Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dr. Paul Chinchen at MOC

Men of the Covenant Luncheon

Thursday, April 5th
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
“Men, Mercy, and Missions”
Dr. Paul Chinchen

Last month we were honored to have Dr. Woodie Mason, a member of our own church community, come and encourage us. If you were unable to attend, there are tapes available for you to check out in our library. This April, we are privileged to have as our speaker Dr. Paul Chinchen. Paul and his wife Laura have served as missionaries with African Bible Colleges in Malawi and Uganda for 17 years. In addition to his administrative responsibilities at the college, Paul also oversees the operations of his mission’s four support ministries-the ABC Community Clinic, the ABC Christian Academy, Radio ABC, and the college’s Evangelistic Outreach Program. Paul has also been involved in many community outreach programs at the college in Malawi including local prisons, hospitals, high schools, and surrounding villages. Although the purpose of African Bible College is to train Christian leaders for the evangelical missions and churches in Africa, its unique vision is to train Christian leaders on the African continent, and in the African context thereby offering African church leaders quality Christian education in their own countries. Paul, Laura, and their 5 children are currently on home assignment in Jackson, MS.

Reservations are not required and the cost of lunch is $5.00 If you have any questions, please contact Allison Gatlin in the Discipleship office at 601-973-9128 or


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Missionary Spotlight on Bill and Allen Bradford ~ Trujillo, Peru

Bill and Allen Bradford have been laboring in Peru since February of 1999. As pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America, Bill’s primary responsibilities are mentoring pastoral candidates, teaching in the denominational seminary and serving as assistant editor of publications for the Peru Mission press. Bill and Allen have four children: Mollie (10), William (8), Hannah (5), and Andrew (2).

Bill and Allen have witnessed tremendous growth since they first moved to Peru eight years ago; in their own family (from one child to four), in their mission team (from two full-time families on the field to five), in their churches (various church plants and revitalizations), from no seminary to their 1st graduate.

Bill and Allen work with the Peru Mission Team of American missionaries and Peruvian church leaders working in Northern Peru with the purpose of co-laboring with God’s spirit to build genuine Christian communities which display a spiritual, social, cultural, educational and economic life that is molded, shaped and propelled by the Gospel. The team works within the Iglesia Evangelica Presbiteriana del Peru in the areas of church planting, leadership training, university ministry, translation and publication of Reformed literature, and mercy ministries.

By God’s grace Bill and Allen have seen solid advances in all their churches, both in Trujillo and Cajamarca. New people are visiting the churches, quite a few people are seeking to become members, the pastors are striving to deepen their relationships with their neighbors, the worship services are improving and small group discipleship programs have begun.

In addition, Bill and Allen have been able to take steps forward in the construction of most of their buildings. Please continue to pray for Pastors Ricardo, Eduardo and Guillermo, as well as for their new student intern, Percy Padilla.

The seminary has completed another year. One exciting development is that two of their pastors are nearing the completion of their work and are due to be ordained in a few months.

Bill and Allen praise the Lord for what He is doing among His humble servants in Peru. They ask for your prayers as they seek to serve the Lord in Peru that His church may grow and shine forth His glory.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Images of Divine Things (4)

Cindy Mercer Photography

This is the final installment
of quotations from Jonathan Edwards' Typological Writings.

Have a great spring break everyone!

66. Hills and mountains, as they represent heaven, so they represent eminence in general, or any excellent and high attainment. And as hills, especially high mountains, are not ascended without difficulty and labor, and many rocks and steep places are in the way, so men don’t attain to anything eminent or of peculiar excellence without difficulty.

74. Lightning more commonly strikes high things such as high towers, spires and pinnacles, and high trees, and is observed to be more terrible in mountainous places; which may signify that heaven is an enemy to all proud persons, and that especially makes such the marks of his vengeance.

97. The beams of the sun can’t be scattered, nor the constant stream of their light in the least interrupted or disturbed, by the most violent winds here below; which is a lively image of what is true concerning heavenly light, communicated from Christ, the Sun of Righteousness to the soul. ‘Tis not in the power of the storms and changes of the world to destroy that light and comfort; yea, death itself can have no hold of it. The reasons why the sun’s light is not disturbed by winds is two-fold: first, the light is of so pure and subtle a nature that that which is so gross as the wind can have no hold of it; and second, the sun, the luminary, is far above, out of the reach of winds. These things are lively images of what is spiritual.

