Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lecture on 2 Peter 3:9


On Saturday I am planning on giving a lecture on 2 Peter 3:9. It is a gathering of fellow pastors and other exegetically-minded folk, and the purpose of my 30 minute speech is to articulate my exegesis ("study of") this passage. Sadly, 2 Peter is one of those New Testament books for which I have relatively few commentaries or expositions. I am looking for some recommendations.

I already possess the following:

Green, 2nd Peter & Jude--Tyndale New Testament Commentary
Moo, 2nd Peter, Jude--NIV Application Commentary
Lloyd-Jones, Expository Sermons on 2 Peter
Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter--Word Biblical Commentary
Harrington, Jude & 2 Peter--Sacra Pagina Vol 15
Calvin's Commentary on 2 Peter
Luther's Sermons on 2 Peter (vol 30 in Luther's Works)
Thomas Adams, A Commentary on Second Peter (1633).

While I will not be able to secure any recommendation before Saturday, I would covet your suggestions. My exegesis on 2 Peter 3:9 is essentially done, but it leaves me with a thirst to study this book in more detail.

Which books/commentaries/monographs on 2 Peter have you found useful?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Why do Pastors work on Sunday?

Q: If we are supposed to honor the Sabbath, why do Pastors work on Sunday?
A: The Sabbath is considered the day of rest [see note 1]. It takes it cue from the Creation account where God ‘worked’ for six days creating the world and rested on the seventh day.
Later in Israelite history, God included Sabbath-keeping as one of the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai.

While this is not the place to go into all the detail of the biblical teachings regarding the Sabbath, suffice to say it involved two main aspects: (1) physical rest, and (2) spiritual service. On its most basic level, the Sabbath was intended to provide rest for the weary human being. Certainly the cruel taskmasters in Egypt didn’t provide rest for the overworked Israelite slaves. By contrast, God mandated rest to ensure a human being wasn’t over-tasked.

Yet, the Sabbath was never just about physical rest. It also served, perhaps primarily, as a visible reminder to concentrate our hearts, bodies, and minds in love of God. When the Pharisees questioned why Jesus allowed his disciples to harvest food on the Sabbath he makes the astonishing claim that he is the “Lord of the Sabbath”. The Sabbath is all about him, he “owns” it. In other words, activities associated with Christ and his kingdom-mission are not only allowed on the Sabbath, they are exactly the type of activity for which the Sabbath was intended. By serving Jesus, Jesus disciples were automatically keeping the Sabbath.

The Lord’s Day is meant to be a day of activity, which is celebrated by fulfilling the commission the Lord has given us. Perhaps the worst way to keep the Sabbath is to take a Sunday afternoon nap (though that isn’t all bad—it actually sounds quite good). Idleness perhaps offers us physical rest, but it doesn’t unite us spiritually with our Lord. Historically, the Christian church used the Lord’s Day to care for the sick and poor, minister to prisoners, and comfort the afflicted.

Far from breaking the Sabbath, pastors (and all who volunteer in their local churches) are fully keeping it.

[Note 1] I recognize the historical Christians struggle regarding the applicability of Sabbath for the Church. I view the Christian Sabbath—called the Lord’s Day in Scripture—as being Sunday. While there are some who still maintain Saturday as the Sabbath, or worse yet attempt to do-away with the Sabbath altogether under the pretense of its inapplicability to the “church-age”, I firmly believe the Sabbath—which is now Sunday for Christians—is still normative and binding for believers.

Questions for Pastor Josh can be submitted via Email. "Faith Questions" is a feature in the monthly newsletter of Indian River Baptist Church. This blog republishes those Questions, along with others not selected for print publication.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Quote of the Day - Calvin on Scripture

John Calvin on Scripture:

“Just as a body without a soul is but a rotting carcass, so the church deprived of the word of God is but a chaos.”

