Saturday, April 30, 2022

In other words, abortuary to snarge

  • abortuary, noun. A place where abortions are performed. Portmaneau of abortion and mortuary
  • biblioclasty, noun. The act of book-breaking or book-tearing (often when manuscripts are torn apart and loose leaves are sold in order to increase profit, for purposes of censorship, etc.). 
  • biblioplasty, noun. The act of book-making or book formation.
  • bollix, verb. To do (something) badly; bungle (often followed by up).
  • deadname (or dead name, dead-name), noun. The birth name of a transgender person who has changed his or her name as part of their gender transition.
  • dumbledore, noun. (English dialect) A bumblebee.
  • esthetician, noun. A person who is knowledgeable about the nature and appreciation of beauty, especially in art; a beautician.
  • foyer, noun. An entrance hall or other open area in a building used by the public, especially a hotel or theater; an entrance hall in a house or apartment.
  • hector, verb. To treat with insolence; bully; torment; to act in a blustering, domineering way; be a bully.
  • iconoclast, noun. A person who attacks or criticizes cherished beliefs or institutions; a destroyer of images used in religious worship.
  • lambent, adjective. Running or moving lightly over a surface; dealing lightly and gracefully with a subject; brilliantly playful.
  • lissom, adjective. Thin and supple in the limbs or body; lithe; agile; nimble.
  • opsimathy, noun. Learning conducted or acquired late in life; an instance of this.
  • piffle, noun. (Informal) Nonsense.
  • plout, noun. (Scottish) The action of plunging or submerging.
  • proboscis, noun. The nose of a mammal, especially when it is long and mobile such as the trunk of an elephant or the snout of a tapir.
  • quisling, noun. A person who betrays his or her own country by aiding an invading enemy, often serving later in a puppet government.
  • ripsnorter, noun. (Informal) Something or someone exceedingly strong or violent (e.g., a ripsnorter of a storm).
  • shrill, adjective. High-pitched and piercing in sound quality.
  • snarge, noun. The remains of a bird after it has collided with an airplane (bird strike), especially a turbine engine. (Portmanteau of snot and garbage)

Where to find the best burrito, 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, April 29, 2022

Geographical notes

  •  Africa is the only continent that is in all four hemispheres: north, south, west, and east. 
  • Samosir Island is an island in Lake Toba. Lake Toba is a lake on the island of Sumatra. Samosir Island is supposed to be the world’s largest island on an island.
  • In the Philippines, there is an island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island. Vulcan Point is an island in Crater Lake on Volcano Island in Lake Taal on the island of Luzon. 
  • Qatar is supposed to be one of the world’s safest places from natural disasters. It is protected from tropical cyclones, sheltered inside the Persian Gulf. It is far away from fault lines, reducing the likelihood of earthquakes or volcanoes . With barren plains and sand dunes instead of forests, raging forest fires are not a problem.
  • Whether “Saint Patrick” chased all the snakes out of Ireland or there is some other reason, Ireland is one of a few countries that do not have any native snakes.
  • Vatican City is the smallest country in the world.
  • Alaska is both the westernmost and easternmost state in the United States of America.
  • Russia is the largest country in the world. It has 11 different time zones.
  • Big Diomede Island, owned by Russia, and Little Diomede Island, owned by the United States are only 2-4/10 miles apart. However, being on opposite sides of the International Date Line, they have a 21-hour time difference between them.
  • Reno, Nevada is farther west than the city of Los Angeles, California – by about 86 miles.

Genealogy quotes

One of my hobbies of passion is genealogy, but I think I seldom mention it on this blog. I will try to rectify that a bit. Enjoy.

