《每個基督徒都需長進的五個方面》(免費電子書)

Being a Christian is not an acquired skill or discipline like diving or ice skating. It is a living, vital relationship with the God of the universe, a relationship that begins when a person becomes a new creation in Him and receives Jesus as Lord by faith. But like Olympic athletes, Christians are called upon to train, to make sacrifices, and to embrace certain disciplines in order to give God “our utmost for His highest.” This book deals with five of those disciplines: Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship. Just as Olympic athletes work hard to achieve their best performances, our diligence in attending to these aspects of the Christian life will help determine our effectiveness in serving our Lord.

作基督徒不像潛水或滑冰那樣,是一個可以學習的技能或科目。反而,它是一個與主宰宇宙的神有活潑關係的生活,這個關係的開始是當一個人因信心接受耶穌為主、成為一個新造的人。但是,像奧林匹克運動員那樣,基督徒的呼召是接受栽培、做出犧牲、並且進行操練,為的是「竭誠為主」。這本書談到五個這樣的屬靈操練:讀經、禱告、敬拜、事奉和治理。正如奧運健兒們努力訓練是為能取得最好的成績一樣,作基督徒的我們,在這些方面努力操練,將有助於我們事奉主更有果效。

Jesus on Every Page (Review) 《頁頁見耶穌》書評

The whole book is divided into 2 parts. First part contains 6 chapters. It is mainly about why it’s not only necessary but also beneficial for Christians to study the Old Testament by looking for Jesus and through the eyes of Jesus.  The 2nd part (10 chapters) provides the 10 keys to accomplish the purpose of the book: to see and savor “Jesus on Every Page”.

The first 6 chapters are short: 42 pages total.  Yet I find it convicting as the author’s journey to find Jesus on Every Page resonates with my own pursuit to understand Old Testament better and fuller. I’m glad Dr. Murray includes answers from Jesus and 3 prominent apostles in the NT to drive the point home.

Chapter 7: Christ’s Planet: Discovering Jesus in the Creation. This chapter opens my eyes to the correlation between the work/nature of creation with that of redemption.

Chapter 8: Christ’s People: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Characters. This chapter helpfully takes a balanced approach of reading the characters of OT not for moralistic lessons, but for Jesus like character building with God at the center. It not include don’ts but also dos that deserve the attention of any serious Bible teachers and students.

Chapter 9: Christ’s Presence: Discovering Jesus in His Old Testament Appearances. This is a chapter that gives me more challenges that the other. I think the primary reason is that I have not had enough training or careful study of the points made in the chapter.  And it prompts me to go study the footnotes with other resources mentioned in the book.

Chapter 10: Christ’s Precepts, Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Law

This chapter helps to read the OT law from the perspective of its revealing to us about Jesus. The 10 keys presented in this chapter guide us on knowing and appreciating Jesus through the OT laws. The examples given to showcase this connection and application are very helpful and edifying. I also like the fact that David uses portions of Westminster Catechism to highlight/expound on how the proper use of OT law has been an integrated and harmonious part of the gospel of Jesus.

Chapter 11: Christ’s Past: Discovering Jesus in Old Testament History

This chapter is an interesting and rarely found undertake of how Jesus read the OT and reflect on the book.  Dr. Murray enlisted modern scholar and Jonathan Edward in this chapter. He managed to say just enough while pointing to the sources.

Chapter 12: Christ’s Prophets – Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Prophets

By starting with the need, the calling and representation of prophets, this chapter lists many aspects of the life and ministry of prophets and shows how all these are very relevant to that of Jesus.  The part that addresses Old Testament prophecy fulfillment is especially clear and helpful, with short example for different type of fulfillment.

Chapter 13: Christ’s Pictures: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Types. This chapter gives a comprehensive list of pictures and symbols that were used in the OT to point us to Jesus.

Chapter 14: Christ’s Promises: Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament Covenants. This chapter opens my eyes to the deeper connection between the covenants in the Old Testament. From the definition of covenant, to the reason for the needs of covenants, from the sacrifice in each covenant, to the speech, the sign, and the scope of covenant, my whole understanding of the promises made in the OT are greatly enriched. Yet the book does not stop there, it also gives 7 perspectives on why the New Covenant is new.

The last 2 chapters covered the book of Proverbs, Psalms and the Song of Solomon. The explanation is clear and succinct.

