29.Oxford Bible Atlas by Adrian Curtis
28.An Introduction to the New Testament by Raymond E. Brown
27.Old Testament Survery by LaSor, Hubbard, and Bush
26.Introduction to the Reformed Tradition by John H. Leith
25.Contextualization in the New Testament by Dean Flemming
24.The World That Shaped the New Testament by Calvin Roetzel
23.The Making of the New Testament by Arthur G. Patzia
22.Symphonic Theology by Vern S. Poythress
21.Living the Resurrection by Eugene Peterson
20.Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris
19.Orthodoxy and Heresy by Joel R. Parkinson
18.The Canon of the New Testament by Bruce Metzger
17.Fusion by Nelson Searcy
16.Barth for Armchair Theologians by John R. Franke
15.New Testament Greek for Beginners by J. Gresham Machen
14.Christianity's Dangerous Idea by Alister McGrath
13.The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century by Roland Bainton
12.Calvin and the Calvinist by Paul Helm
11.The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark Noll
10.Natural Theology by Emil Brunner and Karl Barth
9.Westminster Confession of Faith
8.Called to Ministry by Edmund P. Clowney
7.The Religious Life of Theological Students by B.B. Warfield
6.The Lost Soul of American Protestantism by D.G. Hart
5.Pierced by the Word by John Piper
4.A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne
3.Counseling Children and Adolescents by Ann Vernon
2.Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Bruce A. Ware
1.The Crucifixion of Ministry by Andrew Purves
If you're like me I imagine that you first began learning your ABC's by singing. I am always amazed at how fast my girls can learn things that we sing together. Recently, I began singing the Greek alphabet with Alora ("Alpha, Beta, Delta..."). We probably sang it together three or four times. A few days later I heard Alora singing through the Greek alphabet on her own. Although she missed a few letters, she remembered most of them.
On a slightly different note, it is interesting how we associate certain songs or tunes with events. For example, everytime I hear the hymn "Majesty" I think about playing the saxophone in the Chiquola Baptist Church orchestra with my old friend Malcolm. (And, yes, I played the saxophone for a number of years.)
Can any of you think of memories or events that you associate with music?
Well, we began our trip with prayer, which is certainly the best way to begin any activity. Next, I put food and drink into the equation. I knew that caffeine was going to be an essential ingredient, so I started things off with a can of Pepsi. Along with the Pepsi I ate some left-over country ham. About thirty minutes later the saltiness of the ham had to be overcome by another drink: a peppermint double chocolate Starbucks frappacino! I followed this with Chex snack mix and candy. Well, once all of these foods and drinks hit my stomach, I realized that I had made a perfect receipe for a stomach ache.
By 2:30 in the morning I knew that I wasn't going to make it without some sleep, so I pulled over at a rest area and slept until 3:30. After my nap, I had enough energy to finish the trip. We finally arrived at 10am.
Next time, I've decided to lay off all the junk food.
First, Advent is marked by reflection as we look back upon the progress of redemption. We are encouraged to remember the promise of a righteous “seed” that was given in the garden of Eden after Adam sinned (Genesis 3:15). We remember the covenant made with Abraham in which he was given a promise of an innumerable offspring. We look back to the exodus of God’s people from slavery out of Egypt. We remember Israel’s desire for a King who would reign with righteousness and strength to deliver and sustain His people. We read the prophecies of Isaiah, foretelling the Messiah who would bring peace and justice. And at last, we are able to reflect upon the Messiah—Jesus—who came and dwelt among us. As we reflect upon and celebrate his incarnation, we get to share in the rejoicing of those that saw Him arrive. We share in the joy of the world, the glory of the angels’ message, and the wonder of the shepherds as they heard the good news.
Second, Advent reminds us that our faith is founded on not only what Jesus did in the past, but also what He will do in the future. As Christians, we should forward to Christ’s second coming when we will see our King coming in glory and power. We will finally be able to see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13) and our salvation will be complete! Yet, His second coming will also bring judgment on the world that has rejected Him. So our celebration is mixed with sobriety. Those of us who bear the name of “Christian” should not only praise God
for our salvation, but we must also be His witnesses and pray for a world that has yet to embrace Him.