“Genealogy is a pursuit in which you confuse the dead and irritate the living.” -- Unknown

“A genealogist must have the patience of Job; the curiosity of a cat; the stubbornness of a mule; the eyesight of an eagle; be blessed with the luck of the Irish; and have the ability and stamina of a camel to go long hours without food or drink.” -- Unknown

“Every man is a quotation from his ancestors.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A modest acquaintance with one’s ancestry is a birthright, and one of which no one should wish to deprive himself.” -- Charles Edmundson

“The cheapest way to have your family tree traced is to run for a public office.” -- Unknown

“Why waste your money looking up your family tree? Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.” -- Mark Twain

“Now that I have a computer for my genealogical records, I find that my records are just as confused as before, however, now my confusion is better organized.” -- Jack W. Briscoe 

“Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking.” -- Unknown

“If you don’t know history, you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” -- Michael Crichton

“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten; Either write things worthy of reading, or do things worthy of writing.” -- Benjamin Franklin

“He who has no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family tree was begot by a flash of lightning.” -- Old English proverb

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” -- George Bernard Shaw

The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never know if they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Puzzling illustrations

Advocates of modern translations and the Greek critical text have introduced the puzzle – particularly the jigsaw puzzle – to try to illustrate either the problem or the solution regarding whether we now have all the words inspired of God for the New Testament.[i] Curiously and tellingly, the puzzle illustration is puzzling, used in contradictory fashion by various apologists and text critics.

First, there is the “proof of preservation” use by apologists such as James White, Marc Minter, Robert Bowman, and Jonathan Beazley.[ii] Beazley writes:

Imagine the Bible is like a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Over the duration of history, we have obtained 10,100 pieces. This is a much better dilemma than obtaining 9,900 pieces. Textual criticism comes along and determines through in-depth factors, which would best resemble the original, and which were the added 100 pieces.

Minter uses the illustration similarly, only with fewer puzzle pieces:

Quite simply, the textual variants in the New Testament manuscript tradition provide 1,074 pieces (not a technically precise number) to a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. We do not have to wonder if we have all the words of the original authors; we are merely left with the task of fitting the pieces together appropriately and leaving the extras on the side.

White also uses the 10,000-piece puzzle in trying to explain how he can believe that we have all the original readings from the apostles (comments start about 12 minutes in on the linked video):

Robert Bowman used, I thought, a brilliant illustration – Dan Wallace agreed that it was a brilliant illustration – he said, “The situation we face is like having a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, and we have 10,100 pieces”...Now, you know, that having 10,100 pieces would complicate that process, because you have to identify the extra pieces. But, which would you rather have, 10,100 pieces and have to identify the extra pieces, or 9,900 pieces and never be able to complete the puzzle? We don’t have the 9,900, we have the 10,100. And so, that is, to me, is a tremendous testimony to preservation of the text of scripture over time. I believe that God has preserved the New Testament.

On first glance, the puzzle illustration seems to provide an outlet for asserting the preservation of Scripture while at the same time dismissing providential preservation. It is, however, problematic. The apologists arguing on this basis simply assume that no pieces are lost and that the 100 pieces are extra.[iii] Once providential preservation has been jettisoned, they are left without a leg to stand on. Text critics do text criticism with a naturalistic mindset, “as if God didn’t exist.” “If God didn’t exist,” it is just as likely that they only have 9,000 pieces of the puzzle – with 1,000 needed pieces missing and 1,000 pieces that are extras from some other puzzle (just “chance survivals from the past”). As Dan Wallace claims, “We do not have now – in any of our critical Greek texts or in any translations – exactly what the authors of the New Testament wrote. Even if we did, we would not know it.” Using their own puzzle illustration: since they do not have the picture of what they puzzle is supposed to look like, they will never know whether they have pieced it together correctly. Only because of God promising to preserve and providentially preserving his word can we believe that we have the correct 10,000 puzzle pieces.

Second, there is the “lack of preservation” use by text critics such as Tommy Wasserman, Paolo Trovato, and Peter Gurry. Text critics contradict the assertions of the apologists.

In contrast to the apologists, Italian historian Paolo Trovato puts it this way:

Thus, a good simile for our situation could be that you are trying to put together the pieces of an enormous old puzzle in which the most precious pieces must be putted in the center of the puzzle, but only 5% or 10% of the pieces are extant, and the rest is missing.

