Reset: Take Time to Rest

Reset-DMurray-2017We have been calling attention to a new book from local author David Murray (Puritan Reformed Seminary) published by Crossway – Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture (2017). It is written with men especially in view, men in danger of burnout, as the title hints.

After chapters on doing a “reality check” (repair bay 1) and performing a “review” of our lives (repair bay 2), Murray takes us into repair bay 3, where he points us to the need for “rest.” And the rest he has in mind in chapter 3 is that of sleep – real, physical, lasting, fulfilling sleep. Which is deeply spiritual at the same time.

For as Murray points out, there is a “sermon we preach in our sleep,” and “few things are as theological as sleep” (p.54). To demonstrate this, he states that if we are boasting about being able to get by on five hours of sleep a night, for example, we are proclaiming the following five point “sermon”:

  1. I don’t trust God with my work, my church, or my family.
  2. I don’t respect how my Creator has made me.
  3. I don’t believe that the soul and body are linked.
  4. I don’t need to demonstrate my rest in Christ.
  5. I worship idols [p.55].

If you are a busy man who is sleep-deprived (self-induced, that is!), that theology of sleep hurts. Because the truth always hurts. And those five points convict us of what is going on in our souls while we are depriving our bodies of the rest we need and were created for.

But Murray carefully eases the pain by directing us to the benefits of longer sleep (physical, intellectual, emotional, financial, moral, and spiritual, etc.) and providing some helpful “sleeping pills” (discipline, routine, exercise, contentment, faith, humility, napping [that’s one of my favs – the “power nap” after supper!].

And he ends where he started, with “sleep theology.” Here, I will quote the author more extensively, for this too we (I!) need to hear:

Ultimately, sleep, like everything else, should lead us to the gospel and the Savior. First, it prompts us to think about death, that we all shall close our eyes in sleep, and wake up in another world (1 Thess.4:14).

It also teaches us about our Savior. The fact that Jesus slept (Mark 4:38) is as profound as “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). It reminds us of Christ’s full humanity, that the Son of God became so frail, so weak, so human that he needed to sleep. What humility! What love! What an example! What a comfort! What a sleeping pill!

It illustrates salvation. How much are we doing when we sleep? Nothing! That’s why Jesus used rest as an illustration of his salvation. ‘Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matt.11:28).

It points us toward heaven. There remains a rest for the people of God (Heb.4:9). That doesn’t mean heaven is going to be one long lie-in. It means it will be a place of renewal, refreshment, comfort, and perfect peace [p.70].

Isn’t this a much-needed tonic for us as we end this week? After a busy week and a beautiful spring day today in which I again tried to cram too much in, my body – and soul! – are crying for rest. Yes, I did have my power nap. But I need more. More sleep and physical rest. But also, more of the theology of sleep. I need the gospel of grace. I need Jesus. I need His rest. I need heaven. What about you?

Which reminds us that tomorrow is God’s wonderful rest day. The Lord’s Day! Precious, wonderful rest is waiting for us in Christ. A glimpse of glory.  A foretaste of our forever with the Lord. Will we enter into it by faith and receive and rejoice in its benefits?

It will help us to spend tonight in sweet sleep.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2

Photocopy of Rare Sir Isaac Newton Letter in T. Letis Collection

Today Kevin Rau and I stumbled on a rare find while browsing in the Dr. Ted Letis collection at the PRC Seminary.

We were on a mission to find some possible correspondence between Gordon Clark and Letis for a contact who will be publishing the letters of Clark in his next book (cf. Doug Douma’s The Presbyterian Philosopher: The Authorized Biography of Gordon H. Clark; Eugene, OR, Wipf & Stock, 2016).

GodfreyKneller-IsaacNewton-1689While we did not find any new correspondence between Letis and Clark in the boxes of containing much of the personal research of Letis, we did find an amazing photocopy of a letter of Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1726)- yes, that Newton, the famed mathematician and scientist.

Newton was also a professing Christian, and in 1690 he wrote a letter to a friend expressing his views on biblical-textual matters, which is why the late Dr. Letis was interested in what he had to say. In that letter, Newton wrote to John Locke about two disputed texts in the Bible – I John 5:7 (on the Trinity – “For there are three that bear record in heaven”) and I Timothy 3:16 (about Christ being “God …manifest in the flesh.”).

The letter was published posthumously first in 1754 (in English) and came to be called (from the title Newton himself gave at the top of the letter – cf. below) An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Sacred Scripture, in a Letter to a Friend, from which title you can judge what Newton’s views were. Although Newton was accused of holding anti-trinitarian views because of this, and even claimed by the Arians, the charge does not hold according to this section found on the Internet:

Even though a number of authors have claimed that the work might have been an indication that Newton disputed the belief in Trinity, others assure that Newton did question the passage but never denied Trinity as such. His biographer, scientist Sir David Brewster, who compiled his manuscripts for over 20 years, wrote about the controversy in well-known book Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, where he explains that Newton questioned the veracity of those passages, but he never denied the doctrine of Trinity as such. Brewster states that Newton was never known as an Arian during his lifetime, it was first William Whiston (an Arian) who argued that “Sir Isaac Newton was so hearty for the Baptists, as well as for the Eusebians or Arians, that he sometimes suspected these two were the two witnesses in the Revelations,” while other like Hopton Haynes (a Mint employee and Humanitarian), “mentioned to Richard Baron, that Newton held the same doctrine as himself”.[67]

The letter went through several published editions, the title page of one of which Letis also had in the sleave with the copy of Newton’s letter. Both of these items I scanned and show you here.

INewton-letters-1754

The photocopied first page of these letters is what Letis had, and he got it from the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford (England), which holds the original letters and their copyright (evident from the stamp on back of photocopy). Below is that copy.INewton-letter-1690-2

For more on the fascinating history and contents of this letter of Newton, visit this page.

presence-of-creator-inewton

As an added note (now that I have checked the Letis collection again), the library of Letis contained at least five (5) biographies on Isaac Newton, including this one. So, Letis’ interest in Newton was not a passing one.

A Journey Into the Merriam-Webster Word Factory – The New York Times

It has been some time since we did a “Word Wednesday” feature. Today (tonight!) I post this significant “word” item I saved a while back.

In this article penned for The New York Times (March 22, 2017), Jennifer Schluessler uncovers the secrets of the Merriam-Webster “word factory,” that is, the company’s famed dictionary. Along the way, you will find out some of the old ways of producing this time-tested word book, as well as the new ways that modern technology has added to and enhanced the process. Ah, the thrill of being a lexicographer!

Below is one of the images that go with the story, and then the beginning part of the article. Find the rest by clicking on the image below.

And, yes, this place certainly looks like a verbal gem-mine to me! Another one to add to my book-tour trip. 🙂

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Merriam-Webster, the oldest dictionary publisher in America, has turned itself into a social media powerhouse over the past few years. Its editors star in online videos on hot-button topics like the serial comma, gender pronouns and the dreaded “irregardless.” Its Twitter feed has become a viral sensation, offering witty — and sometimes pointedly political — commentary on the news of the day.

Kory Stamper, a lexicographer here, is very much part of the vanguard of word-nerd celebrities. Her witty “Ask the Editor” video contributions, like a classic on the plural of octopus, and personal blog, Harmless Drudgery, have inspired a Kory Stamper Fan Club on Facebook.

…But the company remains very much a bricks-and-mortar operation, still based in this small New England city where the Merriam brothers bought the rights to Noah Webster’s dictionary in the 1840s and carried on his idea of a distinctly American language. And this month, Ms. Stamper, the author of the new book “Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries,” was more than happy to offer a tour of some of the distinctly analog oddities in the basement.

