Saturday, December 6, 2008

From Ecclesiastes: An Ethic of Today

"Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well." (Ecclesiastes 11:6)

It is impossible for me to read Ecclesiastes for longer than two minutes without giving a hearty affirmation to its canonicity. The Teacher is a theologian of stellar quality, authoritative for proposition, innovative and new. But here we are not so much concerned with theology as we are with ethical living. In the spirit of Solomon we have a doctrine of Today that gives high credence to work, to usefulness, to output and discharge. The day must become a metanarrative of itself; a prolegomena and a denoument encapsulating a rich tapestry of life. Let us begin the morning with work and let us end it with work. Amen!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Theologian of the Cross: A Poem

I recently published this poem in the midst of a bout of temptation. It is the second of two (the first being The Theologian of Glory)devoted to Martin Luthers Heidelberg Disputations which will forever change the way I see life.

The Theologian of the Cross

Food is my enemy, and I revile the raiment draped over my shoulder,
When I cry to God there is no one there to answer, He is gone out of sight!
Why Oh Lord, do you stand far off? why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”
I am made to see sin upon sin, temptation upon temptation, judgment for both,
The promise has hidden, threatenings are my revelations from God.
But scarcely do I escape one threat before another one stands in the way.
My complaint is cut short lest my mouth in bitterness utter sin,
Lest I grumble as the Israelites did and release the fury of the Most High.
I could ask for death, and find comfort in the darkness of the grave,
But the flames of Hell lick the fringes of this solace,
The everlasting fire stands to attention, since my assurance is gone.
Tomorrow no longer bothers me, but today has become a dread.
My soul writhes under the pressure of today!
I am like those without youth, oh how bitter!
Like Martin Bucer stripped of his prime by the cares of the church.
Sleep only stays the wound, like anesthesia,
When I awake no surgery has been done and the wound festers open.
Where is my Maker? Where is Christ? He is on the cross,
But I must suffer with Him! Oh I must suffer and do the things He has done.
Oh God.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Creation and Intelligent Design

“I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design.... There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae [parasitic wasps] with the express intention of their [larva] feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.” (The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, 8:224)

Theologian Ben Myers agrees with Charles Darwin that the created order often reveals a a god of tyrannical fashion and malevolence (see 'Darwin on Intelligent Design' post at And yet in this concession to Darwin he has inadvertently allowed a bottom-up if/then theology of the creator God. If this type of larvae does this and it is designed as such, the designer must be cruel. Such is a rather avant-garde conclusion given the reflections God makes on the created order near the end of Job. After all of the destruction of Leviathon and Behemoth, after Job by divine permission loses house and family and health, God still remains the 'I Am' to be feared and worshipped and loved. God as wholly other can author chaos and still remain unswervingly Love. We know this by the revelation of Christ on the cross, where God the Father had His own beloved Son crushed and cut off for our sakes. We know this because as Christ was cut off by God He was also coronated by God (Phillipians 2:9,). We know that as Christ stood before the judgment of God he stood before the Love of God. "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again." (John 10:17)

If the cross is the Revelation of God, then it is our starting point for the doctrine of creation. I propose that with this 'top-down' analogia fide we can sufficiently articulate the created order in all its cruelties and glories. We can proclaim in faith that God is indeed the Creator of all things, from the butterfly to the parasite, and that He loves all things in Christ.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Logos Spermata

'For all writers were able to see the truth darkly, on account of the implanted seed of the Logos which was grafted into them.'
-Justin Martyr

In the second century of Christianity the prominant apologist Justin Martyr (followed more eloquently by Clement of Alexandria) developed the idea that the Word of God had been spattered across the globe long before its taking on flesh; long before Jesus Christ was revealed. This was a useful missional tactic; quite in the line of Paul in Athens who built upon a pre-existent theology in Hellenistic culture. This the idea that Jesus was globally anticipated; was unkown but known as such and thus worshipped.

Today the seed seems to remain just as it did then, if we are to take Paul and Justin seriously. Though Christ has been revealed to the earth, the two-tiered Word of God always projects towards a point and returns with a harvest (Isaiah 55:11). We are the elected bearers of this Word; we the church.

But what of this spermata? In our eagerness to proclaim to the world the Revelation of Christ we neglect to attend patiently to the world around us. Where are the seeds? What is being said already?

One example struck me as I watched the latest Mummy flick. The film was awful; I despise popular culture and would prefer the whole of it go to Hell where it ought to be. Our minds have suckled on stale milk long enough...

One thing dawned on me though: the resurrection of the dead. Everywhere and from beginning to end figures in the film were coming back to life after being long dead. This theme is actually common in most movies (more recently 10,000 B.C where the young lady is killed, but shortly thereafter receives the spirit of her guardian and returns to life). Could it be that in a world long sold out to a biological death followed by nothingness, the very arts that sustain our shallow worldview tinker with the idea of resurrection? God always gets the last Word.

To remain true to the gospel though, I propose that these evident revelatory themes are not salvific. I propose in the line of Paul, of Luther and of Barth that the Logos Spermata serves only to reveal the despair of man in knowing who God is.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

John and the Revelation of God

The apostle John more than any of the original disciples seems keenly aware of
the philosophical implications of the man Jesus Christ and His life on earth. Whereas
most modern theologians would like to think of the Bible narrative as a ‘bottom-up’
revelation of who God is, investigations into the inspired writings of John seemingly
yield a picture of God as transcendent before any immanency takes place. While most
would follow the line of history in developing this argument from the prolegomena of
John’s gospel; a brief glance at his first epistle would procure similar findings.

'That which was from the beginning…'

Here John gives authenticity to the message of Jesus Christ by claiming that
before all hands, feet, eyes, breathe and the very material observed by these human
functions even existed, Jesus simply was. This is a proclamation of solitariness and self-sufficiency that is attributable to God alone. "In the beginning God….." begins the sacredtestimony of Divine Action. Much later during John’s vision on the island of Patmos the Son of Man declared to him," I am the first and the last" (Revelation 1:17). Augustine, probably borrowing from this self-testimony argued that Christ not only was from the beginning; He was the beginning. A Christological interpretation of Genesis 1:1 would read: ‘In the Christ, God created the Heavens and the earth’. Indeed, if all things-invisible and visible- were created by Christ, such a rendition would be theologically accurate,even necessary. No one who takes the witness of scripture seriously would shirk Christ when He says," Before Abraham was born, I AM!" (John 8:57). If the Tetragrammaton truly applies to Jesus, if He is our YHWH, our beginning, then the message John proclaims ought to be taken very seriously.

'Which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched….'

The very authority of John’s testimony seems to arrange hypostatically in the two
premises’ of verse one. His audience would be warranted to accept his word on the
evidence of his having tangible access to Jesus. Alternately, the divine precedent of
eternality would be more than enough for a veritable discussion of who God is and what He has done. How much more the two combined! The prospect of journeying out of the atmosphere and into the solar system, beyond millions of galaxies to the point of the first cosmic explosion, somehow finding a path beyond matter and time through the doorway of the ex nihilo event to experience the glory of the Ground of Being, the putative state of affairs, the First Cause, the infinite God….the prospect of doing this with brains the size of a human fist warrants a dose of despair, if not implosion. Thinking on such a feat too
long humbles us sufficiently to realize why no one can look on the glory of God and live. And yet John counters the despair and meaninglessness of God-talk; talk of the Wholly Other. This self-same God, this God incomprehensible has jettisoned through His own glory into the system of causation. The Uncaused Cause has caused Himself. He has squeezed through the ex nihilo into time and matter, blasting beyond and with the cosmic expansion into the future, traversing across millions of galaxies into our solar system, descending into the atmosphere of Planet Earth and becoming a dot….yes, a dot much humbler than most of us other dots. No one can discard the concept of God’s being in becoming, of God willing His own Being while standing over the manger of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Beginning managed to will His own beginning.

'This we proclaim concerning the Word of Life…….'

It is difficult with these two loci in mind to turn away and not listen to what John
has to say. Surely if God Himself went to all lengths to do this, we would do well to take the message with a speck of fear and trembling. True enough, this appearance of God as incarnation or god-man, is ‘Word’. And not just ‘Word’ alone, but ‘Word of Life’. Jesus Christ is our exact representation of God. To borrow from Karl Barth, He is ‘God’s speech to man’. God-talk has lost its despair; God’s talk has enabled us to talk of Him! Christ is our bridge between finitude and infinity, between man and God. Keeping in mind who Christ is and where He came from, it should be sufficient for revelation that He is ‘Word of God’ . We can no longer do theology without Christ. He must be at the forefront of every God-discipline, since He is the very perfect Revelation of who God is. And if God indeed has revealed Himself as man, as finite being, then our epistemology of this revelation relies entirely on the God-breathed apostolic witness. Those who have
touched, seen, spoken with ‘The Word of God’ bear a living testimony that is sacred as witness to the ‘Word of God’. Since this witness is marked with the Holy Spirit, it is infallible, it is empowered by Christ. It is the Revelation about the Revelation by the Revelation. It is thus infallible, united with Christ, subservient to Him but very much also the ‘Word of God’.

'The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life…'

Making the fullness of the Ground of Being accessible to man assumes the salvation of man. If we can know who this Ground of Being is, if we can see Him and
touch Him and talk to Him and understand Him…surely we have life in full! "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" were the words of Jesus Himself. When God grabs our hand and in glory calls us out from the world, we cannot turn back. We have been touched by sacred things, sealed forever by a bond of knowledge that presupposes a re-creation of our very being. It is no wonder that we find our life in Christ as He is erected on the cross…. We are going to our deaths! As we know Him we are being destroyed, old things gone and new things coming. There is so much (!) life packed into the Word of God that we cannot contain it without crucifixion! "When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead" (Revelation 1:17). This seems to be the pattern for most everyone who obtains eyes to see and ears to hear (Daniel 10:15, Matthew 17:5, Luke 5:8, John 18:6,Acts 9:4). ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him..’ (John 6:44). Even in the finitude of Christ, our knowing of the Christ requires the free act of God. Thus in everything Christ, God for man and man for God, is to be praised! Apart from Him we truly can do no thing.With Him our intimacy with God is immanent, perfected and complete.

'We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.'

And if the apostolate brings this testimony to our ears and we receive these words with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction (1 Thessalonians 1:4):

'Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.'


'We write this to make our joy complete.'

Saturday, September 6, 2008

No other name by which we are saved?

The following is a fictional dialogue I have written concerning the subject of tradition, exclusivity, scripture and Christ. The exchange takes place on a passenger train en route to Winnipeg. Justin, a university graduate and amateur theologian enjoys a cup of coffee in the restaurant coach, and as the train apathetically glides over prairie a slightly bombastic hyper-calvinist sits himself down across the table....

Justin: Might I inquire as to your intent of joining me? Has the aroma of this good coffee really destroyed the common ethic of privacy?

Gentleman: I was curious as to what book you are reading... ahh now, the sermons of Spurgeon?

Justin: Yes, of Spurgeon. The university library of my town left me this dusty tome as a parting gift. What was your name then?

Gentleman: My name is Mike, and stay away from Spurgeon.

Justin: Well his corpse is certainly due east of here, but I'm not about to persuade this train to turn around on the spot! That would make quick corpses of us too, and then we would have no choice but to engage with Spurgeon!

Mike: If I was unsaved, that would certainly be the case. Spurgeon spoke from both sides of his tongue; I wouldn't recommend him at all.

Justin: How do you mean?

Mike: That preacher was quick to affirm that Calvinism is the gospel, but in the same breathe he accepted Arminians as saved brothers! Can anyone be so stupid?

Justin: I'm afraid Mike that I still do not follow. Why was the Prince of Preachers stupid for accepting Arminians as brothers?

Mike: Calvinism is the gospel, and since Arminianism is antagonistic to Calvinism, it does not have the gospel. Thus it cannot have salvation, nor those who submit to its rules.

Justin: Well, as far as I'm aware the honorable Spurgeon used the term 'Calvinism' as a reputable phrase for what was already laid out clearly in scripture. Would you agree that Calvinism is clearly laid out in scripture?

Mike: Certainly. Calvinism is actually really a misnomer, a response to heresy. It should actually just be 'scriptural Christianity'.

Justin: And would you-by saying Calvinism- mean the doctrines promulgated at the Synod of Dordt, what laymen refer to as T.U.L.I.P.?

Mike: I mean just what Calvin taught and believed: the Bible.

Justin: And would you confess that both Calvin and the Bible are clear in teaching T.U.L.I.P.?

Mike: Absolutely.

