Tuesday, March 31, 2020

My times are in thy hand

“My times are in thy hand,” writes the Psalmist David (Psalm 31:15). The antecedent of “my” is David, found in the superscription “A Psalm of David.” The antecedent of “thy” is the Lord God, found in verse 14. David’s times, he recognizes, are in God’s hands. David’s times are the incidents of life, such as guarding the sheep, facing Goliath, running from Saul and Absalom, inflicted with chills from which he died.

David’s times are unique, his very own. However, the truth “my times are in thy hand” is applicable to every unique member of the human race. You and I can take it up and say with full assurance, “my times are in God’s hands” – “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10).

We all share generalities in common, such as “A time to be born, and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2). The dash in between belongs to each uniquely, the race that God has set before him or her (Hebrews 12:1). Be we males or female, black or white, rich or poor, Jew or Gentile, Americans or Chinese, our times – uniquely and individually – are in God’s hands. Since David knew and was assured that he was in God’s hands, he could pray with calmness and confidence to God for deliverance.

One day the dash will come to a close, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). It is appointed unto men once to die (Hebrews 9:27). Cancer or coronavirus, car wreck or heart attack, stillbirth or old age atroke, the time comes when, like Elisha, we will meet the thing whereof we die ( 2 Kings 13:14).

In life, by creation, every creature is in God’s hands. However, only some are uniquely in God’s hands for both time and eternity – his sheep who hear his voice (John 10:26-27). “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” (John 10: 28-20).

Sovereign ruler of the skies,
Ever gracious ever wise!
All my times are in thy hand—
All events at thy command.

Plagues and death around me fly;
Till he bids I cannot die:
Not a single shaft can hit
Till the God of loves sees fit.

O thou gracious, wise, and just,
In thy hands my life I trust.
Have I something dearer still?
I resign it to thy will.
(Isaac Watts)

Rift and Restoration, a question

Q. Paul & Barnabas traveled and preached together, but split due to differing viewpoints on whether or not to take John Mark with them (Acts 15:36-40). Did they reconcile, or did they remain estranged?

A. There is no explicit scripture that details reconciliation between Paul and Barnabas. I believe, however, that there is a bit of evidence that indicates that Paul and Barnabas did not continue at odds with one another.

In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul makes a statement about his apostleship and his rights as an apostle. Within this statement, 1 Corinthians 9:3-6, Paul mentions Barnabas as a Christian laborer who also “forebears working” (v. 6). Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? What is said is short and straightforward. Paul gives no broad discussion of his relationship with Barnabas. What little he says is nevertheless revealing. Paul recognizes Barnabas as a co-laborer. He holds him forth as an example as one who performs like ministry in a like way. There is no indication that he harbors any grudge. A restoration of fellowship can be easily assumed.

If we follow a biblical timeline, we find that this was written after the the split between Paul and Barnabas. The rift is recorded in Acts 15. From that point in time, Barnabas went with Mark and Paul went with Silas. Paul’s trip to Corinth is not recorded until Acts 18. This is during the time that Paul was laboring with Silas. The church began at Corinth is after the Acts 15 rift. Clearly, then, Paul wrote the first epistle to the church of Corinth after his rift with Barnabas. When he mentions Barnabas in 1 Corinthians 9, this mention occurs after the split of Acts 15. The favorable mention at this late date suggests that they had made their peace.

There is a more direct mention of Paul’s reconciliation with Mark, found in 2 Timothy 4:11 -- Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. It is unlikely that Paul reconciled with the “junior partner” (Mark) without having reconciled with the “senior partner” (Barnabas).

Other than this, I am unaware of anything else in the New Testament that speaks to the reconciliation of Paul and Barnabas. These two scriptures are enough to satisfy me. Your mileage may vary.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Nothing gained: Sowell on Slavery

“To this very moment slavery continues in parts of Africa and the Islamic world. Very little noise is made about it by those who denounce the slavery of the past in the West, because there is no money to be made denouncing it and no political advantages to be gained.”
Possibly Thomas Sowell (I have found this quote widely attributed to Sowell, but I have not been able to locate the source. It may be real but possibly “apocryphal”.) It is certain, however, that he wrote the following, which is his book The Thomas Sowell Reader.
“Everyone hated the idea of being a slave but few had any qualms about enslaving others. Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century – and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of the 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there. But who is singled out for scathing criticism today? American leaders of the 18th century.”

