Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hector Avalos proposes a secular approach to Biblical Studies.


If the secularists wish to have it this way, then let it be this way. What is it to the church or God if the whole world sells itself out to treating the bible in the manner proposed by Avalos? Christians must constantly have in view that the content of the Bible ("Jesus is Lord") is not a basic truth given to man. According to Mt.16:17 this content is only conferred by Revelation from the Father. In 1 Cor.12:3 Paul expressly declares that the possibility of true faith and confession is a possibility given by the Holy Spirit alone. Even in the Old Testament scriptures the Presence of God is never given in such a way as to evade revelation and faith. The Temple of the Lord was thus destroyed by the Chaldeans in their ignorance, the ark of the covenant of the LORD of all the earth disappeared, the Tabernacle was dismantled....Zion fell again and again into the hands of pagans. Jesus was crucified, and when He rose again only a few found out.

All of these scriptural facts make it perfectly clear that secular man may trample the Bible to his hearts content. He may impose his unbelief on every page and tear the Sacred Writ to shreds if God permits. It is no threat to God and it is no threat to His church that this should occur. It is the doom of the man who does it (2 Pet.3:16). Why tear up the weeds among the the wheat?

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Jewish-Christian Dialogue.

I look forward to analyzing this subject very carefully in the coming years (Lord willing). There is much to learn. At the moment, however, I am profoundly hesitant about the possibility of "dialogue" between Jews and Christians. The presupposition of "dialogue" is common ground. But where is our common ground? I guarentee that it is not Jesus. Jews will not recognize Jesus as Lord, as the God of Israel. But Jesus is the Lord and the God of Israel. Since this is an objective fact, it is inconceivable to me that a Christian can dare to say," We serve the same God" when the Jews in fact do not serve Jesus. Required behind this bold feat of ecumenism is the insertion of a cleavage between Jesus and God. Correlated to this is the stunning recognition that it is possible to say "No" to Jesus while giving a full "Yes" to God in such a manner as is truly acceptable to God. Who authorized the insertion of such a cleavage? Materially, this seems like a return to Arianism, but even the Arians (I believe) refused any salvation apart from a genuine confession of Jesus the Son of God. It may have some ebionitic elements, but the ebionites were indignant about placing the inquirer before Jesus as the Lord. The Jewish-Christian dialogue does neither of these. Jesus is forced to revolve around a different center, an "image of the invisible God" that has a more convenient place for the world than He as God's own Word. Again, who authorized such an "image"?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Don't mess with me Wikipedia.


A link popped up in the center of the screen as I opened up the main page of Wikipedia, leading to the above post. A plea for money. I tried typing in an article on the search box to skip past this link, but each time I was forced back to this link. Wikipedia will not let me access their stuff until I read their plea for donations. Alright, I click on the page to see if there is a "No thanks" "skip to the main page" option. Nada. Wikipedia wants my money; and they are getting more aggressive in asking for it.

How long will it be before they up the degree of their forcefulness? Soon they'll allocate1/3 of the website priviledges to "subscribers" who pay a fee of 60$ a year. Eventually you will need a membership to view any of the material. It all starts with the simple plea for money.

There is nothing wrong with asking for donations....there is certainly nothing wrong in giving donations. But when the first activity becomes a regular matter, indeed a forceful matter, the organisation no longer deserves to bear a title like "free internet encyclopedia". Now the organisation is lying to me. I don't support organisations that lie. Moreover, the entire philosophy of Wikipedia now begins to erode, as its goal in the first place was to honor the freedom of knowledge and information.

Perhaps it is time we go back to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Throw down some cash for an organisation that has not blushed in demanding it from the beginning.

Perhaps Wikipedia's failure proves that knowledge indeed should not and cannot be free. Yay capitalism!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What you can give me for Christmas!

