Friday, September 28, 2018

Willing captives

We always must keep in mind that this is a fallen world, and whatever originates in the world is bound to be bad and godless. Whatever originates in organized society, with thoughts from fallen minds and fallen hearts, is godless.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 158

<idle musing>
I would add, that applies equally to the Right and the Left! I personally happen to think that Fox (Pseudo-)News is a worse culprit than any others, but there is bias everywhere. Seek God and humbly ask him to show you where you are held captive. That's our only hope.
</idle musing>

Thursday, September 27, 2018

You are being had!

Put chains on a man’s ankles and wrists, and he knows it. Look deep into his eyes and you will find there the sullen revolt of the free human spirit against the bonds of slavery. But conditioning the mind creates a slave who doesn’t know it. We are constantly being fed harmful ideas that we adopt and learn to believe in, thinking they are all right, and so we ignorantly follow. This is done without our knowing that a keen, sharp, unscrupulous mind is seeking to control us.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 156

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What do you have time for?

If you want to be ho1y—-if you want to serve God—you have to give time to God. Grace and holiness take time, and the cultivation of the Spirit takes time. Do you want to be holy? Do you want a deep faith? Then you have to give God time, and not just intend to. You say, “I believe you, brother. I’m going to do it.” But you never do.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 146

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Banquet or prayer meeting?

Announce a banquet and everybody will be there. Announce a prayer meeting and only a few will show up. You can tell the power of a church by the number of people who attend the prayer meeting, no question about it.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 145

Friday, September 21, 2018

Countercultural advice

Blessed is the man who possesses nothing. If we possess nothing, God will allow us to have plenty. If we possess anything, we are cursed by it. So get it outside of you. Get thoroughly detached from earthly possessions. Look out for a thrill if you get a raise. Look out for a thrill if you get more money. Look out for a thrill that comes from possessions.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 135

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Not just book reviews

A few months back, I ran across an interesting blog (no, it's not on my horrendously out of date blogroll): Bob on Books. He reviews all kinds of books; some I'm interested in, others not so much. But periodically he also comments on stuff. Today, he takes on the way men are dodging the #metoo revelations. Here's a relevant paragraph, but the whole thing is spot-on; read it!
The other thing I believe we as men need to do is to assume full responsibility for our own sexuality. We must stop blaming women for our sexual longings and desires. We must stop blaming what women wear for our sexual responses. A sexually responsible man does not need a woman to tell him “no.” He makes it his responsibility to understand and honor the boundaries of a relationship. I would go so far as to say that men should not say with their bodies what they are unwilling to say in their commitments to a woman. I would go so far as to say that a man should not engage in the activity that can father children unless he is ready to assume the responsibility of being a father (and the woman wants him as the father of her children).
Amen and amen!

Thursday's dose of Tozer

If you are not detached from earthly possessions, every dollar you accumulate will be a blight on your spirit. If you have an understanding with God that goes clear down deep about who owns everything, then your increasing riches will not hurt you at all, because they are not yours. You will hold them for the Giver. God gave them, and you hold them for Him.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 135

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Good advice

I've been reading the long series of posts by Greg Boyd on Jordan Peterson's ideas (HT: Jim Eisenbraun). I'm up to part 14 of what was originally 15, then 19, but it looks like it's up to 20 now. Definitely worth your time, but I just read this, which rings so true to me:
This is advice I wish more American Christians would take seriously, both at an individual and ecclesial level. Instead of trying to “take America back for God” by positioning ourselves as Caesar’s wise advisers who assume we know better and care more than others about issues that divide the polis, we ought to make it our highest aspiration to simply be who God has called and empowered us to be; namely, individuals and communities that imitate God by living “in love as Christ loved us and gave his life for us” (Eph 5:1-2). I’m personally convinced that if Christians stopped trying to fix the world by grabbing hold of political power and simply focused on demonstrating God’s love in practical ways to all people, and especially to people in need, the transforming effect we would have on society would dwarf in significance whatever positive changes political regimes can occasionally manage to bring about. (emphasis added)
If you can find the time, definitely look into the whole series. Boyd takes a fair and balanced look at Peterson, acknowledging his many good points, but critiquing the points where it differs from a Christian response—and it does in significant ways.

