Monthly Archives: May 2013

Korean pastor fighting epidemic of abandoned babies with anonymous ‘Baby Box’ |

Unreal See it at:


A La Carte (5/24)

A La Carte (5/24)

Censorious or Pastoral? – “In 1932 Martyn Lloyd-Jones spent the summer preaching in Toronto. One day he had lunch with T. T. Shields, a prominent pastor in town known for his public critique of theological liberalism. At one point Shields asked Lloyd-Jones if he read a certain author who shared that passion.” This led to a fascinating exchange.

A Statement on C.J. Mahaney – Al Mohler, Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan have released a statement on C.J. Mahaney and the lawsuits against SGM. “We have stood beside our friend, C. J. Mahaney, and we can speak to his personal integrity. We can make no judgment as to the truthfulness of the horrifying charges of sexual abuse made against some individuals who have been connected, in some way, to Sovereign Grace Ministries and its churches.” (Fixed to add updated link)

$5 Friday – This week’s $5 Friday at Ligonier includes some good items including the audio edition of The Valley of Vision (read by Max McLean).

When Love Leads – This is a powerful testimony of God’s grace in a marriage. “He can restore what’s broken. He can bring healing to a situation that seems hopeless.”

Moore Prayers – Mike Horton (hang on, when did he become “Mike” instead of “Michael”?) on the Oklahoma tornadoes: “The choice is between placing our confidence in a God who is both good and sovereign despite the moral and natural evils–even when we don’t have all the answers, and giving up on any transcendent meaning for love as well as suffering.”

Surviving an Elephant Charge – You may think you don’t need to know how to survive an elephant charge, but some day you’ll thank me for including this link. While we’re on the subject of nature, check out this slow-motion shrimp attack. “Despite its size the pistol shrimp packs a serious punch. One mighty claw shuts so fast it rips apart water, making a stunning implosion and one of the loudest noises in the ocean.”

A fool soon makes up his mind, because there is so very little of it; but a wise man waits and considers. —C.H. Spurgeon

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from Challies Dot Com – Informing the Reforming See it at:

Help! Arminians are giving me nightmares again!

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Triablogue: Exposing Ehrman’s whoppers; affirming the reliability of the New Testament

Exposing Ehrman’s whoppers; affirming the reliability of the New Testament Michael Horton and New Testament Scholar Daniel Wallace discuss Bart Ehrman (and provide tremendous resources to correct his erroneous ramblings) in this edition of the White Horse Inn:
It has seemed to me that of all the many attacks that Christianity faces in our modern culture, the most egregious and harmful come in the form of the sensationalisms that Bart Ehrman has espoused. Ehrman, who is someone who ought to know that the sensationalisms he espouses are simply not what he publicly says they are, and yet he has “caught the popular imagination”.
Playing clips from Wallace/Ehrman debates (so we hear Ehrman’s whoppers in his own words), Horton and Wallace provide a popular-level response to some of the more egregious misconceptions that Ehrman has spread in his work “Misquoting Jesus” and others.
For example, when Ehrman says “we don’t have the original manuscripts” – he treats the issue as if we are playing the ‘telephone game’ in which errors become multiplied. But Wallace points out that when you compare the copying of the New Testament to the ‘telephone game’, first, the copies were done by hand, not orally, and second, it was not just a single line of transmission.
One of the things he doesn’t say is that we don’t have our earliest copies because they must have worn out. But he doesn’t say how they wore out. They would have worn out from people copying them.

