Thursday, May 25, 2023

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

I Cannot Die

"That kind of rock-solid confidence in the face of death has emboldened missionaries for two thousand years. The truth of God's providence has been the stabilizing power for thousands of Christ's emissaries. Believing that God holds life and death and always works mercy for his children has freed them to embrace the dangers of the mission and has sustained them when death came. Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia, who died when he was thirty-one (on October 16, 1812), wrote in his journal in January 1812: 'To all appearance, the present year will be more perilous than any I have seen; but if I live to complete the Persian New Testament, my life after that will be of less importance. But whether life or death be mine, may Christ be magnified in me! If he has work for me to do, I cannot die.' This has often been paraphrased as 'I am immortal till Christ's work for me to do is done.'" (John Piper, Providence [Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2020], approximate Kindle location 5904)

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Tim Keller's Death

Here's a discussion Gavin Ortlund had with Collin Hansen a few months ago concerning a book Collin wrote about Keller. I've had a quote from Keller's book on prayer that I hadn't gotten around to posting yet, so this is an appropriate time to post it. I'll include another good passage that I've quoted before from the same book.

"Consider the petition 'O Lord - give me a job so I won't be poor.' That is an appropriate thing to ask God for. Indeed, it is essentially the same thing as to pray, 'Give us this day our daily bread.' Yet the Proverbs [30:7-9] prayer reveals the only proper motivation beneath the request. If you just jump into prayer without recognizing the disordered nature of the heart's loves, your prayer's intention will be, 'Make me as wealthy as possible.' The Proverbs 30 prayer is different. It is to ask, 'Lord, meet my material needs, and give me wealth, yes, but only as much as I can handle without it harming my ability to put you first in life. Because ultimately I don't need status and comfort - I need you as my Lord.'" (Prayer [New York, New York: Dutton, 2014], 86)

"If you forget the costliness of sin, your prayers of confession and repentance will be shallow and trivial. They will neither honor God nor change your life….Stott argued that confessing our sins implies the forsaking of our sins. Confessing and forsaking must not be decoupled, yet most people confess - admit that what they did was wrong - without at the same time disowning the sin and turning their hearts against it in such a way that would weaken their ability to do it again. We must be inwardly grieved and appalled enough by sin - even as we frame the whole process with the knowledge of our acceptance in Christ - that it loses its hold over us." (212)