Published in: on April 19, 2017 at 10:17 PM  Leave a Comment  

WORLD Magazine’s 2017 Children’s Books of the Year

170429 Cover

The latest issue of World magazine (vol.32, No.8) is a special one, calling attention to their 2017 children’s books of the year.
Below you will find a brief note that came with the email notice, which includes links to the three categories of books that were awarded.
This can be an excellent means to discover good books for your younger and older children. As always, discretion is assumed.
Visit the link below the find other headline news in this issue of the Christian news magazine.
2017 Children’s Books of the Year
WORLD’s selection of 2017 Children’s Books of the Year spans three categories: picture books, middle-grade novels, and middle-grade nonfiction.

Source: Vol. 32, No. 8 | WORLD News Group

Published in: on April 18, 2017 at 10:29 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Uniqueness of the Psalms – Dr. Robert Godfrey

The book of Psalms remains an important object of study on the part of Christians and the Christian church. Every year new books about and commentaries on the Psalms appear. This year is no exception. No doubt with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, books will appear relating the two, since the Reformation was also a return to this OT songbook for the church.

Reformation Trust has recently published a new book on the Psalms, Learning to Love the Psalms (March, 2017; 263 pp.). It is written by Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, president of Westminster Seminary (Escondido, CA) and professor of church history there.

The publisher provides this summary of the title:

The Psalms are undeniably beautiful. They are also difficult, and readers often come away convinced that tremendous riches remain just beyond their grasp. In this book, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey invites us to journey with him towards a greater understanding and love for these sacred verses. The timeless elegance of the Psalms, their depth of expression, and testimony to the greatness of God have enchanted and edified God’s people for centuries. Learning to Love the Psalms is intended to help today’s Christians share in that delight.

In connection with this new book, Ligonier posted a brief video with Godfrey describing the richness of the Psalms (dated April 11, 2017). You may watch it here:

This book has been added to the PRC Seminary’s collection of books on the Psalms. It may be a title you wish to add to your personal or family library as well.

Source: The Uniqueness of the Psalms

Good Friday Poems 2017

Good Friday-1On this day the Christian church commemorates the death of the Son of God in the place of His sinful people on Calvary’s hill, we give you a couple of poems for your meditation on the wonder of the cross of Jesus Christ (and April is National Poetry month).

The first is from one of my favorites, Augustus M. Toplady (1740-1778), an Anglican divine and ardent Calvinist. He is the author of many precious poems, many of which have become well-known musical hymns (“Rock of Ages, etc.).

The following poem is taken from a small collection of his titled Hymns and Poems (Cross Publishing, 1971), the poem itself bearing the title “Refuge in the Righteousness of Christ.” You will readily see why it is appropriate for Good Friday.

    1   From thy supreme tribunal, Lord,
Where justice sits severe,
I to thy mercy seat appeal,
And beg forgiveness there.
      2      Tho’ I have sinned before the throne,
My advocate I see:
Jesus, be thou my Judge, and let
My sentence come from thee.
    3      Lo, weary to thy cross I fly,
There let me shelter find:
Lord, when thou callest thy ransomed home,
O leave me not behind!
     4      I joyfully embrace thy love
To fallen man revealed;
My hope of glory, dearest Lord,
On thee alone I build.
     5      The law was satisfied by him
Who flesh for me was made:
Its penalty he underwent,
Its precepts he obeyed.
    6      Desert and all self-righteousness
I utterly forego;
My robe of everlasting bliss,
My wedding garment thou!
        7      The spotless Savior lived for me,
And died upon the Mount:
Th’ obedience of his life and death
Is placed to my account.
   8      Canst thou forget that awful hour,
That sad, tremendous scene,
When thy dear blood on Calvary
Flowed out at every vein?
       9      No, Savior, no; thy wounds are fresh,
Even now they intercede;
Still, in effect, for guilty man
Incessantly they bleed.
   10      Thine ears of mercy still attend
A contrite sinner’s cries,
A broken heart, that groans for God,
Thou never wilt despise.
     11      O love incomprehensible,
That made thee bleed for me!
The Judge of all hath suffered death
To set his prisoner free!

