Category Archives: growing

The Bruised Reed, chapter 1

Tim Challies is starting another round of his book club ‘Reading Classics Together‘. The book he’s chosen next is the Bruised Reed, by Richard Sibbes. I’ve never joined in before, but I’m on a bit of a Puritan drive at the moment, and the chapters seem pretty short, so I thought I’d give this one a crack.

The Bruised Reed, published by the Banner of Truth

The book starts off by discussing Christ’s ministry to the ‘bruised reeds’ of Isaiah 42:

Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.

According to Sibbes, a bruised reed is “a man that for the most part is in some misery, as those were that came to Christ for help, and by misery he is brought to see sin as the cause of it, for, whatever pretences sin makes, they come to an end when we are bruised and broken.”

Sibbes emphasises that this bruising is a grace that causes us to know ourselves truely, and to set “a high price on Christ”.

What I particularly liked about this chapter was the way he applies the doctrine that bruising is a gracious act of God:

Hence we learn that we must not pass too harsh judgment upon ourselves or others when God exercises us with bruising upon bruising. There must be a conformity to our head, Christ, who `was bruised for us’ (Isa. 53:5) that we may know how much we are bound unto him.

I’d be interested to know what others think of this quote. If I’ve understood him correctly, Sibbes is saying that we shouldn’t judge our own or others’ brokenness through sin, because in a way this identifies us with Christ’s suffering for sin. I don’t want to push it too far but I think this will definately change the way I think about someone who’s going through a hard time struggling with something. This is God bruising them, so that they be bound more closely to the one who was ‘pierced for our transgressions.’

If you can’t get hold of a paper copy, you can read the Bruised Reed online. Let me know what you think!


Notes from the 2009 Evangelical Ministry Assembly

Dan Green has helpfully put up all his notes from the sessions at the Proclamation Trust’s Evangelical Ministry Assembly last week.

I really enjoyed all the talks, so if you can’t wait for the mp3s (which I think they are planning to charge for), I’d encourage you to check them out. Brief thoughts on each speaker from me:

  • Don Carson was brilliant at packing lots and lots of snapshot thoughts about Biblically-grounded prayer from across the whole Bible into three talks.
  • David Jackman produced some model expositions that really paid attention to the literary techniques in the psalms, and hit home in his understated way.
  • Richard Coekin was passionate and clear with his two talks from Jonah on ‘God the Evangelist’. Good examples of some Christ-centred preaching from the OT too, with his application of the sign of Jonah from Matthew.
  • John Dickson was massively engaging and had some very interesting thoughts on evangelism that slightly contrasted with most of the stuff I hear.

You can read Dan’s notes here:

Here are the links to all my notes from this year’s Evangelical Ministry Assembly that took place last week.

David Jackman – Preaching and praying from the Psalms

1) Psalm 44

2) Psalm 86

3) Psalm 108

Don Carson – Prayer and Mission

1) Prayer changes things or does it?

2) Five prayer polarities

3) Improving our praying

Richard Coekin – Engaged in God’s mission

1) Preaching from Jonah (1)

2) Preaching from Jonah (2)

John Dickson – Strategy for Mission

1) Three dimensions of promoting the gospel

2) Three dimensions of proclaiming the gospel

Vaughan Roberts – Annual EMA Address

Strategic thinking for strategic times

I never did find out what the wind turbines were for

I never did find out what the wind turbines were for

Hop little frog

If you’re wondering why it’s quiet here, it’s because I’ve been stung into silence by this quote from a book called A little exercise for young theologians:

During the period when the voice is changing we do not sing.

More here:
Jesus Creed

And David Field has picked it up too.

What do you think? Should ‘young theologians’ blog?

frogspawn developing