Similarly, Gurry and Wasserman:

As Richard Evans reminds us, our historical knowledge is always contingent on “the extent to which it is possible to reconstruct the past from the remains left behind.” What is left behind are fragments, chance survivals from the past—we are trying to piece together the puzzle with only some of the pieces. In the case of textual criticism, this means that we have only a selection of the manuscripts that once existed, and sometimes incomplete manuscripts. Although New Testament textual critics are used to straining under the number of manuscripts that we possess, there must be an even greater number that are forever lost.[iv]

While White, Marc, Bowman, Beazley, and others have left over puzzle pieces, Wasserman, Trovato, Gurry and their partisans are short puzzle pieces, “trying to piece together a puzzle with only some of the pieces.” If apologists and critics approach the text of the Bible with a naturalistic mindset—“chance survivals from the past”—then the “lack of preservation” puzzle will win. Every time.

[i] A jigsaw puzzle consists of various pieces of different shapes of cardboard, wood, or similar material, that have to be fitted together to form a picture or design.
[ii] These men believe God has preserved his word, after a fashion, in the total body of manuscripts that have been found. Probably Robert Bowman, referenced by White, is Robert M. Bowman Jr., an evangelical Christian apologist and President of Faith
[iii] This is based on the simplistic, senseless, and suspect “rule” that the shortest reading is the correct reading. Therefore, these proponents think you just “go through and examine those variants and see what has been added later.”
[iv] “Limitations and Future Improvements” in A New Approach to Textual Criticism: An Introduction to the Coherence Based Genealogical Method, Tommy Wasserman, Peter J. Gurry. Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2017, p. 112. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

I’m not short, I’m nonstature-ary

“I’m nonbinary, so I just don’t see myself as a woman, solely. I feel all of my energy. I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she,’” she said. “And if I am from God, I am everything. I am everything. But I will always, always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women. But I just see everything that I am. Beyond the binary.”

What a bloviating haul of horse hockey! This above was reported about some global superstar of whom I have never heard. I will not bother to dignify this by giving the person’s name. (I am sure you can look it up if you really want to know.) Christians need to call out such foolishness, and thankfully, some are. Unfortunately, far too many people want to pretend that they can understand and identify with this madness. Nevertheless, this stuff is only acceptable when it fits the currently accepted wokeness. The following garbage of the same nature would be laughed off the planet – not because it makes any less sense, but because it is ahead of its time. Wokeness has not caught up with it yet.

“I’m nonstature-ary, so I just don’t see myself as 5'7", solely. I feel all of my height. I feel like God is so much more than the ‘short’ or the ‘tall.’ And if I am from God, I feel I am everything. I feel am every height. But I will always, always stand with short people. I will always stand with short men. I will always stand with white short men. But I just see everything that I am. Beyond the stature-ary.”

None of either paragraph is based on facts, simply fouled-up feelings. All you need is buy-in. All you need is someone else to feel you are right, then wham-o change-o, you are what you feel. It is not hard to trace this stuff back to its origin – man creating God in his own image!

The person who made the statement referenced initially claimed to have grown up in a Baptist household in the U.S. that was “super religious and super conservative” – but “I didn’t love that. I didn’t feel like I could really dream big, I had to kind of create my own world.” Yes, that is right. The creatures reject the Creator and then create worlds of their own.

“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’”

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Wikipedia is now Woke-ipedia

“Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” I discovered Wikipedia around 2003 and started working as an “editor”. My first attempt at editing began with adding information about Baptists on their “List of Christian denominations” page. Therefore, my working relationship with them has been almost 20 years.

This is a “free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” Because of that, there are negatives. Bad edits are made. On the other hand, very many articles on Wikipedia provide a quick, easy to find, and helpful entry point of research. There can be a wealth of sources in the footnotes, references, resources, and external links. Numerous blog posts I have made at “Seeking the Old Paths” include the words “According to Wikipedia.” However, future posts will not.

It probably happened long long before I noticed it – but “Wikipedia” is now “Woke-ipedia.” Political correctness expelled exactness of encyclopedic entries. Accuracy is sacrificed on the altar of expediency. If you cannot trust an encyclopedia to be accurate, you cannot trust an encyclopedia. You cannot trust Wikipedia – at least you cannot know whether you can trust it.

I discovered this a couple of weeks ago when I wanted to know Rachel Levine’s birth name. Simple. Just check good old Wikipedia. Nope. Wikipedia’s policy excludes giving the “dead-name” of a transgender person. They have to pretend that Richard Levine was born Rachel Levine, regardless of the facts. That’s a no go for me.

Henceforth Wikipedia is a “dead-name” to me.

