Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Evangelicals Respond, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Charity teaches us, and other quotes

"Charity teaches us to make the best we can of everybody, and to say nothing of those of whom we can say no good, especially when they are gone. Say nothing but good concerning the dead. We ought to deny ourselves the satisfaction of making personal reflections upon those who have been injurious to us." -- Matthew Henry

"You can pretend to care, but you can't pretend to show up. " -- usually credited to George L. Bell

"In a marriage combat is bad, but conflict can work for good." -- Greg Smalley

"If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one." -- Russian Proverb

"You cannot plow a field by simply turning it over in your mind." -- Unknown

"God’s omniscience is largely an incommunicable attribute." -- Doug Sayers

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." -- George Augustus Moore, in The Brook Kerith

"If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you are." -- James Burke

"It’s nearly impossible to hear a spiritual preacher today. We have “seminaried” the spirit right out of them." -- Jess Alford

"The verbal contest over who is and is not privileged ironically takes place among people who are—all of them—the most privileged ever." -- Bart Barber

Monday, October 16, 2017

Wise choices or "Victim blaming"

Mayim Bialik: Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World -- "Nothing has been a harsher reminder that I work in an industry that profits on the exploitation of women — and not just on screen — than the accusations of Harvey Weinstein as a serial sexual assaulter, particularly of aspiring young actresses."

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and for her efforts to promote "choices...that I think of as self-protecting and wise," actress Mayim Bialik accused instead of blaming the victim. Are we so absorbed in the shame/blame game that "we [must] be naïve about the culture we live in"?

In a satirical mood, the Babylon Bee muses that the Morally Bankrupt Entertainment Industry [Is] Totally Baffled As To How Culture Became Morally Bankrupt.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Feet washing hymns from Zion's Hymns

No. 210, Page 164.
1. Disrobed of all his heavenly dress,
The Saviour came to earth ;
Cloth'd in a veil of mortal flesh,
And bow'd his head in death.

2. That awful night in which, betray'd,
He introduced the feast,
Which we, my friends, have seen display 'd,
Where each has been a guest.

3. The solemn scene about to close,
To make the whole complete,
He meekly from communion rose
And washed his servants' feet.

4. "To each," he said, "let others do,
As I, your Lord, have done;
The heavenly pattern still pursue,
In form as I have shown."

5. Since Christ has the example set,
And left it on record ;
We'll humbly wash each other's feet,
Obedient to his word.

No. 211, Page 165.
1. Jesus, the Lord who groan'd and died,
Arising from communion sweet
Disrobed, his garments laid aside,
And washed the dear disciples' feet

2. "Know you," he said, "what I have done?
Ye call me Lord, and Master too,—
I have you an example shown,
And as I've done, ye ought to do."

3. See, through this robe, that glorious dross,
Which Christ in love laid humbly by:
Clothed in a veil of mortal flesh,
For man to suffer, bleed and die.

4. Was he begirt with napkin round?
Learn hence that Christ the Lord would be,
While here below, a pattern found-
Servant of all, of you, of me!

5. His washing the disciples' feet,
Proclaims his cleansing, healing power ;
His re-assuming all complete,
The great, the grand, triumphant hour.

6. With Christ our pattern thus in view,
While here we hold communion sweet.
As he commands we'll joyful do,
And meekly wash each other's feet.

From Zion's Hymns by Rufus K. Hearn; Joseph S. Bell; Randolph, Jesse Falkland: Pitt County, NC, 1867.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Old Prospect, October 20-22

Old Prospect Baptist Church will have a weekend meeting, Friday October 20, Saturday October 21, and Sunday October 22, Lord willing.

