Rikk E. Watts:
This apparent discrepancy was noted as far back as the fourth century by Jerome, who respectfully observed: ”O Apostle Peter, your son Mark, not in the flesh but in the Spirit, has made a mistake.” He was not alone. Two early manuscripts and all the later Byzantine ones also saw the problem, rescuing (presumably) Mark’s credibility by changing “in Isaiah” to “in the prophets.” Interestingly, the most reliable and earliest manuscripts and their earliest translations did not make that adjustment. Although it is possible that no one else saw the difficulty, it seems more likely that they left “Isaiah” unchanged because they either felt it inappropriate to tamper with the text or did not in fact see a problem. And if the latter, why not?
Defining our theology as gospel-maximalist makes unity a conviction, not a concession. I am not compromising the gospel by aligning myself with a reformed Baptist, for example; I am demonstrating the gospel.
How strange the gospel is. In one sense I am not restored. How painfully obvious. Sin clings, weaknesses and failings abound. Anxiety, anger, idolatry. But in another sense, a deeper sense, I am restored. Perfectly, already. Simul justus et peccator. Deeper Magic from before the dawn of time. It really is true.
There is a tendency in my circles to try and get everything right, to discuss every scenario, to examine every possible pitfall, and in our preparation bring every person through a process that feels like boot camp. But the beauty of gospel ministry is that God is not handcuffed by our foolishness. He is still accomplishing his purposes amongst the nations. For any harm we may cause, God is using others to bring great advances for the gospel.