Wednesday, February 28

Now It Comes Out

In the comments of Monday's post on the Baptist Board discussion I was participating in, I mentioned that
[w]hat really bothers me about the system being put forward in that thread is that it makes God unjust. People don't go to hell because God has just grounds for sending them there. After all, according to this theory, justice has been satisfied on behalf of every person
After I wrote that, I felt a little bit guilty, because although I could see that logically, this is where the so-called system was leading, it hadn't actually been said yet. Well, now it has. From the proponent the view under discussion:
Justice can condemn, but one can be condemned apart from any concept of justice as well. God has satisfied justice through His own sacrifice on our behalf. However, that is not the only way someone can be condemned, as the Bible clearly shows.
Well, yes, one can be condemned apart from any concept of justice, if the judge is an unjust judge.

By the way, this isn't typical universal atonement (You know, the unlimited side of the unlimited vs. limited atonement discussion!), which has God's justice satisfied potentially on behalf of every person, but only actually satisfied on condition of faith. Here's a short summary of the usual version of universal atonement, taken from this comparison chart.
Christ's redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone. Although Christ died for all men and for every man, only those who believe on Him are saved. His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condition that they believe, but it did not actually put away anyone's sins. Christ's redemption becomes effective only if man chooses to accept it.
Notice that universal atonement does not "actually put away anyone's sins", except as a person comes to faith. In that way, universal atonement does not have God condemning people who have no crimes counted against them. Neither does limited atonement, which has Christ's redeeming work putting away only the sins of his people. Limited vs. unlimited atonement is not the real issue here.

Update, March 1: No blogging today because I'm still working hard at this BB discussion. Leslie (see comments) took the time to read through the whole thing. As she says, there's some convoluted thinking there.

One example: In response to my statement that God can't condemn someone without just cause, we have this:
I’m sorry, but God can do what He wants.
I know a lot of people question the value of these sorts of discussions. I think that if you have the stomach for this sort of thing, and a rather thick skin, you can learn a lot from participating. At the very least, you'll solidify what you already know. When someone comes up with some rather novel idea, as in the case in this discussion, all the better, because you can't rely entirely on the apologetic work that others have done. When you have to develop the arguments yourself, you know what you know.

However, it's not for everyone, and it can be time consuming, which is why I began blogging and mostly gave up discussion boards. Blogging takes so much less time!

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Children's Poetry: Wrapping Up With Emily

The last two contributions to Children's Poetry Month are poems by Emily Dickinson, so I'll join in and contribute one from this hauntingly mysterious poet, too.


I'll entertain guesses as to what March's theme will be. Except from Pam, who already knows.

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Tuesday, February 27

How is Christ exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God?

Christ is exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God, in that as God-man he is advanced to the highest favor with God the Father,[1] with all fulness of joy,[2] glory,[3] and power over all things in heaven and earth;[4] and doth gather and defend his church, and subdue their enemies; furnisheth his ministers and people with gifts and graces,[5] and maketh intercession for them.[6]
  1. Phil. 2:9
    Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name . . .
  2. Acts 2:28
    You have made known to me the paths of life;
    you will make me full of gladness with your presence.
    Psa. 16:11
    You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
  3. John 17:5
    And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
  4. Eph. 1:22
    And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church . . . .
    I Peter 3:22
    . . . who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
  5. Eph. 4:10-12
    He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ . . . .
    Psa. 110:1
    The Lord says to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand,
    until I make your enemies your footstool.”
  6. Rom. 8:34
    Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Question 54, Westminster Larger Catechism

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Monday, February 26

Children's Poetry: Swinging and Sailing

Recent contributions on the theme of Children's Poetry:
There are only a few more days in February, so if you've planned to play along with the Children's Poetry theme, you'd better get on it right away. If you've posted a poem for kids, send me the link. Don't have a blog? Don't let that stop you! Post your poem in the comments of this post, and I'll use it.

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I've Been Amusing Myself

by participating in a discussion on the Baptist Board. This one's called atonement/justice and forgiveness, and the atonement theory put forward seems to be exactly the same one I posted about in the olden days when I first started blogging. So, of course, I couldn't pass the discussion by. (I go by russell55 on that board. At the time I signed up there, my first choices for name were taken, so that's my maiden name plus my birth year.)

In addition to being centered around an atonement theory I've already studied up on, this discussion is a rich source of the same kind of statements discussed in the series I posted recently called Thinking About Faith Alone and Christ Alone. (You can access all those posts from that link.) Here are some I could have added to the collection discussed there:
Man's sin is paid for in advance but, the condition [for salvation] isn't only having our sins paid for. You see that condition has been paid but, if there is no repentance and confession. The rest of the entire condition [for salvation] has not been met.
Can you see how this statement is a denial of Solus Christus, which affirms that what Christ did is sufficient for our salvation?

How about this?
Yet there is ONE sin that is UNPARDONABLE - Rejection of the Son - UNBELIEF
Yep, another denial of Solus Christus by the denial of the sufficiency of Christ's work. Christ's work was not sufficient grounds upon which the sin of unbelief could be pardoned.

Want more? The brackets in this one are original.
The atonement was done for all time for all in Christ Jesus. . . .

But since we did not sacrifice ourselves, thereby personally asking forgiveness, forgiveness became a different thing -- a personal thing. If not, then John would have never needed to say that if we confess our sins [then] He is faithful to forgive them. That is indeed an if/then proposition and not an accomplished fact on the Cross.
Christ's atonement, if this statement is true, is not sufficient grounds for forgiveness. We must add our confession to his work, thereby providing some of the grounds by which we are pardoned.