John 1:46 Come and see.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

All uninspired writings are liable to contain error

The Scriptures accompanied by the aids of the Holy Spirit are the only source, which the servant of God can derive or desire that instruction which is requisite to qualify him for teaching the great truths of all uninspired writings are liable to contain error, though the productions of pious men, they should be consulted with great caution, lest errors be imbibed with case one wishes to consult any of these helps on any significant point, he should first examine the Scripture thereon, carefully comparing Scripture with Scripture, and thus get as good understanding upon it as possible himself, unaided by any other book other than the Bible. He will then be prepared to read to advantage men's views; and will know far better to receive his truth and reject his error...the establishment of a Theological School which shall require any given amount of knowledge to be acquired, and any specific length of time, to be spent in Biblical studies, will not tend to promote the scriptural prosperity of the connection. 
-- "Proceedings of the Freewill Baptist Convention," Acton Maine, January 15, 1840

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Leaven and its Parable

Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

I have been greatly influenced by the idea that the use of leaven as a symbol is a type of sin and/or always has a connotation of evil. The argument seems to be that leaven is used “consistently and unanimously” in Scripture this way. For example J. Vernon McGee, a teacher I often listened to on the radio, says, “Nowhere is leaven used as a principle of good; it is always a principle of evil.” Many have been influenced in this direction by the Scofield Reference Bible notes.
4. Summary: (1) Leaven, as a symbolic or typical substance, is always mentioned in the O. T. in an evil sense (Gen 19. 3, refs.). (2) The use of the word in the N. T. explains its symbolic meaning. It is “malice and wickedness,” as contrasted with “sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5. 6-8). It is evil doctrine (Mt. 16. 12) in its threefold form of Pharisaism, Sadduceeism, and Herodianism (Mt. 16. 6; Mk. 8. 15). The leaven of the Pharisees was externalism in religion (Mt. 23. 14, 16, 23-28); of the Sadducees, scepticism as to the supernatural and as to the Scriptures (Mt. 22. 23, 29); of the Herodians, worldliness—a Herod party amongst the Jews (Mt. 22. 16-21; Mk. 3. 6).  (3) The use of the word in Mt. 13. 33 is congruous with its universal meaning.[i]
The influence of leaven most often refers to a principle of evil, but is not inherently so. According to “Leaven” is “a substance that causes fermentation and expansion of dough.” It is a natural process that is neither good nor evil. Leaven’s diffusive properties – which start sparsely or slowly and spread widely – are the focal point of its use as a symbol, rather some innate evil. The influence may be either “good” or “evil.” (Those who regularly eat leavened bread apparently think it is a natural good!) Older commentators seem to recognize that it is most often used to symbolize evil, but may also symbolize good. John Gill writes, of Matthew 13:33, “…here it seems to be taken in a good sense, and the Gospel to be compared unto it; nor for its disagreeable qualities, but on account of its small quantity.” Matthew Henry says “…the preaching of the gospel is like leaven” and Albert Barnes thinks “This [parable] states the ‘way’ or ‘mode’ in which [the spread of the gospel] would be done.”

The “always evil” view of leaven ignores a few exceptions to the supposed rule.  For example, in contradiction to what many think, leaven was used with some offerings. It was offered with a thank offering (Leviticus 7:13; Amos 4:5) and offered with a wave offering (Leviticus 23:17; Numbers 15:18-21 may also refer to an offering containing leaven).

If leaven is not always a principle of evil, then we need to reconsider the interpretation of Matthew 13:33 that is based on that fact and commonly heard in our churches.[ii] Perhaps we need to reconsider the older “gospel influence” interpretation also. Ultimately, we end up with two main and very opposite allegorical interpretations. First, the leaven is good (the kingdom or the church or the gospel) and is inserted into the meal, which is the world. This is the “good” interpretation. Second, the leaven is evil and is inserted into the meal, which is the kingdom of God (or the church or the gospel). This is the “bad” interpretation. In either case, the parable says the whole is leavened, so that the difference between the leaven and the dough is imperceptible. Neither of these interpretations fit the general tenor of Scripture.

Rather than trying to make the parable “walk on all fours,”[iii] why not let the story itself be the point? The woman is a woman, the leaven is leaven, and the meal is meal. This is a familiar household story of a woman baking bread, preparing it beforehand with the kneading in of the leaven (rising agent) into the dough and waiting for it to take effect. There is a beginning and an ending, with a period of waiting in between. The coming of the kingdom of God acts out over a period of time – “till the whole was leavened.”