123. The glory of the face of the earth is the grass and green leaves and flowers. These fade away; they last but a little while and then are gone. After the spring and summer, a winter comes that wholly defaces and destroys all; and that which is most taking and pleasant of [all], and as it were the crown of its glory, viz. the flower of the trees and the field, fades soonest. The glory of the heavens consists in its brightness, its shining lights, which continue the same through winter and summer, age after age. This represents the great difference between earthly glory, riches and pleasures, which fade as the leaf and as the grass of the field, and the glory and happiness of heaven which fadeth not away, which is agreeable to many representations in the Scriptures.

128. As the SUN is an image of Christ upon account of its pleasant light and benign, refreshing, life-giving influences, so it is on account of its extraordinary fierce heat, it being a fire of vastly greater fierceness than any other in the visible world. Hereby is represented the wrath of the Lamb. This is a very great argument of the extremity of the misery of the wicked, for doubtless the substance will be vastly beyond the shadow. As God’s brightness and glory is so much beyond the brightness of the sun, his image, thus the sun is but a shade and darkness in comparison of it, so his fierceness and wrath is vastly beyond the sun’s heat.

136. The destruction of the face of the earth in winter is a type of the end of the world, as is evident by the appointment of the Feast of Tabernacles, which was at the end of the year, just before the tempestuous season began. See notes on the Feast of Tabernacles.

151. As one ascends a mountain, they get further and further from this lower world, and the objects of it look less and less to him. So it is in one that ascends in the way to heaven. Commonly near the foot of an high mountain is a deep valley, which must be descended in order to come to the mountain. So we must first descend low by humiliation to fit us for spiritual exaltation.

152. The changes that pass on the face of the earth by the gradual approach of the sun is a remarkable type of what will come to pass in the visible church of God and world of mankind, in the approach of the church’s latter-day glory. The latter will be gradual, as the former is. The light and warmth of the sun in the former is often interrupted by returns of clouds and cold, and the fruits of the earth kept back from a too-sudden growth, and a too-quick transition from their dead state in winter to their summer’s glory, which in the end would be hurtful to them and would kill them. So it is in the spiritual world. If there should be such warm weather constantly without interruption, as we have sometimes in February, March and April, the fruits of the earth would flourish mightily for a little while, but would not be prepared for the summer’s heat, but that would kill ‘em. This is typical of what is true concerning the church of God, and particular souls. The earth being stripped of its white winter garments, in which all looked clean but all was dead, and the making of it so dirty, as it is early in the spring, in order to fit it for more beautiful clothing in a living state in summer, is also typical of what passes in the spiritual change of the world, and also, a particular soul. The surface of the earth is as it were dissolved in the spring. The ground is loosened and broke up, and softened with moisture, and its filthiness never so much appears as then; and then is the most windy turbulent season of all.

156. The Book of Scripture is the interpreter of the book of nature in two ways: viz. by declaring to us those spiritual mysteries that are indeed signified or typified in the constitution of the natural world; and secondly, in actually making application of the signs and types in the book of nature as representations of those spiritual mysteries in many instances.

183. The spiritual restoration of the world is compared to the renewing of the face of the earth in the spring.

All quotations are taken from Typological Writings, Vol. 11 of the Works of Jonathan Edwards, edited by Wallace E. Anderson, Mason I. Lowance, Jr., and David Watters (New Haven: Yale, 1993).


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Images of Divine Things (3)

Cindy Mercer Photography

The following quotations are from Typological Writings, Vol. 11 of the Works of Jonathan Edwards, edited by Wallace E. Anderson, Mason I. Lowance, Jr., and David Watters (New Haven: Yale, 1993).

3. Roses grow upon briers, which is to signify that all temporal sweets are mix with bitter. But what seems more especially to be meant by it, is that true happiness, the crown of glory, is to be come at in no other way than by bearing Christ’s cross by a life of mortification, self-denial and labor, is the last thing that comes out. The brier prickly bush grows before, but the end and crown of all is the beautiful and fragrant rose.

11. The serpent’s charming of birds and other animals into their mouths, and the spider’s taking of the fly in his snare, are lively representations of the devil’s catching our souls by his temptations.

14. The sun’s so perpetually, for so many ages, sending forth his rays in such vast profusion, without any dimunition of his light and heat, is a bright image of the all-sufficiency and everlastingness of God’s bounty and goodness.