Old Testament Theology by Bruce Waltke
Salvation Belongs to Our God by Christopher J.H. Wright
The God of Promise and the Life of Faith by Scott J. Hafemann
Alora: My eyes are blue. Do you think that they'll change to normal?
Amy: What do you mean?
Alora: I don't want to be normal. I like my blue eyes.
Amy: We like your blue eyes too. I think that your eyes will always be blue.
So, everyone with blue eyes please take note: you're abnormal.
It's certainly been a while since I've been able to "rough it up" with a bunch of guys, so I had forgotten how much fun it could be. When my girls want to play with me, it usually involves dolls, hair, stuff animals and other girly games. Of course, I love doing those type of activities with my girls, but it was a nice change of pace to lay the smack down on some youth guys!
If anyone is looking for a great study Bible, may I suggest the new ESV Study Bible? While at the Desiring God conference, they gave each of us samples ( of the gospel of Luke), and it really is a great resource. Not only do you get a wonderful translation (the ESV is my favorite), but you also get top-notch conservative scholarship in the study notes. Be sure to order it here, because they have the best book prices and shipping rates.
I also preached today, but the audio isn't available yet. I'll put up a link when it's available.
As I think back over my childhood, I am so thankful that my parents loved God and desired for me to have a passion for Him and His Word. By God's grace, that passion took root in my heart at a very early age, and I am amazed that I am His child.
We believe that you will walk away from this conference better understanding why it is that vertical adoption is the highest blessing of the gospel, rejoicing afresh in God’s grace to you in the gospel, and joyfully motivated to act on James 1:27, both locally and globally.The conference will take place on November 1, 2008 in Greenville, SC at Southside Fellowship. You can find out more information here.
If the topic of adoption interest you, be sure to check out Joel Beeke's book Heir's with Christ: The Puritans on Adoption. You can read the table of contents, forward, and chapter one here.
In a culture where self-reliance, self-worth, self-esteem, and self-fulfillment are considered to be the most desirable personal characteristics, membership in a local church, where mutual submission, accountability, and inter-dependence are the way of life, seems foreign and even counter-productive.Although participation in church life may seem foreign to us, we have been called to live with and for one another, all to the glory of God. (Jim's article clearly makes this point.) Consider some of the following responsibilities that we have toward one another:
3. Live in harmony with one another – Romans 12:16
4. Instruct one another – Romans 15:14
5. Care for one another – 1 Corinthians 12:25
6. Comfort one another – 2 Corinthians 13:11
7. Serve one another – Galatians 5:13
8. Be kind to one another – Ephesians 4:32
9. Forgive one another – Ephesians 4:32
10. Address one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs – Ephesians 5:19
11. Submit to one another – Ephesians 5:21
12. Be truthful to one another – Colossians 3:9
13. Teach and Admonish one another – Colossians 3:16
14. Encourage one another – 1 Thessalonians 4:18
15. Build up one another – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
16. Do good to one another – 1 Thessalonians 5:15
17. Exhort one another – Hebrews 3:13
18. Consider how to stir up one another – Hebrews 10:24
19. Confess sins to one another – James 5:16
20. Pray for one another – James 5:16
21. Show hospitality to one another – 1 Peter 4:9
So what is the "new normal" for us? We'll a number of things will remain the same. I'm still ministering at Redeemer and working toward an M.Div. at Erskine. Yet, with the addition of Ann-Marie a new dimension has been added. We are now a family of five, with the girls in a permanent majority! (A four-to-one ratio to be exact.) Although we have been parents for over three years, as a new child enters into the mix (and the others grow older) the dynamics of family life shift. While there will certainly be challenges, the first word that comes to my mind is "blessing." My wife and daughters are a blessing in my life. I couldn't imagine life without them. In my opinion, the "new normal" is a beautiful thing indeed!
That's all I have time to say right now but I'll give another update (with pictures!) within the next few days.
