Sunday, December 07, 2008

That glaring hole in Codex Vaticanus

So go here and tell me Mark 16:9-20 wasn't blotted out.
Dan Wallace says there's not enough room for it in the space, but I disagree. (Maybe he was referring to the space after Mark 16:8 in the Sinaiticus, I can't remember, but still there's quite a bit of space there.) He also says that the Western order has Mark last among the Gospels, which formed their own unit, so it's quite logical that the space would be there since you would start another unit on its own page. Then how do you explain Luke starting at the upper left? I think he's reaching.

Anyway, Burgon is kicking butt in my opinion, in his The Last 12 Verses of Mark.

Just got a kick out of the following marginal note, found, ironically, in the Vaticanus, at Heb. 1:3: ""Fool and knave, can't you leave the old reading alone and not alter it!" Yeah, can't you keep from erasing 12 verses?

And I really love the duplicity of this image. Notice they didn't mention that the next column to the right was left completely blank, unlike any other column in the Vaticanus. Why did they show this image and not the above-mentioned one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

And this is the spin that Rome puts on things

Ever arrogant, stepping in and claiming the prize where others labored, Rome thinks it evangelized Germany. Here's her spin on "Saint" Boniface, from EWTN:
"Isolated missionary groups had penetrated central Germany in earlier times, but not until the eighth century was there a systematic effort to Christianize the vast pagan wilderness."

Let me translate that sentence: "The Culdees under the rule of Columbanus of Iona had systematically penetrated central Germany in earlier times and planted churches free of Rome's corrupting influence, but not until the eight century was there a systematic effort to Romanize the vast newly Christianized region."

I think I interpolated a little bit. Sorry. Those poor Culdees probably didn't have the proper Vulgate, either.

I think Jesus put it more succinctly: "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." (Matt. 13:32) The tree in this parable is not a good thing. Birds are not good things. They steal the Word. Mustard seeds are supposed to grow into mustard plants, not trees.

Jesus also put it like this: "But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way." (Matt. 13:25). So whose fault is it? We must not sleep.

J. A. Wylie's History Of The Scottish Nation

I'm going to read this. Already read about the Culdees' work in France, noted in the previous post. Fascinating.

So Cahill's book should really be titled, "How the Scots Saved Civilization."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

An adjustment, perhaps

Just started to listen to Harold Chase of Minnesota Valley Baptist Church. He's making a good, but naturalistic, case for the Majority Text as opposed to the Textus Receptus, which is close. He cited 15-20 places where they differ, including the big one--1 John 5:7. Not even Burgon thinks 1 John 5:7 is genuine. I think he said it's not even in any of the versions (syriac, old latin, etc.), but that may have been another verse.

The same basic overarching philosophical considerations that make the TR position attractive also make the MT position attractive. As long as one gives due weight to the Versions and the early Church Teachers. But it seems the MT position avoids wild-eyed fundamentalism.


I hit the jackpot in audio sermons.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mark 16:9-20 are in Codices Alexandrinus and Washingtonensis

Codex Alexandrinus is a 5th century uncial manuscript, discovered in 1627, 16 years after the publication of the KJV. It contains Mark 16:9-20.

Codex Washingtonensis is a 4th/5th century uncial manuscript. It contains Mark 16:9-20.

So when people tell you that the oldest and best manuscripts (i.e., Vaticanus and Sinaiticus) don't contain Mark 16:9-20, they're overstating their case.

Plus, the Peshitta (Syriac) and other old translations (e.g., Coptic, Georgian, Old Latin) have it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Spurgeon: "Our Protestantism must protest perpetually"

This is from The Spurgeon Archive:
Essence of lies, and quintessence of blasphemy, as the religion of Rome is, it nevertheless fascinates a certain order of Protestants, of whom we fear it may be truly said that "they have received a strong delusion to believe a lie, that they may be damned." Seeing that it is so, it becomes all who would preserve their fellow-immortals from destruction to be plain and earnest in their warnings. Not in a party-spirit, but for truth's sake, our Protestantism must protest perpetually. Dignitaries of the papal confederacy are just now very prominent in benevolent movements, and we may be sure that they have ends to serve other than those which strike the public eye. A priest lives only for his church; he may profess to have other objects, but this is a mere blind. Our ancient enemies have small belief in our common sense if they imagine that we shall ever be able to trust them, after having so often beheld the depths of Jesuitical cunning and duplicity. The sooner we let certain Archbishops and Cardinals know that we are aware of their designs, and will in nothing co-operate with them, the better for us and our country. Of course, we shall be howled at as bigots, but we can afford to smile at that cry, when it comes from the church which invented the Inquisition. "No peace with Rome" is the motto of reason as well as of religion.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just How Influential are Wescott and Hort Today?

