Today I read in Psalm 47, “Come, everyone! Applaud!
Shout to God with joyful praise! Because the LORD Most High is awesome, the great King of all the earth.”
What would it be like for God to be everything he says he is? To be everything I hoped he would be? How would I respond?
Besides nine that are positive, Frame tries to avoid three criteria that are inadequate reasons to critique theological writing:
I must still be young because these three don’t seem like criteria to avoid. If Frame means that these three criteria are not worth critiquing because they are not problems, but symptoms of problems, then it does seem like wise advice.
It’s worth the effort to understand writing with which I disagree. Improper emphasis, comparability to other works that are poor, and unbiblical terminology are not the heart of the matter. They can be warning flags as well as an opportunity to learn the meaning behind another person’s expressions.
Justin Taylor, “John Frame’s 9-Point Checklist for Evaluating Theological Writings” (Oct 11, 2018)
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.
The Ephesian believers tested those who call themselves apostles. They were theologically fierce, engaged in missions, yet unloving. And that’s deadly.
What we see in the church at Ephesus, therefore, was how their desire for orthodoxy and the exclusion of error had created a climate of suspicion and mistrust in which brotherly love could no longer flourish. Their eager pursuit of truth had to some degree soured their affections one for another. It’s one thing not to “bear with those who are evil” (Rev. 2:2), but it’s another thing altogether when that intolerance carries over to your relationship with other Christ-loving Christians!
— Sam Storms, “What was the ‘First Love’ that the Ephesians had abandoned?”, Enjoying God Blog, May 11, 2017
“Remember… from where you have fallen. Repent. And do the works you did at first.” (Rev. 2:5)
Andy McTazi recast the parable of the Prodigal Son for all self-respecting missionaries and theologians. I cheer when I hear someone bring together theology and missiology like this:
There are two brothers who don’t talk to each other very much. Let’s call the older brother Theology, and the younger brother… Missiology.
… It’s not so much that they are constantly arguing; more that they move in different circles and pretend each other don’t exist.
The younger is adventurous.… The older… is conservative.… The father loves both [and] invites both to his parties.…
Both brothers have their sins. Both also have their gift. But they need each other. Oh for churches and movements that are strong in both!
Read “Two Brothers” at To Win Some.