Round Up

John Piper Infographic – Here is another infographic from Tim Challies on John Piper.

Bible Translations and Bible Reading – Many translations are extremely helpful, but none of them capture exactly what the original language depicts in the text. That is why it is so important for Christians and especially pastors to learn the original languages of Scripture (Greek and Hebrew).

Preach the Word – You wouldn’t expect to hear a pastor tell his church, “I know better than God.” And yet that’s what many preachers and leaders today communicate when they focus their ministry strategies on market research and consumer response.

Forged In Forgiveness – Erik Fitzgerald was a youth pastor in Georgia when he awoke one day to the terrible news that his wife and son had been killed in a car accident.  See the healing power of forgiveness in action.

Quote:

“We may ask, no doubt, why God does not extend his saving grace to all; and why, if he sends it to some only, he sends it to just those some to whom he sends it rather than to others. These are not wise questions to ask. We might ask why Christ raised Lazarus only of all that lay dead that day in Palestine, or in the world. No doubt reasons may suggest themselves why he raised Lazarus. But why Lazarus only? If we threw the reins on the neck of imagination, we might possibly discover reasons enough why he might well have raised others, too, with Lazarus, perhaps many others, perhaps all the dead throughout the whole world. Doubtless he had his reasons for doing on that great day precisely what he did. No doubt God has his reasons, too, for doing just what he does with his electing grace. Perhaps we may divine some of them. No doubt there are others which we do not divine. Better leave it to him, and content ourselves. facing, in the depths of our ignorance and our sin-bred lack of comprehension, these tremendous realities, with the O altitudo of Paul: ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!’ Or may we not even rise to the great consenting ‘Yea!’ which Christ has taught us: ‘Yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight!’ After all, men are sinners and grace is wonderful. The marvel of marvels is not that God, in his infinite love, has not elected all of this guilty race to be saved, but that he has elected any. What really needs accounting for — though to account for it passes the powers of our extremest flights of imagination — is how the holy God could get the consent of his nature to save a single sinner.” – B. B. Warfield

Write In Your Bible

I read the following article by Jonathan Parnell this morning and it really struck home with me.  I have a Bible that is not quite 3 years old and there are notes and underlines in it on most of the pages.  My wife looked at it the other day and asked me how I could even read some of the notes because they are printed in the margins even smaller than the actual text of the Bible.  I will admit that I have reached the age where “grandpa” glasses come in quite handy not only to read, but to print in the margins such small type.  Most of the notes in my Bible are notes for myself, but the following talks about leaving notes in your Bible that are a legacy to your children and I intend to start doing this.

Here is the article:

Dads, Write in Your Bible

This is high-strategy time. As one year gives way to the next, many of us are gearing up for a fresh start on our Bible reading plan — and especially if you’re a dad.

It’s no secret that the word of God and prayer are a personal means of grace that spill over for the good of those around us. And how much more for a patriarch? We read the Bible not just for ourselves, but for our families, for our friends, for our community. We know that God doesn’t transform his people into dead-ends, but into rivers of living water, and therefore, deciding on a route and digging in on that resolve has more in view than our own souls.

And this year, as you settle your plans, here’s another aspect to consider.

Dads, write in your Bible.

Real, Slow Writing

Now I don’t mean to merely highlight and jot down some cross-references, or even scribble some observations without any readers in mind. The initiative here is to write — and to write to your children. This means to get a new Bible with margins and walk from Genesis to Revelation, sketching devotional insights and prayers for your kids, that you will then give to them one day.

It will probably take you at least ten years.

So I just lost some of you. Ten years is a long time in a world of quick content. It can be addicting, I know. The fast return of ego metrics on the simplest tweet doesn’t exactly push us to burrow down in a project that only a few will read years in the future. But if you’re still reading, this might be for you.

But what’s the point?

The Apostolic Inspiration

Peter writes as a dying man in his second letter. He knows his end is drawing near, and therefore his words seem to have an increased vigor. He starts the letter by commending God’s power and promises sufficient to provide everything we need for our relationship with him and the character it effects. And then, in verse 12, he tells us his intent.

