Part of me wanted to write as the title: ‘want to know Christ more? Read the Puritans.’ It’s equally sound advice and this entire post is courtesy of the two Puritans: Richard Sibbes and John Owen and their respective books: The Love of Christ and Communion with God. If you want a love feast, if you want a rich meal of teaching on Christ’s love, if you in any way want to grasp the height, width, length and breath of Christ’s love then please, read their books.
What struck me as I read them was that when dealing with Christ and his love for believers then they both instinctively turned to The Songs of Solomon. Many of you will know this Bible book as the one about marriage, and it is, but to understand it as being about a human marriage is only a tiny, insignificant part of its full richness. Primarily, as with all Scripture, Songs of Solomon is about the marriage between Christ and his bride: the church. Using language overflowing with romantic imagery it conveys a glimpse into the deep depths of the love of Jesus Christ. As such it is medicine for any soul, soul food of the best type, and if you are troubled, weary and sorrowful then you can do no better than feasting yourselves on this book.
_ Human Rights stem directly from Christian thought – it is easy to explain why every human being has certain rights if we hold that every human being is made in God’s image. Secular attempts to justify human rights have a much harder time. But this post isn’t about human rights in the normal way we understand it to mean: the rights of a man in relation to other men. Instead, this post is about the rights of men before God and the fact that we have none.
As facts go this one in particular we hate and the extent to which we hate it is reflected by the extent to which we fail to grasp the nature of God and the nature of man. At heart, we all like to think that God is pretty equal to us and that we can relate to him much as though it were a relationship of equals. To be told that we don’t have a single right before God, even to life, goes against our grain and usually diminishes our view of God. ‘Well,’ we huff ‘If God does not value my rights as a human being then he obviously isn’t a very good God and I’m not going to value him.’