Partial Puritan Prayer – Freedom

Who can fathom immeasurable love?
As far as the rational soul exceeds the senses,
so does the spirit exceed the rational in its
knowledge of thee.
Thou hast given me understanding to compass
the earth,
measure the sun, moon, stars, universe,
but above all to know thee, the only true God.
I marvel that the finite can know the Infinite,
here a little, afterwards in full-orbed truth;
Now I know but a small portion of what
I shall know,
here in part, there in perfection,
here a glimpse, there a glory.
To enjoy thee is life eternal,
and to enjoy is to know.
Keep me in the freedom of experiencing
thy salvation continually.

From The Valley of Vision

How To Pray Better – Guaranteed

I was going to repost the most read post on this blog, which has a link to the book I’ve gotten by far the most commission for as an Amazon Associate, but I’d rather link to it and leave it dated as it is so the search engines continue to find it where it is.

It’s important to pray using the language of the Bible. It’s also important to pray according to God’s will. One way to learn this is by looking at Paul’s prayers and comparing them to our own:

Paul’s Prayers

You can see that this was back when people used to comment more on blogs–or mine anyway.

Sproul the Troll

Classic curmudgeonliness from R.C. Sproul in Knowing Scripture:

The Christian who is not diligently involved in a serious study of Scripture is simply inadequate as a disciple of Christ. To be an adequate Christian and competent in the things of God we must do more than attend “sharing sessions” and “bless me parties.” We cannot learn competency by osmosis. Biblically illiterate Christians are not only inadequate but unequipped. In fact, they are inadequate because they are not equipped.

The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.
Proverbs 21:5

I wanted to put some Scripture with this and thought about ‘diligent’ and came up with this one that I have memorized. I have to admit, I’ve never really thought of this from a spiritual perspective–meaning gaining knowledge and wisdom through studying the Bible.

(By ‘troll’ I mean in the internet sense–kind of–not the classic sense.)

Around the Web

I’m still here and still have ideas for posts. The mojo should come back at some point, God willing.

Baker Book House Church Connection | How Well Do You Really Know Greek? – Can we even trust our commentaries?

8 Reasons We Need the Puritans | The Gospel Coalition

Jesus our Pilot « The Reformed Reader – God is not our “co-pilot”. If you hear somebody say this, in the most polite manner, tell them it’s idiotic.

How I Read, Take Notes, and Process Information from Books — Danny Zacharias – Not the typical methods that I’ve seen

You Should Care | Monergism – Monergism and Seinfeld?

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God: An Interview with R.C. Sproul Jr. on Vimeo

Quote of the Day: Providence; Announcements

Since I haven’t been blogging much lately, I was thinking that I should remind you of the area in the right column where you can subscribe to this blog via e-mail. However, it disappeared. ! So I put it back. I hope that none of you are coming to the site itself to see if there are any posts and then not seeing any for a long time. Please either use an RSS feed reader if you read other blogs, or sign up for the e-mail notification if you aren’t seeing them on Facebook or Twitter (@aplectic). If it shows the post in the e-mail, I would still click on over here. There are things like block quotes which will look better, Scripture references can be moused over or touched (John 1:1), and there are cool tooltips with a dotted underline to give you a definition of big words that might be used, like ontology.

If you have a sharp eye, you may notice that I increased the line space, which is the space between lines, so it may be a little easier to read. Somehow I all of a sudden noticed that it’s a little squished compared to most books or other web sites. The type size of the post should also scale better.

I’m going to try to do some reposts and possibly finish some partially written posts in the near future. I’m not quite sure the best way to do reposts, so let me know if you like to copy an old one, or just change the date of an old one, leaving the comments intact.

I will leave you with and a quote that I really like from Michael Horton’s The Christian Faith and related Scripture:

Out of the lavishness displayed in the marvelous variety and richness of creation itself, God continues to pour out his common blessings on all people. Therefore we neither hoard possessions as if God’s gifts were scarce nor deny ourselves pleasures as if God were stingy. Believers and unbelievers alike share in the common joys of childbirth and childhood, friendship and romance, marriage and family. Unlike life under the old covenant theocracy, there is no guarantee in this time between Christ’s two advents that the lives of Christians will go better than those of non-Christians. The promise, rather, is that even calamities cannot frustrate God’s salvation of his elect, but, on the contrary, are turned to our ultimate good.

