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Theo-Enthumology



I am a Christian from Pretoria South Africa who would like to share my thoughts with those who are willing to spend their time reading what I write. I will be dealing with theology, ethics, specifically pro-life issues and homosexuality, all from a Biblic



Updated: 2017-10-22T05:13:06.791+02:00

 



Is Christianity equally guilty because the crusades are the moral equivalent of jihad?

2017-02-22T22:46:29.580+02:00

The following was written by Philip Rosenthal of ChristianView Network.

IS CHRISTIANITY EQUALLY GUILTY BECAUSE THE CRUSADES ARE THE MORAL EQUIVALENT OF JIHAD?

Have you heard the argument that Christians can't critise (sic) Jihad because they are equally guilty for the crusades?  Mathematician Bill Warner created a dynamic time linked map comparing Jihad vs the Crusades: Watch it to decide who was the aggressor.

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Top 10 Books I read in 2016

2016-12-27T17:50:15.377+02:00

When I look back over a year that had run its course, especially what I read for that year, I sometimes experience disappointment because I didn't read as much as I had wanted to. This year is one of those.One thing about top 10 lists of books is that readers will come up with vastly different lists, based on their likes and needs.However, here is a list of the top 10 books I read this year. I included the book blurbs for each of the books below.10. Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray"Originally published in 1955 and reprinted dozens of times over the years, John Murray’s Redemption Accomplished and Applied systematically explains the two sides of redemption -- its accomplishment through Christ’s atonement and its application to the lives of believers.Murray explores the biblical passages dealing with the necessity, nature, perfection, and extent of the atonement in order to establish its relationship to our justification, sanctification, and glorification. He goes on to identify the distinct steps in the Bible’s presentation of how the redemption accomplished by Christ is applied progressively to the life of the redeemed, including the role of faith and repentance."9. Whatever Happened to The Gospel of Grace?: Rediscovering the Doctrines That Shook the World by James Montgomery Boice"Combines a serious examination of the state of today's church and a powerful solution: reclaiming the gospel of grace found in the confessional truths of the Reformation.Though the Christian church has achieved a worldly sort of success-big numbers, big budgets, big outreaches-these are not good days for evangelicalism. Attendance is down, and it is increasingly difficult to distinguish so-called 'believers' from their non-Christian neighbors-all because the gospel of grace has been neglected.In this work, now in paperback, the late James Montgomery Boice identifies what's happened within evangelicalism and suggests how the confessional statements of the Reformation-Scripture alone, Christ alone, grace alone, faith alone, and glory to God alone-can ignite full-scale revival. 'A church without these convictions has ceased to be a true church, whatever else it may be,' he wrote, but 'if we hold to these doctrines, our churches and those we influence will grow strong.'"8. The Incomparable Christ by John R. W. Stott"Who is Jesus Christ? No human question is more pivotal. No thoughtful answer fails to stretch our language, our categories or our aspirations.In recent years numerous books have been written on Jesus, books that are shaped by faith or skepticism or follow the Western academic quest for the historical Jesus. The result has been a kaleidoscope of Jesuses, a thicket of viewpoints, some troubling to faith, some puzzling to the intellect, and a few that enrich our vision as they explore familiar terrain from new and promising angles.Here is a book written by one who for a lifetime has followed Christ with heart, mind, soul and strength. John Stott offers us a vision of Christ whose portrait is discerned in the mosaic pattern of Scripture, whose influence is traced in the great currents of history, and whose compelling call has shaped the story line of ordinary humans who have been charged with extraordinary faith and courage."7. Truth Decay: Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism by Douglas R. Groothuis"A 2001 Christianity Today Award of Merit winner! The concept of truth as absolute, objective and universal has undergone serious deterioration in recent years. No longer is it a goal for all to pursue. Rather postmodernism sees truth as inseparable from culture, psychology, race and gender. Ultimately, truth is what we make it to be. What factors have accelarated (sic) this decay of truth? Why are people willing to embrace such a devalued concept? How does this new view compare and contrast with a Christian understanding? While postmodernism contains some truthful insights (despite its attempt to dethrone truth), Douglas Groothuis sees its ba[...]



Students of New Testament Greek and pastors should keep up to date with latest Greek scholarship

