Help Me Father

Please help me Father to understand,

That my faith is weak, and my sin is grand.

But no matter how much I sin before you,

Your forgiveness and love are faithful and true.

Forgive me now for my rebellion and pride,

My strength and refuge in you I find.

Wet Babies

This is one of the better, short cases for infant baptism I have read . The arguments made here are particularly helpful as they also manage to engage many common objections within the short confines of the post.

Even if you do not agree, I encourage you to read it if for no other reason than to better understand those who do hold to the positions summerized in Covenant Theology and paedobaptism (which we obviously believe to be based in Scripture, not man’s inventions of a system) .


via A Clear and Concise Case for Infant Baptism

He Who Does the Work

     “Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,
     To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
     I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  ~1 Corinthians 1:1-9

By who’s will is Paul called?


To who’s church does Paul write?


Who sanctifies them (and makes them His church)?


Who’s catholic church (to which they now belong)?


Who gave them grace?


Who enriched them?


Who will sustain them?


Who makes them guiltless?


Who called them?



Because He is faithful.

There is no hint from Paul that the work of God; calling, sanctifying, enriching, sustaining, pardoning, calling; will not be accomplished. There is no condition placed upon it. His work is accomplished because He is faithful.

12 Responses: Foreword

Since Peterson is sweeping the web, this will be a good blog thread to follow.

Cultus and Culture

I’ve just picked up a copy of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life, a book bound to be both bestselling and controversial, as Peterson himself is a popular and controversial figure. In early reviews and endorsements, the book is touted as a wise and fatherly guide for us wayward Millennials, full of practical advice on how to be a man or a woman and make your way in the world.

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To Give what You Love for what You Love Most.


Samuel Dedicated by Hannah at the Temple by Frank W.W. Topham

As I was reading the book of Samuel, conviction struck hard within the first serval pages.

Most know the story well: Hannah is longing for a son because up till this point, she has been barren. There were many cultural pressures around having children at this time (though in the opposite way our current culture’s is), but the Scriptures show that this was truly a desire from the deepest depths of her heart.

After much faithful prayer, God grants her request, but what was convicting to me was her response; she takes what she desired so desperately, and gives back to Him who she desires and loved most.

Hannah gave her Son to work in the service of YHWH her God because she revered God more.

She knows she is only going to be able to see her Son once a year, and this would tear any loving parent’s heart, yet the passage does not indicate she made this sacrifice begrudgingly. In fact, Hannah prays a magnificent prayer of worship and praise:

“My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.
“There is none holy like the Lord:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
and on them he has set the world.
“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (I Samuel 2:1-10)

This was a true act of worship and joy on Hannah’s part; to give back to her God what He had given her.

She who longed for a child so desperately, longed for the worship of her God more.

The emotions of that sacrifice were real to her, but she had a faith and love for God that most of us will probably never obtain this side of eternity.


The Pope is Pope-ing with Translation

Lord's Prayer

Currently sweeping the religious news section of tabloids such as the Washington Post and the New York Times, and every other news site; is the fact that Pope Francis made a statement about changing the Lord’s prayer, or rather, changing the translation of the Lord’s prayer.

What’s important to note is that this motivation is not linguistically driven, but theologically driven. And that’s ok-at least in regards to the motivation; not his suggestion.

When interpreting and translating texts of Holy Scripture, theology has to play a pivotal role.

Often Christian critiques of the Critical Text Method claim that the Scriptures are being treated as any other ancient text, therefore bad translation decisions are made (like calling into question the pericope adulterae {the woman caught in adultery} in John 7:53–8:11).

Though I believe this charge to be often unfounded, the point is valid-the Bible is God-breathed revelation and must be treated as such. This means that when we are translating the texts of Scripture we must also be faithful exegetes.

Linked are two different approaches to this proposition by the Pope; one from a believing textual critical scholar, Dan Wallace; and the other from a non-believing apostate, Bart Erhman.

I would encourage the reader to read both articles in their entirety, but I wanted to draw attention to one distinct contrast between the two authors:

Erhamn states:

The word “temptation” can mean what we mean by it – the temptation to do something wrong or sinful.  But it can also refer to a test or trial.   So it could mean something like:  don’t make us undergo a time of trial at the end of this age.

But Wallace counters (indirectly):

It is important to recognize, however, that all translation is interpretation. The reason is that the syntax and lexical mapping in one language never match exactly that of another language. The context determines the meaning. A so-called “word-for-word” translation is quite impossible for anything more than a short phrase or sentence. In this passage, for example, the word translated “temptation” is the same word that is elsewhere translated “testing.” Interpretation is required; translators cannot simply leave the word to allow for both meanings since “temptation” has connotations of sin while “testing” does not…

He goes on:

…the broader context of Matthew’s Gospel may give us a clue as to why the Lord said, “Do not lead us into temptation.” Immediately after Jesus’ baptism, we are told that he “was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4.1). The Greek text indicates that the purpose of the Spirit’s leading Jesus into the wilderness was so that he would be tempted by the devil (“to be tempted” [πειρασθῆναι] is an infinitive of purpose, giving the purpose of the Spirit’s leading). Mark words this even more starkly: “Immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness” (Mark 1.13).

Evidently, there is a sense in which Jesus was delivered into the hands of the evil one, by the Holy Spirit himself, to be tempted. But the Greek here makes an interesting point about who is responsible for what. Two passive verbs are used in Matt 4.1— ἀνήχθη (“he was led”) and πειρασθῆναι (“to be tempted”). The agents are listed with identical prepositions: ὑπό. This is the preposition used especially for ultimate agent. It is rare to see ὑπό followed by πνεύματος (“Spirit”) in the NT (only five passages). Doing so here, Matthew shows that the Spirit is not subordinate to the devil but is the agent ultimately responsible for leading Jesus into the wilderness, while the devil is the ultimate agent of the temptation. The Spirit is not responsible for that. The Spirit did not tempt Jesus, but he did lead him to be tempted. The balance is intentional: leading into temptation is not the same as tempting (emphasis mine). God the Holy Spirit led Jesus into temptation, but he did not tempt him. Wrestling with the implications of this requires more than a little reflection.

Theology matters. This is why Bart Erhman could care less about interchanging the word test or trail-he does not apply any exegesis to his interpretations.

In contrast, Dan Wallace shows why exegesis it is absolutely essential to the translation.


Theology Matters. Did I say that already?


My contribution to the many articles celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation will be to capitalize on the work of others (kind of the theme really). First, on the extensive work by James White in his many debates with Catholic scholars; and secondly, on the work of the person who took the time to collate many of the debate links into one playlist.

Happy Reformation Day! May God reform His Church.