Wallace relates that, off of the first generation of manuscripts, there may have been many multiple copyists making copies of that original manuscript. And the manuscript evidence is that we have a proliferation of imperfect first-generation copies, not a single lineage of them, enabling us to make comparisons of those manuscripts. And by comparing the manuscripts that we have, we can see scribal errors, categorize them, know what they are. Wallace provides this example:
Imagine we came across an early manuscript copy of the Constitution of the United States, and the preamble said, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect onion …” If we were to see that line, we would know that “union” was the original word, not “onion”.
Those are the kinds of mistakes we have find in the early manuscripts. They get corrected early on, leaving us with a far higher degree of reliability than in “the telephone game” or as Horton says, “the bigger fish game”.
As texts and copies proliferated, there is “an enormous amount of agreement among all these texts”. Also, when there are early copies with scribal errors, there is a constant re-correction early on.
The fact is, the more copies of manuscripts we have, the better, because the more we compare them, the more we are able to get back to the original texts.
As well, some manuscripts were in use for 100 or more years. Some of the original manuscripts may have actually lasted to the end of the second century. So it’s possible or even likely that some of the papyri we have may have been first or second generation copies of the original manuscripts.
Ehrman also makes the claim that 94% of the manuscripts we have are from the 9th century or later. In fact, more than 15% of the manuscripts we have are from prior to that time, and he ignores that from the 4th century on, we have complete manuscripts of the New Testament. So by the 9th century, we have six hundred or seven hundred manuscripts or more, and even by that time, we are already on very sound footing.
Ehrman also points out that there are more than 400,000 variants in these manuscripts. Wallace notes, however, that the reason why we have so many variants is because we have so many different manuscripts. In addition to the 5,500 Greek manuscripts, there are more than 10,000 Latin manuscripts, some from the second century, plus Coptic, Syriac, and other Asian and European languages from which to compare. And more manuscripts give you greater certainty as to what the original manuscripts said. Wallace estimates that there are perhaps more than 22,000 manuscripts in existence.
The nature of the differences, the vast majority (70% or more) are spelling variations, in which the wording is not in question. Definite articles, “more perfect onions”. A huge number of variations simply involve the use of the definite article in Greek. The word “the”, for example, there are 16 different ways in Greek to say “Jesus loves Paul” – but all of them get translated in exactly the same way.
Less than 1% of “textual variants”, in fact, are what Wallace calls “meaningful”, that is, it affects the meaning of the text in some way, and “viable”, which means that it can be traced back to the original wording. About ¼ of 1%. In about 1000 places there are variations that are m
But in fact, not one doctrine is affected by these “meaningful” or “viable” variants.
A couple of Ehrman’s “whipping boys” involve such things as Mark 1:41, in which different variations say “Jesus was moved with anger” or “Jesus was moved with compassion” to heal the leper. It’s not out of the ordinary to think that Jesus was “moved with anger” about a disease.
Another is 1 John 5:7, the Trinitarian formula, was not in Erasmus’s original manuscripts.
He also compares the NT manuscript evidence with the number of Greek and Latin “classics”. For example, we have more copies of Homer – with a 900-year head start, we have 2200 copies of Odyssy and Iliad, only 10% as many manuscripts
In fact, for other Greek writers like Aristotle or Plato, the number of manuscripts is far, far smaller. And yet we don’t contest whether we’re really reading those individuals. The earliest MSS of the New Testament come within decades.
This caught my ear because my 14-year-old daughter was asking me about “the telephone game” with respect to New Testament manuscripts. I highly recommend that you give this a listen, and even spread the word among popular circles like Twitter and Facebook (see the links immediately below this article).
This is an area where a discussion like this one can really help to correct some popular misconceptions and restore confidence in the textual transmission of the New Testament that Ehrman and others have undermined. from Triablogue See it at:

Math Is Harder Than That

Math Is Harder Than That

“Buying a truckload of stuff is not necessarily ‘saving money’ because it was all 20 percent off” (For a Glory and a Covering, p. 81).

from Blog and Mablog See it at:

Crossfodder | Chrestomathy


“The way we live reflects whether or not we know that God has been gracious to us in Christ. We live by grace or we live by works. We live by grace married or we live by works married. If the former, the result is gratitude for the ongoing kindness of God. If the latter, then the result is always some form of misery and condemnation. And in condemning the folly, it is crucial to note that we are not simply being ‘negative.’ The only thing we seek to put to death is the way of death” (For a Glory and a Covering, p. 74).

from Blog and Mablog See it at:

A La Carte (5/2)

A La Carte (5/2)

Mrs. B.B. Warfield – Fred Zaspel: “Believe it or not, since the publication of my The Theology of B.B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary in early 2010 I have received more inquiries regarding Warfield’s wife, Annie, than any other single Warfield subject.” In this article he dispels some of the myths.

6 Discontinuities – This is a helpful little chart that displays six discontinuities between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant in Jesus.

4 Sermon Types to Avoid – Derek Thomas gives four sermon types that we ought to avoid.

Commentaries Written By Women – May we use commentaries written by women? Jared Wilson answers with a resounding yes. “I love John Piper, as I assume has been evident over the years, but I found his answer to this question lacking at best and unhelpful at most. To some extent, he was directed to go to the biblical outline of gender roles by the phrasing of the question itself. But I think a better answer would be simply to step back, redirect, and consider the nature of a book.”

Mere Apologetics – The Kindle edition of Alister McGrath’s Mere Apologetics: How to Help Seekers and Skeptics Find Faith has been marked down to $4.99.

God Wins – “Ever since Jen McManus was first diagnosed with a malignant tumor, she’s been fighting–fighting against cancer, and fighting for hope. However, far from being rooted in the vagueness of wishful thinking, Jen’s hope is anchored in the certainty of Christ’s love. ‘Cancer has made death more real–and the gospel more real,’ she says. ‘I’m joyful because of the gospel and because of the story God is telling through my life’.”

God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. —C.S. Lewis

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from Challies Dot Com – Informing the Reforming See it at: