Thursday, July 16, 2009

More good stuff from Ken Harris in the ESV Study Bible. God aligns himself with the weak and powerless Hebrew slaves, when he tells Moses what to say to Pharaoh.
To someone as powerful as the king of Egypt, Moses making a request in the name of the Lord, the God of the Hebrews would look ridiculous. What god would choose to be identified with a nation of slaves and then also presume to make a request from the king of the nation that has enslaved them? Given all the other equally true things that God could have told Moses to say to designate him (e.g., the Lord, the God who has created the heavens and the earth), he is evidently making the point to both Egypt and Israel that he has chosen to identify with the people of his covenant even when they appear to have little value in the eyes of the nation they serve except as forced labor.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Baby's First Words

What were your first child's first words? I am guessing that you didn't record your second and subsequent children's as rigorously.

This is a list of our first child's first words. They are not in any order, but some of the words later in the list were learnt later. But the first to appear are not to be taken as the first to be said.

I wrote these words down in Narromine in 1976. I wish I had written the date on the sheet!

1. Dee dum dee-dum [Humpty Dumpty]
2. book
3. look
4. deedle deedle [= I’m going to drop this plate if you don’t take it!]
5. bease [please]
6. Bease Mummy
7. dogge [thank you]
8. more
9. nice
10. like
11. bib
12. cup
13. cheese
14. meat
15. egg
16. pea
17. bean
18. tato [potato]
19. Daddy
20. Zustin [Justin]
21. bapple [the first vowel should be a shwa, = apple]
22. peg
23. shoes
24. duss [socks]
25. pants
26. door [= Pick me up, please!]
27. tree
28. dook [drink]
29. boon [balloon]
30. dock [clock]
31. geetar [guitar]
32. speaker [part of hifi]
33. dickie [biscuit]
34. ears
35. eyes
36. nose
37. phone
38. teeth
39. wool
40. eyebrow
41. hair
42. chin
43. beard
44. juice
45. night night [Goodnight]
46. boom boom
47. Brass [Tijuana Brass LP]
48. Ring Ring [Abba song]
49. Bar Bar [Barbara Ann, Beach Boys song]
50. powder
51. hand
52. dirty
53. wet
54. yuck
55. bath
56. hot
57. Bach
58. Chee-cho [Tchaikovsky]
59. Ine [Haydn]
60. Quaygwer [Captain Quaver, Aussie children’s record]
61. brush
62. tractor
63. teapot
64. Joan
65. Gran
66. Dad-dad [Grandad]
67. Pa
68. Nanna
69. Nina [Sheena]
70. bird
71. Georgie
72. dirt
73. grass
74. chair
75. paper
76. duck
77. car
78. truck
79. doash [toast]
80. kee-cat [cat]
81. dawg [dog]
82. beetbic [Weetbix]
83. tissue
84. pen
85. purse
86. keys
87. fish
88. two dolls
89. teddy
90. ball
91. one
92. two
93. sss [three]
94. sharp
95. pin
96. mook [rhymes with book = milk]
97. wash
98. down
99. Bible
100. bed
101. ring
102. light
103. sugar [= sugar bowl]
104. woee [water]
105. man
106. toe
107. woof woof
108. moo
109. pom pom
110. ride
111. stuck [in rocking horse]

Who's who?

I've been reading my ESV Study Bible this morning and began Exodus. Kenneth Laing Harris' notes are very helpful. He points out that some of the language echoes Genesis, and may be intended to convey that God is making a new beginning. For example:
But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them. [Exodus 1:7]
The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. [Exodus 2:2]

It is easy to see that the first verse echoes God's words about the people growing numerous in Genesis 6, but Harris points out that
the Hebrew is literally “she saw him, that he was good.” This may refer simply to Moses' being “healthy.” Some have seen here an echo of the creation account (1:7); this would fit with the way the opening events in the book of Exodus act as a creation-like account for the birth of Israel as a nation.