Justin: So there we have it then: Total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistable grace, and perseverance of the saints. You meantioned earlier that Calvinism is the gospel. Would you take another step in saying that T.U.L.I.P. is the gospel?

Mike: Obviously T.U.L.I.P. is the gospel. It is the very good news of Jesus Christ.

Justin: Very well, and I think I now see your point. If T.U.L.IP. is the gospel-

Mike: It is the gospel-

Justin: -if T.U.L.I.P. is the gospel, and given that Arminians do not subscribe to T.U.L.I.P., they thus do not subscribe to the gospel and cannot be saved. We could not treat them as brothers.

Mike: Exactly.

Justin: So all then that really remains in favor of Arminians and their credibility as Christian men is if we can somehow establish either that Calvinism is not the gospel-

Mike: No, it is the gospel-

Justin: -or that it contains some parts of the gospel but not the central point, the determining point of our profession of faith before God.

Mike: You are a blasphemer. How dare you even consider that these precious doctrines of grace would not be the gospel! Your salvation is in question.

Justin: That very well may be, which leaves me in excellant grounds right now, given that I have someone sitting across the table who can re-adjust my thinking. Tell me, in determining any matter of faith and morals between two men who claim to be Christians, would it be of greater authority to make an appeal to scripture or to the writing of a theologian?

Mike: Scripture is perspicuous, and we have no other ultimate authority. The answer rests on scripture.

Justin: Agreed. And with coincidence the two of us both profess to be Christians, and we both find ourselves in a dilemma, a disagreement on a faith issue. The faith issue has already been mentioned, whether or not Calvinism is the gospel-

Mike: Calvinism is the gospel-

Justin: -And what this means for Arminians. So if scripture is of greater authority than a theologian, would it not be wise to see if we can search out some settlement to our problem from the scriptures alone instead of referring to the works of Calvin?

Mike: The two will no doubt agree, but you are right that we should use scriptures as our final authority.

Justin: Very well. I propose we start by looking for some reference to the word 'gospel' in the inspired text. Let us try to pinpoint an exact meaning for the word 'gospel', and then perhaps we can work out its context in the rest of sacred scripture. Is this agreeable?

Mike: That sounds good.

Justin: It is fortunate that I am just departing from my graduate studies to enjoy a ministry in Winnipeg. Greek is still fresh in my mind. Tell me Mike, what is the New Testament derivative for our word 'gospel'?

Mike: That one I am aware of. It is euangelion.

Justin: Yes, I am readily familiar with this word. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I by euangelion literally means 'Good news'.

Mike: I studied this in seminary long ago. Eu stands for 'good' and angelion for 'news'.

Justin: So can you and I basically agree that the gospel, according to the inspired text is 'the good news'?

Mike: Yes, we can agree on this.

Justin: Excellant, now it remains for us to find out what the inspired text means when it says 'good news', and to see whether the 'good news' is indeed Calvinism. Now we can approach this one of two ways. Either we can locate the literal word 'gospel' in the text somewhere and establish its context for definition, or we can try to deduce the good news by our own sleuthing of the whole council. Which do you think would be better?

Mike: Likely the first.

Justin: For our purposes you are probably right. To find an inspired synopsis of the good news would be greater than trying to piece together our own interpretation of the good news from what we glean from each text. It may also help us to establish an interpretive framework for how the rest of sacred scripture ought to be read.

Mike: Yes, that does make sense.

Justin: We do need some sort of interpretive rule, and I believe Calvin was quite a fan of the rule we are using. The analogia fide, I believe it was and is called. Could you turn to the beginning passage of chapter fifteen of Pauls letter to Corinth?

Mike: My Scofield Reference edition is at home, and I don't like to carry much other bibles around.

End of part 1

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nietzche is dead, and he is wrong.

"The philology of Christianity. How little Christianity educates the sense of honesty and justice can be seen pretty well from the writings of its scholars: they advance their conjectures asblandly as dogmas and are hardly ever honestly perplexed by the exegesis of a Biblical verse. Again and again they say, "I am right, for it is written," and the interpretation that follows is of such impudent arbitrariness that a philologist is stopped in his tracks, torn between anger and laughter, and keeps asking himself: Is it possible? Is this honest? Is it even decent? What dishonesties of this sort are still perpetrated from Protestant pulpits today, how crudely the preachers exploit the advantage that nobody can interrupt them, how the Bible is pricked and pulled and the art of reading badly formally inculcated upon the people -- all this will be underestimated only by those who go to church either never or always. In the end, however, what are we to expect of the aftereffects of a religion that enacted during the centuries of its foundation that unheard-of philological farce about the Old Testament? I refer to the attempt to pull away the Old Testament from under the feet of the Jews -- with the claim that it contains nothing but Christian doctrines and belongs to the Christians as the true Israel, while the Jews had merely usurped it. And now the Christians yielded to a rate of interpretation and interpolation, which could not possibly have been accompanied by a good conscience. However much the Jewish scholars protested, everywhere in the Old Testament there were supposed to be references to Christ and only to Christ, and particularly to his cross. Wherever any piece of wood, a switch, a ladder, a twig, a tree, a willow, or a staff is mentioned, this was supposed to indicate a prophecy of the wood of the cross....Has anybody who claimed this ever believed it?" -

Nietzsche, on the Philosophy of Christianity.

I've always been fascinated by Nietzche as a person, as a writer and a philosopher. But his critiques against aspects of Christianity, such as this one, though interesting, usually only invoke similar feelings of rage and laughter by those who know a thing or two about the history of the Christian church, the history of Christian philosophy and the history of Christian philology.

Thesis 1: Nietzche cannot be angry with Christians for reading Christ everywhere in the Old Testament, because we learn more and more as we study Jewish Targums that those places where Christians supposedly farse by reading Christ into the text, Jewish Rabbis long before Christ even existed read the Messiah into the text. We've just put a name to him.

Thesis 2: Nietzche cannot legitimately say that the foundational periods of Christianity were supercessionistic, callng Israel merely a type of the church, calling the church the new Israel and calling the Old Testament the church's book. While I agree with most or all of these propositions (loosely), these were not the foundational positions. The apostles of Christ were prominant dispensationalists; as was Justin Martyr in odd ways, and especially Irenaeus. The earliest church Fathers had covenental theologies, as did certain Christian sects. Nietzche's statement is absurdly false. He is referring to a later development around the time of Augustine.