[i] Note 4, on Matthew 13:33 – The Holy Bible, Scofield Reference Bible, C. I. Scofield, editor, New York, NY: Oxford University Press 1909/1945, p. 1016. Leaven (chametz) is referenced in 18 verses in the Old Testament, and leaven (zume) is referenced in 13 verses in the New Testament.
[ii] For example, J. R. Graves: “…this parable…prophetically teaches us that a power inimical to Christ would corrupt the pure gospel of Christ by stealthily introducing soul-destroying error into it, until the whole was leavened.” (The Parables and Prophecies of Christ Explained, J. R. Graves, Texarkana, TX: Baptist Sunday School Committee, 1887/1928 reprint, p. 57)
[iii] Making a parable “walk on all fours” means insisting that every detail of the story finds some allegorical interpretation -- such as, the woman is the church, the leaven is the gospel, the meal is the world, and the leavening action is the working of the gospel in the world. Every detail of a parable doesn’t have to have a precise point beyond supporting the basic meaning of the story itself.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Declaring the end from the beginning

Isaiah 46:9-10 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

The Scriptures teach that God knows all things, and from eternity knows what He knows (1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 139:1-6; Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 46:9-10; John 2:24–25; 1 John 3:20). Because man is finite and God’s omniscience is inscrutable, men often draw back from such knowledge. With David let us be satisfied that “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” May we never seek to explain away God’s infinite and eternal knowledge.

For those who wish to redefine things that our minds can’t comprehend, there are passages available. For example, God brought the animals he created unto Adam “to see what he would call them” (Genesis 2:19). Through an angel God told Abraham “now I know that thou fearest God,” after Abraham offered Isaac his son (Genesis 22:12). God seemed to not know what Adam would name the animals. God seemed to not know how Abraham would respond when he commanded him to offer Isaac. How do we interpret and understand such texts?

The inspired Scripture describes God as all-knowing, an attribute we theologically label omniscience. It extends that knowledge not only to the past and present, but also to the future. First, it is wise to notice that the first passages listed above (Psalm 139:1-6; Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 46:9-10; et al.) are clearly fashioned to teach about the extent of God’s knowledge. These come from an eternal perspective. There are no “ifs,” no contingencies, no questions, no uncertainties. The next passages (Genesis 2:19; Genesis 22:12) are embedded in narratives of God’s dealings with Adam and Abraham. They are not designed to speak specifically to God’s eternal attribute of knowledge, but to narrate how God interacts with these men. Here God steps “into time” and deals with man on his level. From man’s standpoint there are “ifs,” contingencies, questions, and uncertainties. Some might prefer the term “anthropomorphism” – ascribing human attributes to God – to describe or understand these texts. When eternal omniscient God deals with temporal finite mankind, he must accommodate his speech and actions to their level. It is unnecessary to hedge that God’s knowledge is somehow bound by the decisions of men and the outcomes of events in time and space.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”

Monday, October 09, 2017

American Values, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Spurgeon Comments

Do not needlessly amend our authorized version. It is faulty in many places, but still it is a grand work taking it for all in all, and it is unwise to be making every old lady distrust the only Bible she can get at, or what is more likely, mistrust you for falling out with her cherished treasure. Correct where correction must be for truth's sake, but never for the vainglorious display of your critical ability. 
Commenting and Commentaries, 1876, p. 31
A genuine fragment of inspired Scripture has been dropped by our older translators, and it is too precious to be lost. Did not our Lord say, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost”? The half lost portion of our text is restored to us in the Revised Version. Never did a translation of the New Testament fail more completely than this Revised Version has done as a book for general reading, but as an assistant to the student it deserves honorable mention, despite its faults. It exhibits here and there special beauties, and has, no doubt, in certain places brought into notice words of sacred Scripture which had fallen out; we have a notable instance in my present text.
“And We Are”: A Jewel from the Revised Version (July 19, 1885)

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Model Church

The Model Church by John Henry Yates

1. Well, wife, I’ve found the model church,
And worshipped there today;
It made me think of good old times,
Before my hair was gray;
The meeting house was finer built
Than they were years ago,
But then I found when I went in,
It was not built for show.

