7 Evils of a Grumbling Spirit

As a sequel to my recent post “Mr. Grumbly Gills”, I thought it’d be helpful to draw from the deep wells of Jeremiah Burroughs’ old work The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment to further demonstrate the sin of grumbling. It’s easy to ignore pervasive “normal” sins like grumbling and fixate on more occasional “shocking” sins like that sexual sin that held you years ago or that time you dropped the F-bomb on your parents, kids, or spouse. But don’t be deceived: a murmuring mouth is particularly grieving to God because it reveals discontent in God. Psalm 106 says that one of the reasons God made the people of Israel “fall in the wilderness” was because they “murmured in their tents” (v. 25, 26). Therefore having a case of Mr. Grumbly Gills has serious consequences. In the following, I summarize and add to Burroughs’ section on “The Evils of a Murmuring Spirit” and offer seven evils of a grumbling, murmuring, and complaining heart within the Christian:

1. It models Satan. The angel Lucifer was the first grumbler. The onset of his fall from heaven was a result of dissatisfaction in his position and the desire to be like God.

“The Devil is the most discontented creature in the world, he is the proudest creature that is, and the most discontented creature, and the most dejected creature. Now, therefore, so much discontent as you have, so much of the spirit of Satan you have.”

2. It is contrary to who you are. You are a son and daughter with a heavenly Father who loves you, the deeply beloved bride of Christ, and actual members of Jesus’ body. When you bellyache and complain about every little thing you mar your royal and treasured position.

“Are you the King’s son, the son, the daughter, of the King of Heaven, and yet so disquieted and troubled, and vexed at every little thing that happens? As if a King’s son were to cry out that he is undone for losing a toy; what an unworthy thing would this be! So do you: you cry out as if you were undone and yet are a King’s son, you who stand in such relation to God, as to a father, you dishonor your father in this; as if either he had not wisdom, or power, or mercy enough to provide for you.”

3. It is the opposite of prayer. In prayer we come to God with requests and with praise and thankfulness in order to commune with him, but when we grumble, complain and murmur we essentially reverse prayer and rehearse all that we aren’t getting or all that God is not doing that we think he should be doing.

“By murmuring you undo your prayers, for it is exceedingly contrary to the prayer that you make to God. When you come to pray to God, you acknowledge his sovereignty over you, you come there to profess yourselves to be at God’s disposal.”

4. It is simply a waste of time. It accomplishes absolutely nothing. It accelerates personal stress and is downright annoying and draining to listen to.

“How many times do men and women, when they are discontented, let their thoughts run, and are musing and contriving, through their present discontentedness and let their discontented thoughts work in them for some hours together, and they spend their time in vain!”

5. It swallows up the blessing of mercy before it arrives. If you covet a particular mercy of God (like say a big raise), when it finally comes you won’t be thankful for it but will waste it. Coveting a blessing can turn the blessing into an idolatrous curse.

“Discontent and murmuring eats out the good and sweetness of a mercy before it comes. If God should give a mercy for the want of which we are discontented, yet the blessing of the mercy is, as it were, eaten out before we come to have it….There are many things which you desire as your lives, and think that you would be happy if you had them, yet when they come you do not find such happiness in them, but they prove to be the greatest crosses and afflictions that you ever had, and on this ground, because your hearts were immoderately set upon them before you had them.”

6. It worsens sufferings and afflictions. A murmuring attitude in the midst of affliction increases the affliction. Having a bad attitude in the midst of pleasant or mediocre circumstances poisons your heart and the hearts of others, and how much will this increase if this overwhelmingly negative spirit continues and truly difficult circumstances arrive.

“It in no way removes our afflictions, indeed, while they continue, they are a great deal the worse and heavier, for a discontented heart is a proud heart, and a proud heart will not pull down his sails when there comes a tempest and storm. If a sailor, when a tempest and storm comes, is perverse and refuses to pull down his sails, but is discontented with the storm, is his condition any better because he is discontented and will not pull down his sails? Will this help him?”