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Pray On

One lesser known part of the family of Sacred Harp books is The Sacred Harp, Fourth Edition with Supplement, by J. L. White. In the early years of the 20th century, Sacred Harp singers understood they needed a new edition of the book to breath new life in the singings. Unfortunately, they could not agree on just how to proceed. W. M. Cooper in south Alabama went first, in 1902. James Landrum White, son of original author B. F. White, issued revisions of The Sacred Harp in 1909, 1910, and 1911  his 1911 book being the one that “took.” That same year J. S. James also issued a revision of The Sacred Harp. J. L. White’s book was a much more popular book than many realize. It made inroads in south Alabama where Cooper’s revision was popular. It vied for superiority with the book by James in the many of the same areas  Atlanta, Georgia area, Sand Mountain, Alabama, north central Mississippi. We have found old books that indicate it was once used in Texas. However, the book lost much ground after the deaths of J. L. White and his successor Sam Mann (B. F.’s grandson). The book went out of print and new copies were no longer available. With no new books available, most places that used this book eventually switched to the James (later called Denson) book. A benefactor at the Hardeman Primitive Baptist Church funded a photo-static reprint of the book in 1958. With this boost, the singers at Hardeman were able to maintain their singings to the present.

A committee was formed and a reprint (with all new typesetting) was issued in 2007. Unfortunately, it is once again out of print.

The Wootten family of Sand Mountain, Alabama, recorded some Sacred Harp songs in the early 1980s, which recording includes several songs that are unique to the “White book.” Listen to the Wootten’s singing Pray On, No. 512 in The Sacred Harp, Fourth Edition with Supplement.

The words and music are by A. R. Walton, copyrighted in 1910. Arthur Rivers Walton was a singer, composer, and worked setting musical type. He worked with J. L. White at least on the 1909 revision.

I did not find the words to this song online, so I have typed them out below.

1. When troubles come and life seems dark, pray on (pray on);
Just talk to Jesus heart to heart, pray on (pray on).

2. If Satan would your soul destroy, pray on (pray on);
The love of God will give you joy, pray on (pray on).

3. On thee my ev’ry care I’ll cast, pray on (pray on);
I’m anchored in thy love steadfast, pray on (pray on).

4. In Jesus’ love I stand complete, pray on (pray on);
And never from the foe retreat, pray on (pray on).

He can lighten ev’ry care (toil and care)
And your burdens he will share (surely share)
Now in him your faith declare
Pray on (pray on) ’till the blessing comes.

Saturday, March 28, 2020


The Text of S.3548, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is HERE.

I did not find that they give a total in the bill itself, but apparently it is about $2 trillion dollars. Here are a couple of excerpts:
(a) In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, to provide liquidity to eligible businesses related to losses incurred as a direct result of coronavirus, the Secretary is authorized to make or guarantee loans to eligible businesses that do not, in the aggregate, exceed $208,000,000,000 and provide the subsidy amounts necessary for such loans and loan guarantees in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661 et seq.).
(b) Distribution Of Loans And Loan Guarantees.—Loans and loan guarantees made pursuant to subsection (a) shall be made available to eligible business as follows:
(1) Not more than $50,000,000,000 shall be available for passenger air carriers.
(2) Not more than $8,000,000,000 shall be available for cargo air carriers.
(3) Not more than $150,000,000,000 shall be available for other eligible businesses.
“(a) In General.—In the case of an eligible individual, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by subtitle A for the first taxable year beginning in 2020 an amount equal to the lesser of—
“(1) net income tax liability, or
“(2) $1,200 ($2,400 in the case of a joint return).
“(b) Special Rules.—
“(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of a taxpayer described in paragraph (2)—
“(A) the amount determined under subsection (a) shall not be less than $600 ($1,200 in the case of a joint return), and
“(B) the amount determined under subsection (a) (after the application of subparagraph (A)) shall be increased by the product of $500 multiplied by the number of qualifying children (within the meaning of section 24(c)) of the taxpayer.
“(2) TAXPAYER DESCRIBED.—A taxpayer is described in this paragraph if the taxpayer—
“(A) has qualifying income of at least $2,500, or
“(B) has—
“(i) net income tax liability which is greater than zero, and
“(ii) gross income which is greater than the basic standard deduction.
“(c) Treatment Of Credit.—The credit allowed by subsection (a) shall be treated as allowed by subpart C of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1.
“(d) Limitation Based On Adjusted Gross Income.—The amount of the credit allowed by subsection (a) (determined without regard to this subsection and subsection (f)) shall be reduced (but not below zero) by 5 percent of so much of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income as exceeds $75,000 ($150,000 in the case of a joint return).
One of our Senators describes it this way:

“This bill provides a one-time check of $1,200 per adult making under $75,000 a year, $2,400 per couple earning under $150,000 a year, and $500 per child. That’s real money in the hands of America’s families and hardworking men and women.

