Friday, July 28, 2017

Current Bible Projects

ESV Reformation Study Bible. 2015. Edited by R.C. Sproul. Reformation Trust. 2560 pages. [Source: Gift/Bought]

I am committing to read all 66 books of the Bible, all 66 book introductions, and any in-text articles that appear in the books of the Bible.

The Bible also contains these creeds and confessions: "The Apostles' Creed," "The Nicene Creed," "The Chalcedonian Definition of the Faith," "The Heidelberg Catechism," "The Belgic Confession," "The Canons of Dort," "The Westminster Confession of Faith," "The Westminster Larger Catechism," "The Westminster Shorter Catechism," "The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith."

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to commit to reading ALL of these. I have an e-book that has a lot of these creeds, catechisms, and confessions. That may be easier on the eyes! I will NOT, I repeat NOT be reading the study notes.

I'll also be reading a text-only Bible in a new-to-me translation.

MEV Thinline. Passio. 2014. 1184 pages. [Source: Bought]

I have been meaning to read this translation through for several years now. I have read some in it--in the past. But not nearly all 66 books of the Bible. This past week my number one goal was to read all four gospels and get them out of the way. Why? Because this Bible has the most hideous, most awful, most violent color RED text I've ever seen in any Bible. I knew that if I could push my way through the gospels and have them behind me, then I could get excited about reading the other books of the Bible in this translation. The text is SMALL. But it is light weight. So we'll see how it goes!

For the record, I do LOVE the gospels.

John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created. In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.
Matthew 5:2-12
And He began speaking and taught them, saying:“Blessed are the poor in spirit,    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are those who mourn,    for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,    for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,    for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,    for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,    for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,    for they shall be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be very glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in this manner they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

July Operation Deepen Faith Check-In

I. Wonderful Words of Life

  • What have you been reading in the Bible?
  • What books have you finished?
  • What book are you currently in?
  • Do you know what your next book of the Bible will be?
  • Which translation are you using?
  • What have you learned about God lately?
  • What have you learned about yourself?
  • Any favorite verses?

II Christian Nonfiction

  • Have you finished any books for the challenge this month?
  • What book are you currently reading for the challenge?
  • Do you know what book you'll be reading next?
  • Any favorite quotes?

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Summer with Psalm 119 #8

As a few of you know, I love, love, LOVE Psalm 119. I thought it would be great to spend a summer focusing on that psalm and what others have had to say about it. I'll begin with Thomas Manton's Exposition of Psalm 119. It may take all summer to read all 158 sermons. But they're so GOOD, so RICH, I think it will be worth it.

The ninth sermon is on Psalm 119:8.

  • Man’s will is the toughest sinew in the whole creation. The very purpose and bent of the heart is the fruit of regeneration.
  • But the will and resolution that we are to understand here is the fruit of grace.
  • Until we come to resolution we shall be liable to temptation; until we fully set our faces towards God, and have a bent and serious purpose of heart, we shall never be free from temptation from the devil, and from evil men, or from ourselves.
  • It is God’s work to incline the heart; but when the work of grace is passed upon us, then the believer doth voluntarily incline himself; his will is bent to serve God, not by fits and starts, but alway to the end:
  • Those that will keep God’s statutes must fly to God’s help. Three reasons for this— 1. We are weak and mutable creatures. 2. Our strength lies in God’s hands. 3. God gives out his strength according to his own pleasure.
  • Resolution is needful, as was said before; but all our confidences must arise from God’s promises, not our own, if we mean not to be left in the dirt. This self-confidence in spiritual things I shall show—We cannot regularly expect anything from God but in God’s way. They who depend upon God will be much in prayer, hearing, and taking all opportunities. But when men begin to think they need not pray so much, need not make such conscience of hearing; when we are more arbitrary and negligent in the use of means, then we begin to live upon ourselves and our own stock, and do not depend upon the free grace of God to carry us out in our work.

The tenth sermon is on Psalm 119:9.

