Monthly Archives: August 2012

Friday Prayer: Cyprian on the Lord’s Prayer

“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And suffer us not to be led into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.” ~Matthew 6:9

Cyprian (A.D. 200-258), in his treatise on the Lord’s Prayer, comments,

How great is the Lord’s indulgence! How great His condescension and plenteousness of goodness towards us, seeing that He has wished us to pray in the sight of God in such a way as to call God Father, and to call ourselves sons of God, even as Christ is the Son of God,—a name which none of us would dare to venture on in prayer, unless He Himself had allowed us thus to pray! We ought then, beloved brethren, to remember and to know, that when we call God Father, we ought to act as God’s children; so that in the measure in which we find pleasure in considering God as a Father, He might also be able to find pleasure in us. Let us converse as temples of God, that it may be plain that God dwells in us. Let not our doings be degenerate from the Spirit; so that we who have begun to be heavenly and spiritual, may consider and do nothing but spiritual and heavenly things; since the Lord God Himself has said, “Them that honour me I will honour; and he that despiseth me shall be despised.” The blessed apostle also has laid down in his epistle: “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear about God in your body.”[1]

[1] Cyprian of Carthage, “On the Lord’s Prayer”, trans. Robert Ernest Wallis, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume V: Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Novatian, Appendix ( ed. Alexander Roberts et al.;Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1886), 450.

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“I am a Debtor”


WHEN this passing world is done,
When has sunk you glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o’er life’s finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

When I hear the wicked call
On the rocks and hills to fall,
When I see them start and shrink
On the fiery deluge brink,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

When I stand before the throne
Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see Thee as Thou art,
Love Thee with unsinning heart,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

When the praise of heaven I hear
Loud as thunders to the ear,
Loud as many waters’ noise,
Sweet as harp’s melodious voice,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

Even on earth, as through a glase
Darkly, let thy glory pass,
Make forgiveness feel so sweet,
Make thy Spirit’s help so meet,
Even on earth, Lord, make me know
Something of how much I owe.

Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Saviour’s side,
By the Spirit sanctified,
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show,
By my love, how much I owe.

Oft I walk beneath the cloud,
Dark as midnight’s gloomy shroud;
But, when fear is at the height,
Jesus comes, and all is light:
Blessed Jesus! bid me show
Doubting saints how much I owe

When in flowery paths I tread,
Oft by sin I’m captive led;
Oft I fall, but still arise;
The Spirit comes—the tempter flies:
Blessed Spirit! bid me show
Weary sinners all I owe.

Oft the nights of sorrow reign—
Weeping, sickness, sighing, pain,
But a night thine anger burns—
Morning comes, and joy returns:
God of comforts! bid me show
To thy poor, how much I owe.

~Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne, May 1837.

Robert Murray McCheyne and Andrew A. Bonar, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne (Edinburgh; London: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, 1894), 579-80.

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But A Passing Moment – Nolan Price

“…my flesh that tells me that there are people who I feel just don’t deserve to die so suddenly, men who I see changing the world, men that have made the world a better place just by being put here on this earth, men like Nolan. But deep down the shaming truth that starts to sting my eyes is that we all have deserved death and it is the Lord’s intervening daily grace that atones for us all.”

Prayers to the Price family in the loss of their son. A tribute well-said by a fellow student ~Thanks Brittney

Faithfully Nomadic

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Friday Prayer: A Gentile’s Prayer

Our Friday prayer comes from Raymond Lull (1232-1316) in his work entitled, The book of the Gentile and the Three Wise Men.

“Divine perfection, You who are the light and cure of all imperfections, who are the hope of all sinners, and who are infinite through all Your goodness, greatness, eternity, power, wisdom, love, to You I turn and to You I ask forgiveness and grace and counsel and help as to how to serve You and to recover, through You, the days I lost through ignorance and wrongdoing.”

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Reblog: How the “Like” Button Will Destroy the World

This is a well-written post about social media in our life. Refreshingly, the author doesn’t just take the easy road, “piling on” the social media advancement. In fact, the author concludes, The solution to this problem isn’t a departure from social media. Far from it! I firmly believe that these tools we have available to us via the Internet can do more to advance society and advance personal connections than anything else. BUT — and this is a big but — we must be sure to use these tools effectively. We must be sure that we don’t forget the “social” part of “social media.”