The second poem is by a fellow church member at Faith PRC, Mrs. Thelma Westra. It is taken from her collection of poems published as Poems of Praise and is titled “On Calvary.”

Come with me to Calvary
To see the Suffering One.
He willingly submits Himself –
Jesus Christ, God’s Son.

His pain and anguish, so intense;
Alone He bears God’s wrath;
Forsaken, though He’s done no wrong,
He walks God’s chosen path.

It is for you and me He hangs
In utmost agony;
Atoning with each drop of blood,
From sin to set us free.

The seal of God’s approval
On the sacrifice thus made
Is the glorious resurrection,
Signaling the debt is paid.

Jesus conquered over death,
The vict’ry is complete;
Eternal life for us He won;
Come, worship at His feet.

New and Noteworthy in the PRC Seminary Library – 1st Quarter 2017

Having passed the first quarter of 2017, plus this week being National Library Week, it is time to inform you of some of the latest additions to the PRC Seminary library.

For the benefit of the Theological School Committee that oversees all aspects of the PRC Seminary, including the library, as well as for the benefit of the faculty and student body I have compiled the following list of significant titles obtained in the first quarter of this year (2017).

I divide the list into categories so that it is easier to keep track of the kinds of books we look for. I hope this helps you see the quality of titles we strive to add each year. Keep in mind, that as long as this list appears, it is only a sampling of what is actually added.

And I would remind our PRC members as well as friends that even though the library exists first of all for our faculty and students and area ministers, its resources are for YOU too. It is very much a denominational resource (you support it financially and spiritually!), and I hope you will feel free to make use of the excellent reading and research materials we have.

Now, on to the list! All of these are cataloged and currently available.

Biblical studies

  • IVP Reformation Commentaries (OT & NT)
  • IVP Ancient Christian Commentaries (OT & NT)
  • Preach the Word Series (Crossway)
  • Reformed Expository Commentary Series (P&R)
  • Specific Commentaries
    • Revelation / Joel R. Beeke, 1952-. ; Jon D. Payne . — 1st-hc. — Grand Rapids, MI : Reformation Heritage, 2016. (The Lectio Continua Expository Commentary On The New Testament)
    • Genesis: Everything Created by God : Outlines on the book of Genesis /  Isaac De Wolff, 1901-1976.. ; J. de Vos, J. Plug, M. VanderWel, Transls.. — 1st Engl.-reprint-pb. — London, Ontario : Inter-League Publication Board, c2001.
    • Content Yet Contending : Jude / Daniel R. Hyde. — 1st-pb. — Welwyn Garden City, UK : EP BOOKS, 2017.
    • John Calvin’s Sermons on 1 Timothy : Volume 1 [Sermons 1-27, 1 Timothy 1-3] / Jean Calvin, 1509-1564. ; Ray. Van Neste. ; Brian Denker. — 1st- revsd.-updated-pb. — Middletown, DE : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016 [both volumes].
    • Unceasing Kindness : A Biblical Theology Of Ruth / Peter H. W. Lau. ; Gregory Goswell. ; Donald A. Carson. — 1st-pb. — Downers Grove, Illinois : A Pollos, InterVarsity Press, 2016.

Church History

  • Ulrich Zwingli : Shepherd Warrior / William Boekestein. — 1st-pb. — Fearne, Ross-shire, GB : CF4Kids, 2016.
  • Being Protestant In Reformation Britain / Alec. Ryrie. — 1st-pb. — Oxford, United Kingdom : Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Beyond The Ninety-Five Theses : Martin Luther’s Life, Thought, And Lasting Legacy / Stephen J. Nichols. — 1st-pb. — Phillipsburg, NJ : P&R Pub., 2016.
  • The Life And Times Of Martin Luther : Selections From D’Aubigne’s Famed History Of The Reformation Of The Sixteenth Century / J. H. (Jean Henri) Merle d’Aubigne, 1794-1872. ; H. White. — 1st-hc. —  Chicago : Moody Press, 1950.
  • Protestantism After 500 Years / Thomas Albert Howard, editor. ; Mark A. Noll, 1946- , editor. ; Jr. Witte, John. — 1st-pb. — New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2016.

