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“The Rolling English Road,” by G. K. Chesterton

The Rolling English Road

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;
A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread
The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,
Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,
The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run
Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun?
The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,
But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.
God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear
The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.

My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,
But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.

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To Zion the Streaming Nations Come

To Zion the streaming nations come,
To sing the praise of what he’s done,
Ransomed souls from every tribe,
Clothed in white, the bloodbought bride.

Come join the throng
Come sing the song
Come see the Lord
Come hear his Word

Wine, milk, richest fare,
Fine white linen you will wear,
Living water, come and drink,
Safety find and true thoughts think

Leave your sin your guilt your shame,
Repent, believe, call on his name.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Prepared for a sermon on Jeremiah 16

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What Higher Priv’lege Could I Have?

What higher priv’lege could I have,
Than loving you as Christ the church?
A nobler charge I could not ask,
So far beyond my just deserts.

Is there a greater task than this:
To nourish you as one with me?
No tale in life more epic is,
No song more challenging to sing.

How could a truth be more profound,
Than this we live in mystery?
That two in one the gospel sound,
The church in you, the Christ in me.

So may our one flesh union be
True gospel light, that all may see.

Friday, December 9, 2011
Composed Overseas, having been away from my sweet wife for a week, praising God for her.

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She Wields Her Weapons Too

I got to see the battle-front,
She stayed to fight at home.
The enemy I saw at work,
She didn’t get to roam.

I smelt the smoke and saw the flames,
She took care of our kids.
The fray I joined with the s-word of God,
Some more homeschool she did.

I got to see the fighters,
On the spiritu’l front lines,
Inspired by their hope and faith,
And how their courage shines.

She got to do the laundry,
And put the kids in bed,
She made their meals and got them dressed,
And held fast in her stead.

Without her, be here I could not,
She fights this fight with me.
I wish that she could see the front,
And feel the urgency,

For though she may not see it,
She wields her weapons too,
And holds the line and joins the charge,
In our cause most good and true.

Sunday, December 9, 2011

Composed overseas in honor of my sweet wife, who championed the cause of the gospel on the home-front, mothering our four children, while I was teaching the Bible to people training for ministry on the other side of the world.

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Alexander Pushkin’s “The Prophet”

Alexander PushkinThe Prophet

With fainting soul athirst for Grace,
I wandered in a desert place,
And at the crossing of the ways
I saw a sixfold Seraph blaze;

He touched mine eyes with fingers light
As sleep that cometh in the night:
And like a frightened eagle’s eyes,
They opened wide with prophecies.

He touched mine ears, and they were drowned
With tumult and a roaring sound:
I heard convulsion in the sky,
And flight of angel hosts on high,

And beasts that move beneath the sea,
And the sap creeping in the tree.
And bending to my mouth he wrung
From out of it my sinful tongue,

And all its lies and idle rust,
And ‘twixt my lips a-perishing
A subtle serpent’s forkèd sting
With right hand wet with blood he thrust.

And with his sword my breast he cleft,
My quaking heart thereout he reft,
And in the yawning of my breast
A coal of living fire he pressed.

Then in the desert I lay dead,
And God called unto me and said:

“Arise, and let My voice be heard,
Charged with My will go forth and span
The land and sea, and let My word
Lay waste with fire the heart of man.”

____

HT: Peter Leithart, Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Jeremiah 3:6–4:4, Repent and Be Restored

In 1988, Jimmy Swaggart was caught with a prostitute. He was famous. On television. Known worldwide as an evangelist and preacher. He was initially suspended for three months, then the Assemblies of God suspended him for two years. When he resumed preaching after three months, the Assemblies of God defrocked him.

In 1991 he was stopped by a police officer in California with a prostitute in the car. He told the church he continued to serve that the Lord told him it was none of their business and temporarily stepped down from ministry.

Jimmy Swaggart is famous, so a lot of people know about him. There are many ministers who fall into sexual sin. It is all too common for ministers who aren’t famous to fall out of ministry because of sexual sin. It is all too common for Christians who aren’t ministers to fall into sexual sin.

In Jeremiah 3 Jeremiah is warning the Southern Kingdom of Judah by pointing to what happened in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Jeremiah wants Judah to learn from what happened to Israel before it’s too late, before like Israel, Judah is destroyed. We want to learn from the sins of others before we commit them ourselves.

