The Ordinary Means of Growth

The Ordinary Means of Growth.

means of graceThis article appeared in the featured list from “The Aquila Report” this week (dated July 15, 2014). It is actually a reprint of an article Dr.Ligon Duncan wrote for Tabletalk magazine back in 2007. But it is worth republishing and repeating because what Duncan wrote seven years ago remains relevant. In fact, even more so now!

As we end our week and anticipate the Lord’s Day tomorrow, may we continue to be committed to the “ordinary” means of grace. Which, are in reality, extraordinary, because they are the means by which God saves us through Christ and keeps us in Christ.

Below is a quotation from the heart of Duncan’s article. To read all of it – and it is all good reading! – visit the link found above.

Ordinary means of grace-based ministry is ministry that focuses on doing the things God, in the Bible, says are central to the spiritual health and growth of His people, and which aims to see the qualities and priorities of the church reflect biblical norms. Ordinary means ministry is thus radically committed to biblical direction of the priorities of ministry. Ordinary means ministry believes that God has told us the most important things, not only about the truth we are to tell, but about the way we are to live and minister — in any and every context. Hence, God has given us both the message of salvation and the means of gathering and building the church, in His Word. However, important understanding our context is, however important understanding the times may be (and these things are, in fact, very important), however important appreciating the cultural differences in the places and times we serve, the ordinary means approach to ministry is first and foremost concerned with biblical fidelity. Because faithfulness is relevance. The Gospel is the message and the local church is the plan. God has given to his church spiritual weapons for the bringing down of strongholds. These ordinary means of grace are the Word, sacraments, and prayer.

They may seem weak in the eyes of the worldly strong. They may seem foolish in the eyes of the worldly wise. But the Gospel message is the power of God unto salvation, and the Gospel means are effectual to salvation. These are the Spiritual instruments given by God with which Christian congregational Spiritual life is nurtured, the Spirit’s tools of grace and growth in grace appointed by God in the Bible.


J.Calvin on Psalm 141: “What a busy workshop is the heart of man…!”

Calvin PreachingFor our further profit in meditating on Psalm 141 today we include these comments of John Calvin on v.3. May they also strengthen us in our resolve to guard our tongues and to ask God to help us in this endeavor, both in speaking to Him and to our neighbor.

3. Set a watch, O Jehovah! upon my mouth.

In committing himself to the guidance of God, both as to thoughts and words, David acknowledges the need of the influence of the Spirit for the regulation of his tongue and of his mind, particularly when tempted to be exasperated by the insolence of opposition. If, on the one hand, the tongue be liable to slip and too fast of utterance, unless continually watched and guarded by God; on the other, there are disorderly affections of an inward kind which require to be restrained.

What a busy workshop is the heart of man, and what a host of devices is there manufactured every moment! If God do not watch over our heart and tongue, there will confessedly be no bounds to words and thoughts of a sinful kind, — so rare a gift of the Spirit is moderation in language, while Satan is ever making suggestions which will be readily and easily complied with, unless God prevent.

It need not seem absurd to speak of God inclining our hearts to evil, since these are in his hand, to turn them whithersoever he willeth at his pleasure. Not that he himself prompts them to evil desires, but as according to his secret judgments he surrenders and effectually gives over the wicked to Satan’s tyranny, he is properly said to blind and harden them.

The blame of their sins rests with men themselves, and the lust which is in them; and, as they are carried out to good or evil by a natural desire, it is not from any external impulse that they incline to what is evil, but spontaneously and of their own corruption.

Sunday Worship Preparation – Psalm 141

Psalm 141To guide us in our worship readiness this Lord’s Day we turn to Psalm 141, another “psalm of David” according to the heading.  The entire psalm is a prayer, and so is fitting for us as we enter the Lord’s house of prayer and supplication, to bring our needs to the high King of heaven, Who hears His children’s praise and pleas and answers them according to His abundant mercy and grace in Jesus Christ.

Here is the prayer(s) David uttered under the guidance of the Holy Spirit:

 Psalm 141

Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.