Creeds/Confessions

  • Believe and Confess : Volume One / Cornelis G. Bos, 1909-1988. — 1st-pb. — London, Ontario : Inter-League Publication Board, 2001. (2 volumes)
  • The Christian’s Only Comfort In Life And Death : An Exposition Of The Heidelberg Catechism, Volume 1: Lord’s Days 1-26 / Theodore VanderGroe, 1705-1784.. ; Bartel Elshout. ; Joel R. Beeke . — 1st Engl.-hc. — Grand Rapids, MI : Reformation Heritage Books, 2016. (2 volumes)

Dogmatics/Theology/Historical Theology

  • The Cambridge Companion To Reformed Theology / Paul T. Nimmo, (Paul Thomson). ; David A. S.. Fergusson. ; J. Todd Billings. — 1st-pb. — New York : Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • Biblical Covenantalism: Engagement with Judaism, Law, Atonement, the New Perspective, and Kingdom Hope : Volume One: Biblical Covenantalism in Torah: Judaism, Covenant Nomism, and Atonement / Douglas W. Kennard. ; Paul D. Wegner. — 1st-pb. — Eugene OR : Wipf & Stock, 2015 (3 volume work).
  • Covenant Theology : A Reformed Baptist Perspective / Phillip D. R. Griffiths. — 1st-pb. — Eugene OR : Wipf and Stock, 2016
  • “I Will Be Your God” : An Easy Introduction to the Covenant of Grace / Wes Bredenhof. — 1st-pb. — London, Ontario : Inter-League Publication Board, 2015.
  • Reformation Riches For The Contemporary Church : Liberation For Both Skeptics And Burned-Out Evangelicals / David Bruins. — 1st-pb. — Eugene OR : Wipf and Stock, 2016.
  • Devoted To God : Blueprints For Sanctification / Sinclair B. Ferguson. — 1st-pb. — Edinburgh ; Carlisle, PA : Banner of Truth, 2016.
  • Searching For Adam : Genesis & The Truth About Man’s Origin / Terry Mortenson. ; William D. Barrick. ; Thomas J Nettles. ; Terry. Mortenson . — 1st-pb. — Green Forest, AR : Master Books, 2016.
  • The Works Of William Perkins : Volume 2 – Commentary on Galatians / William Perkins, 1558-1602. ; Paul M. Smalley. ; Joel R. Beeke, 1952- editor. ; Joel R. and Derek W.H. Thomas Beeke. — Reprint – hc. — Grand Rapid, Mich. : Reformation Heritage Books, 2015.
  • The Works Of William Perkins : Volume 3 – Commentary on Hebrews 11 / William Perkins, 1558-1602. ; Randall J. Pederson, 1975-. ; Joel R. Beeke, 1952- editor. ; Joel R. and Derek W.H. Thomas Beeke. — Reprint – hc. — Grand Rapid, Mich. : Reformation Heritage Books, 2017.
  • God The Son Incarnate : The Doctrine Of Christ / Stephen J. Wellum, 1964- , author. ; John S. Feinberg, 1946-. — 1st-hc. — Wheaton, Illinois : Crossway, 2016.
  • After Merit : John Calvin’s Theology of Works and Rewards / Charles Raith, II , author. ; Herman J. Selderhuis, 1961-. — 1st-hc. — Gottingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co., 2016.
  • Death and the Afterlife / Robert A. Morey, 1946-. ; Walter Martin. ; Roger Nicole. — 1st-pb. — Minneapolis, Minn. : Bethany House, c1984.
  • The Atonement of Christ. / Oliver B. Greene. — 1st-hc. — Greenville, S.C. : Gospel Hour, c1968.
  • Lectures in Systematic Theology : Volume I – Doctrine of God / Greg Nichols. ; Rob Ventura. — 1st-pb. — San Bernardino, CA : CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2016.
  • Who Made God? : Searching for a Theory of Everything / Edgar H. Andrews. — 3rd-pb. —  Darlington, England ; Carlisle, Pa : EP Books, c2009.
  • Luther and the Beloved Community : A Path for Christian Theology after Christendom / Paul R. Hinlicky. ; Mickey L. Mattox. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2010.
  • Doing Theology for the People of God : Studies in Honor of J.I. Packer / Donald M. Lewis. ; Alister E. McGrath, 1953-. ; J. I. Packer, (James Innell). — 1st-pb. — Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, c1996.

