Minister's Blog

A chiasm in Psalm 103

There's a beautiful chiasm in Psalm 103. The structure is a little loose in one or two places, but with good reason. Most obviously, the first half of the chiasm has an additional sub-section in vv. 3-5 which is entirely absent from the second half, perhaps because these verses expound the reasons for praising God (as per the rexhortations in vv. 1-2), but these reasons are so abundantl...

What does God promise to parents?

A handful of thoughts from chapter 2 of Douglas Wilson’s book Standing on the Promises, entitled “The Promises of God to Parents.” First, a few biblical texts to take a look at: Ps 102:25-28 Dt 5:9-10 Dt 7:9 Gen 17:7-9 Romans 4:13, 16-17 Ezekiel 37:24-26 Isaiah 65:23 Ps 103:17-18 ...

A great evening in Oxford

Mark Garcia is giving the first John Owen Society Lecture in Oxford on Monday 20 March. If you're anywhere near Oxford, I'd highly recommend it. Details online here. Here's an extract from the blurb: Title: ‘Union with Christ: The M...

Understanding sacrifice, atonement, and different kinds of sin (1)

I used to think the OT sacrificial simple was basically pretty simple: if you committed a sin, you humbled yourself before the LORD and sought his forgiveness by going to the sanctuary and offering the appropriate sacrifice. Though there are obvious complexities arising from the different sacrifices required for different situations (e.g. Lev 1-7), which are arranged in various orders at formal...

Training and selecting men for ordination

There are a couple of different situations in which a church (and in particular the Minister and Elders of a church) might find themselves needing to train and select men for ordained Eldership. Perhaps there's an older man in the church who looks (and lives) like the kind of guy who could serve as an Elder. Or perhaps there's a (younger?) guy in the church who aspires to serve as a Minister, o...

Classical translation and consulting services

If I ever found myself needing serious advice or consultancy in classical languages, I'd probably head over to Dr Matt Colvin at Classical Services. You might like to consider doing the same. Here's how he helped me avoid making a fool out of myself (and confusing the congregation at Emmanuel) on the meaning of patria in Ephesians 3:1...

Guard your Temple

Ps 119:9 asks a question, and then supplies the answer. "How can a young man keep his way pure?By guarding it according to your word." The word translated "guard" often refers in the OT to the duty of Priests and Levites at the Tabernacle or the Temple. Their job was to "guard" the Holy Place where the Living God dwelt –...