Overall, this is a book I thoroughly enjoy reading. I know for sure that I’ll keep coming back to reference it when reading and teaching Old Testament in the future.  The scripture index and study questions at the end of the book will be invaluable for those who are interested in developing teaching plans.  I wish I had a book like this when I started reading the Old Testament. It was a pleasant surprise for me that Dr. Murray was persuaded to write a layman level book like this.  But the benefit is that more people and churches will be able to use it for the glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

弟兄們:我們不是專業人士

派博(John Piper)牧師這樣寫道:

「作為牧師的我們,正在被一種以牧養作為專業的心態所扼殺。專業人士的心態是不是先知的心態。這也不是作基督奴隸的心態。專業的態度與基督教事工的本質與核心沒有絲毫關聯。我們越追求專業,就會在我們離開後導致更多靈性的死亡。因為你不可能像孩童一樣專業,也不能以內心柔和為專業,更說不上專業地去渴慕神。

弟兄們,我們不是專業人士!我們是流浪者,是寄居的,在世界上作客旅的。我們是天上的國民,並正等候切望救主的顯現(腓3:20)。你不能專業地愛慕祂的顯現,因為那樣的愛慕不是愛慕。而今天,專業主義正在扼殺這種愛慕。

世界負責為專業人士設置議程,而神則為屬靈的人設置議程。耶穌基督的烈酒,一定會將專業主義的舊皮袋炸破。」

釋經天才加爾文-The Expository Genius of John Calvin(一)

在這本書中,Lawson牧師用了八章,分析了加爾文釋經講道的32個特點。提綱如下:

一、加爾文的生命與影響

二、預備講臺

1.聖經的權威;2.神的同在;3.講臺的優先;4.依次解經;

三、預備講道者

5.勤奮的頭腦;6.專一的內心;7.全然的投入;

四、開始講道

8.開門見山;9.即席傳遞;10.聖經上下文;11.表明主旨;

五、解釋經文

12.鎖定經文;13.精準解經;14.文本詮釋;15.串珠講解;16.有力推理;17.合理推敲;

六、設計傳講

18.常用詞彙;19.生動表達;20.刺激性的問題;21.簡單重述;22.有節制引用;23.無需大綱;24.自然銜接;25.全神貫注;

七、活用真理

26.牧者式的勸告;27。個人的省察;28.愛心的責備;29.攻守兼備;

八、結束解經

30.言簡意賅;31.緊迫呼籲;32.禱告高潮;

結語:「我們需要更多當代的加爾文!」

(Amazon link)

How God Became King – 神如何作王-N.T. Wright

在這本書-《神如何作王》-中,新約學者、聖公會主教萊特博士,有力地指出人們閱讀福音書時需要糾正的一個角度-「耶穌的福音,也是神如何藉著苦難,坐上寶座,掌管王權的故事」。用他自己的話來說,我們讀福音書時,常常錯誤地將福音書的這個主旋律淡化、遺忘,甚至扭曲。比如,我們往往單單強調贖罪、救贖的個人性,強調代贖等神學課題,可是,卻沒有給-耶穌藉著十字架的道路,帶入神掌權的天國,並最後坐在天上寶座-這條福音書的重要主旨給予應有的,平衡的處理與總結。

總體來說,Wright給予的分析與批評相當有說服力,也同時給出了一個經過調整,平衡去讀、思考使徒信經的方式。書中的語言都相當通俗易懂,是值得一讀的好書。

(當然,我們也要小心,Wright也有他的問題,參考以下的錄音。)

作新教徒的勇氣《The Courage To Be Protestant》-第二章

David Wells 在第二章【甩賣與推銷基督教信仰】中指出:許多以市場經濟為主導的教會增長學的問題(Willow Creek-柳溪教会)是:

  1. 錯誤結果:推銷教會之人拒絕承認教會推銷的失敗,這包括他們不能清楚表達甚麽是真正得救重生之人;
  2. 錯誤估計:外表風光,卻是色厲內荏;需要「與時代接軌」,但忽視與「上帝及其真道」接軌;
  3. 錯誤類比:基督道成肉身,為要將真理傳給人,可營銷學的底線往往為達到目的,而失去真理的內涵:重要的教義,等等;
  4. 錯誤顧客:「對慕道友敏銳」(Seeker Sensitive)類型的教會,常以為教義攔阻成長-而這卻是最滿足信徒需要的;又或通常針對中產階級,而不是所有人群。

律法與福音(Herman Bavinck – Our Reasonable Faith)