2. The sexton did not set me down
Away back by the door;
He knew that I was old and deaf,
And saw that I was poor;
He must have been a Christian man,
He led me boldly through
The crowded aisle of that grand church,
To find a pleasant pew.

3. I wish you’d heard the singing, wife,
It had the old-time ring;
The preacher said with trumpet voice,
Let all the people sing:
Old Coronation was the tune;
The music upward rolled
Until I tho’t the angel choir
Struck all their harps of gold.

4. My deafness seemed to melt away,
My spirit caught the fire;
I joined my feeble, trembling voice
With that melodious choir;
And sang as in my youthful days,
Let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem
And crown Him Lord of all.

5. I tell you, wife, it did me good
To sing that hymn once more;
I felt like some wrecked mariner
Who gets a glimpse of shore;
I almost want to lay aside
This weather beaten form,
And anchor in the blessèd port,
Forever from the storm.

6. ’Twas not a flowery sermon, wife,
But simple gospel truth;
It fitted humble men like me;
It suited hopeful youth;
To win immortal souls to Christ,
The earnest preacher tried;
He talked not of himself, or creed,
But Jesus crucified.

7. Dear wife, the toil will soon be o’er,
The vict’ry soon be won;
The shining land is just ahead,
Our race is nearly run;
We’re nearing Canaan’s happy shore,
Our home so bright and fair;
Thank God, we’ll never sin again,
There’ll be no sorrow there.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Articles of Faith of the Texas Free Will Baptist Association, 1894-1944

Below are the five Articles of Faith of the Texas Free Will Baptist Association, 1894-1944 (available range of minutes that I have). These appear on pages 10-11 of the 1894 minute and pages 12 and 13 of the 1944 minutes. There are no real or obvious differences other than what seem to be punctuation and typesetting.[i] The Association is now known as the East Texas District Association. It was organized in 1878.

  Of God.—Article 1. There is one God and Mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in good time.
  Of Free Will.—Article 2.  We believe that the human will is free, and that all who have heard and who have learned of the Father have the ability to accept or reject the conditions of salvation.
  Of Baptism.—Article 3. Mode—And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water.—Matt. 3.
  And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized of John in Jordan.—Mark 1:9.
  Buried with Him in baptism, wherein ye are also risen with Him through faith of the operation of God who hath raised Him from the dead.—Col. 2:12
  We are buried with Him in baptism, into death, that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.—Rom. 6:4-5.
  For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.—Col. 3:3.
  Subjects—Go ye therefore and teach all nations—Matt. 28:19.
  Then they that gladly received His word were baptized—Acts 2:41.
  And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in the house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.—Acts 16:32-34.
  If thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest.—Acts 8:37-39.
  Object—The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us (not putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.—1 Peter 3:21.
  The Lord’s Supper.—Article 4. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.—1 Cor. 11:28.
  This done in remembrance of Me.—Luke 22:19.
  The Bible.—Article 5. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.—2 Tim. 3:16.

In addition to the “Articles of Faith,” the minutes also include the “Constitution,” “Church Decorum,” and “Government and Ordinances” statements. An interesting change from 1894 to 1944 is the 29th statement of the “Church Decorum.”[ii] 1894: “Feet washing shall be attended to as the church seems proper.” 1944: “If consciences of any are tender on the subject of feet-washing in any Church, they shall not be molested if they see fit to practice it.”

[i] For example, Art. 2 in 1894 is Article 2 in 1944; “The Lord’s Supper” and “The Bible” in 1944 are in regular style, but in 1894 in small caps; II Tim, iii, 16v. in 1894 is 2 Tim. 3:16 in 1944. I have merged the two styles with (hopefully) no loss of clarity.
[ii] The change was made sometime between 1894 and 1913. I do not have access to any intervening minutes.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

An Abstract of the Former Articles of Faith...

