Christian Scholarship

Our scholarship is not doneat least it should not be donein a vacuum, in a musty study with no connection to the world around us. Ultimately, our scholarship should be done in a doxological context: it needs to be done to the praise and glory of God.
David M. Howard, Jr.
"Surprised by Joy"
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
vol. 47, p. 4

Seeing the Glory of Christ Requires a Profound Spiritual Change

The glory is the divinge beauty of his manifold perfections. To see this requires a change of heart. Jesus makes that clear when he asks, "How can you believe , when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?" (John 5:44). The natural self-centered condition of human hearts cannot believe, because they cannot see spiritual beauty. It is not a physical inability, as though they can't act even if they have a compelling desire to act. It is a moral inability because they are so self-absorbed they are unable to see what would condemn their pride and give them joy through admiring another. That is why seeing the glory of Christ reqires a profound spiritual change...When we are born again by the Spirit of God, our spirits are made alive, and we are able to perceive self-authenticating spiritual beauty in the person and work of Christ...In other words, what he wants us to see is the spiritual reality and value of these things, not just raw facts that unbelievers can read and repeat. This is not the point of spiritual seeing.

The ultimate good of the gospel is seeing and savoring the beauty and value of God. God's wrath and our sin obstruct that vision and that pleasure. You cna't see and savor God as supremely satisfying while you are full of rebellion against him and he is full of wrath against you. The removeal of this wrath and this rebellion is what the gospel is for. The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God's glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoriting it as our highest treasure. "Behold your God!" is the most gracious command and best gift of the gospel. If we do not see him and savor him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel.
John Piper
God is the Gospel
p. 54-55

Way Too Generous An Orthodoxy

In a backlash against "cultural" Christianity, McLaren takes one large step toward universalism and writes off all of those things which necessarily accompany a saving faith in Jesus Christ:
In this light, although I dont hope all Buddhists will become (cultural) Christians, I do hope all who feel called will become Buddhist followers of Jesus; I believe they should be given that opportunity and invitation. I dont hope all Jews or Hindus will become members of the Christian religion. But I do hope all who feel called will become Jewish or Hindu followers of Jesus. Ultimately, I hope Jesus will save Buddhism, Islam, and every other religion, including the Christian religion, which often seems to need saving about as much as any other religion does

Brian McLaren
Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN
p. 264

"I Ascribe My Change Wholly to God"

"One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preachers sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment I should not have sought him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that he was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, I ascribe my change wholly to God."
Charles Spurgeon
As quoted by John Piper
Pleasures of God
pp. 125-126

Luther's Admonition to Learn Greek

Losing my motivation to continue my Greek studies, this admonition from Martin Luther was perfectly timed and has encouraged me not to take for granted the great ease and access which I have to the original languages: Keep reading...