April 2, 2021
It’s all yours today…
September 23, 2017
May 23, 2018
July 28, 2016
Prayer request (hope to post it before someone turns this political)…
Our beloved beagle Andy snapped a ligament in his left knee. He did this to his right knee back in October and surgery was $$$$. We cannot afford another surgery of the same price. He’s 10-12 years old, and despite having severe separation anxiety, he’s a sweetheart and likes to cuddle. He looks deeply into my eyes when I pet him and that makes it all the more heartbreaking that we may have to decide to put him down very soon.
Please pray for me and my wife Jennifer to have the courage and strength to go through this and to know when the time is right. At some point Andy our beagle may signal to us that he’s ready to go.
I post this here because I know there are animal – sensitive friends here. I believe God not only gave Andy a true home (he was a stray for a while and probably abused by a previous owner), and if we hadn’t given him a home, he might have died alone in the woods, or shot by a dirtbag or hit by a car.
Andy is our little buddy and will truly miss him, but he will be welcomed by his Maker some day soon and will have a forever home.
This is heartbreaking…prayers going forth for you and Andy…and maybe a miracle…
In our thoughts and hearts…
So, so sorry…my last cat and my current cat were/are both rescues. Current kitty still hides, but not as much as she used to. As for me, I am to be at her beck and call at all hours. Previous kitty was fierce, but loyal. When I took her for her last vet visit, I was a mess, but God gives strength and courage. I pray He will provide that for you and your wife as well.
Praying here for Andy’s family – they gave the little dog a good, happy long life
Thank you Em, Linn, Michael and Duane. Prayers are appreciated. My wife spends more time with the dogs (we have two) and I think its going to be harder for her. And I told her that I was posting this prayer request here, for which she is glad.
For those attached to their dogs, may I present this Twilight Zone Episode:
My mistake, it looks like it was just the audio. Disregard.
Here is the wiki on it:
“Christians, at their best, are the fools who dare believe in God’s power to call dead things to life.”
Esau McCaulley, NT prof @ Wheaton and author of “Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope” writing in the NY Times.
Blessed Easter weekend to all!
As a baseball fan, I find myself disappointed with the decision to pull the All-Star game from the Atlanta Braves. Mainly because it seems like an attempt to punish people who weren’t involved in the decision regarding voting in Georgia. I think people are quick to react and don’t always think through the implications of their actions. I’m starting to believe that “wokeness” isn’t truly about justice. But this appears to be the track we are on. For some, cancelling without consideration makes total sense. I’m not saying I support the Georgia law. I think politicians and politics are a cesspool.
I made a decision long ago that I don’t care about the politics in sports and I’m going to enjoy them for what they are.
They are helpful for me in keeping some balance in my life and they bring me joy.
Me too. And I appreciate the diversity among athletes. Sport provides us with a potential picture of unity. People of different backgrounds, thought, etc, working together to achieve the shared goal of winning. Its a thing of beauty!
Our society seems to lack joy and, in fact, looks for ways to eliminate it. My inner child weeps.
People want to be angry these days…and so I try to stay away from people as much as possible…. 🙂
Rather than stew or mope, I will simply look for ways to bring grace and joy into joy-lacking culture. Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.
A rather quiet week at PP.
A number of thoughts fill the mind;
1- “descended into hell” therein is a world of consternation and discussion. I would be more in line with those who simple say he descended into the place of the dead. In other words the suffering was over. Saturday is a victorious day.
2- The darkness of the cross… I preach on it about every other years on Good Friday. That darkness seems to me to be the place of desolation. It seems to be the place of the battle. One can argue that the synoptists leave us “in the dark” as to what transpired in those hours as it is quite possible to remove the words of Jesus from the cross from those hours. It seems to favor a view of atonement with more emphasis on Christus Victor…. thus first mention of the Gospel is “crushing the serpent’s head” and the culmination is entering the kingdom of darkness… I am not immovable on these things but brought to worship by them.
3- There seems a large shift away from using “Easter’ to describe tomorrow in favor of “Resurrection Day” over the years I experimented with a novel expression of simple calling Sunday, “the third day.” I have pleasure in using the actual expressions from the narrative itself.
Anyway, these days are the holiest of our calendar. And these discussions would more wonderfully displace our most recent subject matter.