An Abstract of the Former Articles of Faith Confessed by the Original Baptist Church Holding the Doctrine of General Provision with a Proper Code of Discipline

This Abstract of the Former Articles of Faith is now often referred to as the “1812 Former Articles” because it originated in 1812. At a general conference in Green County, North Carolina in November 1812, Elders James Roach and Jesse Heath were appointed to revise and reprint the former confession of faith. This document was a forerunner of the current Free Will Baptist Articles of Faith. In contrast, this 1812 document teaches final perseverance in grace rather than the possibility of apostasy.

1. We believe that there is but one living, true and eternal God: the Father of whom are all things from everlasting to everlasting, glorious and immutable in all his attributes. I Cor. viii, 6; Isa. xl, 28.

2. We believe that there is one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, the only begotten son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, whom God freely sent into this world, because of the love wherewith he loved loved the world, and Christ as freely gave himself a ransom for all, tasting death for every man; who was buried and rose again the third day and ascended into Heaven, from whence we look for him, the second time in the clouds of Heaven, at the last day to judge both the quick and the dead. I Tim. ii, 6 and 8; Rev. i, 7; Acts xxiv, 15.

3. We believe that there is one Holy Ghost the precious gift of the Father, through his dear Son unto the world, who quickeneth and draws sinners home to God. John xvi, 7 and 8; Acts ii, 4; Eph. iv. 4, 5, 6.

4. We believe that in the beginning God made man upright and placed him in a state of glory without the least mixture of misery from which he voluntarily by transgression fell, and by that means brought on himself, a miserable and mortal state, subject to death. Gen. ii. 17, & iii. 17, 18, 19

5. We believe that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and the knowledge of the truth, that they might be saved; for which end Christ hath Commanded the Gospel to be preached among all nations, to every creature. Mark xvi, 15; Luke xxiv, 47.

6. We believe that no man shall suffer in hell, for want of a Christ that died for him, but as scripture has said, for denying the lord that bought them; because they believe not in the name of the only begotten son of God. Unbelief therefore being the cause why the just and righteous God of Heaven will condemn the children of men, it follows against all contradiction, that all men at one time or another, is found in such as capacity as that through the grace of God, may be eternally saved. II Peter ii, 1; John i, 17; Acts xvii, 30; Mark vi, 6; Heb. iii, 10; I John v, 10.

7. We believe the whole Scriptures are infallibly true, and that they are the only rule of faith and practice.

8. We believe in the doctrine of general Provision made of God in Christ, for the benefit of all mankind, who repent and believe the Gospel. Luke xiv. 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20; Mat. xxviii. 18, 10.

9. We believe that sinners are drawn to God the Father, by the Holy Ghost, through Christ, his son, and that the Holy Ghost offers his divine aid to all the human family, so as they all might be happy; would they give place to his divine teaching; whereas such who do not receive the divine impressions of the holy spirit, shall at a future day, own their condemnation just, and charge themselves with their own damnation, for wilfully rejecting the offers of sovereign grace. Mat. xi, 27; John vi, 44 and 66; Psalms l, 1; Titus ii, 11 and 12; Jer. xxii, 29.

10. We believe that the Saints shall persevere in grace, and never finally fall away. John x. 27, 28 and 29.

11. We believe that God hath before the foundation of the world, chosen or elected unto Eternal life, such as believe in Christ; yet confident we are, that the purpose of God according to election was not in the least arising from any foreseen faith or righteousness done by the creature, but only by the mercy, goodness, and compassion, dwelling in God towards the creature, and so it is of him that calleth, whose purity cannot admit of any unclean person or thing in his presence. Therefore his decree of mercy, reaches only the Godly man; whom saith David, the Lord hath set apart for himself. John iii, 16; Rom. ix; Psalms iv, 3.

12. We believe that men, not considered simply as men, but ungodly men were of old, ordained to condemnation, considered such who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness, denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ that bought them; and therefore shall bring upon themselves swift destruction: but we observe that they and such the Apostle saith, because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved; therefore the indignation and wrath of God is upon every soul of man that doth evil, living and dying therein; for there is no respect of persons with God. Jude i, 4; II Peter ii, 1; II Thes. ii. 10, 11, 12; Romans ii, 9.

