Wednesday, June 13, 2012

3 Things I've Learned from my Dad

All children should honor their father, but my dad made it easy. I've learned many, many things from my dad. So many that I couldn't even begin to chronicle them. But on this Father's Day, I would like to share a few of the things my dad has taught me.

1. The Lord is Lord all the time and everywhere.

My father never allowed being a Christian to be a part-time occupation. Faith wasn't something that happened on Sunday and then cessed to exist on Monday-Saturday. Rather, Dad saturated everything is the simply idea that God never stopped being God and therefore we should never stopped living under His authority. Thus, he taught me to leave God out of nothing, whether it was going to church, playing softball or changing oil.

2. The Bible is a big deal.

This is something Dad never really had to say. I mean, he did say it but he didn't have to. Because every morning for as long as I can remember, I've seen my dad sitting in his little study - the dark basement corner illuminated by a small lamp - reading the Bible. Now, my dad's not a reader and yet he puts zealous bookworms to shame with his devotion to a single book, the Book. Therefore, as a very young guy I learned that this book they called the Bible matter to my dad. My best memories of bonding with my dad was not the normal father-son bonding moments like playing catch or working on the car. We did all those things, but that's not what stands out. What stands out is sitting around the dinner table talking about the Scriptures.

3. Truth is more than head-knowledge.

My dad's not what you would call a theologian. But in another sense he's exactly what you would call a theologian. Were he ever to write a theological work it would look more like Proverbs than Romans. He's a very practical person who wants to connect everything to the nuts-and-bolts reality of daily living. For him, truth isn't a concept floating in the sky. It's a pathway to walk. Truth is something to be lived, not just thought about.

These are just some of the things that I've learned from my dad. I'm very thankful to have such a man as my father.

Happy Father's Day!!!


See also:

Why My Father's a Paradox (And Why I Love It)
3 Reasons I Appreciate My Mom

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

C.S. Lewis On Queen Elizabeth II

On June 2nd, 1953, an Englishman sat watching the coronation of his queen. Due to his dislike for crowds, he had decided to take advantage of the accesability first fully televised coronation. This Englishman was C.S. Lewis and a month later he expressed his thoughts on the event in a letter to a friend (Letters, 3:343):

"You know, over here people did not get that fairy-tale feeling about the coronation. What impressed most who saw it was the fact that the Queen herself appeared to be quite overwhelmed by the sacramental side of it. Hence, in the spectators, a feeling of (one hardly knows how to describe it) — awe — pity — pathos — mystery.

The pressing of that huge, heavy crown on that small, young head becomes a sort of symbol of the situation of humanity itself: humanity called by God to be His vice-regent and high priest on earth, yet feeling so inadequate. As if He said, ‘In my inexorable love I shall lay upon the dust that you are glories and dangers and responsibilities beyond your understanding.’

Do you see what I mean? One has missed the whole point unless one feels that we have all been crowned and that coronation is somehow, if splendid, a tragic splendor."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Two Guys Named John Explain the Trinity

Okay, I lied. It's actually a guys named John and a guy named Jonathan. But that doesn't work as well in the title. The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the hardest for us to get our heads around. However, taking a clue from Jonathan Edward's "An Unpublished Essay on the Trinity" (which you should definitely read), John Piper does a breathtaking job of summarizing that doctrine.


Human language is never wholly adequate to communicate personal life. How I feel when I look at four sons leaving their childhood behind cannot be wholly carried by words. But we still try. We stammer. We use metaphors (it’s like throwing things overboard on a voyage). We write poems and songs. The inadequacy of language is only surpassed by its indispensability. What else have we got? Inadequate does not mean useless. Language may not carry all there is, but what it carries can be true and valuable.

So with talk about the Trinity. No doubt it will always exceed our full comprehension. No doubt our language is inadequate to carry this deep reality. But the depth and value of the Trinity is precisely why we must speak. You don’t throw out the love poem because it falls short of the love. It is precious nonetheless. So is the doctrine of the Trinity.

In a nutshell (following Jonathan Edwards), I would describe the Trinity like this: The Father is God existing in the primal, unoriginated, most absolute manner. The Son is God eternally generated by the Father’s having a clear and distinct idea or image of himself, so much so that his image or reflection of himself is God—the Son. The Holy Spirit is God existing as the infinite Spirit of love and delight flowing eternally between the Son and the Father.

The Father has always existed. And there never was a time when he did not have a perfectly exact and full Idea or Image of himself. This is the Son who therefore is equally eternal with the Father. “God’s idea of himself is absolutely perfect and therefore is an express and perfect image of him, exactly like him in every respect; there is nothing in the pattern but what is in the representation—substance, life, power nor anything else…But that which is the express, perfect image of God in and in every respect like him is God to all intents and purposes…” (Jonathan Edwards, An Essay on the Trinity, p. 101). Biblical passages that point to this understanding of God the Son are 2 Corinthians 4:4; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3.

When God is said to “be love” (1 John 4:7, 16), we must think that there has always been two Persons in God between whom love could flow. And the Scriptures teach plainly that the Father loves the Son (Matthew 3:17; Ephesians 1:6; John 5:20; 17:26) and the Son loves the Father (John 14:31). God’s infinite love for his own glory (Isaiah 48:11) was satisfied from eternity in his beholding and enjoying his own glorious Image in the person of his Son.

Therefore, the Father and the Son never existed without an infinite delight and love flowing between them. It was not possible they could be indifferent to each other’s glory. 1 John 4:12-13 shows that the love that God is (v. 7) is the Holy Spirit: “If we love one another God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him…because he has given us of his Spirit.”

The Spirit of God is the river of love and delight flowing between God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit is the esprit de corps of the Godhead. In responding to each other’s infinite glory, the Father and Son put all that they are into the act of love. And therefore the Spirit is all that they are and exists as a Person in his own right, yet one with the Father and
the Son.

We grope. We stammer. We reach for ways to say the mystery. Why? Because something has gone before. Falling in love always precedes the love poems (no matter how bad they are).

By John Piper. ©2012 Desiring God Foundation. Website: Used by Permission.