Why “Abba” Does Not Mean “Daddy”

Justin Taylor: We are sometimes told that the Aramaic word Abba in Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6 indicates that we are to address God the Father as “Daddy” as an expression of  reverential relational intimacy. The New Testament scholar Murray Harris—who has been called one of the great Greek minds of our day—talks about why this is not true. The following is an excerpt from his book Navigating Tough Texts: A Guide to Problem Passages in the New Testament: It is true that in the Jewish Talmud and other Jewish documents we find statements such as “When a child experiences the taste of wheat (i.e., when it is weaned), it learns to say ’abbā and ’immā” (Berakot 40a in the Babylonian Talmud) (= our “dada” and “mama”). However, even if the term abba began as a childish babbling sound (and this is far from clear), at the time of Jesus it was a regular adult word meaning “Father” or “my Father” (as terms of address) or “the Father” or “my Father” (as terms

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God Remembers You

Erik Raymond: In recent years there has been a renewed emphasis upon remembering the gospel. This is so healthy for our souls. So often we are beset with gospel amnesia, and we forget the rich truths of all that God has done for us in Christ. And when we remember the gospel we can’t help but remember God. At the foot of the cross we are taught theology and able to, with tears of joy, see God’s simultaneous display of love, righteousness, holiness, mercy, wisdom, and faithfulness. It is so very good for us to remember. But there is another angle to this that we sometimes forget. It is so simple that it’s often elusive. God remembers us. This is such good news to us. If we are honest we will admit that we do a poor job of remembering the gospel and remembering who God is. We are most often walking out of a theological fog distracted by commercials

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3 Degrees of God’s Pleasure In His Children

  Tony Reinke: Does God find pleasure in you? When he looks at you, does he smile? In short, if you’re in Christ, the answer is yes. But the answer to how and why and on what basis needs some explaining. We can break God’s delight for the redeemed into three categories: (1) a delight in election, (2) a delight in redemption, and (3) a delight in holiness. 1. Delight in Election First, God has expressed delight in his children in the election. Unconditionally and freely, without a hint of injustice or unfairness, God chooses to set his delight on certain human souls, and this delight is an expression of the delight of the triune God (Luke 10:21). God freely delights in electing children for redemption and for adoption into his family (Romans 9:10–18, Ephesians 1:3–6). Such a predestined delight over us in election is unconditional to anything in us. 2. Delight in Redemption Second, God delights in the redemption

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The Heart of the True Father

Matt Chandler, in The Explicit Gospel: There is this really magical thing that happens in homes all over the world. When you first have a child, you want your child to crawl. And then you want your kid to walk. My first child, Audrey, pulled herself to the coffee table. When she got to the coffee table, she began to bounce on her knees, and then she began to coast along. From there she started letting go and just being wobbly. At that point, we began to get really, really excited about the fact that Audrey is about to walk. Eventually she took her hands off of the coffee table, and we watched physics in motion. God has created children, specifically young children, with gargantuan heads and tiny little bodies. So when Audrey let go of the coffee table, her gigantic head fell forward, and suddenly she has a decision to make. She can stick that foot out to catch

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Something Better than Sovereignty

Kevin DeYoung: When John Piper preached at our church two weeks ago, he talked about the very high view Muslims have of the sovereignty of God. They believe in a God who ordains whatsoever comes to pass. They believe in a God who knows the hairs on our heads. They believe in a God who can do as he pleases. So is there any difference between a sovereign Allah and the sovereign God of the Bible? Piper argued that in Islam the sovereignty of God operates independently of his other attributes, such that Allah can be capricious and arbitrary in his exercise of divine power. This is, no doubt, how some Christians see the Reformed view of God and why they reject it so strenuously. But when Calvin and other early Reformed thinkers exulted in God’s design and decrees, they typically did so with a different word besides “sovereignty.” They much preferred to talk about providence. Obviously, the two are related. There

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