”This bill also helps stabilize the economy and provides $377 billion in emergency relief to small businesses like restaurants, hardware stores, nail salons, and mom & pop shops that have been effectively forced to shut down as the coronavirus has spread across the country. This will help keep these small businesses afloat and their employees on payroll.”

Can our nation survive a bill that spends nearly 10 percent of our total national debt?

Friday, March 27, 2020

Identifying songwriter John R. Bryant

The following brief biography of John R. Bryant is found in Union Harp and History of Songs on page 127. The song Waldin/Walden is on the preceding page. According to James, Bryant is the original composer of the air of The Lifeboat, found on page 162. Other sources would indicate he was also an arranger rather than the original composer.

History of “Waldin.”

This tune was composed in 1882 and published in the December (1883) Number of the “Musical Million,” by Professor A. J. Showalter, who was at that time correcting harmony for Adline S. Kieffer, editor of the above-named paper.

Professor Bryan(t) was born in Newton County, Ga., 1861. He was educated in the common schools of that county, finally completing his musical education at Emory College under the late R. M. McIntosh, in 1887. He has composed nearly twelve hundred gospel and Sunday school songs. A great many of them are published in various tune books. He married Miss Mamie Johnson, and is at present living in Atlanta, Ga. The above hymn is one of Dr. Watts’ first-class compositions, and ranks among the standard hymns of the country.
In Union Harp and History of Songs, Joseph S. James preserves information that allows us at this late date to identify composer and music teacher John R. Bryant. There are a few errors that can be corrected, but James has provided the Sacred Harp community a great service. At the time James wrote the biography, 1909, John R. Bryant was living in Atlanta, Georgia. He died the next year.

John Randolph Bryant was born March 25, 1861 in Newton County, Georgia, the son of Samuel J. Bryant and Laura Pennington. In 1885 he married Minnie (rather than Mamie) Johnson in Newton County. They had five children, according to his death notice in the Atlanta Constitution. Bryant was a songwriter and editor of at least one songbook.[i] The 1900 Newton County, Georgia census lists him as a “music teacher.” John R. Bryant died May 21, 1910 in Fulton County, and according to Bryant family genealogists, was buried at the Red Oak Church Cemetery at Covington, Newton County, Georgia.

John R. Bryant is the composer of four tunes found in The Sacred Harp, Fourth Edition with Supplement, edited by J. L. White. In addition to Walden, which is in Union Harp and History of Songs, Bryant composed the tunes Payne on page 435, The Better Country and Loftin, both on page 508.

[i] Tears and Triumphs: For Revivals, Sunday Schools & the Home, L. L. Pickett, M. W. Knapp, Jno. R. Bryant, Columbia, SC: L. L. Pickett, 1894. Hymn Time Cyber Hymnal lists Bryant as the author of 46 hymns and two tunes in this and other books.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

A Dialogue, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Three Levels of Adherents to the KJV Bible

Back in 2018 I wrote about Categorizing “KJV-Only” beliefs and My View of King James Only. Saturday I found a book that categorizes the views differently than most lists I have seen. The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of the Bible, by Paul D. Wegner (page 337), gives three levels of adherents to the King James Version Bible.
1. Those who prefer its majesty and reverence, being most familiar with this Bible or having used it for much of their lives.
2. Those who believe that the text is to be preferred.
3. Those who believe that it is the only authoritative text and that it has been preserved by God through the ages.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

1 Timothy 3:1-7, gender-neutral

1 Timothy 3:1-7 is a passage of scripture that has gotten a gender work-over in some new Bible versions. This helps clear the way for female pastors as well as males.