It is always dangerous to interpret one’s temporal circumstances as a sign either of God’s favor or of his displeasure. […] However, believers have no right to God’s common grace any more than they do to his saving grace. God remains free to show compassion on whomever he will, even to give breath, health, prosperity, and friends to those who breathe threats against him. The psalmist never resolves this paradox philosophically, but eschatologically—that is, by entering God’s sanctuary and recognizing that the temporal pleasures of the ungodly conceal their ultimate doom, while the saints’ temporal struggles conceal their ultimate glory.

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Romans 8:28-39

Blogging Less, Reading More

I’ve been told that people who read blogs like to read regular posts. For those who for some reason like to read this blog, I apologize for that. I also apologize for not having anything dramatic to say about why I haven’t been blogging much lately. My reading has been going very well, and I haven’t wanted to take time away from that to blog. That’s about it. I may do some reposts for now. I don’t plan on quitting though.

Other than the Bible, I’ve been reading Victor Hamilton’s Handbook on the Pentateuch, along with the Pentateuch, which I’ve been wanting to do forever, and Michael Horton’s systematic theology called The Christian Faith, which is a bit of a blend between Biblical and systematic theology. It’s 1000 pages, so I’ve had my head down getting through it. I also don’t usually read two books at a time.

Speaking of reading books, I’ve always wondered about the proportion of time that many of us book lovers spend between the Bible and other books. This quote, along with the article has recently had a profound impact on me:

“In time,” Luther opined, “my books will lie forgotten in the dust.” This was no lament on the Reformer’s part. In fact, Luther found much “consolation” in the possibility — or rather likelihood — that his literary efforts would soon fade into oblivion. The dim view he apparently took of his own writings was intimately related to the high view he took of Sacred Scripture. Indeed, his high view of Scripture resulted in a rather dim view of all other writings, not just his own. “Through this practice [namely, writing and collecting books],” he wrote, “not only is precious time lost which could be used for studying the Scripture, but in the end the pure knowledge of the divine Word is also lost, so that the Bible lies forgotten in the dust under the bench.” Making the same point in more colorful terms, Luther complained of the “countless mass of books” written over time which, “like a crawling swarm of vermin,” had served to supplant the place which should belong to “the Bible” in the life of the Church and her people. In sum, Luther judged that folk would be better off reading and hearing the Bible than reading and hearing anything which he or anyone else had written, and the last thing he wanted to be found guilty of was producing words which distracted anyone from the Word.

Luther on Book-Showers and Big, Long, Shaggy Donkey Ears – Reformation21 Blog

Maybe this is hyperbole, as Luther was wont to do, but taken literally, I seem to have a higher view of books that he did. I’m sure he thought they were very important too, to some degree. I think it’s important for everyone to read outside of Scripture to help us understand it better. Much of the Bible is perspicuous, and some not so much. Scholars debating about the degree of the ‘perspicuity of Scripture’ won’t end anytime soon.

As I began to write above, I wonder about how much time to allocate to each. A friend of mine was saying that this could be God nudging me to make some changes or it could be arbitrary. Another friend mentioned objectives. I remembered that what I really want at this point is to know Scripture better. Then I understood what he meant by arbitrary–if I’m spending XX% time with Scripture and feel guilty about it, and then change the percentage to 30% more, that’s arbitrary. It’s just to make me feel better about myself. At this point, what I really want is a better knowledge of the Bible with more emphasis on time in it.

I’m considering Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System, which is something my wife has done. Many of you are familiar with it. Since compliance is more important than time or exact method, whether it’s diet, exercise or any other disciplined endeavor, I might modify it slightly to be reading eight chapters a day and see how that goes. If I do this, the other reading will fall into place. I’m not concerned with exact proportions or minutes spent on each. I also like to vary reading styles/objectives and amount of studying, as you probably do too, so who knows if this might be something I’ll do every day for the rest of my life, should it work out, God willing and without any major chronic fatigue or other types of flare-ups.

