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And Can It Be? February 26, 2006

Posted by Kevin in Uncategorized.

John Wesley’s bother, Charles Wesley wrote over 9000 hymns. He wrote his very first hymn just three days after he was saved! And from that point forward he averaged writing one hymn every two days for the rest of his life. What a prodigious hymn writer. And what great theological depth to the lyrics of his songs. I know there are great worship choruses in the church today. But give me a Wesley hymn any day over one of the choruses that I sang this morning in church!

It has been said concerning “And Can It Be,” that it was “a rousing testimony to the wonder and power of God to save helpless sinners in bondage to sin. All Calvinists sing it with gratitude to God for this brother’s wonderful gift of expression and sensitivity to the reality of God’s sovereignty in releasing us from the bondage to our sin nature.”

That’s a great quote. It is from R. K. McGregor Wright, a modern Calvinist author and theologian. Wright is the author of such books as “No Place for Soveriegnty” and “Absolute Necessity of Sound Doctrine”. I have read excerpts from both of these books and I recommend them.

Here are some of the lyrics from the great hymn “And Can It Be?”:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke; the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

The imagery of “chains” and “prison” depict the bondage of sin. We cannot save ourselves. Nor in our sinful condition do we have any desire for salvation. In fact, we do not even realize that we are in bondage many times.

Then Charles Wesley describes the (prevenient) grace through which the sinful man is awakened. But even though his dungeon “flamed with light”, at this point in the conversion process, although he was awakened, he was still imprisoned.

Of course the prisoner truly desires to break loose from sin, and begins to struggle with it. But though he tries his hardest and determines with all his might he cannot conquer; sin is mightier than he is. (It is important to note here that although sin is mightier than the poor prisoner, it is not mightier than our God.) The Apostle Paul understood this long before the Wesley’s when he said in Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Who shall deliver us from the bondage of sin? Jesus Christ’s shed blood and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit! That’s who!

Who is your favorite Christian author? February 12, 2006

Posted by Kevin in Uncategorized.

I have delved pretty deeply in my first month of blogging. So, I am already ready for a little bit of a break!

So, I pose the following question:

Who is your favorite Christian author?

C.S. Lewis? Oswald Chambers? Perhaps is it a lesser known author. Maybe it is an author from many years ago, or maybe it is someone relatively new like Max Lucado.

Post your comment with your favorite author and what appeals to you about their writings.

Don’t worry. We will get back to some deeper stuff in a few days.