Thursday, April 04, 2024

My carriage is broken!

"Suffering is appointed for us in this life as a great mercy to keep us from loving this world more than we should and to make us rely on God who raises the dead. 'Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God' (Acts 14:22)….Picture this life as a journey on your way to receive a spectacular inheritance. It will protect you from idolatry and make all your burdens lighter, and quiet all your murmurings. Here's the way the old John Newton put it: 'Suppose a man was going to New York to take possession of a large estate, and his [carriage] should break down a mile before he got to the city, which obliged him to walk the rest of the way; what a fool we should think him, if we saw him ringing his hands, and blubbering out all the remaining mile, 'My [carriage] is broken! My [carriage] is broken!'" (John Piper)

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Why were the early sources so confident about gospel authorship attribution?

A neglected aspect of the evidence for the authorship of the gospels is how much more prominent the authorship of the gospels was than the authorship of other documents. And that greater prominence suggests that the early sources' gospel authorship attributions have greater significance.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

The King Is Here, Dispensing Favors

"And after rebuking the other [thief on a cross], he [the repentant thief] says, 'Lord, remember me; for with Thee is my account. Heed not this man, for the eyes of his understanding are blinded; but remember me. I say not, remember my works, for of these I am afraid.'...Therefore also he justly heard the words, 'Be of good cheer'; not that thy deeds are worthy of good cheer; but that the King is here, dispensing favours. The request reached unto a distant time; but the grace was very speedy. 'Verily I say unto thee, This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise; because today thou hast heard My voice, and hast not hardened thine heart. Very speedily I passed sentence upon Adam, very speedily I pardon thee. To him it was said, 'In the day wherein ye eat, ye shall surely die'; but thou today hast obeyed the faith, today is thy salvation. Adam by the Tree fell away; thou by the Tree art brought into Paradise.'...O mighty and ineffable grace! The faithful Abraham had not yet entered, but the robber enters! Moses and the Prophets had not yet entered, and the robber enters though a breaker of the law. Paul also wondered at this before thee, saying, 'Where sin abounded, there grace did much more abound'. They who had borne the heat of the day had not yet entered; and he of the eleventh hour entered. Let none murmur against the goodman of the house, for he says, 'Friend, I do thee no wrong; is it not lawful for Me to do what I will with Mine own? The robber has a will to work righteousness, but death prevents him; I wait not exclusively for the work, but faith also I accept. I am come who feed My sheep among the lilies, I am come to feed them in the gardens. I have found a sheep that was lost, but I lay it on My shoulders; for he believes, since he himself has said, 'I have gone astray like a lost sheep'; 'Lord, remember me when Thou comest in Thy kingdom.''" (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 13:30-31)