Thesis 3: Nietzche cannot be angry when a pastor says," I am right, for it is written." Because saying so is not pride as is eminant, but a reaction to the platitudinous. It is saying," I am right not of myself but of something else that is time-honored and respected. Do not listen to me, listen to me only insomuch as I am listening to what has been written." It is also a statement that is only legitimately made in an arena of individuals who equally respect the authority of what is written. If Nietzche is angry, then he has not realized that the pastor wasn't speaking to him.

Thesis 4: Nietzche cannot be angry with supercessionistic philosophy or its implications, because if the Old Testament is a forerunner of Messiah, a herald, then it is Messiahs book, not the Jews. That the Jews fail to recognize Christ as Messiah is another point entirely; that Christians recognize Christ as Messiah makes it a rule that the Old Testament would be Christs book.

God is Dead

We have killed God, so the Christians say, we have nailed Him to the cross and shamed Him. We have put His own curse on Him and spilled His blood. We have triumphed over Him, we have slain the King of the Jews, so Ponteus Pilato had it written. There is no mourning aound the cross, only triumph and lots and slander and merrimaking. God is Dead; and we have killed him. Watch Him breathe His last and descend to the depths of the Earth. This is mans hour, and we have done the most glorious thing, the most impossible thing, to be remembered forever.Of course, as we revel and shout for joy in the triumph of man, the coronation of man, we ponder at the empty tomb. Christ is absent, but where? Is He still in Hell where we placed him, or as the lunatics and fools whom we murder say, has He ascended to the Heavens?

“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” (Zechariah the prophet)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Our most high and glorious call

Fellow youth,

We are called to destroy our youth in Christ. We are called to hurt, pain, poverty, discomfort and misery. We are called to bitter darkness and misery and torment, to burning fire and scorching wind, to parched lips and an empty stomach. We are called to have our eyes gouged out, our hands and feet cut off, our body sawn in two. To burn at the stake, be quartered cut and disemboweled. We are called to die spiritually every day, and on top of suffering a faulty will and the daily burden of sinful temptation, the pain of meaninglessness and the cost of discipleship. We are called to be rejected, despised, forsaken complexed and rebuked. We are called to lift a burden we cannot carry and labor for 10,000 impossibilities all at once. We must do everything and yet do nothing, and suffer for doing nothing and do nothing to do everything. We are called to be nothings, vapors in the wind, less than slaves, filthy, stinking rotten pieces of feces. We are called to eat dirt and shame and bitterness and have all our plans foiled. We are called to suffer,

and that most highly and gloriously, because our Lord Jesus Christ came here to save us by killing us.

The gospels and Paul

The beloved Irenaeus of Lyon once said that 'since the 'pillar and ground' of the Church is the Gospel and the spirit of life, it is fitting that she should have four pillars, breathing incorruption on every side, and vivifying human afresh.'

In the mores and practice of todays Evangelical church, could it not rightly be observed that these 'four pillars' have been removed, placed in the back corner of the temple and only noticed by the glint and shadow of the thirteen or so epistles written by the apostle Paul?

Test yourself. As I write these words a grounded reacton rises up within my own being, a loaded question," Dare you say that the Gospels are greater than the epistles?" Which proves my own point; we dare to stand by the epistles if the two are to be balanced, held in light together and examined.

I am, of course, making no such statement. I affirm that the same Spirit who breathes and breathed life into the gospels does the same impartially to the epistles of Paul. The Word of God is the Word of God without division. But if such is the case, and it indeed is, why are we dishonoring our own theology of scripture by materially rejecting the gospels in favor of Pauls writing? In most any sermon I have attended in my life, the exposition (sorry, the lack of exposition) was always geared towards the apostolic writings. Theologians and Christian authors, to favor themselves among the orthodox use terms like 'Pauline' or 'Paulist' to fit their practice and belief, thus negating everything Paul stood against and chastised in the first book of Corinthians chapter one. Is Christ divided?

Who came to deliver the message, Christ or Paul? Who is a servant of the other? And is any servant greater than his master? If you took time to read the gospels, you might know the answer to that question. Paul was the chief expositer and administer of the grace of God... but Christ IS the grace of God. What a shame and dishonor to Pauls own calling that we take on his own name rather than the name of Jesus Christ.

Part of the reason for this title is a reaction to followers of Christ who see differently than evangelicals and fundamentalists. Mennonites, for example, who stress above all else the cost of discipleship based on the foundational text of the Sermon on the Mount, are typically scorned as heterodox when the observer would juxtapose himself as a Paulist. It is reported that Scofield (chief forerunner of fundamentalism) negated most everything that Christ said as no longer applicable to this day and age. Whether or not this is true, his dispensationalist followers conveniently placed the words of Christ under the covenant of law, thus stripping them of any bearing or authority over us, who are under Pauline grace. (some of course, have reacted to this blasphemy such as our beloved brother in the faith John Macarthur).

If grace and truth did indeed come from Christ, as John asserts in his prolegomena, and the law from Moses, wouldn't that be sufficient to obliterate that faulty idea altogether?

I humbly (and oddly, with pride) suggest that we balance out this centuries old problem by returning to the Christology of our Mennonite forefathers in dealing with scripture, by once again preaching the Sermon on the Mount, and the hard sayings of Christ in church. This would no doubt bless the heart of Paul, who counted all as rubbish for the sake of His master and the call set before him.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Umteen antithesis to Same-Sex Relational propositions

The following is a slightly misconstrued response to a paper entitled 'Twelve Propositions on Same-Sex Relationships and the Church' by Kim Fabricius. His work can be viewed at the famous 'Faith and Theology' blog in the propositions column.

1. To the proposition that questions of same-sex relationships are first questions of truth and then of morality and discipline.

Karl Barth once said that you cannot do proper theology (here being truth about God) without simultaneously doing ethics (right and wrong) since 'knowing God implies doing His will'. Let the two go hand in hand for a church question. If we are to know God on this matter, who is the Truth, we are to be doing His will. As the Johannine text says so candidly," By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments."

We shall never know the truth until we obey the truth; we shall never obey the truth until we know the truth.

2. To the proposition that homosexuality is a 'given' and not a choice, a normality akin to left-handedness.

Accepted or denied, the church since Augustine has hinged on the doctrine of Original Sin. The normality of Homosexuality would thus be neutral, or more appropriately moot to the debate, if not already supporting the anti-homosexuality agenda since corruption according to this doctrine defines genetics, defines normality.

