Tag Archives: JI Packer

Death By Love

I’ve been reading Driscoll and Breshears’ book Death By Love for a little while now and I must say that it is great. It is a departure from Driscoll’s other books and even from Vintage Jesus which is also a collaboration between the two. It is an interesting book, and one that is doing for me something that no class at college ever did but wished that they had. This is a summary of what Jesus did on the cross. Semesters could be devoted to this specific aspect of Jesus’ life but I was unable to take this class. This I can only assume is an issue for Christians all over that have an understanding of how they can be saved; but do not have an understanding of why or how it was made available. This is the theology behind our salvation and the various things that Jesus accomplished on the cross. This needs to be preached in churches. Not this book mind you, but the theological points made in every chapter. Every one of these has been so thought provoking that I have had to stop and pray for a few days in between every chapter. Between this book and For the Love of God by D.A. Carson I am not going to ever read the Bible the same way again.

Now I realize that this has been said about many books over the course of life and I am but a lone moron with enough technological fortitude to open up a wordpress account…but I am going to say it anyway. This has changed my thinking much like, Knowing God by Packer and The Great Divorce by Lewis. Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t use this book as a textbook on the cross since it is not written in a form that would lend itself to a classroom setting. I would, however, make the chapter divisions the outline for the semester. It is interesting that I am not necessarily learning things that I never learned before; it is that I am putting what I have learned into life application through the use of the letters that Driscoll writes.

I encourage you all to study the cross in a new way and I would suggest this book at the conduit for that study.

-Cheers

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Romans

So it has been quite some time now since I first realized my sin. As a child I knew that God was God and I was not, however, the sin did not eat at me. I did not have guilt before God, I only had guilt before man. I was upset that I had let someone else down. Later in my life, that sin that ‘so easily entangled’, was for the first time seen as between God and myself. I needed help. Jesus is the help I needed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a guy, I can handle it. I grew up in an evangelical church that taught us the good way to live life in such a way that no one knows you are hurting. As M. Chandler says, “My friends all came up from being baptized quoting Romans while I just said…that was weird.” I didn’t however say anything about it since it was obviously my problem. People in leadership wore a cape…I wore a diaper. It wasn’t/isn’t about the heart, it is about knowledge and actions. We don’t talk about the heart much here in church. North or South it doesn’t matter. We don’t talk about the heart much. Jesus is calling us to a relationship with Himself and we continue to make it about what we can do for Him.

I was good at it. No rated R movies, no swearing, no TV past 9pm, no drinking the devil juice…I’ve even read Knowing God by JI Packer! I could do it all, and I still try to do it all, for the sake of pride. Romans 4-8 does not leave any room for pride.

Pride looks different from person to person. Pride takes on many faces depending on the situation and the company you keep. When the Pharisees would pray and thank God that they were not like the gentiles who surrounded them…they were merely using their context to act like us. Why do we call them lost, UN saved, UN churched, NON christian? With those very titles we are thanking God that we are not…lost etc. We look to them in the negative. Un, Non…

Romans 4-8 tells us that we all exist as one thing. Under God’s grace. The fact that people can breath God’s air, live on the earth God created, enjoy the sex God created…is grace. They can not enjoy any of these things however AS God intended, but they CAN enjoy them. Grace, what a powerful word.

I am convinced that it is because of a lack of transparency in my life that I am not closer to Jesus. I can fool everyone else, but I can’t fool God. Psalm 32:1-5 speaks volumes. Unconfessed sin decays the bones and kills your soul. Is this some sort of cleansing? No, you will not see me all of a sudden confess to killing a guy or bombing a bank. What I hope you see is some one who is starting to get it and who wants to find that place where it is ok not to get it but doesn’t let you stay there.

In his book Organic Church, Neil Cole makes a good case for bringing everything down. He takes many of his ideas a little too far, but the premise is solid. We need to get into a place where we meet with 2 or 3 people (same sex) and open our hearts. No more of this ‘small group’ stuff where we get together and do mini-church. We need life changing ministry form each other. We need to realize the power of the gospel, the power of Jesus, the power that the Holy Spirit can have on us and our relationships. The church needs to grow organically. We need to confess our sin (looking for another s word) in order to fertilize it.

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