Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.



Sunday's Hymn: Come, We That Love the Lord



Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.

Let those refuse to sing
That never knew our God;
But children of the heav’nly King
May speak their joys abroad.

The men of grace have found
Glory begun below;
Celestial fruits on earthly ground
From faith and hope may grow.

The hill of Zion yields
A thousand sacred sweets,
Before we reach the heav’nly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.

Then let our songs abound,
And ev’ry tear be dry;
We’re marching through Immanuel’s ground
To fairer worlds on high.

—Is­aac Watts


 Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:


Selected Reading

I read these recently and recommend them to you.

Bible Study

3 Steps to understanding a tricky passage
“So you are reading your Bible, and you come across a passage a verse that you are having a hard time understanding. It seems like a straight-forward reading of it would contradict what the Bible teaches elsewhere, or at the very least it seems like the passage teaches something unusual. What should you do?”

Christian History

Hymn Reflection: Now Thank We All Our God
After the Thirty Year’s War, Martin Rinkart wrote a hymn. “What kind of song could come out of such tragedy? A lament? A plea for vindication? A cry for mercy?” An imprecatory song? 

None of the above. “Instead, Rinkart wrote a hymn of gratitude.” 

Anne Dutton and Her Reasons for Writing
The story of Anne Dutton, who was yet another intelligent, wise, and strong historical Christian woman: “Anne was described as a lively and outspoken girl. Over the course of her life, she combined this zeal and candor with her natural clarity of thought and expression in order to provide Scriptural encouragement and advice.”

But not everyone approved. Some questioned the propriety of her work: “Was it proper for a woman to provide counsel to others – men included – especially when this counsel was published for all to read?” 

Christian Living

What Is Real Repentance?
“We enter the Christian life through repentance and we remain in the Christian life through repentance.”

Then we need to know what repentance is, don’t we?


The Reason Why Americans Refer to Autumn as Fall
Here’s the story behind the two English language names for this season. (Canadians use fall, too, so I guess it’s a North American phenomenon.)


Theological Term of the Week: Mirror-Reading

“A way of reading a New Testament passage that assumes that what the author writes reflects a problem or situation confronting the original audience.”1

  • From How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli:

Sometimes [a New Testament] author is writing to Christians about an error that false teachers are propagating in their midst. So our job is to read the text very carefully, over and over, and try to discern the nature of that error and what the antidote is. That kind of mirror-reading is not only good; it’s necessary because otherwise you won’t accurately understand a passage. This is especially important for books such as 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, and 1 John. You can be more confident that you are mirror-reading in a responsible way when the author specifically refers to problems in the church. Paul does this in 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 and all throughout the letter. He doesn’t need to lay out in great detail what the problems were because the Corinthians were already acquainted with their situation. But we are not the Corinthians, so we must responsibly read 1 Corinthians over and over and over in order to look for clues about their situation.

That’s how to mirror-read well: carefully read a book of the New Testament over and over and over. Look for clues in the text that tip you off to the situation. That’s a good and necessary way to read the New Testament.

  • From Moises Silva in Introduction to Biblical Hemeneutics:2

The question is not whether we should read between the lines, but how we should do it. Certainly, the more an interpretation depends on inferences (as opposed to explicit statements in the text), the less persuasive it is. If a historical reconstruction disturbs (rather than reinforces) the apparent meaning of a passage, we should be skeptical of it. In contrast, if a scholar proposes a reconstruction that arises out of the text itself, and if that reconstruction in turn helps to make sense of difficult statements in the text, we need not reject it on the grounds that it is just a theory.


Learn more:

  1. Andy Naselli: Mirror Reading
  2. Andy Naselli: Is ‘Background Information’ Ever Necessary to Understand the Bible?


Related terms:

1 From How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli.

2 As quoted in How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli.


Filed under Scripture


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