2016-12-15T21:13:20.800+02:00

Back in April 2016, I read the little book, "Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People" (Kindle Edition), written by Constantine R. Campbell (also see this).I immensely enjoyed this book and it is this book that led me to Con Campbell's book, "Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament" (Kindle Edition).Even though some of the discussions were slightly over my head, I pressed on, and as I did, I gained some perspective of several of the latest Greek scholarly studies and debates. It gave me a fresh view of how limiting my own Greek studies were back in 1986. So many things I learnt back then have now been skewered by updated Greek studies. Yet, it also encouraged me to start "updating" my Greek, so to speak (write?). One area where I lack due to my studies in the 80's is in the area of verbal aspect, and as a result, I have ordered Con's book, "Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek" (paperback).For those that are studying, or have already studied Greek, and also those that should be studying New Testament Greek (e.g pastors), "Advances" is an invaluable book that will help you in choosing what and how to study.I'm not doing a whole review of the book at all. It simply would be too involved. I would like to give you a quote or two, though!"[...] there is no such thing as Greek exegesis that does not involve Greek. And whenever Greek is involved, our understanding of the language determines how well we will handle Greek text. Thus, Greek cannot be regarded a peripheral issue for New Testament studies, since the entire New Testament is written in Greek. This means that New Testament studies can no longer afford to hold Greek scholarship at arm’s length, for there is no area of New Testament interest that does not involve Greek in some capacity. It affects the entire guild. This is fact; the only question is whether or not we will be responsible with that fact. For bad Greek is like a poisoned water stream in a village; its ill effects touch everyone." (Constantine R. Campbell, Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, ePub Edition, 2015, p225)As part of his conclusion to his book, the author hopes that he had accomplished 8 things, which I believe he achieved admirably! Those 8 things are in the quote below."Before concluding, I reiterate my several hopes for this book. First, I hope the reader will be properly introduced to the issues of greatest importance for current Greek studies. Second, I hope the reader will become better equipped to handle Greek text with linguistic sophistication, both on a methodological and practical level. Third, I hope the reader will feel competent to engage further with Greek scholarship. Fourth, I hope the reader will engage further with Greek scholarship. Fifth, I hope that the teaching of Greek will be well informed of current issues. Sixth, I hope that the wider world of New Testament scholarship will become more engaged with Greek scholarship. Seventh, I hope that some readers will be inspired to become Greek scholars themselves. Eighth, I hope that future editions of this book will need to include the contributions of some of those aforementioned readers." (Constantine R. Campbell, Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, ePub Edition, 2015, p225-226. Bold text bolded by me)I hope this helps you in terms of at least improving your Greek, or to start it for the first time. [...]



New Biblical manuscript found, believed to be one of Constantine’s fifty!

2016-04-01T14:25:17.153+02:00

Cairo, September 18, 2011: A statement was released late last night by the International Cooperation on Biblical Manuscripts, that significant evidence now exists that a manuscript which was discovered near the Egyptian city of Alexandria in 2005 may indeed be one of fifty Biblical manuscripts that Emperor Constantine instructed Eusebius Pamphili to order on his behalf for “the instruction of the church.” According to Dr. J.A. Weber of the ICBM, the front page of this important codex states in Greek: “One of fifty copies commissioned byCaesar Victor Constantinus Maximus Augustusand servant of Godwho authorized Eusebius Pamphili to have theseprepared by his scribes in the church at CaesareaPalaestina and distributed throughoutConstantinople in the year 1088 AUC.”While the date of the inscription seems problematic, Dr. Weber explained that AUC “is short for Ab urbe condita, from the founding of the city (of Rome). While Rome was founded in 753 BC, adding the 1088 puts the above inscription at AD 335, just two years prior to the death of Constantine the Great!”According to historical accounts by Eusebius himself, Constantine wrote a letter to him, requesting an order of fifty manuscripts of the sacred Scriptures. This letter can be found in “The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Volume 1” and reads as follows:“Victor Constantinus, Maximus Augustus, to Eusebius.“It happens, through the favoring providence of God our Saviour, that great numbers have united themselves to the most holy church in the city which is called by my name. It seems, therefore, highly requisite, since that city is rapidly advancing in prosperity in all other respects, that the number of churches should also be increased. Do you, therefore, receive with all readiness my determination on this behalf. I have thought it expedient to instruct your Prudence to order fifty copies of the sacred Scriptures, the provision and use of which you know to be most needful for the instruction of the Church, to be written on prepared parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient, portable form, by professional transcribers thoroughly practiced in their art. The catholicus of the diocese has also received instructions by letter from our Clemency to be careful to furnish all things necessary for the preparation of such copies; and it will be for you to take special care that they be completed with as little delay as possible.3335 You have authority also, in virtue of this letter, to use two of the public carriages for their conveyance, by which arrangement the copies when fairly written will most easily be forwarded for my personal inspection; and one of the deacons of your church may be intrusted with this service, who, on his arrival here, shallexperience my liberality. God preserve you, beloved brother!”According to Dr. Weber, preliminary carbon dating of the codex puts it in the early 4th century which would confirm the authenticity of the codex. Dr. Weber also said that there are hardly any variations from Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, and that if the final testing on this codex proves it authentic, that it would be the greatest discovery of Biblical manuscripts since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947!If final tests confirm the authenticity of this exciting discovery, it will be named as Codex Constantinus, after Constantine the Great. [...]



Leon Morris on Life in the Spirit

2015-04-19T21:32:52.000+02:00

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Leon Morris

“It is nonsense to talk about a Christian who does not have the Spirit. That is a contradiction in terms. It is a distinctive of the Christian way that the lowliest believer enjoys the presence of God’s Spirit within him. . . .

