Tag Archives: Love

Challies, Rob Bell and the Kind of Love that Really Wins

9 Mar

There was an explosion of blog posts following Justin Taylor’s response to the promotional video for Rob Bell’s upcoming book, “Love Wins”. Since then I’ve been waiting for one particular review. Today Tim Challies posted his reflections on the book.

I’m not chasing controversy or provide Bell with further publicity. I think Challies’ review is worth reading because it provides a biblical examination of “Love Wins” . This is important as it is propagating a dangerous heresy and it will undoubtedly be read by some of your Christian friends.

“Love does win, but not the kind of love that Bell talks about in this book. The love he describes is one that is founded solely on the idea that the primary object of God’s love is man; indeed, the whole story, he writes, can be summed up in these words: “For God so loved the world.” But this doesn’t hold a candle to the altogether amazing love of God as actually shown in the Bible. The God who “shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8), who acts on our behalf not so much because His love for us is great, but because He is great (Isaiah 48:9, Ezekiel 20:9,14,22,44, 36:22; John 17:1-5).” Challies

Read Challies’ full review

Other useful posts on the topic

Desiring God: The Fairytale of Universalism

Phil Dunwoody: Keep an Eye

Denny Burk: Rob Bell Outs Himself

Challies: What I’d Have to Deny to Deny Hell

Take Your Vitamin Z: Rob Bell, Hell and Our Tendency Towards Idolatry

“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:14–15

Find Your Idols

25 Aug

Here are some helpful questions to help us identify the idols which we have put in the place of God.

  1. What do you most highly value?
  2. What do you think about by default?
  3. What is your highest goal?
  4. To what or whom are you most committed?
  5. Who or what do you love the most?
  6. Who or what do you trust or depend upon the most?
  7. Who or what do you fear the most?
  8. Who or what do you hope in and hope for most?
  9. Who or what do you desire the most? Or, what desire makes you most angry or makes you despair when it is not satisfied?
  10. Who or what do you most delight in or hold as your greatest joy and treasure?
  11. Who or what captures your greatest zeal?
  12. To whom or for what are you most thankful?
  13. For whom or what great purpose do you work?

(HT: Desiring God)

Chasing after some Beloved

28 Jun

“Now a word to you that are young, who are full of health and strength and who are chasing after some beloved ambition or some beloved pleasure. Stop and consider. What are all your beloveds compared to Christ the true beloved? What satisfaction and happiness have your beloveds brought you? Show us the peace, quietness and assurance of everlasting blessedness that they have brought you. Their paths are crooked. Whoever walks in them shall not know peace. So look and see that these is a fit object for your highest love, one in whom you will find nothing to grieve or trouble you to eternity. Behold, he stands at the door of your soul and knocks. Do not reject him, lest you seek for him and do not find him.  Why do you spend your precious time in idleness and foolishness,  wasting your precious time?”

John Owen, Communion with God (Abridged and made easy to read by R.J.K. Law)

Sunbeam of the Father’s Love

8 May

“It is true that we do not come directly to the Father by faith. We can only come to him by the Son. Jesus said, ‘I am the way,  the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6)… Through Christ, then, we have access to the Father, we behold the Father’s glory also and enjoy fellowship with the Father in his own special love. All this we receive by faith. As we come to the Father’s love through Christ, so the Father’s love comes to us through Christ. The light of the sun comes to us by its beams. By its beams we see the sun, and by its beams the sun touches us. Jesus Christ is the beam of his Father’s love and through hum the Father’s love reaches down and touches us. By Jesus Christ also we see and experience and are led up to the Father’s love. If we, as believers, would meditate on this truth more and live in the light of it, there would be great spiritual growth in our walk with God.” John Owen, Communion with God

Intolerance and Love

24 Apr

The ruins of Ancient Ephesus

March 18, 1950 – Revelation 2:1-7

Ephesus was intolerant of evil men. That church could not bear the evil workers who sought to settle among them. But that mere intolerance of evil did not make Ephesus what Christ wanted her to be. Intolerance of evil is, or can be, a negative attitude, and if it lacks the moral backing of positive love for God, it will quickly degenerate into bigotry and narrowness. This is for me, for though I pretend zealously to have hatred for wickedness, often it is not from a knowledge of and love of righteousness, but from mere external, social, and environmental feelings.

Jim Elliot, The Journals of Jim Elliot

P.S. There’s an excellent book review of Jim Elliot’s biography Shadow of the Almighty at Philip Dunwoody’s Spy blog. Read the review and read the book.

God’s Gifts Can Become Deadly

4 Mar

Apple Pie

“The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls are appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his live, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.

Jesus said some people hear the word of God, and a desire for God is awakened in their hearts. But then, “as they go on in their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14). In another place he said, “The desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). “The pleasures of this life” and the “desires for other things” – these are not evil in themselves. They are not vices. They are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and travelling and investing and TV-watching and Internet surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God.”

John Piper, A Hunger for God

Evening Worship Because Jesus is There

23 Feb

Second reason from Rev. David McCullough’s leaflet answering the question “Why Evening Worship?”.

2. Because of the Presence of Christ

The psalmist writes I love the house where you live, O Lord.  The place where Your glory dwells. (Psalm 26:8)   God does not live in any building made by the hands of men.  He does reside by His Spirit amongst His people.  Where Christ’s people are, He is in the midst of them.  When we gather for public worship we enjoy the presence of Christ with His people in a way that we cannot enjoy when we are on our own.  One way to express our love for Christ is to delight in being where He is in this special way.  No right thinking believer would want to snub their Lord and Saviour by absenting themselves without due cause from public worship.

Part 1 – Because of the Glory of God