Each Wednesday we share some recent links that we found informative, insightful, or helpful. These are often related to Crossway books, Bibles, or authors—but not always. We hope this list is an interesting and encouraging break for the middle of your week.
So very quickly informal arrangements are not enough. Acts 4:34-35 says: ‘There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.’ This looks like a more formal arrangement. You can imagine people saying, ‘It wasn’t like the old days when we just hung out together.’ But now caring for everyone’s needs required some kind of central fund. But by chapter 6 even this is not enough and people are being overlooked.
There is some dispute among scholars about the timeline--even competing timelines. How do treat that in the book?
In the beginning of the book, we provide a detailed chart showing when everything took place in chronological order, with Scripture references. But we don't get too bogged down in internal debates about the precise details, in part because this book is meant to be accessible, not an academic resource. Our book mainly builds on the general evangelical consensus regarding the chronology and timing. We do, however, strongly favor a date of April 3, AD 33 for the exact date of the crucifixion, though many scholars opt for the date of AD 30.
As David Mathis and Jonathan Parnell point out in How to Stay Christian [in Seminary], the intellectual activities of seminary can turn a heart away from intimacy with God if academic achievement becomes more important than knowing God. Much of the great learning is going to be inadequate as he walks into that hospital room where a young couple has learned their newborn baby has lifelong disabilities. Sure, that dad might once have been impressed at the ability to read a passage in the original Greek, but in that moment he’ll need to know if his pastor trusts the God he has preached from Scripture. And if pastors neglect these affections for God in ministry training, they won’t just magically appear after the degree is finished.
The human soul was created — “wired” we would call it today — to glory in what is greater. We love to exult in that which is grand, glorious, and beyond us. And David is saying here, simply, that he has found what is most grand and most glorious and most soul-filling. And so he wants to go and stay in that place where he is least distracted and bask in the glory of the best.
“To glorify God and to enjoy him forever,” we have learned, is our chief end and created goal. As Augustine so famously reminded us, God has made us for himself, and we cannot rest save as we rest in him. This is the great glory for which we were created — to know and enjoy God.