1. Andy Naselli provides some comments about attending ETS/SBL this week:
2. Naselli also highlighted this week some interesting writings of Eusebius on Roman emperor Nero in the 1st century:
Once Nero’s power was firmly established, he plunged into nefarious vices and took up arms against the God of the universe. To describe his depravity is not part of the present work. Many have accurately recorded the facts about him, and from them any who wish may study his perverse and degenerate madness, which led him to destroy innumerable lives and finally to such indiscriminate murder that he did not spare even his nearest and dearest. With various sorts of deaths, he did away with his mother, brothers, and wife, as well as countless other near relatives, as if they were strangers and enemies. Despite all this, one crime still had to be added to his catalogue: he was the first of the emperors to be declared enemy of the Deity. To this the Roman Tertullian refers as follows:
“Consult your own records: there you will find that Nero was the first to let his imperial sword rage against this sect [Christianity] when it was just arising in Rome. We boast that such a man was the originator of our pruning, for anyone who knows him can understand that nothing would have been condemned by Nero unless it were supremely good [Tertullian, Defense 5].”
So it happened that this man, the first to be announced publicly as a fighter against God, was led on to slaughter the apostles. It is related that in his reign Paul was beheaded in Rome itself and that Peter was also crucified, and the cemeteries there still called by the names of Peter and Paul confirm the record. So does a churchman named Gaius, who lived when Zephyrinus was Bishop of Rome (Eusebius: The Church History: A New Translation and Commentary 2.25 [edited and translated by Paul L. Maier; Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1999], 84–85; emphasis added).
3. I found this cool new website this week on Bible design and binding:
4. Tim Challies posted a link to the post-election Barna update, which shows how evangelicals voted. As with the previous elections, 65% aligned themselves with the Republican party. Read the whole thing here:
5. The Veggie-Tales Bible?:
6. Ray Van Neste of Union University has a nice post on “Applying the Doctrine of Hell”:
What are the practical, pastoral, every-day implications of this truth that those who die in their sins will suffer eternal torment as their judgment?
1. Evangelism – If you care about people, and realize the truth of this doctrine you cannot help but labor, pray and speak the gospel so that souls might be saved from this result.
2. Pity on the los t- In addition to seeking their salvation, this truth should cause us to have extra pity on unbelievers, even if they mock, mistreat, or abuse us. It is this truth which will allow us to forgive them as we see that they will be judged.
3. Don’t envy the unrighteous – Psalms 73 & 37. It will seem at times that those who ignore God get ahead, but as the Psalmist notes, contemplation of their final end will keep us from dishonoring God by envying the wicked.
4. Forgive – We can forgive those who wrong us, not hold grudges, and forego retribution because we know that God will punish all sin, even those which go unpunished here & now. This is what enables people to go on when justice is not meted out.
5. Greater awareness of Christ’s suffering on the cross – If the punishment deserved for an individual’s sins requires eternal torment, what must Christ have suffered as he received in his body the punishment deserved by thousands/millions in a period of no more than three hours?
With this in mind we are all the more prepared to sing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” and many more of or hymns.
6. Worship – The more you realize the horror of what we deserve and see that God has graciously rescued you from that, your heart should well up in worship! Regardless of what troubles beset us today, this greatest of our troubles- receiving the fury of god’s righteous wrath- has been removed by the cross of Christ! Let us then exalt the Lord our God. Let us bear this in mind as we come to the Lord’s Table this morning.
7. Voddie Baucham rants about the SBC and Calvinism!:
8. Bob Kauflin on why theology matters to Christian musicians:
9. I enjoyed reading this blog from Desiring God, entitled, “Give Time To Your Wife”. I encourage all of you to read it:
The apostle Peter writes,
“Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7)
This is strange at first glance. How does caring for your wife connect to having unhindered prayers?
Here’s Wayne Grudem’s challenging commentary:
“So concerned is God that Christian husbands live in an understanding and loving way with their wives, that he “interrupts” his relationship with them when they are not doing so. No Christian husband should presume to think that any spiritual good will be accomplished by his life without an effective ministry of prayer. And no husband may expect an effective prayer life unless he lives with his wife “in an understanding way, bestowing honour” on her. To take the time to develop and maintain a good marriage is God’s will; it is serving God; it is a spiritual activity pleasing in his sight.” (1 Peter, 146)
Christian husbands shouldn’t feel that time given to their wives is “time away from the real ministry.” Time invested with our wives is time well spent. It’s God’s will—“a spiritual activity pleasing in his sight.”