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D.A. Carson – The Controlling Center of the Book of Revelation

4 Jun

The great vision of Revelation 4–5 controls the entire book [of Revelation]. There we learn that Christ, this male child, is the only one who is fit to open the scroll in God’s right hand to bring about all of God’s purposes for judgment and blessing. He is the Lion and the Lamb, the reigning king and the bloody sacrifice, the heir to David’s throne yet the one who appears from God’s throne. Because of his struggle, men and women from every tongue and tribe and people and nation are redeemed. Countless millions gather around him who sits on the throne and the Lamb and sing a new song of adoring, grateful, praise.

~D. A. Carson~


Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2010) p. 84-85

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Vern Poythress – Why Autonomous Reasoning Isn’t Enough

7 May

poythress

As part of this process [committing to become followers of Christ], they see that Christ testifies to the divine authority of the Old Testament, and indirectly to the New Testament, because Christ authoritatively commissioned the apostles as witnesses (Acts 1:8). So their view of the Bible changes. They begin to use the Bible’s instruction rather than autonomous judgment as their ultimate guide. Whether the process is long or short, we can see a marked difference between the beginning and the end: they were formerly in rebellion, and now they have been reconciled to God through Christ.

But according to the Bible no one is neutral in the process. We are all by nature rebels against God and we do not want to submit. The Bible itself indicates that the heart of the difficulty is not in the alleged doubtful character of the evidence presented in the Bible (the evidence for the resurrection of Christ is particularly pertinent), but in the doubtful or rather sinful character of us who read it. Moreover, our sinfulness infects our reasoning, so that we come to the evidence with corrupted standards for judging it. Even if the Bible is genuine, we want to judge it rather than submit to God. We want to remain in charge of our life (autonomy), including the life of reasoning. Our desire for autonomy, and the conception of reasoning that goes with it, need changing. We need to be redeemed by God from our rebellion.


~Vern Poythress~






Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2013) p. 36-37.

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D.A. Carson – Satan’s Rage Against the Church

2 May

Revelation 12 to 14 marks a major division in the Apocalypse. These chapters constitute a major hiatus before the final display of God’s wrath in the seven plagues of Revelation 16. John traces in these chapters the underlying cause for the hostility and suffering that fall upon the church. That cause is nothing less than the rage of Satan against the church. If you do not have a category for Satan’s rage, John says, then you cannot understand deeply what is happening in contemporary Christianity.

~D. A. Carson~


Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2010) p. 79-80

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J.I. Packer – The Purpose of Revelation

6 Nov

We must seek, in studying God, to be led to God. It was for this purpose that revelation was given, and it is to this use that we must put it.

~J.I. Packer~




Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL; Intervarsity Press; 1993) p. 22.

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John Stott – But God Has Spoken!

26 Sep

Our minds, wonderfully effective instruments though they are when it comes to scientific investigation, cannot immediately help us here. They cannot reach up into the infinite mind of God. There is no ladder to climb, only a vast, unmeasured gulf. Job, a character in the Bible, is challenged with the question, ‘Can you find out the deep things of God?’ The only answer is ‘No’. It is impossible.

And that is how it would have stayed, had God not taken the initiative to help us. We would have remained forever agnostic, asking – just like Pontius Pilate at the trial of Jesus – ‘What is truth?’ but never staying for an answer, never daring to hope that we would receive one. We would be those who worship, for it is part of human nature to worship someone or something, but all our altars would be like the one the apostle Paul found in Athens, dedicated ‘To an unknown god’.

But God has spoken. He has taken the initiative to make himself known. The Christian concept of revelation is essentially reasonable. The idea is that God has ‘unveiled’ to our minds what would otherwise have been hidden from them.

~John Stott~


Basic Christianity (Downers Grove, IL; IVP; 2012) Ch. 1 – The Right Approach

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D.A. Carson – God Is a Talking God

27 Jul

God is a talking God. The first action that is described under this general rubric “God created the heavens and the earth” is “God said, ‘Let there be light’” (1:3). I suppose one could understand this to be a kind of metaphorical way of saying that God brought the heavens and earth into being by his power and that he did not actually utter any words; the expression is metaphorical. Fine. Could be. Except that once Adam and Eve are made, then he actually addresses them and gives them some responsibilities: “This is what you are to do. This is what marriage will look like.” He speaks to them. So the God of the Bible in the very first chapter is not some abstract “unmoved mover,” some spirit impossible to define, some ground of all beings, some mystical experience. He has personality and dares to disclose himself in words that human beings understand. Right through the whole Bible, that picture of God constantly recurs. However great or transcendent he is, he is a talking God.

~D. A. Carson~


The God Who Is There (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Book House Company; 2010) Chapter 1: The God Who Made Everything; Some Things About God.

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