The Common English Bible changes singular pronouns (he) to plural (they) and masculine (husband) to neutral (spouse).
1 This saying is reliable: if anyone has a goal to be a supervisor in the church, they want a good thing. 2 So the church’s supervisor must be without fault. They should be faithful to their spouse, sober, modest, and honest. They should show hospitality and be skilled at teaching. 3 They shouldn’t be addicted to alcohol or be a bully. Instead, they should be gentle, peaceable, and not greedy. 4 They should manage their own household well—they should see that their children are obedient with complete respect, 5 because if they don’t know how to manage their own household, how can they take care of God’s church? 6 They shouldn’t be new believers so that they won’t become proud and fall under the devil’s spell. 7 They should also have a good reputation with those outside the church so that they won’t be embarrassed and fall into the devil’s trap.
The Contemporary English Version makes slightly different changes that accomplish the same end.
1 It is true that anyone who desires to be a church official wants to be something worthwhile. 2 That’s why officials must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage. They must be self-controlled, sensible, well-behaved, friendly to strangers, and able to teach. 3 They must not be heavy drinkers or troublemakers. Instead, they must be kind and gentle and not love money. 4 Church officials must be in control of their own families, and they must see that their children are obedient and always respectful. 5 If they don’t know how to control their own families, how can they look after God’s people? 6 They must not be new followers of the Lord. If they are, they might become proud and be doomed along with the devil. 7 Finally, they must be well-respected by people who are not followers. Then they won’t be trapped and disgraced by the devil.
Some versions do not use the words “man” or “husband” but keep the pronouns “he” and “his.” The New International Version, for example:
1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
Here is the text in the Authorised (KJ) Version:
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Believed in hope

“Who against hope believed in hope.” Romans 4:18
Hope is a fruit of the Spirit; and the absence of hope, the thorough, complete absence of hope, stamps death upon that nominal branch, in which the absence of all hope is found. But some will say, “Are not the children of God often plunged into despair?” No; not into despair. They are often very near it, they are on the borders of it; they go to the very brink of it; the gusts from that pestiferous land may so blow their blasts upon them, that in their feelings they shall be in despair; yet no living soul ever set his foot beyond the brink, no child of God ever stepped beyond the border, so as to get into the regions of despair. If he got there, he would no longer be in “the land of the living;” if ever he set his foot over the border that separates the land of hope from the land of despair, he would be no longer calling upon the Lord to save his soul from the lowest hell, but he would be at once overwhelmed by those torrents, which would sweep him away into endless perdition.
J. C. Philpot (1802-1869)

Sunday, March 22, 2020

A Sovereign Protector

A Sovereign Protector” was written by Augustus Montague Toplady in 1774. Toplady is best known as author of “Rock of Ages, cleft for me.” “A Sovereign Protector” is in 8s with 8 lines per stanza. The stress is anapestic, so the hymn will sing quite well with the tune Greenfields (aka De Fleury, possibly most often sung with John Newton’s “How tedious and tasteless the hours”).

1. What, though my frail eyelids refuse,
Continual watching to keep,
And punctual as midnight renews,
Demand the refreshment of sleep;
A sov’reign Protector I have,
Unseen, yet forever at hand,
Unchangeably faithful to save,
Almighty to rule and command.

2. From evil secure and its dread,
I rest if my Saviour is nigh,
And songs his kind presence indeed
Shall in my night season supply;
He smiles, and my comforts abound,
His grace as the dew shall descend;
And walls of salvation surround
The soul he delights to defend.

3. Kind author and ground of my hope,
Thee, thee, for my God I avow;
My glad Ebenezer set up,
And own thou hast help’d me till now.
I muse on the years that are past,
Wherein my defence thou hast prov’d;
Nor wilt thou relinquish at last
A sinner so signally lov’d.

4. Inspirer and hearer of pray’r,
Thou shepherd and guardian of thine,
My all to thy covenant care
I sleeping and waking resign.
If Thou art my shield and my sun,
The night is no darkness to me;
And fast as my moments roll on,
They bring me but nearer to thee.

5. Thy minist’ring spirits descend,
To watch while thy saints are asleep,
By day and by night they attend,
The heir of salvation to keep;
Bright seraphs, dispatch’d from the throne,
Repair to the stations assign’d,
And angels elect are sent down,
To guard the elect of mankind.