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Evangelical Aesthetic Poverty

I happened upon Clyde Kilby’s 1969 article entitled, The Aesthetic Poverty of Evangelicalism, in the Christian Harold today and thought it was worth posting. It is amazing how little progress evangelicalism has made engaging the arts. Much of what is determined to be Christian art remains somewhere between kitsch and just plain tacky. However, that said, there is movement albeit incremental. Some churches are turning a gaze toward the arts. Today’s culture is an art culture: fine, kitsch or otherwise. If the church wants to engage culture, it must engage the arts. Here is how Kilby described it in 1969:

I want to base what I have to say on three facts which I think indisputable. The first is that the Bible belongs to literature; that is, it is a piece of art…. The second indisputable fact is that…the Bible is an imaginative book…. The third indisputable fact is that the greatest artist of all, the greatest imaginer of all, is the one who appears at the opening of Genesis….

Now when we look from these three facts to contemporary evangelical Christianity, we find a great oddity. The people who spend the most time with the Bible are in large numbers the foes of art and the sworn foes of imagination. And I grow in the feeling that these people have quite an astonishing indifference to the created world. Evangelicals hear the great “I am” of God, but they are far less aware of the “I am” of his handiwork. Furthermore, when evangelicals dare attempt any art form it is generally done badly.

As to the evangelicals’ skittishness toward imagination, I have looked into the Scriptures and I cannot find such a prejudice there. One prominent evangelical holds that the triad of truth-goodness-beauty is Greek in origin, and the Hebrew concept is only that of the true and the holy. I doubt it. I doubt it primarily because of the glorious beauty I see every day in God’s handiwork, but I also doubt it from looking at Scripture. The Revised Standard Version shows ninety uses of the words beauteous, beautiful, beautify, and beauty (the King James Version uses seventy-six of these words), and overwhelmingly in a favorable sense. I see no esthetic difference between God’s word and his creative work. Even if his world were purely a functional one, the bee and the flower around which it buzzes would be equally glorious, equally fantastic, equally miraculous.

How can it be that with a God who created birds and the blue of the sky and who before the foundation of the world wrought out a salvation more romantic than Cinderella, with a Christ who encompasses the highest heaven and deepest hell, with the very hairs of our heads numbered, with God closer than hands and feet, Christians often turn out to have an unenviable corner on the unimaginative and the commonplace?…

Evangelical Christians have had one of the purest of motives and one of the worst of outcomes. The motive is never to mislead by the smallest fraction of an iota in the precise nature of salvation, to live it and state it in its utter purity. But the unhappy outcome has too often been to elevate the cliche. The motive is that the gospel shall not be misunderstood, not sullied, not changed in jot or tittle. The outcome has often been merely the reactionary, static, and hackneyed…

There is a simplicity which diminishes and a simplicity which enlarges, and evangelicals have too often chosen the wrong one. The first is that of the cliche—simplicity with mind and heart removed. The other is that of art. The first falsifies by its exclusions; the second encompasses. The first silently denies the multiplicity and grandeur of creation, salvation, and indeed all things. The second symbolizes and celebrates them. The first tries to take the danger out of Christianity and with the danger often removes the actuality. The second suggests the creative and sovereign God of the universe with whom there are no impossibilities. The contrast suggests that not to imagine is what is sinful. The symbol, the figure, the image, the parable—in short, the artistic method—so pungent in the Lord’s teaching and acting, are often noteworthy for their absence in ours. Is this not a case of humanism far more reprehensible than the sort of humanism we often decry?..

The final words of Kilby’s article yield the most the significant indictment against evangelicalism’s sensitivity to art.

Our excuse for our esthetic failure has often been that we must be about the Lord’s business, the assumption being that the Lord’s business is never esthetic.

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Filed under Aesthetics, Current Church Trends, Spirituality

Psalm 19:14 Wordle

Wordle: Psalm 19

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Filed under Hebrew Bible