I just preached what could be my last Good Friday message as well. That idea rests heavily upon me. The congregation I founded will have a new voice to proclaim the glory of Christ’s victory… I will miss it. Laying things down intentionally is interesting and salutary.
Happy Saturday people of God!
I’ve come to love the “descended into hell” part of the creed…based on the scripture that He went and set the captives free. The Orthodox icon of Jesus pulling Adam and Eve out of the pit is more wondrous to me than any treatise on the matter…
Your voice will be missed…but not for long I hope…
I’ve always loved the term, ‘Harrowing of Hell’…
Then there is this from Chrysostom:
“Hades was embittered when it tasted of his flesh. It received a body, and it encountered God. It received earth, and came face to face with heaven. O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?”
It’s a good day when we feature icons and Chrysostom… 🙂
Yesterday I got my 2nd vaccination. Driving there, I tuned in to the local Catholic station and they were doing the Stations of the Cross. Very sobering, of course.
Then just after that I tuned in to the Baptisty-type Christian station. The contrast was apparent. They of course acknowledged the import of Good Friday. But they had some theologian on who seemed to be trying to explain it all in rationalistic terms and the interviewer seemed to want to “skip” to Easter, IMHO, prematurely. I thought,
“Give me a break. There’s mystery here!”
The Stations of the Cross were slightly maudlin at times, but less than I’d expected. To me, participating along with the priest was very meaningful. I guess that’s why we have different church traditions…
One of my daughters said that one of the news anchors on a major network referred to this Sunday as “Resurrection Sunday!”
Was the victory on Friday or on Sunday?
“It is finished !” I think it was on Friday. .. or Thursday as some teach….
Fascinating article in the NY Times, titled “Why Is Jesus Still Wounded After His Resurrection”? Interviews with Philip Yancey, Rich Mouw, Fleming Rutledge, Kate Bowler, Mark Labberton and a bunch of others.
Pull quote that I really like:
“The risen but scarred body of Christ is the ultimate signifier of divine empathy.”
From heaven Friday from earth Sunday from this side of history it is from victory to victory. Great question.
Dan from Georgia, Mrs. Muff and me know exactly what you’re going through.
We’ve spared no Vet expense to keep the dogs we’ve loved out of pain and early death.
It is my fervent hope that there is an afterlife in which we’ll all be reunited with those who’ve passed on, both two-legged and four-legged.
I can no longer say with certainty that there even is an afterlife, maybe it’s just a cruel lie.
But I hope there is.
Faith to me is not certainty, it’s just hope, like when Dorothy Gale clicked her ruby slippers together.
It’s interesting… the Western Church in its theology has tended to emphasize the Cross with the resurrection as the ultimate vindication of what took place on Good Friday. On the other hand, the Eastern Church tends to view the resurrection as being of greater importance as the ultimate act of victory over death and the redemption of humanity – past, present and future. In my view, both are right and neither is wrong… it’s a matter of emphasis and perspective…
I find that my cat understands me much better than most people do. But, I also enjoy children! They have such a funny take on the world and often ask the best questions. They keep my joy and hope intact. I was at Spanish church last night for our distanced, masked (yes, the church has really come around!), legal gathering. The kids saw me-squeal! It has been a long year without them.
I sincerely think it is both:
Friday-Christ’s atonement for our sin.
Sunday-His resurrection proves that He is God Incarnate and our justification before God.
1 Cor. 15:z53-58
Appreciate the thoughts and facts). Without the Resurrection it would, as Muff observef, be hard to do more than hope….
That said i am 100% convinced of the Resurrection.
“Death could not hold its prey. He (LJC) tore the bars away….
Up from the grave (tomb) He arose with a mighty triumph or’e His foes….”. Hallelujah ! ! !
Eastern Orthodox perspective..
I sorta view the Resurrection, over the as Crucifiction as the primary focus also.
Perhaps it’s due to not interpreting the Blessed Hope, as a Rapture in Disp doctrine. I see our hope is to be changed, not levitation.
I just have an involuntary urge to get iconoclastic, and I’ve never even seen one in person. Maybe it’s my Low-Church years.
All quiet on the PP…
I wish happiness and health for all this Sunday.
I’m sorry that you and your wife are going though that, Dan, with your Andy.