Here’s a great article that is about the ESV reader’s Bible (I wish my translation had one) and Professor Horner’s plan:
Abandoned to Christ: Professor Grant Horner's 'The Ten Lists Bible Reading System'
I really identify with what she’s saying as far as wanting to understand everything, but I’ve also benefitted so much from reading through the Bible.

I’ve also learned that people don’t like reading long blog posts, so I will leave it there for now, since I’ve failed in that regard.

Also see:

Around the Web

I realize I haven’t been blogging much lately. Hopefully I’ll get back into it at some point.

Audio Bible Name Pronunciation Tool | The Bible Workshop

Does the Gospel Threaten? – Reformation21 Blog – Fear God; Fear the Gospel

Baker Book House Church Connection | John Frame’s Thoughts on Joel Osteen – He goes way easier on him than I would, and leaves out much of what I’ve seen of him, including interviews where he can’t bring himself to say that Jesus is the only way to the Father. But it somehow seems instructive to me, since he seems to have thought this out and tried to look at him objectively.

My Bible… My Idol? – It would be nice if this could be put to rest.

‘Yeah, well they all thought the earth was flat, too…’ | Cryptotheology – Not everybody thought the earth was flat; the Bible is silent on it. (So I wish some people would stop using it as an argument!)

How Memorization Feeds Your Imagination | The Gospel Coalition

When we have the entire Bible available as an app on our smartphones, it seems an unnecessary waste of time and effort to memorize specific verses or the grand narrative of the story. By relying on technology to do our remembering for us, we have forgotten the moral aspect of memorization. “A trained memory wasn’t just about gaining easy access to information,” says Jonathan Foer, referring to the ancient world, “it was about strengthening one’s personal ethics and becoming a more complete person.” Foer adds that the thinking of the ancients was that only through memorization could ideas truly be incorporated into one’s psyche and their values absorbed. “Indeed, the single most common theme in the lives of the saints—besides their superhuman goodness—is their often extraordinary memories,” Foer notes.

Albert Einstein reportedly said, “Never memorize something that you can look up.” That doesn’t apply to Scripture.

I memorize for many reasons. It’s obviously a gift from God because it’s not something I could normally do. One of the lesser reasons I memorize Scripture, which may be paranoid, is that if I ever become blind, I will have a lot of Scripture in my head. It’s the same reason I collect free Christian audio books when they’re offered. I can certainly confirm what’s written in this article, as can just about everyone else who has Scripture memorized. It’s a great angle to look at it from.

Counter-cultural Thought of the Day: Dependency

Sounds like a bad word, doesn’t it?

I was meditating on how we are dependent on God and how dependency is seen as a bad thing in almost every way in our culture, whether it’s medications (except caffeine of course) or people or many other things. God wants us to be dependent on him. It’s for our good. We need to humble ourselves in that way. It was good to think about; it’s difficult to do.

Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Matthew 5:3 GW

The LORD is good. He is a fortress in the day of trouble. He knows those who seek shelter in him.
Nahum 1:7

The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need.
Psalm 23:1

My soul clings to you. Your right hand supports me.
Psalm 63:8

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive,a and your joy will be complete.
John 16:24 TNIV

That could be an extremely long list obviously. I just picked a few in my head.

Book Review: God’s Battle Plan for the Mind

Gods-Battle-Plan-For-The-MindGod’s Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation by David W. Saxton

This is one of the more important books I’ve read in a long time. We do hear about meditation, but it’s not emphasized enough, and seems like it’s certainly not practiced enough. The author’s goal in writing this book is “to convince God’s people of the absolute necessity of personal meditation.” If you need any convincing of how important and beneficial meditation is, not to mention how it’s commanded and practiced by many inspired writers and people of faith in Scripture, you will most likely be convinced after reading this book, unless you just don’t care. The book also stresses that meditation is not for speculation or inquisitive thinking, but for practical matters and application to one’s behavior, which is another part of why the reader is left with how important this Biblical practice is. There are numerous short quotes on every page from well-known and not so well-known Puritans. Every one of them stresses the importance of meditation, but also stresses that the privilege becomes an enjoyable habit that benefits us and honors God.

