Thursday, May 09, 2024

Why does God interest you so little?

"Is not the public interest of Christ and his cause infinitely more important than any interest of your own, and should you not prefer his glory and the welfare of his kingdom before everything else? Should any temporary suffering, or any sacrifice which you can be called to make, be suffered to come into competition with the honour of his name?" (John Flavel, Keeping The Heart [Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 2019], 101)

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Corroboration Of The Gospels And Acts In Paul's Letters

The documents are written in different genres and at different lengths (the shortness of some of Paul's letters), among other differences. We shouldn't expect Paul to say much about the contents of the gospels and Acts. But he does say more than people typically suggest.

In addition to the more obvious references - the timing of Jesus' life, his crucifixion, the Last Supper, his being betrayed, his having multiple brothers, that one of the brothers was named James, the names of some of Jesus' disciples, etc. - there are many less obvious corroborations. I want to link some examples I've discussed in the past. See here on Jesus' childhood in Paul's letters. And here on Jesus' performance of miracles. Or here on undesigned coincidences, some of which involve the letters of Paul. Here's something on the details involved in Galatians 2:9. Go here and here for posts about details related to Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. See this post on the soteriology of the gospels, and notice the parallels in Paul (the significance of Abraham, justification through faith alone, etc.). Or the posts here and here on relational and moral issues, like the primacy of love and opposition to polygamy.

These examples, which are large in number and variety, are far from exhaustive. There's so much more that could be cited regarding Trinitarianism, moral issues, etc. And skeptics typically accept some facts about Jesus that aren't referred to anywhere in what they consider the genuine letters of Paul (e.g., Jesus' residence in Nazareth, his baptism by John the Baptist, the initial unbelief of his brothers).

Sunday, May 05, 2024

The Growth Of Sin In The Afterlife

"But if sin in the retrospect be the sting of death, what must sin in the prospect be? My friends, we do not often enough look at what sin is to be. We see what it is; first the seed, then the blade, then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear. It is the wish, the imagination, the desire, the sight, the taste, the deed; but what is sin in its next development? We have observed sin as it grows; we have seen it, at first, a very little thing, but expanding itself until it has swelled into a mountain. We have seen it like 'a little cloud, the size of a man's hand,' but we have beheld it gather until it covered the skies with blackness, and sent down drops of bitter rain. But what is sin to be in the next state? We have gone so far, but sin is a thing that cannot stop. We have seen whereunto it has grown, but whereunto will it grow? for it is not ripe when we die; it has to go on still; it is set going, but it has to unfold itself forever. The moment we die, the voice of justice cries, 'Seal up the fountain of blood; stop the stream of forgiveness; he that is holy, let him be holy still; he that is filthy, let him be filthy still.' And after that, the man goes on growing filthier and filthier still; his lust developes itself, his vice increases; all those evil passions blaze with tenfold more fury, and, amidst the companionship of others like himself, without the restraints of grace, without the preached word, the man becomes worse and worse; and who can tell whereunto his sin may grow?" (Charles Spurgeon)