We need to see the consequence of sin and the rewards of repentance and faithfulness. We need to learn from the fall of other ministers before it’s too late in our case. People who fall into sexual sin accumulate a series of small transgressions that they don’t turn from, and the small sins build to big ones.

Jeremiah’s message in Jeremiah 3:6–4:4 is that Judah should look at what happened to the northern kingdom, Israel. Jeremiah is calling the southern kingdom, Judah, to repent of the little sins that will add up to the big exile.

This is a beautiful passage in which Yahweh promises to bless Israel if they repent. Specifically, in Jeremiah 3:22, the Lord declares that if they will return to him he will heal them.

Do you want the healing?
Healing full and free –
Won’t you come to Jesus?
Come the Savior see –

Do you want the freedom?
Loosed from all your chains –
Won’t you call upon him?
Speak the Savior’s name –

He will wash you fully.
Take away your stain –
Won’t you have the joy he
Showers where he reigns?

At several points in this passage Jeremiah alludes to the way that God saved Israel in the past to point to the way that he will save them in the future. Interesting to see the use of the OT in the OT (an OT author, Jeremiah, using earlier OT Scripture). You can hear all about it here: Jeremiah 3:6–4:4, Repent and Be Restored.

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Through Flame and Flood

Through flame and flood, with plague and blood
The gospel is proclaimed
The Spirit flows, the church it grows
The beast he is enraged

Measuring rod and line outstretched
The Father knows his own
As martyrs die the saints will sigh
And they cry out, How long?

And then at last, the trumpet blast
And Christ will reign as King
Creation sings, the praises ring
For this the world was made.

—–

Composed while preparing to preach on Revelation 11:1–19 in March 2009.

Sermon audio here.

Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches available for pre-order now.

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Accused, Blasphemed, Denied: Mark 14:53–72

If I said to you that God can relate to you when you feel abandoned, falsely accused, misunderstood, attacked, and denied, would you tell me that God is God and it is impossible for him to relate to these feelings precisely because he has all power, all knowledge, and all authority?

Is there any way you can imagine God being able to experience the loneliness, the hurt, the vulnerability, and the disappointment of being treated in these ways? How can we relate to God, omnipotent and unassailable, perfect and invincible? Is it possible for God to know what we feel when we are lonely, vulnerable, wrongly-accused, and betrayed? Yes, God is all knowing and all powerful, but can he know what we feel? Can God relate to us?

Jesus can relate to us. Jesus can relate to us in our loneliness, our abandonment, our sense that we are condemned for believing and speaking the truth, and our experience of being betrayed by those who ought to be loyal to us.

Mark 14:53–72 is full of impossibilities. We should not become so familiar with it that we cease to feel its shock value: How could it be possible that Israel would reject its Messiah? How could it be possible that the High Priest of Israel, who himself symbolizes the true mediator between God and man, would accuse the one he represents of blasphemy? How could justice be perverted to the point of Jesus being condemned to death? How could Peter, the boldest of the disciples, deny Jesus? How could these things possibly happen?

The Jewish leadership means to kill Jesus. They mean to kill the best man who has ever lived, the only man ever to live without sin, the incarnation of the everlasting God, the healer of the sick, feeder of the hungry, giver of life, epitome of love, teller of truth, hope of the world, King of kings, Lord of all. Their response to him is to want him dead.

Mark has done such a good job of telling the story that we understand why they want to kill him. They do not believe that he is the Messiah. He has not met their expectations. They love themselves.

When the High Priest asks Jesus if he is the Messiah, Jesus turns the tables in his reply: as Jesus answers, he shows that he is the one in charge. The reality is not what it seems. He is not the one on trial. Though the High Priest and those accusing Jesus think they have him on trial, in reality they are on trial. In reality their choices and actions will determine their destiny when they come before the world’s righteous Judge.

Jesus makes three offensive statements.

1)    I Am

2)    Psalm 110:1

3)    Daniel 7:13

Here he asserts that he is Lord, that he is the descendant of David, that he is the Son of Man who will receive everlasting dominion.

After Jesus is falsely accused and blasphemed, Peter denies him.

