R's Commonplace Book

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Footnote of the NET Bible on 1 Cor 3.4, “For whenever someone says, ‘I am with Paul,’ or ‘I am with Apollos,’ are you not merely human?” —

6 tn Grk “are you not men,” i.e., (fallen) humanity without the Spirit’s influence. Here Paul does not say “walking in accordance with” as in the previous verse; he actually states the Corinthians are this. However, this is almost certainly rhetorical hyperbole.

Paul’s comment seems straightfoward. Whenever someone says such things, such a person is not spiritual. He is carnal. He reverts to his fallen humanity without the Spirit’s influence. Now perhaps the writer of the NET Bible comment says, “I am a Baptist,” or “I am an Assembly of God member,” or “I am a Catholic,” and himself falls within this category. Of course, he’d want to consider Paul’s statement as “almost certainly rhetorical hyperbole.” When you participate in a division far worse than than in Corinth, you’d rather not think of yourself in such terms.

Anybody who denigrates obedience in any way does not have the spirit of Christ. It is one thing to attempt salvation on one’s own merits; quite another to lovingly submit to God in obedience to the Lord’s commands. By obedience are we all saved, Heb 5.9. A large set of religious folk have confused the two with their damnable doctrine of salvation by faith only.

The research surveys what people actually die from and what they search for information on, as well as news in the NYT and Guardian. It did not include deaths caused by alcoholism, neither directly or indirectly (such as traffic accidents), wonder why?

Homicides are also very overrepresented in the news, by a factor of 31. The most underrepresented in the media are kidney disease (11-fold), heart disease (10-fold), and, perhaps surprisingly, drug overdoses (7-fold). Stroke and diabetes are the two causes most accurately represented.

Perhaps we don’t like to admit how much we are killing ourselves.

  1. Commitment to truth means popularity is not a goal nor a possibility.

  2. Have found two places that make cappuccino with alternatives to cow’s milk. Happy!

  3. See this photo of what I see outside my living room window these days.

  4. Those who seem to feel most sorry for the sins of their ancestors appear to have little remorse for their own lack of discipline and diligence.

  5. Numerous posts to sites recently, is good, but all on English side. Now to move to Portuguese.

  6. An original verse: The world is populated with wiselings / Whose torrent of words are naught but piffling.

  7. A Bible verse: “He plans ways to sin while he lies in bed; he is committed to a sinful lifestyle; he does not reject what is evil” Psa 36.4.

Good description of “dogs” in Phil 3 by Stephen Bradd:

Paul first declares – “Beware of dogs”. Obviously, he’s not warning them about any literal four-legged dogs, but he is warning them about humans who were behaving like dogs. From the other warnings in this immediate context, we know that Paul was referring to the Judaizers (i.e., certain Jews who had been baptized and who were determined to force Gentile Christians to keep the law of Moses, particularly regarding circumcision). They were like dogs in that they were constantly barking out their false doctrine, hounding Paul, and biting and devouring others with their error.

  1. What is legalism but trust in one’s own powers to be what God approves? And what is progressivism but arrogance to imagine that God approves of one’s own ideas?

  2. The rhyming pair love/above can be used in a poem only so many times before it grows old. It grew old centuries ago. I’m a latecomer, but even I feel that.

  3. Read this prayer. And say amen. And let the Lord work in your life to bring it about.

  4. When people feel free to confess weakness and ask for prayer, much progress can be made, both individually and as the body of Christ.

  5. Growth and strength come slowly, most of the time. Leave off your good habits, however, and see how quickly they wane.

  6. An original verse: The universe has limits but not its Creator; / Creation or the Maker, which is greater?

  7. A Bible verse: “No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known” Jn 1.18.

  1. Some people think too much. Others don’t think enough. Everybody needs to think about things above.

  2. Two evangelistic studies we’d hoped to resume after our return fell through this week, one of Vicki’s, another of mine. Hers, rescheduled for next week; mine, for today.

  3. Not infrequently the idea occurs that giving up completely on social media would be a good thing. Misnomer, not social at all.

  4. Another house on our block, close to us, will lose its owners. Time to start praying that the Lord will send a family to live there who is receptive to the gospel.

  5. “Only from the lips of a man who has the insight to draw correct distinctions between right and wrong, truth and error, can words of wisdom be heard.” —J.E. Smith, Wisdom Literature and Psalms, 537 (on Prov 10.13).

  6. An original verse: Data are the facts and figures of a human life; Online, our privacy is not protected by a single leaf.

  7. A Bible verse: “God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children” Gal 4.5 NLT.

Another one from Johnny Polk:

“The pagans do not have full revelation of the truth, because they are not taught by God. So they believe that a thing is evil or good depending on how it suits their self-will and emotions. Therefore, something that is good in one place is considered evil in another. And that which is evil in one place is considered good in another. So oddly enough, the same man who is barely willing to lift up his tunic in public – even to relieve himself – takes it off in the circus, as though determined to expose himself before everybody. Or, the father who carefully protects and guards his virgin daughter’s ears from every polluting word, personally takes her to the theater. He thereby exposes her to all its vile words and attributes.”

—Tertullian c.a. 200 A.D. on the theater, as translated in A Glimpse of Early Christian Life by S. Thelwall, p. 28.

“Professionalizing the staff depersonalized the care.”

The above quote was said about mental health care in the 20th Century. The same can be said about ministry in the church. There is much that can be said biblically against clergyizing God’s servants. At the same time, in practical terms, when spiritual service becomes a career, the “care” of others, or dedication to the work of God, is redirected to furthering one’s prospects of professional development and monetary gain. It cannot otherwise be so. A whole industry arises to perpetuate the professional class and cater to their needs.

Here’s one for you: A course on “Centering Prayer as Purification, Illumination, Union.”

“we will focus on how the practice of Centering Prayer serves as a doorway into a process that involves a downward movement into one’s inmost being to what’s blocking the free flow of grace and a rising movement of the influence of the Divine Indwelling within, which awakens an awareness of the immense love and goodness that is at the heart of all creation. Ultimately, this results in the transformation of our entire being.”

Does anybody understand this?! (It’s too deep for me.) And only for $79.95!

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