Friday, August 31, 2007

Where Are the Pastors With This Kind of Heart for God?

"I Am A Debtor"

When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o’er life’s finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

When I hear the wicked call,
On the rocks and hills to fall,
When I see them start and shrink
On the fiery deluge brink,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

When I stand before the throne,
Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see Thee as Thou art,
Love Thee with unsinning heart,
Then Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

When the praise of Heav’n I hear,
Loud as thunders to the ear,
Loud as many waters’ noise,
Sweet as harp’s melodious voice,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

Even on earth, as through a glass
Darkly, let Thy glory pass,
Make forgiveness feel so sweet,
Make Thy Spirit’s help so meet,
Even on earth, Lord, make me know
Something of how much I owe.

Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Savior’s side,
By the Spirit sanctified,
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show,
By my love, how much I owe.

Oft I walk beneath the cloud,
Dark, as midnight’s gloomy shroud;
But, when fear is at the height,
Jesus comes, and all is light;
Blessed Jesus! bid me show
Doubting saints how much I owe.

When in flowery paths I tread,
Oft by sin I’m captive led;
Oft I fall—but still arise—
The Spirit comes—the tempter flies;
Blessed Spirit! bid me show
Weary sinners all I owe.

Oft the nights of sorrow reign—
Weeping, sickness, sighing, pain;
But a night Thine anger burns—
Morning comes and joy returns;
God of comforts! bid me show
To Thy poor, how much I owe

–Robert Murray M’Cheyne, 1837

Monday, August 20, 2007

O Lord, Look Down From Heaven, Behold

O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold

O Lord, look down from heaven, behold
And let Thy pity waken:
How few are we within Thy Fold,
Thy saints by men forsaken!
True faith seems quenched on every hand,
Men suffer not Thy Word to stand;
Dark times have us o'ertaken.

With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error's maze astounded.

May God root out all heresy
And of false teachers rid us
Who proudly say: Now, where is he
That shall our speech forbid us?
By right or might we shall prevail;
What we determine cannot fail;
We own no lord and master.

Therefore saith God, I must arise,
The poor My help are needing;
To Me ascend My people's cries,
And I have heard their pleading.
For them My saving Word shall fight
And fearlessly and sharply smite,
The poor with might defending.

As silver tried by fire is pure
From all adulteration,
So through God's Word shall men endure
Each trial and temptation.
Its light beams brighter through the cross,
And, purified from human dross,
It shines through every nation.

Thy truth defend, O God, and stay
This evil generation;
And from the error of their way
Keep Thine own congregation.
The wicked everywhere abound
And would Thy little flock confound;
But Thou art our Salvation.

-- Martin Luther (The Lutheran Hymnal, No. 262)

Amen, and amen!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Who is John Armstrong And What Does He Really Believe?

Hmmm. It appears my exchange with John Armstrong questioning his dislike for "propositional truth" hit a nerve.

See his post titled, "Propositional" Truth, "Objective Truth," and the Debate About What We Know and How We Know It" today (8/17/07) at

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fighting At the Point of the Enemy's Attack

A welcome reminder from Martin Luther that, unless we are fighting for truth at the very point it is being attacked, we are not fighting at all:

"If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Who is John Armstrong Part II

John Armstrong's position on "propositional truth" is skewed to say the very least.

As a point of departure in examining this very important issue, here is my post in response to Dr. Armstrong's 8/4/07 posting under his entry, "How Important is Propositional Truth?"

I wrote:

"The first paragraph of the last post deserves some further scrutiny.

First: I defy you to identify any meaningful distinction between sentence no. 1 ("I am not denying propositional truth") and sentence no. 2 ("ultimate truth cannot be reduced to propositions").

Certainly, we are talking about "ultimate truth" when we discuss propositions such as, "Jesus is the truth." How could it possibly be otherwise? Are you saying there is some type of truth that can be propositional in nature but that is somehow non-ultimate? And what is your basis for condescendingly referring to "reducing" ultimate truth to propositions?

Second: Your third sentence ("If Christ is the Truth then we cannot reduce truth to statements of logic or propositions") is patently false and unsupportable.

When you say, "If Christ is the Truth," are you denying that He is the Truth as John 14:6 clearly states?

Where is there any Scriptural support for your statement? Certainly any attempt to support this statement would have to, at a minimum, reckon with John 1:1 ("In the beginning was the Word"). This text gives no indication that the author is the least bit reluctant to "reduce" truth to propositional form, even matters of ultimate truth.

Further, any attempt to support your statement scripturally would also need to address passages such as Romans 8:32, Luke 11:13 and many, many others in which logic, propositions and arguments are made time and time again."

There is so very much more to be said in response to these statements and others by Dr. Armstrong . . .