Practical Theology

  • Schooling The Preachers: The Development Of Protestant Theological Education In The United States, 1740-1875 / James W. Fraser, 1944-. — 1st-hc. — Lanham : University Press of America, 1988.
  • The Doctrines of Ministerial Order in The Reformed Churches of the 16th And 17th Centuries / James L. (James Lyon) Ainslie. — 1st-hc. — Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1940 (Letis collection).
  • Endangered Gospel: How Fixing The World Is Killing The Church / John C. Nugent, 1973-. — 2016. — Eugene OR : Cascade Books, 2016.
  • Christ’s Under-Shepherds : An Exploration Of Pastoral Care Methods By Elders In The Christian Reformed Churches Of Australia Relevant to the Circumstances of Twenty-first-century Australia / Leo Douma. ; Graeme Chatfield . — 1st-pb. — Eugene OR : Wipf and Stock, 2016 (Australian College Of Theology Monograph: Bible and Languages)
  • A History of Pastoral Care in America : From Salvation to Self-realization / Brooks. Holifield. — 1st-pb. — Nashville : Abingdon Press, 1983.
  • The Elder : Today’s Ministry Rooted in All of Scripture / Cornelis Van Dam, 1946-. ; Robert A. Peterson . — 1st-pb. — Phillipsburg, N.J. : P&R Pub., 2009.
  • The Deacon : Biblical Foundations for Today’s Ministry of Mercy / Cornelis Van Dam, 1946- , author.. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI. : Reformation Heritage, 2016.
  • Pastoral Ministry From A Covenantal Perspective : With Specific Application to the RCUS / Maynard Alan Koerner. — 1st-pb. — Lexington, KY : CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2014.
  • Preaching With Balance : Achieving And Maintaining Biblical Priorities In Preaching / Donald L. Hamilton. — 1st-pb. — Fearn, Ross-shire, GB : Mentor, 2007.
  • For The Glory Of God : Recovering A Biblical Theology Of Worship / Daniel Isaac Block, 1943-. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, Michigan : Baker Academic, 2014.
  • The Shepherd as Theologian / John MacArthur, 1939-. ; William D. Barrick. ; R. C. (Robert Charles) Sproul, 1939-. ; John MacArthur, 1939-. — 1st-hc. —  Eugene, Oregon : Harvest House Publishers, 2017.
  • The Quick-Reference Guide to Biblical Counseling : Personal and Emotional Issues / Timothy E. Clinton, 1960-. ; Ronald E. Hawkins. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Books, 2009.
  • The Family : A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home / Jack O. Balswick. ; Judith K. Balswick. — 2nd-pb. — Grand Rapids : Baker, c1999.

Periodicals (Old & New)

  • Comment (new)
  • Founders Journal (Calvinistic Baptist)
  • Reformed Journal (added some more missing years from a donation)

Literary Treasures from the Library of Congress Archives | Literary Hub

This week is National Library Week 2017 and special events are being held throughout the week throughout the country. One special place is the Library of Congress, where you will find all kinds of treasures (including special items relating to WW I).