A few months ago Amy and I made our first trip to Thai Spice. Although we had heard a number of people talk about how great the food was, we didn't venture to Thai Spice until we were given a $50 gift certificate. Honestly, I was a bit surprised when I walked inside. What had once been a fast food type of setting had now been transformed into something much nicer. New tile, fresh paint, and lovely paintings helped to change the atmosphere. Yet, we were not only impressed by the improved surroundings but also by the food and service. The spring rolls, Pad Thai, and the sauteed broccoli and chicken were all very delicious. The vegetables were fresh and the meats were tender. For drink, Amy had sweet tea and I enjoyed the Thai tea. This drink is a blend of a special tea and cream. It's very sweet and unusual. The tea reminded me of yerba mate.
Since our first night at Thai Spice, Amy and I have enjoyed eating there on numerous occasions. If you haven't been to Thai Spice, I'd encourage you to go for lunch or dinner. I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you don't know what to order I recommend the following: Spring rolls or Crab Ragoon for appetizer; Beef Salad or Pad Thai for the main course; and Thai tea if you don't mind trying something a little different. (They also have a few unique imported beers, plum wine, and the usual drink fare.)
I believe Thai Spice has been around for about a year and it seems to be fairing well in the "cursed building." Maybe Thai Spice has finally broken the curse.
On this past Lord's Day Patrick Miller,Pastor at Redeemer Church (PCA), delivered a sermon that clearly reveals that there is no conflict between Calvinism and evangelism. Please carve out an hour of your day to listen to this sermon. I believe you will be both challenged and encouraged from God's Word. (And please don't be mistaken...the point of the sermon was not to debate over the points of Calvinism...I don't even think he mentions Calvinism!) Rather, Patrick reminds us that we will all come before the Great White Throne of Judgment. And in that Day, let what was said of Abraham also be said of you and I: "And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness" (Genesis 15:6, ESV). Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness! Listen to Sovereign: Before the Throne.
I came home late yesterday afternoon in order to finish preparing for a youth event that was planned for the evening. While I was upstairs I heard Alora start crying. But this wasn't a normal cry; rather, it was the type of cry that lets you know that something is really wrong. Before I could make it down stairs Amy let me know that Alora has hit her head on the side of the bed. After seeing Alora's head it was clear that she was going to need stiches. After making a call to Dr. Dale, we made our way to his office.
Yet, while on our way to the doctor, our van ran out of gas. Amy and I both responded with lots of laughter. Thankfully I was able to coast the van into the parking lot of a gas station. After Amy got into the drivers seat I pushed the van to the gas pump. (Just in case you're wondering why we ran out of gas, the gas indicator is broken. And yes, pushing a van isn't very easy when you have to do it by yourself.)
When we finally made it to Dr. Dale's, everything went pretty smoothly. Thirty minutes and four stiches later we made our way home in just enought time to cook pizza before the youth arrived.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:28-31, NIV)
In the near future a number of changes will be taking place in my life: Amy's going to the hospital on Friday to be induced with our third daughter, unless of course the baby comes sooner; I'll have a full-time work load at seminary beginning in Septemeber; and as always, I'll have plenty of ministry work at Redeemer. (And these are just the things that I think may happen. God often has other purposes and plans for us.) Maybe today is like the calm before the storm. Yet, no matter what the Lord brings into my life I can rest in knowing that He is in control. In my life, the knowledge of God's sovereignty has been the greatest comfort for me. This is to say, an affirmation of God's sovereign and providential workings is much more than an abstract theological committment: it is also a constant source of hope. Isn't it wonderful to know that our Triune God works all things for our good according to his purpose, to praise of His name?
But there were no buildings. There was no choir. There was nothing to attract them from an external point of view. There was just the blandness of the apostles and other men and women talking about Jesus. That’s all there was. There was no movie, there were no books, there were no pamphlets or tracts; there were no radio stations. As far as we know, there weren’t any greatAlthough all of our modern communications can be used to the glory of God, we must never forget this truth: As God's people--those called to bear witness in the world--we must remember that our formulas, methods, or mediums are not what will compel the world to turn to our Triune God. Our primary task is to equip our hearts, minds, and lips with the message of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and reign.
preachers, although Peter seems now to be turning into a great preacher. It’s all of God, you see. It’s all of God. This is the Lord’s doing. There are no formulas here; there is no methodology of evangelism that you can discern. They’re engaging in witnessing to Jesus, to His life and death and resurrection, and exaltation to the right hand of God. It’s all about Jesus Christ, and they’re talking about Him! And men and women are being drawn to Him!
