Friday, August 20, 2021

Spiritual Fire

"And that thou mayest learn, consider Paul, I pray thee. What is there fearful that he did not suffer, and that he did not submit to? But he bore all nobly. Let us imitate him, for so shall we be able to land in the tranquil havens with much merchandise. Let us then stretch our mind towards Heaven, let us be held fast by that desire, let us clothe ourselves with spiritual fire, let us gird ourselves with its flame. No man who bears flame fears those who meet him; be it wild beast, be it man, be it snares innumerable, so long as he is armed with fire, all things stand out of his way, all things retire. The flame is intolerable, the fire cannot be endured, it consumes all. With this fire let us clothe ourselves, offering up glory to our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom to the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, be glory, might, honor, now and ever and world without end." (John Chrysostom, Homilies On Hebrews, 34:8)

Monday, August 16, 2021

Harmless as an enemy, treacherous as a friend

As we plod through the second year of "14 days to flatten the curve", I see that the relativity of time raises it's head once again.  "It will be three months before the Taliban can occupy Kabul" turned out to be closer to three days.  1975 is a bit before my time, but the pictures from Saigon and the pictures from Kabul bear a striking resemblance to each other.  Almost as though there is nothing new under the sun (I think I read that someplace).

The whole situation reminds me of a quote Mark Steyn attributes to Bernard Lewis sometime around the year 2010 or so: "The danger here is that America risks being seen as harmless as an enemy, and treacherous as a friend."  Well, I think America has gotten the "treacherous as a friend" part down pat, and has been that way for years.

This is why Christians should never put faith in governments, which are composed of sinners after all. Ours has been more interested in flying rainbow flags and keeping the military woke than it has been in planning how to exit a battlefield. Living your life as if God isn't watching is all fun and games until you find out He was watching.  Woe to you if God should find you not only harmless as an enemy, but treacherous as a friend too.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Overlap Between The Synoptics And John

Critics make much of the alleged differences between the Synoptic gospels and John. The amount of overlap between them is often underestimated, including by conservative Christians. I want to gather some links to posts we've written on the subject over the years. These examples are far from exhaustive. You can search our archives for more.

On how much overlap we should expect, see here.

Jesus' family.

His childhood.

His career.

His viewing himself as the figure of Isaiah 9:1-7 and how he interpreted the passage.

The "I am" statements.

How he referred to Peter.

And here's one on some agreements about unusual terminology used by Jesus.

Regarding his nonverbal characteristics, see here and here.

How he raised the dead.

His use of object lessons.


The prominence of love.

The character of the apostles.

The events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection.

Undesigned coincidences among various passages.

You can find many other examples of agreements between the Synoptics and John in Lydia McGrew's Hidden In Plain View (Chillicothe, Ohio: DeWard, 2017) and The Eye Of The Beholder (Tampa, Florida: DeWard, 2021).