3. To the proposition that human sexuality here is meant something not 'overly-genitalised', something involving 'friendship, intimacy, and joy' as much as 'libido'.

Such positive aspects of a relationship standing for itself are usually essential to most other Biblically scrutinized relationships like Davids adulterous affair with Bathsheba or the rape of Dinah. I'm sure David was friendly, intimate, and joyous in his genitalised interactions with Bathsheba, over or under. Making stark observations about these qualities in a homosexual 'sexuality' is a polemic best left to those who need ubiquitous positives to justify singular negatives, if indeed the sexuality at hand is a negative. Mentioning the above seems more of an act of desparation than anything, throwing shade rather than light on an issue.

4. To the proposition that a 'Yuk' factor has no place in rational discussion.

Is church discussion rational discussion?
To elevate rationality as a determiner of truth in the arena of the church, Christ's body is to do a disservice to the doctrine of grace. Grace is not rational, which I here take to mean inherant to the human consciousness, grace and truth are entirely secular to humanity and only found by humanity insomuch as they are found in the man Christ. As Mr. Fabricius notably shared with us that the Truth will set us free, we might as well make an addendum that the Christ will set us free, since He is truth incarnate. And as the Barthians would rightly put, to speak of the Truth we must speak of the witness to the truth, sacred scripture.

So without rationality, with Christ as the fulcrum of our interpretive method, can a "Yuk" factor hold legitimacy in the homosexual debate? Was Paul so eager to remove stumbling blocks to his own brother in Christ for nothing? Perhaps the 'Yuk' factor is what ought to hold primacy in the place of this discussion. After all, an offense to a brother is an offense to Christ, who died for our brother.

5. To the proposition that in dealing with scripture we must submit to a hermeneutical axiom that requires homology between our culture and its own.

To present an axiom that forbids the cultural-transcendence of the witness to Christ is in the same act a forbidding of scripture to speak to us on any counts at all today. Where do we draw the line? How can we be keenly certain that every scriptural platitude is in accordance, is bridged to todays' culture and ethical situation'? One would easily call this an impossibility, which would make the Word of God an impossibility. Rather as a Protestant church we must make Faith our rule, Faith our analogy. We accept scripture on faith, not on cultural similarity as scripture, and thus let it speak to us today. Thus, whatever exegetical method we are to employ, the Protestant question must always leave room for scripture to speak for itself; causa finita est. This would include the passages here listed on homosexuality.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cast a care

Is God too busy to swoop up your cares and handle them? Is He unconcerned about what concerns you? If God were truly indifferent to your worries, wouldn't that give you ample support to be indifferent about them as well? At any rate the Word of our Lord declares differently; a simple command is given to those who wish to obey Him and the reward is great.

Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall. (psalm 55:2)

This is a step of obedience; to let Him in on what troubles your heart, however great or small or wicked or frightening. As if He doesn't already know, the love of God waits for an honest answer from us so He can demonstrate the peace He desires to give in an intimate sort of way. The immanence of God will shock you, the greatness of God will bring tranquility to your soul. Oswald Chambers says somewhere that we ought not to count any cost before we place God in the equation. I need to let that settle more in my thinking, because when it does I am unshakeable. Break the fear down and place God (whose name is revealed as PEACE in Judges 6:24) on every level. Hook your detailed care onto the end of a fishing line and cast it into the solar system. God is bigger than that, and no bait is needed.

And for those of you who are like me, who go searching for the worry after we've already got rid of it, faithfully keep on casting it back onto the Lord. Once you have given it to Him, it is in His court. It is now His responsibility to worry about.

Monday, July 28, 2008


The Lord wants you to be healthy, observe as a prime candidate for this purpose of the gospel the faithful servant Paul. He recieved copious benefits of health as a result of his obedience in almost all bodily and mental aspects. The proof text is chapter eleven of his second letter to Corinth

Dermatological health- five sets of forty lashes minus one on the back from the Jews.

Bone and physical conditioning- three beatings with a rod and being stoned once.

Rest and rejuvination- A night and day on the open sea, being constantly on the move, oft sleeplessness.

Travel leisure- three shipwrecks, dangerous rivers and countryside bandits.

Nutrition- Hunger and repeated starvation.

Mental- A messenger from Satan tormenting his mind, perpetual weakness and daily stress from church needs.

These name-it-claim-it laws were also put into effect by his spiritual son Timothy, who worked hard at his faith and recieved frequent illnesses without proper remedy.

Consider this as ample evidence for the validity of a guarenteed life of health and ease if you sign up for following Christ today! Enclosed is a complimentary miracle smiley face.


Pride is ugly

Let us expose it for all of its shame and filth. Here is a poem I wrote when I was particularly angry at pride. I feel very proud of it.

Oh Candle of pride, thou spoiler of my affections and my assurance,
what place hast thou with me? How dare thy wick twist throughout my body,
thy swelling flame throw its sickly light on all my intent?
Would that I were stronger in grace, thy exposed light would be snuffed
eternally; yet I wait in patience for your extinguishing long overdue
and until then have no choice but to bear when necessary and avoid when possible.
Know this, however; that in the acknowledgment (away pride! since it was not I who discovered it)
you have already been struck with a fatal blow.
The same Savior who bore the punishment you incur on me,
will see to it that humility take your place!
And very shortly a new candle will be lit,
a candle that will only shine when all credit I expect is
subdued by my own transparency.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Sword of the Spirit is still sharp.

Today one would think the Bible no longer has the efficacy once boasted of it. The power in the sacred page, every word a sweet nebulae of honey, every precept carefully thought out and preserved to last to the end of the age.. the modern Christian might smirk and call such a description archaic, desperately romanticised and more fitting to our philosophy: lacking in pragmatism. If the Bible has any airtime in the secular universities, it's substance is weed-whacked, dismantled and most conveniently ignored under the humanistic historico-critical method. Nevermind that the Bible speaks about God, let us make it speak about man and show it as thus a man-thing.. merely a man-book. The biblical record is placed along the shelves of the Sumerian epics, Homers works and possibly Tacitus or Josephus. It is a myth, and if it is to speak to us today it must speak to us as any other ancient myth would.