(If you'd like to read or listen to all of Dr. Thomas' sermon, Prison Break, go here.)
Machen, Murray, Stonehouse, Van Til...Bavinck, Vos, Ridderbos—now the library that launched Westminster Theological Seminary can become your own. The books written by Westminster's faculty—and the books they read—helped put Westminster in the forefront of the defense of the orthodox Christian faith.
Over the next several months we offer you a unique opportunity to make those same books a part of your personal library. Each book in the Westminster Classic of the Month series will be offered at a substantial discount for one full month. To inaugurate this series, we present The Infallible Word (below), a symposium by Westminster's founding faculty, at 50% off until August 15.
Have you ever noticed that when Jesus comes into a conversation, hardly anyone wants to say anything negative about Him? When was the last time that you’ve heard someone say something like “Yeah, I hate Jesus.” I do not doubt that there are some people who may feel this way, but in general, most people want to at least talk about Jesus in a positive light. Yet, in order to speak positively about Jesus, people often mold Jesus into an image that is more palatable. Some try to paint a picture in which Jesus emerges as nothing more than a highly-skilled teacher—a good, moral guide. Others describe Him as a wandering poet or a would-be political revolutionary figure. Yet, a very different Jesus is found in the gospel accounts.
In Luke 5:17-26 a story is recounted of a paralyzed man who is brought by his friends to see Jesus. According to Luke, Jesus responds like this:
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven" (v.20, NIV)Jesus' statement quickly puts the religious leaders on edge. They found Jesus’ words to be scandalous:
"Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (v.21, NIV)The religious leaders realized exactly what Jesus' words implied: By claiming to be able to forgive sins, Jesus thereby claimed to be God! Jesus certainly saw Himself as much more than a great teacher, and He wanted others to see that He was more than a man: He was the God-Man...fully God and fully Man! (What a great and glorious mystery!) Luke tells us that Jesus responds to the religious leaders with a few questions of his own:
"Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?” (vs.22,23, NIV)Yet, Jesus doesn't just speak bold words to them. He follows His words with a confirming action:
"But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God (vs.24,25, NIV).As much as people may want to speak nicely about Jesus as a good teacher or some other image, we must each be willing to take Him on His terms, not ours. Maybe if we see Him as He truly is, then we will be able to respond to Him as we should: with awe and wonder.
Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today (v.26, NIV)
Leviticus 13 gives a detailed account of what the priest had to do in order to determine if a person had infectious skin disease. Once it was determined that a person had such a disease, that person became "unclean" and was then an outcast from the community:
The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, 'Unclean! Unclean!' As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp (v.45,46, NIV).In his gospel account Luke records Jesus' interaction with a man with leprosy. Upon seeing Jesus, the man cries out for Him to make him clean. In response to the man's plea, Jesus does something quite surprising: "he reached out his hand and touched the man." Luke then tells us that the leprosy immediately left the man.
I believe that it is safe to say that the once-leprous-man was never the same after encountering Jesus. In an instant, this man went from being unclean to being clean, from being an outcast to being a welcomed friend, from living alone to living in community. (I can only imagine how sweet his reunion was with family and friends!). This was truly an amazing encounter that resulted in an incredible transformation.
As I read of Jesus' encounter with this man I cannot help but to think of how Jesus has transformed my life. Though I have never been leprous, I was born unclean. Though I have never felt the touch of Jesus' hand or heard the sound of his voice, I have certainly encountered Him. And for all of us who have met Jesus--by faith--I am sure that we can all testify that our lives have never been the same. At one time we were alienated from the Father but now we have been made sons and daughters. We were once dead in sin, but we are now alive in Christ. Or to use the words of the a hymn writer, "I once was lost but now I am found, was blind but now I see."
