Establish the work of our hands...

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For whatever reason, I just spent five minutes reading a bunch of Reformed superstars' tweets being exchanged among Reformed groupies. Glorious truths of God are reduced to sound bites recirculated by fan-boys who come away thinking they have struck a blow for the Gospel by tweeting twenty words and attaching some super-apostle's name.

The Bible tells us "solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14). But we're fat Americans, so instead of "practice" and "training," we have become facile, glib, feebleminded, giddy, and frothy in our repetition of the banal, phylacteried, hackneyed, and bromidic.

If you don't know those words, there's a reason.

Typical of the stuff we cycle through is, "Jesus didn't die so he could say he did his part. No, he died to save his elect in full." Then we attach a name to these twenty words, as if anyone could own copyright on such an obvious truth repeated by every pastor since the Apostle Paul.

Poor Mark Driscoll was caught...

repeating Peter Jones who, himself, was only repeating Burning Man news items while adding lyrics from his high school buddy, John Lennon. And Lennon? He was just channeling Yoko who had read a Mark Driscoll book on marriage which inspired her to get John to do an album photo shoot...

You see? It's all a Tibetan prayer wheel and wheel keep on turning.

I've told my congregation countless times that nothing in my work is original. It's all learned from fathers and mothers of the past, and the older the better. It's the same with everyone else.

I mean, go back and read that quote. How could anyone bother to attribute it to someone unless that someone is more important than the quote? In other words, all the words are just an excuse to declare that I'm a fan-boy. They're the Reformed equivalent of skin for gang tattoos and football jerseys for "18" and "MANNING."

So many free-floating inanities and such little time. Alas and alack.

Former generations read Owen's The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, and if they took anything away from it that was brief, they'd learned it after hundreds of hours studying his theology of the Atonement. Then, having given themselves to solid food for the mature, their practice produced the fruit of discernment and they came to understand a certain syllogism which they sometimes used to call others to take up solid food so they too could practice until they were able to discern good and evil.

Do you know that syllogism?

The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:

  1. All the sins of all men.
  2. All the sins of some men, or
  3. Some of the sins of all men.

In which case it may be said:

  1. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so, none are saved.
  2. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth.
  3. But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?

You answer, "Because of unbelief."

I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!