Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Incarnation and Redemption

Just heard on "Our Life in Christ", an Eastern Orthodox podcast, the following quote, "The Incarnation changes everything."

In OT typology, the servant could go free after, I believe, 7 years of service. However, if he marries and has children during that time, he can't take them with him when he goes. If he wants to be with them, he must stay as a servant. This is a picture of Christ who came into the world and purchased a family for himself (the Church). He could have lived the perfect life and not endured the Cross and gone home, and he wouldn't have known the pain of separation from God. But He didn't. He shed His blood for us, and in so doing paid the price for our ransom. Paul makes much of the Cross. Probably more than he does of the Incarnation.

"Our Life in Christ" is big on Incarnational, Sacramental theology, where, since God became Matter (not to mention also becoming Man), Matter now has a new meaning, or at least a new potential meaning. (In the East, this leads to icons and prayer ropes, and in the West it leads to Rosaries and Scapulars, but this is beside the point.)

They're big on some of the essentials of the faith--Trinitarian Theology and Christology--for which we thank God. But where is Soteriology? Seems to take a back seat, much like it did in the early Church until Augustine (who, as it seems to me, never really hit it big in the East).

I must conclude that the above quote misses the mark. The Incarnation only changes at most half of everything. Redemption changes the other half.

Monday, December 17, 2007

More On James

Last week I was listening to Mitch Pacwa, a Roman Catholic priest and a Jesuit, on a podcast of his call-in radio program. Someone called up about faith or the letter of James. I forget what exactly Pacwa said about it, but it was the typical Catholic answer to salvation by faith alone. Now I remember. Pacwa took issue with Luther, who explicitly added the word 'alone' when he translated. This was meant to show that Luther was dishonest in his translation of Scripture. (Not to mention that many modern translations, NIV included, are concept-for-concept, not word-for-word, so I'm not sure why Pacwa takes issue, unless he wants to find another chance to swipe at the Great Reformer.) Luther indeed added the word 'alone' in his German translation of Paul's Letter to the Romans, chapter 3, verse 28, which in the ESV reads, "28. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law." Luther put the word 'alone' after the word 'faith', and Catholics rail against him for that.

My question is, "What part of 'apart from' do you not understand?" What part of "For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness," (Romans 4:2-3), don't you understand?

Whenever the topic of Salvation by grace alone through faith alone is brought up with a Catholic, set your watchclock and take bets on how many seconds the discussion will get to James chapter 2, where he says, in contradiction to Paul, that man is justified by works. They place a ton of weight on this little letter as though it should drive the doctrine. Even if one took the letter as Scripture (let's get this clear--I don't, along with the early church up to the end of the 3rd century, and along with Luther), you have whole didactic chapters in multiple letters of Paul showing how you are justified through faith, and this stuff is never contradicted by the likes of, say, John and Jesus. So it would be the tail wagging the dog to say that, because of the Letter of James, you're really not justified by faith alone. The speed with which one goes to the letter of James (or to the Catholic mistranslation of Galatians 5:6--it's not "faith formed by love," but "faith expressing itself in love") smells fishy to me.
The sola-fide deniers claim to go with "the whole counsel of God", as though holding two contradictory truths together is a good habit of reason. Ever since James, people obstinately resist the Great News that we're justified by Grace Alone through Faith Alone.

Friday, December 07, 2007

How I Know the Whole System is Wrong

I was listening to an mp3 of a Bible Answer Man radio program from around 1996 (#471 on James White's website: http://www.aomin.org/). They talked a bit about sola fide, and Roman Catholic apologist Tim Staples threw in something from Romans 2 to justify (pardon the pun) the idea that you have to continue to do right in order to get eternal life (I think he was referring to Romans 2:6-7 "He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;"). He took this out of context. Clearly, Romans 3 talks of another righteousness, another way to be right with God. Romans 3:21-22 says: "But now a righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it, a righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe...."

Later that week, when James White and Tim Staples debated sola scriptura (or maybe it was 4 years later, when they debated papal infallibility, #487 on James White's website), during Q&A, someone asked Tim Staples, roughly, "What is the Gospel? And what must I do to be saved?" Staples replied to the first question that the Gospel is all that Jesus commands us, through the Church. He replied to the second question that we must give full intellectual and willful assent to all that the Church teaches.

That's not what the Bible says. In answer to the question, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus said, in John 6:29,40 "29. The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.... 40. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." Paul and Silas said, in Acts 16:31: "And they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Eastern Orthodoxy Ain't All That

Finally, I've found somebody saying what needs to be said to the Orthodox.
They come in with their pride and their arrogant assertion (much more soft-
spoken than the Roman Catholics, but every bit as hardened) that they are
the One True Church.