I could go on, but I won't. I have a life. At least I think I do.

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Sunday, February 25

Sunday's Hymn: Romans 8: 31-39

One last hymn in the series of hymns that paraphrase or allude to Romans 8:31-39.
The Savior Died, But Rose Again
The Savior died, but rose again
Triumphant from the grave;
And pleads our cause at God’s right hand,
Omnipotent to save.

Who, then, can e’er divide us more
From Jesus and His love;
Or break the sacred chain that binds
The earth to Heav’n above?

Let troubles rise, and terrors frown,
And days of darkness fall;
Through Him all dangers we’ll defy,
And more than conquer all.

Nor death, nor life, nor earth nor hell,
Nor time’s destroying sway,
Can e’er efface us from His heart,
Or make His love decay.

---Scottish Paraphrases
Other hymns, worship songs, etc. posted today:Have you posted a hymn for Sunday and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by emailing me at the address in the sidebar, and I'll add your post to the list.

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Saturday, February 24

Saturday's Old Photo

When oldest son was in grade 8, he flew with his dad to Togiak, Alaska, a fly-in village in southwest Alaska, to see his dad's best friend from his school days back in Crosby, Minnesota. Steve, the friend, lived near Togiak with his family for a few years, teaching in a couple of schools around that area.

Togiak has excellent fishing, and here they are with a couple of salmon. When it came to catching halibut, dad was the king, but that's a story for another day. You can see who caught the biggest salmon!

Oldest son was in the process of growing his hair long. He grew it until it reached the middle of his back and wore it that way for a few years. At this stage, however, it was just long enough to curl up underneath his cap, and it was, as you can see, quite blond.

On the flight to Togiak, oldest son and his dad were the only passengers on the plane. On the way there, the plane made it's regular supply stop in a tiny village. Every time the plane came, it was customary for most of the people in the village to come out to meet it. It was, I'm told, the big event of the week. Not only was it exciting to get the stuff the plane dropped off, but the pilot had a light complexion, and the villagers, being used to darker people, found him particularly interesting.

But this time, instead of just a little giggling, they were laughing out loud and pointing at the plane. All of them. The pilot turned around and looked at oldest son. "Buddy," he said, "they've never seen anything like you!"

Sort of related church history note: The church Steve and his family attended in Togiak was Moravian. The Moravians, who were descendents of Jon Hus, a pre-reformation reformer and martyr, were early missionaries in these remote regions of Alaska. In many of the villages of the Yukon-Kuskokwim region of Alaska, the only church is a Moravian one.

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Friday, February 23

Children's Poetry: Nash and More in the Morning

Morning Prayer

Now another day is breaking,
Sleep was sweet and so is waking.
Dear Lord, I promised you last night
Never again to sulk or fight.
Such vows are easier to keep
When a child is sound asleep.
Today, O Lord, for your dear sake,
I'll try to keep them when awake.
---Ogden Nash

Other contributions of children's poetry:
And it's so much more fun when everyone contributes to the monthly theme here on the blog, so if you've posted a poem for kids, send me the link. Don't have a blog? Don't let that stop you! Post your poem in the comments of this post, and I'll use it.

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Thursday, February 22

Propitiation: What It Means, and Simpler Translation Possibilities

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post that brought up the subject of propitiation, but at that time, I didn't write anything about the meaning of the word propitiation because it wasn't necessary to do so in order to make the point of that particular post. Propitiation is a good word, but it's not one that's used in everyday language, is it? I'd be willing to bet that if you did street interviews asking random people to define propitiation, you'd go a long time before you found someone who could define it properly.

So what does it mean? It's a word that's used in some versions of the Bible in the translation of a family of Greek words: hilasmos and other words related to it. It may be that you use a translation that doesn't used the word propitiation at all, since many versions make other translational choices. Still, it's a good thing to understand what it means, at the very least in order to understand this facet of what Christ's death accomplished for us. Propitiation and the Greek words it translates have to do with turning away or appeasing anger. It has everything to do with dealing with anger or wrath, and in the New Testament, it's God's wrath that is being turned away or propitiated.

Propitiation is a personal word. Let me quote Leon Morris:
. . . [I]f we speak of propitiation we are thinking of a personal process. We are saying that God is angry when people sin and that, if they are to be forgiven, something must be done about that anger. We are further saying that the death of Christ is the means of removing the divine wrath from sinners.*
Despite the fact that it's a five syllable uncommon word, it's not really a difficult concept, is it?

There are scholars, as you might expect, who disagree that the words translated by propitiation must carry with them the idea of divine wrath, at least as far as the wrath of God refers to anything more than impersonal natural consequences of sin. I've read some of the arguments and I didn't find them very convincing. It seems the whole case rests, first of all, on the assumption that the wrath of God is not something personal, but rather an impersonal process of cause (in this case, sin) and effect (disasters and other things deemed to be sin's natural consequences). Then, given that assumption, examples are collected, from the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) and other sources, where hilaskomai and other related words wouldn't necessarily have to carry the idea of wrath. All in all, without the assumption that God doesn't have personal wrath, it seems a rather weak argument. After all, just because a word might not need to carry an idea in a certain context doesn't mean that it doesn't carry that idea. You don't define words by what they might not mean in certain places.

If you take scripture seriously, it's hard to take seriously the assumption that God doesn't have personal wrath. Even in the New Testament, we find significant mention of God's wrath, and it certainly seems to be something more than just the natural or impersonal consequence of sin. Rather, God's wrath is frequently used–or so it would seem to me–in relation to God's personal action in response to sin. God is said, for instance, to give people over to the results of their sin, and the wrath of God is said to be revealed from heaven against unrighteousness (See Romans 1).