“It is ethical conduct, not ecstatic behavior, that demonstrates the presence of the Spirit.”

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7 Books I would Definitely Read

2015-04-18T16:15:57.331+02:00

Last 36 books I read sorted in descending order by date Tim Challies just published a blog post that intrigued me. The title of his blog post (“blost”) is the same as mine, or should I say, my title is the same as his, since he had it first. It made me think. Which 7 books that have not been written yet would I definitely read?  This, especially since I saw a link on Facebook yesterday in which the BBC (or an unknown individual) thinks that the average person has only read 6 of a list of 100 books “they” think should be read. The questions arises, “Who decides what the top 100 books that everybody should read are?” Hold a survey? Is it a democratic decision? What people find important to read right now, in ten years could be considered just so-so! I have only read 7 of that list of 100. However, I have read 100s of others. The list of books on the right is made up of the last 36 books I have read. The list is sorted in descending order by date, meaning, that the last book I read is the one in the top left corner, and the first of these 36 is in the right bottom corner. 6 of these are novels, of which I disliked 2, found 2 to be average and 2 that I enjoyed. I am in the process of reading 3 others, “American Sniper,” “NCT: Time For A Most Accurate Way,” and “New Testament Theology” by Morris. So, what are the books that I would definitely read? [An In-Depth Biography of John Piper]: I first met John Piper (not personally) via listening through his sermon series on the New Testament book of Romans. I have read commentaries on Romans and have heard pastors preach on parts of Romans, but I have never heard anybody expound the text of Romans with the theological clarity and passion like John Piper did. He started this series on 26 April 1998 and finished it on 24 December 2006. I know we all have our favourite preachers, and some of you may disagree. If you haven’t listened to his series on Romans, listen to it before you disagree. John Piper has had an amazing ministry and you can see much of it at Desiring God. [Al Mohler’s Memoirs]: Here I agree with Tim. [Paul, the apostle, in the 21st century]: Many books have been written on Paul, but that is not what I want here. What I would like to see is a book, fully based on Paul’s theology, on how he would have dealt with the issues of our day. Books on Paul have been written by men like Ridderbos (Paul: An Outline of His Theology), Reymond (Paul, Missionary Theologian: A Survey of His Missionary Labours and Theology), Bruce (Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free), and Fee (Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study). [New Covenant Theology: A Systematic Theology]: The theological system known as New Covenant Theology (NCT) has been around for some time now, and although there are some differences of thought on its core, I believe that the time is ready for its belief system to be explained via the tried-and-tested format of a systematic theology. Who would write such a book? I have a list of names that could perhaps work together on such a project: John Reisinger, Moe Bergeron, Blake White, and Gary D. Long. [D.A. Carson on Revelation]: I once again agree with Tim on this one. If you do not know who D.A. Carson is, shame on you! I believe Carson is one of today’s treasures in the church. [Commentary on Romans by John Piper]: As I’ve written in my first point, Piper has done an amazing sermon series on Romans, and I believe that he could perhaps, based on his knowledge of Romans, set forth the definitive commentary on the apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman church. And, that wasn’t the last time I am mentioning John Piper… [Interpreting the Bible: A God-glorifying Pursuit by John Piper and D.A. Carson]: With their combined knowledge of the Scriptures and their expertise in the area of Biblical interpretation, I think that such a book could perhaps be one of the best books on Biblical int[...]