In the church, the visible manifestation of the invisible Spirit, pastors replace sound exegesis with topical fancies and self-help pop psychologies. If the Bible is at all quoted, it is a means to a 'greater' end; the end of telling the seeker friends that they are special, that they need to find their confidence and should think positively. Or the blasphemous message of health wealth and prosperity; King Solomon is proof that God wants you wealthy! Nevermind that Solomons acquiring of vast amounts of gold was a direct violation of the Deuteronomic kingly law set apart by God, (ch.17 v.17) a struggling surplus is a deficit of faith! The Bible is cajoled and manipulated to fit the extensive monologues of various public voices that get a greater hearing in the sermon than sacred scripture itself. A typical sermon these days may include everything from Jung to Mencious to Thomas Merton. It may even include a Bible verse.

At home every Bible, from the Sacra Vulgata to the Scofield edition, from the gardeners Bible to the plumbers Bible.. the Message, Positive thinkers Bible, Archaeologists Bible, Ragamuffins Bible, Reformers Bible, Apologetics Bible, is collected and shelved like ornate china. The difference here is that ornate China is actually looked at.

Some have escaped from the mundane caricature of thumbing scriptures on the weekend to go get slain, get zapped, get prophesied over, get a sign or a miracle or a wonder. Everyone leaps up when theres a 'Word' for them; who cares that there are already 1094 pages of words for them bound up, preserved and spilled out from the heart of the eternal God.

Nevertheless, and in accordance with the power and command of the eternal God, the scriptures stand today as they did yesterday (Romans 16:15-26); they stand as witness to Christ. And so long as our beloved Lord Jesus Christ stands at the throne of Power, far above every other authority, His testimony will be powerful.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Knowing God in pain.

How is such a feat accomplished?

Anguish sears our souls, like a double grate of white-hot iron mechanically placed again and again on whatever wound we are bearing. For me it is the torment of extreme Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The last three years of my life, throughout the day and sometimes directly into the night; my mind shudders under the weight of one blasphemous impulse after the other... a brain lockdown that utilizes my worst religious fears to create a sort of biological demonic attack. I say this not to place myself ridiculously among the champions of the faith, as if three years of mental pain can even come close the blood of the martyrs which stains our history. Nor do I say this to place a neat smack of guilt on your own sufferings; as if I've hauled more and you ought to be ashamed at wincing. Relative to our experience and the history of our lives; every forthcoming hurdle is great of itself. Could David have found sustenance in years of flight from his enemy Saul had he not stood before the giant Goliath without armor? Could he have stood before Saul had he not faced the bear and the lion in his days as a shepherd?

Could God as man have borne the cross for nine hours without first bearing a three-year ministry of insult and verbal persecution? Could He have endured such a plight without first suffering in the desert without food and water for over a month?

From a life of physical torture and persecution to the pain of the first break-up, or the loss of dear friends due to Christian faith, each man knows his own sufferings, each mans sufferings are great.

The question however, is so what? What are we to do with the knowing of God when all notions of relationship seem to be an utter impossibility, when we have been let down, pounded to the ground and abandoned? In our culture, which is built on the legitimate premise of conditional love, this is the failure of contract, this is the time for divorce...because in all things, experiential physical and emotional God has divorced us.

I will present to you the opposite, however. I would like to propose to you that God is best known in the unknowing of Him; God is best known in abandonment, pain, anguish, grief and suffering. When every prayer is a gutteral moan, a grasping of oil in the hand or a catching of the moonbeam, Here is the very analogy of God most suitable to man. Here is the very reconciliation and redemptive act of God to man!

Are we not all familiar with the words uttered by Christ on the cross? They echo psalm 22," My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?!!!"

When God has forsaken you; failed you, abandoned you, given you over to torture and pain and destruction, here you are intimate with Christ. Here you can draw near to the cross and say," Jesus, I am with you. I am forgotten of God, condemned to die and wounded." And He will say," Son, I am with you; sharing in your pain and tasting of your grief. Sit awhile with me."

The intimacy of two people sharing a grief is difficult to explain in words, because words are little shared in the exchange.

Draw near to Christ in your sufferings and His. This is the nearness of God that cannot be separated; because Christ (God) is separated from God for us and with us. Our merger to God is in the very cutting off; so take heart; you are nearer to Him now, more candidate to a relationship with Him then you could ever be as healthy, wealthy and prosperous.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The beauty of the Lord is in union- an aesthetic reflection on marriage.

Recently I made a trip to Lake of the Woods, Kenora to celebrate the marriage of my cousin and his girlfriend. With the modern attitude towards marital vows, covenant, trustworthiness and the human sexuality this marriage stood as an imperial, glorious reaction. It was a conundrum, a problematic wedding, a thorn in the side of Western values. This wedding ought not to have occurred, the very act of its exchange was so strikingly holy it panged all of our amorality, it was our judgment. This wedding was the judgment of the modern human consciousness, a Christological triumph over the devil and how he has blasphemed and polluted the God-ordained sacrament. The devil would have marital union so fraught with destruction and filth, homosexal agendas, continuous patterns of divorce or the simple choice of a couple not to marry whatsoever; that perhaps God would withdraw His hand from understanding.

Yet it was the very acknowledgment of God, of our glorious God during this marriage, the silent affirmation of both individuals over wilderness and lake and cloud and storm, the recognition of covenant, of Christ and the church, that in one act silenced a hundred years of demonic effort. As the humble preacher led us through prayer, his attitude drawn heavenward to the transcendant sacredness of what we were observing, firm peals of thunder rumbled from overhead. One could almost reach out past the pedestal, and grasp the presence of God over the rain-spattered lake. God was there, there as observer, there to initiate, there to bless, there to judge in His mercy. Not as if our acknowledgment of God in marriage was the initiative of the blessing and presence of God. God's acknowledgment of us was our acknowledgment of Him. God always gives the First Word, God always gives the Final Word. We were caught up into the grace of God as marriage was articulated in the precise manner as He so wished, and this precision silenced us. I will take a risk and call my beloved friends and relatives by name: Justin and Bobby were co-partakers, co-laborers with Christ in proving once for all that marriage belongs to Christ and always will belong to Him... causa finita est.

