Article Notes: Save Money, but Don’t Ever Think it Gives You Real Security

The title of this post is a paraphrase of an excellent post over at Kevin DeYoung’s blog. I appreciated how quickly yet comprehensively DeYoung develops a theology of money and acknowledges the complexity of doing so.

DeYoung points out how easy it is to develop unbalanced theologies of money because of how much the Bible says about money. Some options are the prosperity theology and an austerity theology. You could take numerous passages and argue both that God loves rich guys and God hates rich guys.

The place to start, DeYoung says, is in Proverbs, because there we are given numerous angles through which to look at money.

The post deserves a look. I really loved the takeaways DeYoung gave:

  • You’ll probably acquire more money if you work hard and are full of wisdom. But if all you care about is getting more money, you are the biggest fool.
  • Money is a blessing from God, but you’ll be more blessed if you give it away.
  • God gives you money because he is generous, but he is generous with you so that you can be generous with others. And if you are generous with your money, God will likely be more generous with you.
  • It is wise to save money, but don’t ever think money gives you real security.
  • Wealth is more desirable than poverty, but wealth is not as good as righteousness, humility, wisdom, good relationships, and the fear of the Lord.
I hope that’s helpful!

Saturday Link: “Doing Good, But a Little Less than Others”

This post, made my Kevin DeYoung last week, is worth reading and re-reading. In the article, DeYoung touches on:

  • being proud of reading a lot
  • handling low-level guilt
  • the Gospel being our one source of obedience
  • feeling overwhelmed at all of the demands we feel God makes of us…
  • …yet not feeling permitted to disobey him
  • using gifts as a relief from pressure but not an excuse to disobey God

DeYoung has crafted a timeless entry here — may it benefit you as it did me.

Advice for Aspiring Seminarians

It’s Saturday, and I usually don’t post on Saturdays, but I thought these nine questions from Kevin DeYoung were great food for thought for the person considering seminary.

Tim Keller Article Notes — “The Importance of Hell”

(Update: Kevin DeYoung posted a 20-page review of Love Wins.)

When I read on Kevin DeYoung’s blog about the controversy surrounding Rob Bell’s promotional video for his upcoming book Love Wins, I was reminded of a Tim Keller article that I read awhile back, titled, “The Importance of Hell.” (Longer, more detailed version is located here.)

Now, remember: Keller preaches in New York City, where the topic of hell is not merely widely questioned, but widely dismissed as irrational or met with anger. Yet, for a long time, I remember “The Importance of Hell” being directly linked to from Redeemer’s home page.

Keller’s article follows this basic outline, with each point answering the question, “Why is the existence of hell important?”:

  • Because Jesus taught on it more than all other biblical authors put together.
  • Because it shows how infinitely dependent we are on God for everything.
  • Because it unveils the seriousness and danger of living life for yourself.
    • Quoting J. I. Packer: “[H]ell appears as a God’s gesture of respect for human choice. All receive what they actually chose, either to be with God forever, worshipping him, or without God forever, worshipping themselves” (Concise Theology, p.262-263)
    • Quoting C. S. Lewis: “Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others… but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God ‘sending us’ to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE Hell unless it is nipped in the bud” (The Great Divorce).
  • Because it is the only way to know how much Jesus loved us and how much he did for us.

Regardless of whether you agree with the finer details of Keller’s teachings on hell (i.e., what is hell like?), I hope pointing you to his article will help you see why this isn’t the evil trick of an evil God, but that without hell we wouldn’t have a loving God at all.

Kevin DeYoung on King David

In a blog post today, Kevin DeYoung discusses what made David great. DeYoung hones in on two traits: David’s graciousness towards his enemies and his honesty towards himself. My hat is off to DeYoung here, because I think he highlights two ways that all Christians can grow to become more like Christ.

First, because of how secure we are in Christ, we can look at our enemies with compassion. More than once, David goes against the counsel of his friends and decides to spare his enemies. David even weeps at the death of Saul–this is where we get the famous line, “How the mighty have fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19). To me, this is one of the most poignant verses in Scripture. I thank Pastor DeYoung for helping me to understand why. When David laments Saul’s death, he foreshadows Christ weeping for Jerusalem and Christ interceding for His enemies even while he hangs on their cross. May we find the richness in the gospel that allows us to have such self-abandoning love for our enemies.

And second, because of how loved we are in Christ, we can look at ourselves with utter honesty. We do not need to defend ourselves against the rebuke of others. DeYoung writes that he can’t find a place in Scripture where David does not heed the rebuke of godly people. This evidences the lack of self-idolatry that can only come from being wholly loved by the God who came to rescue us.

Thank you, Pastor DeYoung, for this message!

What’s the Message of the Bible in One Sentence?

I heard about this on Kevin DeYoung’s blog — Dane Ortlund, Senior Editor in the Bible division at Crossway, asked twenty-five pastors and scholars the question mentioned above in a single sentence. Their answers (located here) are great food for thought!

One thing I found interesting was the variety of answers — some are quite long, some very short, some focus on covenant, others on redemption, many mention Christ’s name, others imply Christ.

May these sentences stir our hearts and lead us to a deeper love for the Bible.

Words of Encouragement to Do the Right Thing

Recently, Kevin DeYoung shared a quote describing B. B. Warfield and his approach to conflict. Whether you’re a History of the Reformed Faith buff or not, consider this portion of DeYoung’s post:

“Dr. Warfield, I hear there is going to be trouble at the General Assembly. Do let us pray for peace.” To this [Warfield] replied, “I am praying that if they do not do what is right, there may be a mighty battle.”

No matter what job you do or what church you attend, you’ve ran into times or movements that have clearly gone against the grain of the full, Bible-based gospel. For people who tend to avoid conflict whenever possible (like myself), Warfield’s careful boldness is something I can think on and practice. Christ was humble, yet he was bold. This humble-boldness is one of the things that gives the gospel its unique flavor.