to watch the rebellion and consequent misery of the ones He created and loved. If God doesn't mind sin, why did He remove Adam and Eve from Eden? If God doesn't mind sin then why punish His Son at all?
In Heaven we believe there will be no more misery or death, for me at least, this is based on His charecter, that fact that in heaven we will have a perfect fellowship with Him, and that this will involve no death or misery, only pure and perfect joy. But, all that falls apart if you start to believe that God doesn't mind our sin, that He's not perfectly angry with us. That His holiness doesn't burn within Him when we sin.

Yes, God is love. Yes He loves us completly. Thats WHY the Cross is about Penal Substutution. Thats why Christ is a propitionary sacrifice. If He didn't love us He wouldn't give us a way out of Hell, He wouldn't die to provide life for us. God loves us, God is angry with us. God's love + God's anger = Jesus dieing on the Cross for our sins.

If God just wanted to tell us He loved us, he would not needed to have His son executed. God needed to punish sin. Our sin. This is what the cross is about. Punishment for sins, because of God's anger, not inspite of it. I'm not going to pretend that this is anything like a perfect piece of prose on the subject, or even that i've got everything right. But for me, penal substitution says 'i am angry but i love you'...not just one or the other.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Watching waiting comiserating

So why haven't i blogged for so long?
1) I am lazy
2) I have never been busier
3) I'm not sure i've really had much to say
4) Lack of internet access

I'm sure its a combination of all four really, hopefully broadband will arrive at my house soon and i'll be able to blog away at whim. My laziness will still hold me back though! Recently i got as far as sitting at a PC with the Bible open ready to ramble on about Mark 15:38, (which i still hope to do, its probably one of my favourite Bible verses) and just lost my will. Not good scenes.

Elsewhere in life Wycombe *galacticos* Wanderers remain unbeaten at the top of Football League Division Four. 15 games unbeaten now in the league now, which has broken all sorts of records
RUCU continues to grow, despite some problems midweek, we had a good meeting on Thursday. Rich Fairbarn concluding our four week Bible Overview (the next time someone complains about having been given too much to speak on, we'll tell them of the night that Phil Rout took us from Genesis 12 to Malachi in 45 minutes!). Its been excellent, and i thank Jesus for what He's doing in Reading. These are exciting times.

So, 7ish months left at uni. That is weird. Anyway, i'll probably be resuming normal service soon with the usual mixture of half baked Biblical stuff and inane ramblings...Laters

Monday, October 10, 2005

One Thing Is Neccesary

'but one thing is neccesary.
Mary has chosen the good portion
which will not be taken away from her.'
Luke 10:42
What encouraging words from Jesus! This piece of direct speech from Jesus to Martha, comes just after the great commission and the parable of the good samaritan. Jesus visits Mary and Martha's house after this momentous day, and sits and teaches. Mary sits at His feet, and listens to her Lord, soaking up what He has to say, loving her oppotunity, Martha on the other hand, is 'distracted with much serving'. She appeals to Jesus to ask Mary to help her, which, given the amount of people that have presumably just decended on her house seems fair enough...and it is here that Jesus speaks these wonderful words.
It is better, He says, to get to know Him, to spend time with Him than to do anything else. He describes Mary's choice as 'the good portion', the right thing to do, the correct decision, confounding the culturally accpeted norm. Earlier on in Luke 10, Jesus says that having our names written in Heaven is better than seeing the devil fall from the sky as we share the gospel (v17-20). I think He makes the same point here. Knowing Jesus is all there is that matters, all there is that counts. What a counter to legalism! What a repsonse to the devil, when he whispers that we do not read the bible enough, or pray enough, or evangelise to our friends enough...Knowing Jesus is all there is! All there will be. It is the good portion! How cool is that. Knowing Jesus is all there is. The law, legalism, works...they all crumple next to this. One thing is neccesary he says. Thats it, nothing else. These are the Jesus's own words... this is the absolute, objective truth that He speaks. One thing is neccesary. Know Him. Love Him. Thats all.
So you can keep legalism. You can keep feeling guilty about 'not reading the Bible enough', or 'not praying enough'. Legalism robs the joy from those things, it makes them a shallow pointless hypocrisy...worship is for the Lord's benefit, not ours. And i tell you what as well, the world can keep its culture, its drink and drug abuse, its promiscuity, its pride and vanity. The Lord and redeemer says that one thing is neccesary, i think i'll stick with that...

You Win Nothing in October

But despite that, i am today very proud that Wycombe have climbed to the top of Football League Division Four ('League Two') after Friday nights Humberside heroics. As you can see Grimsby can not pay us enough compliments! We've even gone all continental, where the best lead, Wycombe Wanderers will follow and improve. Who needs Robino, Raul and Zidane when you've got Torres, Betsy and Matty Bloomfield...perfect.

*more soon*