But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.

Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.

10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.

As you read through this psalm and meditate on it, you will notice that David brings a varied prayer before his heavenly Father. Standing in God’s presence he is confident to bring several different petitions to Him. This is the prayer of faith too, that the child of God is not afraid to bring his many needs to the throne of grace. And from this varied prayer of David we too may learn how to pray and what to pray for when we come to our Father in heaven with our needs.

Notice at the outset that David expresses the need and urgency of his prayer to God (v.1). He not only asks to be heard but he asks that God “make haste” to hear him. It may seem to us to be presumptuous and even irreverent for David to tell God to hurry to hear him, but this too arises out of true faith. The child of God prays out of the sense of deep need and at the same time realizes that only God can hear and help him. So at times he will make this known to God too: “Lord, my need is great and urgent. Give me Your ear and haste to do this!”

Do you ever ask God to do this for you? I have to admit I don’t think I ever have. But maybe that is because I don’t realize sufficiently what a beggar I am and how eager my Father is to hear me and help me. Let us learn from the example of David.

Further, you will see that David views his prayer as worship and wants it to be acknowledged as such by the Lord. In v.2 he uses the language of the tabernacle (temple) – prayer as incense and the evening sacrifice. He wants God to receive his prayer as an offering, a sacrifice of praise and thanks that is sweet-smelling to God, and that will therefore be received by Him (cf. Luke 1:8-10; Rev.8:3)).

Do we think of our prayers this way? We ought to, for this is what they are and must be. But how shall our prayers ever rise as a sweet incense to the God of holy nostrils? Only on the basis of the perfect atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and through His High-priestly work in heaven on our behalf. This too belongs to the prayer of faith, that we come only and ever in Jesus’ name, no matter the need and circumstances. Prayer time is worship time. May we ask that it be as incense and as a sacrifice pleasing to our God.

Now pay attention to David’s petitions here. What does he ask for? In v.3 that God set a watch before his mouth to guard what he says in His presence. In v.4 that his heart not be led into any evil so that he not work wicked works with wicked men. In v.5 that he be open to the smitings and reprovings of his fellow saints, which are good for him. And conscious of the enemies about him and his weak standing (v.7) he states that God is all his trust, asking that God not leave him alone but keep him from the sinful traps of the wicked (vss.8-9). And in fact, he prays that God let the wicked fall into their own traps while he escapes (v.10).

What are these requests but those of a needy, dependent child of God who realizes that he can bring anything to the Lord! And who realizes that the sovereign God is able to help him in every situation and give grace sufficient for any need! David’s heart and mouth are open to his God as he prays. While he prays carefully and reverently, he also prays with confidence that he can tell the Lord everything with regard to his needs.

God is honored and praised when we too pray in this confidence. Is our heart and mouth so open to our heavenly Father? Do we truly realize our need before Him and do we truly believe He that open to us, that we can ask Him anything?

Let us remember that we pray in and through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Let us know that for His sake our Father will never turn us away or ever reject a petition prayed according to His will. And let us remember to praise and thank Him for this glorious blessing of our salvation!

If you desire to meditate on Psalm 141 through music, I encourage you to listen to a versification of this psalm at the PRC Psalter page. Here is one such versification to get you started (Visit the link to hear piano accompaniment and sing along.):

1. O Lord, make haste to hear my cry,
To Thee I call, on Thee rely;
Incline to me a gracious ear,
And, when I call, in mercy hear.

2. When in the morning unto Thee
I lift my voice and bring my plea,
Then let my prayer as incense rise
To God enthroned above the skies.

3. When unto Thee I look and pray
With lifted hands at close of day,
Then as the evening sacrifice
Let my request accepted rise.

4. Guard Thou my thoughts, I Thee implore,
And of my lips keep Thou the door;
Nor leave my sinful heart to stray
Where evil footsteps lead the way.

5. O righteous God, Thy chastisement,
Though sent through foes, in love is sent;
Though grievous, it will profit me,
A healing ointment it shall be.