“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’”

Monday, April 25, 2022

1619 vs. 1776, 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.

Preserved “to this houre”

“It is a thing most necessary, that men should be assured and certified that the doctrine of the Gospell, and of the Scripture, is not of man, but of God...Scripture is the Word of God...the Evidence of Gods Spirit [is] imprinted and expressed in the Scriptures; and this is an excellencie of the word of God above all words, and writings of men and Angels...the Scripture sets downe the true cause of all misery, namely sinne; and the perfect remedy, namely, Christs death...the antiquity of Scripture, in that it setteth downe an history from the beginning of the world...the protection and preservation of it, from the beginning to this houre, by a speciall providence of God.” 

A Commentarie or Exposition upon the Five First Chapters of the Epistle to the Galatians, William Perkins, p. 170 (contained in The Works of That Famous and Worthy Minister of Christ in the University of Cambridge, M. William Perkins. The Second Volume, London: John Legatt, 1631)

Sunday, April 24, 2022

God of mercy and compassion

The hymn below is said to be one of the songs played on the RMS Titanic while it was sinking. I cannot presently determine the author of the hymn. One Titanic story that I found online credits the words to Louis de Esch in 1810. This date cannot be correct, since the hymn was published a number of times before 1810. (The author is probably incorrect also.) The earliest I have found this hymn thus far is in A Selection of Hymns from Several of the Best Authors, designed especially as a Supplement to Dr. Watts (The Second Edition, William Roby, Wigan: W. Lyon, 1799). This is unattributed Hymn 189, beginning on page 189, in 8s.7s. Doubled Meter, and titled “Looking up to Christ in temptation.”
1. God of mercy and compassion, 
Look with pity on my pain, 
Hear a mournful, broken spirit, 
Prostrate at thy feet complain; 
Many are my foes and mighty, 
Strength to conquer I have none, 
Nothing can uphold my goings, 
But thy blessed self alone.

2. Saviour look on thy beloved, 
Triumph over all my foes, 
Turn to heavenly joy my mourning, 
Turn to gladness all my woes; 
Live, or die, or work, or suffer, 
Let my weary soul abide, 
In all changes whatsoever, 
Sure and steadfast by thy side.

3. When temptations fierce assault me, 
When my enemies I find, 
Sin and guilt and death and Satan, 
All against my soul combined; 
Hold me up in mighty waters, 
Keep my eyes on things above, 
Righteousness, divine atonement, 
Peace and everlasting love.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Five views, books, and other reviews

The posting of book, film, or other reviews does not constitute endorsement of the products, reviews, or sites that are linked.

No worse demonic activity, 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 if possible.)

“If there is any verse that you would like left out of the Bible, that is the verse that ought to stick to you, like a blister, until you really attend to its teaching. There is something wrong with you whenever you quarrel with the Word of God.” -- Charles H. Spurgeon

“There is no worse demonic activity than the slaughter, the dismemberment, the cutting in pieces, of living, human children, barely born. Demons love it.” -- Lila Rose

“It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” -- Clive Staples “C. S.” Lewis, God in the Dock

“All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.” -- Clive Staples “C. S.” Lewis, The Four Loves

“No one empties a tomb like Jesus.” -- D. James Kennedy

“If you don’t know history, you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” -- Michael Crichton

“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.” -- William John Henry Boetcker, “Gold Nuggets;” Concentrated Truths taken from the Boetcker Lectures, or The Ten Cannots

“The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon himself the death that he found in us, he has most faithfully promised to give us life in him, such as we cannot have of ourselves.” -- Augustine of Hippo

“You cannot support abortion and consider yourself a Christian, because murdering children violates fundamental moral law and violates the teachings of Jesus Christ.” -- Lila Rose

“Jesus was political, highly political, just not in the way anyone wanted him to be.” -- Dan White Jr.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Review of “Risen”

Looking for some suitable entertainment for my grandchildren, I am inspecting a site called Pure Flix, which offers a 7-day free trial. Their menu includes Veggie Tales, a Christian animated series for children. According to their site, it “is the worldwide leader in selecting and streaming faith and family-friendly media that changes lives, inspires hearts and lifts the spirits of members like you and those you love.” Because it is the Easter season of the year, they are presently promoting a movie called “Risen.” I decided to watch it.

