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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.


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  1. Today
  2. As far as the topic of the thread is concerned, it just makes me realize that what I'd really like is completely impossible. I want to be able to easily compare several translations, AND have access to a few different sets of commentary notes, AND have this all in a single leather-bound volume with readable type. I do have a Contemporary Comparative Side by Side Bible, with NIV (2011), NLT (2007), NKJV, and The Message. I like it for use in church, so I can be sure that no matter what translation the preacher is using, I'll have a different one for comparison. That gives me something to dig into later, especially if the preacher makes a big point of the wording. At a small-group Bible study, I'd probably want to have my NET Bible and my NIV (2011) Cultural Background Bible. I like both translations, and I love the note sets. For personal study, I rely a lot on software -- a free program called "The Word." I used to use e-Sword, and I still do find its interface a bit more "crisp," but The Word has more features that I like. Many modules are free. There are also many "premium" modules that are not free but are mostly reasonable. In that program, I now use mainly the NET. I like it, I love the notes, and I like the fact that it's one of the few translations keyed to "Strong's Numbers." (I found that a few of those Strong's links are incorrect; they say they will be "pushing out" a corrected version soon.) I also use NIV (2011), NASB95, ISV, ESV, CEB, and CSB fairly often, and others occasionally. I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm a fan of Gordon Fee's "How to..." books. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (Fee and Stuart) is great overall, and has a small section on translations. How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth (Fee and Strauss) is excellent, even if one does not agree with all the authors' conclusions and recommendations (as will be the case for KJVO people, "NIV is crap" people, and "Literaler is always betterer" people, among others).
  3. From an Orthodox perspective, Pascal's Wager makes more sense than from a Protestant one. In Orthodoxy faith can grow from a cooperation between humans and God. If humans strive to live righteously, it pleases God, and He might consider revealing Himself (in certain ways) to them, so that they may end up believing and being saved. Of course, this is a very superficial explanation of what is a very complex process.
  4. If someone has unrequited love feelings for a certain person, and keeps praying to God to take them away, but the feelings remain, what should the person do? Should they remain celibate for the rest of their lives? Or should they try to seek a spouse at random, and live together in physical loyalty while being emotionally disloyal?
  5. By Chris White - A police department in Massachusetts is asking lawbreakers and to avoid breaking the law until after the heatwave subsides. “Due to the extreme heat, we are asking anyone thinking of doing criminal activity to hold off until Monday,” police in Braintree, Massachusetts, wrote on Facebook Friday night. “It is straight up hot as soccer balls out there. Conducting criminal activity, in this extreme heat is next level henchmen status, and also very dangerous.” The post adds: “We will all meet again on Monday when it’s cooler.” Braintree has some reason to complain as the high in that part of Massachusetts could touch 95 degrees Saturday, with a heat index of nearly 106 degrees. A deadly heatwave is affecting half of the U.S. Millions of people are feeling the scorching temperatures, with heat advisories or warnings in effect from the Midwest to the East Coast. The heatwave is already blamed for at six least deaths. 147 million people in the Central and Eastern U.S. are currently under a Heat Advisory or Excessive Heat Warning. Very warm overnight temperatures limit recovery from daytime heat. Check on anyone vulnerable to heat, such as the elderly or sick. #HeatSafety #KeepYourCool https://t.co/qZzNuvAVbd — National Weather Service (@NWS) July 19, 2019 The National Weather Service issued excessive heat warnings Friday and heat advisories over large sections of the East coast to warn residents of the hot conditions. When combined with dew points above 70 degrees, this will produce heat indices above 100 degrees – a combination of heat and humidity that could be dangerous for those spending too much time outdoors. Washington, D.C., could see heat indices over 110 degrees this weekend. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Police In Massachusetts Ask Criminals To Lay Off Lawbreaking Until After Heat Wave is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article
