Fighting sin

You have to have something that pushes the desire for sin OUT. External programs or methods might work short-term, but what about after that?

Build up inward desire for the Lord that doesn't leave much room or opportunity for sinful desires to foster. Spiritual zeal needs to push out sinful desire. You don't remove sin so you can then become spiritual. Think of a scale with two weights on two sides. The weight of "love for the Lord" must grow bigger than the opposing weight of "sinful desire," to tip the scales.

To change the picture. It's like being in a desert without water for 2 days, then coming to an oasis and scooping water into your mouth a few drops at a time to get a drink. This is fighting sin in your own strength. There is a cascading waterfall a few steps away to stand under (receive God's grace, repent to Him, pray, meditate on the Word).

Like wisdom, this zeal is something to ask God for and wait for, more than something you can gin up on your own. You don't make the water. But this isn't an excuse for laziness. You can go stand where it's falling, and look up.

"Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it" - Psalm 81:10.


Fourth of July, redux

So, yes, I'm way behind, but this is a really good perspective on celebrating the Fourth of July with mixed feelings about our great-but-losing-many-freedoms nation.

The Williams of Orange

My vacation back to my homeland of Overisel, Michigan revived an interest in my deeper roots. I spent some time with my family tree, and read a children's book on William of Orange. It made for interesting reading, but was weak on connecting the history together.

I've been doing more digging, especially since a conversation Sunday where my ignorance of my own history was again on display. Germany had Luther. France had Calvin. Scotland had Knox. Who is the hero of my homeland, the Netherlands? Well, William of Orange, but who was he?


There were THREE Williams of Orange, and the first and third were prominent Dutch nobility who fought for Protestantism in their lands. The first fought Philip of Spain in the 1560s to 80s. The third was a descendant (but not grandson) of William the Silent. He fought Louis XIV of France, which gave him enough prestige in England that he was invited by Parliament to take the crown from his own Catholic uncle, James II.

So William became William III of England as well as being William III of Orange. He later married Mary, his own cousin, daughter of James. This couple founded the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, a short drive from where I live.

Going back a bit, the region of Orange was in Southern France, only about 100 square miles. It eventually fell back to France's dominion, but lives on in spirit through the color, which is found in the flags of the Netherlands, Ireland, City of Albany, NY, Syracuse University, and New York City. Each of these use the orange to note their Dutch heritage.

And there you have (some of) it.


Was southern slavery okay?

Several of my friends have been disturbed by Doug Wilson's alleged position on southern slavery, or lack of wisdom in talking about it.
You might not agree with everything he says here, but hopefully it clears up misunderstandings of his position and motivation for addressing it.

What is your view of Southern slavery from Canon Wired on Vimeo.


Curing Souls

The following is my own summary of a paper by David Powlison, "The Cure of Souls."

The world of Christian psychology is fraught with name calling and mudslinging today. Christian counseling is still coming into its own as a self-aware and mature "movement." We find two parties to the debate. As labelled unhelpfully by each other, they are psycho-bashers and psycho-heretics. Psycho-bashers call themselves Biblical, and say that Scripture is sufficient so we should reject secular psychological models or theories. Psycho-heretics call themselves Christian counselors, and see value in those theories, but believe evangelical faith is needed to make them whole and workable. Jay Adams is a leading example of the first; Larry Crabb of the second.

These two perspectives have developed over the years, and each shares elements of the other - this is a spectrum of views, not a black and white line. Still, the summary above outlines two opposing answers to the question: what is the role of secular theories in Christian counseling?


Good verses following vacation

First thing in devotions I read on first day back:

"Arise and work! Yahweh be with you!.... Set your mind and heart to seek Yahweh your God."

1 Chronicles 22:16, 19