Monday, November 30, 2020

Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, 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.

The pangs of conscience

The grief the “transgender” feels from disapproval is the right feeling. He needs to abhor his sin. This is what David felt when he committed adultery. The pangs of conscience are good. It’s like the pain someone feels when he touches a hot stove, telling him not to do that. The conscience is an internal warning device. “Coming to the aid” of someone who is hurting over disapproval of a righteous confrontation just shuts down the properly working conscience. This person is learning not to listen. He or she is not swift to hear. In other word, the person is being truly hurt, hurt in an actual way, harmed eternally, and this is not love. This is not love. It is hatred. The people being given credit for love are hateful people. What I’m writing here is very important. This is some of the worst kind of deceit that there is in the world. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

O give thanks unto the Lord

The hymn below is taken from the paraphrase of Psalm 106 by Nahum Tate (1652-1715) and Nicholas Brady (1659-1726). It is written in Long Meter and has been connected to many tunes, including the ever-popular Old Hundred and Sale. Here is a sampling of the text.

1. O render thanks to God above,
The fountain of eternal love,
Whose mercy firm through ages past
Hath stood, and doth for ever last.

2. Who can His mighty deeds express,
Not only vast, but numberless?
What mortal eloquence can raise
His tribute of immortal praise?

3. Happy are they, and only they,
Who from thy judgments never stray;
Who know what’s right; nor only so,
But always practice what they know.

4. Extend to me that favor, Lord,
Thou to Thy chosen dost afford;
When Thou return’st to set them free,
Let Thy salvation visit me.

5. O may I worthy prove to see
Thy saints in full prosperity;
That I the joyful choir may join,
And count Thy people’s triumph mine.

6. But ah! can we expect such grace,
Of parents vile, the viler race;
Who their misdeeds have acted o’er,
And with new crimes increased the score?

7. Ingrateful, they no longer thought
On all his works in Egypt wrought;
The Red Sea they no sooner viewed,
But they their base distrust renewed.

8. Yet he, to vindicate his name,
Once more to their deliv’rance came,
To make his sovereign pow’r be known,
That he is God, and he alone!

9. To right and left, at his command,
The parting deep disclosed her sand;
Where firm and dry the passage lay,
As through some parched and desert way.

10. Thus rescued from their foes they were,
Who closely pressed upon their rear,
11. Whose rage pursued them to those waves,
That proved the rash pursuers graves.

12. The wat’ry mountains sudden fall
O’erwhelm’d proud Pharaoh, host and all.
This proof did stupid Israel move
To own God’s truth, and praise his love.

13. But soon these wonders they forgot,
And for his counsel waited not;
14. But lusting in the wilderness,
Did him with fresh temptations press.

15. Strong food at their request he sent,
But made their sin their punishment.
16. Yet still his saints they did oppose,
The priest and prophet whom he chose.

17. But earth, the quarrel did decide,
Her vengeful jaws extended wide,
Rash Dathan to her center drew,
With proud Abiram’s factious crew.

18. The rest of those who did conspire
To kindle wild sedition’s fire,
With all their impious train, became
A prey to heaven’s devouring flame.
48. Let Israel’s God be ever blessed,
His name eternally confessed:
Let all his saints with full accord
Sing loud AmenPraise ye the Lord.

The following stanzas often appear as a hymn unit with the first two (above), but are not from Tate and Brady’s Psalm 106. I am unsure of the author of these lines.

The Father’s boundless love we sing,
The fountain whence our blessings spring;
How great the depth, how high it flows,
No saint can tell, no angel knows.

Its length and breadth no eye can trace,
No thought explore the bounds of grace;
The love that saved our souls from hell
Transcends the creature’s power to tell.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

One-Hit Wonders, 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.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Sacred Harp’s Introductory Lesson

I searched in for introductory lessons in Sacred Harp. An “introductory lesson” in Sacred Harp is traditionally a lesson of two or three songs led after the first song and prayer, though this formula is not the same in all cases.

