Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Googling the Dead Sea Scrolls

"The Israel Antiquities Authority and Google are teaming up to publish the Dead Sea Scrolls online."

Story at

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Betrayal and Blood-Guilt

Instead of the blood of the lamb being painted upon the post and lintel of their "house," the blood-money of the Lamb is thrown into the sanctuary of their house; the temple. This calls up the Avenger of Blood, Who executes vengeance upon the responsible party. Therefore their house is left desolate.

Bill Smith explains.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From Glory to Glory

One must be struck by the maturation process throughout Scripture. Genesis shows us man - the first Adam - in a primordial, immature state. A keeper that hasn't kept, a conqueror who hasn't conquered. Revelation shows us man - the Last Adam - in a mature, eschatologically glorified state. An ever-faithful Son and Bridegroom, an Emperor Who goes out conquering and to conquer. In Genesis, the man is created naked. In Revelation, the Man is clothed in blinding glory.

God's second great act of creation was an expanse - a separation of heaven from earth. How often do we glaze over this, and miss the magnitude of God bringing His creation to maturity? Cosmological and metaphysical questions aside, there is a separation of "waters above" from "waters below," and a sharp distinction made between heaven and earth. On every day of creation, the Scriptures explicitly record God seeing that His work that day was good... except the second day, the day that the separation was created. Is this to suggest that this aspect of creation was bad? Of course not (Genesis 1:31). However, could this hint at a notion of incompleteness? Immaturity?

What we find at the end of the great Scriptural chiasm is telling, and glorious. In the beginning, we find heaven and earth separated. In the end, in glory, we find heaven invading earth. We find a New Heaven with a New Earth, joined by the New Jerusalem (the great Bride).

This is the great movement of Scripture, the great movement of human history: maturity unto glory. And all of this is done IN CHRIST. This is the LORD'S doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This 'New Creation' is heaven invading the earth. Christ Jesus is resurrected, ascended and glorified, the Firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29), and therefore we can say quite happily and boldly (and without fear of falling into hyper-preterist error), "Christ is the New Creation."

God and man come together IN CHRIST. Heaven and earth come together IN CHRIST. Is this not in complete, glorious keeping with the flow of Scriptural history: the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth? (Ephesians 1:10) The faithful are "new creations" because we are IN CHRIST (2Corinthians 5:17). Christ is not only our focal point, our pinnacle, in a philosophical or moral sense, He is very much the Center of all things in a very comprehensive way.

2,000 years ago, the Son of God came to end the old order of things, and inaugurate the New Heavens and New Earth; altering creation for the (infinitely) better, for all time. The last 2,000 years have simply been an outworking of that historical/cosmological change; as the next 2,000 years will be, as heaven and earth continue to come closer and closer, as God's kingdom comes and His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). This same One - whose glory blinded Paul for 3 days and sent John immediately to his knees in obeisance - this True Emperor invades this earth with His heavenly kingdom, calling out His Bride to bring heaven and earth together (Revelation 21:2-3). This is a marriage which affects all levels of existence.

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Psalm 106: For Western Consideration

1 Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
or declare all his praise?
3 Blessed are they who observe justice,
who do righteousness at all times!

4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people;
help me when you save them, [1]
5 that I may look upon the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
that I may glory with your inheritance.

6 Both we and our fathers have sinned;
we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.
7 Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,
did not consider your wondrous works;
they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
8 Yet he saved them for his name's sake,
that he might make known his mighty power.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry,
and he led them through the deep as through a desert.
10 So he saved them from the hand of the foe
and redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
11 And the waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them was left.
12 Then they believed his words;
they sang his praise.

13 But they soon forgot his works;
they did not wait for his counsel.
14 But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,
and put God to the test in the desert;
15 he gave them what they asked,
but sent a wasting disease among them.

16 When men in the camp were jealous of Moses
and Aaron, the holy one of the Lord,
17 the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
and covered the company of Abiram.
18 Fire also broke out in their company;
the flame burned up the wicked.

