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Thursday
Jul172014

Thankful Thursday

Join me in thanking God for the past week’s blessings.

I’m thankful for perfect sunny summer weather all week long. I’m thankful for a trip to the beach and another pool party in the back yard.

I’m thankful that God feeds the nesting birds busy raising families in my yard. I’m thankful that God feeds me, too, both with food from my garden and food from the grocery store.

I’m thankful for my son’s new job—God’s provision for him and his family, which will be expanding by one in December. Yes, one more grandchild and one more thing to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for the gift of faith. I’m also thankful that I can ask God to “help my unbelief.” I’m thankful that Jesus gives peace to troubled hearts.

Persis was also thankful today.

What are you thankful for? Why not leave a comment with your thanksgiving?

Thursday
Jul172014

An Authoritative Message

Michael J. Kruger disagrees with the widespread scholarly opinion that the authors of the New Testament were unaware of their own authority. In the fourth chapter of The Question of Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate, he examines key passages in the New Testament that show the writers

consciously wrote books that they understood to contain the new apostolic revelation about Jesus Christ and therefore to have supreme authority in the church.

For example, compare these two statements from John’s gospel. First, there’s this promise from Jesus to his disciples:

But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. (John 15:26-27 ESV)

Then there’s John’s statement about himself near the end of his book:

This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things … .(John 21:24 ESV)

Kruger writes,

… [I]t seems that John 21:24 is a declaration to the reader that Jesus’ promise in 15:26-27 to send authoritative witnesses has been fulfilled—the very book they are reading is the authoritative testimony of Jesus’ Spirit-filled disciples.

I’m over halfway through this book. I quite like it, but then I’m fascinated with everything canon related.

Since the goal of The Question of Canon is to challenge the dominant view in the academic field of modern canonical studies, it’s of less general interest than Kruger’s previous book on the canon, Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books, which investigated whether Christians have warrant for believing the New Testament canon is correct. (I reviewed Canon Revisited here.) But if you’re a canon geek like me, you’ll probably enjoy The Question of Canon. Although Kruger is a scholar, he writes so that anyone who is interested can understand, so don’t let the your own non-scholarly status keep you away.

Tuesday
Jul152014

Theological Term of the Week

relativism
“[T]he view that “there is no objective truth,” but rather, what is called truth “is always relative to something else”;1 

  • Scripture that argues against relativism: 

    “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:45 ESV) (God is the objective standard of what is morally right or holy—or the objective standard of moral truth.)

    Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. (Revelation 20:11-13 ESV) (There is one judgment for everyone and everyone will be judged by the same objective standard of moral truth.)

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Monday
Jul142014

Linked Together: Two Kinds of Perfectionism

 and the gospel is the solution to them both.

False Expectations
Today at Out of the Ordinary Staci Eastin reviewed and recommended Picture Perfect: When Life Doesn’t Line Up by Amy Baker—and she’s giving away a copy of the book, too. You can read the review and enter the book giveaway here.

False Doctrine
Stephen Nichols on B. B. Warfield on Protestant perfectionism: “[P]erfectionism promotes a deficient view of what Christ accomplished on the cross. In the victorious life teaching, Christ’s death is looked upon as merely saving us from the guilt of sin; the salvation from the corruption of sin comes later.” 

Monday
Jul142014

Heidelberg Catechism

This is an explanation of “he descended into hell” in the Apostles’ Creed that I’ve never seen anywhere else. What do you think of it?

Question 44. Why is “he descended into hell” added [in the Apostles’ Creed]?

Answer: So that in my greatest temptations, I may be assured and comforted in this: my Lord Jesus Christ, by his unspeakable anguish, pain, terror, and agony, which he endured in all his sufferings, (a) but especially on the cross, has delivered me from the anguish and torment of hell. (b)

(Scriptural proofs after the fold.)

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