If you allow from the get-go that God has personal wrath against sin and sinners, then we need something that turns his wrath away from us. We need all those hilasmos related words to be propitiation, and nothing less than that. We don't need to use the exact word propitiation, but we need something that means it.

And I'm of the opinion that since propitiation isn't an English word that's commonly used, it's a good idea to have a few translations that use more common words to express the same idea. It's easy enough to say that everyone should just learn and remember what the word means, but not everyone will; and, for various reasons, not everyone does well with big uncommon words.

If we were to replace propitiation with something else in order to make things simpler to understand, what would be a good substitute? The word expiation isn't the best replacement for two reasons. First of all, I doubt that expiation is much clearer in meaning for most people than propitiation. Secondly, expiation doesn't mean exactly the same thing as propitiation, since it doesn't specifically have to do with turning away personal wrath. In fact, this particular substitute comes out of the argument that God's wrath is simply the impersonal natural consequences of sin.

In some translations, means of propitiation or propitiation in Romans 3:25 is replaced by mercy seat or sacrifice of atonement. Neither of these necessarily carry with them in the common understanding the idea of averting God's personal wrath, although technically, they probably do. But what they mean technically doesn't help when our goal is to have things stated in commonly understood language. Translations that talk about Christ taking away sin or being a sacrifice for sin aren't good replacements for propitiation in this verse, either, since they don't necessarily carry the whole meaning of propitiation, and understanding the whole deal is especially important when the context of the word is an argument for every single person being an object of God's wrath. My own favorite replacement for the difficult term means of propitiation in this verse is found in the footnotes of the NIV: the one who would turn aside his [God's] wrath.

Some wording similar to this would probably work in every place–there are only four of them–where propitiation is used in the New Testament. In Hebrews 2:17, where Christ, as priest, is said to make propitiation, we might say that he "turns away God's wrath." In 1 John 2:2, "he is the propitiation" could be "he is the one who turns away God's wrath." Same thing in 1 John 4:11: "the propitiation" becomes "the one who would turn away God's wrath."

I suppose, if you were a translator, you'd be hoping for a phrase with less words than this, but I can't think of a simpler way to do it without losing some of the meaning of the original language. What do you think? What word or words would you suggest to communicate the whole meaning of the original, which includes the idea of God's personal wrath against sin, without using the word propitiation? Or perhaps you'd prefer to always keep the word propitiation. If so, why not explain why you think that's the best option?

*Leon Morris, The Atonement: It's Meaning and Significance, page 152.

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The Amazing Grace Movie and Canada Games


If I read things right, t*Tomorrow is the Whitehorse opening of Amazing Grace, a movie about British abolitionist William Wilberforce. Carolyn McCulley gives it a thumbs up, but suggests John Piper's little book–you know, the one I reviewed here–as a supplement to the movie.

Tomorrow is also the opening of the 2007 Canada Games, which are being held right here in Whitehorse this time round. Youngest daughter works a little at the Hougen's ticket office, and she says that tickets are still available to most events. Men's hockey (finals and semifinals) and the opening ceremonies are sold out, but there is room for you in almost everything else. Her recommendation is for the boxing, which organizers say is usually sold out right away, but so far, there hasn't been much interest here.

And remember, purchasing a day or week pass gets you into preliminary events as long as there is room for you. (Ticket details here.) Since there won't be parking for you at most of the venues, have someone drop you off or take the bus.

*I read things wrong, and apparently it is not coming here, at least not now. Those of you who live in the civilized part of the world will be able to see it. Thanks to Scott Gilbreath for sniffing out the truth.
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Wednesday, February 21

Children's Poetry: Reader's Edition

In the comments, Judy contributes two poems by Eleanor Farjeon from her kindergarten teaching days.
What lovely names for girls there are!
There's Stella like the Evening Star,
And Sylvia like a rustling tree,
And Lola like a melody,
And Flora like a flowery morn,
And Sheila like a field of corn,
And Melusina like the moan
Of water. And there's Joan, like Joan.

What splendid names for boys there are!
There's Carol like a rolling car,
And Martin like a flying bird,
And Adam like the Lord's first word,
And Raymond like the Harvest Moon,
And Peter like a piper's tune,
And Alan like the flowing on
Of water. And there's John, like John
Jen of joythruChrist posts yet another cat poem by T. S. Eliot. In this house, we use simpler names for our cats, by the way.

Violet posts another one of her magnificent originals: My Place.

William Meisheid composed a poem with the boy-girl theme for us and put it in the comments:
Girls are soft, with rounded edges
Boys are hard, and burst through hedges

Girls will cry, and it ruins their day
Boys will sniffle, and be on their way

Girls all giggle, but mostly hold it in
Boys all guffah, with a sidesplitting grin

Girls be girls, and who can define?
Boys be boys, and mellow like wine
Isn't that fun?

And it's so much more fun when everyone contributes to the monthly theme here on the blog, so if you've posted a poem for kids, send me the link. Don't have a blog? Don't let that stop you! Post your poem in the comments of this post, and I'll use it.

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Monday, February 19

Children's Poetry: Four for Boys

I'm nothing, if not evenhanded. First, we answer the constitutional question. (Well, at least we attempt to answer it. There are several recipes for boys, it seems.)
What Are Little Boys Made Of?

What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails
And puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.



