Sunday, March 16, 2008

But Because He Was Forgiven

But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, 'I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,' we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you (II Cor 4:13-14).

Our apologies to both of the readers of The Prostrate Calvinist, as our regular posting schedule has been interrupted by some recent periodontal surgery which has left me, shall we say... a little down in the mouth.

However, this forced slow-down has also afforded me the time to read D.A. Carson's newest volume, a moving biography of his father, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor. While there's much to commend in this book (including how the humility of his father gave us A Call to Spiritual Reformation, one of Carson's most celebrated volumes), the central melody is a transparent telling of how a very typical pastor persisted amidst discouragement, and even depression, in a rather unsung ministry.
When he died, there were no crowds outside the hospital, no editorial comments in the papers, no announcements on television, no mention in Parliament, no attention paide by the nation. In his hospital room there was no one by his bedside. There was only the quiet hiss of oxygen, vainly venting because he had stopped breathing and would never need it again.

But on the other side all the trumpets sounded. Dad won entrance to the only throne room that matters, not because he was a good man or a great man - he was, after all, a most ordinary pastor - but because he was a forgiven man. And he heard the voice of him whom he longed to hear saying, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Lord.'

- Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, p. 148.
It was the certain, and amazingly simple, faith in the risen Savior that transformed a regular guy into a mighty servant of Christ. It is always faith in the risen Savior that compels the most ordinary, the most normal, and the most fearful of men to live - despite all appearances - the most extraordinary of lives.

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