What Is Biblical Wisdom? (Crucial Questions) by R.C. Sproul. Reformation Trust Publishing. 54 pages. 2020
This is one of the newest books in R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series, all of which are free in the digital edition. Here is the complete list of books in the Crucial Questions series. These books/booklets offer clear answers to the most common and difficult questions about the Christian faith.
Dr. Sproul tells us that when we speak of the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, we’re referring to the group of books that includes Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Job. He writes that Wisdom Literature teaches that we can possess knowledge yet never have wisdom. However, the reverse is not the case—we cannot have wisdom without knowledge.
Sproul tells us that there can be no real human wisdom until we first know the character of God. How can we know how to live in a way that pleases God if we don’t know the God we’re trying to please? Wisdom Literature is given to instruct us in living lives that are pleasing to God.
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I’M CURRENTLY READING….He goes over three types of parallelism:
- Synonymous parallelism. This is seen when the same idea is expressed in two consecutive lines, but the wording is different. In other words, the writer uses different words to say the same thing.
- Antithetical parallelism occurs when statements are made together but are in direct contrast with each other.
- Synthetic parallelism contains a buildup from one level to the next.
Below are some thoughts from Sproul about the books that make up Wisdom Literature:
The book of Psalms gives us undiluted worship—worship that we know is pleasing to God because it comes to us from His wisdom and from His own inspiration. We look to the book of Psalms as our model of wisdom in prayer.
The book of Proverbs is a depository of treasure with all kinds of applications for daily life. It contains concrete pieces of advice that come from the mind of God Himself.
Ecclesiastes, Job, and the Song of Solomon.
In Ecclesiastes we see an early form of apologetics in the answers to the existential questions raised by skeptics and enemies of the Christian faith. If you want to know what real love is, spend some time in the Song of Solomon. It is a magnificent expression of romantic love. What we find in Job is a lengthy, protracted drama set in patriarchal times. If ever there were such a thing as a morality play, the book of Job would certainly qualify, because there is a moral to this story.
What is Biblical Wisdom? is a good introduction to the Wisdom Literature of the Bible.
- Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold. My wife Tammy recently published a book about HOW to study the Bible. The book is available on Amazon in both a Kindle and paperback edition. She writes “Maybe you’ve read the Bible but want to dig deeper and know God and know yourself better. Throughout the book I use the analogy of making a quilt to show how the Bible is telling one big story about what God is doing in the world through Christ. Quilting takes much patience and precision, just like studying the Bible, but the end result is well worth it.”
- My Reviews on Goodreads. Check out more than 375 of my book reviews on Goodreads here.
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Providence by John Piper
The providence of God is his purposeful sovereignty by which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe. God’s providence carries his plans into action, guides all things toward his ultimate goal, and leads to the final consummation.
John Piper draws on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry to lead readers on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence—from Genesis to Revelation—to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history.
Exploring the goal, nature, and extent of God’s purposes for the world, Piper offers an invitation to know the God who holds all things in his hands yet remains intimately involved in the lives of his people.
You can download the PDF of the book free from Desiring God.
Watch this six-minute video as John Piper talks about the book, and this interview with Dr. Joe Rigney of Bethlehem College & Seminary.
This week we look at Chapter 14: The Glory of Christ in the Glorification of His People. Here are a few takeaways from the chapter:
- Our progressive glorification is the experience of growing in ways of thinking and feeling and behaving that reflect the glory of God in Christ.
- Increasingly conforming to God’s revealed will so that his name is hallowed, or glorified, is the same as progressive glorification.
- Christ is shown to be glorious as we reflect his glory in this amazing God-sustained pattern of progressive glorification.
- Things don’t just happen for God’s glory; they happen for God’s glory because the pervasive providence of God sees to it that they happen that way. This is the goal of providence.
- God is supremely committed to the display of his glory for the admiration and enjoyment of all who will have it as their supreme treasure.
- The glory of the Father and the glory of the Son are profoundly one glory.
- The glorification of Christ is not only the result of his coming. It is the purpose of his coming. His purpose. He is coming in order to be glorified and marveled at.
- From eternity past to eternity future, the purpose of creation and providence has been, and always will be, the communication of the glory of Christ.
- Every day for all eternity—without pause or end—the riches of the glory of God’s grace in Christ will become increasingly great and beautiful in our perception of them.