6. While wickedness my foes devise,
To Thee my constant prayer shall rise;
When their injustice is o’erthrown
My gentleness shall still be shown.

7. Brought nigh to death and sore distressed,
O Lord, my God, in Thee I rest;
Forsake me not, I look to Thee,
Let me Thy great salvation see.

8. Themselves entangled in their snare,
Their own defeat my foes prepare;
O keep me, Lord, nor let me fall,
Protect and lead me safe through all.

The PR Psalm-Singing Choir also has a video of its performance of this number:


I hope you are not pusillanimous!

As of yesterday afternoon I didn’t know what word I was going to post for my “Word Wednesday” feature today. Until a ride to Indiana for a “Voices of Victory” (male quartet) concert late afternoon turned up a dandy – pusillanimous! That fine word (and new one for me!) came compliments of Dan Van Dyke (English teacher), who was reading on his Kindle as we made our way south.

Besides finding mystery in this new word, I think he also sensed magic in the way it sounded – “pew-si-lan-eh-mus”. Sounds impressive and significant, doesn’t it? And, indeed, it is. But you and I had better never be given to pusillanimity! Why?

pusillanimousBecause literally, according to its Latin derivation, the word means “tiny minded” (pusillus, “very small” – and animus, “mind”). From that it has come to mean “cowardly; irresolute; fainthearted; proceeding from or showing a lack of courage” (Webster’s New World Dictionary: College Edition, 1964). Or as an online dictionary adds, “fearful, lily-livered, spineless, chicken, gutless” – hardly terms one would want applied to himself or herself!

Might I add, especially as Christians (Reformed ones, who rest in the sovereign God and His sovereign grace in Jesus Christ!) we have no reason to be pusillanimous! And yet we are, which is why the Bible has to tell us NOT to be fearful and fainthearted (Deut.20:8′; Is.7:4) and call us to be of good courage (Deut.31:6; Josh.1:6).

Yes, as believers, standing by faith in our God, we ought rather to be magnanimous – of great mind!

Interested in Some Review Books?

I have received a few new books for review in The Standard Bearer, and wanted to encourage (and perhaps entice!) some new potential (or “old”) reviewers. Remember, these books are FREE to you, if you agree to pen a brief review for the “SB”.

A book I highlighted last week - China’s Reforming Churches: Mission, Polity, and Ministry in the Next  Christendom, edited by Bruce P. Baugus (Reformation Heritage Books, 2014) is one.

Life in Christ-WalkerAnother is one I called attention to a while back and which no one has claimed:

Life in Christ: Becoming and Being a Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ by Jeremy Walker (RHB, 2013), 144 pp.

“To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to be in a position of privilege and blessing beyond anything the world might offer,” begins author Jeremy Walker. Life in Christ explores the unsearchable riches of the Christian pilgrimage and traces its trajectory, highlighting key elements in the believer’s experience. Do you wrestle with assurance? Have you grasped the engagement demanded in Christian living? Do you find the way wearying at times? Do you struggle with your Christian identity? Walker provides instruction for Christians to assess their own standing and progress in the faith—exhorting and equipping and always pointing them ahead to the hope of the glory of Christ. Along the way, he encourages God’s people to live a life to the praise of His glory as he examines some of the basic truths that establish and direct a true child of God.

All-Surpassing Fellowship-BeatyAnd finally, another brand new publication by RHB is An All-Surpassing Fellowship: Learning from Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Communion with God by David P. Beaty. This is the publisher’s description of this interesting title:

In An All-Surpassing Fellowship, David P. Beaty introduces us to the spiritual life of Robert Murray M‘Cheyne. After giving an overview of the life of this remarkable Scottish pastor, Beaty analyzes M‘Cheyne’s study of the Bible, prayer life, pursuit of holiness, eternal perspective, and dependence on the Holy Spirit to see the rich contribution they made to his communion with God. Yet Beaty conducts these investigations with a view toward application—learning from M‘Cheyne that which will help us walk more closely with Christ. See why M‘Cheyne’s communion with God has encouraged many believers over the years, and be encourage yourself to seek that same sweet fellowship with the Lord.

