A prudent, zealous, and laborious Minister

Not to read or study at all is to tempt God: to do nothing but study, is to forget the Ministry: to study, only to glory in one’s knowledge, is a shameful vanity: to study, in search of the means to flatter sinners, a deplorable prevarication: but to store one’s mind with knowledge proper to the saints by study and by prayer, and to diffuse that knowledge in solid instructions and practical exhortations, – this is to be a prudent, zealous, and laborious Minister.

Quesnel, quoted by Charles Bridges in “The Christian Ministry”
The Christian Ministry book cover

A Timely Reminder From Titus

A timely reminder from Titus (specifically, Titus 3:1-2), for me and my brothers and sisters in Christ:

  • Be submissive to rulers and authorities
  • Be obedient
  • Be ready for every good work
  • Speak evil of no one
  • Avoid quarreling
  • Be gentle
  • Show perfect courtesy toward all people

Why?

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:3-7

Grace and peace this Election Day!

An elegant hat…for a more civilized age.

My birthday was pretty laid back this year. Jenna made me a nice coconut curry. Kim got me some items to help in the kitchen. The weekend before, a trip to Barnes and Noble resulted in me getting the first two books to the Harry Potter series in Spanish, for study purposes, español being one of the languages I am working on at the moment.

In my last post I mentioned that I received my next round of texts for school. In addition, I’ve waited with much anticipation for a splurge item. which arrived (quite on time) this morning:

I vaguely remember my dad getting a similar Stetson package in the mail when I was a teenager. His taste in hats is slightly different from mine, but it is nice to find that one milliner might serve us both so well!

Break over, time to get back to studying!

Next!

Currently mid-way on Intro to New Testament 2 with Tom Schreiner, but in the mail came some of the texts for my next class. I’ll be taking Personal Spiritual Disciplines with Don Whitney over the winter term.

Two of those are extra credit, but look really promising (both the Whitney books). I already had the other texts required for the course, Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life and Pilgrim’s Progress.

In The Mail: CSB

So, class number two started yesterday: Intro to New Testament 2, taught by Tom Schreiner (woohoo!). Noted from the syllabus that we have to read Acts through Revelation (the scope of the class) in either the NIV or CSB. I usually read in the ESV these days, so decided to send out for a copy of the CSB. I got the study version, and not the single column version, though I was tempted. Been a while since I’ve used a study bible and not certain this was the best version to choose for a study bible, but thought it was worth trying out.

Looks nice, anyway!

Smells good, too!

Pastries

In his discussion on “Qualifications of Inerrancy” in 40 Questions About Interpreting The Bible, Robert Plummer encourages pastry-making informed by appropriate sources:

7. Inerrancy does not mean that the Bible provides definitive or exhaustive information on every topic. No author in the Bible, for example, attempts a classification of mollusks or lessons in subatomic physics. The Bible tangentially touches on these subjects in asserting that God is the creator of all things, marine or subatomic, but one must not press the Scriptures to say more than they offer. If you want to learn how to bake French pastries, for example, there is no biblical text that I can suggest. I can, however, exhort you to do all things diligently for God’s glory (Col. 3:17) and not to engage in gluttony (Prov. 23:20). And I would be happy to sample any of the pastries you make.

40 Questions About Interpreting The Bible, p. 43, Robert L. Plummer (italics his)

All jesting aside, the book so far has been a very crisp read, and I am enjoying it quite a bit. This last question/chapter was on the presence (or lack thereof) of error in Scripture. It immediately put me in mind of Warfield’s The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, which sits nearby. Alas, it will remain undisturbed on my desk for another occasion. I must be through question seven this coming week, as my Biblical Hermeneutics class begins in earnest.

From the same question (#4), the following “Reflection Question” is posed, which I offer as an exercise to you, the reader:

What is the most puzzling text in the Bible to you?

Now, onward to transmission accuracy.

-G

Do you know who you’re talking to?

Reading in Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes The Church, by John Onwuchekwa, I came across the following that reminds me of Matthew 11:25-26. I preached (we need to make praught a thing) from Matthew 11:25-30 last week. The connection between adoring God the Father for both his revealing and hiding has a lot in common with praising him for his love and his just-ness that comes out clearly in this excerpt:

Delving into God’s attributes means we must pay attention to the attributes of God we sometimes feel tempted to apologize for. It shows us we should adore them. Think of God’s anger and wrath. When we praise him for those things during corporate worship, we’re reminded that God is committed to justice. Wrath isn’t a liability. It’s proof of his protection. God’s anger, directed at sin, reminds us that he is a protector of the weak. His inability to ignore sin and the relentless way he punishes evil is scary because we fear we could easily find ourselves as the objects of his wrath. But for those who take shelter under the protection he has offered through his Son, we realize God’s holiness is for our protection, not our punishment.

Do you know who you’re talking to? I’m not convinced everyone who comes to corporate worship does. Even if we do know, we forget. Thankfully, prayers of adoration remind us.

Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes The Church

In the Mail, Fall 2020 SBTS Edition

Time to get reading!

So, here is what I will be reading (above and beyond the stuff I am already reading) for my first semester (fall, the first two of six class blocks during a year of online instruction):

F1: Biblical Hermeneutics

Required. These, in no particular order, are the required books for my first session:

Optional. I ordered before the syllabus was quite online, and found out after that these were optional – meaning possible replacements if you had already read the book by Alexander. I knew they were optional, but not exactly what optional would mean (one or the other, zero or more, etc.) Nevertheless, I got both:

F2: Intro to New Testament 2

Looking forward to digging in!

G.

The Special Case of Conversation

I found myself laughing quite loudly, and re-reading this passage to my wife to help her share in my enjoyment. I’m not sure I succeeded, but I will share with you all nonetheless.

The subject is conversation, and in the specific passage, the authors are beginning to illuminate the “presupposition pool”. Even more specifically, the idea that speakers naturally exclude or include content based on these shared concepts.

…Any speaker will necessarily make certain assumptions about his listeners and will fashion what he has to say accordingly. For example, he will not unnecessarily explain such technical terms as he may use unless he is fairly sure that explanation is required; the gratuitous supply of an unnecessary explanation may become part of the communication and may be perceived as patronizing. On the other hand failure to provide a necessary explanation may be perceived as deliberate one-upmanship, as exhibitionism, as (Chapter 3) sesquipedalian. Under these circumstances the listener may determine not to ask for clarification of the new word and so allow the communication to fail. In either case misunderstanding of the actual contents of the presupposition pool is likely to lead to an undeniable alteration in the character of the conversation.

Linguistics & Biblical Interpretation, p. 258

Yes, I had to look up “sesquipedalian” (Yes, they did in fact define it in Chapter 3, right near the beginning, and yes, that knowledge went “in one ear and out the other”, so to speak). Yes, you should look it up, too. These are my kind of people.

Back to School

I’ve finally done it. Applied to go back to school, and today was accepted at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Am looking at getting an M.Div. of Christian Ministry. Now with the application and all that entails out of the way, can focus on registering (and paying) for classes.

I’ll be starting off slow. Still have my job and three kids in the house, one of whom is not far from college herself. And not sure how the “all online” will really work out. Not planning on moving to Kentucky any time soon. Guess that everyone is doing things online right now anyway, what with Covid and all. Anyway, if I’m going to be reading, might as well read for “credit”…

Thinking about starting with Elementary Hebrew and/or Elementary Greek, which are both remedial/prerequisites anyway. My self-taught Greek probably couldn’t get me excused from taking a formal class, my Hebrew even less likely.

As a working guy having been out of school for a while now, I found this post pretty thoughtful. Worked through most of those thoughts getting to this point.