Welcome to my digest of Christian comment.
For Biblical commentary, use the Bible Study Notes menu above, and for topical comments, use the categories list on the right.
A student won first prize at a Science Fair.
He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or a total ban on the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide.”
And for plenty of good reasons, since it:
1. Can cause excessive sweating and vomiting.
2. It is a major component in acid rain.…
According to the Calvin’s classic formulation, God’s law has a threefold use (Institutes, II.vii.6-12).
These are helpfully summarised in the Reformation Study Bible:
Scripture shows that God intends His law to function in three ways, which Calvin crystallized in classic form for the church’s benefit as the law’s threefold use.
Its first function is to be a mirror reflecting to us both the perfect righteousness of God and our own sinfulness and shortcomings.…
Robert Reymond writes:
The NT speaks explicitly of the obedience of Christ only three times: “through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19); “he humbled himself and became obedient to death” (Phil. 2:8); and “he learned obedience from what he suffered” (Heb. 5:8). But the concept these verses contain is clearly alluded to in many other places, e.g.,
(1) the several contexts in which Christ is called “servant” (Isa.…
The book of Proverbs has much to say about ‘the fool’ and his ways. The title does not belong to those of limited intelligence, but rather to those who choose and cultivate folly. Kidner: ‘the book has in mind a man’s chosen outlook, rather than his mental equipment.’ The fool returns to his folly as a dog returns to his own vomit (Prov 26:11).
In Proverbs, both wisdom (Prov 9:1-6) and folly (Prov 9:13-18) are personified as women inviting the young and impressionable to her banquet. …
I have found much to disagree with in Steve Chalke’s book The Lost Message of Paul.
Is there anything I can applaud? Actually, yes, there is.
I can see that he often attempts to support his arguments from Scripture. I recognise that he gives a central place to Christ. I think he’s correct to say that evangelicals have sometimes emphasis neglected the resurrection of Jesus in their presentation of the gospel. He emphasises that the gospel has corporate, as well as individual, elements. …
The final state of the saved may be characterized by six adjectives.
Steve Chalke (The Lost Message of Paul, ch. 19) argues that, if Paul’s words in Colossians 1:19f mean anything, ‘all’ must mean ‘all’, and that the ‘reconciliation of all things’ must include all people, without exception.
Here’s what Chalke says:
‘The theologian John Piper uses the same kind of ‘does-all-really-mean-all’ argument to dismiss the power of Paul’s magnificent declaration about Christ in Colossians 1.19–20:
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Jesus], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.…
One of the problems with Steve Chalke’s book The Lost Message of Paul is that he bites off much more than he can chew. As a result, influential Christian leaders and teachers such as Augustine, Luther and Calvin are dismissed with a wave of the hand, opponents are caricatured, and opinions are advanced without consideration of the reasons and evidence that might be adduced either for or against them.
No doubt the response to such criticisms would be, “But I simply didn’t have time or space in a book of this kind to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’.” But that’s precisely the problem: if you want to claim that in a number of important ways Protestantism has completely misunderstood and misrepresented the Christian faith, then you have to work much harder than this to support your arguments and to rebut the counter-arguments.…