Here's a sampling of some of the things I've been reading and reviewing this week. The hope is that these bite-sized sections of books, articles, blog posts, etc will stand on their own and be beneficial in-and-of-themselves. But I also hope that some of you will like these excerpts enough that they pull you into the larger work from which they've been taken.
Let's start sampling:
Craig Groeschel, Fight: Winning the Battles that Matter Most. Zondervan, 2013. p. 111:
We doom ourselves when we taunt the enemy [Satan], when we rationalize our sin, and then when we assume that our disobedience isn't going to cost us anything. We forget that our sin always takes us further than we want to go and costs us more than we want to pay."
Cornelius Plantinga, Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin. Eerdmans, 1995. pp. ix, xiii:
“In this book I am trying to retrieve an old awareness that has slipped and changed in recent decades. The awareness of sin used to be our shadow. Christians hated sin, feared it, fled from it, grieved over it. Some of our grandparents agonized over their sins. A man who lost his temper might wonder whether he could still go to Holy Communion. A woman who for years envied her more attractive and intelligent sister might worry that this sin threatened her very salvation.
“But the shadow has dimmed. Nowadays, the accusation you have sinned is often said with a grin, and with a tone that signals an inside joke. At one time, this accusation still had the power to jolt people. Catholics lined up to confess their sins; Protestant preachers rose up to confess our sins. And they did it regularly. As a child growing up in the fifties among Western Michigan Calvinists, I think I heard as many sermons about sin as I did about grace. The assumption in those days seemed to be that you couldn’t understand either without understanding both....”
“....My goal, then, is to renew the knowledge of a persistent reality that used to invoke in us fear, hatred, and grief. Many of us have lost this knowledge, and we ought to regret the loss. For slippage in our consciousness of sin, like most fashionable follies, may be pleasant, but it is also devastating. Self-deception about our sin is a narcotic, a tranquilizing and disorienting suppression of our central nervous system. What’s devastating about it is that when we lack an ear for wrong notes in our lives, we cannot play the right ones or even recognize them in the performances of others. Eventually we make ourselves religiously so unmusical that we miss both the exposition and the recapitulation of the main themes God plays in human life. The music of creation and the still greater music of grace whistle right through our skulls, causing no catch of breath and leaving no residue. Moral beauty begins to bore us. The idea that the human race needs a Savior sounds quaint.”
Craig Blomberg, "Can We Trust Any of Our Translations of the Bible?" in Can We Still Believe the Bible? An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions. Brazos Press, 2014. p. 85:
"Except for aberrant translations produced by sects or cults to promote their distinctive doctrines, every Bible on the market today is sufficiently faithful in its translation so that its readers can learn all of the fundamental truths of Christianity accurately....The differences [between translations] are exceedingly minor compared with the overall similarities" (italics original).
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