7. It wears the hopeless costume of pessimism.

This doesn’t mean you have to go all Joel Osteen on the world. It simply means consistent pessimism is not in line with the sure hope and life-changing power of the gospel. There is an inherent optimism within the gospel that produces hope, love, joy, peace, etc. Positive commands like “rejoice in the Lord” and “in everything give thanks” and negative commands like “be anxious for nothing” and “do not grumble” all reveal that there is a gospel optimism about the Christian life that is to flavor the personality of a Christian.

13 Ways to Be a Fool

1. Deny the existence of God.

“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 53:1)

2. Do things that bring sorrow to your mom.

“…a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.” (Proverbs 10:1)

3. Despise wisdom and instruction.

“…fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)

4. Do what is right in your own eyes.

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes…” (Proverbs 12:15)

5. Be opinionated without knowing what your talking about.

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” (Proverbs 18:2)

6. Be short tempered.

“A man of quick temper acts foolishly…” (Proverbs 14:17)

7. Despise your mom.

“…a foolish man despises his mother.” (Proverbs 15:20)

8. Grieve your dad.

“A foolish son is a grief to his father…” (Proverbs 17:25)

9. Quarrel a lot.

“…every fool will be quarreling.” (Proverbs 20:3)

10. Trust in your own mind.

“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool…” (Proverbs 28:26)

11. Exalt yourself and/or plan evil things.

“If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.” (Proverbs 30:32)

12. Don’t take advice.

“Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.” (Ecclesiastes 4:13)

13. Never shut-up but keep talking on and on and on ad nauseam. Ec. 10:14

“…fools talk on and on.” (Ecclesiastes 10:14, NRSV)

In short, if you don’t want to be a fool, trust God, be humble, pursue wisdom, watch your mouth, and honor your mom.

*All Scriptures English Standard Version except where otherwise noted.


10 Questions on the New Testament Canon with Dr. Michael Kruger

Dr. Michael Kruger is Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC, has a Ph. D. from the University of Edinburgh, and is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. He specializes in the study of the origins of the New Testament. Dr. Kruger’s book Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of New Testament Books was published this last month, and he has co-authored a 2010 book titled The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity and a forthcoming book titled The Early Text of the New Testament. Recently he started blogging and has an ongoing series called “10 Misconceptions About the NT Canon” that you can find here. He was kind enough to answer the following 10 questions of mine about the New Testament canon:

…redemption and canon go together. The latter follows naturally from the former.

  1. What is the canon of Scripture?

There has been a long and extensive debate between scholars about the best way to define the term “canon.”  I cover this topic rather extensively in my recent article in the Tyndale Bulletin.  But, for our purposes here, the canon can be defined simply as “the collection of scriptural books that God has given his corporate church.”

  1. Why is there a canon of Scripture?

God’s revelational deposits are typically designed to announce and apply his great redemptive activities.  Thus, when God accomplished his great redemptive work in Christ Jesus, he gave the canonical books as a permanent and abiding means by which that redemption could be announced to the world and applied to the hearts of his people.  Thus, redemption and canon go together. The latter follows naturally from the former.

  1. Who decided what books made up the canon of Scripture?

Well, simply put, God decided what books make up the canon of Scripture!  The canon always consists of the books God gave his church, no more, no less.  Of course, I realize that this question is really asking about what role humans (i.e., the church) played in the development of the canon.  The church played a very important role.  There role was to recognize, receive, and submit to the books that God had given.   And we see the church doing this from a very early time period.  They reached a general consensus around all these books by the time of the 4th century.

  1. Roughly, how much time did it take for all 27 books of the New Testament to be included in the canon?

Although a final consensus on all the books was not achieved until about the fourth century, that is not the whole story.  In fact, to only discuss the final consensus is to leave out an important fact, namely that the “core” of the NT canon had been in place, and functioning as Scripture, by the beginning of the second century.   The “core” canon consisted of the 4 gospels, Paul’s epistles, and a few other books like 1 Peter, 1 John, and Revelation.   Since there was a core canon from very early in the life of the church, then that means that (a) all of the so-called disagreements were only over a handful of books, and (b) the theological trajectory of early Christianity was already decided long before the fourth century.