These last two would make fine reading on the Christian life, and would be fairly easy to review in my estimation. Contact me if you are interested.

Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow — Free eBook from Ligonier Ministries

Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow — Free eBook by Nathan W. Bingham | Ligonier Ministries Blog.

5Things Christian Grows-RCSproulAlso, do not forget Ligonier’s monthly free digital book feature. This month (all of June) it is R.C. Sproul’s book Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow.

What are those five things? Read this brief note from “R.C.” about the book:

“Being a Christian is not an acquired skill or discipline like diving or ice skating. It is a living, vital relationship with the God of the universe, a relationship that begins when a person becomes a new creation in Him and receives Jesus as Lord by faith. But like Olympic athletes, Christians are called upon to train, to make sacrifices, and to embrace certain disciplines in order to give God “our utmost for His highest.” This book deals with five of those disciplines: Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship. Just as Olympic athletes work hard to achieve their best performances, our diligence in attending to these aspects of the Christian life will help determine our effectiveness in serving our Lord.”


—R.C. Sproul

By the way, the print edition of this book makes a fine gift for high school and college graduates, as well as for those who may be making confession of faith.

A Dutch Poem in English: “Volgen” – “To Follow”

Sometimes tucked away in books given to or purchased by the PRC Seminary library are interesting items – from old bookmarks to receipts to newspaper clippings – to, yes, poems. Even Dutch poems. Translated into English, thankfully (though the Dutch has its own beautiful rhythm and cadence).

As part of today’s archive postings, I give you one I found just yesterday (yellowed stains and all) in a book that came from Neal Pastoor (SE PRC, Grand Rapids). I put the poem aside and then read it this morning. It contains wonderful lines about the nature of the Christian life in terms of following wherever God leads us. I pray it is a blessing to you as it was (and is!) to me (Click on it to enlarge even more.).

Poem - Volgen -To Follow_Page_1

Sunday Worship Preparation – Psalm 134

Psalm134As we get ready to enter the Lord’s courts of prayer and praise today, we turn to the fifteenth and final psalm in the series of “songs of degree” (or ascent), Psalm 134. These songs of God’s OT church, you will remember, were sung by God’s pilgrim people as they made their way “up to” Jerusalem for the special times of worship designated by the Lord. As such, they are also appropriate for us, God’s NT church, as we journey through this world on our way to the new and heavenly Jerusalem (Heb.12:22-24).

This final song of ascent is also very brief, like the previous one (Psalm 133), but it too is a significant song. It may be viewed as a farewell song by the worshiping church as she takes her leave of God’s holy city and temple and returns to her regular life. Let’s put this inspired Word of God before us so that we too may learn to sing it, both in our preparing for and in our ending of public worship:

Psalm 134

Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord.

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.

The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

You will note that the psalm has two basic parts. In the first part, the people of God address the “servants of the LORD”, namely the priest and Levites who labored all day and all night in God’s covenant house. Realizing that the priestly prayers to and the priestly praise of the Lord must never cease, the church calls these special servants of the Lord to continue their work even after the people have left and the sun has gone down. “Bless ye the LORD”; “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD,” they shout.

In making this call to the priests, the people of God are deeply conscious of two things. First, that God is always to be praised and continually acknowledged to be the Fountain of all blessing. And second, that they themselves are in constant need to the Lord’s blessing.

Are we also conscious of these things? Are we likewise desirous that God’s special servants involved in public worship today – our pastors and elders – will continue to bless the Lord through prayer and praise when we have left the Lord’s sanctuary and have returned to our week of labor? When our public worship is finished and we take leave of the house of the Lord, do we still want them to pray for us and seek the blessing the Lord on our behalf? Then do we also remind them of their labors for us and call them to fulfill it? Do we also bring their needs before God during the week, so that they may carry on their vital work of blessing the Lord? We must, as the example of these OT pilgrims shows us!

