Thursday, 30 April 2009

A Blog is Named

As I discovered 6 months ago childbirth (for a man) is easy. But naming the new baby can be tough. In the providence of God, my first 100 or so attempts at Blog Titles had already been taken. Eventually, I settled upon “that which thundered”.

I’m now rather pleased with my blog title.

As you can see from the Blog's subtitle, it comes from a Spurgeon quote:

"John Knox's gospel is my gospel, that which thundered through Scotland must thunder.. again"

I confess I’ve “Purpose-Driven-ified” the quote a bit (ie lifted the line from its context and used “…” to subtly change the meaning ever so slightly. In my defense I’ve not used the Message ‘translation’ of Spurgeon’s sermon. Nevertheless I ask your forgiveness and post the wider context below...

Firstly though a few words about why I like “that which thundered” as a title:

1- I love the Gospel.
2- I love Scotland.
3- I am profoundly concerned about modern evangelicalism in Scotland.

The Gospel no longer thunders through Scotland. We whisper it, we are happy to use (some of) it to entice, but never to confront. We are happy to converse, but never to proclaim. We confuse uncertainty with humility. Evangelicalism is, in general, ashamed of the Gospel and afraid of the world.

In the early Church, The Gospel thundered, lives were changed, and God was glorified.

I would love to see Knox’s Gospel thunder through Scotland again.

Here's the Spurgeon excerpt, from a sermon preached 151 years ago. How we need to hear and heed these words:

“…And men that stand up to preach as those men did, with honest tongues, and know not how to use polished courtly phrases, are as much condemned now as those men were in their time; because, say they, the world is marching on, and the gospel must march on too. No, sirs, the old gospel is the same; not one of her stakes must be removed, not one of her cords must be loosened. "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." Theology hath nothing new in it except that which is false. The preaching of Paul must be the preaching of the minister to-day. There is no advancement here. We may advance in our knowledge of it; but it stands the same, for this good reason, that it is perfect, and perfection can not be any better. The old truth that Calvin preached, that Chrysostom preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be a liar to my conscience and my God. I can not shape the truth. I know of no such thing as the paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again. The great mass of our ministers are sound enough in the faith, but not sound enough in the way they preach it. Election is not mentioned once in the year in many a pulpit; final perseverance is kept back; the great things of God's law are forgotten, and a kind of mongrel mixture of Arminianism and Calvinism is the delight of the present age. And hence the Lord hath forsaken many of his tabernacles and left the house of his covenant; and he will leave it till again the trumpet gives a certain sound. For wherever there is not the old gospel we shall find "Ichabod" written upon the church walls ere long. The old truth of the Covenanters, the old truth of the Puritans, the old truth of the Apostles, is the only truth that will stand the test of time, and never need to be altered to suit a wicked and ungodly generation.”

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