…the “core” of the NT canon had been in place, and functioning as Scripture, by the beginning of the second century.

  1. Do the books that were “accepted” later have less value then books accepted earlier? In other words, should we spend more time in Matthew or Galatians over that of 2 Peter and Jude?

The books that were accepted later are as fully inspired, and fully scriptural, as all the other books of the NT.   The “delay” in the consensus around these books largely has to do with their small size.   Books like Jude, James, 2 & 3 John were simply not used as often as other books, and therefore the knowledge of these books was not as widespread in the earliest stages of the church.  Thus, it took longer for a full consensus to be reached regarding them.

  1. How would it help a Christian man working a “regular job” or a Christian mom working at home with kids to have an understanding of the formation of the canon?

It all goes back to the authority of Scripture.   Every believer needs to have a level of assurance about the authority of God’s word so that they can (a) faithfully live their lives in obedience to Him, and (b) confidently share their faith with non-Christians.   A core part of establishing the authority of God’s word is to be able to answer objections and questions about where the Bible came from.  In fact, this is one of the most common questions that non-Christians ask about the Bible.  Every Christian, even those with a “regular job,” will need to have at least some answer to that question.

  1. Will there ever be additions to the canon? If so, why? If not, why not?

One of the most common questions I get is, “If we found a lost epistle of Paul in the sand today, would we add it to the canon?”  That is a difficult question, but I come out on the “no” side of that debate.  I argue in my book, Canon Revisited, that we have good reasons to think that God would providentially preserve those books that he intended to be part of the church’s foundational documents.  Thus, if a book was lost, and therefore not providentially preserved, it is reasonable to conclude that God did not intend for it to be part of the church’s canon.  Even if we found an epistle of Paul, it makes little sense to add a book to the canon now when that book was clearly never part of the foundational documents of the church.

  1. With the recent discussion on the canon and the nature of the gospels brought up by scholars like Bart Ehrman or even in pop culture phenomenon like The DaVinci Code, what two or three main misconceptions do you think people have about the canon?

There are many misconceptions about canon.  So many, in fact, that I have started a new blog series on my website on this very topic (I just completed misconception #4).   I think the most common misconception is that early Christianity was wildly diverse with no clear theological or doctrinal direction, and therefore no sense of which books were Scripture.   People have this idea that the development of the canon was sort of like an ancient writing contest—if you wrote something good enough it may have a chance of getting in!  But, things were not quite this way.  Sure, there was some diversity and disagreement, but, as a whole, there was a remarkable amount of uniformity from a very early time period.

  1. In what way does understanding the formation of the canon give particular glory to God and adorn his gospel?

Studying the origins of the canon can be very encouraging spiritually.  It reminds us that God very much desires a relationship with his people; i.e., he desires to speak with them.  And it reminds us that God has not left that speaking to chance.  By his providential hand, and through the work of the Holy Spirit, God has made sure that his people hear his voice.

  1. What is the best lecture online and the best book to read to get started in understanding the NT canon?

If people want to learn more about the NT canon, I recommend they listen to the recent lectures I gave at RTS/Orland for the Kistemaker Lecture series, or pick up a copy of my book, Canon Revisited.

Mr. Grumbly Gills

I’ve been thinking a lot about the sin of grumbling because I’ve been doing a lot of it I’ve been reading the book of James and Philippines in tandem lately, and there are two main texts that have stood out on this issue.

James 5:8: “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”

Philippians 2:14-16: “Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”

James says, “Don’t grumble to your brothers and sisters in Christ”, and Paul says, “Don’t grumble…about anything…EVER!” Some think these two apostles disagree on works (for the record, they don’t), but they are in full agreement on the issue of grumbling. When you grumble about your day, your car, your kids, your hurts, your sufferings, your _________–you sin. Period. It’s not to be passed off as a personality defect, but to be repented of as a fallen nature defect. It’s not just venting. Its plain good ‘ole fashioned, grade A sinning.