“Risen” is a 2016 biblical drama starring Joseph Fiennes as Clavius Aquila Valerius Niger, a Roman Tribune (tribuni militum). It offers an interesting plot – Pilate instructs this military officer to investigate the rumors of Jesus’s resurrection, and to locate his missing body. This movie follows the trek of Clavius. He initially tries to break the conspiracy of the disciples of Jesus stealing his body from the tomb. The deeper he digs, the more he finds confusion. The stolen body theory does not fit the facts. He no longer knows what to believe.

One Christian reviewer describes “Risen” as historical fiction that is “largely harmonious with the Gospel story.” It follows the theme of the story of Clavius. The resurrection is the primary focus, but it avoids making Jesus and his disciples the main characters. Considered strictly as a movie, I enjoyed it. The acting was good, and the film well done. Nevertheless, I struggle to enjoy a historical biblical movie. My own biblical understanding brings out the critic in me, and I suppose rightly so, finding things here that do not fit the gospel narrative. As Jesus is about to ascend to heaven, he begins his discourse with a quotation taken from John 14, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Also, Clavius has gone with the disciples to meet Jesus at Galilee. Obviously necessary to the plot of the movie, which is presented from Clavius’s point of view, but clearly unbiblical.

Finally – and I should have dealt with this before getting caught up in the idea of watching this movie. We who believe that Jesus is “what a Saviour!” – the eternal, divine, all-holy, Son of God – must always be disappointed with any theatrical depiction of Jesus. It just cannot measure up. Truly, is it a good or even biblical idea to hire a man to play Jesus?

Thursday, April 21, 2022

I am afraid of you

Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Galatians 4:10-11

Over the Easter season – seeing how Baptists have added “days, and months, and times” to their once very simple “form” of worship – the above verses came to mind. During his second journey Paul, with Silas and Timothy, visited the region of Galatia (Acts 16:6; Galatians 4:13). He returned on his third journey, strengthening the disciples (Acts 18:23).[i] He preached a simple and straightforward gospel of Christ crucified (Galatians 3:1-3). This letter to the Galatians is occasioned by false brethren who perverted the gospel, adding law, works, “days, and months, and times, and years.” The Galatians had received the word by faith, moving from Gentile idolatry to Christianity. Through false teaching, they moved then toward Judaism. Now Paul was afraid; afraid they had fallen away from the grace of God to a teaching of salvation by works (Galatians 1:6-9).

Baptist friends, I am afraid of some of you. No, you probably will not admit to teaching works instead of grace. Yes, you add to the simple faith of Baptists, looking here and there to see what others have to offer – what days, months, and times they keep.[ii]

A Southern Baptist pastor recently called the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday “the holiest week of the Christian calendar.” An independent Baptist pastor recently related that in his lifetime he had “celebrated” all of the following during “Passion Week.”[iii]

Palm Sunday, Daily Devotional (adult) or Coloring page (children), Maundy Thursday Communion, Foot Washing/Anointing, Tenebrae Candles, Sit alone in Darkness, Thursday Night Prayer Vigil, Seven Sayings on the Cross, Good Friday, Stations of the Cross, Jewish Pesach Supper, Fast/Pray Saturday, Sunrise Service, Easter Worship, Church breakfast, Easter Egg Hunt, Walk thru Jerusalem (Vignettes of passion story).

Oh, my! I’ve been around awhile, and still had to look up some of this stuff.[iv] Other parts of the whole “season” include Clean Monday (Greek Orthodox), Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Easter Vigil, and who knows what else.

Let’s look to the Bible as our rule of faith and practice. That is what we claim to believe. If we want days, and months, and times, and years, what do we find in the Bible? Our “church calendar” is based on the Lord’s week – six days of labour and one day of rest (i.e. gathering to celebrate the Lord’s day, sing, worship, fellowship, and study the word). Every Lord’s day, by its very nature, is a celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. We do not recognize one Sunday out of 52 as more holy than the other 51 Sundays.