Searching for “sacred harp” & “introductory lesson,” I found over 1100 matches; over 200 for “singing convention” & “introductory lesson;” and 90 matches for “musical convention” & “introductory lesson.” Obviously, I have not looked at all the some 1400 hits. Some of the hits are outliers – for example, “Sacred Harp” & “introductory lesson” only happening to be on the same page of the newspaper, but not in relation to each other. Some are 7-shape singings. Nevertheless, most of the hits appear to be relevant. The vast majority are in Alabama, and most of them from southeast Alabama. This is likely a coincidence of what papers are available on, which areas tended to report their singings to newspapers, and which areas most commonly used the terminology. Here are a few examples.
The Boiling Springs Convention of 1893. After the house was called to order, prayer had, and officers elected, there was a 1-1/2 intermission (apparently for lunch). This was followed at 1:30 p.m. with an introductory lesson by G. F. Hunt. (People’s Party Advocate, Friday, September 8, 1893, page 3.) Afterward there was a recess of 15 minutes. It does not indicate how long this lasted, but the recess after the introductory suggests the lesson went on for a substantial time. A program announcement of the Boiling Springs Convention at the Second Baptist Church in Talladega in 1906 gives 30 minutes allotted for the introductory lesson – 11:30 am till noon.
Annual singing at Mt. Zion in Barbour County, Alabama, May 1903. After the singing was called to order, songs led by chairman, and permanent organization (i.e., election of officers) “An introductory lesson of fifteen minutes was given by W. M. Cooper, of Dothan, and the lesson was continued by W. M. Boyd, Jessie Rountree and Tom Renfroe, each one giving three pieces.” After this they took a five minute recess. (The Troy Messenger, Wednesday, May 20, 1903, page 4.)
Sacred Harp Singers Association meeting in Cullman County Courthouse in 1937. The introductory lesson was conducted by Jim Evans, D. E. Williams, Otto Allred, and Ed Thomas. (The Cullman Banner, Friday 16 July 1937, page 2.)
In 1871 the Southwestern Alabama Musical Convention introductory lesson was 25 minutes, and in 1884 the Carroll County (Georgia) Musical Convention introductory lesson was 30 minutes, followed by a recess. In 1893 at the Hillabee Convention in Chambers County, J. J. Bishop gave the introductory lesson with “time unlimited.” At the 1929 Boiling Springs Convention in Ashland, Alabama, the minutes specifically mention that J. B. Dean “had been chosen at the last convention” to lead the introductory lesson. At the 1942 Middle Creek (Alabama) Convention, after prayer “the Chairman appointed C. O. Hagler to direct three songs as the introductory lesson...”
Unfortunately, in most cases the introductory lesson is basically just reported as happening. There is little of any details of just how it was conducted. Most of the reports seem to have in common the first leader after the meeting is called to order, and a prominent lesson. It most cases the chairman first calls the singing to order with a song, and after that the introductory lesson occurred. The 1893 Boiling Springs is an exception to that rule.

B. F. White derived some of the pattern of the organization of the singing convention from another organization with which he was familiar, the Baptist association. The introductory lesson of Sacred Harp seems to correspond with the introductory sermon of the Baptist association.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Have a blessed Thanksgiving

We don’t do “stuffing.” Turkey was never part of my holiday tradition growing up. I suppose pore folks could only afford to dress a chicken and not stuff a turkey. And eventually we grew to prefer it. There is not much I love more on the holidays than a good ole pan of chicken and dressing (Southern style, that means cornbread).

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed Joni Eareckson Tada’s stuffing story on the radio yesterday, A House Of Feasting. She told of their Thanksgiving after marriage, when she “announced to [her husband] Ken that I would be using a traditional East Coast stuffing recipe with oysters.” Now I suppose my reaction would be much the same as his at the mention of oysters. However, her husband Ken wanted his mother’s stuffing – made with bologna! “’You guys use bologna?’ ‘Yeah,’ Ken said. ‘The cheap kind, too.’” Joni decided “this was not a hill to die on,” went along, and concluded, “There’s nothing like salt and grease to make things taste great.” 

I never heard or could have conceived of such. Yet, there is something intriguing about a stuffing made with bologna – as Ken said, “lots of salt and grease.” Almost makes me want to try it (but I’m afraid the bread might be way over on the light side, i.e., not cornbread as we require in the South). If you’re a brave or baloney-loving soul, the recipe can be found HERE

Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

In other words, illicita and licita

  • ambilogy, noun. Uncertain or doubtful meaning in a person’s speech or writing; ambiguity.
  • anxiogenic, adjective. Giving rise to anxiety; (also) producing the characteristic physiological effects of anxiety.
  • barndominium, noun (aka barndo). A type of house that is a combination of a barn style structure and a condominium, creating both a home and large functional area.
  • brewstered, adjective. Wealthy, rich, very well off.
  • callidity, noun. Craftiness, cunning; shrewdness. Also: an act characterized by this.
  • cockle stairs, noun. (A flight of) winding stairs; a spiral staircase.
  • cheesed, adjective. Fed up, annoyed, exasperated. Chiefly in cheesed off.
  • earthfast, adjective. Especially of a stone: fixed in the ground. Also figurative.
  • hapax legomenon (pl. legomena), noun. A word or phrase that appears only once in a manuscript, document, or corpus. In biblical discussions, it means a word that only appears once in the Bible.
  • nonce word, noun. A word occurring, invented, or used just for a particular occasion; a word with a special meaning used for a special occasion.
  • noodge, verb. transitive: To pester, to nag at. Also intransitive: to whine, to complain persistently.
  • perennialism, noun. A perspective in religion, philosophy, or spirituality that views all of the world’s religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or origin from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown.
  • religio illicita, noun. Religion that is illicit, illegal, not permitted, esp. in the Roman Empire.
  • religio licita, noun. Tolerated or permitted religion, esp. in the Roman Empire.
  • spiritus, noun. The animating or vital principle in living things; spirit, soul, or life force.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Baptism of the Holy Ghost

The following is an excerpt from Circular Letter on the “Baptism of the Holy Ghost,” by T. B. Montanye. It appears in the minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association in 1802. The entire letter can be read HERE.

The narrow limits of a letter call us to a close. We must, therefore, leave you to gather further instruction from the few inferences deducible from the whole.
1. That though regeneration and sanctification be essential to the character of a Christian; yet neither of them constitute the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
2. However much you may enjoy of the Spirit, as the Spirit of life, light, and love; you have no Scripture grounds to call this inward baptism, and so the one baptism, and thereby live in the neglect of the appointments of Jesus Christ.
3. That as the baptism of the Holy Ghost was given for the confirmation of the gospel dispensation, it has effected its design; the sacred prophecy is fulfilled, and it has ceased.
4. That as the extraordinary work, and no other, is known in the gospel as the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and that took place after faith in Christ, or regeneration, we have no right to call regeneration baptism.
5. Though we are the hopeful subjects of divine grace, and live in the smiles of heaven; it is both our duty and privilege to submit to the appointments of Jesus Christ, as laid down in his word.
And now, dear brethren, you may perceive, that our intention is not to deny any of the blessed operations of the holy Ghost upon the human mind; but to distinguish between truth and error.

Circular Letter, by T. B. Montanye, October 5-7, 1802, in Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association, from A. D. 1707 to A. D. 1807, A. D. Gillette, editor, Philadelphia, PA: American Baptist Publication Society, 1851, p. 376.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Bavinck: A Critical Biography, and other reviews

The posting of book reviews does not constitute endorsement of the books or book reviews that are linked.

Thought that has been thought out

Philosophy is merely thought that has been thought out. It is often a great bore. But man has no alternative, except between being influenced by thought that has been thought out and being influenced by thought that has not been thought out. The latter is what we commonly call culture and enlightenment today. But man is always influenced by thought of some kind, his own or somebody else's; that of somebody he trusts or that of somebody he never heard of, thought at first, second or third hand; thought from exploded legends or unverified rumors; but always something with the shadow of a system of values and a reason for preference. A man does test everything by something. The question here is whether he has ever tested the test. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

No careful student, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify when possible.)

“No careful student of the early congregation of believers can fail to be impressed with the simplicity of its worship and functioning.” -- W. Carl Ketcherside

“To argue that God is ‘trying His best’ to save all mankind, but that the majority of men will not let Him save them, is to insist that the will of the Creator is impotent, and that the will of the creature is omnipotent.” -- Arthur W. Pink, in The Sovereignty of God

“Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” -- C. S. Lewis

“All of life illustrates biblical truth.” -- Donald Grey Barnhouse

“God does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases.” -- Arthur W. Pink, in The Sovereignty of God

“Nobody is cheated out of an election, just out cheated.” -- John G. Crowley

“It’s the person on your right being willing to die for you, and you feeling the same. It shouldn’t take a war to make the world that simple.” -- Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, in TV show NCIS

Friday, November 20, 2020

Like feet

  • Excuses are like feet, everyone has them and they all stink. 
  • Opinions are like feet, they all stink unless they’re yours. 
  • Brothers and sisters are like feet; they hurt you, but at the end of the day you’re grateful to have them.
  • Church sign: Give Satan a foot and he will become a ruler.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Harmony and Unity


Those who think washing feet in church is odd and quaint often find humor at the expense of feet-washers. However, I suppose it does not hurt us to laugh at ourselves. It might be good medicine. R. Inman Johnson told the following (probably made-up) tale of the origin of the New Harmony Church:

“A little foot-washing Baptist church over in Georgia got concerned over the complication of the foot-washing procedure as the membership grew. By unanimous vote, they decided they’d wash just one foot instead of both feet. Then the church split over which foot to wash.”

The Arkansas Baptist newsmagazine​ published this story November 16, 1961 (p. 23). The name of the church – New Harmony – provides a little hidden (or perhaps to some not so hidden) humor, and even sadness. Oh, how often we Baptists call our church splits Fellowship, Harmony, and Unity!

[Note: Robert Inman Johnson taught speech and music for 45 years at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.]

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Acts 2:38, 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, November 17, 2020

Brief thoughts on same sex attraction

Some comments I have read by Christians on same sex attraction (SSA). We Christians find ourselves all over the place on this subject in this modern era.
  • “I’ve known too many gay people who say they have begged God to take away their SSA, to believe feeling SSA is a choice.”
  • “Same sex attraction is a sin and it is a spiritual stronghold from which Jesus can deliver a person. There is no such thing as a sexual orientation. Bible knows nothing of ‘sexual orientations’.”
  • “Sin begins in the heart long before it is carried out in the flesh. It would be sinful for a person to desire to murder someone, as it would be for him or her to commit the act of murder. There is nothing in the Bible to support a notion that it is okay to desire and entertain sin in the heart and mind, even if you do not commit the act.”
  • “Simply being attracted to a member of the opposite sex is not sinful. Temptation is not the same as sin. There are people who struggle with SSA, but who hate it and want to get help for it. I wouldn’t say they are in sin.”
  • “It is one thing to struggle with something we know is a sin. It is quite another to entertain the desire and refuse to acknowledge it as a sin.”
  • “One can be same sex attracted and not entertain it, but I am saying a lot of the time we continue to struggle with sins because it’s in our nature. God doesn’t always take them away.”
  • “Equating homosexuality with heterosexuality is the first step LGBT uses to get Christians to say homosexuality is okay.”
  • “There is no reason to identify as homosexual if one has not and will not engage in homosexual behavior.”
Same sex attraction = romantic, physical, and/or sexual attraction to a person of the same sex.
Sexual orientation = a pattern of romantic, physical, and/or sexual attraction
Sexual orientation and SSA are often discussed as if it is some kind of fixed characteristic in an individual – like biological sex or age.[i] The modern concept of sexual orientation originates from the discipline of psychology rather than the Bible. The most popularly-held belief currently seems to be that people are born homosexual. Question that and people look at you as if you have abandoned your senses. To them it is an unquestionably proven scientific fact. However, numerous studies conducted have not been conclusive.[ii] The American Psychiatric Association in 2015 stated: “Some people believe that sexual orientation is innate and fixed; however, sexual orientation develops across a person’s lifetime.”

Even if one could prove there are inborn tendencies toward specific behaviors – such as alcoholism, gluttony, homosexuality, pedophilia, violence – such a fact would not determine whether or not those behaviors are moral. Do you think someone might have a natural tendency or temptation toward excessive anger or physical rage? If so, should they indulge in it, or seek to control it? God the creator, not man the created, determines what behavior is moral or immoral. The Bible is his revelation of that knowledge (e.g. John 8:32; John 17:17).

There are Bible truths we know are true – regardless of what we think is or is not true when a person is born. The Bible teaches that all are sinners (Romans 3:23). We are “predisposed” to sin. We are all born sinners. However, that does not excuse our sin (Romans 1:19-21).
Jesus says that you must be born again (John 3:5-7. Cf. John 1:12-13). None will arrive in heaven based on their first birth in the flesh. Only those born of God will enter the kingdom of God.

[i] And then again, some of the same people will deny that biological sex is a fixed characteristic. 
[ii] There is no consensus among scientists exactly why an individual develops heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual attractions.

Shenandoah Harmony Inclusion Statement

Example of the direction of some shape note singing:

Shenandoah Harmony Inclusion Statement

Monday, November 16, 2020

Do not lie to yourself

Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others. Not respecting anyone, he ceases to love, and having no love, he gives himself up to the passions and coarse pleasures, in order to occupy and amuse himself, and in his vices reaches complete bestiality, and it all comes from lying continually to others and to himself. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Christ washing his disciples feet, John 13

The following common meter hymn on Christ washing his disciples feet (John 13:1-17) was written by English Baptist John Needham in 1768. It is found in Hymns Devotional and Moral on Various Subjects, Hymn 92, page 109 (Bristol: S. Farley, 1768).

1. What wonder’s this? ye saints behold
Your Saviour rise from meat;
In servile garb the master stands
To wash the servants feet.

2. The limpid stream with care he pours
Into a laver clean,
Wash’d by his hands the servants muse
What this strange thing should mean.

3. Wash me, blest Jesus, in thy blood,
And make me clean within;
Thy blood the sov’reign virtue had
To cleanse from every sin.

4. Great pattern of humility!
Teach me to condescend,
And by each office shew myself
To thee, to thine a friend.

5. Let vain and stupid mortals boast
Their wealth, or noble blood;
Teach me the humble are the great
And greatest those most good.

6. Lord, may the Spirit cleanse my soul
From envy, wrath and pride;
And may a love inflam’d by thine
My other passions guide.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Baptists do not have popes, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify when possible.)

“Baptists do not have popes. They never put anybody where they can’t put him down. And another thing: Baptists never ride a horse without a bridle.” -- J. B. Gambrell at the 1919 SBC meeting

“God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.” -- Martin Luther

“If salvation was ‘by chance’, then no man on earth would ever be saved.” -- Mike McInnis

“If anybody is coming to church just to eat, they'd do better to stay at home.” -- Nell Parrish

“Careless ordination of the unqualified has been a fruitful source of trouble.” -- John Crowley

“An idol is anything you love more than God, fear more than God, and serve more than God. Never be idle about idols in your life.” -- Steven Lawson

“Jesus doesn’t take sides, he takes over.” -- Attributed to several different people, original source unknown

“I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes” -- Henry David Thoreau

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” -- H. L. Mencken

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they’ve tried everything else.” -- Winston Churchill

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” -- Albert Einstein

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The fear of God, Scripture says, cast out all other fears. To be paralyzed by fear, or to be so outraged by fear that we no longer are able to love our neighbor, is not of Christ.” -- John Stonestreet and Shane Morris, on Breakpoint

Friday, November 13, 2020

Alternative social network Parler, 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.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

50th hymn meter

I recently discovered a new hymn meter designation – 50th meter – that I do not recall seeing before (Thanks to Matt Bell.) The 50th meter was a meter for the 50th Psalm. Similarly, William Gadsby uses Psalm Tune names for several of his hymn meters – 104th for the pattern, 112th for L. P. M., 122nd for S. P. M., and 148th for H. M.