The author doesn’t assume that everybody has a problem with meditating, which is refreshing. It bothers me when authors appear condescending when they assume that everybody has a problem with prayer, for example, when I know from experience that it isn’t true. David Saxton describes people who do meditate and how it greatly benefits them. The book is very encouraging and positive, although you may know how strict the Puritans can be in their descriptions of who godly people are, and what they do and don’t do.

Although it’s only 138 pages long, the book is pretty comprehensive in its treatment of meditation. I would call this a popular level book that’s easily understandable for anyone except a new believer. We learn about the unbiblical forms of meditation, which dispels any negative notions some may have when the word meditation is mentioned. Meditation is also called the doctrine of Biblical thinking, which may be a more helpful term for some people. Also written about are forms of meditation (like occasional and deliberate), types (Scripture, creature, and creation), reasons, benefits, difficulties and choosing what to meditate on.

One thing I didn’t see is how to progressively get into meditation for those who haven’t done this at all, similar to Nine Minutes With God – How to have a quiet time. Even though I often combine meditation and prayer, exactly what meditation is has always been kind of an enigma for me, and Saxton provides the reader with many valuable methods and helps, but many of the Puritans mentioned ‘an hour’, which might be a little scary for most of us. A guide on how to first start out would have been nice, since there really isn’t a lot of solid material out there on this subject.

I think the book could have been a little bit better organized and edited, but that doesn’t take away from the content. I’m sure the author had his reasons for the way he ordered things. Many times there was repetition. A quote from Watson appears on page 12 and 22 for example. Other concepts were repeated and could have been consolidated. You’ll find that chapter 9 is Reasons for Meditation, where I would have put it near the beginning. Types of meditation were near the beginning; I would have put them later on in the book. But it’s still all there and repetition can’t be that bad of a thing for learning.

There was almost no part of this book that left me uninterested (although I admit I skimmed the part about unbiblical meditation). It kept my interest the whole way through and has solid knowledge and wisdom throughout.

I would highly recommend this important book for anyone who isn’t already greatly benefiting from meditation or anyone who would like more perspective on what the Puritans think about this subject. I would give it 4 1/2 stars, but will round it up because of its importance.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an unbiased review.

Oh, remember this, the sweetness of religion is incomparably more than all the pleasures of sense.

–William Bates, On Divine Meditation, as quoted in God’s Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation, pg. 123

Buy it from Amazon: God’s Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation by David W. Saxton

The Value of the Law

If you take any of your neighbor’s clothes as collateral, give it back to him by sunset. It may be the only clothes he has to cover his body. What else will he sleep in? When he cries out to me, I will listen because I am compassionate.
Exodus 22:26-27

Any person of sound mind who has read the Bible and says that the Old Testament shows God’s wrath and the New Testament shows God’s love should be punished for their poor reading comprehension. Those who haven’t read the Bible shouldn’t make such silly statements.

The law can be valuable in teaching us about how to think of and treat others, and show us more of God’s character.

For more on the law see:
The Law of Moses and the Christian: A Compromise | TGC including more links at the bottom.

God’s divine sovereignty and man’s moral freedom

I just came across this first quote regarding the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart as recorded in Exodus in the Handbook on the Pentateuch by Victor Hamilton, and thought I’d post it. Hamilton then mentions Romans 9:17-18 in that both the OT and the NT “holds in tension God’s divine sovereignty and man’s moral freedom.” Then I thought I’d repeat a quote by John MacArthur that I’ve posted in the past.

The remarkable thing, however, is that his never led to a flat determinism, depriving Man of the responsibility for his actions. At all times the capacity for self-determination is insistently retained. The whole ethical exhortation of the prophets is based on the conviction that decision is placed in the hands of men. But the Law too rests on this presupposition. The fundamental postulate of moral freedom is thus found in equal force alongside the religious conviction of God’s effective action in all things; and no attempt is made to create a harmonizing adjustment between them. It is testimony to the compelling power of the Old Testament experience of God that it was able to affirm both realities at once, and to endure the tension between them, without discounting anything of their unconditional validity.