Have you been in a position where you wanted to do the right thing, and you simply broke? You hoped to have backbone, you hoped to have courage screwed to the sticking place, you meant to be the hero, and you quailed, played the part of the coward, and found yourself denying what was most precious to you?

The evil is so large, so black, so powerful that only Jesus can stand before it. It crushed him and killed him, but he did not quail. Because he did not flinch in the face of evil, the last defense against evil held. Jesus broke its back. Jesus overcame evil.

If you do not side with Jesus, when he comes on the clouds of heaven, he will condemn you in an awesome display of almighty justice. Your condemnation will be right, and God will be as faithful to you then as he is being faithful to you now.

If you say to me: how can he receive me. I’m such a failure. Look at what Peter does here. Peter knows that he has betrayed the one who is trustworthy. Peter knows that he has denied the one worthy of his allegiance. Peter knows that Jesus stood alone and that he abandoned him. And Peter feels the crushing weight of his sin, and weeps.

Let me invite you to consider how good God has been to you, how magnificent God’s creation is, how privileged you are to be a human being made in the image of God.

And in light of the gifts God has given to you, let me invite you to consider how ungrateful you have been, how presumptuous, how proud, how perverse, how complaining, how defiled and profane.

Weep over it. It’s ugly.

But oh, sweet the sound of the Savior’s love!
Low we were, in woe and shame, without hope,
And then he came, from on high, from above,
And took our sin and shame in fullest scope

On Sunday, July 24, it was my privilege to preach Mark 14:53–72, “Accused, Blasphemed, Denied” at Kenwood Baptist Church.

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The Grand Canyon with Canyon Ministries and Answers in Genesis

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to visit the Grand Canyon.

In the mercy and kindness of God, I got to go on a trip for Christian Leaders with my good friends Andy Naselli and Jason Derouchie, and I have definitive proof that my new friendship with Mike Wittmer has changed his life.

A few logistics and some stray comments before I attempt to combine words to get across the four big things I want to say about the trip: The expedition was made financially possible by Answers in Genesis, Canyon Ministries, and The Master’s Seminary. I don’t know who the donors were (each of us received a $3,300 scholarship), but I hereby register my gratitude for their generosity.

Let me also say that if you’re looking for a way to contribute financially to a Bible teacher or Christian leader having a great time on the river with Christian brothers discussing the age of the earth, the flood, and the Canyon, this is a great cause.

Or, if you’re looking for an exciting and educational vacation, why not plan a trip through the Canyon? You won’t find a better guide than Tom Vail of Canyon Ministries. The man knows where to find a shaded campsite, how to run a rapid, how to explain the Canyon’s geology, how to relate to all kinds of people, and even how to cook a birthday cake down there on the river. I’ve heard he catches rattle-snakes if they enter camp (seriously–thankfully no need to this time), and the power of the gospel is heard in his testimony and seen in his actions. Go to the Canyon Ministries website to book your trip.

We entered the river at Lees Ferry, and we helicoptered out 190 miles later, just past Lava Falls. I had never ridden in a helicopter. I had never been white water rafting. I had never been to the Grand Canyon. I had never slept under the open heavens–no tents necessary with no bugs and clear skies. I never imagined I would eat so well on a rafting trip.

I had no idea the Colorado River was so cold–47 degrees–and wouldn’t have expected bathing and doing laundry in it to be so easy (ok, it took a couple days to get used to the shiver-inducing cold of the water). Nor could I have imagined that the Little Colorado River would look like the clear blue waters of the Caribbean, or that flash flooding upriver could make the water of the Colorado look like Chocolate Milk. Willy Wonka would be proud.

I had no idea that the connections between the geological evidence about the formation of the Canyon and the Genesis flood were so strong.

I’m hoping to go back with my wife and kids (once they get old enough) and as many other family members as possible.

My four big take-aways from the trip have to do with the immensity and beauty of the Canyon, the relationships strengthened and formed, the power of the flood, and the joy of homecoming.

Immensity and Beauty

If you want to feel small, high thee up on that ledge above Deer Creek Falls that leads to Upper Deer Creek. Jason Derouchie has nerves of steel. He was standing right next to that ledge! I was with Mike Wittmer trying to get as close to the cliff sloping up behind it as possible. Eventually we agreed it was better not even to look at those guys who were so close to it. Especially when Nate started mocking us by acting like he was going to lunge off the ledge. Crazy. I was claiming Psalm 121:3, “He will not let your foot be moved.”

But from that ledge you can see a long, long way, and it’s Canyon as far as eyes will go. Enormity. Immensity. And it goes a lot farther than weak human eyes take in.

I wish my words were as beautiful as the Canyon’s splendors. It’s a place worthy of poets. Pictures can’t do it justice, but my sweet wife checked out several picture books on the Canyon from the local public library so she and the kids could have a glimpse of its glory.

At the end of the trip we received Tom Vail’s book, Grand Canyon: A Different View. When she saw it, my lovely wife said, “This is what I was hoping for from the books we got from the library; these pictures are far superior.” Its message is, too.

The size of the place is awesome.

At one point you’re a mile deep from river to rim. As you pass through the Upper Granite Gorge and the Middle Granite Gorge (we choppered out before the Lower Granite Gorge), you’re in canyons within the Canyon, and the walls of granite rise so steep and high that the outer rim cannot be seen.

It is big. And it is beautiful. Variety, radiance, harmony, wholeness: glory seen there.

Relationships

Thirty-two men on two boats rafting down the Colorado River. Away from wives, kids, and work responsibilities. No cell phone signals, no laptops, no blogs, twitter feeds, or facebook pages. Walls of rock rise on either side of the river. Eat. Raft. Eat. Raft. Hike. Raft. Eat. Sleep on a cot on a piece of sand in a bend of the River. When you wake up you’re with the same guys ready to sit on the boat again for hours. Plenty of time to talk. Long conversations punctuated by blasts through drenching rapids.

That’s a recipe for relationships, especially when the men are Christ-following and eager to serve.

What a blessing to walk through life with Christian brothers. There is indeed a unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There were four men from the UK, an Australian, and Americans from California and Virginia, Minnesota and Georgia, and a bunch of places in between. It was a blessing to strengthen old friendships and start new ones.

What a gift is friendship, yea, brotherhood–sweetened by the knowledge of the true and living God, faith in his Son Jesus Christ, and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

Mercy.

Flood

That massive and beautiful Canyon was cut by water. A lot of water moving fast. A catastrophic amount of water. It’s stunning, really, to look at the Canyon and imagine how much water moved through there. Sea water, no less, as evidenced by many, many fossils of salt-water critters.

Anyone who has read the opening pages of my recent book knows that I love guided tours. Even better than some device with a recording is a live tour guide who is a good teacher and likes to answer questions. Andrew Snelling was our live and in person geologist through the Canyon. You can check out his writing in short or long form. In addition to Andrew guiding us through the rocks, Bill Barrick was there to guide us through relevant passages of Scripture. What a blessing to be taught by these men.

We had many discussions of the age of the earth as well, and Terry Mortenson took the lead in these. I’m a convinced young-earther who thinks that flood was global. As World magazine’s books of the year demonstrate, this is a hot topic. Some have recently advocated the idea that what threatens fidelity is not the idea of an old earth but of theistic evolution. With that I’m sympathetic, and I also think the Preface to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy is relevant to this dispute, as it shows men humbly contending earnestly for the truth. For this we should strive as we engage old-earthers (among whom, apparently, we find Augustine, Thomas Chalmers, C. H. Spurgeon, B. B. Warfield, James M. Boice, and Wayne Grudem).

Consider the attractive power of the earnest humility expressed in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. In the Preface the framers begin by asserting the significance of the issue:

We see it as our timely duty to make this affirmation in the face of current lapses from the truth of inerrancy among our fellow Christians and misunderstanding of this doctrine in the world at large.

Then a few lines down there is this challenging graciousness wrapped in an invitation to continue the conversation:

We offer this Statement in a spirit, not of contention, but of humility and love, which we propose by God’s grace to maintain in any future dialogue arising out of what we have said. We gladly acknowledge that many who deny the inerrancy of Scripture do not display the consequences of this denial in the rest of their belief and behavior, and we are conscious that we who confess this doctrine often deny it in life by failing to bring our thoughts and deeds, our traditions and habits, into true subjection to the divine Word.
We invite response to this Statement from any who see reason to amend its affirmations about Scripture by the light of Scripture itself, under whose infallible authority we stand as we speak. We claim no personal infallibility for the witness we bear, and for any help that enables us to strengthen this testimony to God’s Word we shall be grateful.