  6. By Chuck Ross - The Democratic National Committee raised $8.5 million in June and has $9.3 million in the bank, according to campaign finance records released late Friday. Both figures are far behind what the Republican National Committee claims to have raised. Fox News reported on Wednesday that the GOP claims it raised $20.8 million in June and has $43.5 million cash on hand. Republicans also say the party has no debt, while the DNC has $5.7 million in liabilities. June doesn’t appear to be an anomaly. The DNC has raised just shy of $23 million over the past three months, while Republicans say they’ve raked in $51 million. The RNC has posting record fundraising numbers so far this year. In February, the party raised $14.6 million, a record high for that month in a non-election year. The RNC, which has yet to file its official campaign finance documents, boasted about its strong showing in an email blast on Saturday. “In June, the RNC brought in twice as much money as the DNC. Cycle to date, under RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, we’ve raised more than double that of the DNC and have no debt. Comparatively, the DNC is nearly six million dollars in debt,” said Steve Guest, the RNC’s rapid response director. Guest pointed to a Vice News article that quoted Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC alum Adam Parkhomenko saying of Democrats’ relatively paltry showing: “They need to get their crap together. Now.” Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] DNC Raised $8.5 Million In June, Less Than Half Of What Republicans Say They Raised is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article
  7. Greetings @William I have read through the quotes, am taking a look at the links, and reading a little more about covenant theology. So far I am finding this more confusing than helpful but I am not done reading and digesting. Grace and Peace
  8. Donald Trump Jr. trolled Michael Avenatti on Saturday, sharing a photo on social media of himself with the befallen lawyer's ex-wife at a recent event. View the full article
  9. Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) claimed Saturday that President Donald Trump's immigration agenda is about "ethnicity and racism.” View the full article
  10. Correct but the Orthodox Study Bible is a special case. The Eastern Orthodox Church follows the Septuagint as it's Old Testament text. However the Orthodox Study Bible is not an official text of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Of source there are other English translations of the LXX, such as Charles Thomson's translation (1808), Brenton's translation (1844), "A New English Translation of the Septuagint" (2007), and "The Lexham English Septuagint: A New Translation" (2019).
  11. Yesterday
  12. I'm recommending some reading Ben. The reference entails Covenant structure and markers by which God extracts man from a situation of sin while thrusting him forward into a state of grace. Small excerpt by Dr. J. Ligon Duncan: John Calvin, 1509–1564, taught the unity of the covenants. Calvin very highly developed his doctrine of the sacraments in light of the covenant. This was especially crucial in illustrating the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper. If you don’t have an adequate understanding of Covenant Theology you are weaponless against a Roman Catholic exposition of Old Testament and New Testament language about the sacraments. If you do not have an adequate covenantal framework for your doctrine of the sacraments, you have no chance against a Roman Catholic who sits down with you and says, “Well, what does Peter mean when he says, ‘Consequently baptism now saves you.’”? See, if you do not have a covenant understanding of that realistic language, you are duck soup. ....And Calvin gives a covenant framework of how we understand the sacraments. He goes back, for instance, and he says, “What is the tree of life and what is the Garden?” And his answer is, “Well it is a sacrament.” Calvin’s argument is that where there is a sacrament, there must be a covenant. Why? Because a sacrament is a covenant sign. So did the tree of life, mystically, magically convey eternal life? Calvin says, “No, it was a sign and a seal of a covenant promise.” And by the way, Calvin is telling you through the back door, isn’t he, that he believes that there exists a covenant prior to the fall of God and Adam, because if there is a sign of a covenant prior to the fall, then there must be a covenant prior to the fall. So he expounds the covenant signs of Noah and of Abraham and of the time of Moses. Caspar Olevianus is another sixteenth century Reformer who contributed substantively to our understanding of the covenant. He, a little bit younger than these other guys, lived from 1536 - 1587. He was a theologian in Heidelberg and he and Ursinus wrote the Heidelberg Catechism that begins with that gorgeous question, “What is your only hope in life and in death?” Caspar Olevianus and Ursinus are the authors of that Heidelberg Catechism. And they worked out the doctrine of the covenant of grace. One of the things that we are