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Thankful Thursday

If I am going to feel blue, it will be in September, so it’s especially important for me to keep on being thankful for the small joys that come every day. I know from experience that acknowledging the little gifts from God’s hand helps in times with hard providences, and also in times with many minor irritations that make our lives stressful. So here are a few things I’ve been thankful for lately.

  • Leaves and rakes. My yard is a beautiful carpet of yellow. Yesterday the grandchildren, their mothers, and I raked up a few piles of leaves for them to play with. They walked through them, laid in them, piled them in the wagon and toy wheelbarrow, and pulled them around the yard. We all had fun on a crisp clear morning, and I’m thankful for it. 
  • Ice on the pond. Yes, there was a layer of ice on the pond yesterday morning and we all enjoyed cracking it with our feet and our sticks. That ice was a good gift from God. So is the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of preschoolers. 
  • My youngest son’s work. He had work lined up starting in August, but the project was delayed. Finally, last week he started back to work again and I’m thankful for it. The time off gave him time for fix my fence and paint it, but still, it is not good for a young man to not be working. 
  • That we might be seeing the end of the process of settling my dad’s estate. Who would have thought it would take 3+ years? But it did—and maybe it will soon be over. I’m thankful for God’s timing. I can’t always (or usually?) understand it, but I can trust it. 
  • For the people I can call on to help me when I need it. 

Also thankful today:

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment with your thanksgiving, post your thanksgiving on your blog, or tweet it. Give me the link by email or in a comment and I’ll add your thanksgiving to the list in the post.


Theological Term of the Week

text criticism
“[T]he careful study of the ancient texts in an effort to establish what the original manuscripts of the Bible said”;1also called textual criticism.

  • From 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible by Robert L. Plummer:
    We have historical records of extensive text criticism from at least as far back as Origen (A.D. 185-254), but the modern flowering of the discipline followed the introduction of the printing press in Europe (1454) and the revival of scholars’ knowledge of Greek and Hebrew at the time of the Reformation. Text criticism has flourished especially in the last two hundred years, with the many discoveries of ancient manuscripts and a growing scholarly consensus on methods. 
  • From The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy:
    Since God has nowhere promised an inerrant transmission of Scripture, it is necessary to affirm that only the autographic text of the original documents was inspired and to maintain the need of textual criticism as a means of detecting any slips that may have crept into the text in the course of its transmission. The verdict of this science, however, is that the Hebrew and Greek text appear to be amazingly well preserved, so that we are amply justified in affirming, with the Westminster Confession, a singular providence of God in this matter and in declaring that the authority of Scripture is in no way jeopardized by the fact that the copies we possess are not entirely error-free.

Click to read more ...


Heidelberg Catechism

Question 54. What do you believe concerning the “holy catholic church” of Christ?

Answer: I believe that the Son of God (a) from the beginning of the world to the end, (b) gathers, defends, and preserves for himself, (c) by his Spirit and word, (d) out of the whole human race, (e) a church chosen to everlasting life, (f) unified in the true faith; (g) and that I am and forever will remain, (h) a living member of it. (i)

(Scriptural proofs after the fold.)

Click to read more ...


Sunday's Hymn: I Sing The Almighty Power of God

I sing th’almighty pow’r of God,
That made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad,
And built the lofty skies.

I sing the goodness of the Lord
That filled the earth with food;
He formed the creatures with his word,
And then pronounced them good.

Lord! how thy wonders are displayed
Where’er I turn mine eye!
If I survey the ground I tread,
Or gaze upon the sky.

There’s not a plant or flower below
But makes thy glories known;
And clouds arise, and tempests blow,
By order from thy throne.

Creatures as numerous as they be
Are subject to thy care;
There’s not a place where we can flee,
But God is present there.

—Isaac Watts

This hymn was written specifically for Watts’ children’s hymnal. 

Other hymns, worship songs, prayers, sermons excerpts, or quotes posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.


Linked Together: Inerrancy

Some recommended weekend reading on the subject of biblical inerrancy.

Getting It Right
Not all historic church documents are 300 years old. Here’s a short history of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy by Stephen Nichols. 

If one were to lock three hundred evangelical leaders in a room today, it would be surprising if they all came out agreeing on the color of the paint on the walls. Crafting a theological statement with five points and nineteen articles of affirmation and denial would be a miracle. But that is precisely what happened in Chicago in 1978. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy sustained a generation of churchmen, pastors and theologians. It brought this view of inerrancy back to the center of the church, and doctrinally affirmed it—for the life of the church and the life of the Christian.

If you’d like to read the Chicago Statement—and you should—here it is

Not Getting It Wrong
Michael Kruger is hosting a new blog series featuring guest posts from evangelical scholars addressing problematic passage in the Bible. The first four posts in this series are linked below.