My daughter didn’t want to watch it (she’s the steadfast child), but i had the kids sit down with me and watched A Dog’s Purpose. My son had tears in his eyes, my normally tough daughter paid rapt attention, and I could tell she was affected.
Afterwards, we took our pup for a walk and she was asking me if dogs really reincarnate. I said no, but failed to expand upon the message. Our big puppy met a friendly off leash little poodle. It went well at first, both dogs wagging, then touching noses, but then our 90 lb puppy tried to slap the poodle. *sigh*
I swore I’d never get a dog as an adult since my mom ran a kind of puppy mill. I had silly nicknames for everyone of those dogs (50 at one point), but at around 13, I stopped crying over dogs dying, as I’d seen too many, naturally, or due to my mom not taking care of them properly. I became numb. 15 years later I wept like a baby as my first pet rat Rizzo gasped her last breaths as she looked into my eyes while I held her.
The dog sleeps in my bed most nights like with the cop in that movie.
Here’s to our animal companions…
Thank you Muff and TNV!
Christ is Risen!
Christ is Risen Indeed!
Death is Defeated!
Amen and hallelujah, Pastor Dread – AMEN AMEN AMEN
Amen! He is Risen Indeed!
Bob1..Thanks for the link to the NYT article. What an incredible quote from Kate Bowler. “We bear all the ruins of the lives we’ve lived and the loves we’ve endured. What a gift to have a Savior who does the same.” The ruins of our lives. The loves we have and still do endure. We bear scars. And so the One Who suffers with us will bear His scars of our ruins forever. Glory unto His Name.
Glad you benefited from it!
This is a big generalization, but Protestants don’t do well with the suffering and the wounds of Christ. To me, this shows that God in Christ completely identifies with us and is present in the midst of our suffering and ruins.
Bob1 Totally. He suffered so much, and He can sympathize with us in our weakness..as written in Hebrews…a High Priest who understands and is there in the midst of our suffering. Thanks be to God.
One a completely unrelated note, do you ever wonder what is the American (Western?) cultural history of people having their Easter dinner consisting of a ham or other pork product? How this is come about?
Don’t get me wrong, I love pork products, especially BACON. But I wonder if it goes back to some sort of “Neener, Neener” taunt to the Jews who are looking for their Messiah.
I’m struggling herebto recall my facts, but would say ab emphatic yes to at least part of your question.
Pork..hmm.. not really.
Easter..Yes totally. Passover is Jewish Lunar. Easter was the current Roman Solar. By design, Jews and Christians could not celebrate on the same day.
The narrative of Jewish/Roman history we get in Sunday sermons is largely untrue. The reality is far more complex. Judea fought two wars against Rome, and Jews partly sided against Rome in two wars with Parthia. The Coluseum was built with Temple loot, and The Arch of Titus celebrated a genocide. Rome struck a plethora of coinage commemorating the decline of Judiaism. This was remarkable considering the favored status of Judiaism, and Hasmonean Judean/Roman diplomatic relations.
I am somewhat familiar with Roman military history, so I know of the Arch of Titus. It is as much as a monument to the Jewish Wars of the 1st Century as the remains of the Roman ramp at Masada and the destruction of the Temple complex (save part of Herod the Great’s retaining wall). The fact that rebellion and partly siding with an enemy nation meant that Rome’s response was devastating.
Remember Masada was considered by many in the ancient world to be unassailable, and the Romans went out their way to show both the Jewish Rebellion (and everyone else) that was NOT the case. Just as much as showcase (and a message) as Caesar’s Rhine bridges.
Esther Acolatse’s two books on spiritual warfare (critique of African pastoral practice and history of Eph 6 interpretation on principalities and powers) are both in Kindle formats now and both have a list price of $3.99.
For Freedom or Bondage?: A Critique of African Pastoral Practices
Powers, Principalities, and the Spirit: Biblical Realism in Africa and the West
I found both of these books to be very good!
CM and Nathan Priddis. Ok, you guys are smart. There’s a lot of really smart people on this blog.
Robert Ewusie Moses’ book Pratices of Power is $5.99 on Kindle. I’ve read some bad, bad books on the topic of powers and principalities in Eph 6 and spiritual warfare. This book is not one of them!