going to see especially in our study of Covenant Theology is that determining who the parties of the covenant of grace are can be a little bit tricky. Is the Covenant of Grace made between God and the elect or is it made between God and Christ? And then we are the beneficiaries of the covenant of grace made between God and Christ. Reformed Theologians worked around that in different way for a long time before they came up with what they were satisfied was a satisfactory answer. And Olevanius argued that the covenant of grace was made between God and Christ, and that for the elect, Christ is their representative. Olevanius also explicitly wrote about the eternal intertrinitarian Covenant of Redemption and the prefall covenant of works. And those three covenants, the covenant of redemption in eternity past, the prefall Covenant of Works, and the covenant of grace, were the foundational covenants for seventeenth century Covenant Theology. When Scots like Robert Rollock take the concept, those three covenants are in place. Now, finally we get to a point where we get to Macleod and he can give some help. The next major figure in the development of Covenant Theology is Robert Rollock of the University of Edinburgh, 1555–1598. You will see Rollock’s name there in the Macleod article. Rollock wrote a book called Questions and Answers Regarding the Covenant of God. Now Rollock did a lot of work on the matter of the Covenant of Works. He taught that the condition of the Covenant of Works was complete obedience to the moral law of God as summarized in the Ten Commandments. You heard me right. The argumentation being that the moral law, based again on the exposition of Romans 2, was not first given at Mt. Sinai. The moral law originated in the Garden and was written on Adam’s heart. So even though it wasn’t written down on tablets of stone until Exodus 20, the moral law was in place from the beginning of man’s creation. This is one of the great contributions of Rollock to the development of the Doctrine of Works. This covenant, Rollock has said, was manifest to a certain extent in the conditions of the Mosaic covenant. And let me say again that that issue, just like the issue of, “Who are the parties in the Covenant of Grace, the elect or Christ?”, the issue of “What is the Mosaic Covenant? — is it a Covenant of Grace or is it the covenant revisited?’ has been significantly debated in the Reformed history of Covenant Theology....
  13. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is blaming the Trump administration for the migrant crisis – overcrowding specifically – at the southern border, ignoring the Democrat Party's recent efforts to stifle the GOP's attempts to address the issue. View the full article
  14. I believe the Orthodox Study Bible is unusual if not unique in that its Old Testament is translated from the LXX, not the Hebrew.
  15. Greetings @William Before I respond to you on the next point I want to be sure that I am understanding your point (or points) correctly. So, If you do not mind could you please rephrase the following question of yours I am a little confused as to what you are asking? What for example do you mean by (a) covenant characteristics in Genesis 3:15? (b) "blood shed" does that refer to the inferred death of the serpent in Genesis 3:15? or to the serpents biting/sticking the heel? (c) Promise(seal)? Is a promise or for that matter a prophecy being equated with a covenant? Thanks in advance & as always GRACE and PEACE
  16. Prior to announcing her candidacy for the Democrat nomination for president, spiritual author Marianne Williamson asked white people at an event to apologize to the black people in attendance for the "evils" perpetrated against black people throughout United States history. View the full article
  17. Shalom(Peace) and Greetings @th1bill allow me to answer your question quoted below: Why? Simply put: The English translations of the Bible (in my opinion) do contraction each other because English translations of the Bible at best only represent men's interpretations/opinion's on YHWH's of word they are not identical with God's word! No translation of the Bible is to be considered to be God's inspired word, for translations are only man's attempt at understanding God's inspired word. Disclaimer: Translations of the Scriptures are necessary and are useful because not all Christians can read classical Hebrew, Aramaic, and koine Greek.
  18. Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  19. I'm no space nut. I was not one of those kids who built model rockets. But I do understand what the space program did for this country, not just for our national pride (which is important), but how the relentless push to achieve Kennedy's radical challenge dramatically improved life here on Earth. View the full article
  20. John Piper talks about self-idolatry.
  21. WHAT I SEE Why in the world do you see as contradictory that is not Knit Picking at Man's ability to understand YHWH's Message for our lives?