Thank you, William Webster.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Love Formed by Faith

Roman Catholics and others who deny Sola Fide often misquote Galatians 5:6 ("... faith expressing itself through love.") as "faith formed by love." They have it backwards. Love is the fruit of the Spirit.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ways to Worship the Creator Rather than the Creature

1. Recognize that God is the source of life and we are just vessels passing it on.
2. Look to heaven and get a spiritual understanding. When tempted to go all ablather about physical blessings God gives, turn them back to Him in praise.
3. When someone says, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!" say, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
4. When someone says, "Hoc est corpus meum," say "Christ's body is in heaven (exalted at the right hand of the Father), and on earth (in the Church), but not in a box. Besides, it was a Passover seder, loaded with symbolism, at which Jesus said it. He just changed the symbolism."
5. When someone says, "I would not have God for my Father if I didn't have the Church for my Mother," make sure they don't put the cart before the horse and say that in order to be saved you have to join the church. It's the other way around. And note the absence of Biblical didactic teaching on the supposed Motherhood of the Church.
6. Paul said to eagerly desire the expressions of the Spirit, especially to prophecy. But recognize that you can want these blessings too much, and if you're not expressing them in love, you're a clanging symbol. Desire communion with the Giver of the gifts, over the gifts.
7. Recognize that the tendency to canonize people isn't limited to the Catholics and Orthodox. It's a human failing, very present in Protestants as well. They just don't call it that.
8. Love God, not money. It's deceitful and offers a false sense of security.
9. Stick with Scripture. Councils (yes, even Nicea and Chalcedon), Magisteria, Pastors, Bishops, Priests, Movements, Commentaries, Synods, and Confessions, are *all* relative.
10. Trust God. Eat from the Tree of Life, and not from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Obey God and understand that His commands are for our life (point one of the Genesis 2:17 prohibition) and that pistis is greater than gnosis (point two).

Friday, October 26, 2007

N. T. Wright Seems to Be a Bit Off on Righteousification (dikaiosune)

This is a bit disturbing. According to John Piper, N. T. Wright has it wrong on Righteousification (what some call Justification, from the Greek dikaiosune). Bummer.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Patrick and Augustine and Nestorius and Pelagius

Kinda blows my mind that Nestorius took Pelagius under his protection for a while, until both were anathematized by the Council of Ephesus in 431. Up until now, I've been very sympathetic towards Nestorius, but I wonder now if he had Pelagian tendencies.

I wonder if Pelagius was actually only a semi-Pelagian.

I'm pretty sure Nestorius wasn't a Nestorian. Gotta go find his Bazaar of Heraclides.

While I'm at it, I wonder what Patrick thought of Pelagius, or if they met, or if they knew about each other.

What did Patrick think of Augustine?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?

Still bugging me. I'm listening to the Church History podcast of Reformed Theological Seminary, and we've gotten to Nestorius and the Council of Ephesus. It seems that the "proper" interpretation of the events is that Nestorius was a heretic, because he believed in two persons in Christ, which we know because he opposed the term Theotokos (literally 'God-bearer', but translated 'Mother of God') used for Mary.

Let's get this straight: Mary is not Theotokos.

"But then you deny Christ's divinity!"

No. Calling Mary Theotokos makes her divine. I don't care how many Church Fathers used that term and had in the back of their mind the proper understanding of Mary as just a woman and of Jesus as the God-man. The blasphemy is written in the words up front. For Mary to "bear" God, she has to be the source of the material God is made out of, she has to feed God with spiritual food (since God is spirit) while nurturing Him in her spiritual womb or in her spiritual arms. Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, are all relationships of like kinds. They can only be used in that context. To say that "Mary is the Mother of God only means Jesus is simultaneously fully God and fully man," breaks this proper usage of the term. Only God could be the Mother of God.

You have a war of conundra here. One side says that to deny that Mary is the Mother of God logically leads to a denial of the Hypostatic union of divine and human natures in the one person of Christ. My side says that to affirm that Mary is the Mother of God logically (and with fewer logical steps) leads to the blasphemy that Mary is God.

By the way, I completely affirm the hypostatic union of divinity and humanity in the one person of Christ.

Here's what really bugs me. Why is there a 'term' in the first place? Since when did she come on the scene? Why is she that important that we should have epic arguments of her title? Why the pressure? Could it be that Semiramis/Aphrodite/Diana of the Ephesians/Ashtoreth/Artemis is trying to rear her ugly head and usurp the position that properly belongs to God?

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Catholic Fudge Factor.

I got the following quotation from James White's website. Thank you, James, for your faithful defense of the Gospel!

