Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Evangeliad (26:30-31)


Section 26:30-31 (corresponding to Luke 15:29-30)

And though the father entreated his son
To enter the house, he still wouldn't come.
And then, in frustration, the son complained:
"How many years have I served you this way?

How long have I labored, day after day?--
And never transgressed even one of your ways!
Yet for me there's never a party inside,
No celebrations for the son at your side!

I've not even had a goat with my friends,
But now he gets a calf?--that lowest of men,
He who collected as if you were dead,
And lost all your money in drink and in bed!"

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Photo of the Week

A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic like the sun:
It gives a light to every age;
It gives, but borrows none.
My soul rejoices to pursue
The steps of Him I love,
Till glory break upon my view
In brighter worlds above.

- from a hymn by William Cowper

Monday, November 28, 2022

Quote of the Week


“There is only one way of victory over the bitterness and rage that comes naturally to us--to will what God wills brings peace.”

- Amy Carmichael

Friday, November 18, 2022

Update


Dear readers, I have a bit of exciting news--I have yet another of my writing projects that has been picked up for publication! It's another theological work, in this case focusing on the historical missiology of the early church. The working title is "For All People Everywhere: Missionary Motivations in Early Christianity," and it's the fruit of a lot of study over the years in patristic texts and early mission movements. My hope is that it might be out in the first half of 2023.

Since that project is demanding a bit of my time, and with Thanksgiving coming up, I'm going to take a quick break from the blog until Monday, Nov. 28, at which point normal posts will resume.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Photo of the Week

O Splendor of God's glory bright,
From light eternal bringing light,
O Light, of light the fountain-spring,
O Day, all days illumining:
Come, very Sun of truth and love,
Pour down your radiance from above,
And shed the Holy Spirit's ray
On all we think or do today.

- from a hymn by Ambrose of Milan

Monday, November 14, 2022

Quote of the Week


"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."

- Corrie ten Boom


Friday, November 11, 2022

A Prayer from Billy Graham


Lord … remind us today that You have shown us what is good in what You require of us; to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. We ask that as a people, we may humble ourselves before You and seek Your will for our lives and for this great nation. Help us in our nation to work as never before to strengthen our families and to give our children hope and a moral foundation for the future. So may our desire be to serve You, and in so doing, serve one another. This we pray in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Apologetics: The Prophesied Messiah (Dan. 9)





See the previous study published on this blog regarding the fulfilled prophecies of Daniel 9:



Bottom Line: This prophecy, written several centuries before Christ, shows an astonishingly accurate prediction of the coming of Jesus, the Anointed One. His ministry occurs exactly within the window of 69x7 years after the decree of King Artaxerxes for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, just as predicted by Daniel hundreds of years beforehand. And with the coming of Christ, as Daniel foretells, comes “the end of sin, atoning of wickedness, and bringing in everlasting righteousness” (9:24). The passage also includes hauntingly accurate portrayals of destruction and judgment that recur in cycles of fulfillment during the Maccabean revolt (160s BC), the Jewish war against Rome (70 AD), and possibly also in the end times.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

The Evangeliad (26:26-29)


Section 26:26-29 (corresponding to Luke 15:25-28)

The party began, and as they rejoiced
For the homecoming of the younger boy,
In from the fields the older son walked,
But hearing the sound of singing, he stopped.

He asked a servant about all the noise,
Why the whole household was raising its voice.
"Your brother's returned!" the servant replied.
"Your father's arranged a whole party inside!"

Then suddenly struck with anger, he turned
And stood with his back to the party he spurned.
The father, he heard of his son's response
And came out to see him there at that spot.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Photo of the Week


When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.

- Psalm 8:3-5

Quote of the Week


“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking.”

- George MacDonald


Thursday, November 03, 2022

Apologetics: The Davidic Kingdom - History & Archaeology





- In the past, many archaeologists and historians argued from gaps in the record that there was no organized central government in 11th/1oth-century BC Israel (the time of the supposed Davidic kingdom). None of the monumental architecture which you might expect had been found, so David was regarded as a merely legendary figure, like King Arthur.

- One of the problems with this position should be obvious at the outset: it's an argument based on gaps, representing the fallacy of an argument from silence. Building an argument on gaps is dangerous because those gaps might later be filled, as is exactly what has been happening.

- Two further considerations that might explain the gaps:
      - First, our expectations are outsized--the Davidic kingdom was a relatively small monarchy in the ancient world, made up almost entirely of rural farmers and shepherds in the hills. Israel was not building major cities at this time. Jerusalem itself was a previous settlement built by Canaanites. The city was small (you can easily stroll all the way across the Old City in just a modest walk, and David's Jerusalem was smaller still). Thus, biblical references to a "palace" for David or Solomon ought not to conjure in our minds visions of Buckingham Palace, but something more on the scale of a normal-sized home by modern standards.
     - Second, many of the areas in which the best evidence from David and Solomon's day would lie are in areas where archaeological digs are currently prohibited. 

- The gaps have now begun to be filled by important archaeological evidence, starting with a famous ancient inscription referring to the Israelite royal dynasty as the "house of David," thus proving that David was not just a literary invention by later generations of biblical writers. 
- Personal references to King Saul's sons (and possibly one to David as well) have been discovered, the clearest reference being to Ish-Bosheth.
- The Hebrew used in David's Psalms can be linguistically dated as representing a very early period.
- Very tall skeletons from this period have been discovered in Palestine (7 feet tall+), many showing the associated genetic trait of polydactylism (6 fingers and 6 toes on each hand and foot), thus matching the biblical description of the clan from which Goliath was thought to come.
- At the south end of the Temple Mount, a massive retaining wall from Solomon's time has been unearthed, pointing to monumental construction.
- Small shrine replicas, which are empty of the usually-present god statures in the ancient world have been discovered from the period, appearing to depict Solomon's temple (the empty nature of the shrine marks them as matching the biblical theology, which would not have made use of idols).
- Massive copper works from Solomon's time have been unearthed at Timna in southern Israel.
- Evidence from the later period of the kings multiplies even more, to the extent that no serious scholar disputes the historically-grounded nature of the Bible's depiction of the Jewish monarchy in the 8th and 7th centuries.
- We even have bullae (clay seals) bearing the exact names of the very characters mentioned as administrative officers in the biblical books of Chronicles and Jeremiah. These biblical accounts are indisputably based in historical fact.

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

The Evangeliad (26:21-25)


Section 26:21-25 (corresponding to Luke 15:20-24)

Up from the swine-fields the younger son rose,
And walked all those miles back on the roads
Till he drew near to his father's estate,
There to humbly submit to his fate.

But while he walked there, still far down the road,
His father saw him, and stirred up with hope,
The older man ran across the whole farm,
Came to his son, and caught him up in his arms.

But his son shook him off, hanging his head.
"I've sinned against heaven and you," the boy said.
But his father laughed in joy through his tears,
And once again held his younger son near.

Then he called to his servants, "Bring me a robe,
A ring for his hand, and beautiful clothes!
Let's slaughter the calf and celebrate now,
For my dead son, he lives, was lost and is found!"

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Photo of the Week

Light of the world, shine on our souls;
Thy grace to us afford;
And while we meet to learn thy truth,
Be thou our teacher, Lord.

- from a hymn by Edward Henry Bickersteth