And then we have a misbehaving male child, although this wild boy's parents seem positively wimpy compared to our horrid girl's emphatic mother.
The Story of Fidgety Philip

"Let me see if Philip can
Be a little gentleman;
Let me see if he is able
To sit still for once at table:"
Thus Papa bade Phil behave;
And Mamma looked very grave.
But fidgety Phil,
He won't sit still;
He wriggles,
And giggles,
And then, I declare,
Swings backwards and forwards,
And tilts up his chair,
Just like any rocking-horse-
"Philip! I am getting cross!"

See the naughty, restless child
Growing still more rude and wild,
Till his chair falls over quite.
Philip screams with all his might,
Catches at the cloth, but then
That makes matters worse again.
Down upon the ground they fall,
Glasses, plates, knives, forks, and all.
How Mamma did fret and frown,
When she saw them tumbling down!
And Papa made such a face!
Philip is in sad disgrace.

Where is Philip, where is he?
Fairly covered up you see!
Cloth and all are lying on him;
He has pulled down all upon him.
What a terrible to-do!
Dishes, glasses, snapped in two!
Here a knife, and there a fork!
Philip, this is cruel work.
Table all so bare, and ah!
Poor Papa, and poor Mamma
Look quire cross, and wonder how
They shall have their dinner now.
---Heinrich Hoffman



And from Robert Louis Stevenson:
Looking Forward

When I am grown to man's estate
I shall be very proud and great,
And tell the other girls and boy
Not to meddle with my toys.


Here's a classic that seems to have special appeal to young men. My husband liked it from the time he learned it in elementary school.
O Captain! My Captain!

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
---Walt Whitman


Here's how you can join in the children's poetry fun
: Post a children's poem on your blog, let me know of it, and I'll link to you. Those who remain blogless, but still wish to participate, may post a poem in the comments of this post.

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Sunday, February 18

Sunday's Hymn: Romans 8: 31-39

Yet another hymn centered around Romans 8: 31-39, this one from Isaac Watts. (You'll find two other hymns centered on this text here and here.)
Who Shall the Lord's Elect Condemn
Who shall the Lord’s elect condemn?
’Tis God that justifies their souls;
And mercy, like a mighty stream,
O’er all their sins divinely rolls.

Who shall adjudge the saints to hell?
’Tis Christ that suffered in their stead;
And, the salvation to fulfill,
Behold Him rising from the dead!

He lives! He lives and sits above,
For ever interceding there:
Who shall divide us from His love?
Or what should tempt us to despair?

Shall persecution, or distress,
Famine, or sword, or nakedness?
He that hath loved us bears us through,
And makes us more than conquerors too.

Faith hath an overcoming power;
It triumphs in the dying hour:
Christ is our life, our joy, our hope,
Nor can we sink with such a prop.

Not all that men on earth can do,
Nor powers on high, nor powers below,
Shall cause His mercy to remove,
Or wean our hearts from Christ our love.

Other hymns, worship songs, etc. posted today:Updated to add:Have you posted a hymn for Sunday and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by emailing me at the address in the sidebar, and I'll add your post to the list.

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Saturday, February 17

Saturday's Old Photo


This is my mother and father on their wedding day in June of 1954. They met doing summer mission work among the Navajo of Utah, and were married in my mother's sister's backyard in Salt Lake City. At the left of the photo are my dad's parents, Robert and Mary Vogt; and on the right is my mother's mother, Rosa Deckard. I'm not sure why my mother's father is not there. Perhaps he didn't attend the wedding. The most unusual thing about my parents was that my mother was 32 when she married, and six years older than my dad, which is not the way it usually went.

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In Which We Tie Up a Few Loose Ends

. . . and chase a rabbit trail.

The loose ends:

John Piper explains what his book, Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce (which I reviewed this week), has to do with the movie Amazing Grace, coming out February 23. I haven't seen the movie, and don't know if I'll even be able to, but I suspect the book would be an excellent companion to the movie.

This week I also posted the poem Epitaph to a Hare by William Cowper, who, along with Wilberforce's mentor, John Newton, composed the Olney Hymns. Cowper supported the abolition of slavery, and--See how this is all coming together?--wrote a sonnet to William Wilberforce.
Thy country, Wilberforce, with just disdain,
Hears thee, by cruel men and impious, call'd
Fanatic, for thy zeal to loose th' enthrall'd
From exile, public sale, and slav'ry's chain.
Friend of the poor, the wrong'd, the fetter-gall'd,
Fear not lest labour such as thine be vain!
Thou hast achiev'd a part; hast gain'd the ear
Of Britain's senate to thy glorious cause;
Hope smiles, joy springs, and tho' cold caution pause
And weave delay, the better hour is near,
That shall remunerate thy toils severe
By peace for Afric, fenc'd with British laws.
Enjoy what thou hast won, esteem and love
From all the just on earth, and all the blest above!


And now for the rabbit trail:

If William Cowper were alive today, we'd probably say he suffered from depression. He'd attempted suicide, and as a result was sure his own sin was worse than Judas's betrayal of Christ, and that his guilt was more than God could ever forgive; that is, until "by faith" he saw the "fountain filled with blood" where sinners lose their "guilty stains." Those are phrases, of course, from the hymn for which Cowper is best known, There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood.

However, he continued to suffer bouts of mental illness, and was in a mental institution at least three times during his life, and continued, on and off, to be suicidal. He's proof, I'd say, that God uses people with all sorts of weaknesses to accomplish his purposes.