As Karl Keating said in Catholicism and Fundamentalism, p. 275,
Still, fundamentalists ask, where is the proof from Scripture? Strictly, there is none. It was the Catholic Church that was commissioned by Christ to teach all nations and to teach them infallibly. The mere fact that the Church teaches the doctrine of the Assumption as something definitely true is a guarantee that it is true.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Stunning Nature Video

James White posted this amazing video on his blog.

Sept. 2006 Prophecies by Kim Clement

(This was originally posted on my alternate blogsite almost a year ago, but I'm moving it to here.)
Kim Clement: "GREAT FAVOR HAS BEEN GRANTED--INVESTMENTS WILL BRING BILLIONS INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD"

September 3rd, 2006 - San Jose, CA
In the Month of October...
"...I will praise with you if it is My name that is honored in this Nation. I will dance with you," says the Spirit of God, "for you will dance because the victory is coming to this Nation. In the month of October, I will vindicate you in a big way," says the Spirit of the Lord.

September 10th, 2006 - Hollywood, CA The Greatest Christmas
I just got a glimpse of one of the greatest Christmases that we are ever to have!!I just heard some of the bells, I just heard some of the Christmas songs and I said, "God, what is this all about?" He says, "I'm bringing a season upon the people that would believe it, that will end this year with an explosion of multiplication, multiplication of vision, multiplication of finance, multiplication of faith, multiplication of grace." I want you to know the Jesus that I serve is in this building and He's giving it to you! I wish you a Merry Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! "Secrets," is coming into manifestation, and God is not going to be happy until He has full reign of this house and the people of God that are in this house, and if you believe that the greatest things in the world are going to take place in this place and in your house, then shout out yes!! "Prisoners are being set free; the orphans are being touched. This is going to be an unusual Christmas," says the Lord. And I cannot tell you everything, but it's the night of "Secrets," so I have to tell you what I know. All I can tell you is I saw God shaking a few territories again.
"And they will say, 'Why would it be a joyful occasion when there is death instead of life?'" God said, "You will not for once say, 'Death is a bad thing.'" This death that God is speaking about is a death that will bring great, great, great victory to this Nation in their minds and in their thinking.
For this is the Word of the Lord, "Terror has come to this Nation. Terrorists have dictated since 2001, the fear that people have. And the terrorists have enjoyed it, but they have never been successful to do another thing except exploitation of the peoples' minds." God said, "My people will not be corrected under this type of control. I want you to know something--there will never EVER be a successful attack in this Nation because I have seen something in the hearts of the prophetic people." "As long as the prophets stay alive, as long as the prophets declare the high praise of God, I will chain your enemies. I will chain your enemies," says the Lord. "And I will cause them to bow their knee. Listen. You say, 'What about oil?' Oil will be plentiful. We're not talking about oil."
Watch the Big E
God said, "Watch the BIG E. You must listen. For the investments will bring hundreds of millions and billions into the Kingdom of God. I'm about to reveal it to My prophets, therefore, get ready, because those that said, 'I am poor,' you will say, 'I am rich.' And those that said, 'I am weak,' you shall say, 'I am strong.'" For God says, "Watch now, watch now as I show you one of the men that have controlled the power of the internet and controlled the power of computers. I will show him something and it shall be a sign to you," says the Lord of Hosts. "PC, PC," God said, "please listen to Me: I will reveal it to him. It shall be a revelation. They shall say, 'But how can an ungodly man, not a man of God get so much truth?' You know why? Because he's the controller of the marketplace and he's made billions of dollars."
Now God said, "This is about to be shared with My people, for the wealth of the unrighteous is about to be released into the bosom of the righteous. It's already started to happen, but it's going to be done in a double portion manner, and if you want that to happen, be wise as serpents and I'll show you what to do, for it's a day of victory that's coming," says the Lord! Something is going to happen in this Nation before the end of this year that is monumental. Get ready for the acceleration of your life, for what you have seen is about to come to pass.