  • How shall a man that is impure, and naturally defiled with sin, be made able, as soon as he cometh to the use of reason, to purge out that natural corruption, and live a holy and pure life to God? The answer given is, By taking heed thereto according to thy word.’ Where two things are to be observed—(1.) The remedy; (2.) The manner how it is applied and made use of.
  • 1. The remedy is the word—by way of address to God, called thy word; because if God had not given direction about it, we should have been at an utter loss. 2. The manner how it is applied and made use of, by taking heed thereto, &c., by studying and endeavouring a holy conformity to God’s will.
  • The word is considerable as an instrument which God maketh use of to cleanse the heart of man. It will not be amiss a little to show the instrumentality of the word to this blessed end and purpose. It is the glass that discovereth sin, and the water that washeth it away.
  • It is the glass wherein to see our corruption. The first step to the cure is a knowledge of the disease;
  • In the word we see God’s image and our own. It is the copy of God’s holiness, and the representation of our natural faces, Rom. 7:9. What fond conceits have we of our own spiritual beauty! but there we may see the leprous spots that are upon us.
  • It sets us a-work to see it purged; it is the water to wash it out. The word of command presseth the duty; it is indispensably required.
  • Many have gone to heaven that were never learned, but never any without holiness.
  • The doctrine of the scripture holds out the remedy and means of cleansing—Christ’s blood;
  • God hath been at great cost to bring it about, therefore we must not content ourselves with some smooth morality, which might have been whether Christ had been, yea or nay.
  • The great duty of youth, as soon as they come to the full use of reason, is to inquire and study how they may cleanse their hearts and ways from sin.
  • The word of God is the only rule sufficient and effectual to accomplish this work.
  • It is fit that God should have our first and our best. It is fit he should have our first, because he minded us before we were born. His love to us is an eternal and an everlasting love; and shall we put off God to old age? shall we thrust him into a corner? Surely God, that loved us so early, it is but reason he should have our first, and also our best; for we have all from him.
  • Sin groweth stronger by custom, and more rooted; it gathereth strength by every act.
  • All time is little enough to declare your respects to God.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: The Legacy of Luther

The Legacy of Luther. R.C. Sproul, editor. 2016. Reformation Trust. 308 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence (from the foreword): Much of the discussion about Martin Luther these days seems to focus on his flaws rather than his faith, and that’s a pity. ~ John MacArthur

Premise/plot: The Legacy of Luther is edited by R.C. Sproul and Stephen J. Nichols. It has many contributors including: John MacArthur, David B. Calhoun, Joel R. Beeke, Steven J. Lawson, Stephen J. Nichols, Michael S. Horton, Guy Prentiss Waters, Sinclair B. Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey. Gene Edward Veith, Aaron Clay Denlinger, Scott M. Manetsch, Sean Michael Lucas, Terry Yount, Derek W.H. Thomas, and R.C. Sproul.

The book is divided into three sections: "Luther's Life," "Luther's Thought," and "Luther's Legacy."

My thoughts: If you're looking to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, this would be a good choice. I'm not sure it's my favorite new book on the subject of the Reformation, but it is solidly good.

The first part of the book is a biography of Martin Luther and gives readers context. The second part of the book focuses on the five solas of the Reformation: Scripture Alone, Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Christ Alone, The Glory of God Alone. The third part focuses on Luther's legacy.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

My Year with Owen #30

I will be sharing some John Owen quotes this year. The third book I'll be reading is The Nature, Power, Deceit and Prevalency of Indwelling Sin. 
  • Promises of growth and improvement are many and precious, the means excellent and effectual, the benefits great and unspeakable; yet it often falls out, that instead hereof decays and declensions are found upon professors, yea, in and upon many of the saints of God. ~ John Owen
  • God suffers us not to be unmindful of this assistance he has afforded us, but is continually calling upon us to make use of the means appointed for the attaining of the end proposed. ~ John Owen
  • Indwelling sin oftentimes prevails to the stopping of these springs of gospel obedience, by false and foolish opinions corrupting the simplicity of the gospel. ~ John Owen
  • False opinions are the work of the flesh. ~ John Owen
  • Growing in notions of truth without answerable practice is another thing that indwelling sin makes use of to bring the souls of believers unto a decay. ~ John Owen
  • Surely it is a pleasant thing to be brought out of darkness into light— out of a dungeon unto a throne— from captivity and slavery to Satan and cursed lusts, to the glorious liberty of the children of God, with a thousand heavenly sweetnesses not now to be mentioned. ~ John Owen
  • The law gives the soul to know the filth and guilt of this indwelling sin— how great they are, how vile it is, what an abomination, what an enmity to God, how hated of him. The soul shall never more look upon it as a small matter, whatsoever thoughts it had of it before, whereby it is greatly surprised. ~ John Owen
  • The whole work of the law does only provoke and enrage sin, and cause it, as it has opportunity, to put out its strength with more power, and vigor, and force than formerly. ~ John Owen