–Walther Eichrodt, As quoted in Handbook on the Pentateuch, pg 172

How these two sides of God’s truth—His sovereignty in choosing us (Romans 9) and our responsibility to confess and believe (Romans 10)—reconcile is impossible for us to understand fully. But Scripture declares both perspectives of salvation to be true (John 1:12-13). It’s our duty to acknowledge both and joyfully accept them by faith.

–John MacArthur

What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! For He tells Moses: I will show mercy to whom I show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it does not depend on human will or effort, but on God who shows mercy. For the Scripture tells Pharaoh: For this reason I raised you up: so that I may display My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth. So then, He shows mercy to whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills. You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” But who are you–anyone who talks back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” Or has the potter no right over His clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor? And what if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath ready for destruction? And what if He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory–on us whom He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
Romans 9:14-24

Bonus – I also remembered this little insert box thingy in the NLT Study Bible in Ezekiel. I like that study Bible because those things are all over the place. It’s like a box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get.

DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY AND HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY

How can God deceive a prophet and still hold him accountable for his actions? Ezekiel 14 raises this question in many people’s minds. How can we reconcile God’s sovereign control over all things with the personal choices and decisions for which we will be called to account?
The Bible traces all things back to God’s sovereignty. That the rain falls on the just and unjust alike is part of God’s sovereign plan (Matt 5:45). Even a false prophet could give a prophecy that led people astray only with the Lord’s permission or direction.

At the same time, God is in no way responsible for our sin; it is our responsibility because it comes from our own sinful desires. In giving deceitful messages to false prophets, God was simply giving them and their hearers exactly what they wanted (cp. 2 Thes 2:11). Unless God restrained them from their sin, they would naturally choose lies instead of the truth and worship creation in place of the Creator (Rom 1:18-25). God simply gave them permission to enact their hearts’ sinful desires.

The remarkable fact is not that God allows some sinners to persist in their chosen delusions, but that he saves sinners, changes our natures, and gives us the desire to do good for the glory of God (see 36:25-26; Rom 8:1-11; Eph 2:10).

A Problem With Electronic Books

Sometimes you read the wrong book. I’ll never forget Brian Regan doing a standup routine on how book titles are on every other page:

If reading makes you smart then how come when you read a book they have to put the title of the book on the top of every single page? Does anyone get halfway through a book, “What the h*** am I reading?”

For the first time in a long time, or maybe ever, I couldn’t decide what book to read. I have so many I want to read–two (more) books on Ecclesiastes, a few books on Luther for a foray into his theology, Michael Horton’s systematic theology (not ready for a 1000 page book right at the moment, but I’m looking forward to it), parts of A Puritan Theology, Living Sacrifice, On Communication With God–that I was stymied. So I decided to read Derek Thomas’ The Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home, a free Kindle book. But wait, I saw R.C. Sprouls’ The Work of Christ. I love reading about Christology, so I just picked that. It was a free Kindle book also. I also recently read a short one, possibly a chapter pulled out of a book, called Mystic[al] Union With Christ by Thomas Watson. I was going to read a paper by Horton called Union With Christ in addition to it, but noticed there is a chapter on that in his systematic theology, so I’d hold off. But I did look at it in my eReader on my phone. Somehow when reading The Work of Christ, it reverted back to Union With Christ and I never knew it until I finished it way too soon. And the strange thing is, earlier today I was thinking about how much I learn from both Horton and Sproul, and that I should read more of them in the future. They have similar styles apparently.

So maybe there is a value to having the title of a book on every single page.

Reformed Scholars Misquoting Rev. 3:20?

And I’m not just referring to any old scholars, but two of the three big Johnnys, Owen and Edwards.

It has often been criticized that Christian newbies interpret Revelation 3:20 as being God’s calling unbelievers to salvation. But as the interpretation goes–for those who are in the know–this was said to the church in Laodicea which was supposed to be made up of believers, albeit lukewarm, and God is calling them to have fellowship with him.

I just finished reading Jonathan Edwards’ sermon(s) titled The Excellency of Christ. In it I read this:

Rev. 3:20. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and I will sup with him and he with me.” Christ condescends not only to call you to him, but he comes to you; he comes to your door, and there knocks. He might send an officer and seize you as a rebel and vile malefactor, but instead of that, he comes and knocks at your door, and seeks that you would receive him into your house, as your Friend and Savior. And he not only knocks at your door, but he stands there waiting, while you are backward and unwilling. And not only so, but he makes promises what he will do for you, if you will admit him, what privileges he will admit you to; he will sup with you, and you with him.

