THE STAGGERING PARADOX OF THE HYMNS IN THE LUKAN BIRTH NARRATIVE
With The Nunc Dimittis, and the other hymns of the Lukan birth narratives, such as The Magnificat and The Benedictus, "we are confronted with the staggering paradox that He who is the Lord's Anointed (Christos Kyriou) is in truth the Lord Himself (Christos Kyrios). His place and mission in the history of revelation and redemption receive further clarification when His coming is viewed as accomplishing the fulfilment of the covenant established with Abraham, 1:54f, 72f) and as effecting the redemption and salvation of Israel, 1:68; 2:38; 1:69,77; 2:11,20; 1:47)." - Stonehouse
As noted earlier, church discipline is one of the marks of a true church. It is the duty of Christ's bride to purify herself from anything that would profane the Bridegroom. Private and public admonition, toward those who persist in sin, is a necessary function (Mt. l8:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:1-13). The Westminster Confession (XXXIV, 4) avers that the Holy Spirit is that member of the Trinity (economically speaking) by whom, "the church will be...purified."
Such discipline (church censures), says the Confession (XXX, 3), is necessary for: "the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren; for the deterring of others from the like offences; for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump; for vindicating the honour of Christ, and the holy profession of the gospel; and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the church, if they should suffer His covenant and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders."
None of the old explorers have exactly had it easy of late, but few have suffered at the hands of our self-appointed guardians as much as Hernando Cortez. The bare mention of His name (it seems) requires a pejorative adjective ("the ruthless Cortez"). To the sensitive the world over, Cortez has become the quintessential "ugly European."
If you have been following these articles, I hope you are beginning to question the judgment of modern men in general and historians in particular. Whenever I run across a man that is universally condemned by our contemporaries, I generally suspect I have found a friend. In regard to Cortez, my suspicions were correct.
From October 12-22, 1993, I had the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel and bring the Reformed faith to the former soviet Republic of Ukraine. About the size of the state of Texas, the Ukraine, the "Bread Basket of Europe," lies just east of Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia, and north of the Black Sea. Joe Morecraft and I were invited to participate in a Pastor's Conference for Baptist preachers organized by a Baptist Church in Georgia under the auspices of BEE - Bible EducaLion by Extension. The purpose of this evangelical organization is to train pastors in foreign countries so that they can carry on the work of the church in their villages and cities.
The truth of the words of Proverbs 8:36 were all too evident in what we saw and experienced in the Ukraine: "All who hate me (wisdom) love death." The 8th chapter of Proverbs says I. All creation reveals the wisdom of God: The countryside was beautiful and fruitful with vast open fields of rich black dirt, wide rivers, verdant mountains; 11. Those who reject God's wisdom love death: The fruit of atheistic Communism was devastating and destructive; but III. God blesses those who receive His wisdom: God's people were nevertheless hopeful, joyful, faithful, and persevering in the midst of distress and difficulty.
Sermons from 1828 to 1860 by William Cunningham, Still Waters Revival Books 4710-37A Ave. Edmonton , AB Canada T6L 3T5 hb. 416 pp.
These twenty-eight sermons from the pen of Dr. William Cunningham are each theological honeycombs dripping with an evangelistic love for the Lord Jesus. Cunningham is probably best known for his theological lectures. However such knowledge should not deter the reader from purchasing this volume. Dr. Cunningham approaches each passage with a pastor's heart. He does not take the reader down various theological roads of thought pointing out theological errors. Instead he opens up the text in a simple Scriptural manner. For example in his sermon entitled How to Estimate Repentance (Luke 15: 10) he sets forth his aim in his introduction: "We shall attempt first to explain the true Nature and Character of that event or transaction which is described in the text the repentance of a sinner; and then consider, in the second place, what are the feelings with which this event is or ought to be viewed." (p.20) Having set out the path that is to be covered, he takes the reader along that trail of thought.