I can’t think of grumbling without thinking of Finding Nemo (yes, another Nemo reference–blame my firstborn). Dory’s cute and gentle rebuke of Nemo’s daddy by calling him “Mr. Grumpy Gills” and singing him a cheer-up song, remind me that grumbling and grumpy-ness are evil twins.

Paul and James are after Mr. & Mrs. Grumbly Gills in their local churches. They just don’t coat it with cuteness like Dory does.

The context in James and in Philippians shows that grumbling was a problem for those particular saints at that particular time because of the reality of suffering. In both books the specific suffering they were experiencing may be the presence of persecution (Ja. 5:10-11, Phil. 1:28-30). And if you are anything like me, your grumblings are in regards to much lesser ills. Oftentimes I’m not grumbling because I’ve suffered an injustice or persecution at the hands of an oppressor or neighbor, but because the line I’m in is too doggone long or my schedule didn’t go how I wanted it to go.

The issue the Holy Spirit through his Word is trying to press home in these passages is that in the midst of any difficulty (whether persecution or much smaller difficulties), grumbling is not an option for believers. Thankfully, God doesn’t only outlaw it but gives antidotes for it.

In Philippians Paul points out that difficulties should be faced by holding onto something instead of grumbling about something. Notice Paul’s phrase in verse 16, “holding fast the word of life”. When we grumble it’s because we are holding onto our present difficulty more than God’s eternal word. All too often our emotional grip is fastened too tightly to the day’s problems, and not tight enough to God’s promises. When we grumble we are saying to God, “My heart is more affected by my problems than by your gracious person and work”.

James gives us another practical help and calls us to patience or, in layman’s terms, a good-ole-fashioned “Shut up and stop complaining.” NT scholar Douglas Moo in his commentary on this verse writes the following,

How often do we find ourselves taking out the frustrations of a difficult day on our close friends and family members! Refraining from this kind of complaining and grumbling can be seen as one aspect of patience itself: patience is linked with ‘forbearing one another’ in love in Ephesians 4:2 and is contrasted with retaliation in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15. The word stenazo, grumble or ‘groan’, is usually used absolutely; only here in the biblical Greek does it have an object (against one another). The meaning may be that believers should not grumble to others about their difficulties, or that believers should not blame others for their difficulties (cf. NEB). It is entirely possible, however, that both ideas are involved here. [James, TNTC, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985), 170]

A grumbling person blames others about their problems and/or is continually frustrated, stressed, and angry about their difficulties and makes sure everyone knows about it. Most of the time this occurs with those we are closest to. This should not be. Test yourself: Ask your spouse or friend if they are the recipient of your grumblings.

Instead of grumbling with our mouths we called to put a muzzle on our mouths and be patient. Thankfully, James doesn’t leave us with only the negative “Quit it and be patient”, but he encourages us to follow and model those who have gone before us. He tells us to look at the prophets as models of patient sufferers, and, especially to look at Job (Ja. 5:10-11). Job was steadfast under unfathomable difficulty–discouraging wife, children’s deaths, loss of wealth, friends that persecute instead of strengthen, immense physical suffering etc–yet he continued trusting in God and God blessed him for it. James says, “You think you got issues. Look at Job. Follow his way of life and emulate him.”

The greatest model and the greatest antidote to grumbling is to look at Jesus. The prophet Isaiah tells us that Jesus “was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth” (53:7). Jesus is our model. If he didn’t open his mouth about his crucifixion, you don’t have any excuse to open your mouth and grumble about your tough circumstance. But we must go further.

More important than this is the good news that Jesus is more than a model. He is our Substitute. Jesus didn’t “open his mouth” grumbling about being innocently beaten and crucified, because he was dying in the place of every grumbler who trusts him. Jesus absorbed the wrath of God for Mr. and Mrs. Grumbly Gills like you and me in order to purify us and make us righteous. This is where our hope comes from. Jesus was crucified for every grumbling, complaining heart and mouth that trust him. He gives grumblers the joy of forgiveness and empowers them through the person of the Holy Spirit with the joy of rejoicing at all times and in difficult circumstances.