September 15th, 2006 - Loveland, CO
I Am Looking for a Place to Rest My FeetThis is the end of a season of mourning, fear, disaster, and setbacks. A season of great favor has entered into the universe and into the earth, and into time and into space. God has been searching for a place to rest His feet. Even as Noah sent out the dove, he could not find a place to rest his feet.
God said, "I have hovered and looked for men who would be Kingdom thinkers. I have listened to the garbage of many within religious circles discussing small things. I am searching the earth for men who will not be accustomed to small things--men and women that shall shake nations. This is what I look for. I am searching for a place to rest My feet. Great favor has been granted at this time."
Two Signs Shall I Give You
And God said, "A sign shall be this--two signs shall I give you: one shall be the death of a leader who shall rapidly deteriorate in Korea." For God said, "I will take both North and South, and make it one. Kim, your days are numbered," says the Lord. "I'm speaking of the Prime Minister of North Korea." God said, "Enough is enough. I want a sound to come," and God said, "I will do it."
"But the other shall be the stepping down of a Prime Minister of the Lion of the Nation of Great Britain. For when he does this," says the Lord, "it shall be a sign, not because he stepped down; a sign that something shall advance, something shall advance out of Great Britain.
Something shall advance," says the Spirit of God, "from the United States. And I will take them, and I will make them to be one sound and one voice, a very unusual revival, a very unusual breakthrough shall take place," says the Lord. "And there shall be an acceleration on the oil crisis and suddenly, there shall be an acceleration and discoveries shall be made one after the other."
And God said, "Your energy crisis shall slowly come to an end, for I am going to bring prosperity upon the Body of Christ and upon those who have waited, and said, 'God, I want You to lay upon me that blessing that You promised through Daniel, that blessing that You promised through Joseph, the blessing that You promised through Isaiah, and the blessing that You promised through the prophets of old." I'm standing at this day where the Kingdom of God is about to advance upon the earth.Jerusalem, I Am Watching Over You
"Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, I stand and I watch over you. And they say, 'There is no peace in Jerusalem.'" But God said, "I have placed something very powerful and something very spontaneous there that shall reach the ends of the earth." God said, "This is no small thing, and I will not be mocked by man as if to say I cannot use the soil of Zion and I cannot use the soil of Jerusalem, and I cannot move in the Middle East."
"Watch Me place the sound of Christ right in the middle of Israel, and right through them I shall bring forth a great evangelism," says the Lord. "The Lion is about to arise," and God says, "you hear what I say to you tonight, that this massive move of evangelism shall reach into your children and your grandchildren."
God said, "There is coming upon the earth an acceleration of deliverance, an acceleration of evangelism, and acceleration of the working of miracles." For God said, "The gift that is going to come to the fore, is the working of miracles." God said, "What you could not acquire shall be acquired easily. What you struggled to do, shall be done quickly and rapidly and easily," says the Lord. "Let Me tell you, I have not watched man in vain, I have looked at their hearts, and now there shall be an acceleration." "I will bring gold from Edom. I will bring oil from Edom. I will bring it from the ungodly and the unrighteous," says the Lord. "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, I am watching over you, and from there many shall see, but also," God says, "in many other portions of the earth, and the satellites shall glow, and they shall sing my praises," says the Lord. "Listen to Me, a move of the Spirit is about to take place that will do something to every family in the earth," says the Lord. "Get ready, I'm raising up the prophets and the prophetic voices throughout the earth. Rejoice, oh people of God. This is your day of acceleration!"

By Kim ClementProphetic Image Expressionshttp://www.kimclement.com/

Friday, June 01, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dig a little deeper

Thank God for James White.



Here's an example of how Roman Catholics can twist the truth.



And here's an example of how to set them straight.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

The head of the Evangelical Theological Society sold out to Rome.

Here's James White's article.



For further proof, here's Jimmy Akin's article.



Things are heating up. Rome is ever so sly, but the God will get the final word.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

5 Reasons Why Catholic is not Christian

Got this from Ian Paisley. How can you argue against it? Why would you want to?

"Here stand I..."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mary, So-called Mediatrix of All Graces

Found this on EWTN.

Here's an excerpt:

"The Second Vatican Council (Lumen gentium ## 61-62), said, of Mary: '... in suffering with Him as He died on the cross, she cooperated in the work of the Savior, in an altogether singular way, by obedience, faith, hope, and burning love, to restore supernatural life to souls. As a result she is our Mother in the order of grace.'"

Can anyone continue to deny that the Roman Catholic Church puts Mary in our face for us to worship? They can talk out of both sides of their mouths and say they don't worship her, but give me a break! And they capitalize the 'M' in mother. This is worship language.

You say Drogheda, I say 1641.

Did you ever read about this in high school history?

http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=deliverance7

My father he was orange and me mother she was green.

I thought they were equally to blame.

I guess not.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Catholicism in the Movies

I have always had the subconscious impression that the great movies are pushing a Catholic worldview. This article, by Richard A. Blake, S.J., from the Woodstock Theological Center explains it.



In an unrelated (or is it?) note, David Lynch is noted in the article as a great Catholic filmmaker. He and fellow Catholic, Charlie Sheen, are two of the first Hollywooders to "come out" in saying 9/11 was an inside job.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I-Thou

I'm coming to believe that Objectivity can be a very subjective game, and that Subjectivity can be very objective, if you have the right Subject.