6. Thy worship no interval knows,
Their fervor is still on the wing;
And while they protect my repose,
They chant to the praise of my king.
I, too, at the season ordain’d,
Their chorus for ever shall join;
And love and adore without end,
Their faithful Creator, and mine.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Country Music Icon Dies, and other music links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Friday, March 20, 2020

All Is Well

From The Sacred Harp (scan of first printing, scroll down to page 122; video from The Sacred Harp, 2006 Cooper Edition printing.
Tune arranged by Jesse T. White, 1844; alto is by Wilson Marion Cooper, 1902
Lyrics at least as early as 1836, in Pious Songs.

What’s this that steals, that steals upon my frame?
Is it death? Is it death?
That soon will quench, will quench this mortal flame?
Is it death? Is it death?
If this be death I soon shall be,
From ev’ry pain and sorrow free,
I shall the King of glory see.
All is well! All is well!

Weep not, my friends, my friends, weep not for me,
All is well! All is well!
My sins forgiv’n, forgiv’n, and I am free,
All is well! All is well!
There’s not a cloud that doth arise,
To hide my Jesus from my eyes,
I soon shall mount the upper skies.
All is well! All is well!

Tune, tune your harps, your harps, ye saints on high,
All is well! All is well!
I too will strike my harp with equal joy,
All is well! All is well!
Bright angels are from glory come,
They’re round my bed, they’re in my room,
They wait to waft my spirit home.
All is well! All is well!

Hark! hark! my Lord, my Lord and Master’s voice,
Calls away, Calls away!
I soon shall see—enjoy my happy choice,
Why delay, Why delay!
Farewell, my friends, adieu, adieu,
I can no longer stay with you,
My glittering crown appears in view,
All is well! All is well!

Hail! hail! all hail! all hail! ye blood washed throng,
Saved by grace, Saved by grace—
I come to join your rapturous song,
Saved by grace, Saved by grace.
All, all is peace and joy divine,
And heaven and glory now are mine.
Loud hallelujahs to the Lamb!
All is well! All is well!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

All Christian Ministry, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

An offender for a word?

A friend recently posted “The Problem With ‘Hey Guys’,” taking the “politically correct” side that often finds offense where none was intended. While Christians should not give offense when and where no principle is involved (1 Corinthians 10:32), it seems like much effort is expended fixing one small greeting that surely is not intended to be harmful, when there is plenty of real harm in the world that needs to be fixed.

Isaiah 29:21 That make a man an offender for a word,...“Inadvertently spoken, unwarily dropped, without any bad design or ill meaning; or for a word misplaced or misconstrued…” (From John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible). It seems to me that we modern Americans often search in crevices just to find obscure reasons to be offended, especially reasons none would expect. If it is glorious to pass over an actual offense, surely it is also glorious to pass over it where none is intended!

Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Inclusive Bible

In the realm of “gender-inclusive” Bibles, there is The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation, copyrighted in 2007 by Priests for Equality. The Preface states, “We challenge the traditional ways of speaking about God. Traditional Western religious language calls God ‘Father’ and Jesus ‘Lord.’ Our intention is to recover the sense of the text and express that sense in a manner that facilitates immediate application of the Word to the experience of the listener. To that end, we correct out own interpretations by referring them to what scripture scholars have to say about the texts.”

Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, a lesbian who worked as a stylistic consultant for the New International Version of the Bible, wrote “The Inclusive New Testament Review.” Concerning the TIB translation of Ephesians 5:21-22, Mollenkott writes, “Not only is the appearance of one-way submission corrected in a way that is actually more in line with the Greek text, but the insights are made accessible to people in nontraditional relationships. In fact, the Priests for Equality frequently use the word partner...”[i] “The goal of the Priests for Equality was to give to the English-speaking world a New Testament that would be ‘accessible to everyone, particularly to those who have felt that sexist language creates an uncomfortable (and, at times, insurmountable) barrier to their devotional life.’”