And extending this now to our great High Priest in heaven, Jesus Christ, do we desire Him above all to continue His labors on our behalf in glory and bless the Lord? Do we covet His prayers for us that we will be blessed by the ever blessed God and Father? And so then, do we also call on Christ (in our own prayers) to keep standing in the Lord’s house in heaven and bless Him day and night? Do we call Him to praise God for us in perfect prayer and worship? If our hearts are full of praise and thanks to God from our own worship on the Lord’s day, then we will!

In the second part of Psalm 134 the priests respond back to the call of God’s people and convey the sure blessing of the Lord on them: “The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion” (v.3). That was important for them to hear, for without that blessing of the Lord all their special worship and all their earthly service was in vain. They – and we – need that favor of God in Christ on us and the gifts of His grace on us, or life is vanity, and even worse, cursed.

Do we understand that today? Will we seek  and listen for that blessing of God in Christ on us as we worship? Will we hear our blessed and only High Priest, Jesus Christ, speak and convey that blessing on us this day? Will receive in faith His blessed gifts of salvation?

When we do, we may leave our places of public worship in joy and thanksgiving, with hearts and mouths overflowing with the blessing of the Lord. God bless your and my worship this Lord’s day!

Psalter1912If you wish to meditate on this psalm through the music of the Psalter, I encourage you to make use of this versification, Ps.#372. The lyrics are posted here; the music you may find at the link provided.

1. Come, all ye servants of the Lord,
Lift up your voice with one accord
Jehovah’s Name to bless;
Ye that are standing night by night
Within the house of His delight,
His glorious Name confess.

2. Yea, in His place of holiness
Lift up your hands the Lord to bless;
And unto you be given,
The joys that Zion doth afford,
The richest blessings of the Lord
Who made the earth and heaven.

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross (11)

ancient tombOn this Saturday of the week remembering in a special way our Lord’s passion, we are at that point between Jesus’ death on Friday and His resurrection on Sunday. On Saturday – all day – Jesus lay in the grave in which he was buried on Friday night before sundown. This too belonged to his humiliation and to his experience of the full reality of the consequences of our sin.

For the grave is the place of the dead, the place where the corruption of sin and death work to ravage even our bodies and return us to the dust from which we were originally taken. But worse, the grave (apart from Christ) is also a doorway into eternal death, the place where the sinner is destined to rise unto everlasting separation from God and the suffering of unending torment in the restless “home” of hell. The grave is a fearful place – apart from Christ!

But for Christ, the Victor over death at the cross, the grave is a place not only of humiliation and suffering but also of exaltation and blessedness. Jesus’ tomb is a place of transition, when he – because of His perfect sacrifice for sin on Calvary and His defeat of sin’s penalty (death) at Golgatha – moves from lowliness to exaltedness, from suffering to reward, and from death to life.

O, He is dead and buried alright! He is in the grave, the place of death and corruption! But only for the bare minimum of time according to the Scriptures (three days, only one being a full day)! And even then, death cannot touch Him, for His body experienced no corruption, no breakdown of tissue and decay (Psalm 16:9-11 and Acts 2:29ff.). If we may put it that way, surrounded by death and lying in death, Jesus is alive even in the grave (because He has the victory over death in hand), though on Saturday He has not yet burst forth out of the tomb of Joseph!

And so we, like Jesus did, eagerly await the dawning of the first day of the week. We know what’s coming – like our Lord did – and we cannot wait for Resurrection Sunday!

JesusKeepMeNear-NGuthrieWhile we wait and ponder this time of transition for our Lord, we post once more from the book Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross. Today we quote from chapter 18, which contains an excerpt from J.I.Packer’s Growing in Christ book (Crossway, 1994), where he is treating two phrases from the Apostles’ Creed, under the heading “He Descended Into Hell and Ascended Into Heaven”. I quote from the beginning of Guthrie’s selection of material:

Death has been called ‘the new obscenity’, the nasty thing that no polite person nowadays will talk about in public. But death, even when unmentionable remains inescapable. The one sure fact of life is that one day, with or without warning, quietly or painfully, it is going to stop. How will I, then, cope with death when my turn comes?