John Calvin, John Calvin’s Sermons on the Acts of the Apostles
(Banner of Truth, 2008), p 62.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Quote of the Day - Miller on the Pastor/Scholar

Calvin Miller on the pastor/scholar:

"It is the eleventh Beatitude that reads, 'Blessed are those whose love of books and their Greek New Testaments has married their need to live in union with Christ.'...Such heralds preach with an informed passion that does change the world in significant ways."

Calvin Miller, Preaching, p 116.

HT: Saintwinter

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Quote of the Day - Luther on the making of a Minister

Martin Luther on the making of a minister:

“Prayer, meditation, and temptation make a minister.”

(Attributed to Luther)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Quote of the Day - Dod on the Refusal to Pray

John Dod on refusal to pray:

“No man is in a sad condition, but he that hath a hard heart and cannot pray.”

John Dod, Old Mr. Dod’s Sayings (London, 1671)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Which Church to visit while on vacation?

Here's the deal. My family and I are taking off for a few weeks at the end of July & beginning of August. This will be our first 2-week vacation ever...way overdue after 13 years of marriage.

As a solo-pastor, of a Baptist church no less, I generally don't get much time off away from the pulpit--but I will get the one Sunday between these two weeks, August 3rd.* Therefore, I want to use my 'off-Sunday' as best I can by visiting an influential church.

I am looking for something that meets the following criteria:

1. Is known for good, biblical teaching.
2. The church and/or pastor is recognized as being influential to the larger body of Christ.
3. The church has something to teach me not only in what they do, but how they do it.

I cannot travel out West, so please don't suggest anything in California. In fact, stick East of the Mississippi. Try to avoid Florida, because I don't plan on going that far South. Anything in the Midwest, Mid-South, and East Coast is up for grabs. I could potentially dip below the Civil War border states, if the church really got my interest.

Is there a particular church you've been dying to visit? Any that you would recommend to me? It need not be Baptist, but please keep it within the realm of orthodoxy (brownie points offered for suggesting theologically reformed churches).

* My church's leadership has graciously allowed me to secure a guest speaker for August 10th, though I will be in attendance. This allows my second week to be a 'true' vacation' without having to work on my Sunday sermons).

Quote of the Day - Bridges on the Church

Charles Bridges on the Church

“The Church is the mirror that reflects the whole effulgence of the Divine character. It is the grand scene, in which the perfections of Jehovah are displayed to the universe.”

- The Christian Ministry (Banner of Truth, 2001 reprint), p 1.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lessons Learned from my Blogging Sabbatical

I took the month of June off from the blog, and am now getting back into the grove of things. It was an enjoyable month. Among ones normal pastoral duties, I spent considerable more time with the family, directed a week bible camp, and increased the depth of my exegetical work. I have moved a long way towards my goal of writing an exegetical commentary for each passage of scripture on which I preach. While I haven't realized this goal for my Sunday evening series on Matthew, I have begun it for the Sunday AM message (currently on Ephesians 4-6) and the Wednesday evening study on Leviticus.

In addition, I have received several new books--but purposefully didn't read them yet. Sadly, my wife has issued a 'no new book' ordinance effective until further notice. Hmmmm..... traditional patriarchalism sounds better all the time. Curse my subtle Egalitarian vestiges.

A few lessons learned during the Sabbatical:

1. Talking to real human beings isn't as bad as one might think.
2. It made my Mondays far more enjoyable (when I usually write my posts).
3. A season of special concentration on the family is healing & strengthening.
4. Blogger is more for personal betterment. Few even noticed I wasn't posting. There goes my delusion of changing the world via the content on

Quote of the Day - Goldman on Christianity

Emma Goldman on Christianity:

[It is] “the leveler of the human race, the breaker of man’s will to dare and to do…an iron net, a straitjacket which does not him expand or grow.”

Emma Goldman, “The Failure of Christianity”

{Note from Pastor Josh – this quote popularized the view that Christianity is a ‘straightjacket’. Ironically, Christ is the only source for freeing someone from the true straightjacket—human sin.}

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Quote of the Day - Lewis on Mere-Mortals

C.S. Lewis on mere mortals:

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would strongly be tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”

- The Weight of Glory, 14-15.