13. We believe that all children, dying in infancy, having not actually transgressed against the law of God in their own person, are only subject to the first death which was brought on them by the fall of the first Adam, and not that any one of them dying in that state, shall suffer punishment in Hell by guilt of Adam’s sin, for of such is the kingdom of God. I Cor. xv, 22; Mat. xviii. 2,3,4 and 5; Mark ix. 36 and 37; Mat. xix, 14.

14. We believe that good works are the fruits of a saving faith, and that in the use of the means of the grace, and not out of the use of those means, eternal life is promised to men. Rev. xxii, 14 and 15; Isa. i. 19 and 20; Matt. vii, 7 and 8;  Jer. vi, 16; Luke xiii, 34 and 35.

15. We believe that no man has any warrant in the holy scriptures, for justification before God through his own works, power or ability, which he has in and of himself, only as he by Grace is made able to come to God, through Jesus Christ; believing the righteousness of Jesus Christ to be imputed to all believers for their eternal acceptance with God. Rom. vi, 24; Jer. xxii, 16.

16. We believe that all things are foreseen in the wisdom of God, so that God knoweth whatsoever can or cannot come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet not as having decreed any person to eternal death or everlasting life, out of respect of mere choice, farther that He hath appointed the Godly unto life, and the Ungodly, who die in sin unto death. Heb. iv, 13; Prov. viii, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 & 31; Matt. xxv, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 & 46.

17. We believe as touching Gospel ordinances in believers Baptism, laying on of hands, receiving of the sacraments in bread and wine, washing the saints feet, anointing the sick with oil in the name of the Lord, fasting, praying, singing praises to God, and the public Ministry of the word, with every institution of the Lord that we shall find in the New Testament. Luke xxii, 19 and 20; John xxiii, 8th down to the 17th; James v, 14.

18. We believe that the Gospel mode of Baptism is by immersion, and that believers are the only subjects for Baptism. Mat. iii, 8 and 16; Mark i, 5 and 10; Acts viii, 38 and 39; Romans vi, 4; Heb. x. 22.

19. We believe in a general resurrection of the dead and final judgment at the last day.  John v, 28 and 29; Revelation 20:4-6, II Cor. v, 10.

20. We believe the happiness of the righteous are Eternal, and the torments of the wicked are endless. Matthew xxv, 46.

In The Free Will Baptists in History, author William F. Davidson compares the Abstract to the 1660 Standard Confession (pp. 91-99), effectively showing the Abstract’s basis in the Standard Confession. In A History of Original Free Will Baptists, Michael R. Pelt also briefly discusses the Abstract.

This was transcribed from a photocopy of an original printing graciously provided by the Welch College, comparing the articles as referenced by Davidson in his book, and a transcribed copy made by Ronald Creech in 1962.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Free Will Baptist historical materials online

Listed below are some Free Will Baptist historical materials that I found online.

Monday, October 02, 2017

The Mystery. Why Me? Who am I?

Why Me, Lord? By Kris Kristofferson
Why me, Lord, what have I ever done
To deserve even one
Of the pleasures I’ve known?
Tell me, Lord, what did I ever do
That was worth loving you
Or the kindness you’ve shown?

Who Am I? By John Mark Hall
Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are.

The Wonder. By ?[i]
O ‘tis a glorious mystery,
That I should ever saved be —
‘tis a wonder, wonder, wonder!

Praise God from whom all blessing flow!

[i] Credited to a “Rev. Hollyday” in some sources, but uncredited in its first known appearance in A Collection of Hymns, for the Use of Christians, by Elias Smith and Abner Jones, 1804.