Dr. James White says the current critical text, Nestle-Aland 27th Edition/UBS 4th Edition, fixes many of the errors and excesses of Wescott & Hort's critical text. Doesn't D.A. Carson admit that the current critical text is based on W&H's critical text? Or was it Metzger speaking of a previous (but similar) text?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Scrivener's Attitude

From here:

The Church of Christ ... has had her faults, many and grievous, but she never did nor shall fail in her duty as a faithful 'witness and keeper of Holy Writ.' 43

God's Providence has kept from harm the treasure of His written word, so far as is needful for the quiet assurance of His Church and people.44

This might be my attitude in the whole thing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I Just Bought a King James Bible

The Defined King James Bible, to be precise.

Guess that makes me King James Only.

I'd rather be King James Only than Wescott & Hort Only.

Dr. Ian Paisley on the KJV

"What is the use of God verbally inspiring the Bible if He did not preserve it verbally for all generations?" So asks Dr. Ian Paisley.

Bart Ehrman asked the same question, I believe in Misquoting Jesus.

This is the question Dr. James White, Dr. Dan Wallace, (the late) Dr. Gene Scott, and all people who hold to verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture (as I do), must answer. "What we have is good enough," is what Dan Wallace said in his recent debate with Bart Ehrman. Is it?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nestle-Aland 27th Edition Novum Testamentum Graece

So, what's a Roman Catholic Jesuit Cardinal (Martini) doing on the team of editors? Why should Protestants accept any translation based on this Greek Text? And most of the popular English versions are based on it or its predecessor.

Am I flirting with the Genetic Fallacy, or with Argumentum ad Hominem? I don't know, and I don't care. Why go to Egypt for help?

Here's the list of editors:
E. Nestle
B. Aland
K. Aland
J. Karavidopoulos
C. M. Martini: the "M." stands for Maria.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Textus Receptus, Ben Chayyim Masoretic, and King James Bible

If I end up holding to the idea that God perfectly preserved His Word in the Textus Receptus Greek and the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Hebrew and Aramaic texts, then the following observation is quite compelling:

People, even Fundamentalists, substitute God's "Word" for His Words, when they talk about the Scriptures, and their preservation for His Saints. By this they mean, not the exact words, but close enough: the thoughts, ideas, concepts, revelation, communication, message.

How do I know what His Word is if I don't know His exact words?

Emergent Church incoherence is the end result. "The Virgin Birth just has to be true, whether it happened or not."

Either that or Bart Ehrman. One of his major complaints, voiced in Misquoting Jesus, is this: What's the point of God plenarily inspiring Scripture--where every single word is exactly what God said, and nothing is left out--if it's no longer available to us? What kind of God would hide it from 2000 years of the Church, only to be made available by the heroic restoration efforts of 20th and 21st century ivory tower NT Textual Critics? (And even they have practically given up on finding the exact words.)

Dr. James White told a KJVO caller to the Bible Answer Man broadcast that he ought not to replace truth with certainty. Wow! From James White's own lips. Tony Jones couldn't have said it better. I actually resonate with this truth, as long as the certainty you're talking about is a kind of scientific Aristotelian Evidentialist certainty, and I think that's how James White meant it. I just find it interesting, since usually James White is all about the exact meaning of words and phrases in the Scriptures, in his debates with Catholics, Mormons, JW's, Muslims, etc.

But if you've settled in your mind that the TR and the Ben Chayyim are God's exact words, then you have a certain kind of certainty, based on faith that what God said is true. Sounds circular, but bear with me. There are many places in Scripture that people use to prove God promised He'd preserve His word, not just in a cave somewhere, but in a form available to his catholic Church. Psalm 12:6-7 and Matthew 5:18 come to mind. If you can show that these Scriptures speak of Preservation, in all textual variants including the corrupt ones, then you can logically conclude that, well, the one that has been most widely available must be the incorrupt one God promised to preserve.

The Authorized Version, or King James Bible, is the most printed book in history. The New Testament part of it is based on the Textus Receptus, which is based on the Majority Texts, i.e., the most abundantly copied species of all extant manuscript variants.

This is presuppositionalism. Waddles like a duck, swims like a duck, barks like a duck--must be a duck.

