A popular complaint among women is the problem of getting a guy "to commit." Well, sister, you're not the only one. Western culture spent centuries teaching men to commit themselves to one woman for life, and in practice this has meant teaching him to commit to his offspring. It has also meant giving him an important role to play in the protection of those children, and in his provision for them. Roe [v. Wade] wiped that out. It doesn't matter if a man commits or not anymore; our legal system has determined that such commitments are irrelevant. (79)
Reading Doug Wilson's Father Hunger today (Thomas Nelson, 2012). Doug does an excellent job diagnosing our culture's rebellion against God's design for masculinity, and of opening our eyes to the resulting mess:
Though we like calling God "Father," we often have a very shallow picture of what it means to have Him as our Father. We want candy and hugs and kisses and back rubs and bedtime stories from God; and we're surprised when we get sickness, pain, difficult work, bad grades, sin committed against us, consequences for our sin, and strife with the people around us. What's the deal? If God is our Father, shouldn't our lives be pleasant and easy?
As Christians, we should always be examining the fruit of our lives to determine the reality of our faith. Faith without works is indeed dead; so we should look at our thoughts, our actions, and our emotions, and measure them against the Bible's clear descriptions of what the work of the Holy Spirit should look like in our lives.
When we see good fruit, we rejoice at the work of God's Spirit in our lives, and we cheerfully continue to serve Him, producing more and even better fruit day by day.
But what happens when we don't see good fruit?
In another post I recommend a book called Licensed to Kill by Brian Hedges. One reason I recommended it is because it's easy to read. It was released in 2011 and it's an inviting 104 pages. For brave souls who wish to venture into the waters of books that are quite difficult but commensurately rich and helpful, I strongly recommend John Owen's Overcoming Sin & Temptation. It's actually an edited volume of 3 of Owen's works: Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers, Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It, and Indwelling Sin.
I've based the entire outline of our Killing Sin preaching series on Owen's Motification. It's that good. But Owen's writing is dense and requires focused attention. I came across this description of his writing by J. I. Packer, a brilliant Christian theologian in his own right, from his introduction to Owen's Death of Death in the Death of Christ:
In preparation for our new preaching series Killing Sin, I've been rereading a book called Licensed to Kill by Brian Hedges. It is extremely helpful, and very easy to read. You can get it on Amazon, and copies will be available for sale at CNCF when we start our series this Tuesday at 8 PM in Ballantine 304.
Hedges points out the realities of sin we must understand in order to effectively wage war on sin: