Author Archives: David de Bruyn

Pastors – Become Literate in Christian Culture

Pastors – Become Literate in Christian Culture

When the topic of music and worship comes up, a favorite slap-down argument against thoughtful discrimination of music is that pastors need not study music to be faithful pastors. It is beside the point to say that pastors need not become art critics. If their vocation is that of shepherding the flock, it is manifestly… Continue Reading

Authority – Its Origin

Authority – Its Origin

This entry is part 10 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The English words authority and author come from the same Latin root, auctor – an originator. Strange how far we’ve come from older ideas, where the concept of authority was connected with authoring, creating, and making. Today, authorities are guilty until proven innocent of being destroyers. English etymology aside, Scripture, in its first chapter,  makes… Continue Reading

Ten Mangled Words – “Authority”

Ten Mangled Words – “Authority”

This entry is part 9 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The popular consciousness has knee-jerk reflexes when it comes to authority. Play the word-association game with the average person, show him the flash-card “Authority” and ask him to blurt out the first word that comes to mind. I’ll wager that if you repeat the experiment across thousands of subjects, you’ll have a top-ten list pretty… Continue Reading

Judging Matters of Freedom

Judging Matters of Freedom

This entry is part 8 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Modern Christians are in the habit of labelling all sorts of things as ‘matters of Christian liberty’ or ‘areas of preference’. We do not doubt that these adiaphora (“indifferent things”) exist; Scripture explicitly deals with them in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8-10. The question is, how do we identify them? Genuine adiaphora can be… Continue Reading

Matters of Conscience and Freedom

Matters of Conscience and Freedom

This entry is part 7 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Scripture devotes two sections of the New Testament to explain how certain choices in the Christian life are not explicitly or implicitly forbidden or prescribed: explicitly by commands or prohibitions, or implicitly by a very clear application of general Scriptural principles. These two sections are Romans 14, and 1 Corinthians 8 to 10. Here we… Continue Reading

Freedom and Churches

Freedom and Churches

This entry is part 6 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A church is a voluntary society. Baptists believe that people join churches not by birth but by choice. People freely associate, and can freely disassociate. Voluntary societies cannot use force or coercion on their members; they can only persuade. Having said that, a number of things need to be said to overturn the muddled thinking… Continue Reading

Freedom – Societal and Individual

Freedom – Societal and Individual

This entry is part 5 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Liberty is the absence of unwarranted coercion, leaving the human open to persuasion and his own agency to choose what he ought. Freedom does not, and never can, mean an unlimited amount of choices. The freedom of a man should be limited in two ways. Externally, he is not free to harm the common good,… Continue Reading

Freedom

Freedom

This entry is part 4 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Freedom is another word that the disingenuous enjoy. Just as the Tolerazis cry ‘intolerance’ and pose as victims even while they terrorize and bully others, so similar people shout freedom while insisting that others submit to their choices, or at least abdicate legitimate authority over them. Freedom has a nice ring to our ears. Restraint and… Continue Reading

Rehabilitating “Tolerance”

Rehabilitating “Tolerance”

This entry is part 3 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

How do we rehabilitate this word? First, we must insist that tolerance does not mean agreement, nor does disagreement mean intolerance. Tolerance actually suggests disagreement, for when you agree with someone, you do not merely tolerate him, you agree with him and welcome his opinions. We must patiently explain that disagreement or disapproval of one… Continue Reading

Tolerance (2) – We Oppressed Left-Handers

Tolerance (2) – We Oppressed Left-Handers

This entry is part 2 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

It is becoming abundantly clear to many that the call for tolerance has in fact not been a call to tolerate all opinions everywhere, but to express agreement and endorsement of certain groups and positions. The LGBT community, feminists, non-Christian religions, minorities or previously oppressed ethnicities are usually those said to be suffering from intolerance… Continue Reading

Tolerance (1)

Tolerance (1)

This entry is part 1 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Words are more than names. Words are things that either correspond to something in reality, or fail to. When words fail to correspond to something true about God’s reality, they become part of the darkening of human understanding. Like a sign pointing the wrong way, like a faulty map, the mangled word gives the human… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (15)

A Worship Catechism (15)

This entry is part 15 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

97. What is our ultimate hope? Our ultimate hope is to see God’s glory in His realized presence (Rev 21:2-3, 22:4; Joh 17:21-26), where we will behold His beauty forever (Ps 27:4, 23:6). 98. How will we commune with God in His realized presence? We will behold Him without the curse of corrupt bodies and partially… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (14)

A Worship Catechism (14)

This entry is part 14 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

91. What are the disciplines of perpetual worship? The disciplines of perpetual worship are gratitude, discernment, fasting , and stewardship, which seek to behold, reflect, and magnify God’s glory in His works of creation, redemption and providence. 92. What does the discipline of gratitude entail? Gratitude is receiving all that is good and lawful in… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (13)

A Worship Catechism (13)

This entry is part 13 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

84. What are the disciplines of public worship? The disciplines of public worship are recognition, service, discipleship, and corporate worship, which seek to behold, reflect and magnify God’s glory in the society of others. 85. What does the discipline of recognition entail? Recognition is repeatedly submitting to the biblical view of our neighbor as a… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (12)

A Worship Catechism (12)

This entry is part 12 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

76. What disciplines will nurture faith and maintain abiding in God’s presence? We must embrace disciplines of private worship, public worship, and perpetual worship. 77. What are the disciplines of private worship? The disciplines of private worship are meditation, private prayer, and memorization, which seek to behold reflect and magnify God’s glory in solitude (Mt… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (11)

A Worship Catechism (11)

This entry is part 11 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

67. How is faith nurtured? Faith is nurtured through the grace-enabled practice of the spiritual disciplines (2 Pet 1:5-7). 68. What is spiritual discipline? Spiritual discipline is imposing order upon disorder to nurture communion with God (2 Tim 3:3-6). 69. What is the first purpose of the spiritual disciplines? The first purpose of the spiritual… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (10)

A Worship Catechism (10)

This entry is part 10 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

60. What is the Spirit’s work in this cycle also known as? Grace: He grants the grace of conviction, the grace of cleansing, the grace of conformity, and the grace of illumination (Phil 2:13). 61. How is this grace received and the cycle maintained? Grace is always received through faith (Eph 2:8) – the faith… Continue Reading

Adoring With Caravaggio

Adoring With Caravaggio

Take some time to consider Caravaggio’s Adoration of the Shepherds. Don’t scan and speed-read, but if you have the time, stop and stare. First, where is the focal point of this painting? Where does our gaze go first, and where does it seem to land? Is there more than one focal point? Are we above,… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (9)

A Worship Catechism (9)

This entry is part 9 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

52. What is meant by consecration? Consecration is dedicating something to the holy glory of God. 53. What are we to consecrate to God? Whatever cannot be loved for God’s sake should not be loved at all; whatever can be loved for God’s sake should be consecrated to Him (Phil 4:8). 54. How are we… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (8)

A Worship Catechism (8)

This entry is part 8 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

46. What is meant by confession? Confession is the agreement of the mind and heart with God’s conviction (1 John 1:9). The mind agrees with the sinfulness of the sin, and accepts the guilt of it (Ps 51:3-4). The heart agrees it has loved what God hates and hated what God loves, and sorrowfully revolts… Continue Reading