Now, do the variants matter, doctrinally? Dr. D.A. Waite, a TR/Ben Chayyim (and, derivatively, KJV) advocate, says there are about 350 variants that have doctrinal implications. I must check into these.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Roman Catholicism's Unholy Trinity

More and more as I listen to the local RCC radio station, I'm realizing that Roman Catholicism really has an unholy trinity, effectively speaking. Functionally, they have replaced The Real Holy Father with their counterfeit holy father they call The Pope. They have replaced Jesus the Son with a piece of bread. Actually over a trillion pieces of bread and counting. They have replaced the Holy Spirit with the so-called all-holy mother of god.

Actually, the correspondence isn't perfect. It isn't a perfect "one-to-one" and "onto" mapping, since Mary supposedly performs a lot of the things Jesus really does--like be our advocate and intercede for us. And their unholy father, in concert with the magisterium (and all the magisterial documents and Tradition thrown in), supposedly performs the function of interpreting the Scriptures for us, teaching us, and guiding us into all truth, which is actually the role the Scriptures give to the Holy Spirit. But they seem to form a group performing their own unholy perichoresis.

Actually I left one out--our other mother, the Church. But wait, I thought Mary was our mother. I'm confused. Catholics have two mommies? But maybe this concept could be folded into the pope.

Listen to Catholic Radio and tell me it's not so. All the time they spend on devotion to "our lady", on devotion to "the blessed sacrament", all the hoopla over "the holy father's" visit to Australia last month. I grew up Catholic, but it still blows my mind that they sit or kneel before a box and worship all those round wafers, thinking each one is Jesus. Unbelievable (and I mean that)!

Monday, July 14, 2008

N.T. Wright on Justfication

This is what he says (in The Shape of Justification): "By 'the gospel' Paul does not mean 'justification by faith' itself. He means the announcement that the crucified and risen Jesus is Lord. To believe this message, to give believing allegiance to Jesus as Messiah and Lord, is to be justified in the present by faith (whether or not one has even heard of justification by faith). Justification by faith itself is a second-order doctrine: to believe it is both to have assurance (believing that one will be vindicated on the last day [Rom. 5.1-5]) and to know that one belongs in the single family of God, called to share table-fellowship without distinction with all other believers (Gal. 2.11-21). But one is not justified by faith by believing in justification by faith (this, I think, is what Newman thought Protestants believed), but by believing in Jesus." (emphasis his)

This is what Paul says (in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8): "1. Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2. and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. 3. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4. that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5. and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me."

Wright calls Justification by Faith a "second-order doctrine." He must have missed the three little words Paul used in 1 Cor 15:3--"for our sins"--which Paul included under that which is "of first importance."

I don't think N.T. Wright handled God's word correctly here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bert Waggoner on Hope

Berten Wagonner, head of The Vineyard USA, said, "...What is our object of hope? The eschatological community." (In Building a Community of Hope in a Despairing World).

What does he mean by this? I'll read on, but my guard is up. Where is Scripture? Where is God? I smell the worship of the Church which you find rampant in the big ecclesiastical organizations.

He then says, "the ultimate goal of history in the eschatological future is the revealing of God’s eschatological community at the consummation of the age (Revelation 21)." But Ephesians 1 says, "9. He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10. with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth...". How about 1 Cor. 15:28: "When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all." Who is the primary object of our hope here?

Okay, later on he says, this: "The primary sign of the Kingdom, other than the coming of the Messiah, is the community of God." So at least he's putting Jesus in. But the message is a bit confused. Who gets the glory? In whom do we hope?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Preach the Word

I just added a Shared Item--part 4 of a series of articles by Sam Storms, entitled "Why We’re Not Emergent (by two guys who should be)". This part is about the Emergent disdain for preaching.

I'm liking this guy.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

Abraham faithed God and it was credited to him as righteousness

For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." (Romans 4:3).

I have much to owe to Dr. Gene Scott for my understanding of the word 'faith'. However, my thinking has undergone a MAJOR SHIFT in the last 2 weeks, thanks in no small part to the unintended effect of the comments of one John Volkoff, a contributor to Dr. Scott unwaveringly taught and preached that the Greek word pisteuo, usually translated 'to believe', means Action based upon Belief, supported by Confidence. He called this the ABC's of faith, and coined a new verb for the English language--to faithe--since he saw that 'to believe' is too weak a term to translate pisteuo. However, John Volkoff, apparently someone with a reformed perspective, countered this understanding on the above-mentioned newsgroup by stating that pisteuo only refers to the BC part: Belief supported by Confidence. The Action, though always connected, is logically distinct. And we are justified by faith, which is just belief/confidence, not by something involving action.

