Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15
We need to guard our lives against the love of riches and worldly cares. All love for earthly goods, however, is not a sin. Their sweetness is a drop of his love tokens from our dearest friend. Loving them is a duty, not a sin. Earthy blessings are the means of sustaining our bodies, and preserving our life and health, as we do God the service we owe him in the world on our journey to heaven. We love them as remote helpers to our salvation. Riches may also enable us to relieve our needy brethren, so we may love and be thankful for them. The sinful love of riches is when they are loved, desired, and sought after to satisfy the flesh more than the love of god, or when they lift up our pride that we may shine among men and live at a high rate of splendor. This is a great sin because it is a sin of deliberation and not just a sudden passion. It becomes idolatry by setting up a love for something, which love is due solely to God. It shows a contempt for heaven, preferring the world to heavenly glory. It perverts the direction of a man’s life to the wrong ends. There is no cure for an earthly mind, but by presenting far greater matters to the mind. If a man were given the sight of heaven and hell, he would consider the world less than he did before. If he heard the joyful praises of the saints or woeful lamentation of the damned, but one hour, he would seek after greater goals than scraping together a heap of wealth. Look to heaven, man, there is your home and hope. O blinded mortals that love to dwell on the earth like worms! You are immortal souls, made for God himself, to admire him, love him, serve him and enjoy him. O beg of God a heavenly light and mind to look often into heaven, and worldliness will vanish away in shame.
The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
Can we trust the New Testament? Hasn’t it all been disproved? Doesn’t modern scholarship show that it was all made up much later, so that the supposedly historical foundations of Christianity are in fact a figment of the imagination?
This sort of thing is said so often in the media, in some churches, and in public life in general that many people take it for granted that nothing can be said on the other side. But, as so often, this is where careful, accurate historical scholarship of the type in which F.F. Bruce excelled has a quiet, thorough, and complete answer. Yes we can trust the New Testament. For a start, the documents themselves—the manuscripts from which our knowledge of the New Testament comes— are in far, far better shape than the manuscripts of any other work from the ancient world, by a very long way. Examine the New Testament, and you’ll find that our knowledge of it rests on a very large number of manuscripts, several hundred in fact, which go back as far, in some cases, as the early second century, less than a hundred years after the books were first written. There is better evidence for the New Testament than for any other ancient book.
This Modern Classic in the Field of New Testament Studies offers a compelling defense of biblical truth. F. F. Bruce, one of evangelicalism’s most respected scholars, makes a clear case for the historical trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures, drawing on evidence from the New Testament documents themselves as well as extra-biblical sources. Concise chapters explore the canon and dating of the New Testament, the nature of the Gospels (including a look at miracles), the life and writings of Paul, and archaeological and literary evidence. Including here a completely updated bibliography. Bruce’s long-standing affirmation of the New Testament is still as authoritative and engaging as ever.
“Fred Bruce was a tower of strength in the worlds of scholarship and faith, and in particular to those who, like him, were and are determined not to separate the two. There are many recent books which explore the New Testament from a wide variety of angles. But this book is far from being out of date. Indeed, it remains one of the best popular introductions [to the topic of New Testament critical study] available. Enjoy it; think about it; use it as the basis for further exploration.” —N.T. Wright
Paperback; 149 pages