My Top 10 Books of 2014

2014-12-29T17:19:22.407+02:00

It is nearly the end of the year. For some it was a year of successes and triumphs and for others it was a year of failures or disappointments!  The same goes for reading. Some books are triumphant books (the ones we finish) and others we fail at (the ones we do not finish)!     Ranking Title Author 10 Day of the Vipers (Star Trek Terok Nor Book 1)  James Swallow   True to Star Trek nature, this book has a lot of names and places to keep track of. Yet, it is not difficult to keep up. For those who are Star Trek fans, this will be an enjoyable book with action, intrigue and sadly, loss. It highlights the very thing happening in the world today, in which governments are more and more turning their backs on religion. In the book, freedom of religion is important, showing one government in the process of ridding its planet of religion, while another welcomes religion. Indeed an interesting story! Completed: 16 January 2014 9 Francis Schaeffer  Mostyn Roberts   Francis Schaeffer is one of the 20th century’s greatest influencers towards thinking Christianity. To him, Christianity was not simply a form of mysticism, and neither was it a leap of faith into the unknown. To Francis Schaeffer, Christianity was rational—not rationalistic. Christianity had all the answers to life’s big questions, and Schaeffer did not shy away from answering those questions. (Short review) Completed: 26 March 2014 8 Anne Boleyn: One Short Life That Changed the English-Speaking World  Colin Hamer   This book was well written and is easy to follow. The history of Anne Boleyn is well portrayed and myths and fiction surrounding her are cleared up. It is not a thick book and as such is a good introduction into the life of Anne Boleyn.It is certainly a good read for those who are interested in history, especially surrounding the entry of the Reformation in England and the huge role Anne Boleyn played in securing a strong foothold for the Reformation in England. Completed: 11 June 2014 7 What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur'an  James R. White   In a time such as the one we find ourselves in, where liberals make all kinds of false claims concerning how Islam is a religion of peace and many more claims, James R. White lays bare the Qur’an and shows how weak the book really is. Completed: 10 July 2014 6 The Atonement: Its Meaning and Significance  Leon Morris   Morris shows us that the atonement is not just single faceted, but multifaceted. When we speak of justification, we are touching on one of the facets of the atonement. When we speak of propitiation, we touch on another facet. It is an easy book to read, and is suitable for many different audiences. Completed: 23 February 2014 5 Our Sovereign Saviour: The Essence of the Reformed Faith  Roger Nicole   A very concise handling of the sovereignty of God in salvation. Completed: 30 November 2014 4 Abraham's Four Seeds   John G. Reisinger    This is an excellent book on New Covenant Theology. It breaks down the wrong ideas held by Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology and provides a simple yet profound, direct interpretation of the Scriptures. It does become a little repetitive at times, but is well worth the effort to read it. Completed: 5 September 2014 3 The Canon of Scripture   F.F. Bruce   F.F. Bruce gives a very good analysis of the canon of Scripture and how it came together. Well worth the time spent reading it. Bruce deals with both Old and New Testaments. I enjoyed every facet of the book and especially how he dealt with weird compilers of what should be in the NT such as Marcion's NT and others like him. For those that enjoy history, this will give a good idea of how our canon of Scripture came about. Completed: 29 June 2014 2 According to Plan  Graeme Goldsworthy   V[...]



Israel's place in God's economy

2014-08-16T16:26:01.000+02:00

"I personally believe that Israel, as a people, is still a unique people in God’s purposes. However, as a nation, they do not have any spiritual or eternal purposes independent of the church. God does not have two peoples, two programs, two eternal purposes, two gospels, and he most certainly does not have two separate brides for his Son (Eph. 2: 11– 22). This does not mean that Israel, as a people, is not still “beloved for the fathers’ sakes.” It is one thing to think of Israel as a physical nation with national and earthly distinctions and another to think of Israel as a people with God’s peculiar mark upon them. Romans 11 convinces me there will be many Jews saved in the future, but they will be part of the church." (John Reisinger, Abraham's Four Seeds, New Covenant Media, Frederick, MD, 1998, Kindle Edition: Location 917)

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Is the WOF movement from God?

2014-07-27T22:34:47.712+02:00

(image) According to this guy in Charisma News, you would think that the Word of Faith movement was the next step in God’s restoration of His church, something akin to the Reformation!

The problem that I have with Tom Brown’s defence of the WOF heresy, is that he deals with a very small part of the heresy: the name-it-and-claim-it part. And then he softens that part to look like the everyday variety of faith that WOF is supposed to be restoring to the church.

I wrote a series of blog posts on this heresy back in 2005. I simply called it “Heresies in the church.” In this series you will discover the complete destructiveness of the many heresies that the WOF guys preach. They mess the atonement of Christ up completely, claim that He took on the nature of Satan on the cross, also that Jesus had to be saved in hell, Jesus had to be born again just like you and I had to, that Christians are Gods just like Jesus.

It is clear that these preachers, of which there are many, are preaching a false gospel, and according to Paul, they are cursed and hence not from God!

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Henry on the coming barbarians

2014-05-25T12:29:41.535+02:00

“We are so steeped in the antichrist philosophy—namely, that success consists in embracing not the values of the Sermon on the Mount but an infinity of material things, of sex and status—that we little sense how much of what passes for practical Christianity is really an apostate compromise with the spirit of the age. “Our generation is lost to the truth of God, to the reality of divine revelation, to the content of God’s will, to the power of His redemption, and to the authority of His Word. For this loss it is paying dearly in a swift relapse to paganism. The savages are stirring again; you can hear them rumbling and rustling in the tempo of our times.” (Carl F. H. Henry, TWILIGHT OF A GREAT CIVILIZATION: The Drift Toward Neo-Paganism, Crossway Books, Westchester, IL, 1988, p15) Henry wrote this back in 1988. Looking at the world around us, I believe Henry’s savages are upon us! When we look at how people are fighting for their rights to murder, be depraved and to lead others—even children—into complete hedonistic immorality, I believe the savages are among us!   Hold fast to the Bible.To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progressmade in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future.Ulysses S. Grant [...]



