Jesus Is Better

In Hebrews 1:1-4, the author claims, in majestic language, that Jesus is God’s supreme revelation. He’s better than the prophets, better than angels.

In what ways, then, is Jesus better than what came before?

Adam named the creatures, but Jesus made the creatures.
Abraham fathered many nations, but Jesus is Lord of nations.
Moses gave the Law, but Jesus has the words of eternal life.
Aaron offered sacrifices for his people, but Jesus offered himself for his people.
Joshua conquered the land, but Jesus conquered death.
David saved from the Philistines, but Jesus saves from sin and hell.
Solomon knew the wisdom of God, but Jesus is the wisdom of God.
Elijah and the prophets received the words of God, but Jesus is the Word of God.

We strive to bring God glory, but Jesus is God’s glory.

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Where “Ours” Surpasses “Mine”

From Wendell Berry, on marriage:

“Marriage, in what is evidently its most popular version, is now on the one hand an intimate ‘relationship’ involving (ideally) two successful careerists in the same bed, and on the other hand a sort of private political system in which rights and interests must be constantly asserted and defended. Marriage, in other words, has now taken the form of divorce: a prolonged and impassioned negotiation as to how things shall be divided. During their understandably temporary association, the ‘married’ couple will typically consume a large quantity of merchandise and a large portion of each other.

The modern household is the place where the consumptive couple do their consuming. Nothing productive is done there. Such work as is done there is done at the expense of the resident couple or family, and to the profit of suppliers of energy and household technology. For entertainment, the inmates consume television or purchase other consumable diversion elsewhere.

There are, however, still some married couples who understand themselves as belonging to their marriage, to each other, and to their children. What they have they have in common, and so, to them, helping each other does not seem merely to damage their ability to compete against each other. To them, ‘mine’ is not so powerful or necessary a pronoun as ‘ours.’

This sort of marriage usually has at its heart a household that is to some extent productive. The couple, that is, makes around itself a household economy that involves the work of both wife and husband, that gives them a measure of economic independence and self-employment, a measure of freedom, as well as a common ground and a common satisfaction.

(From “Feminism, the Body, and the Machine”)”

(HT: Alan Jacobs)

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No Grave Could Keep

We sang this at Kenwood Baptist Church this morning. He is risen!

No Grave Could Keep
by Matt Damico

Verse 1
The Maker of all, in a young virgin’s womb,
the Word, now a baby, cries.
In humility robed, in the form a slave,
the Lord of life come to die.

Verse 2
The Judge of mankind, now placed on a trial,
the guilt of His people now His.
The righteous one bears these thorns for a crown,
that sinners found in Him might live.

Mighty Savior!
Death could not hold Him, no grave could keep.
He reigns forever, the risen King!

Verse 3
Lifted and nailed to a cross where He died,
the record of sin, now paid.
But look for Him not, for the Man is not there,
the King is alive, as He said.

Verse 4
The bride now awaits for her King to appear,
when she will in purity rise.
And on that fair day, His praises we’ll sing,
our heart’s trust beheld with our eyes.

Posted in Church, Jesus, Music | 3 Comments

English Is Crazy

Funny. And true.


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Let Us Not Grow Weary of Doing Good

Each year around this time, there’s a flurry of articles, blog posts, videos, etc. that coincide with Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, which falls near the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.coexist

This year, I got to play a small part in that flurry with this story about Owen Strachan, one of the elders I serve with at Kenwood Baptist Church, and his involvement with a Louisville ministry, Speak for the Unborn. Owen also has a powerful first-person account of his involvement at TGC’s blog.

The hope for these articles, of course, surpasses that of clicks and views. The hope is that people will be stirred to pray, donate, and act for the cause of life. There are little ones who cannot speak for themselves (Prov. 31:8), so “let us not grow weary of doing good” (Gal. 6:9).

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How Do We Judge the Arts?

Have you ever stared at a painting and asked yourself, “Why is this thing in a museum? Am I supposed to appreciate this? Am I stupid for not liking this?” I have. Same thing with certain books and music. Knowing how to respond to poetry, music, literature, and art, and how to discern its quality can be difficult.

EoEJerram Barrs’ recent book Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts is a really helpful book for developing a Christian understanding of the arts. In the book’s fourth chapter, he offers 11 criteria for judging art.

1. The presence of a gift – is a God-given gift evident in the word of this composer, performer, poet, novelist, painter, sculptor, or filmmaker?

2. Development of the gift – is the artist dedicated to develop their gift through learning, practice, and application? Some respond to their own giftedness with laziness, some with hard work. It should be the latter.

3. Service of others in addition to self-expression – is the artist using his gifts for the benefit of others as well as his own fulfillment?

4. Respect for the traditions in the discipline – does the artist recognize and respect the traditions and forms common in the discipline?

5. The presence of truth – is this work in accord with reality?

6. Is there moral goodness? – is the purpose of the work deprave or corrupt? What is the moral impact of reading, viewing, or listening to this piece of work?

7. Continuity of form and content – does the chosen form of art work with or against the message of the work?

8. Technical excellence – is this work done well?

9. Integrity of the artist – is the work true of who the artist is? Is he selling out?

10. Integrity of the work – does the artist seek to manipulate our emotional response by cheap tricks, or does the artist seek to generate genuine emotional response by the power of the work?

11.Simply entertainment – human art need not always have a “higher” purpose than enjoyment.

Posted in Books, Culture, Life, Music, Writing | 3 Comments

Servants, Not Songsters

Tom Nettles recently published a fantastic biography of Charles Spurgeon. Nettles did much of his research in Spurgeon’s monthly publication, The Sword and the Trowel, where Spurgeon provided insights into his ministry and church life at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. As it turns out, Spurgeon cared deeply about the music at his church and how that music was led.


Nettles describes Spurgeon’s opinions:

“Anything that detracted from the fullest participation in the music by the entire congregation Spurgeon opposed. To the leader he warned, ‘The people come together not to see you as a songster, but to praise the Lord in the beauty of Holiness.’ He was not to sing for himself only, ‘but to be a leader of others, many of whom know nothing of music.’ Tunes should be easily learned by all so that none will be compelled to be silent when the ‘Lord is to be extolled in the assembly. None should be defrauded of their part in the worship because of the exclusive taste of the leader.’ … Those whose concern is more for art than for corporate worship should meet at home for that purpose, but ‘the Sabbath and the church of God must not be desecrated to so poor an end.'” (emphasis mine)

Amen. If you want to learn more about the book, I got to interview Nettles about it here.

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