This must have been brewing in my soul, since I took it on to study, with great importance. Remembering what Dr. Scott said about the way you understand what New Testament Greek words mean, I went to the Septuagint. Dr. Scott taught that pisteuo, or a derivative of the word, is a translation in the Septuagint of three Hebrew words: chacah (pronounced khaw-saw' with a hard 'h'), batach (pronounced baw-tach'), and 'aman (pronounced aw-man'). (Just an aside, there are at least two variants of 'aman--'emuwn and 'emuwnah--which are also relevant.) chacah means to run to a shelter, batach means to lean on a staff, and 'aman means to have the firm fixed state of mind and heart that would automatically do the two former actions. So based on this, Dr. Scott said that faith was action.

However, I looked at (what I hope are) all of the occurrences of these words in the Hebrew, and cross-referenced what they were translated to in the Septuagint and was shocked at what I found. chacah and batach, the action words, were always translated either into peitho or elpizo (in some form), and never into a form of pistis, pisteuo, or pistos. In the 100 or so occurrences or so that I found (using's Interlinear Study Bible), 'aman the inner state word, was almost always translated pistis, or pisteuo, or pistos. Only once was it translated peitho (Prov. 26:25). 'emuwnah was often translated a form of pistis or pisteuo, or a form of alethia, meaning truth or truthfulness. So the upshot is that the Greek word for faith, by which we are justified, is never a translation of the Hebrew action words, only of 'aman, which is the fixed settled confidence. And forgetting that one in a hundred exception, the two categories are, logically speaking, mutually exclusive, so that one may conclude that the hebrew 'aman only translates to pistis/pisteou/pistos, and batach and chacah only translate to peitho or elpizo.

The implications of this are monumentous for me. Up until now I've believed (pun unintended, but oddly relevant) Gene Scott's explanation of the terms, but now I must beg to differ. I understand now that we're justified by 'aman, what Norman Grubb refers to as the fixed inner witness.

Now, real faith will produce all sorts of actions (see Hebrews 11, which is, as Dr. Scott always said, the only Chapter in the Bible where God eulogizes man), and is proved by them. But it precedes these actions, and is not these actions.

Friday, May 09, 2008


The Father imputed Christ's righteousness to me.

I have no righteousness of my own. All the good works God has for me to do flow after this imputation.

Today, after feeling undone (Isaiah 6:5) that I was unable to witness to my family, I then re-recognized that Jesus's righteousness is mine, all of it, on the basis of His completed work on the Cross.

Thanks, James White, for the exhortation.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Reformed Theology Implications

Just preach the Word. Don't rely on church growth experts. Thanks, James White, for the insight. Barna may have some great statistics, but don't let them detract you from preaching the word, even the offensive stuff.

"No one is able to come to me unless the Father draws him," says Jesus.
John 6 is full of offensive statements. Just the day before, 10,000 adults (who had just been miraculously fed) wanted to make Jesus king. He was sitting on top of the world. What potential! God could use that. Why did he have to put people off like this: "You are of your father, the Devil." It's almost as though Jesus is sabotaging His own ministry. Many a psychologizer would try to prevent Jesus from pruning like He did.

But Jesus came to do the will of the Father. John 6:37-40 "37. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."
John 6:63-65: "63. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64. But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65. And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."

Another logic tidbit, v. 37 is the sufficient clause, v. 44 is the necessary clause. In other words, it is necessary and sufficient that the Father draw one, in order for that one to become a faither, i.e., to come to Jesus.

Friday, April 18, 2008

James White vs. Steve Gregg Debate

I just listened to the debate between James White and Steve Gregg. Very interesting. I've been on a yearlong assignment to figure out Calvinism, and this debate is pushing me closer to Calvinism. Weird--I've never been a fan of Calvin. Anyway, James White had the more cogent presentation. All Steve Gregg could offer was why each Calvinist proof-text didn't really mean what the Calvinist thought it means, in a disjointed one-off fashion (at least much more so than James White). Admittedly, one must analyze individual verses, but Steve offered no complete picture of an Arminian viewpoint.

On Day 4 all Purgatory broke loose as Steve got childish during the Q&A section. It got ugly and tense, as Steve kept interrupting James, when James was trying to give complete answers to the questions. Finally James had to regroup as he realized he wasn't interacting with a mature, friendly, debate opponent.