19 They made a calf in Horeb
and worshiped a metal image.
20 They exchanged the glory of God
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They forgot God, their Savior,
who had done great things in Egypt,
22 wondrous works in the land of Ham,
and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
23 Therefore he said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn away his wrath from destroying them.

24 Then they despised the pleasant land,
having no faith in his promise.
25 They murmured in their tents,
and did not obey the voice of the Lord.
26 Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them
that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
27 and would make their offspring fall among the nations,
scattering them among the lands.

28 Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor,
and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;
29 they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds,
and a plague broke out among them.
30 Then Phinehas stood up and intervened,
and the plague was stayed.
31 And that was counted to him as righteousness
from generation to generation forever.

32 They angered him at the waters of Meribah,
and it went ill with Moses on their account,
33 for they made his spirit bitter, [2]
and he spoke rashly with his lips.

34 They did not destroy the peoples,
as the Lord commanded them,
35 but they mixed with the nations
and learned to do as they did.
36 They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons;
38 they poured out innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus they became unclean by their acts,
and played the whore in their deeds.

40 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
and he abhorred his heritage;
41 he gave them into the hand of the nations,
so that those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them,
and they were brought into subjection under their power.
43 Many times he delivered them,
but they were rebellious in their purposes
and were brought low through their iniquity.

44 Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
when he heard their cry.
45 For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
46 He caused them to be pitied
by all those who held them captive.

47 Save us, O Lord our God,
and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.

48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the Lord!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Psalm 134

I cannot stop listening to this...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sans Absolutus

"Ultimately, without absolutes, we are left at the mercy of the strong, the powerful, and the perverse."

- Dr. George Grant

Monday, February 1, 2010

Genesis Redux

"Part one of a new series from director Darren Doane. Genesis Redux will cinematically extract Genesis 1-8 through New Eyes. Building heavily on the works of James Jordan, Douglas Wilson, Peter Leithart, Michael Bull and David Deutsch, GenRedux is a visual journey through the ancient texts."

Color me stoked!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Freedom From God = Fish Out of Water

"When a fish tries to be free on shore or when a bird tries to be free under water then they, as it were, do what man has done by trying to be free from the requirements of the love of God. Seeking for this false freedom the sinner cannot help himself. But God, the triune God in Christ, and by the Spirit in his sovereign grace, reaches down to man to set him free."

- Cornelius Van Til
Review of De Leer van God bij Augustinus, by A. D. R. Polman. Westminster Theological Journal 29/1 (Nov 1966): 94–102. / Sigward 1966.A

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Israel the Priestly Nation

Pastor Smith puts it nicely:

Sin comes to a sharp focus in Israel. Here sin becomes transgression because the Law defines the lines that make sin a transgression. Israel’s position before God and for the world was to recognize this sin as transgression and deal with it accordingly. This is what a priest does. At the giving of the Law this is the purpose for which God set Israel aside, constituting her as a nation. Exodus 19:6 makes this clear: “‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” Israel’s vocation was to bring sin (which became transgression, an intensified form of sin) to the place of judgment, put it to death, receive life from God, and take that life to the world, making it fruitful in every sense of the word. As the world’s priest, Israel would draw upon herself the sins of the world and, in turn bring life to the world as a light to the nations. Offering gifts and sacrifices on the behalf of others is at least one of the various duties of a priest.
Israel’s priestly duty concerning the nations is most pointed demonstrated in the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. While the Feast commemorates the wandering of the children of Israel in the wilderness, it looks to the ingathering of the nations into the people of God. In other words it looks toward the time when the world will be made alive. But in order for this to happen, sin must first be punished. During the week of worship, Israel was to offer up a total of seventy bulls. With the emphasis on the ingathering of the nations, it is difficult to miss the significance of the number seventy and its reference back to Genesis 10 and the Table of Nations. Israel was sacrificing for the nations. Israel did not exist for herself. She existed for the life of the world.

- William R. Smith, The Apocalypse of Faith: An Exegetical Study of Galatians 3:19-29