Porndemic: a quick book review

2014-05-24T13:57:45.328+02:00

Title: PORNDEMIC: How the Pornography Plague Affects You and What You Can Do About It.Author: Taryn Hodgson (with Dr. Peter Hammond and Christine McCafferty)Publisher: Christian Liberty BooksYear Published: 2013ISBN: 978-0-9780165-5-3Pages: 255Format: Paperback Without a doubt, whenever I pick up one of the books written by staff from Africa Christian Action (ACA), I am challenged and given hope that issues are being dealt with in South Africa. And this book by Taryn Hodgson is no different. I have met Taryn and appreciate her ministry at ACA very much. In South Africa, ACA is at the forefront of battling the death-at-all-costs abortion machine, and also the very fast declining morality of the South African mindset. ACA has covered many different topics in their books over the years, such as abortion, Biblical government, the genocide in Rwanda, the situation in Sudan, homosexuality, and many more. In this book, the topic of pornography is tackled head-on, pulling no punches. While the arguments are based squarely on the Bible, research on the topic is also dealt with. Even though it was written for the South African situation, it certainly will benefit readers from other countries too. Some facts from other countries are also presented in the book. PORNDEMIC is an update on a book that Dr. Peter Hammond published back in 1991. Christine McCafferty started an update more than 11 years ago. Taryn took over the reigns and finally expanded, updated and completed the project. The book covers the historical data on how pornography was legalized in South Africa, even though the majority by far, were against it. But, then, that is what the ANC does. They claim to listen to public input, just to do whatever they want when the public disagrees with them. The same happened in the case of abortion and homosexual ‘marriage.’ PORNDEMIC deals with the harm of pornography, the Biblical data, hope for those who are addicted, deals with objections to the anti-porn stance, how to deal with the porn law, and more. It is definitely worthwhile reading, especially for its insights and practical value. As with my review of James White’s book “Pulpit Crimes,” I do have some negative comments. However, these comments should not stop you from getting your hands on a copy of the book. When I read a newspaper, magazine or book, I expect the spelling and grammar mistakes to be sorted out, since (like most of us would suppose), these published reading materials were supposed to be edited for mistakes like these. There aren’t many, but they are there. Simple things such as incorrect copying of a verse from the Bible, wrong verb forms when the plural is used and not making good use of commas. The comma is our friend, especially in long sentences, and where parentheses are used. “In South Africa, we need to lobby the Minister of Trade and Industry to have the Business Act (71 of 1991) amended to allow consideration of location (proximity to schools, churches etc.), proximity to other ‘adult’ businesses e.g. night clubs, liquor shops (so that the area does not become a magnet for crime) public participation and discretionary powers for local municipalities.” (pp170-171) I would have made at least one change to this long sentence, and that is using a comma between “crime)” and “public” close to the end of the sentence. “Phoenix and Indianapolis land use studies indicate that the ‘negative land use impact of a single adult use extends for up to three blocks.’” (p169) I suspect that “adult use” should be “adult shop.” “[] An Arizona land use study (1990) police found puddles of semen on the floor and walls in the peep booths of ‘adult shops.’” (p169) Here the sentence would make sense by starting it off with “In.” “. . . web fil[...]



Review: Francis Schaeffer by Mostyn Roberts

2014-03-30T22:10:58.957+02:00

Title: Francis Schaeffer Author: Mostyn Roberts Series: Bitesize Biographies Publisher: EP Books Year: 2012 ISBN: 0-85234-792-8 ISBN-13: 978-085234-792-8 Pages: 146 Format: Paperback Francis Schaeffer is one of the 20th century’s greatest influencers towards thinking Christianity. To him, Christianity was not simply a form of mysticism, and neither was it a leap of faith into the unknown. To Francis Schaeffer, Christianity was rational—not rationalistic. Christianity had all the answers to life’s big questions, and Schaeffer did not shy away from answering those questions. From academics, to blue collar workers, all were important to Schaeffer, and he believed that each one had to be answered on his own level. Mostyn Roberts wrote a very easy to read introduction to the life and ideas of Francis Schaeffer. Roberts writes about Schaeffer’s early years all the way to the end of his life in 1984, laying out a history of Schaeffer’s life, but also includes his teachings, apologetics, films, politics and his final battle with cancer. Schaeffer left a legacy that every Christian would do well to learn from and emulate. Schaeffer taught us that it is important for Christians to think. If you want to learn about Schaeffer, this is the book to start on. It is easy to read, doesn’t drag things out and it really accomplishes its purpose, which is to introduce the reader to Francis Schaeffer. Once you are done reading this book, and you would like to know more about Schaeffer, then you can move onto FRANCIS SCHAEFFER: an Authentic Life by Colin Duriez (hardcover, kindle). [...]



Five More Myths about Bible Translations

2014-03-23T11:47:03.340+02:00

About 3 months ago I wrote about Daniel Wallace’s 15 Myths about Bible Translation.

He has also written a blog post called Five More Myths about Bible Translations and the Transmission of the Text.

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It is definitely worth reading!