Christians hold that the Jesus of the Scriptures is alive, and that those who know him as Savior, Lord, and Friend find in this knowledge a way through all life’s problems, dying included. For ‘Christ leads me through no darker rooms than he went through before.’ Having tasted death himself, he can support us while we taste it, and carry us through the great change to share the life beyond death into which he himself has passed. Death without Christ is ‘the king of terrors,’ but death with Christ loses the ‘sting,’ the power to hurt, which it otherwise would have.

John Preston, the Puritan, knew this. When he lay dying, they asked him if he feared death, now that it was so close. “No,’ whispered Preston; ‘I shall change my place, but I shall not change my company.’ As if to say: I shall leave my friends, but not my Friend, for he will never leave me.

This is victory – victory over death, and the fear it brings (pp.105-06).

And then a little later Packer writes:

Suppose that Jesus, having died on the cross, had stayed dead. Suppose that, like Socrates or Confucius, he was now no more than a beautiful memory. Would it matter? We should still have his example and teaching; wouldn’t they be enough?

Had Jesus not risen, but stayed dead, the bottom would drop out of Christianity, for four things would then be true.

First, to quote Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:17: ‘If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.’

Second, there is then no hope of our rising either; we must expect to stay dead, too.

Third, if Jesus Christ is not risen, then he is not reigning and will not return, and every single item in the Creed after ‘suffered and was buried’ will have to be struck out.

Fourth, Christianity cannot be what the first Christians thought it was – fellowship with a living Lord who is identical with the Jesus of the Gospels. The Jesus of the Gospels can still be your hero, but he cannot be your Savior (pp.107-08).

All good food for thought as we got through this “transition” day between Good Friday and Easter.

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross (7)

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matt. 27:46 (and Psalm 22:1)

There is no answer. God did not deliver Jesus from the cross. The only answers he received were silence and darkness, the silence of being forsaken by God and the darkness of God’s judgment descending upon the earth.

Jesus did not just feel forsaken, he was forsaken. It was not just that Jesus experienced passing sensations of alienation and rejection on the cross. It was more than that. The question Jesus shouted out from the cross pointed back to an actual experience, to an objective state of affairs, to something that had already happened to him: ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ Jesus Christ could tell when his intimacy with God the Father was interrupted. When that happened, he knew that he had been forsaken.

Why did it happen? Why did God the Father forsake the Son on the cross? We cannot comprehend it. We cannot explain it. The great theologian Martin Luther said, ‘God forsaken by God, who can understand that?’ If even Jesus himself could not fully understand it, then we cannot understand it either.

But we can at least say this: it had something to do with what Jesus was doing on the cross. What Jesus was doing on the cross was bearing sin, carrying sin, wearing sin. Jesus was taking the sins of the world upon his shoulders. It was as if God had taken a giant bucket and scooped up all the sins of his people – all the jealousy and the anger and the lying, all the rebellion and the stealing and the incest, all the hypocrisy and the envy and the swearing – and dumped them all out on Jesus Christ. ‘The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all’ (Isa.53:6. ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us…’ (2 Cor.5:21).

…If you want to know what God really thinks about sin and what he intends to do about it, look at Jesus rejected on the cross and listen to Jesus forsaken on the cross. That is what sin deserves: the wrath and curse of God. That is what sinners deserve: to be put to death and damned for their sins.

…The forsaking of the Son of God on the cross is a fearful thing, but it is good news for sinners who repent. It is good news because it means that when you meet Jesus Christ at the cross you are meeting someone who has experienced the full measure of the tragedy of human existence. Out of his own experience of physical suffering and spiritual rejection Jesus not only sympathizes with your pain, he empathizes with it.

The forsaking of the Son of God on the cross is also good news because it means that God’s children will never be forsaken. Jesus was God-forsaken so that you might not be forsaken (pp.86-88).

JesusKeepMeNear-NGuthriePhilip G. Ryken, “God-Forsaken”, in Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross, ed. by Nancy Guthrie; Crossway, 2009.


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