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ten Books I'd Love to Read In The Next Few Months

Asking the Right Questions: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Applying the Bible. Matthew S. Harmon. 2017. Crossway. 144 pages. [Source: Review copy]

This is my "current" book in the review copy program that Crossway has.

Learning to Love the Psalms. W. Robert Godfrey. 2017. Reformation Trust. 318 pages. [Source: Review copy]

This is my actual current read! I am LOVING it.

Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love by Edward T. Welch. 2015. Crossway. 176 pages. [Source: Gift]

My aunt bought me this book! So I'd love to make it a priority in the upcoming weeks.

Heart on the Line. Karen Witemeyer. 2017. Bethany House. 329 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I really, really love Karen Witemeyer's historical romances. I'm torn between reading them as soon as I get them, and, putting it off as long as possible because I like having something to look forward to. (I'm weird like that.)

Long Before Luther. Nathan Busenitz. 2017. Moody Publishers. 240 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I'm looking forward to reading this for my Reformation Reading Challenge!

Christianity and Liberalism. J. Gresham Machen. 1922. 189 pages. [Source: Bought

I blame W. Robert Godfrey for this one. I really fell in love with his church history teaching series. He made this one sound like an ESSENTIAL read for believers.

City of God. Augustine. 1097 pages. [Source: Bought]

I started reading this in February, took several months off, and then picked it up again this July. I am almost halfway through it now! Can I finish it before September or October? Probably not. But I'm aiming to finish it before the end of the year!

The Noble Servant. Melanie Dickerson. 2017. Thomas Nelson. 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I've been meaning to read this one for months now. But I'm always picking up nonfiction instead. I do love fiction. I just have to find a way to become more balanced as a reader!

Treasured Grace. Hearts of the Frontier #1. Tracie Peterson. 2017. Bethany House. 320 pages. [Source: Library]

I did get a review copy of the second book in the series, but not the first. So I'll need to read this one first!

Beloved Hope. Hearts of the Frontier #2. Tracie Peterson. 2017. Bethany House. 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I got a review copy of this one a few weeks ago, and I am looking forward to reading it. I guess when I requested it I wasn't aware it was the second in a series. Fortunately, my library has it!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Bible Review: RSV

RSV Bible. 1977. Oxford University Press. 1904 pages. [Source: Gift]

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2

About the RSV: The Revised Standard Version was a revision of the American Standard Version of 1901. The New Testament was released as early as 1946. The Old and New Testaments together were published in 1952. The translation went through several updates becoming finalized, I believe, in 1977.

According to Wikipedia, the VERY first copy of the RSV to come off the press was given to Harry S. Truman in September 1946. It was released to the general public a few days later.

Not every Christian embraced this new translation especially regarding the Old Testament. A strong reaction against this NEW translation in part led to a King-James-Only Movement. The fuss was over how Isaiah 7:14 was translated.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Some pastors preached sermons and wrote pamphlets against this "horrid" "modern" translation. A few even made a spectacle of themselves by burning it.

The RSV has been the basis for two different revisions: the NRSV (1989) and the ESV (2001).

My thoughts: This is the fifth Bible I've read in 2017. I was not aware of the controversy before I started reading it! I didn't always love, love, love how they translated particular verses. But I wouldn't have been an angry protester, at least I don't think! But then again, I did get quite upset with the Common English Bible over how they translated a verse in Genesis, so maybe I would have been.

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE the fuss that would have resulted if the MESSAGE had been published in 1952. It would actually be a little fun to imagine the uproar.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible