Reading Plan

So...Im reading in 1 Thessalonians....v. 4

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction

The conviction, the power and the Holy Spirit came not as the result of our choice, but of God's choice.


Gangster Government - the part about the auto industry/UAW is interesting.  I wish more Democrats would read it.  It's frightening, the ways that this administration has "stretched" the law, in order to punish those who disagree with them, and reward those who do.

God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology - Starting from Genesis, the cycle of Law-Judgment-Mercy and salvation is clear.  Even in the Psalms and Proverbs, if you dig...and the author does.  I like the chart style "here it is, laid out" in every section.

Regarding Ducks and Universes - a fun sort of science fiction about traveling to a parallel universe and (maybe) meeting your alter.  I got this one when it was on the $.99 kindle special of the day, and I'm enjoying it for the "mind twinkie" that fiction should be.  😉

From "The Parables of Jesus: Entering, Growing, Living, and Finishing in God's Kingdom" by Terry Johnson.

We know that Jesus taught with parables (not the only way He taught, but (Johnson says) that whenever it is recorded that Jesus taught, He included parables.

He gives 5 related by slightly different definitions of "parable".

(1) "wise sayings of a pictorial kind" (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew, 354)
(2) "A story taken from real life (or a real-life situation) from which a moral or spiritual truth is drawn" (J.M.Boice)
(3) "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning" (an old Sunday School definition)
(4)"examples of popular story-telling that are meant to evoke a response and to strike a verdict" (A.M.Hunter, Interpreting the Parables")
(5) " a comparison, a putting of one thing beside another to make a point" (Robert F. Capon, The Parables of the Kingdom)

The parables are interesting because they sometimes turn what we "know" upside down.

"bad people are commended, good people are scolded and unanticipated pople are rewarded and punished" (p.16

The parables illuminate those with the key, but obscure it for those who do not. The disciples had to ask about the parable of the sower.

Johnson says,

Jesus' answer is that parables are uniquely suited to the central principles of redemption in that they in fact both reveal the truth and veil it. They are illuminating for some and at the same time obscuring for others.

  • do the definitions make sense?
  • why would Jesus use a confusing method of teaching?