Thursday, January 20, 2022

You Make Your Burden Heavy By Struggling Under It

"Your own discontent is that which arms your troubles with a sting; you make your burden heavy by struggling under it. Did you but lie quietly under the hand of God, your condition would be much more easy than it is. 'Impatience in the sick occasions severity in the physician.' This makes God afflict the more, as a father a stubborn child that receives not correction. Beside, it unfits the soul to pray over its troubles, or receive the sense of that good which God intends by them. Affliction is a pill, which, being wrapt up in patience and quiet submission, may be easily swallowed; but discontent chews the pill, and so embitters the soul. God throws away some comfort which he saw would hurt you, and you will throw away your peace after it; he shoots an arrow which sticks in your clothes, and was never intended to hurt, but only to drive you from sin, and you will thrust it deeper, to the piercing of your very heart, by despondency and discontent." (John Flavel, Keeping The Heart [Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 2019], 46-47)

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Updated Recommendations For Bible Study Resources

Denver Seminary recently posted a 2022 update to their bibliographies for the Old Testament and the New Testament. See here for Steve Hays' bibliography, which he updated shortly before his death in 2020.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

How Much The Author Of Luke Is Identified

Modern critics of Christianity make a big issue of the supposed anonymity of the gospels. The weakness of that objection should be evident to anybody who's looked closely at the narrow sense in which anonymity is being appealed to and how much the gospel authors were identified outside of that narrow context. The third gospel provides a good example.

The author isn't named anywhere in the main body of the text in Luke or Acts. The obvious question that follows is: So what? As I've discussed before, there are many reasons to think the author was named in other contexts early on, sometimes from the start. And we can learn a lot about the author even from the main body of the text. He isn't named there, but he is described there and acts there. We can discern a lot about his knowledge, interests, and so forth from his writings, and he refers to himself as somebody who was a travel companion of Paul and had met James, a member of Jesus' immediate family, for example. We know of particular occasions on which he was with such individuals, many details about significant events he experienced, etc. I'm just summarizing here. The amount of information we can gather from all of these contexts (mentioned here and in the post linked above) is large. The fact that the author isn't named within the main body of the text doesn't have much significance.