According to Richard Crawford in The Core Repertory of Early American Psalmody (Volumes 11-12, pp. xxxix, xl), the “old” 50th meter was (as in the tune Lyons), and the “new” 50th meter was 6 lines of 10 (as in the tune Wordsworth).

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

An interesting turn of events

Pennsylvania postal worker recants ballot tampering allegations: officials -- “The House Oversight Committee announced Tuesday that Richard Hopkins went back on his assertion that a postmaster in Erie, Pa., told workers to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day...”

Pennsylvania postal worker denies recanting ballot-tampering claims -- “Project Veritas chief legal counsel Jered Ede accused the investigators of coercing Mr. Hopkins into signing an affidavit recanting his claims; failing to give him access to his attorney, and refusing to provide him with a copy of the signed document.”

Project Veritas Releases Shocking Recordings of Federal Agents Trying to Intimidate USPS Whistleblower Into Recanting Election Fraud Claim -- “The whistleblower says that he even tried to contact reporters from the Washington Post to let them know their story was false, but that he was ignored.”

Veterans Day 2020

When first celebrated as Armistice Day, the day marked the end of World War I, formally recognized on the “11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month” in 1918.
Veterans Day 2020

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Simple assembly

If you read much of what I write here at Seeking the Old Paths, you know I believe there is a need to return to and go by the way the apostles and New Testament churches did things. To be New Testament Christians, we need to ask New Testament questions and give New Testament answers. I find much of the simplicity and simple church ideas of the “house church movement” compelling. Much of modern American Christianity has distressed seeking Christians and gathering churches by complicating things that should be simple. An argument of many in the house church movement is that New Testament churches met exclusively in private homes, and that this is a scriptural mandate. When we ask this New Testament question, what is the New Testament answer?

The New Testament requires assembly, by command and example (Hebrews 10:25). It is quite clear that meeting in homes is a primary example in the scriptures (Acts 1:13, Acts 2:2, Acts 8:3, Acts 12:12, Acts 20:7-12, Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Colossians 4:15, Philemon, verse 2, 2 John, verse 10). The inspired text compares the church to a house. It is God’s house (Ephesians 2:19, 1 Timothy 3:5, 15, Hebrews 10:21, 1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 4:17). This concept and New Testament practice should not be taken lightly. However, is this pattern exclusive? Are any other “worship facilities” – meeting places – suggested in the New Testament?

Acts 2:46 says they (the church at Jerusalem) continued [to meet] daily “with one accord in the temple,” as well as from house to house.[i] Acts 5:12 suggests them meeting at Solomon’s porch. In Ephesus Paul borrowed or rented “the school of Tyrannus”[ii] for meeting with his disciples and discoursing on the things of God (Acts 19:9-10). It appears, then, that though meeting in private homes was the rule, that there were exceptions. These exceptions make it difficult to unconditionally agree with Mario Vega when he writes, “When the church today returns to house to house ministry, it will recover the model of the New Testament church.”

Modern churches in the United States have complicated church meetings and church matters. Many waste huge sums of money on extravagant buildings. However, these kinds of abuses do not support the exclusive use of private houses if there are legitimate exceptions found in the New Testament. It appears there are at least two or three. On the other hand, why do we make the exceptions the rule and the rule the exceptions? That is a legitimate question to ponder!

