“If we’re not ready to die, we’re not ready to live.” -- Gary Chapman
Saturday, April 17, 2021
“If we’re not ready to die, we’re not ready to live.” -- Gary Chapman
Friday, April 16, 2021
In connection with the Pharisees
- They were also religious leaders, Acts 4:1, Acts 5:17
- They spuriously came to John’s baptism, Matthew 3:7
- They tempted Jesus for a sign, Matthew 16:1
- They espoused religious leaven, Matthew 16:6, 11-12
- They denied the resurrection, Matthew 22:23, Mark 12:18, Luke 20:27
- They denied angels and spirits, Acts 23:6-8
- They filled the high priestly offices, Acts 5:17
The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
The Sadducees make a phony inquiry. They did not believe in the resurrection, yet posed a fanciful question based on harmonizing the law of levirate marriage with the resurrection.[i] Their assumption was that Jesus would be confused by and unable to answer the question.
The Sadducees provide a legal foundation for their query, “Moses said or wrote.” These instructions may be found in Deuteronomy 25:5-6. History indicates the practice existed before the law (Genesis 38:6-10). The appeal to Moses would strike fear into the average person, but Jesus is great than Moses!
Jesus gives an unexpected answer. Their question is fictional in their own minds, and in truth! They err both in understanding the scriptures and the power of God (cf. Hosea 4:6). “In the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage.” God has the power to resurrect, but marriage is irrelevant in the resurrection.
[i] The levirate marriage preserved the name and inheritance of a man who died childless. “Levirate” comes from the Latin word levir, meaning a husband’s brother, or brother-in-law. Despite its sound, the word is unrelated to the tribe of Levi, or their ancestor. https://www.lexico.com/definition/levirate | https://www.yourdictionary.com/levir
Thursday, April 15, 2021
- Dumb, noun or adjective. Offensive. Of a person incapable of or lacking the faculty of speech.
- Mute, noun or adjective. Dated, offensive. Of a person incapable of lacking the faculty of speech.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
- 3 Reasons I Changed My Mind About Penal Substitution -- “O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!”
- 72% of Americans Favor Requiring Photo ID to Vote, AP Survey Finds -- “Even 56% of Democrats support requiring photo IDs – despite their party’s push to greatly diminish validation of voter eligibility via its “For the People Act” (H.R. 1).”
- 73% of Blacks Say Photo I.D. Voter Requirement Needed to Ensure Fair Elections -- “Rasmussen asked: Are laws requiring voters to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote necessary to ‘a fair and secure election process’?”
- Cal Thomas Has the One Video Each Juror Needs to See Before Deciding on the Floyd Case -- “The entire video — which you can see here — has been analyzed by George Parry, who was chief of the Police Brutality/Misconduct Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office from 1978 to 1983.”
- From Y’all To Youse: 8 English Ways to Make “You” Plural -- “In fact, English speakers have come up with a bunch of words for plural ‘you.’ Snooty grammar teachers might not like them, but they get the job done.”
- Is Debt Still Slavery? -- “What is the alternative to borrowing? It can be summed up in one word: contentment.”
- Manchin opposes House gun safety bills, underscoring Democratic divide over gun control -- “Manchin’s opposition underscores a major divide among Democrats over how to tackle gun control – a key priority for their voters – even as the party now controls Congress and the White House...”
- The Command to Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness -- “It’s not just what scripture teaches on worship. This is a commanded aspect of worship.”
- The meaning behind the Vice President’s laugh -- “This is not the first time we’ve seen Kamala laugh uncontrollably and inappropriately. A few more examples show that it’s a go-to behavior for her.”
- Turin Methodist, Org. 1828, Coweta County -- “The church prospered and the decision was made in 1886 to relocate to the town of Turin, located nearby. The name of the church was changed from Tranquil to Turin at that time.”
- US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports -- “In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating clots in six women that occurred in the days after vaccination.”
- Whataburger gives staff $90 million in thank-you bonuses “The Whataburger quick-service chain has rewarded its employees for persevering through a difficult year by distributing $90 million in thank-you bonuses, above and beyond its usual financial rewards.”
- What about Unmarked Graves? -- “Check the death certificate. Read the obituary. Call the cemetery manager.”
- What Is an Interlinear Bible? -- “An interlinear Bible is not a translation. It is a tool that helps identify Greek and Hebrew words with their English translation.”
- Why Read the Bible? An Excellent Question for the Modern Age -- “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
- Yep, Christians Should Go to Church -- “Christians should go to church. But let us not be so naive as to ignore that a day may be coming when “church” doesn’t look like it does today.”
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Before he ascended back into heaven, Jesus commanded his disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). After this, in about ten days’ time, the apostles baptized the first of their converts. Luke mentions “in the name of Jesus Christ,” (Acts 2:38, for example) but not “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
Does the Lord’s command in Matthew 28:19 demand that a specific “formula” be spoken at the time of baptism? Must the administrator of baptism speak certain words in an exacting way in order for the immersion to be scripturally valid? Did the disciples carry out Christ’s command of Matthew 28:19?
Mentions in the book of Acts
- Acts 2:38 be baptized...in the name of Jesus Christ
- Acts 2:38 baptistheto ekastos humon epi to onomati Iesou Christou
- Acts 8:16 they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus
- Acts 8:16 bebaptismenoi huperchon eis to onoma tou Kuriou Iesou
- Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord
- Acts 10:48 baptisthenai en to onomati tou Kuriou
- Acts 19:5 they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus
- Acts 19:5 ebaptisthesan eis to onoma tou Kuriou Iesou
- Acts 8:37-38 I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God...and he baptized him.
- Acts 22:16 arise, and be baptized… calling on the name of the Lord.
- Romans 6:3 baptized into Jesus Christ
- 1 Corinthians 1:13, 15 …were ye baptized in the name of Paul?...lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
- Galatians 3:27 baptized into Christ
The Didache (an early writing similar to a “church manual”) in 7:4 says, “But concerning the baptism [immersion], thus immerse; having stated all these things, immerse into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” [i]
Tertullian, writing “Against Praxeas, Chapter 26” circa AD 216, said, “After His resurrection He promises in a pledge to His disciples that He will send them the promise of His Father; and lastly, He commands them to baptize into the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, not into a unipersonal God.”[ii]
Cyprian of Carthage (Epistle 72:18, circa AD 253) also invokes baptism under the Trinitarian formula, writing, “Finally, when, after the resurrection, the apostles are sent by the Lord to the heathens, they are bidden to baptize the Gentiles in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…Christ Himself commands the heathen to be baptized in the full and united Trinity?”[iii]
Intriguingly, in Summa Theologicae (circa AD 1265–1274), Thomas Aquinas argued that “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” was the suitable form of baptism and that “in the name of Jesus” was only valid in the primitive church: “It was by a special revelation from Christ that in the primitive church the apostles baptized in the name of Christ.”
The 1644 London Baptist Confession does not mention the formula of names used in baptism. The Standard Confession of 1660 advised “to Baptise (that is in English to Dip) in the name of the Father, Son, and holy Spirit, or in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” However, the more influential London Baptist Confession of 1689 and Philadelphia Confession of Faith of 1742 assert, “The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
The New Hampshire Confession of Faith of 1833, once in widespread use in the United States, declares, “We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost.”
Some denominational groups, such as the United Pentecostal movement, use the Acts passages as a baptismal formula – that is, the words spoken when baptizing a person. United Pentecostals are Unitarians rather than Trinitarians, so that the “Trinitarian formula” of Matthew 28:19 is inimical to their theology. To them, “Jesus Christ” is the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. E. W. Bullinger, an ultra-dispensationalist theologian who finds the origin of the church after the end of the book of Acts, believes there are two different formulas. In Matthew 28:19-20 he finds “the commission of the Jewish ministry at the end of this age” and then “the baptism ‘in’ or ‘into’ the name of the Lord Jesus in Acts, &c, was the continuation of John’s baptism for a while, i.e. during the transitional period of Acts until the mystery was openly revealed and fully proclaimed. Then, the baptism of Eph. 4:5 supervened and still maintains.”[iv]
Some views of “the baptismal formula”
- “In the name of” means “by authority of” (as in, “Stop, in the name of the law!”)
- Baptism “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost” and “in the name of Jesus” mean the same thing. Both/either is valid.
- Only baptism when the administrator says “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” is valid.
- Only baptism when the administrator says “In the name of Jesus” is valid. “When Jesus said to baptize ‘In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,’ he was referring to his own name.”
- The formula, or words spoken, should (or may) combine both ideas, such as, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, and into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
[ii] Tertullian advocated “trine immersion,” continuing, “And indeed it is not once only, but three times, that we are immersed into the Three Persons, at each several mention of their names.”
[iii] Cyprian seems to hold baptism as a means of salvation: “How, then, do some say, that a Gentile baptized without, outside the Church, yea, and in opposition to the Church, so that it be only in the name of Jesus Christ, everywhere, and in whatever manner, can obtain remission of sin…”
[iv] Bullinger, “The Formulae of Baptism in Acts and the Epistles (in relation to Matt. 28:19, 20),” in The Companion Bible, Appendix 185, p. 206.
Monday, April 12, 2021
- bimble, verb. (intransitive) To move at a leisurely pace, esp. on foot; to amble, wander.
- blower, noun. (British, informal) A telephone.
- cakelet, noun. A small cake.
- chreia, noun. A succinct anecdote embedding a pointed saying, so called because designed for use in rhetoric.
- corrupt, noun. Having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain; Evil or morally depraved; (of organic or inorganic matter) in a state of decay; rotten or putrid.
- dia duit, interjection. God be with you (Irish greeting, equal to America’s hello).
- mackintosh, noun. A raincoat; a lightweight, waterproof fabric that was originally of rubberized wool or cotton; a garment, particularly an overcoat or cloak, rendered water-proof by a solution of India-rubber; rubber cloth of the kind used in making a mackintosh.
- misotheist, noun. A person who express misotheism, a dislike or hatred of God or gods.
- nonce, adjective. (of a word or expression) Coined for or used on one occasion.
- pakamac, noun. A lightweight mackintosh that can be folded up into a small pack when not in use.
- parish pumpery, noun. Concern with local matters exclusively, parochialism; (also) people having such concerns collectively (rare).
- risible, adjective. Provoking laughter through being ludicrous.
- tabor, noun. A small drum formerly used to accompany oneself on a pipe or fife.
- whinge, verb. To complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way.
- wimble, noun. A device used especially in mining for extracting the rubbish from a bored hole; any of various other instruments for boring. (verb) To bore or perforate with or as if with a wimble.
Until recently, most people in traditionally Christian countries lived in the linguistic and imaginative world of the Bible. It was not the only world in which they dwelt...Yet the text above all texts was the Bible. Its stories, images, conceptual patterns, and turns of phrase permeated the culture from top to bottom. This was true even for illiterates and those who did not go to church, for knowledge of the Bible was transmitted not only directly by its reading, hearing, and ritual enactment, but also indirectly by an interwoven net of intellectual, literary, artistic, folkloric, and proverbial traditions...George Lindbeck, late Yale University professor
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Look on him whom they pierced and mourn.
Behold my bleeding Lord!
Hell and the Jews conspired his death,
And used the Roman sword.
2. O! the sharp pangs of smarting pain
My dear Redeemer bore,
When knotty whips and jagged thorns
His sacred body tore!
3. But knotty whips and jagged thorns
In vain do I accuse;
In vain I blame the Roman bands,
And the more spiteful Jews.
4. ’Twere you, my sins, my cruel sins,
His chief tormentors were;
Each of my crimes became a nail,
And unbelief the spear.
5. ’Twere you that pulled the vengeance down
Upon his guiltless head;
Break, break my heart,—O burst mine eyes,
And let my sorrows bleed.
6. Strike, mighty grace, my flinty soul,
Till melting waters flow,
And deep repentance drown mine eyes
In undissembled woe!
This hymn came to my attention through a writing by Gilbert Beebe on the “Spirits in Prison, I Peter 3:18-20” (Elder Gilbert Beebe, Editorials Volume 5, pages 23-32). He mentioned stanzas three and four. I found the full hymn in A Selection of Psalms and Hymns from Various Authors (Henry Mead, London: Robert Hindmarsh, 1795).
Saturday, April 10, 2021
“You are a lot worse than you think you are.” -- Jack Miller
“Christ’s temptations were all of them sinless, but very many of the temptations of fallen man are sinful: that is, they are the hankering and solicitation of forbidden and wicked desire. The desire to steal, to commit adultery, to murder, is sinful, and whoever is tempted by it to the act of theft, or adultery, or murder, is sinfully tempted.” -- W. G. T. Shedd
“And in nothing the sinfulness of sin appears more than this, that it hides all it can, the knowledge of itself.” -- Richard Sibbes