Psalm 63, Finding Nemo, and the Worshipping Heart

King David is nothing if not a worshipper, and Psalm 63 is nothing if not stirring. It drips with incessant desire for God, because David was a man who could not get enough of God. The verbs that David chooses when expressing his desire for nearness with his God contain both intensity and intimacy.

God is not a math-problem to David. He is not a theory. He is not just a God to be explained but a God to be known. This Psalm is saturated with the relational–eminently personal–state of what the worshipping heart looks like. It seeks, longs, thirsts, and faints for God.

Therefore the Christian life is a life of not only believing in someone, namely, God, but longing for and taking satisfaction in him also. The normal Christian life believes in, earnestly seeks out, thirsts for, longs for, and faints for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Let’s look at the first verse of the Psalm a bit closer:

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;”

You remember those crazy seagulls in Finding Nemo that chase after Nemo’s Dad and keep repeating “Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine….”? That’s what David is getting at here. Let me remind you:

This is the kind of emotion David is trying to comunicate. David is saying, “He’s MY God. Yes, I know he’s your God too. But for now, in this moment, he’s all mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. And I will chase after him till I find him. Earnestly. Wholeheartedly.”

Lest one think that I am making David’s worshipping heart far too individualistic, it is clear that David is reflecting and remembering his time in the sanctuary of God with the people of God (Ps. 63:2, 6). Yes, his chief desire is to be near his Maker but not to do so apart from his people. David’s worship isn’t an it’s just-me-and-Jesus kind of worship. It’s an it’s me-and-Jesus-with-his-people kind of worship.

“my soul thirsts for you”

I’ve been thirsty, but not wilderness-thirsty. David here is wilderness-thirsty. He may have written this in the time when he was fleeing crazy King Saul hiding in caves or when he was brokenhearted fleeing his son Absalom and his rightful kingdom. Either way, he’s on the run and would have known what it was to be homeless and truly thirsty. But here his thirst is tied not to physical lack but a sense of spiritual lack. The throat of his soul is parched for God.

He is in desperation to drink in God’s presence and draw near to him. He knows without the presence of God his heart is as desolate as the wilderness he is in. He also knows that when one is surrounded by barrenness one can still be filled with God. His circumstances may be “dry and weary” (63:1) but his heart can be alive and alert in God. Therefore he will not let his surroundings and circumstances become the center of his life and the dictator of his emotions. To the contrary, he will “rejoice in God” (63:11).

“my flesh faints for you”

Allright, this seems dramatic. Faint? Like a teenage girl passing out backstage after a Justin Bieber concert kind of faint. Well, not exactly. Remember we are talking about the guy who cut off Goliath of Gath’s head with the giants own sword–that guy. This Philistine-killer faints for God. His flesh boldly stands up to God’s enemies, but will lose all its strength without closeness with Jesus.

The NIV puts it this way: “my whole being longs for you.” Again we are struck with the intimacy of a worshipping heart. David is saying, “Everything within me wants to be with you. My intellect, my emotions, my will, my body itself is all devoted to you. I am yours. You are mine.”

David is not a calm, cool, and collected worshipper. He is a man restlessly devoted to chasing after God’s heart. He desires God so much so that he even clings to him (63:8). Like Paul the apostle David knows that all that is worth living for and makes all of life worth living is the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:8).

Do you have this kind of a worshipping heart? The kind that worships with emotions proportionate to the worth of the object of worship.

God, do it in your heart, and, mostly, in MINE.

Straight Shots of Grace–No Ice–Served Up by Capon

You can’t read Robert Farror Capon’s Between Noon and Three unaffected. I have not finished the book yet, but there have been moments where I have laughed out loud, sat critical and offended, and been quite moved and encouraged. He knows his readers will respond this way and takes pleasure in it.

