Author Archives: Ryan Martin

This is the Truth Sent from Above

This is the Truth Sent from Above

The carol “This is the Truth Sent from Above” is a traditional carol whose text originates from words that first appeared in the 19th century. It is regrettable that many choirs leave many of the verses out (although it is impractical to sing all 16 verses that have been discovered). Still, the carol needs several stanzas… Continue Reading

Christian worship is corporate

Christian worship is corporate

Paul has a corporate worship in mind in 1 Corinthians 14, and as the Apostle addresses the problem of tongues in Corinth, he at the same teaches us something very important about Christian worship. Earlier in the book, Paul asks, Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Cor 3:16). The… Continue Reading

Paul, Plato, and Calvin on Music

Paul, Plato, and Calvin on Music

In 1 Corinthians 14:7-8, Paul says, ”If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” 1 Cor 14:7-8 (ESV) The “flute,” I’m told, was a woodwind instrument more akin… Continue Reading

Praying for what God has promised

Praying for what God has promised

The Scriptures teach us to pray for the things that God has promised. We often pray for things that we are unsure of. We often pray for health problems or for people to obtain employment or for a president to be of a certain political persuasions. This is good. We should continue to do this, for God… Continue Reading

tobyMac and the state of Evangelical piety

tobyMac and the state of Evangelical piety

Paul’s Words to the Ephesians The beginning of Ephesians 5 is striking. Paul writes to former idolaters and fornicators, reminding them of their new life in Christ. He opens with a call to holiness. Believers must “be imitators of God,” walking “in love.” To walk in love means that believers must live making personal sacrifices to build… Continue Reading

Some Thoughts about the hymnal Cantus Christi

Some Thoughts about the hymnal Cantus Christi

I have had a chance over many months to get to know the hymnal Cantus Christi published by Canon Press, associated with Pastor Douglas Wilson and Christ Church of Moscow, Idaho. Over this time, I have gathered some reflections about this hymnal. For churches who are considering purchasing this hymnal, they should know a few things about… Continue Reading

Is Self-Love Always Selfishness?

Is Self-Love Always Selfishness?

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Reflections on Christian Love You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We all say we’re against selfishness. But what is selfishness? And if God hates selfishness, why does our own happiness play such an important role in Biblical motivation? Some people think of selfishness as merely loving oneself, and that love for self is where the sin in selfishness lies. As you will see, I think we can… Continue Reading

A Modest Proposal: One Loaf in Communion

A Modest Proposal: One Loaf in Communion

In 1 Cor 10:17 Paul says, Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. For many Christians, Paul’s words in that verse do not make as much sense as they might otherwise, because they break the their Communion bread before they see it.1 While I… Continue Reading

Are Christians free to love however they please?

Are Christians free to love however they please?

What is Christian love like? Where does it come from? Should we desire that our love be utterly spontaneous? Should we seek to love naturally? Is it inauthentic to love in a way other than that which first comes to us? Should our affections be unaffected? The impulse to say that the way a believer… Continue Reading

Some thoughts concerning Hymns on Christ’s Resurrection

Some thoughts concerning Hymns on Christ’s Resurrection

I know this post is somewhat badly timed, but I wanted to provide a bit of help for those who are looking for good resurrection hymns, either for personal devotion, to teach to their families, or to teach to congregations.1 Sometimes I hear the lament that there aren’t that many good Easter hymns. There are probably more… Continue Reading

Paul the Cultural Conservative

Paul the Cultural Conservative

One of the most difficult passages of Paul’s writings to interpret is 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. In this passage, Paul commands Christian women who are praying or prophesying to cover their heads. At almost every turn, interpretative issues arise. Part of the problem is that we have very little understanding of cultural practices of the time that… Continue Reading

Spurgeon on counterfeit affections

Spurgeon on counterfeit affections

At this blog, we are concerned about the affections. We believe that true Christian love is a supernatural and gracious work of the Holy Spirit, and from this belief we want (positively) to encourage Christian ministries to draw affections out of believers properly through the means God has given and (negatively) to warn against the catastrophic… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 6: A Couple More Parallel Passages

All Things to All Men | Part 6: A Couple More Parallel Passages

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This post will complete the series I have been slowly working through after beginning it a couple months ago. As I oft reminded you, Paul’s words in 1 Cor 9:19-23 have been used to justify a “anything goes” approach to evangelism. In verse 22 we especially see the potential for abuse, where Paul writes, “I have become… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 5: What the Passage Means (vv22-23)

All Things to All Men | Part 5: What the Passage Means (vv22-23)

This entry is part of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In 1 Cor 9:22, Paul says, “I have become all things to all men that by all means I might save some.” This should not be seen as a declaration of ministry pragmatism, but a rhetorically powerful restatement of the great depths of slavery Paul embraced to make Christ known to all men. Indeed, one could very… Continue Reading

A Psalm for Giving Thanks

A Psalm for Giving Thanks

This setting of Psalm 100 to “Old Hundredth” was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The conductor is Sir David WIllcocks and the organist is Stephen Krahn. Also featured are the Abendmusik Chorus and Plymouth Brass. Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 4: What the Passage Means (vv21-22)

All Things to All Men | Part 4: What the Passage Means (vv21-22)

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I am writing a series of posts on the meaning of 1 Cor 9:19-23, in particular his comment in verse 22, “I have become all things to all people.” The first post in the series looked at the broader context in chapters 8 and 9. Then I explored some interpretative principles in Paul’s greater writings that… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 3: What the Passage Means (vv19-20)

All Things to All Men | Part 3: What the Passage Means (vv19-20)

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In 1 Cor 9:22, Paul writes, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” This is series on the meaning of 1 Cor 9:19-23, and those words in particular. In the first post, I introduced the problematic way many evangelicals and missiologists interpret this passage. Many understand this… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 2: Interpretative Principles

All Things to All Men | Part 2: Interpretative Principles

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Before us are Paul’s words to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23: For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 1: The Context

All Things to All Men | Part 1: The Context

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” 1 Cor 9:22. This verse, and the verses surrounding it (1 Cor 9:19-23), are what some church leaders consider “the Magna Carta of contextualization.” These words of Paul toward the end of the ninth chapter of 1 Corinthians have been used to justify all… Continue Reading