A Couple Odds and Ends To Ponder…

2 Feb

Here are two articles I stumbled upon this week which I found particularly interesting and motivating.  First is an excerpt from an article by Dr. Michael S. Horton, entitled, Deeds and Creeds: How Doctrine Leads To Doxological Living:

It is certainly possible to have deeds without creeds-or, at least, without the Christian creed. There are quite decent people all around us, throughout the world. Because of the law written on their conscience and God’s common grace which fans the embers of civic justice and morality in fallen humanity, adherents of other religions and of no particular religion at all are found at mass refugee centers in Sudan handing out blankets and food, inoculating children in Cambodia against smallpox, ministering daily comfort to dying AIDS patients in New York City. Christians are among them. Motivated not only by the ineradicable effects of being created in God’s image, but by being forgiven and conformed daily to the image of Christ, believers will have all the more reason to invest their lives in their neighbors. It may not mean an end to hunger, but working hard to feed one’s family and care for extended relatives in need, contributing time, talents, and treasures to brothers and sisters in one’s own local church, and giving one’s focus and resources to nonprofit service agencies that may or may not even be identified with any particular religious cause. Caring for our neighbor’s welfare in this life is a human vocation, not necessarily the work of the church, which is entrusted with the commission of receiving and spreading, through word and sacrament, the good news of what God has accomplished in Christ.

So if deeds without creeds is possible, how about creeds without deeds? While it is certainly possible to have a church that is formally committed to Christian doctrine-even in the form of creeds, confessions, and catechisms, without exhibiting any interest in missions or the welfare even of those within their own body, I would argue that it is impossible to have a church that is actually committed to sound doctrine that lacks these corollary interests. With respect to individual Christians in their common vocations, the mercies of God in Christ propel a profound sense of obligation and stewardship. God has given us everything in Christ, by grace alone, so our only “reasonable service” is to love and serve our neighbors out of gratitude for that inexhaustible gift. In other words, there is no such thing as “dead orthodoxy.” I take this to be the point that we find in James’s letter. He does not say that faith without works is incomplete or insufficient for justification, but that a faith that does not bear the fruit of good works is dead–in other words, it isn’t really faith at all.”

Next, we have a link to a blog by Pastor John Piper at Desiring God, which discusses Facebook and Scripture.

Hope these two posts encourage and propel you towards worship, growth and action.

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