Sit back, breathe deeply, and take a few shots of Capon quotes that go down with a bit of a burn and leave you tipsy with grace and happy in Jesus.

Capon aims to poke fun at the impenetrable seriousness of serious Christian readers, offend your moral (and sometimes theological) sensibilities, slap the h-e-double-l-hockey-sticks out of legalism, and create a tsunami of grace for you to swim in. Overall, he wants you to join him in having a rollicking good time in an almost fraternizing way thinking about the outrageousness of God’s grace in Christ.

This post isn’t meant to wholeheartedly endorse all of Capon’s writing (doing that with anyone never works anyway). After all, reading books you only agree with limits you, and is downright annoying to others as well. No doubt, there are some points of his I would make adjustments to and where he appears to be heading on others I may end up strongly objecting to. But, on the whole, I’ve been simply blessed. So let’s leave it at that for now.

If you don’t mind, let me take a few more minutes of your time. Sit back, breathe deeply, and take a few shots of Capon quotes that go down with a bit of a burn and leave you tipsy with grace and happy in Jesus.

The Freedom of No Condemnation:

There is therefore now no condemnation. It doesn’t matter what the universe thinks. It doesn’t matter what other people think. It doesn’t matter what you think. It doesn’t even matter what God thinks, because God has said he isn’t going to think about it anymore. All he thinks now is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; and Jesus now is all your life.” (116)

The Celebration of Grace:

“Grace aims at the celebration of life: ‘Let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ Indeed, Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world. It is a floating, cosmic bash shouting its way through the streets of the universe, flinging the sweetness of its cassations to every window, pounding at every door in a hilarity beyond all liking and happening, until the prodigals come out at last and dance, and the elder brothers finally take their fingers out of their ears.” (72).

On the Church Discouraging the Freedom of Grace:

“…If we are ever to enter fully into the glorious liberty of the children of God, we are going to have to spend more time thinking about freedom than we do. The church, by and large, has had a poor record of encouraging freedom. It has spent so much time inculcating in us the fear of making mistakes that it has made us like ill-taught piano students: we play our pieces, but we never really hear them because our main concern is not to make music, but to avoid some flub that will get us in Dutch. The church, having put itself in loco parentis, has been so afraid we will lose sight of the laws of our nature that it has made us care more about how we look than about who we are–made us act more like the subjects of a police state than fellow citizens of the saints.” (149)

On Why He Pictured Grace in a Parable as an Adulterous Woman in an Adulterous Relationship:

“For at the roots of our fallen being…Our pride drives us to establish our own righteousness. We strive all our life to see ourselves as keepers of rules we cannot keep, as loyal subjects of laws under which we can only be judged outlaws. Yet so deep is our need to derive our identity from our own self-respect–so profound is our conviction that unless we watch our step, the watchbird will take away our name–that we will spend a lifetime tyring to do the impossible rather than, for even one carefree minute, consent to having it done for us by someone else.

Were I to have married Paul and Laura, your mind would have come to rest in the eventual legitimacy of their relationship and not in the grace that was its only root. For Paul–and you and I–remain permanently illegitimate. We need more than occasional suspensions of the rules. We need grace.” (145-146)

What Jesus Came to Do:

Jesus came to raise the dead. Not to improve the improvable, not to perfect the perfectible, not to teach the teachable, but to raise the dead. He never met a corpse that didn’t sit right up then and there. And he never meets us without bringing us out of nothing into the joy of his resurrection…” (129)

The Reformation: Grace Like Rain. No, wait, I mean, Whiskey:

“The Reformation was a time when people went blind-staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellarful of fifteen-hundred-year-old, 200-proof grace–of bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture that would convince anyone that God saves us single-handed. The Word of the Gospel, after all those centuries of believers trying to lift themselves into heaven by worrying about the perfection of their own bootstraps, suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home free even before they started…Grace was to be drunk neat: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale; neither goodness, nor badness, nor the flowers that bloom in the spring of super-spirituality could be allowed to enter into the case.” (110)