If we want ritual or ceremony, what do we find in the Bible? How about baptism, a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s supper, a memorial of his body and blood given for us. Want more things to do? If so, check the Bible. You might find something that is not a fabricated ritual. How about washing one anothers’ feet? I have found that some of the most aggressive opponents of old-time Baptist feet washing nevertheless taken hook, line, and sinker for feet washing when included in a Maundy Thursday service. Maybe if it looks like a theatrical production, it suits!?

May the Lord help us who are true Baptists, who wish to be true Baptists, to find the Old Paths and walk therein.

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

 “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.”

“Help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.”

[i] Galatia is also mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:10 and 1 Peter 1:1.
[ii] Such as Lent, which I have addressed HERE, HERE, and HERE.
[iii] He wrote, “I have personally either done these or witnessed them done in Baptist Churches.”
[iv] The only observances I grew up with was a recognition of Easter Sunday, and the Easter egg hunt. In church itself, Easter usually elicited a sermon on or related to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hunting Easter eggs was not a church sponsored event, but the church people did not oppose children doing it, that I recall, and many were involved in organizing it for family or community. Incidentally, we never bought into the “Good Friday” timing of the crucifixion.

Days, and Months, and Times: Some of the Easter Week observances

A brief list that might be helpful in conjunction with the next post, I am afraid of you.

  • Palm Sunday – receive palm branches or palm crosses signifying Jesus’ ‘triumphal entry’ into Jerusalem.
  • Daily Devotional – 8-Day Devotional and Coloring booklet for Passion Week.
  • Holy Monday – represents the day of the cleansing of the Temple.
  • Holy Tuesday – represents Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives.
  • Holy Wednesday – into the darkness; service of Tenebrae (where candles are gradually extinguished, creating a sense of darkness), signifying Jesus abandoned by his disciples. 
  • Maundy Thursday – the Last Supper instituted, Jesus’s betrayal by Judas Iscariot, and his arrest at the Garden of Gethsemane, often including a representation of foot washing; might in some instances include a Jewish Pesach Supper.
  • Good Friday – recognized as the day of crucifixion, and may include fasting, with meditation and veneration of the cross.
  • Holy Saturday – burial of Jesus, a late-night Easter Vigil service represents women watching the tomb.
  • Easter Sunday – commemorates the resurrection, often with sunrise services, Easter breakfast, Easter egg hunts, in addition to regular worship services. Churches averse to the word “Easter” may call it “Resurrection Sunday” instead.

Perhaps looking here (see link) will provide better understanding of some of this stuff (often, I do not really get it): Journey through Lent with Jesus.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Another rogue school board? Perhaps.

“If you consider that adults’ No. 1 fear is public speaking (death is seventh on that list), then a citizen who has summoned the courage to address the board certainly deserves the board’s full attention and respect. This is especially important when you do not agree with that person’s perspective.” – “Five rules to follow for great school board meetings,” by Steve Horton, school board services consultant

Fox and Yahoo News recently reported on Oklahoma middle school families who are alarmed over their daughters sharing a bathroom with a transgender student.

The Stillwater (Oklahoma) School Board, at their April 12, 2022 meeting, received public input on the issue. Speakers were given 3:00 minutes – except Brice Chaffin, whose input was too religious for the board. At about 56 seconds in the board President interrupted, saying that Brice was supposed to be speaking to the bathroom policy; then later (about 1:44) tells him to either get on topic or move on. The board stopped Chaffin while he still had about a minute of time left, including cutting the mic so he could not be heard. Chaffin left without incident, though Stillwater PD escorted him from the podium. A community member can fill out form BED-E, requesting to address the board of education. The board stopped him from addressing them, because his references to Scriptures offended them, while claiming this was “off topic.”

The Stillwater News Press explained the incident this way:

Brice Chaffin is removed from the Stillwater Board of Education meeting Tuesday for continuing to recite Bible verses after being asked to confine himself to the topic he signed up to discuss.

One might argue that Brice Chaffin could have done a better job arranging his address to the school board. On reflection, he might well agree. However, what the Bible says about any issue is “on topic” for the Christian. Are men and women different? Why does it matter whether a biological male uses the girls’ bathroom? “The Bible tells me so.” It appears, had Chaffin been allowed to finish, that he concludes that physical, natural, and moral law all address the topic of biology, sex, and which bathroom to use! The incident, how it played out, and its consequences, (and body language as well), display the obvious bias of the Stillwater school board against Christians being informed on this topic by the book of their faith, the Bible.