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry (v.1,2, NIV).Although I've read this passage of Scripture many times before, I never noticed the connection between Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness and Isreal's 40 years in the desert. (Take note of the particular temptations that Luke records.) Israel certainly struggled to follow the LORD faithfully during their time in the wilderness. Israel continually sinned against the LORD. The author of Hebrews writes:
Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief (v.16-19, NIV).Yet, unlike Israel (and us!), Jesus obeyed the His Father perfectly. He met every temptation with a faith-filled response. Where Israel failed, Jesus prevailed! Let us praise and worship the Father for sending His Son--our perfect high priest:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:15,16, NIV).
Over the past week, I've been so encouraged and humbled as I've meditated on these verses from Romans 11. Indeed, we serve a great God!
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen" (v.33-36).
Moving: With the help of family and friends, the move on Saturday went great. Although it rained most of the day, we managed to load and unload without any injuries or trouble. I am so thankful that Amy's dad and mom (Jerry and Vivian) were able to come from Virginia in order to help us during the weekend. And I was overwhelmed by the gracious service from our church family and friends. The acts of service that took place are too many to recount here. Thank you all for your prayers and service to our family. As of today we have a most of our rooms organized and unpacked...our bedroom is still filled with boxes though. (NOTE: We will not have a home phone or internet until this weekend, so the only way to contact us will be on our cell phones.)
Ordination: Well, everything went great with the first step toward ordination as I met with the candidates committee on Thursday night. My next step will be to go before the Presbytery on April 24 in order to give my testimony and my call to gospel ministry. Although I know that this process is not easy, I am thankful for the accountability and sharpening that will take place during this time. Please pray for me as I continue to study, learn and prepare for ordination.
Puppies: All the puppies are doing great. The puppies are almost two weeks old now, and they're beginning to open their eyes. They're very cute. Also, Spicy loves our new yard.
New Home: Well, we're on the move again. Thankfully we're only moving across town. We will be closing on our home on Friday and moving on Saturday. Currently, we have most of our current home boxed up and ready to go. I think Amy and the girls are starting to go crazy because the only things left to play with are...well...boxes. I believe that this is the 8th time that Amy and I have moved as a family so far, but I'm starting to lose count. Pray for us as we move.
Pregnancy: Amy is about 5 months along in her pregancy. She and the baby are doing well. Of course, Amy is often tired while trying to take care of the girls as well as trying to take care of herself and the baby. Please pray that she will be given good rest at night. Also, in case anyone would like to know, the new baby's name will be Ann-Marie Joy. Ann was Amy's Grandmother's name, and Marie is Amy's middle name.
Coming Under Care: Please remember me as I go before the Canidate's Committee tomorrow night. This is one of the early steps in the ordination process. I'll be sharing about my relationship with Jesus and my call to ministry. I've been looking forward to this for a while.
Seminary: I got my grades back from the various tests and papers that were due before Spring break, and I was very pleased. Thanks to all who prayed for me, especially in regard to Greek.
Puppies: All nine puppies are alive and thriving. The girls have really enjoyed having the puppies around the house.
Over the last few days I have been preparing for a test in Greek II. During the first semester I had very little trouble memorizing and understanding the material. Yet, this second semester has been much more taxing. Last night I told my wife that I was stressed out because I felt like my mind was jumbled up with numerous verb, noun, and participle paradigms. I couldn't seem to keep everything straight. In response to my frantic ramblings Amy simply said: "Well, that's a good reminder that you're not God." In other words, Amy wanted to remind me that I am just a man who is limited in comparison to the God of the universe. My knowledge is so small when compared to the One who created the world out of nothing. What a humbling thought! While these thoughts will not necessarily help me translate Greek sentences, it certainly does help me to keep everything into perspective.
**1 Corinthians 15:54-57 - "When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.**Romans 8:38-39 - For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God cares about the bonding of fathers and children and his servants ought to share this commitment. The recovery of fatherhood in the church, home, and society should not simply be ceded to social scientists or Dr. James Dobson; rather, it must be central to the strategic agenda of the Church as she witnesses to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
What is fatherhood and why does it matter? The subject is inexhaustible, but let’s focus on two aspects of fatherhood—the fatherhood of God over all creation and that of pastors and elders in the Church, the household of faith.