Thanks WTH! Just bought it!
In the various works on spiritual warfare, who is the restraining one? Is it universally the Holy Spirit? Is there s traceable history to identifying him as such?
Ironically it was the persecution of the early Christians (who were mostly Jews who believed Christ was the Messiah) and their forced dispersion away from Jerusalem and Judea that spared them from the destruction of the city and the deaths of hundreds of thousands in the First Jewish-Roman War.
People tend to forget that until the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, they continued to perform animal sacrifices there for the covering of their sins under the OT procedures (which merely were types and shadows anyway). According to the NT, the death of Christ was the final atoning sacrifice. One might say that the 40 or so more years of animal sacrifices was not only unnecessary, but in many ways an abomination to God.
Must be Tuesday ………. Yawn ……..
I will guarantee you that I can end the yawn with a post.
I’ve been busy with medical tests and family crises…my apologies.
It’s also very difficult to write for a “Christian” site these days…the rules of engagement have changed dramatically and they confuse me.
The areas of conflict used to be doctrinal and ethical…now they are political and the passion runs far deeper than it ever did before.
I do not have a passion for politics…
“I do not have a passion for politics.”
That’s why most of us come here, i think, Michael…..
Hope and pray the tests head everything in the right direction now…. Praying for your family crises… They seem to crop up in most of our families!
Just got a haircut – big moral boost as my face, being treated for accumulated sun damage looks like i have a BAD case of chicken pox.
Thank You, Lord
Politicians prove the scriptures “all men are liars.”
Here’s a quiz…the winner gets…a big ‘Attaboy.”
What do Vice President Harris and the Gaithers share in common? Talking about church-related stuff…
All men are liars? Most women are also and we’re better at it….. sigh
Harris and the Gaithers? Successful opportunists? Don’t assocoate Harris with the Faith, tho….
Sometimes i enjoy the Gaithers….
But keep trying!
Answer: Both attended a Church of God (Anderson).
Nathan, that’s a good question! Weirdly, that question has not come up in the first 18 of 51 books I’ve read unless I count Meredith Kline’s Har-Magedon book! He definitely says the Holy Spirit is what restrains but the books that are more officially about spiritual warfare that I’ve read so far don’t address that question you asked because they tend to focus more on Ephesians and Pauline literature (noting that for many contemporary scholars the Thessalonian epistles aren’t even necessarily considered genuinely Pauline).
I’ve got a post with a reading list on diabology/exorcism/spiritual warfare I update from time to time with the read titles in blue font. I’m hoping to eventually blog about some of the better and worse books in the reading list somewhere down the road but this, ahem, not quite the season for that.
And here are links for the Kindle editions of Esther Acolatse’s books
Obviously in Disp Eschatology it’s simply repeated, the Holy Ghost is the restrainer and he’s taken out of the way at the Rapture. But I’ve never heard anyone question how we know this.
Do you have any thoughts about who the restrainer is, and what taken out of the way refers to?
Not at the moment but I can say Meredith Kline was amillenial and an advocate of covenant theology within the Reformed scene so whatever his rationale for the Spirit being the restrainer was it wasn’t based on dispensationalism.
In fact I’m finding that it’s surprisingly rare for scholars to really connect eschatology and spiritual warfare even though as scholars ranging from Graham Twelftree to Amanda Witmer have shown, Jesus was shown as seeing His exorcisms as having eschatological significance, but that’s within academic biblical studies more than pop-level writings and I’ve been leaning more academic than pop-level stuff on the reading list.
I’m also trying to cover the spectra in terms of liberal/conservative, Catholic/Protestant, and East/West if possible (someone recommended I add Andrei Orlov into the reading list and so I have. 18 of 51-57 books is still pretty early into the project, though so maybe I’ll find out more as I go.
Meredith Kline’s take was the Spirit was the restrainer restraining Antichrist powers and principalities from exercising the full range of their powers on the earth to delude and deceive and that at some point that restraint would be removed, which was part of a longer-form argument Kline made against postmillenialism.
What a loser.
Dear Eric Metaxas, the Anti-Vax Messaging You Are Spreading Is Harmful. Sincerely, Two Evangelicals.
