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Distraction is an old problem, and so is the fantasy that it can be dodged once and for all. There were just as many exciting things to think about 1,600 years ago as there are now. Sometimes it boggled the mind.

Jamie Kreiner, “How to reduce digital distractions: advice from medieval monks,” Aeon (Apr 24, 2019)

In “What Augustine Requests from His Readers”:

Yet, for my part, I meditate in the law of the Lord, if not day and night, at least such short times as I can; and I commit my meditations to writing, lest they should escape me through forgetfulness; hoping by the mercy of God that He will make me hold steadfastly all truths of which I feel certain; but if in anything I be otherwise minded, that He will himself reveal even this to me, whether through secret inspiration and admonition, or through His own plain utterances, or through the reasonings of my brethren. This I pray for, and this my trust and desire I commit to Him, who is sufficiently able to keep those things which He has given me, and to render those which He has promised.

Augustine, On the Trinity, 1.5, via Justin Taylor.

Mindy Belz, “The church that birthed America: Learning from Pilgrims’ global evangelization,” World Magazine (Nov 25, 2017)

John Piper, “What Are the Best Reformation Biographies?,” Desiring God (Oct 18, 2017)

I simply taught, preached, wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. And then, while I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with my Philip and my Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor did such damage to it. I did nothing. The Word did it all.

—Martin Luther

Quoted in Timothy George, Theology of the Reformers, 53, as quoted in Shawn Wright, “Luther’s Battle for Sola Scriptura,” Southern Seminary Magazine.

Jeff Robinson, “5 Baptist theologians every pastor should read,” Southern Equip

Baptist Creed on Bible Translation /

These original languages [Biblical Hebrew and Greek] are not known to all the people of God, who have a right to and an interest in the Scriptures, and who are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them. They are therefore to be translated into the common language of every nation to which they come, so that (with the Word of God living richly in all) people may worship God in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.

— Baptist Confession of Faith (1689), updated English by Andrew Kerkham (2001)

“A Life Transformed by God’s Word”: John Piper on William Tyndale /

On October 6, 1536, William Tyndale was executed for translating the Bible from the original languages into modern English. He was accused of “always singing a single note”: God’s Word in the vernacular. For that he was exiled, betrayed, strangled and burned. Many of Tyndale’s words and phrases remain in use today, 480 years later. This is the legacy of your English Bible.

I was reminded of Tyndale this week. So I remembered a message I heard John Piper give about him when I was preparing to go abroad for the sake of God’s Word. Piper presented Tyndale’s life as worthy of imitation, in taking seriously the call to study God’s Word and to translate it. He challenged thousands of young adults to be involved in Bible translation. I share with you what was challenging and confirming to me.

“William Tyndale: A Life Transformed By God’s Word”
Message by John Piper, May 26, 2008, New Attitude Conference, Louisville, KY

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“Our movement came along and finally got the Bible right.” /

The cartoon Tom’s Doubts, #14 — Saji George (@S_A_J_I) September 3, 2011

“The first thing that happened in the life of the church was translation” /

The first thing that happened in the life of the church was translation. On the day of Pentecost, God’s powerful wind swept through Jesus’s followers, filling them, like the sails of a great oceangoing sailing ship, so that they could take God’s good news to the ends of the earth. And they found themselves speaking other languages, so that everyone in the crowd could understand. …

So, right from the start, they translated. Sometimes it happened, as at Pentecost, by the direct action of the holy spirit. Mostly, though it was through people eagerly turning the message into other languages.

—N. T. Wright, preface to The Kingdom New Testament