[i] Evidently indicating the outer court area of the temple, and this seems to suggest all 3000 could gather together.
[ii] σχολῇ a “place of leisure” where teaching, discourses, or lectures were given.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Communion, unity, desire

  • typifies the marriage banquet future supper Isaiah 25:6-8
  • recline at table Matthew 8:11
  • a remembrance of the past and a reminder of the future
  • Luke 22 Greek word emos, not mou
  • a prayer for Jesus’s return
  • until Matthew/Luke? when
  • until 1 Corinthians 11 why

The keeper of the saints

“Neither angels nor men are the keepers of the saints, but the Lord himself; he is the keeper of every individual saint, of every regenerate person, of every one of his sheep, of every member of his church; he keeps them by his power, he preserves them by his grace, he holds them with his right hand; guides them by his counsel, keeps their feet from falling, and brings them safe to glory: and a watchful keeper he is, he does not so much as slumber; he keeps them night and day, lest any harm them.”

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying

Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying, or Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (German)

Author: Philipp Nicolai (1599); Translated by Catherine Winkworth

1. “Wake, awake, for night is flying,” 
the watchmen on the heights are crying; 
“Awake, Jerusalem, arise!” 
Midnight hears the welcome voices 
and at the thrilling cry rejoices: 
“Where are the virgins pure and wise? 
The Bridegroom comes: Awake! 
Your lamps with gladness take! 
With bridal care and faith’s bold prayer, 
to meet the Bridegroom, come, prepare!” 

2. Zion hears the watchmen singing, 
and in her heart new joy is springing. 
She wakes, she rises from her gloom. 
For her Lord comes down all-glorious 
and strong in grace, in truth victorious. 
Her star is risen, her light is come! 
Now come, O Blessed One, 
Lord Jesus, God’s own Son. 
Sing hosanna! 
We answer all in joy your call; 
we follow to the wedding hall. 

3. Lamb of God, the heavens adore you, 
the saints and angels sing before you 
with harp and cymbals’ clearest tone. 
Of one pearl each shining portal, 
where, joining with the choir immortal, 
we gather round your radiant throne. 
No eye has seen that light, 
no ear the echoed might 
of your glory; 
yet there shall we in victory 
sing shouts of joy eternally!

Saturday, November 07, 2020

In other words, Christian blends and other stuff

  • abattoir, noun (British). A slaughterhouse.
  • bapticostal, noun (slang, or “Christianese”). A Christian who identifies with aspects of both the Baptist denomination and Pentecostalism; a conservative or Baptist Christian who favors the use of charismatic gifts. Combination of Baptist + Pentecostal.
  • bapthodist, noun (slang, or “Christianese”). A Christian who identifies with aspects of both the Baptist denomination and Methodism. Blend of Baptist + Methodist.
  • calvminian, or calminian, noun (slang, or “Christianese”). A Christian who identifies with aspects of Calvinism and Arminianism. Blend of Calvinist + Arminian.
  • chicane, verb (intransitive). To use deception or subterfuge to achieve one’s purpose, esp. a legal, financial, or political purpose; to employ chicanery.
  • copper, noun (British, informal). A police officer.
  • dibble, noun (British). A derogatory slang term for police officer. [From the name of a fictional police officer in the cartoon ‘Top Cat’.]
  • evangellyfish, noun (slang, or “Christianese”). Evangelical Christians who are spineless; A derogatory term for an evangelical who is alleged to be lacking theological firmness or soundness and whose faith or theology has been severely influenced by worldly ideas such as humanism, relativism, and postmodernism. Combination of evangelical + jellyfish.
  • form, noun (British, informal). A criminal record.
  • fundagelical, noun (slang, or “Christianese”). A Christian who identifies with aspects of fundamentalism and evangelicalism. Blend of fundamentalist + evangelical.
  • preparatio evangelica, or praeparatio evangelica, noun. Preparation for the gospel; pre-evangelism; also, the Latin title of a work of Christian apologetics written by Eusebius.
  • smartful, adjective. Painful, distressing; (in later use also) stinging, irritating.
  • spiritato, noun. A person considered to exhibit excessive religious fervor; a religious zealot or fanatic. [From Italian spiritato, a person possessed by spirits.]
  • sprusado, noun. A person who is smartly dressed.
  • volcanello, noun. A small volcanic cone; (also) a volcanic island.