Literary Hub pulled together some rarely seen treasures from the LOC and featured them in a post yesterday (April 10, 2017). That feature is related to a new book published by the LOC titled The Card Catalog: Books, Cards and Literary Treasures.

Below I post their introductory paragraph and one such sample pair. Visit the link at the end to enjoy the rest.

 

And to celebrate the week, don’t forget to visit your favorite local library. I stopped by the Georgetown one last night. Though a small community library, it is full of wonderful resources and events. Take your children or grandchildren and explore. It will make their day 🙂

In honor of National Library Week (April 9-15), we have curated a selection of rarely seen literary treasures from the Library of Congress Archives, from William Blake’s engraved prophecies to a first edition of The Fire Next Time. Each book cover is paired with its card from the Library of Congress card catalog. Some of these are hand-written, some are printed, and many are annotated by hand, reflecting the meticulous work and invaluable skills of generations of librarians.

Source: Rarely Seen Literary Treasures from the Library of Congress Archives | Literary Hub

Published in: on April 11, 2017 at 6:38 AM  Leave a Comment  

M. Luther on Christ’s Sufferings

Luther-Christ-crucified

4. Fourthly, they meditate on the Passion of Christ aright, who so view Christ that they become terror-stricken in heart at the sight, and their conscience at once sinks in despair. This terror-stricken feeling should spring forth, so that you see the severe wrath and the unchangeable earnestness of God in regard to sin and sinners, in that he was unwilling that his only and dearly beloved Son should set sinners free unless he paid the costly ransom for them as is mentioned in Is 53:8: “For the transgression of my people was he stricken.” What happens to the sinner, when the dear child is thus stricken? An earnestness must be present that is inexpressible and unbearable, which a person so immeasurably great goes to meet, and suffers and dies for it; and if you reflect upon it real deeply, that God’s Son, the eternal wisdom of the Father, himself suffers, you will indeed be terror-stricken; and the more you reflect the deeper will be the impression.

5. Fifthly, that you deeply believe and never doubt the least, that you are the one who thus martyred Christ. For your sins most surely did it. Thus St. Peter struck and terrified the Jews as with a thunderbolt in Acts 2:36-37, when he spoke to them all in common: “Him have ye crucified,” so that three thousand were terror-stricken the same day and tremblingly cried to the apostles: “O beloved brethren what shall we do?” Therefore, when you view the nails piercing through his hands, firmly believe it is your work. Do you behold his crown of thorns, believe the thorns are your wicked thoughts, etc.

8. Eighthly, one must skilfully exercise himself in this point, for the benefit of Christ’s sufferings depends almost entirely upon man coming to a true knowledge of himself, and becoming terror-stricken and slain before himself. And where man does not come to this point, the sufferings of Christ have become of no true benefit to him. For the characteristic, natural work of Christ’s sufferings is that they make all men equal and alike, so that as Christ was horribly martyred as to body and soul in our sins, we must also like him be martyred in our consciences by our sins. This does not take place by means of many words, but by means of deep thoughts and a profound realization of our sins. Take an illustration: If an evil-doer were judged because he had slain the child of a prince or king, and you were in safety, and sang and played, as if you were entirely innocent, until one seized you in a horrible manner and convinced you that you had enabled the wicked person to do the act; behold, then you would be in the greatest straits, especially if your conscience also revolted against you. Thus much more anxious you should be, when you consider Christ’s sufferings. For the evil doers, the Jews, although they have now judged and banished God, they have still been the servants of your sins, and you are truly the one who strangled and crucified the Son of God through your sins, as has been said.