Amen. May the Lord give us grace to engage in these disputes with a similar spirit.

The waters of the Colorado are powerful, as can be seen in this clip (note how the guy seated front left has his hat knocked off his head when the water rushes over him, and enjoy Derouchie’s fist pumping enthusiasm when he has passed through the waters):

All this water, however, does not appear to be now widening the river’s banks or deepening its channel, which seems to indicate that the Canyon was cut by a catastrophic, unprecedented, and unrepeated flow of water. My mind can barely begin to imagine the fury of the raging waters of Noah’s flood. Praise God that Jesus was baptized in the flood-waters of God’s wrath so that those who trust in him are delivered, as Noah was in the ark.

Homecoming

My gratitude to those who made the trip possible runs deep. I’m thankful for those who made it financially possible, but the deepest waters of thanksgiving flow toward my family. My sweet wife rejoiced in the opportunity to hold down the fort with our four kids, and my heroic dad came to help while I was away. The deep channels of their sacrificial love caused soaring heights of joy when I finally got home. I am the most blessed husband and father in the world.

To have that woman throw her arms around my neck.

There are pleasures that can only be felt in this permanent, exclusive, monogamous, comprehensive, interpersonal, organic union of one man and one woman called marriage.

Praise God.

My sons prepared for my arrival with a note taped to the door of our home, “Dad’s Home, Yippee!” And they made a lap-book of the Grand Canyon. Is it possible to describe what I felt when those three boys, 7, 5, and 3 years old, clambered out of the van and sprinted down the sidewalk at the airport to fling themselves into my arms? I hope they have sons like themselves, and I hope the Lord gives them each a wife like their mother. And then there was the joy of that wobbly five month old baby girl, with her bright-eyed smile and delightful pre-word baby cooing.

The Canyon was enormous and beautiful. The friendships renewed and formed full of joy and promise. The thought of the flood-waters of judgment that cut those rocks, leaving beauty in the wake of destruction (ahem, God’s glory in salvation through judgment) evokes praise for the Maker of the mountains. Coming home to my sweet wife and our four little ones is like stepping into a dream come true.

And all of it is mercy.

Cue organ to blast out the Gloria Patri:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, amen, amen.

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Second Place!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
I chortle in my joy

These boys are indeed uber-cute:

We loved The Monster in the Hollows and think you will too!

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Shepherd the Flock of God: The Ordination of Ross Shannon

On Sunday, May 22, 2011, it was our pleasure and privilege to ordain Ross Shannon to gospel ministry. Ross has been serving as the Assistant Pastor for Discipleship and Evangelism at Kenwood, and he just graduated from SBTS and was called to serve at First Baptist Church, Lapeer, MI. I had the honor of preaching Ross’s ordination. Ray Van Neste’s recent post on a good shepherd laying down his life for the sheep provided my introduction, and Floyd Doud Shafer’s phenomenal 1961 Christianity Today article inspired the conclusion.

We had a number of members of Kenwood graduate from SBTS, and as I was sitting there watching them cross the stage on Friday, reflecting on Ross and some other dear friends moving on to new ministries, I started this poem for Ross’s ordination.

Commission You Do We This Day

There is, my friend, no higher call
Than this we send you on with all
Our hearts, our souls, our minds we join
Both to rejoice and also mourn

The moving on of these so dear,
You’ve loved and served us so well here
That this sweet sadness deepens now
As though the grief is right somehow

We’d love to see your children born
Watch them grow and sing and learn;
And old together we might grow,
But there’s a deeper joy we’ll know

As you answer the call and go,
Our joy and grief together show
That there’s a love worth more than life,
A truth that merits sacrifice,

So join we now the ranks of those
Whose love in leaving deeper grows
Commission you do we this day
Giving God the thanks and praise.