Here's a poem Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote about Cowper. Notice the mentions of his mental illness and his wild hares. My favorite line is "O Christ­ians, at your cross of hope a hopeless hand was clinging!" That hopeless hand, of course, was Cowper's, still clinging to the cross through his anguish.
COWPER’S GRAVE

It is a place where po­ets crowned may feel the heart’s decaying;
It is a place where happy saints may weep amid their praying;
Yet let the grief and humbleness as low as silence can languish:
Earth surely now may give her calm to whom she gave her anguish.

O po­ets from a maniac’s tongue was poured the deathless singing!
O Christ­ians, at your cross of hope a hopeless hand was clinging!
O men, this man in brotherhood your weary paths beguiling,
Groaned inly while he taught you peace, and died while ye were smiling!

And now, what time ye all may read through dimming tears his story,
How discord on the music fell and darkness on the glory,
And how when, one by one, sweet sounds and wandering lights departed,
He wore no less a loving face because so broken-hearted.

With quiet sadness and no gloom, I learn to think upon him,
With meekness that is gratefulness to God whose Heaven hath won him,
Who suffered once the madness-cloud to His own love to blind him,
But gently led the blind along where breath and bird could find him;

And wrought with­in his shattered brain such quick po­etic senses
As hills have language for, and stars, harmonious influences:
The pulse of dew upon the grass kept his with­in its number,
And silent shadows from the trees refreshed him like a slumber.

Wild timid hares were drawn from woods to share his home-caresses,
Uplooking to his human eyes with sylvan tendernesses,
The very world, by God’s constraining, from falsehood’s ways removing,
Its women and its men be­came, beside him, true and loving.

And though, in blindness, he remained unconscious of that guiding,
And things provided came with­out the sweet sense of providing,
He testified this solemn truth, while phrensy desolated,—
Nor man nor nature satisfied whom on­ly God created.


Learn more:

Audio of historical lectures from Michael Haykin
Text and audio of biographical messages from John Piper

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Friday, February 16

Children's Poetry: Four for Girls

Very important (and rather politically incorrect) update below!

When I was a little girl, I thought girls got a raw deal in this nursery rhyme. I preferred the stuff boys were made of, except for the puppy dog tails, of course. What sort of person would cut the tail off a puppy?
What are Little Girls Made Of?

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.



This next poem got my approval, partly because this little girl wasn't always sugar and spice, but mostly because I had a curl of my own in the middle of my forehead. I still do. It requires pinning or spraying so as not to hang in a spiral down the middle of my face.
There Was a Little Girl

There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of the forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
[Update: Thirsty David gives us stanzas 2 and 3 of this verse in the comments of this post. Can you see why they might be frequently forgotten when this poem is quoted?

I love them, although, if you ask me, the person who cuts off puppy dog tails and the mother who spanks most emphatic for hooraying with one's heels on one's little trundle-bed are two of a kind.]
One day she went upstairs,
When her parents, unawares,
In the kitchen were occupied with meals
And she stood upon her head
In her little trundle-bed,
And then began hooraying with her heels.

Her mother heard the noise,
And she thought it was the boys
A-playing at a combat in the attic;
But when she climbed the stair,
And found Jemima there,
She took and she did spank her most emphatic.

---Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(Admit it. You thought this was just a generic nursery rhyme, too, didn't you?)



As you can probably guess, I rebelled against this one, too. Although eating lots of strawberries sounded tempting, why would anyone want to miss out on feeding the swine?
Curly Locks

Curly Locks, Curly Locks,
Will you be mine?
You shall not wash dishes,
Nor feed the swine,
But sit on a cushion
And sew a fine seam,
And sup upon strawberries,
Sugar, and cream.



And, for good measure, one more poem with a good little girl in it.

Good Night and Good Morning


A fair little girl sat under a tree,
Sewing as long as her eyes could see;
Then smoothed her work, and folded it right,
And said, "Dear work, good night! good night!"

Such a number of rooks came over her head,
Crying, "Caw! Caw!" on their way to bed;
She said, as she watched their curious flight,
"Little black things, good night! good night!"

The horses neighed, and the oxen lowed,
The sheep's "Bleat! bleat!" came over the road;
All seeming to say, with a quiet delight,
"Good little girl, good night! good night!"

She did not say to the sun, "Good night!"
Though she saw him there like a ball of light,
For she knew he had God's time to keep
All over the world, and never could sleep.

The tall pink foxglove bowed his head,
The violets curtsied and went to bed;
And good little Lucy tied up her hair,
And said on her knees her favourite prayer.

And while on her pillow she softly lay,
She knew nothing more till again it was day;
And all things said to the beautiful sun,
"Good morning! good morning! our work is begun!
---Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton

Sort of related: William Meisheid post a Valentine's Day poem for his wife, who once was a little girl.

Here's how you can join in the fun: Post a children's poem on your blog, let me know of it, and I'll link to you. Those who remain blogless, but still wish to participate, may post a poem in the comments of this post.

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Thursday, February 15

Waffling Comments

Haloscan commenting is not working consistently. It may be there for you, and then again, maybe not. It may let you post your comment, or maybe not.

If this page is loading ever so slowly, the hold up is Haloscan.
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How was Christ exalted in his ascension?

Christ was exalted in his ascension, in that having after his resurrection often appeared unto and conversed with his apostles, speaking to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God,[1] and giving them commission to preach the gospel to all nations,[2] forty days after his resurrection, he, in our nature, and as our head,[3] triumphing over enemies,[4] visibly went up into the highest heavens, there to receive gifts for men,[5] to raise up our affections thither,[6] and to prepare a place for us,[7] where himself is, and shall continue till his second coming at the end of the world.[8]
  1. Acts 1:2-3
    . . . until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
  2. Matt. 28:19-20
    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
  3. Heb. 6:20
    . . .where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
  4. Eph. 4:8
    Therefore it says,

    “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”

  5. Acts 1:9-11
    And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

    Eph. 4:10
    He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.

