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Showing posts from December, 2007

The First Sunday After Christmas - Gal. iv

From the start, it was proclaimed that this child born to Mary was on a definite mission. The angels tell the shepherds that He that was born was a Saviour, and by an angel Joseph was told to name the child Jesus, for He was come to save His people from their sins. Thus it was that his cousin, John the Baptist, was sent to the Jews to call them to repentance. One cannot very well be saved from their sins if they are not willing to give them up! If the child’s mission was to be fulfilled, the people would have to repent. Why Was He Born? We are very strange people. We hate our sins, which cause us to mess up our lives, yet we also love them; we don’t want to give these things up that keeping ruining us. We are in a desperate condition of self-destruction. We need someone to save us. We need someone to come into our lives and change us from within, that we will hate our sins and be glad to be rid of them. Thankfully, this is par

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life - XXXI - H. C. G. Moule

Chapter viii - Conclusion I have quoted at the head of the chapter those words of the Psalmist which lead us up the River to its Source. “For with Thee is the fountain of Life”; with Thee, Jehovah ; with Thee, Jehovah-Christ , for “in Thee is Life”; “he that that Thee hath life.” Let that verse just remind us of the duty and the blessing of continual remembrance of Him as our reason and our rest. There is such a thing as studying even the “possibilities of grace” more than Him who is “the God of all grace.” It is because of what He is that His people are, even for a moment, what He would have them be. And one deep secret of the development in them of what He would have there, is the contemplation of Him. Our life and walk, in a sense most practical, need be no intermittent stream of peace and of obedience. Why? Because He is no intermittent spring. Every winter, in modern Jerusalem , a remarkable phenomenon is observed. The channel of the Kedron, usually dry as the

Simeon Book

I have a paperback copy of sermon outlines, primarily by Charles Simeon, that I would like someone to have. 202 outlines, c. 500 pp.; Baker Book House, ISBN: 0801090024. If you want it, and are willing to pay the postage, send me an e-mail. The next Moule installment should be up later today.

Ready for His Coming - Advent IV

My wife and I have been immersed in wedding traditions this year, with the marriage of our son. She read books on the subject, and got our son’s fiance reading about it as well. Our desire to learn from tradition was a significant factor in the simplicity of the wedding and in how well it went. While I was waiting for the wedding to begin, the other pastor who was there told me of some horrors he has had to go through at weddings with people who just didn’t have the right attitude about it or didn’t know what they were doing. One I remember vividly was the bride who was determined that her bridesmaids come down the isle in step with the music, which was very unfortunate, because it meant spending an enormous amount of time trying to get a couple of her friends to step to music when they had never been able to keep time to music one day in their lives. Some of this kind of thing is due to personality type, but some of it is due to the idolatrous value that some peo

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Comments on Christmas

A lot of people are talking about the Archbishop's comments on Christmas in his interview with Simon Mayo of BBC Radio 5 on Sunday. Even Rush Limbaugh today spoke of it. He complained about Williams denying the virgin birth. While I thought Limbaugh's complaint about "liberals" denying the basic tenets of Christianity while still calling themselves Christians was correct, the Archbishop did not deny the virgin birth. The conversation was about the typical "Nativity scene" depictions and what is or is not historic about them. When it came to the virgin birth, Williams said that he is "committed to it", but that belief in it was a process in his life. What concerns me was his further comment that he did not think that belief in the virgin birth was a hurdle that people should have to jump in order for them to be "signed up" in the Church. I have to disagree with that. While I believe it is certainly possible for people to come to faith in C

New Website for Common Cause

The Common Cause Partnership has a new website: . Our church is affiliated with Common Cause through the EMC's membership in the Federation of Anglican Churches in America and in our own membership in Forward in Faith.

Priests Among the Priesthood

Yesterday being the 3rd Sunday in Advent, my sermon was on the gospel ministry. At several points, I referred to a sermon by Dr. Robert Rayburn of Faith Presbyterian (PCA), Tacoma, Washington. In this sermon, he explains the tension in Scripture between the doctrine of the ministry and the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. He especially emphasises the importance of the preaching of the Word for the health of the Church; a message that Episcopalians have desperately needed. You can read his sermon here .

Once a Bishop, Always a Bishop?

"It is true that a king undertakes to be bound by the actions of his representatives. It is true also that we must humbly believe that Christ accepts as His own the actions of those who act on His behalf; otherwise what minister would ever venture to celebrate the Eucharist in the name of Christ? But this acceptance can never be unconditional. It depends on the minister being true to his trust, and acting only within the terms of his commission. Granted that the Bishop is the holder of a commission direct from Christ, and that ordinarily his actions in the Church may be accepted as the acts of Christ. What is to happen if the minister proves unfaithful, betrays his trust, and acts outside the terms of his commission? This is not a hypothetical case; it is one that has arisen time and again in the history of the Church. The answer of the Fathers is clear and unequivocal. The teaching of both Irenaeus and Cyprian is that if a bishop departs from the apostolic doctrine it is

Pleasing Others - Sermon for Advent II

My sermon yesterday, based upon the Epistle reading for The Second Sunday in Advent, Romans xv, 4f. I don’t know about your family, but my sister and I just could not get along. While it is especially hard to examine your motivations from 50 years distance, I am nevertheless certain that I was not without my own guilt in our relationship. Indeed, I can remember doing and saying things that could not have been very well received by my sister, and I have since apologised to her for it. It is very sad that brothers and sisters in our families have such problems getting along with one another. It is not a complicated thing. The Christian life is simple enough for a child to live. One need only love Jesus enough to follow the Golden Rule; to think about how to make others happy instead of only thinking about whether others are making you happy. That goes a long way in any relationship. A child that can wake up in the morning and start thinking about how to please his brother or

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life - XXX - H. C. G. Moule

Chapter viii, continued. Our verse delightfully negatives the thought of grace as a something to be stored up in our own hands on occasions; a limited supply, to be economized and managed, and made to last, till it runs dry, or almost dry, and must be replenished by some new means. Here it flows for us, by us, in us, for evermore; ever passing, ever abiding, "new every morning, failing not,” for the soul which is in contact with the eternal source. Let us go forth in peace, in the peace which is itself a power, in great peace, while peace most humble, recollecting this truth, into the “changes and chances of this mortal life.” No two days and hours are quite alike; no two hearts and lives. On this we have already dwelt, as we considered* the manifoldness of need. But here is the heavenly antidote to the trials of succession , as we saw it above to the trials of multiplicity . For the succession in us there is this divine succession in our Lord. For th