I have read some of Meredith Kline. His scholarly work on the ANE (Ancient Near East) suzerain – vassal treaties and how it relates to the Covenants of the OT was renowned. Here is one work in particular:
“Treaty of the Great King: The Covenant Structure of Deuteronomy: Studies and Commentary”
Of course to all the dispies, anything covenant theology-related is like kryptonite.
Eric Metaxas is yet another despicable POS fraud just like David Barton. He is also a chickensh*t thug who decides to hit a biker after the biker insulted him and then ran away like a scared little girl:
If that bike rider was me, I would have beaten the living sh*t of out him and left him for dead. He is also named as defendant in the defamation lawsuit by a Dominion Voting Systems employee.
Interesting that Eric M and evangelicals who are against scientists are both the subject of Christianity Today articles. Below is the link about some scientists are treated in the Body of Christ…
As far as Metaxas is concerned, he’s not being “persecuted” for being a Christian, but for being a “Christian Jerk”. Same with pastor Greg Locke in Tennessee.
And what the flip is with pastors here in the South anyways? Man some people here in the south are really effed up. And I am a conservative!
Also, I have no sympathy for Eric M and the “My Pillow” guy and other’s being the subject of a lawsuit. “Massive fraud” huh? How’z ‘bout some “Massive Litigation”? I remember the pillow guy from a long time ago while living in Minnesota, and he and so many other’s have had their minds polluted by worldly desires and beliefs.
Although I don’t condone a physical altercation, there are times where I too would want to take a swing at people like Metaxas, Locke, etc.
Mainly for this reason:
My farther in law DIED because COVID-19 killed him. No, it wasn’t the flu, or a bad fever. People sometimes a pandemic is just a pandemic (to misquote Freud). No conspiracy, no nefarious Chinese plot. Pandemics have happened before, and they will happen again. I feel truly sorry for those that give their minds over to hysteria, conspiracies, etc.
Dan from GA, so you don’t believe COVID started out in Wuhan (sp?)?
What proof do you have it did?
I’ll say it again, my father-in-law DIED from COVID. Died. Let that be more important that buying into some conspiracy theory.
So sorry about your father in law.
Makes your anger at these charlatans quite understandable.
Gotta wonder how much of this is plain and simple the profit motive, too.
Thank you bob1. Appreciate the appropriate response. Sometime I think in a few cases these guys need to have the attention to get by.
The problem is not that the virus originated in Wuhan, that is fairly well established, but that this was deliberately released as a bio-weapon (one conspiracy) or that the virus itself is a hoax and/or that there is NO virus (another conspiracy – spread mostly by anti-vaxxers and others). Both are equally flawed and there is no evidence to support either one. Sadly many evangelicals have fallen either of these.
Dan from GA,
In regards to scientists getting hostility in their own churches, I am not surprised. This is one reason among many why the “Nones” and the “Dones” are surging in numbers in religion surveys. We have gone from “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” in Mark Noll’s 1994 book to “The Scandal of NO Evangelical Mind” in 25 short years. And The Bottom off this drive off the cliff has not not been reached yet. Evangeliccals as a group will be as irrelevant as the Mainlines before too long. They going full Fundie wrt to science and politics and it shows.
I’ll copy paste this quote and not reinventthewheel. Asia has historybeen a source of plagues down throughthe centuries. It’s just the way pathogens and trade routes work . It’s also normal to view others..Chinese..Irish..ect..lower classes.. as dirty.
“The researchers report in Science that they sussed out the bug’s travel plans by studying 13,000 samples of the virus collected from every continent (except Antarctica) over the past five years. Among their findings: seasonal flu originates in eastern and Southeast Asia. The result broadens previous hypotheses that such viruses emerged in China or exclusively in tropical regions.
In the West, it’s easy to view homes for people, barn for animals. It’s not the case for many. I’ve stayed in a home where poultry came inside every night on their own. After poultry came in, it was ok to lock the door for the night.
Thanks CM, Nathan, bob1, and Em.
Much respect to you all. Working now so can’t chat much or at all rest of the day/evening. I would think one should consider WHY one would spend so much mental energy on conspiracies, and what benefit one gets from believing in conspiracies.
Good information there. Also the bit about barns for animals is also somewhat recent even in the West. In many homes in Europe and in Colonial America in the past, the animals resided at ground level and the people lived upstairs (all in the same building).
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