Monday, June 16, 2008

An atheist gives good theology II

I was carrying out a lengthy dialogue with atheists on why the acceptance of the gospel means the abandonment of reason. They kept prodding me to display some proves for God; I was adamant that the only 'proof' for God is Christ, accepted by faith. One atheist joined the discussion and responded," And how could experimental proof of a god dethrone him? Surely he is not so weak." Precisely the point of the gospel message. The gospel is a devastation of experiment, of proof, of the human conception of strength. We come to know God in the weakness of God on the cross. God offers His proof to us in weakness and absurdity; in absolute maddening love. In the same event of knowing God in His weakness, in foolishness; we know Him in His absolute power, wisdom and strength. The weakness of God is the very coronation of God; His very dignity and kingliness. As Paul expounds in Phillipians 2:8-11 God,"Being found in appearance as a man.. humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Vindication in condemnation, kingliness in servitude, exaltation in humility, glory in shame. Who would have thought that the event of the condemnation of a simple Jewish man would be the cosmic coronation, the most powerful enthronement in eternity; the declaration of God?

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than mans wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than mans strength." (1 Corinthians 1:25)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Recieving God.

Today was Fathers day. Out of love for my wonderful dad I blended ice together to create a sort of quasi-snow, packed it all together and placed some pepsis snugly into the center. Growing up in the household my Father and I have exploited the rare occasions of snowfall by packing cans of pepsi in the bank and enjoying them extra cold.

When my father had seen what I had done, he laughed and offered a semi-decline," I cannot son. This is great, but I'm already full up from beverages at dinner. Give me half."

"What Father? Will you slight my gift? I insist you drink it whole!". He laughed and we enjoyed cold pepsis out on the deck.

As we were drinking, the force of God's gift of salvation hit me; the very quality of salvation as gift. God has offered me eternal reconciliation through a covenant of love in Christ; offered it in love and apart from what I have done. The greatest part of this gift is its essence; salvation is not something secular, exterior to the being of God. Salvation [i]is God[/i] Himself, God in Christ, God the Spirit offered to us to live in love with the Tri-une relationship. We are caught up into the divine, invited to the communion of the Lord who governs the universe. This all offered to wicked man, by grace. Am I slighting His gift? Am I willing to grab at some, and not the whole? Am I hurting God by grabbing what is desirable from salvation, from Christ but leaving the discomfiting parts of suffering and obedience? To take only a part of the gift is the slight of all slights; and it is also impossible to do. God cannot be divided into portions lesser then Himself and distributed at the volition and taste of the reciever. Either you recieve God in full or you don't. Either you recieve Christ in full or you reject Him, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ." (Collosians 1:9)

To accept God's gift of life truly, also means to accept God's gift of death, truly, simultaneously and inseperably. To accept the cross of Christ means to bear the cross of Christ. To partake in His life completely means partaking in His death completely. We cannot have resurrection without crucifixion. We cannot live to God without dying to self. Living eternally to God means dying eternally to self. And the grandeur of the offer is its pouring out again and again on the reciever. Daily we die, daily we are raised to life. The greater the shame, the greater the glory. Is it not absolutely lovely and beautiful that God's revelation is paradoxical? Does that not shame all our wisdom and pride? Our reason and rationality?

Let us eagerly recieve the fullness of God's gift, because as is repeated again and again in Ephesians one this is to His glory. This pleases Him. A Father is pleased when His son merely recieves the gift, even if the gratitude mustered is not perfect. Our enjoyment of the gift is the Fathers greatest pleasure. Let us learn to enjoy the fullness of what God has given us; Himself.

Do not despair. Whatever is in you that ought not to be there, that discourages you and seems impossible to obliterate, is there for the purchase at the cross.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is swearing acceptable? An eschatological perspective

"Because of these, the wrath of God is coming." (Collosians 3:6)

Our life in Christ is a here and now, a life for the present, a kingdom in and among us. Nevertheless, such a present state of being dwells within the polar forces of the death and resurrection past, and the coming advent of Christ as King and Judge in the future. We draw from both wellsprings, acts inseperable from the eternal reality that is Christ. At the cross and resurrection of Christ we collide with the God of love through faith and repentance. With this in one hand we are nourished with the hope of eternal life under the reign of Jesus Christ in the future, just as we may look to the future reign and find hope in the cross and resurrection of the past. God as Christ is fully revealed in both acts, which supposes a unity of the two. In the tension and unity of both acts we find our being in the now. Nevertheless, the disclosure of God has always been called a double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Bearing the fullness of the weight of God's love in Christ, penetrating the most hardened of hearts in redeeming grace, is the fullness of the weight of God's wrath on Christ, our judgment. The advent of Christ to restore the world and save mankind is also and in the same act an advent to destroy the world and obliterate mankind. It is no slip that Jesus often affirms the guilt of man upon His arrival in the gospel of John. Which side of the sword is your tongue choosing?

The passage quoted up top from Pauls letter to Collosae deals with God's revelation of Christ as wrath in the coming advent. The sword is flipped by a looking back to the love of Christ at the cross and leaving sin in the past act. One such sins that must be put to death is filthy language from the lips (v.8). The presence of it fosters the contingency of God's coming wrath. The projection of a filthy mouth is in itself a projection, a heralding of God's judgment. As Paul later says," The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them." (1 Timothy 5:24). On the other hand, the projection of purity presupposes the coming grace and restoration of Christ, the giving of eternal life (Romans 2:7). Fortunately, in all things mercy triumphs over judgment, the side of love shines brighter than the pitch of wrath. Right now, as in some form all of us are presupposing the coming judgment, God's love offers us to step up to the cross, again and again, and die to ourselves, with the promise of the Spirit that offers us new life every day.

I need to be more careful with my lips and what comes from them, and for that I need the determination of God's grace on the cross to kill me. May He do the same for you. And He has.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

An atheist gives good theology

A few days ago I was debating with an atheist on the justice and mercy of God. He could not wrap his head around why God would reward someone with eternal life for believing and punish them with eternal death for disobeying. In frustration he retorted," Your God is operating on the level of the pettiest of humans!" Precisely the point of Christianity. Little did he know that his words contained a concise explication of the fulcrum of God's revelation: Christ. Christ is God acting on the level of the pettiest of humans, Christ is God among the lowest of lows, associating with sinners and dying an accursed death. And may we all be thankful that God works among the lowest of us (and for that reason makes the gospel very simple), that all might be saved.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fides et Ratio or Fides Contra Ratio?

The doctrine of creation has suffered a great decline in its riches in the last 200 years. One could almost point the problem right back to the dawn of the Reformation, where the blessed Martin Luther projected a hermeneutical method that heightened personal, subjective interpretation over and against the interpretation of the church. Not a terrible thing in itself, given the recovery (or discovery) of climactic doctrines within the sacred text that have indeed re-bolstered the life of the church.

