Snow Patrol and the Shelf

I have been utterly enthralled with Snow Patrol lately. Most of you are familiar with their smash hit, Chasing Cars, but might I introduce you to my favorite two songs. Set Fire to the Third Bar is just so hauntingly beautiful, and Shut Your Eyes is also wonderful.

Set Fire to the Third Bar

Shut Your Eyes


Oh yeah, THREE BOOKS I’M READING RIGHT NOW

An Old Testament Theology – Bruce Waltke
– Just outstanding. A flow of narrative, exegesis, commentary and teaching. A must have for both reference and personal enrichment. Bravo Mr. Waltke. Bravo.

The Irresistible Revolution – Shane Claiborne
– Arguably the most challenging book I have ever read. I find myself cheering on my brother, being deeply convicted by his faith in action, refreshed by his perspective of Jesus, and wincing at his lack of sound doctrine. Read carefully, but please read.

James – James brother of Jesus
– Ryan and I had a pretty good discussion about James the other night. For the second straight time, I have felt God clearly speaking directly to me through the book of the Bible I am studying. I say this in contrast to simply learning. This is a good book, it is teaching me to care less about teaching the right thing, and more about loving and doing the right thing. Also curious is the absence of penal-substitutionary atonement (note: I expect Ryan to rebut this in the comment section, but that doesn’t put it in the text. Example:if he or I were to preach James as a sermon, the other would call the other one out for missing the atonement as the central point to our teaching). I have spent many nights wrestling with this, desiring to let the word of God determine my theology.

Also, I am preaching The Parable of the Sower to High School students this weekend. I am filling in for a friend last-minute, please pray that I would be filled with the Holy Spirit.

matt

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One Response

  1. Once again I would just add that we must take into account the type of literature that the book of James is. It is an instructive letter written to a specific need and situation. It is not a homiletic manual or mandate. James is writing to poor marginalized believers who are being economically suppressed by wealthy people who “claim” to be Christians. He is rebuffing their arrogance and their lack of good fruit bearing.

    I really fail to see the implications or indictments on how we are to preach today. Just like if Matt wrote me an email asking which seminaries do I like and think are good, I would not respond with an exegetical exposition of penal substitution from Rom. 3:21-26. It is not the context or matter being dealt with.

    Yet I believe on this side of the Cross there is a mandate that we are calling people to saving faith that reaps a transformed life and good works. So we start with the first and main obstacle which is our nature to suppress the truth in our unrighteousness, and our bent to trade worship of the creator for the creation, also known as idolatry (Rom. 1). This does not mean we stop and dwell here forever but it is foundational to our reconciliation with a Holy God.

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