The Books

"When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments." - (2 Timothy 4:13)

 

Currently Reading

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Twilight of the Elites

Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot

 

Next Up

The Job: Work and Its Future in a Time of Radical Change

 

Recently Completed

The Jewish World around the New Testament: Collected Essays I

Keeping At It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government

The Club

Reader, Come Home: The Fate of the Reading Brain in a Digital World


Mars Hill Audio Journal (Volume 142)

Guests on Volume 142: Stanley Hauerwas, on writing letters to his godson about the virtues; Perry L. Glanzer and Nathan F. Alleman, on the fragmentation of modern higher education and why we need theology to unify universities; Jeffrey Bishop, on how modern medicine shapes an inadequate understanding of the human body; Alan Jacobs, on how contemporary communications media discourage charitable thinking; D. C. Schindler, on the diabolical nature of the modern understanding of freedom; and Marianne Wright, on how the gospel comes through in the writings of George MacDonald.


Any Way Will Do?

Sometimes we make dealing with the current controversial features of Christianity more difficult than it actually needs to be. Here I’m talking about politically charged theological and ethical issues like abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, gender dysphoria, and the like. In one important sense they’re not hard at all; they’re easy.

Some ideas flow so naturally and directly from clear, core elements of the Christian worldview that they are not “tough” issues in a scriptural sense. The relevant texts are clear. There is no ambiguity in the Bible’s teaching. The basic doctrines informing these issues are not gray areas. They never have been.

The confusion comes almost completely from the outside, not the inside. Lots of folks—including Christians—simply don’t like what the Bible teaches, so they wrangle about words and twist the text trying to get the verses to say the opposite of what they clearly mean.


Evolution

Whenever you come across the topic of evolution, ask a simple question: What definition of evolution is being used? Since evolution has at least three different meanings, it’s essential to know which one is being invoked.

 

For evolution to be a fact, you must have two things, minimally. First, you've got to have life coming from non-life--abiogenesis. Second, you've got to have a change in that life from simple forms to complex forms over time. You must have the kick-off, and you must have the rest of the game.


Thoughts for the Quiet Hour (December 19)

A hearer of the word … a doer of the work

James 1:23, 25

Religion may be learned on Sunday, but it is lived in the weekday’s work. The torch of religion may be lit in the church, but it does its burning in the shop and on the street. Religion seeks its life in prayer, but it lives its life in deeds. It is planted in the closet, but it does its growing out in the world. It plumes itself for flight in songs of praise, but its actual flights are in works of love. It resolves and meditates on faithfulness as it reads its Christian lesson in the Book of Truth, but “faithful is that faithful does.” It puts its armor on in all the aids and helps of the sanctuary as its dressingroom, but it combats for the right, the noble, and the good in all the activities of practical existence, and its battle ground is the whole broad field of life.

John Doughty

 

Source: Thoughts for the Quiet Hour, Logos Bible Software

 


Cranmer on Christ

From Archbishop Cranmer:

People no longer feel they need to be saved, and that’s the problem. If there is no hell, no eternal damnation, no separation from God, then Jesus is of no more significance than any other professing prophet: he is just a wise man who did some good things. But ‘God’ and ‘Saviour’ he patently isn’t, and who cares anyway as long as you’re happy and nice to people? And here’s where Christians waffle on about Christology and soteriology and vicarious satisfaction – more Greek – and by so doing we neglect to love, to show people Jesus, to live our lives in relationship with the One who was born in Bethlehem and taught us that we must become incarnations of him – little christs, morally set apart, striving to do good.


Psalm 2

God’s Promise to His Anointed
(Acts 4:23–31)


1 Why do the nations conspire,
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD and his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds asunder,
and cast their cords from us.”

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the LORD has them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”

7 I will tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron,
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear,
with trembling 12 kiss his feet,
or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way;
for his wrath is quickly kindled.

Happy are all who take refuge in him.

 

Source: The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 2:1–12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.


Humility

It is the humble man whom God protects and liberates; it is the humble whom He loves and consoles. To the humble He turns and upon them bestows great grace, that after their humiliation He may raise them up to glory. He reveals His secrets to the humble, and with kind invitation bids them come to Him. Thus, the humble man enjoys peace in the midst of many vexations, because his trust is in God, not in the world. Hence, you must not think that you have made any progress until you look upon yourself as inferior to all others.

 

Source: Thomas à Kempis. (1996). The Imitation of Christ (pp. 63–64). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.


Venezuela’s Suicide

From Foreign Affairs:

 

The Venezuelan state has mostly given up on providing public services such as health care, education, and even policing; heavy-handed, repressive violence is the final thing left that Venezuelans can rely on the public sector to consistently deliver. In the face of mass protests in 2014 and 2017, the government responded with thousands of arrests, brutal beatings and torture, and the killing of over 130 protesters.