Quick Takes – 9/20/2008

Jordan at Worship Trench quotes Jonathan Edwards on why we sing in worship: “We sing in worship to engage and express our affections. There is no other reason to sing. If we aren’t dealing with our affections in worship, we might as well just read the lines of the songs dryly together in paragraph form without any music. We worship with music too because God has created music with a certain nature where it tends to move our affections deeply.” (modernized translation)

Jim Martin quotes Dallas Willard on spiritual transformation: “The central problem facing the contemporary church in the Western world and worldwide [is] the problem of how to routinely lead its members through a path of spiritual, moral, and personal transformation that brings them into authentic Christlikeness in every aspect of their lives … The local congreations, the places where Christians gather on a regular basis, must resume the practice of making the spiritual formation of their members into Christlikeness their primary goal, the aim which every one of its activities serves.”

Phil Ryken comments on the recent adoption of Sharia law by the British government. “According to The Sunday Times (9/14/08), the British government has incorporated Islamic law into the British legal system by establishing five sharia courts. The judgments of these courts are now enforceable with the full power of British law, running all the way up through the High Court. This is only the latest step in the Islamicization of Britain. The results will be especially damaging to women, since many of the disputes that end up before sharia tribunals are domestic, and the rights of women are dramatically restricted under Islamic law.”

Gizmodo reports on a mystery object observed by the Hubble Telescope. “The object also appeared out of nowhere. It just wasn’t there before. In fact, they don’t even know where it is exactly located because it didn’t behave like anything they know. Apparently, it can’t be closer than 130 light-years but it can be as far as 11 billion light-years away. It’s not in any known galaxy either. And they have ruled out a supernova too. It’s something that they have never encountered before. In other words: they don’t have a single clue about where or what the heck this thing is.” (Go to Sky and Telescope: Hubble Finds a Mystery Object for more information.)

Greg Gilbert points to two conversations going on about What is the Gospel? “It seems to me that the two major camps in this conversation—those who say the Gospel is the good news that God is reconciling sinners to himself through the substitutionary death of Jesus (call them ‘A’) and those who say the gospel is the good news that God is going to renew and remake the whole world through Christ (‘B’)—are largely talking past one another. In other words, I don’t think the As and the Bs are answering the same question. Of course both of them say they’re answering the question ‘What is the gospel?’ and thus the tension between the two different answers. But I think if we pay close attention, we’ll see that they are actually answering two very different and equally biblical questions.”


  1. jordan says:

    As to the two Gospel conversations, if the Gospel doesn’t stop with individual conversion but also leads to that persons sanctification (promised in Rom 8 ) and we exist within the society, shouldn’t it have societal implications. Redemption and Lift is a true principal.

    Compare Kenya vs. Korea. Both were equally poor. Both had mass conversions. Kenya stopped at the individual while believers in Korea impacted society with hospitals, schools, etc. South Korea is now extremely profitable and the most missional country on the planet.

    It’s both.

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Jordan – I believe that’s the point of Gilbert’s post. There are two conversations going on about the gospel. One asks the question, “What must I do to be saved?” The other asks the question, “What are the implications of Christ’s coming for the whole world?” For example, in your comment above, you address the wider implications of the gospel in personal sanctification and change in society.

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