A Sweet Psalm by a Sweet Psalmist

As everyone knows, the Psalm specially devoted to the Law is 119, the longest in the whole collection. And everyone has probably noticed that from the literary or technical point of view, it is the most formal and elaborate of them all. The technique consists in taking a series of words which are all, for purposes of this poem, more or less synonyms (word, statutes, commandments, testimonies, etc.), and ringing the changes on them through each of its eight-verse sections — which themselves correspond to the letters of the alphabet. (This may have given an ancient ear something of the same sort of pleasure we get from the Italian metre called the Sestina, where instead of rhymes we have the same end words repeated in varying orders in each stanza.) In other words, this poem is not, and does not pretend to be, a sudden outpouring of the heart like, say, Psalm 18. It is a pattern, a thing done like embroidery, stitch by stitch, through long, quiet hours, for love of the subject and for the delight in leisurely, disciplined craftsmanship. 
C.S. Lewis in ‘Sweeter Than Honey,’ from Reflections on the Psalms (1958) 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

What does Genesis 4:26 mean?

Genesis 4:26 says, “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” (KJV)

What does it mean when it says men began “to call upon the name of the Lord {YHWH}.” One of my Bible margins has “call upon themselves the name of the Lord” or “call themselves by the name of the Lord.” One of my former pastors who was an instructor in Old Testament in Bible College thought that Genesis 4:26 had that connotation. Does this idea have merit? It doesn’t seem that any translation committee has been willing to translate it that way (although The Living Bible paraphrase gives “When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. It was during his lifetime that men first began to call themselves ‘the Lord’s people’.”

ASV: And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh. Then began men to call upon the name of Jehovah.
JPS Tanakh 1917: And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh; then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
NIV: Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on[a] the name of the Lord. [Footnote: Or to proclaim]
RV 1884: And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
YLT: And to Seth, to him also a son hath been born, and he calleth his name Enos; then a beginning was made of preaching in the name of Jehovah.
כו  וּלְשֵׁת גַּם-הוּא יֻלַּד-בֵּן, וַיִּקְרָא אֶת-שְׁמוֹ אֱנוֹשׁ; אָז הוּחַל, לִקְרֹא בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה.  {ס}

Bishop Ellicott writes, “That is, the notion of Divinity began now to be attached to this name, and even in their worship men called upon God as Jehovah.” (See BibleHub.) This may represent the majority view. On the other hand, there are those who support the “call themselves by” view.

Gill: the words may be rendered: “then began men to call themselves,” or “to be called by the name of the Lord”
Benson Commentary: “2nd, The worshippers of God began to distinguish themselves: so the margin reads it. Then began men to be called by the name of the Lord — or, to call themselves by it. Now Cain and those that had deserted religion had built a city, and begun to declare for irreligion, and called themselves the sons of men. Those that adhered to God began to declare for him and his worship, and called themselves the sons of God.”
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary: “26. men began to call upon the name of the Lord—rather, by the name of the Lord.”

What think ye? What does “men [began] to call upon the name of the Lord” mean in Genesis 4:26?

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Taste of Texas, History

Linked below are online issues of Texas Baptist History, the Journal of the Texas Baptist Historical Society, some better than others.
If you would like to add information on your church to the Texas Baptist Historical Collection, use the Church History Survey Form.

If you would like to add information on a person to the Texas Baptist Historical Collection, use the Baptist Biography Form.

Stranger things have happened

Speaking of a statue of Robert E. Lee, Baptist historian Brent Aucoin said, “I just find it strange to venerate someone who waged war against our country.” Strange it may be, but not unique: George Washington in Trafalgar Square, England.

Another picture

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Have you ever hear of “Sneak-a-Preach”? I had never heard the term until recently. Searching online, I found there is even a song with that name (not much info otherwise). Though I had not previously heard the terminology, I have seen and heard what the term describes.

“Sneak-a-Preach” is when someone inserts a sermon, albeit a mini-one, into something that is not a sermon. Preachers are usually, though not always, the guilty parties. Usually, though not necessarily, this occurs during a prayer. Instead of praying, the person uses it as a venue to preach under the guise of prayer. 

Ever heard this done? Ever heard this term to describe it? 

Dear churches, you’re killing yourselves, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.