Intimidation, Study Bibles, parables, radio, knowing God &c.

Spiritual IntimidationThe prayer site has had almost no success. Partly, perhaps, because much of the content is in verse. Perhaps others prefer private prayer. I try to keep from drifting toward unflattering explanations.

• I missed the first presidential debate, but I did watch most of the Veep one-sided melee last night. I missed just the first part. Biden’s performance seemed to be of a piece with the present administration, characterized by intimidation. Perhaps people will see it for what it is, though polls (the modern equivalent to reading animal entrails) don’t appear encouraging. If not, America becomes a frightening place. At the very least, the deck is stacked against those who want to have a real conversation.

• I mention the debate here, because arrogant intimidation is one of the principal tactics of progressives in the church as well. I’ve seen it up close. And when they don’t get their way, they up and leave. Until they find an opportunity more to their liking. But these days, they seem to have many an opportunity.

• A sister in Christ asked on Facebook about study Bible recommendations. Might you have one, or several? I have a few study Bibles, but not many of them would I recommend. The NIV/NASB Study Bible (book introductions at link!) is good in history, wishy-washy at times on doctrine, trying to please the whole gamut of evangelicals. Overall, a good choice, to my mind. The NET Bible has good notes, mostly textual and translation. One of my favorites.

I’ve heard good things about the ESV Study Bible, but can’t emit an opinion. The Harper Study Bible is more conservative than its NRSV version, but skimpy, even after the expanded edition. An interesting feature of this one are the book outlines embedded within the text. The Lutheran Study Bible (not to be confused with Lutheran Study Bible, of liberal bent) is conservative, and often has good content, but too much love for Luther. I have the Jerusalem Bible in Portuguese, and it may very much be considered a study Bible, often with insightful notes, but pulls toward Catholicism at times, obviously. It has been revised, now it’s the New Jerusalem Bible.

Delving into the NLT Study Bible, online, it seems to have rather simple explanatory notes. The FaithLife Study Bible looks impressive so far, after a few weeks of online consultation, but it doesn’t look like it will go to print. You’ll have it as an app. What else is out there, and what have you to observe about any of them?

• That reminds me: Guy N. Woods revised Johnson’s People’s New Testament, but apparently Gospel Advocate decided to shelve its publication. Would make a nice online offering, would it not?

• Something came to mind Wednesday night as we read the major part of Matthew 13, the discourse of Christ about the parables of the kingdom. Many of the parables look toward some judgment, end, or result, several to the final judgment. Point being that Jesus throws our attention to the end when the separation will come between good and evil, sheep and goats, good ground and bad. But the parables themselves serve as judging function in the present, from the way people respond to them. Not sure what to make of it, but it’s a fascinating thought.

• John Henson has what I think is his first audio file now online from his new radio program in Grand Blanc, “Can We Understand the Bible Alike?” He has a warm conversational tone with some clear examples. I think he’s made a fine start of it. It’s about 12 minutes long, so check it out.

• The glory of man is the knowledge of God. All his plan and works, including his word of revelation, serve that end. “May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!” (2Pe 1.2). Not the height of hubris, but the amazed voice of the redeemed says, “our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1Jo 1.3). To be close to the Creator is a wondrous thought, and not to be taken lightly, as John will go on to say; not to be proclaimed in word only but to be lived in his brilliant holiness.

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