Weekend Reading: March 26, 2016

Welcome to Easter Weekend!  If you’re new, or relatively new, to this email/blog then you’ll know this is coming a bit later than normal, so I apologize for that.  This is a very short post – I figure most people won’t spend a lot of time reading articles this weekend.  Nevertheless, I do hope these are helpful, and want to wish you a happy Easter!

Let’s get the politics out of the way first. You may not have seen the President’s comments in Cuba about Communism and Capitalism. He basically says they’re both pretty much the same, and encourages young people to just pick what works for them. Obviously this is a man who is, at the very least, intellectually disingenuous, and the worst he is negligent and guilty of gross inaccuracies.  Perhaps he has forgotten the tens of millions of people enslaved and killed under the communist system (including the many jailed and killed in Cuba!!).  As I read my daughter a book on WWII this week, I couldn’t just breeze past the final statistic re: the 70 million people killed during that war. The 20th century was the bloodiest of all the previous human centuries combined. Much of this killing was triggered and carried out by nations and dictators enforcing the failed system of communism. Of course capitalist countries contributed to the killing, but not as a direct result of their capitalist ideology, and not of their own people on such a mass scale. It was a reminder to me that we have a responsibility to pass along accurate information to the next generation and the President’s words were inaccurate and irresponsible.

On the campaign trail I was saddened to see the presidential campaign descend into the gutter. An Anti-Trump super pac (not affiliated with any campaign) took a shot at Melania Trump’s previous modeling – specifically her nude pose for GQ some (15?) years ago.  Trump used it as an opportunity to insult Heidi Cruz’s appearance, and tweeted out an unflattering comparison picture of Mrs. Cruz next to his (3rd) wife. It highlighted again the past comments that Trump had said about women, and saddened me for where the discourse has gone in this race.  I used to be concerned that Trump would be our next President, and it would degrade the office, and our country. But after a whole new battery of polling, I was reminded that Trump is likely to get clobbered in November. He’s down double digits to one of the most disliked and corrupt politicians in America. Cruz is within the margin – he’s down in some polls and up a few in others. Kasich routinely beats Clinton, but DC-types have spent the better part of a week trying to push him out of the race.  It’s sort of like a mutually assured suicide mission. People can’t seem to decide if Kasich is a spoiler (per Cruz), or if he’s actually helping stop Trump in northern and eastern states where Cruz gets clobbered. I’ll let you judge for yourself on that one. The Wall Street Journal describes the situation in ‘The Republican Predicament’. 

In the past week, we also saw devastating terror attacks in Brussels. If you need a recap of the situation with charts and maps, then you can find that here. 

This was really neat, and its the best link of the week. It’s a slide show called ‘Stations of the Cross’, and will help you think through Jesus’ final 24 hours. 

Tim Challies just finished up a series called ‘The Character of the Christian’, and in his final post he describes one essential quality that (as someone in politics) I’ve wrestled with in the past: ‘Respected by Outsiders’

I appreciated this news story about a civilian who stopped a hatchet-wielding (terrorist?) man with his conceal-carry weapon. This guy saved many lives! (h/t mom).

I meant to link this a few weeks ago, its a blog post that’s taken from R.C. Sproul’s book ‘The Prayer of the Lord’. The post is called ‘Don’t Pray like a Pagan.’  I really enjoyed the book, and the post definitely has some items worth pondering.

Two items I didn’t get to read, but plan on reading this weekend: ‘The Root of Mental Health’ – by John Piper, and, ‘Is America Next’ – a politico piece on why Europe seems to get a lot of these terror attacks, but the US has had relatively few comparatively.

Finally, if you’re looking for a good read on the resurrection, one of my favorites (h/t Jack J.) is called ‘Rabboni’ by Geerhardus Vos.  I will leave you with an excerpt:

In vain does Calvary proclaim that the Lord is dead, in vain does the tomb declare that he has been buried, in vain does the absent stone suggest that they have taken him away—this threefold witness will not convince Mary that he has gone out of her life forever. And why? Because in the depth of her being there was an even more emphatic witness which would not be silenced but continued to protest that she must receive him back, since he is her Savior. Contact, communion with Christ had become to her the vital breath of her spiritual life; to admit that the conditions rendering this possible had ceased to exist would have meant for her to deny salvation itself.



2 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: March 26, 2016

  1. For those unfamiliar with the sermon by Geerhardus Vos cited at the end of your post it may be found in its entirety as chapter 3 in the 1903 ed., and chapter 4 in the 1922 ed. of Vos’ wonderful compilation of sermons titled “Grace and Glory.”

    This work is freely available online and in downloadable digital formats at the following sites:

    Grace and Glory, by Geerhardus Vos, on feedbooks at http://www.feedbooks.com/book/4235/grace-and-glory [accessed 26 MAR 2016].

    Grace and Glory, by Geerhardus Vos, on good reads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/567084.Grace_and_Glory [26 MAR 2016].

    Geerhardus Vos, Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached in the Chapel of Princeton Theological Seminary (Grand Rapids: The Reformed Press, 1922); on Google Books at https://books.google.com/books?id=Wm5GAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 26 MAR 2016]; and on Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/graceglorysermon00vosg [accessed 26 MAR 2016].

    Hard copy reprints of the 1922 edition are also available for purchase at various online retail book outlets:

    Geerhardus Vos, Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached in the Chapel of Princeton Theological Seminary (Vestavia Hills, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books, n.d.; from 1922 ed. by The Reformed Press, Grand Rapids); on Solid Ground Christian Books at http://www.solid-ground-books.com/detail_829.asp [accessed 26 MAR 2016]; on Westminster Bookstore at http://www.wtsbooks.com/grace-and-glory-geerhardus-vos-9781599251271 [accessed 26 MAR 2016]; Reformation Heritage Books at http://www.heritagebooks.org/products/Grace-and-Glory.html [accessed 26 MAR 2016].

    This earlier reprint by Banner of Truth may not be so easy to find! This long out of print hardcover revised edition commands steep prices starting around $60.00 from rare and used vendors.

    Geerhardus Vos, Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached in the Chapel of Princeton Theological Seminary (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1994; from 1922 ed. by The Reformed Press, Grand Rapids).

    Finally, I created a file dealing with the many discrepancies found in the available digital editions and reprints of this work. It is a MS Word file (in .docx format) named “Vos Geerhardus – Grace and Glory – information on contents and editions.docx,” and is available on the Public folder of My Dropbox at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/13946111/Vos%20Geerhardus%20-%20Grace%20and%20Glory%20-%20information%20on%20contents%20and%20editions.docx. If anyone needs this file in another format please contact me at johntjeff at verizon dot net. I included three appendices in this file: Appendix A: Bibliography; Appendix B: Consolidation of Sermon Information (a consolidation of all available information on the published sermons with their Scripture texts, dates preached, and chapters in the two known print editions); and Appendix C: Correspondence with Feedbooks (RE: date discrepancies in their edition). Note: Some of the information above is more up to date than that in the file which was last updated 10 SEP 2015.

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