9. Ninthly, whoever perceives himself to be so hard and sterile that he is not terror-stricken by Christ’s sufferings and led to a knowledge of him, he should fear and tremble. For it cannot be otherwise; you must become like the picture and sufferings of Christ, be it realized in life or in hell; you must at the time of death, if not sooner, fall into terror, tremble, quake and experience all Christ suffered on the cross. It is truly terrible to attend to this on your deathbed; therefore you should pray God to soften your heart and permit you fruitfully to meditate upon Christ’s Passion. For it is impossible for us profoundly to meditate upon the sufferings of Christ of ourselves, unless God sink them into our hearts. Further, neither this meditation nor any other doctrine is given to you to the end that you should fall fresh upon it of yourself, to accomplish the same; but you are first to seek and long for the grace of God, that you may accomplish it through God’s grace and not through your own power. For in this way it happens that those referred to above never treat the sufferings of Christ aright; for they never call upon God to that end, but devise out of their own ability their own way, and treat those sufferings entirely in a human and an unfruitful manner.

Taken from Martin Luther’s sermon “Christ’s Holy Sufferings,” as found on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, where you find the following bibliographic material:

The following sermon is taken from volume II of The Sermons of Martin Luther, published by Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI). It was originally published in 1906 in English by Lutherans In All Lands (Minneapolis, MN), in a series titled The Precious and Sacred Writings of Martin Luther, vol. 11. The original title of this sermon appears below (preached by Luther approx. 1519-1521). This e-text was scanned and edited by Shane Rosenthal; it is in the public domain and it may be copied and distributed without restriction. Original pagination from the Baker edition has been kept intact for purposes of reference.

Spring-Break News from Seminary

It was a quieter than normal week around the Seminary as we enjoyed Spring break 2017. But that does not mean there was not work and activity going on.

Sunrise-April5-2017-2

Professors were present for meetings, study, and other office work. Some students came each day for study and special synod 2017 preparation (some of the seniors!). Staff was there to continue the daily office tasks (including work on the April Seminary Journal and the special evangelism/missions issue of the Standard Bearer coming up May 1!).

And I was able to get some library/archives/registrar work done too. Extra library and archives work, in fact, because I didn’t have all the normal interruptions that come with a regular school day.

GRLibrary-1

Kevin Rau (my able library assistant) and I even had time to take part of a rainy Tuesday for a “booking outing,” as we went to the historic downtown Grand Rapids Public Museum (cf. picture above) to browse their used sale book shelves (bought ten good books for the library for $10!) and take in their beautiful periodical room (see picture below).

After that we traveled to the Eerdmans Publishing building, where they also have a bookstore, including special 60-70-% off shelves. Those were our focus, as we scoured those volumes and picked up about 20 new (slightly blemished) ones for the library. And those I was able to catalog this week and prep for Kevin’s work in the library next Tuesday.

On Wednesday Bob Drnek came in for his usual archives help and we sorted through about 20 boxes of items that had been shipped to us from a family in Loveland, CO PRC. That is always a delight, and we were able to find some new treasures for the PRC archives (including more cassette tapes!) as well as some good used books for the students (which they always seem able to sniff out rather quickly!). We thank those who donate such items to the Seminary and the PRC archives. Don’t forget, we are always looking for items relating to our history!

Stump-grinding-April

In addition to inside work at the Seminary, this is the time of year when attention gets directed to the outside as well. We have been cleaning up the dead and storm-damaged trees and brush in the woods surrounding Seminary. Advantage Tree service cut down some trees last week and came back to grind stumps this week (cf. above picture).

New-Bark-April

And yesterday – finally a glorious day of sunshine! – our yard maintenance man, Brad Gritters and his helper, applied some fresh bark to the landscape. That always improves the look of our beautiful new landscape.

Thanks to all those who help maintain our seminary and make the building and grounds look so beautiful!

Yet nothing can top what the Lord of creation and providence does when He gives a gorgeous sunrise as He did one morning this week. I took the picture below and Google Photos gave it a slightly enhanced look. But it truly appeared as if the sky was on fire.

Sunrise-April5-2017

That’s the news from “seminary hill” for this week!

Published in: on April 8, 2017 at 10:32 AM  Leave a Comment