Monthly Archives: April 2011

  • Why We Plant Churches

    This week in WWDWWD  we will answer the question: “Why are we going to plant a church?” We plant churches for God’s glory, because it is the church’s mission, and because we love lost sinners.

    There are many proximate purposes, but only one ultimate purpose for the church’s sojourn on earth. Proximate purposes include being the salt of the earth, preaching the gospel, and loving one’s neighbor. The ultimate purpose (that is, the purpose that gives all other purposes shape and meaning) is the glory of God. The chief end of man is to glorify God and  enjoy him forever. As John Piper wrote, “Missions begins and ends with worship.” (Let the Nations Be Glad, 17).

    Wherever Christians do not meet publically and visibly, wherever churches are destitute of the law and gospel, wherever the church has not yet set foot, there is … Read More »

  • The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

    There is always a tendency to knock off some of the rough edges of our faith. And among those rough edges stands the roughest of them all: the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrection is absurd because in our everyday experience dead people don’t come back to life. Imagine your reaction to a friend or family member who invites you to their home because they want you to meet someone who was dead for three days but is now alive and walks through locked doors and freely eats with his friends. And so, because of its absurdity there is a tendency to domesticate the resurrection. To domesticate something means you tame it or make it ordinary. But Jesus’ resurrection is not ordinary and he is not tame. You see, when the resurrection of Jesus is domesticated—either … Read More »

  • Holy Week

    The church calendar makes a wonderful servant and a horrible master. This is one of the reasons we have chosen to use it in some places (notice the prayer in the front of the bulletin every week and the description of the Sunday, Maundy Thursday service, Good Friday service) while not others (we exposit books of the Bible rather than through the lectionary). This allows for us to be mindful of our past and of our roots, while emphasizing the reformed traditions and practices of worship. In light of that let’s consider the historic practices of the church during holy week.

    Palm Sunday is the day that the congregation is invited to walk a mile in the shoes of the fickle crowds. It is invited to hail Jesus as king and be ever mindful of how quickly the tune changed. Specifically … Read More »

  • History of the English Bible, part 13

    In 2001 Crossway released the most recent revision of the KJV and its revisions, the English Standard Version (hereafter ESV). As the name indicates, the ESV is closely related to the Revised Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version. Like the New American Standard and American Standard versions, the common theme in these translations is that they have the word standard in their name. What we learn from this is that when you do a translation of the Bible you need to include the word “standard.”

    The ESV emerged as a result of a number of factors. Among many there was a general dissatisfaction with the translation philosophy of the NIV. It was considered too dynamic and loose for some. However, the NASB was unable to provide a viable solution because it was considered to be too literal. Add to … Read More »

  • History of the English Bible, part 12

    Revisions of the KJV continued beyond the Revised Version (1885). At the beginning of the 20th century the American Standard  was released as a further revision. Then, in 1952, the Revised Standard Version. In 1971 both the New American Standard Version and the King James II Version were released and in 1982 the New King James Version. In 1989 the New Revised Standard Version. Most recently, in 2001 the English Standard Version was published. It is important to note that all versions just mentioned stand in the line of the KJV and are revisions of it and of its revisions. For example, the ESV is something like 80% the same as the RSV.

    None of those translations, however, with the possible exception of the RSV and the ESV, impacted the church as much as the translation that was released in 1978, … Read More »