Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Shack as Christian Literature

If anyone is actually reading this, there's a new(ish) essay about The Shack over at Christianity Today. It points out how, in several ways, this silly novel is sub-Christian.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Re: suffering

With reference to Romans 8:22:

If you're in the hospital and you hear a scream across the hall, it makes a huge difference whether you know you're in the maternity unit or the oncology unit. [For those who trust in Christ,] [a]ll of your sufferings, including your death, [are] birth pangs.

— John Piper

Saturday, January 2, 2010

This is big

I know this is late for the “official” Christmas season, but I offer it to you anyhow. This is not so much about a baby (to paraphrase Fozzie Bear: There's a hundred babies around) as it is about the enormity of the incarnation.

You should notice that we almost never hear the last two verses. Does anyone know why? I mean, come on, don't we want the serpent's head bruised in us, i.e., in our own personal walking-around lives? Don't we want Adam's image replaced with Jesus’ image? Are these not the purpose of the incarnation?

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”