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60 Days–600 Chapters-1900 to go to finish the Bible

2014-03-02T09:31:19.185+02:00

Two pages from my Bible in Ephesians.From reading the title of this blog post, you are probably thinking that my math is all screwy, because how can 600 + 1900 (2500) be the completion of the Bible in chapters? Especially since there are only 1189 chapters in the Bible!Every year there are hordes of Bible reading plans to follow, and like it or not they are designed to be read from 1 January to 31 December. They are annual Bible reading programs. There are other programs that are designed to be read over 2 or 3 years. I know, many will say that you don’t have to read it starting at 1 January, it could be started at any time. The fact is that these Bible reading plans are promoted on scores of websites and blogs. . ., in the last week or so of December. Which leads the human mind to see these programs, plans or systems as new year’s resolutions. They are designed with the annual mindset.Well, this year I decided to do it a tad differently! I decided to follow Prof. Grant Horner’s Bible reading system which is kind of designed around a 250 day cycle, or a 28 day cycle, or a 31 day cycle, or an 89 day cycle. . . you get the drift! Horner’s system is designed around ten lists of Bible books of which you are to read one chapter from daily. That makes it 10 chapters each day, each chapter from a different book. While most reading plans are designed to finish 1189 chapters in a year, Horner’s system is designed to read every chapter in the Bible in 250 days. His longest list of books is 250 chapters long (List 9, OT prophets) and his shortest list is only 28 chapters long (List 10, Acts). It means that by the time List 9 has been completed, Acts would have been read almost a complete 9 times!The lists are made up as follows:In 250 days you would have read the gospels just shy of 3 times, the Mosaic books 1.33 times, List 3 just more than 3 times,  List 4 almost 4 times, List 5 a total of 4 times, Psalms 1.66 times, Proverbs 8 times, and Acts almost 9 times. This makes for a lot of reading! By the end of the year, if you have read every day of the year, you would have covered 3650 chapters of the Bible. You would have read Acts 13 times! Do you think you would know Acts just a little by then?Prof Horner recommends using the same Bible every day, the same one you always use. You will gain an affinity for the Bible you use. And, it helps for recollection. After reading the same passages from the same Bible for several years, you will start recalling entire pages in your mind, says Prof Horner. (Read more here.) You can also find Prof Horner’s system on Facebook. You can find his 10 Lists in a document that explains the whole system here. Simply print out the lists, and then cut them into individual strips and you will have bookmarks for each list.What I’ve done to help myself keep track of what I have read was to create 2 documents. One is simply a foldable checklist of each chapter from each book in each list. Click here to download this checklist. Then I also created an Excel spread sheet with each list’s books and chapters (some repeated) all the way down to row 250. This way I can keep track with where I am supposed to be at all times while repeating some books several times. Click here to download this spread sheet.What I have found with this system of reading is that there is no time to get bored or stuck in a rut. With the subject matter changing several times in a sitting, my attention is held fixed to the Scriptures.UPDATE:2 March 2014 - I have updated the Excel spread sheet. I have added a date column and a day column. The Date column is the first column. The dates start in row 2. If you did not start on 1 January with this program, then in the Date [...]



Leon Morris on The Atonement: Freedom

2014-02-09T22:08:42.816+02:00

“It is one of the curious things in life that Christians have all too often neglected [freedom]. Purchased at such great cost, they have promptly looked for some new servitude. Even in the early church it was not long before some people began to speak of Christianity as ‘the new law’ and to subject themselves to a legalism every bit as trying as that of which the New Testament writers complained in Judaism. And this has continued in the history of the church. Again and again it is not liberty in Christ which has characterized believers, but strict conformity to some new rule they have made or found. This may involve a rigorous asceticism or the firm conviction that the way forward is by observance of some sacramental discipline or the like.  At the other extreme it may be  by conformity to a new license, so that all who prefer an ordered way are held to be false to true Christianity. Mankind has a fiendish ingenuity in discovering ways of bringing itself into bondage. Paul’s words are far from being out of date.” (Leon Morris, The Atonement: Its Meaning & Significance, IVP Academic, Downer’s Grove, IL, 1983, p126)

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Leon Morris on The Atonement: Access

2014-02-05T20:15:32.695+02:00

(image) “Our sins separate us from God (Is. 59:2). We have no way of remedying the situation. But Christ has opened for his people the way into the very presence of God. This does not mean an occasional access. Christians live day by day in the assurance that the way into the presence of God is open wide. They need the mediation of no earthly priest. Indeed, now all of life is lived in God’s presence. This is the most important truth for the average Christian. The average person is just that – average. He or she has no great importance in the eyes of the world. Indeed that is one of life’s frustrations. When an injustice is done to us we have no access to the great ones who might put things right. We are continually pushed around by low-grade bureaucrats and kept in our place by office receptionists. It is possible to spend hours awaiting the pleasure of some subordinate official. This is part of life and if anything can be done about it I do not know what it is. But believers have access where it really counts. Christ’s fulfilment of the Day of Atonement ceremonies has opened up the way into the presence of God for the humblest of his people. Nothing on earth can take away what it means in terms of prayer and of companionship.” (Leon Morris, The Atonement: Its Meaning & Significance, IVP Academic, Downers Grove, IL, 1983, p87)