15. And so likewise are rivers which are ever-flowing, that empty vast quantities of water every day and yet there is never the less to come. The Spirit communicated and shed abroad, that is to say, the goodness of God, is in Scripture compared to a river; and the trees that grow and flourish by the river’s side through the benefit of the water, represent the saints who live upon Christ and flourish through the influences of his Spirit.

21. The purity, beauty, sublimity and glory of the visible heaves as one view it in a calm and temperate air, when one is made more sensible of the height of them and of the beauty of their color, when there are here and [there] interposed little clouds, livelily denotes the exaltedness and purity of the blessedness of the heavenly inhabitants. How different is the idea from that which we have in the consideration of the dark and dire caverns and abyss down in the depths of the earth. This teaches us the vast difference between the state of the departed saints and of damned souls: it shows the ineffable glory of the happiness of the one and the unspeakable dolefulness and horrors of the state of the other.

54. As the sun, by rising out of darkness and from under the earth, raises the whole world with him, raises mankind out of their beds, and by his light as it were renews all things and fetches ‘em up out of darkness, so Christ, rising from the grave and from a state of death, he, as the first begotten from the dead, raises all his church with him; Christ the first fruits, and afterwards they that are Christ’s at his coming. And as all the world is enlightened and brought out of darkness by the rising of the sun, so by Christ’s rising we are begotten again to a living hope; and all our happiness and life and light and glory and the restitution of all things is from Christ rising from the dead, and is by his resurrection.

64. Hills and mountains are types of heaven, and often made use of as such in Scripture. These are difficulty ascended. To ascend them, one must go against the natural tendency of the flesh that must be contradicted in all the ascent, in every step of it, and the ascent is attended with labor, sweat and weariness, and there are commonly many hideous rocks in the way. ‘Tis a great deal easier descending into valleys.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Images of Divine Things (2)

Cindy Mercer Photography

Last week, I began posting quotations from Jonathan Edwards’ typological writings. I mentioned that the coming of spring is a good time to see the world through Edwards' eyes. Notice in number 203, from “Images of Divine Things,” Edwards’ intriguing comments on the use of language, the nature of poetry, and the enjoyment of the arts.

The following quotations are from Typological Writings, Vol. 11 of the Works of Jonathan Edwards, edited by Wallace E. Anderson, Mason I. Lowance, Jr., and David Watters (New Haven: Yale, 1993).

203. EXTERNAL THINGS are intended to be IMAGES of things spiritual, moral and divine. Now it has been often observed that such is the analogy between sensible and moral objects, that there is none of the latter sort that may not be clothed with a sensible form or image, and represented to us as it were in the material shape and hue. So true is [this], that not only are wit and poetry owned to take place only in consequence of this analogy or resemblance of moral and natural ideas; but even all language is confessed to be originally taken from sensible objects, or their properties and effects.

Words cannot express any moral objects, but by exciting pictures of them in our minds. But all words being originally expressive of sensible qualities, no words can express moral ideas, but so far as there is such an analogy betwixt the natural and moral world, that objects in the latter may be shadowed forth, pictured or imaged to us by some resemblances to them in the former…And so far as language can go in communicating sentiments, so far we have an indisputable proof of analogy between the sensible and the moral world; and consequently of wonderful wisdom and goodness, in adjusting sensible and moral relations and connections one to another; the sensible world to our minds, and reciprocally the connections of things relative to our moral powers to the connection of things that constitute the sensible world. It is this analogy that makes the beauty, propriety, and force of words, expressive of moral ideas, by conveying pictures of them into the mind.

All the phrases among the ancients, used to signify the beauty, harmony and consistency of virtuous manners, are taken from the beauty of sensible forms in nature, or in the arts which imitate nature, music, painting, etc…So that here we have a clear proof of that analogy between the moral world or moral effects, and the natural world or sensible effects, without which language could not be a moral paintress, or pain moral sentiments, and affections and their effects (ibid., pp. 145-46).

And the same author, in his second volume entitled Christian Philosophy, pp. 178-179, says: “There is a much more exact correspondence and analogy between the natural and moral world than superficial observers are apt to imagine or take notice of.” Again, ibid, pp. 180-81,

No one can be acquainted with nature, or indeed with the imitative arts, with poetry in particular, without perceiving and admiring the correspondence between the sensible and moral world, from which arises such a beautiful rich source of imagery in poetry, and without which there could be no such thing.