Friday, September 16, 2005


Phil Johnson subtitles his blog with Jeremiah 23v29 - Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD...
" "Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!' How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, 'declares the LORD.' Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD." - Jeremiah 23v25-32, ESV
Reading Simon Ponsonby's book MORE, he cites Kirkegaard writing "Christianity is incedniarism; Christianity is fire setting; a Christian is a person set on fire". Ponsonby, student chaplain in Oxford, also helpfully notes that Pentecost prophetically announced the coming of the Spirit to the church, that Spirit comes to all Christians (not just some), and that it demonstrates that Jesus is Lord. We need more of God's Spirit at work in us, we need more of God's word (and on that, what God has joined, let no man separate).

Not fires of terror but the fire of God's Spirit, and the affects of God's Word. Fires that declare that God is with his people, and that Jesus is Lord. How we need God's word to come, to burn among us, to break us down... Man's ideas might be interesting, even fascinating, but what we need is God's word. Mans words tend to massage the ego or produce fake-piety. It is God's word we rebel against, it is God's word that must confront us, correct us and equip us. What we need to be called again and again, plainly and straight-forwardly to the glorious gospel, that Jesus is Lord....the gospel in all its fulness as it is portrayed in all of God's word.