    Psa. 68:18
    You ascended on high,
    leading a host of captives in your train
    and receiving gifts among men,
    even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.
  6. Col. 3:1-2
    If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
  7. John 14:3
    And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
  8. Acts 3:21
    whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
Question 53, Westminster Larger Catechism.

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Wednesday, February 14

Children's Poetry: Sometimes That Old Gray Goose Is Just Dead

The title to this post is a quote from Julana. I'm posting this child's song just for her.
Go Tell Aunt Rhody

Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody
The old gray goose is dead.

The one she's been saving,
The one she's been saving,
The one she's been saving
To make a feather bed.

The goslings are mourning,
The goslings are mourning,
The goslings are mourning,
Because their mother's dead.

The old gander's weeping,
The old gander's weeping,
The old gander's weeping,
Because his wife is dead.

She died in the mill pond,
She died in the mill pond,
She died in the mill pond
From standing on her head.

Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody
The old gray goose is dead.
Here's what Julana has to say about this:
Everyone at my son's school is supposed to couch everything in positive terms all the time. If a child throws trash on the floor, say: "We need to take care of the school. Is throwing litter on the floor taking care of the school?" No negatives allowed.

Sometimes, that old gray goose is just dead--and the goslings cry and gander weeps.

Yep, and sometimes the hare dies, too.
Epitaph on a Hare

Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose footprints ne'er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman's "Hallo,"

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild jack-hare.

Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance every night,
He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.

His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw,
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.

On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,
On pippins' russet peel;
And, when his juicy salads failed,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.

His frisking was at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear;
But most before approaching showers,
Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years and five round-rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out his idle noons,
And every night at play.

I kept him for his humor's sake,
For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,
And force me to a smile.

But now, beneath this walnut-shade
He finds his long, last home,
And waits in snug concealment laid,
Till gentler Puss shall come.

He, still more aged, feels the shocks
From which no care can save,
And, partner once of Tiney's box,
Must soon partake his grave.

---William Cowper, better known as a hymn writer (There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood, God Moves in a Mysterious Way) than a writer of poems about dead rabbits. Puss and Tiney, by the way, were Cowper's pet hares. Tiney lived to the ripe old age of eight, and Puss lived on for four more years until he was twelve.

More children's poetry

Have you posted a poem for children? A poem that your children like? A poem that you liked as a child? Or maybe you are a child, and you've posted a poem that you like! Please send me the link by email or in the comments of this post and I'll link to you in the next Children's Poetry post.

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Tuesday, February 13

Book Review: Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce

by John Piper

William Wilberforce, for those of you who are as clueless as I was when I started reading this book, was the British parliamentarian who spearheaded the campaign to abolish the slave trade, and then slavery itself, in the British Empire. This book is the story of this man who fought persistently, even when he suffered defeat after defeat, for a cause he knew was right.

But this little book (76 pages) isn't so much about the historical facts of Wilberforce's life, although it includes many of them, as it is about the faith (or the religious affections, to use Wilberforce's own quaint language) that made him the force that he was. What changed him from the lackadaisical parliamentarian that he was as a young man first elected to parliament at twenty-one? How did Wilberforce's faith influence the causes he chose to pursue? How did it help him persevere in despite defeat? How did it make him a man about whom it was said, "His joy was quite penetrating?" What was the content of his faith? What set him apart from the Religionists (another of Wilberforce's own words) of his day? These are the questions John Piper is seeking to answer in this book.

When I first saw the size of the book, I was disappointed that it wasn't thicker, since I really love reading a thorough biography; but after finishing, I've decided that it's better as a short book with a narrow focus. For one thing, that makes it accessible to those who don't have the time or inclination to tackle a longer biography. For another, its focus sets it apart from the other biographies of Wilberforce, and there are many. In addition, in a longer and more detailed biography, the lesson of this book—that sound doctrine is necessary in order to persist in fighting for social justice, because good fruit over the long haul comes from a healthy root—might have been lost.

As you can probably guess by now, Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce is a book I recommend. I enjoyed it; I learned from it. What more could I ask from a book? It prodded me to consider some things I hadn't considered previously, and I'm still thinking about the lessons of this book. I kept it tucked in my bag, by the way, to read in those moments waiting for my son during his drum lessons, or waiting for an appointment, or waiting in the long checkout line at Superstore, and it worked really well for making productive use of those moments that might otherwise have been wasted reading a gossip magazine.

Also related to William Wilberforce: February 2007 is the 200 year anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. To mark that event, February 18th has been declared Amazing Grace Sunday in North America.* You can read the details here, and register your church if it is participating.
Two hundred years ago, British politician William Wilberforce and his band of loyal friends took on the most powerful forces of their day to end the slave trade. His mentor was John Newton, the slave-trader-turned-song-writer, who wrote the world’s most popular hymn, Amazing Grace. . . .

Join churches around the globe in singing Amazing Grace and in praying for the end of slavery once and for all.

*Amazing Grace Sunday is not until March 25 in the United Kingdom.