But the very thrust of life given to us in this modicum of interpretation is only one side of the sword. The penetration of personal study also empowers the utilization of personal reason, understanding, method and experience; all of which to a certain degree have been cultured by nature. This eventually gives rise (I would assume) to the experiential theologies of the Quakers, Classical Liberalism, Deism and Higher Criticism. We might also observe the progress of the natural sciences in the 19th century via Darwin, Wallace and Thomas Huxley, and it is this movement and its relationship to creation that I will deal with. Darwin's theory of natural selection has and continues to create controversy within the church, and for seemingly good reasons. The suggestion behind this theory (well demonstrated and observed in nature) posits an origin of species that almost (not quite) removes the need or use of a creator. There is no teleological process guiding an amoeba 'up' the 'stages' to an eventual human being; natural selection is as its title suggests, a purely natural function. In other words, according to scientific observation there would have been no need for God to do anything after spawning the first simple forms of life. This is a horribly basic description of philosophical and scientific development, but my concern is more dealing with where we are then what brought us here. Somewhere along the line (perhaps with certain rationalistic assertions made by Augustine) the church began playing with the idea that the natural world gives us a good idea of truth. That truth can be known and understood in an absolute sense via observation of the natural world is something the church ought to have nothing to do with, at least in a serious sense. But that is exactly what they have everything to do with; why else would the established evidences for an old earth and the evolutionary origin of man be such a controversy?

If one were to walk into a typical Christian bookstore and peruse the shelves for volumes on the subject of creation, he may find any number of titles such as:

'Scientific Creationism' by Henry M. Morris
'Creation as Science by Hugh Ross
'A Case for The Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That points Towards God.' Lee Strobel

The list goes on and on. Secular authors have even picked up on this; type creationism in the search box and you'll find similar titles by atheist proponents.

The problem here is that creationism has wrongly been called science. Creationism has been reduced to science; that is all we are familiar with. That is also heresy. Let us take a look at the doctrine of creation as scripture defines it:

'By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.' (Hebrews 11:3)

Do you see the model that sacred scripture presents? We understand that the world and universe was created by faith. This is how the Creator wishes to be known and understood. This is how the doctrine of creation is to be defined; a doctrine of faith. This is how the definition of creationism is to be understood, a 'science' (I mean science here in the sense of general sciences) of faith. To make it more clear, let us explore what sacred scripture here means by faith:

'Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen.' (Hebrews 11:1)

Do you see that? Scripture defines the very essence of faith right before delving into creation. We know that the universe is created by 'things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.'

We know that the universe is created by trusting in God... by trusting in the unseen... the unseen God. This very command is a devastation to the utter incapabilities of us to know anything about God apart from faith. God will have the last Word, and this last Word will be accessed by faith alone, from first to last.

The greatest thing we can glean from creation is that this unseen God who we put our hope in, this unseen Creator whom we trust..... Has made Himself 'seen', has made himself known. Creation is all about Christ, the very Word of God mentioned in Hebrews 11, made flesh. Christ has been seen, therefore God the Creator has been seen. And it is this very sighting of God which occurred 2,000 years ago as attested by the inspired gospels and apostolic writings, that fuels our hope, our conviction of the unseen. A perfect dialectic; God is both seen and He is unseen. The Creator is unseen, but He is seen in Christ, even though Christ is unseen.

"Though you have not seen Him now, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls." (1 Peter 1:8)

The natural world and scripture don't have to line up, as we have read so much in current books on creation. What you see in the Heavens is fading, destined to wear out like a garment, but the Word of the Lord, again and again endures forever. Don't let scientific observation be the new ruling magisterium of sacred scripture and your faith.

As Martin Luther once said," Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and ... know nothing but the word of God."

"Reason is the Devil's greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil's appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom ... Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism... She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets."

May the God of Creation, as revealed in Christ alone, be praised!

Friday, May 23, 2008

About the Blog


Because we cannot properly understand being apart from action, it might be thought charitable to reserve all personal information about who I am to an anticipated gold dig; discovering the 'I' in the act of this blog and its evolution. The factum of such an ontology is much more interesting than a long, drawn out account of my life. Nevertheless, a short preamble (which presupposes slight autobiographical skecthes) is in order.

I intend this blog primarily for youth, making an indignant observation that gentlemen my age are that only in a nominal sense, along with the rest of their assigned titles. We youth typically have trouble losing ourselves and finding Christ. We rest in a tension of obedience and rebellion, a usual 'yes, but...' to the command of God. I've been wrestling with this problem for most of my teenage life, and were it not for the stern discipline of my loving Father in Heaven I would likely be exiting the eve of my youth with nothing but youthful passions to boast of. Nevertheless, God is a gracious God, and you will find that one foot in front of the next reduces the 'but' in your response to Him significantly, and that eternally.

Commenting on the nominal nature of Christian youth, I might inquire as to its being this way because our sinful passions are inflated and accentuated by an over-exposure to the culture of North America. Legalist per se? Am I being reactionary? Perhaps. I candidly affirm that culture of itself is a neutral thing, as the definition:

the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc. (

None of the listed are 'bad' or deleterious of themselves, indeed the church itself must inevitably fulfill all of these attributes of culture in order to exist. Nevertheless, culture is one thing, and North American culture another. If letters, arts and manners etc.. were done with the attitude of glorifying a Holy God (though inevitable, not commissioned) youth might be justified in being enfatuated. However, I fear that it is conversely the push away from glorification to rebellion that fuels the way post-modern culture operates today.

To return to the beginning, this blog is at its core an exhortation to remember our Creator in our youth, before trouble (Ecclesiastes 12:2). Will you dare to do anything less when your very existence partakes in His creative will?!!!

A note on future posts: I am dogmatic; I believe all that God is and has done for us requires a positive response. For instance, I do not fear bellowing out a dogmatic 'Yes' to an important question. Is Christ the only pathway to God? Yes. Is the Bible the Word of God? Yes. etc.. However, dogma does not necessarily mean conclusion; it means we're getting closer to a conclusion. Language about God that is neither inspired nor infallible must needs always be perfected, I know little and am open to revision.

Enough said, I'd like to commit this blog to God


I know so little, but what I do know I devote to you now. Whether this blog is read by everyone or no one, I can rest content in that you are reading it, as your Holy Word says,"The Lord examines the righteous" (Psalm 11:5). May it be a pleasing fragrance to you in Christ. May it help others. I open myself to your constant correction, be gracious to me Father. Amen.