Saturday, May 21, 2011
Begun during graduation on Friday, May 20, 2011
For the Ordination of Ross Shannon

Here’s the link to the sermon: Acts 20:17–38, “Shepherd the Flock of God: The Ordination of Ross Shannon

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Dante Says Love Built Hell

Consider the warning on hell’s gate in Inferno:

“Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
To rear me was the task of Power divine,
Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love.
Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

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God Is Known Among His People (Psalm 76)

My brother in law sent me the lyrics to this hymn last night. He said it sings God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment. I have to agree. Hear the tune here, and a version with a chorus added is here.

God is known among His people,
Every mouth His praises fill;
From of old He has established
His abode on Zion’s hill;
There He broke the sword and arrow,
Bade the noise of war be still.

Excellent and glorious art Thou,
With Thy trophies from the fray;
Thou hast slain the valiant hearted,
Wrapped in sleep of death are they;
When Thine anger once is risen,
Who can stand in that dread day?

When from Heav’n Thy sentence sounded,
All the earth in fear was still,
While to save the meek and lowly
God in judgment wrought His will;
E’en the wrath of man shall praise Thee,
Thy designs it shall fulfill.

Vow and pay ye to Jehovah,
Him your God forever own;
All men, bring your gifts before Him,
Worship Him, and Him alone;
Mighty kings obey and fear Him,
Princes bow before His throne.

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Beale the Balsam Tree

I had the privilege of introducing G. K. Beale at his first Gheens lecture here at SBTS today. It was an opportunity for me to heed 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13, and I want to take the opportunity to give thanks to God for Dr. Beale’s ministry by posting my words of introduction here as well:

G. K. Beale is a balsam tree. Balsam is a fragrant aroma or the tree that produces it, and from these trees comes an oleoresin that has medicinal value: balm. G. K. Beale is a balsam tree planted by streams of living water, bearing fruit in season and out, leading people to the balm in Gilead. In my own experience, I was taught that the authors of the NT make illegitimate appeals to the OT in ways that should not be imitated. The two tall scholarly trees that God used to open my mind to understand the Scriptures, to begin down the path of seeing that the authors of the NT rightly understood the OT, were Drs. Thomas R. Schreiner and G. K. Beale.

Dr. Beale’s book The Temple and the Church’s Mission is a paradigm shifting, seminal work, his book The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism is a faithful diagnosis from a loving physician, and his forthcoming New Testament Biblical Theology will stand with the titans of the genre.

Now flow the waters, drawn from the well,
Whence floweth our life, breaking the spell
Cast by the foe, that we too may know
Him whose suff’ring and glory the Scriptures show.

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Ten Thousand, by John Mark McMillan

Josh Philpot introduced me to this song by John Mark McMillan, “Ten Thousand,” from his album, The Medicine. Matt Damico sang this at the close of the sermon linked in the previous post. He knocked it out of the park. This is what Josh wrote to Matt when he introduced him to the song:

It’s a great tune and song. Think Ezekiel 37; John 16:33; Ephesians 5 (bride and husband); 1 John 5:4; etc.

TEN THOUSAND

Ten thousand glimmering like coals in our chest
Ball bearings drawn to the magnetic breath
Of ten thousand weeping with wings on their tears
Amidst ten thousand voices for ten thousand years
For ten thousand graves yawning unlocked and unlatched
Now ten thousand holes with rocks on their backs
Ten thousand tombs gaping wide singing the praise
Of ten thousand bodies unlaced and unlaid

As the ten thousand highways unfold their doors
For the ten thousand standing on Nineveh’s shores
Where the blood of a husband silences wars
For the girl who rises to meet him
And she sings

World, I have overcome you
World, I have overcome you
World, I have overcome
By my song and the blood of a son

Ten thousand rivers run red like my veins
Where the bones of men hum like a rattling cage
For sinew to cling to and wind to remain
In ten thousand lungs for ten thousand days
Breathing like a choir of holes in the ground
Where the cynical have lain, where the cynical go down
Save the gravity of time lets go of her drowned
Like ten thousand sparrows, unlocked and unwound

As the ten thousand highways unfold their doors
For the ten thousand standing on Nineveh’s shores
Where the blood of a husband silences wars
For the girl who rises to meet him

And she sings
World, I have overcome you
World, I have overcome you
World, I have overcome
By my song and the blood of a son

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