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If My Name Were Kim,

I would organize the first annual Blog Showcase of the Kims, a collection of posts from bloggers named Kim. Just saying.
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Children's Poetry: One More for the Stairs and Two More

  • In the comments on yesterday's kid's poetry selection, Anthony gives us a version of The Man Who Wasn't There that he learned from a friend when he was in high school. How's this for a poem to amuse your kids?
    Yesterday upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn't there.
    He wasn't there again today,
    He must be from the CIA!
  • Kim from The Upward Call posts The Highwayman, a poem she first learned of in grade 7.
  • Kim of Hireath posts one from McGuffey's Primer, a lesson in verse for everyone.
Have you posted a poem for children? A poem that your children like? A poem that you liked as a child? Or maybe you are a child, and you've posted a poem that you like! Please send me the link by email or in the comments of this post and I'll link to you in the next Children's Poetry post.

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Monday, February 12

Children's Poetry: Two For the Stairs

A Man Who Wasn't There

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today
Oh how I wish he'd go away.

---William Hughes Mearns, in Antigonish. There are several versions of this poem, but this is how it was originally penned by Professor Hearns.

Halfway Down

Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn't any
other stair
quite like
it.
i'm not at the bottom,
i'm not at the top;
so this is the stair
where
I always
stop.


Halfway up the stairs
Isn't up
And it isn't down.
It isn't in the nursery,
It isn't in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn't really
Anywhere!
It's somewhere else
Instead!
---A. A. Milne. The Muppet Show version, sung by Robin, was popular at my house when the children were very young. I couldn't find an mp3 file for you, but you can hear it behind this video at YouTube.


And there's more:
  • At joythruChrist, we have a poem about a cat from T. S. Eliot.
  • Candyinsierras remembers liking this one:
    On Jordan's stormy banks I stand,
    and cast a wishful eye
    to Canaan's fair and happy land,
    where my possessions lie.

    Refrain:
    I am bound for the promised land,
    I am bound for the promised land;
    oh, who will come and go with me?
    I am bound for the promised land.
    "I sang this song in sixth grade. . ." she says. "It is amazing that so many years later I remember the words to the first verse and the chorus. I loved our hour long music lessons."
  • Violet post another one of her wonderful children's poems: Mrs. Beasley Packed Her Purse. Now don't tell me that one shouldn't be published! I see it as a whole picture book.

Boy, did I mess up the formatting on this one first time round! Copied and pasted way too much, and then ran off for the rest of the day.

If you're not afraid of my formatting mistakes, go ahead and participate in this month's children's poetry fun. Post a poem for kids on your blog and send me the link, and if you haven't a blog, just post your poem in the comments here. The more, the merrier, as always.

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Sunday, February 11

Sunday's Hymn: Romans 8: 31-39

This is the second in a series of hymns that are paraphrases of this passage or make allusion to it. This one is by Susan H. Peterson, and is sung to O Store Gud, which you would recognize as the tune to How Great Thou Art.

What Shall We Say

What shall we say? If God indeed is for us,
Who then can ever come against our souls?
God did not spare His only Son, our Savior,
But gave Him up that we might be made whole.
How will He not, along with Christ our Lord,
Give us all things by His free grace?
God will indeed, along with Christ our Lord,
Give us all things by His free grace.

Now who will bring a charge against God’s chosen?
God is the One Who justifies each man.
Who can condemn? Christ Jesus died for sinners,
Was raised to life, and sits at God’s right hand.
From there He always intercedes for us;
None can condemn—we’re justified.
He intercedes and brings our case to God;
None can condemn—we’re justified.

Who then shall cleave us from the love of Jesus?
We who face death like sheep within their pen.
Shall trouble, hardship, persecution, hunger?
Shall nakedness or danger or armed men?
No, in all things we’re more than conquerors
Through Him Who loved us to the death.
In all these things, we’re more than conquerors
Through Him Who loved us to the death.

I am convinced there’s naught in all creation
Can come between us and God’s love so vast.
Not death nor life, angels nor demon powers,
Things present now, nor what is yet to pass.
Nothing can separate us from God’s love
That comes to us through Christ our Lord!
Nothing can separate us from God’s love
That comes to us through Christ our Lord!

Other hymns, worship songs, etc. posted today:Have you posted a hymn for Sunday and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by emailing me at the address in the sidebar, and I'll add your post to the list.

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Saturday, February 10

Saturday's Old Photo


With Valentine's Day coming, I'm posting this picture of my husband and me, taken about four months after we started dating. I'm sure by this time I knew that we'd get married, but I wouldn't have admitted it to you. I was only 18, after all, and just starting my first year of Bible school.

He was 23 and ready to settle down. Besides, he'd asked God to send him someone, and the next day I'd started work at the truck stop where he was working. He thought I was cute, then he found out I was a pastor's daughter, and that was all the confirmation he needed. He was wise not to tell me these things until much later because I'd have sent him packing.

As it turns out, I married him because he was a worthy Scrabble opponent. When you meet your match at Scrabble, it would be foolish to let him go.

We played blood Scrabble, no mercy. His talent was using all seven of his letters in one turn on a triple word score. He once did that 3 times in a row and robbed me of a game that was rightfully mine. My strongest suit was making up words, then convincing him they were real words by making up bogus yet plausible sounding definitions.

That last winter we played 22 games and each won 11. That is the winter I learned that sometimes you must let your perfect Scrabble match go.

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Friday, February 9

Our God Who Solves Riddles

Yesterday's riddle, to be precise.