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On Forbidden Women

2014-02-05T17:19:24.730+02:00

(image) (1)  My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding;  (2)  That you may observe discretion And your lips may reserve knowledge.  (3)  For the lips of an adulteress drip honey And smoother than oil is her speech;  (4)  But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword.  (5)  Her feet go down to death, Her steps take hold of Sheol.  (6)  She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it. . . (20)  For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?  (21)  For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths.  (22)  His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin.  (23)  He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.
(Prov 5:1-6, 20-23)

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Next Greek-English lexicon: Liddell-Scott

2014-01-22T20:44:39.981+02:00

Apart from my other lexicons I already have (Davidson’s “The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon,” Osburn’s “A Hebrew and English Lexicon to the Old Testament,” BDB’s “The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon,” Mounce’s “The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament,” Friberg, Friberg and Miller’s “Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament,” Louw & Nida’s “Greek-English Lexicon” in two volumes, Thayer’s “A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament” and Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich-Danker’s “A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian literature”), today I received my “An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon” by Liddell & Scott.

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A Challenge to Pray for Your Daughter Everyday of January 2014

2013-12-29T08:10:50.695+02:00

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Image courtesy of Fatherhood
As Christian parents our greatest mission on earth is to raise children to love God and His gospel in Christ Jesus. We are to present the gospel to them, and to pray for them.

Hot on the heels of the August 2013 challenge to Pray For Your Wife, came the October challenge to Pray For Your Son.

Now, starting on 1 January 2014 is the Pray For Your Daughter challenge. You can join the challenge on its Facebook page. Joining this challenge will assist you with:

  • Focus – You will know what to pray for and not just repeat the same things everyday.
  • Accountability – You will be held accountable by the group.
  • Challenge – You will be challenged to go deeper in the way you pray for your daughter.
  • Encouragement – You will be encouraged to press on, even if it seems like God’s answers aren’t coming when you want them to.

Visit the challenge page to find out more of the details. You may even be able to assist.

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How long does it take to read your Bible in a year?

2013-12-28T15:33:47.653+02:00

(image) That is like asking, “How much are your $3 ice-creams?” If you read your Bible in a year, that is how long it will take!

If you are planning to read your Bible through in 2014, then there are a load of plans to follow. You can get several at Justin Taylor’s blog. So, I won’t bore you with another list of Bible reading plans.

Justin points to a website that gives you the details on how many verses/words you will read in a session. At 200 words a minutes, and about 10.7 minutes a day, you will finish reading the Bible in 3922.9 minutes, or 65 hours, 22 minutes, 54 seconds. That makes it 2 days, 17 hours, 22 minutes, 54 seconds if you read it non-stop from beginning to end! Not so bad considering a year of 365 days!

If you read at 250 words per minute (wpm), you will complete it in 2 days, 4 hours, 18 minutes, 16 seconds.

Here comes the kicker: if you can read at 400wpm, you will complete reading your Bible in 1 day, 8 hours, 41 minutes, 22 seconds!

During that time you will have read around 31243 verses and depending on the translation, many tons of words!This is definitely do-able, isn’t it? Then get planning!

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Jesus Came, God With Us

2013-12-27T08:41:23.828+02:00

It has been shown already that historically, Jesus did indeed exist; hence, He had to have been born. We know that He existed. Simple historical fact. However, the coming of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, was not just an historical event to look back on. There was a reason for His coming! There is meaning to that great event. Jesus came to this earth to die for sinners, to save His people from their sins! So, without any embellishments, here are some passages that tell us the reason for Christ’s coming! Mary “will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Mt 1:21) “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:45) “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (Jn 18:37) “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 Jn 4:10) “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Eph 5:2 ESV) “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16 HCSB) “for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” (Mt 26:28) “(5)  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,  (6)  who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,  (7)  but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  (8)  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Php 2:5-8) “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor 5:21) Christ “gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal 1:4) “Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit.” (1 Pet 3:18 NET) “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.” (Heb 13:12) “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Pet 2:24) “(14)  Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,  (15)  and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” (Heb 2:14-15) “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 Jn 3:8) “(14)  For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh,  (15)  He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace.  (16)  He did this so that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it.” (Eph 2:14-16 HCSB) “(51)  Now [Caiaphas] did not say this on his own initiative, [...]



The Spirit does what the law could not–sanctification

2013-12-26T07:14:46.887+02:00

(3)  For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,  (4)  so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  (5)  For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  (6)  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,  (7)  because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,  (8)  and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  (9)  However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Rom 8:3-9) John Piper delivers a thought provoking sermon on “How the Spirit Does What the Law Could Not Do,” based on Rom 8:3-9. Piper intends answering the following questions in his sermon: “Did he turn us away from the law for justification and then send us back to it for sanctification? Is the law the first and chief and decisive focus of our lives if we want to triumph over our rebellion and our craving for God's creation over God? If we want to love our enemies and not return evil for evil, and have patience and kindness, and be bold and courageous in the cause of righteousness, and endure hardship joyfully in service of the gospel, and spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples, then where shall we turn for help? How do we become holy, loving, and Christ-like after we are justified by faith alone?“What do you do? Where do you turn? What is your focus and passion? How do you fight for holiness and love and Christ-likeness? You must fight. The alternative of pursuing holiness is to perish (Hebrews 12:14). How do you fight? Is law the key that unlocks a life of love?” You can either read or listen to his sermon here! [...]