  22. Sin is sin from the lie to adultery to other sexual sins.. when sins are not pointed out as provided in Scripture . We sadly have folks who think they have salvation when they do not. For myself if i was to accept as Christian, certain behaviors , it would be a damnable lie. Unrepentant sin, sexual or other wise sends us to hell. The slippery slop of not calling out sin shows in the below list. LGBT clergy in Christianity From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Ordination of LGBT Christian clergy) The ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) clergy who are open about their sexuality (or gender identity if transgender), are sexually active if lesbian, gay, or bisexual, or are in committed same-sex relationships is a debated practice within some contemporary Christian Church communities. While most Christian churches ban the ordination of LGBT clergy because they view homosexuality and identifying as transgender as incompatible with Biblical teaching and traditional Christian practice,[1] a growing number of churches are allowing openly LGBT clergy to serve. The Metropolitan Community Church, a predominantly LGBT church, has ordained LGBT candidates for ministry since its founding in 1968. In 1972, the United Church of Christ became the first mainline Protestant denomination in the United States to ordain an openly gay clergy. Other churches are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (since 2010) and the Presbyterian Church (USA) (since 2012). The Episcopal Church in the United States and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have also allowed ordination of openly gay and lesbian candidates for ministry for some years. Internationally, churches that have ordained openly lesbian or gay clergy include the Church of Scotland, the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Norway, the Church of Denmark, the Church of Iceland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Evangelical Church in Germany, the Methodist Church in Britain, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, the United Protestant Church in Belgium, the Swiss Reformed Church, the United Protestant Church of France, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Anglican Church in Canada, the Old Catholic Church, the Czechoslovak Hussite Church and the United Church of Christ in Japan.[2] The issue of ordination has caused particular controversy in the worldwide Anglican communion, following the election of the Bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinsonin the US Episcopal Church.
  23. Read the gospels carefully and you'll see very few examples of Jesus castigating people about their sins. He does rip into leaders about their uncaring religious bigotry. Jesus' message is closer aligned to 'follow me' than improve your behaviour. There's no better example than Zacchaeus in Luke 10 v 1:10. Jesus didn't tell Zacchaeus to repay all the people he's swindled, he did that of his own volition. I do like Theophilus's post - To your average Joe Public sin within certain boundaries isn't a problem, so log as it doesn't hurt anyone else. So preaching to them that God can remove their sin, to them is a solution to a non-problem. Which is why Jesus focused more on the joys, power and life changing experience of knowing and following Him than improving someone's moral conduct. However it is legitimate to warn people that the Bible tells us that without Christ's salvation, they will go to Hell just so long as you point out that God wants to rescue them from that fate because of His redeeming love for us; that bit was missing from Israel's rant. Oh and please don't single out a particular group or you'll turn those people away and put others off by reinforcing a stereotype that churches are full of grey haired holier than thou homophobes from the beginning of the last century. We and churches need to dispel that by reaching out to all and ... go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
  24. The Apollo 11 moon landing's lessons - particularly the need for national industrial policy - are being lost, said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding View the full article
  25. Just for the record, here is the “homophobic hate speech” that got Israel fired from Rugby and according to one comment here reflects badly on Christianity ... In the 10 April post the 30-year-old fullback, a staunch Christian, wrote "hell awaits" for "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters". [Galatians 5:19-21 NASB] 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB] 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor [the] covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. So stating what God has warned us is “hate speech”. I have few views in eschatology, but I find this a teachable moment for one of my very few opinions on scripture in Revelation: [Revelation 13:16-18 NASB] 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and [he provides] that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, [either] the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. [Revelation 14:9-10 NASB] 9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. Many people speculate that the Mark of the Beast is a tattoo or a microchip. I see it as something far simpler and more insidious. I believe that the mark of the beast is the way of the world. The mark is on the forehead because the world demands that you THINK like the world. The mark is on the hand because the world demands that you DO what the world does. Anyone that refuses to think like the world and serve the world is denied the right to earn a living in the world. A baker refuses the mark of the beast on his hand and refuses to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual wedding ... so the Government takes him to court and bankrupts his business. A rugby player refuses to take the mark of the beast on his forehead and think that evil is good ... so the Association withdraws his ability to play the sport and earn a living from his skill. Welcome to the tribulation, where men are forced to choose between God and the Beast.
  26. This true.. At the same time I believe the Westminster Confession often quoted on these forums gives us some sober advice for issues like these: "The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical;(r) so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them". Disclaimer: I do not argue that everyone needs to master classical Hebrew nor for that matter koine Greek, although I wish more Christians would do so. Rather I believe that those in leadership with in the Church without out a working knowledge of Hebrew/Greek can use Bible Software and use various print commentaries for help with understanding the primary texts and dealing with contradictory Bible translations. Grace and Peace
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