The Westminster Confession of Funk

Talking about theology, but keeping it funky

I am a husband and father and pastor of Trinity Covenant Church and teacher as St. Abraham’s Classical Christian Academy in Santa Cruz, CA.

I married my Indian Princess just before Y2K. I am an old fashioned Protestant Christian Humanist who lives where people vacation. I love music, love to surf, coach soccer for a hoard of minions, play the drums, and read actual flesh and blood books. I enjoy theology and literature and history and philosophy (if Sophie is serving beer) and Anglo-Saxon Poetry.

If I could have lunch with any three living people, I would have buffalo ribs with a butter, mushroom, cream sauce, Roxy Ray would be singing with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and I’d be at table with Tom Wolfe, ?uestlove, and Adam Schlesinger (and Brad Bird, because it’s my fantasy, and no one can count in my fantasy).

If I could have dinner with any three dead people (and the TARDIS was there with its universal language translation circuit) I’d have slow smoked dry ribs with the author of Beowulf, Herodotus, Martin Bucer, and Polycarp (see the previous paragraph if you have questions about my ability to count). And Janis Joplin would be singing with Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars backed up by Parliament Funkadelic of course.

My carefully crafted internet persona is also much cooler than my actual person, but I can live with that.

The shape of a blessed life - Psalm 119:3

They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways (Ps. 119:3).

As the psalmist continues (v. 1, v. 2) to explain what a blessed life looks like, the psalmist writes that a blessed person does no iniquity. Being given over to sin is the opposite of a blessing. Sin is death. Sin is the opposite of life. Turning to sin is to turn away from living. One of the central ways that God blesses us is by changing our desires. He turns our hearts away from sin and towards righteousness. When we are under the blessing of God, our desires for sin begin to be undone. God is changing our desires so that we no longer find ourselves slaves to sin, no longer slaves to death. Instead we are slaves to life, slaves to righteousness.

Doing right is in itself a blessing. Doing right is a description of living. Real living. But notice what else it is. Those that are blessed, do not sin. They walk in God’s ways. They follow after God. The opposite of sin is to walk in God’s ways. Those that do not sin are the ones that do the kind of things that God does. They follow after God and imitate him. They do what He would do.

The law is a description of life because it is a description of the living God. The law is the ‘come follow me’ discipleship of the Old Testament. God gives us the law so that we can be like him. He tells us what he is like, He tells us the shape of his life, by giving us the law. That is why the scriptures are called the word of God, and when Jesus comes he is called the Word dwelling among us. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 14).

 The law is a description of Jesus before he comes because the law is a description of the life of God, and Jesus is the full revelation of God. If you want to be like God, then follow the law. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. He is the most alive. He always does what was right. In fact, because he had never sinned, that when he was crucified, he was so alive that he came back from the dead. Death could not hold that much life without bursting at the seams. The grave could not hold someone so full of the delight of living. The strength of the life of Jesus was too much for the grave.

David, prophetically describing the mockers surrounding Jesus while he was being crucified wrote, All they that see me laugh me to scorn: They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: Let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” (Psalm 22:7–8). And as the Chief Priests and scribes and Pharisees mocked the naked and hanging Jesus, one of them shouted out, “He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:43). Jesus delighted in God and called himself the Son of God. And as the Son of God, he walked without sin because he was born of God (1 John 3:9; 5:18). He walked in the way of God because well-loved sons delight in their Father. “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” (John 8:28–29).

So when Jesus was raised from the dead, life was vindicated, living in the way of God was vindicated, and living without sin was vindicated.

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