A Journey in Heresy: A Short Review

2013-12-24T12:05:16.271+02:00

“(6)  I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;  (7)  which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.  (8)  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!  (9)  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Gal 1:6-9) The book we are looking at in this blog post is as follows: Title: A Journey in Heresy: A Theological NovelAuthor: Richard P. BelcherPublisher: Richbarry Press, Fort Mill, SCYear of Publication: 2009ISBN: 978-1-883265-31-2Pages: 174 Belcher has written 24 book in his Journey series. Based on the 3 books I have read (A Journey in Grace, A Journey In Sovereignty, and the current book under review), I would recommend others to read these books too. A Journey in Heresy is a book about a Baptist Theological Seminary where a conspiracy is afoot to replace the current head of the Evangelism department with a more erudite evangelist who brings in thousands of “decisions” a year for Christ. The problem with this scenario is that those who want the new man—Jacob Johnson Maxwell—to take over the evangelism department, want him there purely because he brings in all these “decisions.” Little do they know about this man’s heretical teachings, and it takes three men at the seminary, Ira, Dink and Dr. Sisk, to unmask the teaching of Maxwell. Dink, that is to take the brunt of the conspiracy, is tasked by the president of the seminary, Dr. Sisk, to research Maxwell’s teaching, and so starts a series of teachings on Maxwell’s theology by Dink. Read more » [...]



Christmas is from the devil and all such mythical declarations

2013-12-26T15:14:41.116+02:00

Every Christmas a slew of well meaning Christians—I hope—come out of the woodwork to declare Christmas a pagan celebration and that Christians should not celebrate it. I’ve been through this whole saga too many years ago, but thank God He saved me from such nonsense. Of course, many of these mythical notions about Christmas started with Alexander Hislop’s book, The Two Babylons, which by the way has been debunked thoroughly. And many still accept this book as the bible on all things Christmas, etc.Just to enlighten those that still think that Christmas is going to send us straight to hell, here are two articles on the matter that is worth reading:Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Christmas and Sol Invictus by Joseph Abrahamson. A quote: “Remember first that the Christian faith is as old as the curse on Satan in Genesis 3:15. And while pagan worship of the sun certainly existed in Rome before the spread of the fulfillment of that promise in Christ came to the city; the celebration of Sol Invictus as a god in Rome actually came as pagans attempted to suppress Christianity. This early attempt as suppressing Christianity by means of the pagan worship of Sol is found in the Historia Augusta, a pagan history of Rome compiled in the fourth century AD.” The other article is Was Jesus Born on 25 December? by Peter Hammond. A quote from Hammond:“It is true that one Roman Emperor, Aurelian, did attempt to inaugurate 25 Dec. as a pagan festival "the birth of the unconquered Sun." This was in AD 274. Aurelian was attempting to breathe new life into a declining paganism devastated by the advances of Christianity. However, the Roman pagan festival was instituted after the Christians had already been celebrating the birth of Christ on that day for many decades. Their pagan festival was an attempt to create an alternative tradition, which already was associated with the birth of Christ, and of some significance to the Roman Christians. This is not a case of Christians imitating the pagans. The pagans were attempting to imitate the Christians, by celebrating the Sun on the day when Christians celebrated the Son of God.”May you have a Merry Christmas!Update - Also read:26 Dec 2013 - Yes, Christ Was Really Born on December 25: Here’s a Defense of the Traditional Date for Christmas [...]



My Top 10 Books of 2013

2013-12-21T11:12:04.147+02:00

It is the time of year that many look back over the year to assess the year’s successes, failures, and hardships. For those that enjoy reading, there were also successes and failures, and sometimes hardships when reading books. Successes in the books read, failures in the books not read or finished, and hardships to grind through some books. Of course, my list of books will not be the same as someone else’s list of books, since our interests will be different, and there are few people in the world who have actually read the same list of books this year. The books I will list here did not come from another list at all. These are the top 10 books that I have personally read this year. 10. Love Your God with All Your Mind, J.P. Moreland In the evangelical world there are opposites in many areas. Not the least of those opposites are in the area of the mind and the spirit. However, what has probably been neglected the most in evangelicalism is the importance of the mind. In this book, J.P. Moreland takes very seriously the imperative that Jesus highlighted for the questioning scribe: “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.” (Mk, 12:30) Moreland highlights the use of the intellect as Christians in God’s kingdom in the areas of evangelism, apologetics, worship and vocation. The evangelical has many times loved the Lord with great zeal, but neglected to love God with the mind. I finished this book on 23 June 2013. Read more » [...]