I also like Harris' note about the two Hebrew midwives.
The Hebrew midwives (v. 15) show through their defiant actions that they feared God (vv. 17, 21) more than they feared the king of Egypt (v. 17). For the narrator to say this twice shows that he commends them for their faith. Also, this narrative names so few people (not even naming the pharaohs!) that it is probably a further display of the narrator's approval of the women's deeds that he gives their names, Shiphrah and Puah (v. 15), a detail unnecessary for describing the events themselves. The faithfulness of the midwives is also an indication that there were those among the people of Israel who feared God after all the years of enslavement and before there was any knowledge of God's call of Moses. The exemplary actions of the midwives signify a central theme of the book of Exodus: Israel is called to fear God above any other ruler, nation, or circumstance.

The faithful women are more important than the mighty Pharaoh. I like it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vale Gale Storm

I see that Gale Storm died a few days ago. In 1962 my parents bought our first TV. It was pretty bulky, but had a rather small screen. Perhaps 21 inches?

I was in 4th class at school at the time. The TV arrived in the afternoon. I think it was during the school holidays. We turned on the TV and watched one half hour episode of The Gale Storm Show. I remember that there was a Monbulk can of fruit advertisement during the program with the immortal lines
There's no better berry in a can
berry in a can
berry in a can
There's no better berry in a can than a Monbulk
Berry in a can!

After the half hour program was over, Mum turned off the TV, because she didn't want us watching too much TV.

However, she relented fairly quickly and I spent many happy hours watching many silly sit-coms and cartoons and children's programs, such as The Bugs Bunny Show, The Mickey Mouse Club, Get Smart, Casey Jones, etc, etc on our black and white TV.

Vale Ms Storm.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Creating stuff that will really last

In Making the Cut, Doug Wilson says that some of what we do now will last into eternity, citing 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 Because of God's grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have-- Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials-- gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. [New Living Translation, 2nd ed.

This is an intriguing thought. Doug applies it to our music-making.
What we do here matters. The work we do matters. This is not limited to ethical good works; it includes cultural good works.

In music, what we sing matters. The way we sing it matters. What we compose matters. In the resurrection, we will be given a new song, but this does not mean that the old songs will be taken away. Too often, evangelical Christians throw up their cultural achievements like makeshift scaffolding. We think, "It’s all gonna burn, man," and so what we do here does not matter. But as Paul teaches us in 1 Cor. 3, some of it is going to burn, but other aspects of what we do in ministry will be tested and purified. Some of our hymns will be with us in the resurrection. Rather than trying to guess which ones, we need to turn our attention to all of them, with an educated desire for all of them to glorify the Lamb as worthy, "the Lamb that was slain." We should sing as though we wanted all of them to make the cut.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

But are Piper and Lloyd-Jones right?

Which is more scandalous? The multitudes of Christians who think they need to earn their salvation by being good? Or the throng of Christians who think that holy living doesn't matter so long as they have prayed the sinner's prayer?

This intriguing question is asked at the beginning of the article "Not an Academic Question" in Christianity Today.

I'm not sure the article really answers the question.

I have sympathy for those who have the horrors when folk say to themselves "Once Saved Always Saved," so now I can live as I please.

I agree with them that this is not taught in the Bible.

But I also think that it is important to believe God's promises concerning assurance, and to believe that it is not our works which will save us, or keep us saved, but the work of Christ alone.

In church this morning we read Jesus' words in Matthew 10 "He who endures to the end will be saved" and I believe it is also important to stress this, but to complement it with teaching that enduring is also a gift of God.

This is why I have always puzzled over Martyn Lloyd Jones' words on Romans 6:1, which I cited last week.

Surely if we preach the whole Bible, people will realise that they can't presume on God's grace, and that they must persevere, by God's grace.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

John Piper echoing Martyn Lloyd-Jones

There is a popular quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones which I hear cited more than any other. In commenting on Paul's words in Romans 6:1, where he quotes his opponents as saying:
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
Lloyd-Jones famously said:
The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of [the charge that we may sin that grace may abound] being brought against it. That is a very good test of gospel preaching....
If my preaching and presentation of the gospel does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel....If your preaching of salvation has not been misunderstood in this way, then you had better examine your sermons again,
and you had better make sure that you are really preaching the salvation that is offered in the New Testament to the ungodly, to the sinner, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to those who are enemies of God.

And John Piper, in commending Doug Wilson, forthcoming Desiring God conference speaker, says that
If you don't preach in such a way that somebody responds like Romans 6:1, you're probably not preaching the gospel.