I guess Steve thought he'd like to see how James White would like the tables turned on him, and let someone dominate him. This became clear as someone posted some childish nonsense on Steve Gregg's forum about how James White played a heavy hand against Tim Staples back in their debate about the Papacy in 2000. Well, the two situations were different. In 2000, Tim Staples demonstrated he couldn't follow the agreed-upon rules of the debate (e.g., using the Q&A time to make rambling commentary) and it was only after a long time of enduring this nonsense that James White decided he'd had enough and locked Tim down for a little while with short yes-or-no questions. This was not the case prior to the mess on Day 4. The format was more casual, not adversarial: there was no need to be a stickler for debate rules; one could be a little loose. But when Steve asked James some questions that required time to answer, he didn't give James the required time.

Seems that in this age, people are always interrupting. For heaven's sake, at my work people talk at the same time others are talking--and this is in a two-way conversation! And you know it's really bad when people who interrupt you get interrupted. Our society is childish in this regard. We need to be quick to hear and slow to speak.

And another thing: James White is constantly being critized for dominating, or being mean, when actually he just thinks he's right and wants others to benefit from his insight. When you have good confidence that you're right, you shouldn't be tentative. Just state it. There should be no fear of being called arrogant. I guess there are too many arrogant people who are wrong and come off as though they were right, so others are turned off. But it may be equally true that many people are afraid of taking a stand and letting the world know about it. Be right (i.e., do your homework!) and don't be ashamed of it!

I wanted to post this on Steve Gregg's forum, but I was unable to register (apparently it thought I was a spambot. Weren't they Jamie Sommer's adversaries?). Oh well.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Resist Antichrist, who has landed in America

We have only one Holy Father:
Isaiah 6:3 ESV And one called to another and said: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!
John 17:11 ESV And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

Only the Son is the head of the Church:
Ephesians 1:22 ESV And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,
Ephesians 4:15 ESV Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Ephesians 5:23 ESV For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Colossians 1:18 ESV And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
Colossians 2:19 ESV and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

Only the Holy Spirit can be in the place of Christ:
John 14:26 ESV But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Annihilation or Conscious Eternal Torment?

Okay, I'm tackling this one now. Sort of kept it on the back burner (ha ha) for a while, but I can't anymore. So I'm reading this article by Steve Scianni. I also bought a book by Greg Boyd on this topic. I need to find good works by the other side.

This may take a while to sort out. But this morning I was struck by how few Scripture verses (at least according to my Thompson Chain Reference NIV) there were to support the everlasting torment theory, and they seemed sort of flimsy, at least more flimsy than should be required to develop a whole doctrine out of.

Sola Scriptura, and let the chips fall where they may!

Hurry up and call me Patrick!

We need another Patrick. Someone who's right on the money doctrinally, but doesn't get all stuck in cultural forms. An earthy person who moves in real Holy Spirit power and is able thereby to confront our enemies (see Eph. 6).

Here is Patrick's prayer (called the "Lorica", or "Patrick's Breastplate") (from Wikipedia):

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the faith in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

...whether it happened or not.

The previous post really is the Emergent mantra. How do I know? I was listening to another Emergent Podcast the other day, and the speaker, Phyllis Tickle, once again spoke the mantra. It was only later that I realized that the first time I heard it was from Diana Butler-Bass, not Phyllis Tickle. They're all saying it now.

Who are they trying to fool?

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Postmodern Creed

"I believe in the Virgin Birth. It's so beautiful, it just has to be true, whether it happened or not."

Diana Butler-Bass, in her address to the Emergent Mainline conference in 2007, spoke of a meeting at an Episcopal church in Atlanta that turned into a pro-Virgin-birth / anti-Virgin-birth brawl. In the middle of the brawl, a 17-year-old kid utters this postmodern creed, and to Butler-Bass, this instantly launches him into Emergent stardom.

This is precisely why I will never be Emergent. More and more, it seems to me that Emergent and Postmodernism is built on this kind of non-logic, no-accountability, fudge-factor world view that forever tries to juxtapose the irreconcilable. It will never believe anything, never understand anything, never build anything. It only has the capacity to get away with things, mostly mischief.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Hats off to Mark Driscoll

What Adam and Eve should have said to the serpent was: "This conversation is over!"

Friday, February 29, 2008

"If they knock on your door, you already gave

... You don't need no more of what's ailin' ya." -- Lenny Kravitz

I was over at an Eastern Orthodox forum, and I was astounded at the volume of guilty conscience. Guilt ridden people, led by a theology that says you might as well play it safe with God and confess confess confess. A theology that says that in the end you don't know if you're going to be saved, so do all you can. It's sad.