與其說律法是與應許相對立,不如說律法被神使用,不斷將應許帶近我們,看到它的成全。律法將以色列人約束起來,就好像一個囚犯被約束,沒有四處走動的自由。律法又好像一個「教育家」,手把手地、時時刻刻到處與她同行,沒有一刻讓眼睛離開過她。作為一個監護者與支持者,律法嚴格的看管著以色列,從而讓她學會認識並喜愛應許的必要以及榮耀。

甚麼是福音(1)

推薦一本好書,以下摘自Greg Gilbert所著的:甚麼是福音(What Is The Gospel)

「若去問許多基督徒[什麼是福音]這個問題的時候,我們所得到的回答是各式各樣的。

“這是一個好問題,我認為。。我的直覺告訴我是耶穌的降世,生活,受死,以及復活,以及祂所帶入的已然且未然的,讓萬物與祂和好的關係,這是藉著祂自己而重新建立的關係,使一切再次恢復正常,祂所開始的這一切已經在信徒的生命中與他們的心中動工,直到有一天得到終極的實現。但是好消息,亦即福音,我認為就是祂掌權的天國的來到,天國的顯現,這是我的直覺。”

“好消息就是,神要告訴我們祂對我們的不可思議的寵愛,祂要使你的生命充滿[新酒],但你是否願意除去你的舊的羊皮酒袋?你是否願意更加從全局來思考?你是否願意擴大你的遠景,並除去那些攔阻你前進步伐的負面思維?“

“用一句話來表達,福音就是:因為耶穌為我們而死,那些信靠祂的人就認識到自己的罪與汙穢已經一次並完全的被赦免,當神的審判來到時,我們可以說甚麼呢?只有一件事:耶穌替代我而死了,這就是福音。“

“耶穌的消息可能是有史以來最具革命性的信息了:神的激進並具革命性的帝國已經到來,藉著和好與平安,通過信心、盼望以及愛來擴展-從最窮苦、最軟弱、最溫順、以及最小之人開始。是時候改變你的思維方式了,所有一切都要改變,應該開始一個新的生命,信靠我,跟隨我,相信這個好消息,你才能學習如何靠它來生活並成為革命的一份子。“

“好消息就是神的臉永遠的轉向你,無論你做過些甚麼,你到過哪裡,你曾經犯過多少的錯誤。祂愛你並轉向你,一直在尋求你。“

“福音指的是宣告耶穌是那位被釘死,後又復活的彌賽亞,祂也是那獨一的、真實的世界的主宰。“

“好消息!神正在藉著耶穌作王!所以,神的公正、神的平安、神的世界將要被更新。而你我都在其中,所以對我們來說是好消息。這些之所以可以成就,是因為耶穌所帶來的好消息給你我的影響,可是福音不是說:你是這樣的一個人,這些事將要發生在你身上。那是福音的果效,而不是福音自己。救恩是福音的果效,而不是福音的核心。

“福音就是關於耶穌的宣告,有兩個角度:首先是耶穌自己宣告的-神的體系(國度)來到人的體系中所帶來的可能性。而另一個則是宣告中關於耶穌的-耶穌藉著祂的死與活,已經將祂所宣告的國度帶到我們中間。“

“作為一個基督徒,我只需要讓自己的生活方式跟隨一個軌跡,就是耶穌教導我們的可以達到那一種生活方式,我認為耶穌的道路是最好的道路…隨著時間的推移,你會漸漸有意識的走耶穌的道路,你會省察到一些更深層的事情在發生,你會發現這條道路之所以是最好的,是因為它建立在對世界的深刻並真實的認識之上。你會發現自己越來越活在終極的真實之中,你也會越來越與宇宙最深層的本質產生和諧。…首先宣告耶穌的這條道路的基督徒稱這是[好消息]。“

“我對耶穌的信息的理解是:祂教導我們今天活在神的真實之中-此時此刻,就好像耶穌不斷在說:改變你的生命,要這樣活著。“

福音是基督徒所關心的,可是,為何卻有這麼多形形色色的回答呢?…」

作者給了以下幾個要素:

福音的四個要素:神,我,耶穌,回應

  1. 神-人必須向公義完全的神交帳
  2. 我-人的問題是悖逆神,反叛神
  3. 耶穌-人的出路是耶穌代贖性的死亡與復活
  4. 回應-人怎樣才能得到救恩:必須通過信心;