The Bereans “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11

You can watch the entire April 12, 2022 School Board Meeting of Stillwater (Oklahoma) Public Schools in context HERE (Chaffin speaking starts about 1:04:24) or cut to a YouTube clip that includes only that portion of the meeting HERE.

In a more recent meeting, unwilling to make a decision, the Stillwater School Board punted their duty of oversight to the state.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

John Clarke’s Four Religious Principles

After the arrest of Baptists John Clarke (1609-1676), Obadiah Holmes (1610-1682), and John Crandall (1618-1676), for holding an unauthorized religious service in Massachusetts, Governor Endicott replied that they deserved death! He instead ultimately challenged them to a discussion with their ministers, which John Clarke accepted. According to Henry Sweetser Burrage (A History of the Baptists in New England, American Baptist Publication Society, 1894, pp. 35-36), Clarke proposed four points of discussion – of which Burrage gives excerpts. I followed this back and found the complete information in Clarke’s Ill News from New England.

The Testimony of Iohn Clarke a prisoner of Iesus Christ at Boston, in the behalf of my Lord, and of his people, is as followeth.

1. I Testifie that Iesus of Nazareth, whom God hath raised from the dead, is made both Lord and Christ; this Iesus I say is the Christ, in English, the Anointed One, hath a name above every name; He is the Anointed Priest, none to, or with him in point of attonement; The Anointed Prophet, none to him in point of instruction; The Anointed King, who is gone unto his Father for his glorious Kingdom, and shall ere long return again; and that this Iesus Christ is also The Lord, none to, or with him by way of Commanding and ordering (with respect to the worship of God) the household of Faith, which being purchased with his Blood as Priest, instructed, and nourished by his Spirit as Prophet, do wait in his appointment as he is the Lord, in hope of that glorious Kingdom which shall ere long appear.

2. I Testifie that Baptism, or dipping in Water, is one of the Commandements of this Lord Iesus Christ, and that a visible beleever, or Disciple of Christ Iesus (that is, one that manifesteth repentance towards God, and Faith in Iesus Christ) is the only person that is to be Baptized, or dipped with that visible Baptism, or dipping of Iesus Christ in Water, and also that visible person that is to walk in that visible order of his House, and so to wait for his coming the second time in the form of a Lord, and King with his glorious Kingdom according to promise, and for his sending down (in the time of his absence) the holy Ghost, or holy Spirit of Promise, and all this according the last Will and Testament of that living Lord, whose Will is not to be added to, or taken from.

3. I Testifie or Witness, that every such believer in Christ Iesus, that waiteth for his appearing, may in point of liberty, yea ought in point of duty to improve that Talent his Lord hath given unto him, and in the Congregation may either aske for information to himself; or if he can, may speak by way of Prophecie for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the whole, and out of the Congregation at all times upon all occasions, and in all places, as far as the jurisdiction of his Lord extends, may, yea ought to walk as a Child of light, justifying wisdom with his ways, and reproving folly with the unfruitfull works thereof, provided all this be shown out of a good conversation, as Iames speaks with meekness of wisdom.

4. I Testifie that no such believer, or Servant of Christ Jesus hath any liberty, much less Authority, from his Lord, to smite his fellow servant, nor yet with outward force, or arme of flesh, to constrain, or restrain his Conscience, no nor yet his outward man for Conscience sake, or worship of his God, where injury is not offered to the person, name or estate of others, every man being such as shall appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and must give an account of himself to God, and therefore ought to be fully perswaded in his own mind, for what he undertakes, because he that doubteth is damned if he eat, and so also if he act, because he doth not eat or act in Faith, and what is not of Faith is Sin.

Ill Newes from New-England, or, A narative of New-Englands persecution wherin is declared that while old England is becoming new, New-England is become old, by John Clark, London: Printed by Henry Hills, 1652, pages 9-10.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Appeals Court Upholds Multi-Million Dollar Verdict, 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.

