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Archive for the month “December, 2017”

Magnifying God

Live Life! God's way

I wonder how often Mary, the mother of Jesus, had heard Psalm 34:3. With only 150 psalms in the repertoire and a schedule of reading through the sacred Scriptures, she may well have memorized this text.  The NIV translates it ‘Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together.” Having been raised with the KJV, I can more easily recall “O magnify the LORD with me and let us exalt His name together.”

Isn’t this text embedded in the Magnificat? Isn’t she inviting her cousin Elizabeth to do just that–to magnify the LORD with her and join her in exalting His great name.

Reread Luke 1:46-55 and notice with me some of the highlights of this poetical composition, sung by a Spirit-filled teenager in the home tucked away in the hill country of Judea.

The MAGNIFICAT psalm, for that’s what it is, is focused upon the LORD. Sixteen…

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The Joy of Classical Theism


In the past month or so there has been a little bit of discussion of the question of ‘classical theism’: the belief that God is simple, eternal, unchanging, impassible and so on. I had never really examined these kind of ideas until about five years ago when I began to read Augustine’s Confessions as part of the UCCF staff study programme. Since then I have become convinced that the God of ‘classical theism’ is the God of the Scriptures, revealed in and by Jesus Christ.

This is, to most modern ears, including my own, a counter-intuitive notion. How can the God of redemption be unchanging? How can the God of the cross be impassible? How can the God who displays love, justice, mercy, grace, wrath, holiness, power, wisdom and knowledge be simple? To believe in classical theism and to read the Bible through that lens requires a kind of mental…

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Sweeter Sounds Than Music Knows

Live Life! God's way

On my other blog, I reflected briefly on the expression ‘Christmas is….’ Check it out here if you’re interested.

Today’s Olney hymn was penned by John Newton as he reflected on the Incarnation. He includes the birth of Christ but draws us to consider His death. After all, Jesus came to ‘save His people from their sins.’ He was born to die. Reread Matthew 1 and 2 or Luke 1 and 2 and you can see in His name, in the gifts brought by the wise men, in the songs sung by Mary, Zacharias and Simeon, prophetic anticipation of His death.

How shall we respond to such a Saviour? Newton pleads with God–‘Lord, unloose my stammering tongue, Who should louder sing than I?’ While musical artists, who too often may blaspheme the name of God, opt to produce a ‘Christmas album,’ let those of us who have experienced saving…

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