I downloaded a paper (originally a speech) by John Piper several months ago, and ran across it last night. What an inspirational work. Piper uses Spurgeon as an example of a preacher who “pushed on” despite his circumstances. In addition to depression, Spurgeon had to deal with critics, church politics, and great physical pain. Piper uses this backdrop to answer the question, how do we preach through adversity?
…So when our heart is breaking we must labor with a broken instrument. Preaching is our main work. And preaching is heart work, not just mental work. So the question for us is not just How you keep on living when the marriage is blank, and a child has run away, and the finances don’t reach, and pews are bare and friends have forsaken you; the question for us is more than, How do you keep on living? It’s, How do you keep on preaching. It’s one thing to survive adversity; it is something very different to keep on preaching, Sunday after Sunday, month after month when the heart is overwhelmed…
Read The Entire Paper
Although I have heard the song before, today was the first time I really paid close attention to the theology found in its words. The song, written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend was described to me as a neo-hymn by the worship leader at Jefferson Street Christian Church in Lincoln Illinois. I think he is right on the money. There is a lot of “fluff” out there (and there has been for years) when it comes to what is called “worship” music. Townend really nails the most important element of worship music–the lyrics! I was going to italicize the critical portions, but there is so much solid theology crammed into this song that it is hard to do.
“In Christ Alone”
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music
In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.
The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches us that all conquerers who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.–Adolf Hitler 1942
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