Receive the truth you find

I dare not presume to say that I know I have hit right to every thing; but this I can say, I have endeavoured so to do. True, I have not for these things fished in other men’s waters; my Bible and Concordance are my only library in my writings. Wherefore, courteous reader, if thou findest any thing, either in word or matter, that thou shalt judge doth vary from God’s truth, let it be counted no man’s else but mine. Pray God, also, to pardon my fault. Do thou, also, lovingly pass it by, and receive what thou findest will do thee good.
John Bunyan, in his “Letter to the Christian Reader,” introducing Solomon’s Temple Spiritualized, as found in The Works of John Bunyan: (Volume 3) Allegorical, Figurative, and Symbolical, George Offor, Editor, Glasgow: Blackie and son, 1859, p. 464.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Man of sorrows

Philip Paul Bliss wrote Hallelujah, What a Savior (also known as Man of Sorrows), words and music, in 1875. Possibly it was first published in Gospel Hymns, No. 2 (No. 7, page 9) in 1876. It has many scriptural allusions, beginning with “man of sorrows” from Isaiah 53:3. It emphasizes Jesus Christ’s death, resurrection, exaltation, and second coming – and our praise to him for all these. The hymn is metered

Bliss was born in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, July 8,1838, a son of Isaac Bliss and Lydia Doolittle. He was converted at age twelve, became a music teacher and songwriter, and later a singing evangelist. He was only 38 years old when he died in a railway disaster at Ashtabula, Ohio, on December 30, 1876. Many of his songs are well known to English speaking Christians, including Almost Persuaded, Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy, Free From the Law, It is Well with My Soul (music only), I Will Sing of My Redeemer (words only), Let the Lower Lights Be Burning, and Wonderful Words of Life. 

1. “Man of sorrows,” what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
2. Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood,
Sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
3. Guilty, vile, and helpless, we;
Spotless Lamb of God was he,
Full atonement, can it be?
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
4. Lifted up was he, to die;
“It is finished,” was his cry;
Now in heaven exalted high:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
5. When he comes, our glorious King,
All his ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

In other words, related

  • accretion, noun. The process of growth or enlargement by a gradual buildup.
  • agnate brother/agnate sister, noun. A half sibling sharing the same father but having a different mother.
  • alopecia, noun. The partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows; an immune condition that causes baldness.
  • aphasia, noun. The loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage.
  • brother-german, noun. A brother through both father and mother, a full brother.
  • credentialism, noun. Belief in or reliance on formal qualifications (esp. academic degrees) as the best measure of a person's ability, intelligence, status, etc.
  • cuckold, noun. A man whose wife is sexually unfaithful, often regarded as an object of derision.
  • esoteric, adjective. Very unusual and understood or liked by only a small number of people, especially those with special knowledge.
  • exoteric, adjective. Intended or suitable for people generally, not only for some people.
  • fricative, noun. A consonant characterized by frictional passage of the expired breath through a narrowing at some point in the vocal tract.
  • gematria, noun. A method of interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, based on those of their constituent letters (developed by practitioners of Kabbalah).
  • gratuitously, adverb. Without good reason; unjustifiably; free of charge.
  • half-brother, noun. A brother related through one parent only.
  • half-sister, noun. A sister related through one parent only.
  • Midrash, noun. An ancient commentary on part of the Hebrew scriptures, attached to the biblical text.
  • monophobia, noun. The fear of being alone.
  • paleography, noun. The study of ancient writing systems and the deciphering and dating of historical manuscripts.
  • putative, adjective.  Generally considered or deemed such; reputed.
  • siloed, adjective. Kept in isolation in a way that hinders communication and cooperation.
  • sister-german, noun. A sister through both father and mother, a full sister.
  • uterine brother/uterine sister, noun. A half sibling sharing the same mother but having a different father.
  • stepbrother/stepsister, noun. A sibling of one’s stepparent by a former partner.
  • stepmother/stepfather, noun. The spouse of one’s parent when distinct from one’s natural or legal parent.
  • sibyl, noun. Any of certain women of antiquity reputed to possess powers of prophecy or divination; a female prophet or witch.
  • trope, noun. Any literary or rhetorical device, as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, that consists in the use of words in other than their literal sense; a phrase, sentence, or verse formerly interpolated in a liturgical text to amplify or embellish.
  • vaticinate, verb (used with or without object). To prophesy.