My hope: God made me alive in Christ. I who was once an enemy of God, who was dead in trespasses and sins, have been made alive in Christ, and I have been seated in heavenly places with Him. I have the Spirit of Sonship, a guarantee of my inheritance, by which I cry, "Abba, Father!"

My foundation: The finished work of Christ on the cross, and God's vindication of Him by raising Him from the tomb after 3 days. Christ bore God's wrath, so I wouldn't have to. (Lose this at your peril, Eastern Orthodox and Emergents....) Now by faith I am connected with God and His life flows through me.

So exhort me, but don't make me go to confession before communion.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Less filling! ... Tastes great!

Which is more important? Preaching the Gospel or Spreading the Kingdom?

This is a trick question, since it's not really either/or. Part of spreading the kingdom is preaching the Gospel (with words, Francis). The other part is stuff like physical healing, mental healing, and social healing. Oh, and exorcisms.

But I maintain that the Spiritual aspect of spreading the kingdom is more important than the physical aspect. In John 6, Jesus miraculously fed about 20,000 people, in a physical act of the Kingdom of God breaking into this world. However, the very next day, he said stuff like the following (vv. 26-29):
"Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.' Then they asked him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?' Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'
And then during the rest of the often spiky interchange between Jesus and the people, narrated in chapter 6, Jesus continued to drive home how much more important the spiritual aspect is than the physical. "The flesh profits nothing."

Here's another thing: the people had all benefited from a tremendous miracle, and the very next day they asked Jesus for a sign! What gall! A wise man, Jay Carty, once preached that miracles are like Chinese food. You're hungry two hours later.

Here's a disclaimer: I'm big on physical outworkings of the power of God. I'm a member of a Vineyard Church, and one of my biggest peeves is Cessationism. What an abomination!

It's not: 100% effort to one and 0% to the other. I don't know if I'd even put percentages on it, because the two are inextricably linked.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pilate Was Postmodern

"For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world – to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." -- Jesus

"What is truth?" -- Pilate

Emergent is really starting to trouble me

Tony Jones, as a youth pastor, introduced his kids to the labyrinth, which is some ascetic practice.

So instead of giving them the Gospel, the power of God to salvation, he gives them this poison. Nice going, Tony.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Evangelicals and Catholics Apart

This is very sad. Why, oh why, James did you do it? What got into your head? You of all people! What a betrayal!

On the one hand, in _Evangelicals & Catholics Together: Toward a Common Mission_, you said, “. . . Roman teaching obscures the gospel and indeed distorts it in a tragically anti-spiritual and unpastoral manner . . .”
And, “Rome’s official doctrinal disorders, particularly on justification, merit, and the Mass-sacrifice, so obscure the gospel that were I, as a gesture of unity, invited to mass_which of course as a Protestant I am not, nor shall be_I would not feel free to accept the invitation.”
But then on the other hand, to justify your fellowship with darkness, you downplay the importance of the Justification issue, calling it "domestic differences about salvation". What is this all about? Did Paul have domestic differences with the Judaizers about salvation? No! In Galatians 1:8-9, he anathematized them, twice: "8. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9. As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" He had no common mission with them.

Then you said, in 1996:
Can conservative Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholics of mainstream type join together in bearing witness to all that I have spoken of? I urge that we can, despite our known and continuing differences about the specifics of the salvation process and the place of the church in that process. . . . To be sure, fundamentalists within our three traditions are unlikely to join us in this, for it is the way of fundamentalists to follow the path of contentious orthodoxy, as if the mercy of God in Christ automatically rests on persons who are notionally correct and is just as automatically withheld from those who fall short of notional correctness on any point of substance. But this concept of, in effect, justification, not of works, but of words_words, that is, of notional soundness and precision_is near to being a cultic heresy in its own right and need not detain us further now, however much we may regret the fact that some in all our traditions are bogged down in it.

As if true evangelicals only believed in intellectual assent. James, you would criticize the Apostle Paul for being contentious. You would say to him: "Now Paul, let's not get carried away. Can't we just reason with the Judaizers, and find common ground with them? After all, we and they stand against this brutal Roman Empire, so why not stand together and thus be stronger. Let's put aside our domestic differences."

James, what were you thinking?? Why do you call it domestic differences? Haven't you read what Paul said, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" (2 Cor 6:14).

Thank you, Richard Bennett and your website, Berean Beacon (sermon entitled, Apostasy of New Evangelicals), for your faithful witness for the truth.