"The LORD, the LORD. . . forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.
Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished. . . . " (Exodus 34:5-7 NIV)

Kim of Hiraeth gives the answer to the riddle in the comments there, and I'm going to copy her answer into this post, along with some comments of mine. Here's how Kim explains the problem in the riddle:
It is a question of how it is that God can forgive wickedness, rebellion and sin and at the same time punish the guilty. This is an apparent contradiction, or antinomy.
Exactly! The passage in Exodus says God pardons or forgives sin, and we know, just from our own legal systems, that if a crime is pardoned, from that point on there is no punishment for it. You might say that a pardon makes it as if the crime never existed, as far as the legal system is concerned. So when it says God pardons or forgives sin, wickedness or rebellion, we must understand that he is not punishing that sinner, that evildoer, or that rebel. They are guilty, but they are not punished.

But wait! The very next bit of text in the riddle contradicts that, doesn't it? It says that "God does not leave the guilty unpunished." How can these statements both be true?

There are hints at the answer throughout the Old Testament, but not the whole answer. Right there in Exodus, where we find the text of our riddle, we have God's instructions for the Passover meal. The Passover lamb—the lamb killed in place of the first born of each family—must not have its legs broken:
It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. (Exodus 12: 46 ESV)
That's a hint. It'd be easy to miss, but if you lived in Old Testament times, and you immersed yourself in the Old Testament scripture, don't you think you'd wonder a bit about why is was that you were not to break any of the bones in your Passover lamb? It's not quite a riddle all on it's own, but it's certainly an enigma. Don't you think you'd wonder what was up with that?

We need to read into the New Testament before we get to what it is that this bit of instruction was hinting at, so those of us who have the whole Bible have a leg up on those who had only the Old Testament scripture. Read John's account of the crucifixion:
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. (John 19: 31 ESV)
This breaking of the crucified person's legs was intended to speed things up. They would die sooner and their body could be removed before the Sabbath.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. (John 19: 33)
The Apostle John, of course, was an eyewitness to these things. He comments on this event:
He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.”
John is referring back, in part, to the Passover instructions. John knew that Christ was the one whom the Passover lamb, with unbroken bones, was foreshadowing. "Christ," the Apostle Paul tells us, "is our Passover lamb." This gives us more, but it remains a little puzzling.*

But thankfully, the Apostle Paul spells the answer out for us so it can't be missed. He spells out the riddle itself, too, in slightly different language, and then gives us the answer, straight up. From Romans 3:
. . . all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Well, there's the problem, and its the same as in Exodus. Everyone's guilty, and God, according to our riddle, does not leave the guilty unpunished.
But they [guilty sinners] are justified . . .
Maybe you don't speak Paul's language, so the word justified is a bit of a mystery to you. For our purposes here, it's enough to say that it involves being forgiven. And there you have it, the riddle of the Old Testament restated:

God, who doesn't leave the guilty unpunished, forgives (or doesn't punish) the guilty.

Doesn't it make you want to say "Whoa there!"? The answer to the riddle, Paul says, is
. . . the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith.
The guilty are justified (forgiven) through faith because of Christ—because of something he did. The translation I'm using in these quotes (the NIV) calls what Christ did redemption, and being a mercy seat. Others use the words atoning sacrifice or propitiation. Whatever it is that those words say that he did, it solves the puzzle.

Christ, and what he did, is the solution to the riddle.

Continuing from Paul:
This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed.
God had passed over previously committed sins. He had, to use the words in our riddle, "left the guilty unpunished." But somehow, Christ's work demonstrated that even though God had "passed over the sins previously committed", he is still righteous; or, using riddle words, he still always punishes the guilty. Same riddle, stated in yet another way, and the solution, as Paul says right before this, is Christ and work.

Continuing on, again:
. . . so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.
Same riddle, same answer. God is just—one who always punished sin—and the justifier—one who forgives sin—because of what Jesus did. Restated in the words of the riddle, we've got this much:

God always punishes sin and yet also forgives sin, because of what Christ did.

But it's still a little foggy, isn't it? Just how does that solve anything? How does it work? If we were to do a close examination of the words Paul uses to describe Christ's work—redemption, propitiation—it would help us out a little. But we can skip right over the word study for now because Paul has given the answer to us in smaller words and explained it more clearly elsewhere. And here's where Kim's answer from the comments on yesterday's post comes in. She not only gives us the solution, she tells us how this answer solves the problem—how both sides of our paradox can be true, in Christ:
The answer to the riddle is that God, in His infinite wisdom made Him Who knew no sin to be made sin for us . . . .
Yep. From the scripture Kim quoted (2 Cointhians 5):
. . . in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against
them . . . .
Or, you might say, in Christ, God was not punishing the guilty. Continuing on:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Or, you might say, in Christ, the sinless One who was made to be sin for our sake, God was punishing the guilty.

There you have it: The key to the puzzle. Christ being made sin, or having our sin counted as his, and being punished for it. Our trespasses are not counted against us, but against him. God punishes the guilty in Christ, so that in Christ, God doesn't punish the guilty.

In Christ, the paradox of the riddle is reconciled in a perfect package. In Christ alone, to the glory of God alone, our riddle—the riddle of the Old Testament—is solved:

"The LORD, the LORD. . . forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.
Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished. . . . "

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin. . . "

Can I tell you a secret? This is why theology makes my heart sing.

*I must give credit to Mark Dever, in The Message of the Old Testament, for this example of the Passover lamb, as well as originally pointing out the riddle itself.

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Children's Poetry: The Children's Hour

Here's one I memorized in fifth grade. I no longer know anything but the first verse by heart. I really liked it way back then, but I find it more than a little sappy now. And what's with all the exclamation points?
Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!
---Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Other children's poetry posted recently:

You can join in this month's fun, too. Just post a poem for children on your blog and send me the link by email or in the comments. Haven't a blog? You can still participate by posting a poem in the comments of this post.

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