Continue reading here.
Let our thoughts be thoughts of You.
Let our words be words of praise to You.
Let our hearts be stirred to beat for You.
Let our actions be done to the glory of You.
Let our steps be guided in service of You.
Let our eyes be focused on seeing You.
Let our ears be opened to hear from You.
Let our feet be guided to follow You.
Let our lives be lived in devotion to You.
Like a bolt from the blue, a California appeals court has ruled that the state's parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their own children. In a flash, a child welfare case that no one had noticed has become a flash point of controversy in the nation. Will homeschooling be ruled illegal in California?Continue reading here.
Alora: Dad, who made you?
Me: What did you ask me?
Alora: Who made you?
Alora: What else did him make?
Me: God made all things.
At this point of the conversation, I realized that Alora was asking me the questions from the First Catechism. I waited for her to ask me the next question, but she started drawing again. So, I continued:
Me: Did I answer the questions correctly?
Alora: Yes, you did (she laughs).
Me: Why did God make you and all things?
Alora: For his glory.
Me: How can you glorify God?
Alora: By loving him and doing what he commands.
Me: You did a great job Alora.
Alora: Thanks my dad.
I think it is important to state clearly that we do, in fact, reject the straightforward commands of scripture, and appeal instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex unions can be holy and good. And what exactly is that authority? We appeal explicitly to the weight of our own experience and the experience thousands of others have witnessed to, which tells us that to claim our own sexual orientation is in fact to accept the way in which God has created us.To say that this quote is disturbing is really just the tip of the iceburg. After reading Dr. Johnson's full article I became even more saddened. Dr. Johnson is supposed to be training people for ministry work. Yet, he and the institution in which he teaches are undermining the Church that they should be serving.
In Numbers 30 we find an interesting discussion in which the issue of vows is discussed within the framework of gender. Let's go to the text so that I can explain what I mean. First, the discussion begins by addressing the men:
If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth (v.2).According to this, text if a man makes a vow then he is obligated to keep the vow no matter what. The vow is final. Why? Because in the hierarchy of the family he is the leader. He is under the authority of God, and he speaks for himself and his family. Yet, in the next few verses as Moses discusses the issue of women and vows, we find a different scenario:
If a woman vows a vow to the Lord and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father's house in her youth, and her father hears of her vow and of her pledge by which she has bound herself and says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father opposes her on the day that he hears of it, no vow of hers, no pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. And the Lord will forgive her, because her father opposed her (v.3-5).Isn't it interesting to note that the vow of a woman, who is in this case within her father's house, stands or falls based on whether or not her father agrees or disagrees with the vow? Why is this the case? It is because her father is her authority, her head. He has been given the responsibility for watching and caring for his daughter's well-being. If he is silent, then the vow stands. If he opposes it, the vow is void. Yet, the discussion does not end with the authority of father's. Next, Moses demonstrates that headship isn't just a matter between father's and daughters but also between husbands and wives:
“If she marries a husband, while under her vows or any thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she has bound herself, 7 and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. 8 But if, on the day that her husband comes to hear of it, he opposes her, then he makes void her vow that was on her, and the thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she bound herself. And the Lord will forgive her (v.6-8).Once again we see that the woman's vow stands or falls based on the authority of her head, who in this case is her husband. If he hears of the vow and says nothing, then his silence becomes the mark of his approval. Yet, if he opposes the vow, it become null and void.
So, why does this matter? The world (and even a number of Christians) would like for us to believe that male authority and headship is a bad thing. Of course, some men do abuse there God-established authority. They fail to love as Christ loved the Church. Yet, as we see in Exodus 30, headship should serve to protect and serve women. A loving father only wants what is best for his daughter. And a loving husband only wants what is best for his wife. So, father's and husbands: love the women that the Lord has called you lead. Realize that God has called you to look out for the interest of the ladies in your life. Daughters and wives: realize that your father or husband's authority has been put in place by God, in order to show His care for you.