Peter wants to remind us (2 Peter 1:12). He figures that as long as he is alive on earth, he should “stir [us] up by way of reminder” (2 Peter 1:13). And in fact, precisely because he knows he will soon die, he says, “I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things” (2 Peter 1:15).

What is his “every effort” to be made? What is he doing in hopes of reminding the church long after he’s gone? He writes.

News Worth Reminding

We know Peter’s effort involves many things off the page as well, but certainly it includes his writing. He knows what he wants the church to know, and he puts it on paper.

And though the mass of his influence is incomparable to ours, we have children who care about what we think. Do we have anything we’d like them to recall? To know? Of course they won’t be reading it centuries from now, but there’s a good chance they will read it, and that we can work now to remind them of a few things even after we’re gone.

And undoubtedly, the main thing we want to leave them is the gospel — the glory of Jesus in the word of God.

Dream of the Impact

Speaking specifically now to the dads who are part of this “great awakening to the glory of God’s sovereign grace” — dads who might call themselves that kind of Calvinist — what better could we leave the next generation than the Bible infused with the scribbles of our affectionate prayers?

Can you imagine 30 or more years from now that hundreds of Christians will have Bibles given to them from their dads — Bibles saturated with the extra ink of love from the depths of their dad’s heart? That they can open these Bibles to read Philippians 1 and see a meditation in the margins addressed to them?

What kind of impact could something like this have overall if a bunch of dads did this? Or the real question is: what kind of impact might you have on your children if you did this? Most of us are not remarkable and won’t do anything awesome. But God has made us fathers, and our calling to this role is irreplaceable. As you pray for your children, write it down for them. As you are blown away by the message of Colossians, write it down for them. As you see more of Jesus in the Psalms, write it down for them. And then one day, give it to them.

To the Practicals

If this is something you’re considering, here are a few steps to get you started.

1. Choose the Bible.

I recommend getting a new Bible without any marks. There are a couple options out there that work great for this sort of project, such as the ESV Journaling Bible or the ESV wide-margin from Cambridge.

2. Make your plan.

This is one idea, moldable from simple to complex for whatever fits you best. You might want to do only highlighting and underlining, with occasional prayers in the margins or the back. Or you might want to write a whole devotional commentary, filling up all the space you can with meditations and application. Or you might even do something only faintly related to either of these. But whichever you do, decide up front and keep it as consistent as possible.

3. Settle your details.

Figure out things like highlighter colors, pen points, index, etc. For instance, you might decide to keep it to three simple colors: yellow for importance, pink for repeated content within a specific book, and sky blue for inter-textual allusions. Remember that these colors vary among brands. If possible, stick with one type like this. For pens, you might decide to use a black Micron 005 for margin notes and a blue one for underlining. This archival ink is waterproof and never fades. (And don’t forget a ruler for those underlines.)

4. Pick your time.

Think through when you are going to journal in this Bible. Maybe it will become part of your daily Bible reading. Maybe you’ll dip into it a couple times a week. Maybe you’ll fluctuate between an intensive season and taking a routine break. Don’t forget that this is a project for the long haul. There’s no need to rush it. What matters most is that through God’s word you are believing his gospel and enjoying him — that is, remembering what you want to remind your children.

The original article can be found here.

Daily Roundup

16 Rules for Biblical Interpretation – A noteworthy list that needs to be applied by those of us who read and study the Bible.

“These Things” – Several “things” to think about from the book of John.

A Thankful Heart – Do we have a thankful heart?  I tweeted this morning the following, “If God is sovereign over all, when we complain we are actually questioning God; we are sinning against His sovereignty.”  We should be thankful in ALL things!

The Humble Celebrity – What a refreshing story.  It is just sad that stories like this are so rare today.

What Happens When We Read the Bible? – This gave me something to think about this morning.

Quote:

Today, an extraction from Carl Trueman’s book, The Creedal Imperative which deals with creeds in the Church:

I do want to make the point here that Christians are not divided between those who have creeds and confessions and those who do not; rather, they are divided between those who have public creeds and confessions and that are written down and exist as public documents, subject to public scrutiny, evaluation, and critique, and those who have private creeds and confessions that are often improvised, unwritten, and thus not open to public scrutiny, not susceptible to evaluation and, crucially and ironically, not, therefore, subject to testing by Scripture to see whether they are true (p. 15).