Jenni and I love David and Stephanie Crabb, and we’re so excited that we’ll be uniting in Minneapolis. The Crabbs are transitioning there for David to serve as an International Trainer for Training Leaders International, a strategic missions ministry of Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Here’s how Don Carson recently replied to a question about suffering during a Q&A. (This is a lightly edited transcript from 13:37 to 14:40 in the audio file.)
- We grew up in some of the suffering of French Canada.
- I’ve had typhoid because I went to Africa and came within death’s door.
- I’ve had two or three other diseases that have almost taken me out.
- My wife’s had cancer that has almost taken her out. She didn’t expect to live to 50; she just turned 59.
- But that’s part of the stuff of life, isn’t it? And if you’re a Christian leader, then sooner or later you go through situations in churches and relationships that are really tough. The most painful things I’ve ever borne are betrayals by Christian friends.
I’ve been doing a lot copy-editing over the last seven years. This made me laugh:
By nature editors hate error, but by vocation they are called to deal with it daily. And painfully enough, it is sometimes their own.
Daniel G. Reid, “Commentaries and Commentators from a Publisher’s Perspective,” On the Writing of New Testament Commentaries: Festschrift for Grant R. Osborne on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday (ed. Stanley E. Porter and Eckhard J. Schnabel; Texts and Editions for New Testament Study 8; Leiden: Brill, 2013), 464.
Douglas S. Huffman. The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek: Grammar, Syntax, and Diagramming. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012. 112 pp.
This 13-page PDF excerpt includes the table of contents.
Part 3 (pp. 83-106) is by far the most helpful section of the book.
Outline of part 3: [Read more…]
The impeccability of Christ by virtue of his impeccable divine nature united to his human nature has nothing directly to do with how he resisted temptation and how it was that he did not sin. Yes, Christ was impeccable, but his impeccability is quite literally irrelevant to explaining his sinlessness. The common evangelical intuition seems to be this: if the reason Christ could not sin is that he is God, then the reason Christ did not sin must likewise be that he is God. My proposal denies this symmetry and insists that the questions of why Christ could not sin and why he did not sin require, instead, remarkably different answers.
To understand better the distinction here invoked between why something could not occur and why it did not occur, consider with me two illustrations. [Read more…]
Another application from this brief account of Jesus’s boyhood experience in Jerusalem is that Jesus understood the importance of engaging in biblical and theological discussion and learning. We don’t know the exact content of the discussion that took place, but [Read more…]
Don Carson answered that question recently for TGC’s blog.
He draws three inferences:
- We are likely to make exegetical and theological mistakes when we take any one of these passages and treat it as if it explains all suffering.
- In any suffering, or in any other event for that matter, God is doubtless doing many things, perhaps thousands of things, millions of things, even if we can only detect two or three or a handful. [Cf. Piper’s tweet.]
- It follows that when we face suffering of any kind, we should use the occasion for self-examination.
Conclusion: “We sometimes observe that hard cases make bad theology. But easy, formulaic answers to questions of suffering are invariably reductionistic — and they make bad theology, too.”
Read the whole thing.