The Amazon blurb about this Bible states:
“While this new Bible is certainly an inclusive-language translation, it is much more: it is a re-imagining of the scriptures and our relationship to them. Not merely replacing male pronouns, the translators have rethought what kind of language has built barriers between the text and its readers. Seeking to be faithful to the original languages, they have sought new and non-sexist ways to express the same ancient truths. The Inclusive Bible is a fresh, dynamic translation into modern English, carefully crafted to let the power and poetry of the language shine forth—particularly when read aloud—giving it an immediacy and intimacy rarely found in traditional translations of the Bible. The Inclusive Bible contains both the Old and the New Testaments.”
Like many other recent Bibles, The Inclusive Bible by Priests for Equality can be seen as a niche Bible, rather than a mainstream one. There also exists The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version by a more mainstream Bible publisher, Oxford University Press. These translations, along with others, support the continuing goal of blurring gender language and gender roles in our contemporary society. How long will it be before a mainstream translation fully embraces this agenda?[ii]

[i] Ephesians 5:21-22 in The Inclusive Bible: “Defer to one another out of reverence for Christ. Those of you who are in committed relationships should yield to each other as if to Christ,”
[ii] The NIV has embraced the agenda concerning pronouns, but have continued to explain it from an “evangelical” viewpoint. The 2011 version replaces perhaps thousands of masculine pronouns with gender-neutral or gender-inclusive ones (for example, “brethren”or “brothers” become “brothers and sisters). See Robert Slowley and John Dyer statistics.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Send up a feast

As a general rule, it may be observed that those gentlemen who know the least Greek are the most sure to air their rags of learning in the pulpit; they miss no chance of saying, “The Greek is so and so.” It makes a man an inch and a half taller by a foolometer, if he everlastingly lets fall bits of Greek and Hebrew, and even tells the people the tense of the verb and the case of the noun, as I have known some do. Those who have no learning usually make a point of displaying the pegs on which learning ought to hang. Brethren, the whole process of interpretation is to be carried on in your study; you are not to show your congregation the process, but to give them the result; like a good cook who would never think of bringing up dishes, and pans, and rolling pin, and spice box into the dining hall, but without ostentation sends up the feast.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Commenting and Commentaries

Sunday, March 15, 2020

In time of worry and distress

“Be careful for nothing...” -- God through Paul, an apostle (Phil. 4:6)

“Worrying is as definitely forbidden as theft. This needs to be carefully pondered and definitely realized by us, so that we do not excuse it as an innocent ‘infirmity’.” -- Arthur W. Pink

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” -- Leo F. Buscaglia

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” -- Winston Churchill

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” -- Erma Bombeck

1. Be still, my heart! these anxious cares
To thee are burdens, thorns and snares;
They cast dishonor on the Lord,
And contradict His gracious word.
2. Brought safely by His hand thus far,
Why wilt thou now give place to fear?
How canst thou want if He provide,
Or lose thy way with such a Guide?
3. When first before His mercy-seat
Thou didst to Him thine all commit;
He gave thee warrant from that hour
To trust His wisdom, love, and power.
4. Did ever trouble yet befall,
And He refuse to hear thy call?
And has He not His promise passed,
That thou shalt overcome at last?
5. He who has helped me hitherto
Will help me all my journey through,
And give me daily cause to raise
New Ebenezers to His praise.
6. Though rough and thorny be the road,
It leads thee on, apace, to God;
Then count thy present trials small,
For God will make amends for all.
-- John Newton, author of Amazing Grace

“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” -- God through Matthew, an apostle (Matthew 6:27)

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” --  God through Peter, an apostle (1 Peter 5:7)

Saturday, March 14, 2020

An Examination of the NKJV

In discussion with Mark Ward, an editor at Lexham Press, concerning his “Why Do Our TR-Only Brothers Reject the NKJV with Such Passion,” my attention was brought to two articles by Albert Hembd, a consultant with the Trinitarian Bible Society, as well as Mark’s article now on his blog. Here are links to all three:

Friday, March 13, 2020

A.S.K., and other reviews

The posting of book reviews does not constitute endorsement of the books or book reviews that are linked.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Democratic Diversity

The Democratic Party prides itself on being the party of diversity. By March 2020 their primary is down to two old white guys. Well, mostly. The diversity party never seems to mention their most diverse candidate, one who is still in the race. This candidate is a woman, a woman of color, raised in a multi-faith family, the first American Samoan member of Congress, the first Hindu member of Congress, the first female combat veteran in Congress, the first female combat veteran to run for President, a vegan, and more. The candidate is Tulsi Gabbard.

With this candidate they have diversity virtually running out their ears. They can check almost all the boxes. Yet often it is not mentioned that she is running for president. Yet the party and the voters have invested in two nearly 80 year old white guys. Maybe their play to diversity is a fraud? Maybe it’s really just a play for power?

[Note: I have nothing against “old white guys”, per se. It is just so ironic that the party of diversity did not want the diversity choices put before them, or the one they still have.]