Tozer for Tuesday

It is a solemn thought that the history of humanity and of nations and of churches shows that we trust in God, as a rule, when there is nothing else in which to trust. A Christian ought to be a realist. That is, he ought to stay by the facts, as they are, not invent or twist them. The simple fact is that the history of men, Israel, the Church and the nations and of individual churches shows that we trust in God last. We tend to trust in God when we have nothing else in which to trust. As other things to trust in appear, we turn from God to them and excuse ourselves eloquently by saying that we are not trusting them, we are trusting God.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 128

Monday, September 17, 2018

Take a day!

! am not a Sabbatarian. I do not believe one day is above another day. But I believe we ought to have some time for God, The man who works seven days a week has no time for God, and the office that keeps open to get a few extra nickels on that seventh day has no time for God. Whether he takes Wednesday, Sunday or Friday off, he ought to take a day off; but Sunday would be the day to take off. It is a testimony and enables the man to get into the house of God and mingle and raise his voice in the songs of Zion with the people of God. We are not Sabbatarians, but we do believe that there is a time for everything, and secular business can ruin men, unless they take time to cultivate God.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 123

Friday, September 14, 2018

But are we saying anything?

We could well cut down the decibels in our homes and in our churches. I am always cautious and afraid of noisy people. It takes a very wise man to talk all the time and say anything of value. So let us learn the scriptural silence.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 122

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Too busy

We are likely to be so busy that we do not get anything done, and so talkative that we never say anything. The prophets sought the silence; and in the silence, they learned what to say. Then they broke the silence by saying it and relapsed back into the silence again.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 122

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Men who cannot be silent will not say anything when they talk. It is only out of the silence that the Word speaks. In the beginning was silence, and then there was a word.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 122

Thursday, September 06, 2018


I am positively sure that nervous breakdowns do not come from working in the easy yoke of Jesus Christ. They come from frustrations, hidden sins, stubbornness, refusing to hear God and wanting your own way; but they do not come from working. “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30).—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 118

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Why the two-week silence

We were gone for two weeks, visiting family. Debbie's dad fell and is in rehab. We went to see him and to help her mom. He's doing better and probably will be able to go home again on the eleventh. He's 89 and not very strong anymore.

I've been neglecting this blog terribly this summer, but maybe with the advent of fall I'll be able to spend more time reading—and therefore blogging.

I've been working on some interesting projects, though. I just finished up the NICOT 2 Samuel volume (not on the Eerdmans website yet), which should see the light of day early next year. Before that I did the final volume of the TDOT, covering the Aramaic. That was pretty intense because they were trying to keep consistency with the other volumes, going all the way back to 1974. Needless to say, typography has come a long way since then and standards have changed. It was a challenge, but a lot of fun. I also did an Eisenbrauns Festschrift The Unfolding of Your Words Gives Light, and three SBL books, two of them on the LXX. The collection of essays by Rosel, Tradition and Innovation:English and German Studies on the Septuagint is really good; you should buy it when it comes out—or pick it up at AAR/SBL. Somehow I managed to crowd in The Abu Bakr Cemetery at Giza for B.J. at Lockwood Press, and Biblical Greek Made Simple: All the Basics in One Semester. All while creating a garden (which is doing wonderful! I'll try to post some pictures…), working for PSU Press part-time, and walking 5–8 miles a day.

I'm currently working on the Lexham Geographical Commentary on the New Testament, Acts–Revelation and an Eisenbrauns book in the EANEC series: Life and Mortality in Ugaritic, which should be out next spring or summer (also not on the web yet).

No wonder the blog has suffered!

Tozer Wednesday

There is a notion abroad that labor is a sin or, at best, a curse resting upon us. Some Christians even have the notion that work is a disciplinary punishment, which the Lord laid at the world at the Fall. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read the Bible before the third chapter of Genesis and the Fall and you wlll see that God told the newly created couple that they were to replenish the earth and subdue it.

Replenishing the earth meant there were to be children born into the world. Anybody who imagines there can be children without work has never had children or even been around them. The command to subdue the earth certainly embraces the idea of work.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 116