This was during the last part where he makes a long plea for the listeners to trust Christ for salvation.

Then I remembered that John Owen wrote about something similar in either The Glory of Christ or the Sin and Temptation trilogy. It was the latter–the Crossway edition.

[He is patient] toward the elect not yet effectually called. He stands waiting at the door of their hearts and knocks for an entrance (Rev. 3:20). He deals with them by all means, and yet stands and waits until “his head is filled with the dew, and his locks with the drops of the night” (Song 5:2), as enduring the cold and inconveniences of the night, that when his morning is come he may have entrance. Oftentimes for a long season he is by them scorned in his person, persecuted in his saints and ways, reviled in his word, while he stands at the door in the word of his patience, with his heart full of love toward their poor rebellious souls.

The idea that God is referring to believers here is widespread enough that I even saw a meme (a photo with text on it) about how Rev. 3:20 shouldn’t be used in this way. The modern interpretation is that he wants his children to have fellowship with him and not ignore him as the lukewarm Laodiceans did. I’ve also read good blogs that explain this and it’s certainly makes sense to me.

The only modern commentary I have is an excellent one by Craig Keener in the NIVAC series. He says the Laodicean Christians have shut Him out of their lives and God is saying that he wants fellowship with them.

What do you think?

Here are some others for reference.

Adam Clarke:

Christ stands – waits long, at the door of the sinner’s heart; he knocks – uses judgments, mercies, reproofs, exhortations, etc., to induce sinners to repent and turn to him; he lifts up his voice – calls loudly by his word, ministers, and Spirit.

Matthew Henry:

[1.] Christ is graciously pleased by his word and Spirit to come to the door of the heart of sinners; he draws near to them in a way of mercy, ready to make them a kind visit…

John Wesley:

I stand at the door, and knock – Even at this instant; while he is speaking this word. If any man open – Willingly receive me. I will sup with him – Refreshing him with my graces and gifts, and delighting myself in what I have given. And he with me – In life everlasting.

Geneva Bible note:

This must be taken after the manner of an allegory; (John 14:23).

Around the Web

Logic Proves Women Are Spiritual Leaders Over Men? | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another – Logic. It’s a good thing.

Thursday is for Thinkers: How to Love a Loved One with Mental Illness | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer

50 Micro-Book Reviews from 2014 | Scribblepreach

Until Someone Unsettles It | Blog and Mablog – My annual link defending young earth

Surveying the Text: Ecclesiastes | Blog and Mablog – Another from Doug Wilson – A good intro to Ecclesiastes

Hasty Review: The Crook in the Lot

The Crook in the Lot by Thomas Boston

I hesitate to put this review here. I posted in on Goodreads for myself as much as for others. It’s a hastily written review. I don’t want to spend any more time on it than this. The book was life changing for me. As suffering has increased in my life, God has been teaching me more and more about his sovereignty and providence as time goes on. Part of the reason it takes so much time is because my pride is involved.

Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
Ecclesiastes 7:13

This verse is the premise of the book. Accepting our lot in life is one of its messages. Hopefully that will help you understand what crook and lot means if those terms are unfamiliar.

One of, if not the best book on dealing with affliction that I’ve read. It’s just what I’ve been looking for. Boston covers it from many angles. If you don’t come away more humble and God fearing after reading this book, you might not have understood it or been able to take in what he has to say at this point in your life.

This isn’t a modern ‘comfort’ book or seven steps to overcoming affliction. Some of the older English can be difficult, but I was able to get used to it.

As with most or all Puritans, everything is Scriptural based on how the author interprets it. Lowliness, glorifying God, and God’s ordaining of everything are stressed. I suppose for those who are ready for it, this book is comforting; at the same time, the truth isn’t always easy to accept.

I would obviously recommend this to anyone dealing with affliction, but also to anyone who isn’t, in order to prepare for what may come in life, and to learn more about God’s sovereignty and how we should live as God’s children.

See other reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.