I have just watched the BBC report on the Airbus A380 maiden flight. I am particularly pleased since I had a part to play in the design of one of the turbines (there are three) in the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, taking it from initial concept to first static test.
Then I left to study theology…
If you have ever wondered how Jesus defeated Satan on the cross then you could do worse than listen to Sinclair Ferguson’s lecture on “Christus Victor” at the Highland Theological college. You can find it on this page. In it he gives a superb defence of the penal substitutionary view of the atonement.
You need to be prepared, though. This is an academic lecture, and you may need to listen two or three times to get all of it, but I think it is well worth the investment of time.
John Piper has a chapter in his book (Brothers, We are Not Professionals) on worship. In typical Piperian fashion he speaks of worship as ‘treasuring Christ in our hearts’. While discussing this at length he notes a subtle change that can occur in our public worship:
If the focus shifts onto our giving to God, one result I have seen again and again is that, subtly, it is not God that remains at the center but the quality of our giving. Are we singing worthily of the Lord? Are our instrumentalists playing with quality fitting a gift to the Lord? Is the preaching a suitable offering to the Lord? And little by little the focus shifts off the utter indispensability of the Lord himself onto the quality of our performances. And we even start to define excellence and power in worship in terms of the technical distinction of our artistic acts.
John Piper, Brothers p. 239
This speaks to me. I’ve had it up to here (hand well above head) with people discussing worship in functional terms. I’m guilty myself. Has the right effect been achieved? Instead of our focus being on God himself, the gravitational pull of self is so attractive, subtly distorting our public worship.
It is interesting, then, that yesterday Tim Challies should also write about worship. He likens the problem to someone admiring a sunset, but then that person ends up admiring himself admiring the sunset! Daft, eh?
Al Roberts also has a challenging post on how the worship experience becomes all important. The analogy he uses is much less palatable than Tim’s.
The astute regulars to this site may notice an addition to my Links section to the right. There is now a link to Grace Church, Belper.
Over the last six or seven months Dr. Gareth Crossley and David Anderson have been working towards planting a new church in Belper, Derbyshire. (I have been working in a support role, while my main work is at Derwent Free Church in Derby.)
Like many small towns in Derbyshire, the situation in Belper is bleak. There is no shortage of groups and churches meeting, and we have visited them all. But there is a distinct lack of evangelical preaching founded upon the Bible. This new work seeks to break up the ground and sow the seed of the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ, the Lord.
Go and take a look around!
A few days ago I suddenly realised that I have rapidly approaching essay deadlines.
Blogging shall be light.
Reading shall be heavy.
A friend of mine showed me this daft site. Clearly he has too much time.
This, on the other hand, is wierd. (NB 1600k download. Thanks John.)