Yes friends,

Christmas is coming around the bend. I won't be like those selfish prats who snidely think that the Heavenly Father has no time or desire to give good gifts to His children. Did you hear that you sober teachers of the Word? God does not just supply our needs. He supplies our wants. He does this because (believe it or not!) He is actually less stuck up and un-loving than our earthly parents, who-twisted as they are- still love to sustain us with more than our simple needs. After enough pestering my dad agreed to my wishes and installed a hot tub in the backyard. What a fricking sweet hot tub! It even has a waterfall! So who am I to say that the Lord of Lords, who decks whole mountain ranges with waterfalls and all manner of good and luxurious things, would say," Yes Marc, your earthly father would do these things for you. But I am less generous. I care to vamp up clods of dust you know as the Rocky Mountains with treasures you cannot even fathom, but take heed in your requests with me. Be sure to only ask for things like bread or the healing of your neighbor's arthritis, and I may or may not answer you."


I'm no prosperity punk. Who needs a stupid leer jet or a million dollars in the bank or a few botox injections to go with ones designer clothing? This stuff is all rotten garbage. I'm after spiritual treasures like a conscience that bursts with peace and assurance, or a courage in the face of death and old age, and wisdom that would silence the wise men of the east. I want a wife of noble character who is simultaneously fricking gorgeous like Abigail the wife of David or Rachel the wife of Jacob. I want to see whole neighborhoods around me come to everlasting salvation in Christ and stand before him robed in effervescent glory and splendor, utterly blameless and full of a joy that would make the heavens tremble. But anyways, enough about me. On to the main content of my post: what you can do for me.

This Christmas, if you find it within yourself to give me a gift, save your money and your creative ideas and give me something that lasts. Give me your prayers. Seriously. They are so valuable it is not even funny. They change me. They make me into the image of Christ. They work wonders.

A few things I am really desirous for this Christmas are:

1. Assurance of salvation. I've doubted that I will go to heaven since I was a little boy. I think it is high time to send this disposition packing. I want to live my life confident that Jesus knows me, that I am not deceived, and that I will be welcomed into everlasting glory on that great day. This request trumps all of the others in the degree to which I desire it.

2. Reconciliation with all of the people who hold things against me. It is a mighty precious thing to live in peace with everyone. Since I am an irritable jerk this is often not the case. Pray for a change in my rude behavior and that all of the people who are angry with me would be able to forgive me, and I them.

3. The ability to face death without an ounce of fear or sorrow, but excitement. This promise is given to Christians for appropriation (Heb.2:14-15).

4. To emulate more of Christ's character and less of the character of evil.

5. *Yes, a wife of noble character who is simultaneously fricking gorgeous.* My name is Mark Regier, and I have a little something called a sex drive. And I am more than eager to put this sex drive to some good matrimonial use. Plug your nose and gag all you want. Rest assured that I am equally disgusted by your sexuality. There should only be one person with a sex drive on this earth: me. And the fricking gorgeous wife of noble character, that is ;)

6. Love for Jesus. Best gift ever! You have no idea how fricking rich life can be if you are in love with the Maker of heaven and earth. It brings tears to my eyes and shivers just thinking about it. Unfortunately I don't have it. My behavior leans more towards hatred of Jesus than love. I wanna love this guy like there is no tomorrow. Your prayers would accomplish this.

If you pray a selection of these for me...keep it to yourself. Don't tell anyone. Do it in private, and you will be utterly blown away by the results which most certainly will come at the very perfect moment of time, since God's timing is flawless and apt. I will also be eternally indebted to you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Benedict changed his mind. What is that to you?

It seems that North America is uber-giddy these days about the God who can change His mind. So why the deuce are you so surprised that His bishop in Rome does the same? Maybe Benedict was nescient of some of the contingencies pertaining to contraceptives? Perhaps his purposes in respect to sexual ethics were flexible in the face of the world's petitions and intercessions? Why is that of such concern to you? Do you wish that Benedict possess a mind that is more informed than your god? Is it grievous to you that he hasn't surpassed the god of the classical theists in his immutability?

Why is Katy Perry so obsessed with sex?

I don't get it.

She's a talented musician with a gorgeous face and one smokin' hot body. But why all the sex? Why all the over-the-top interest in lesbianity and homosexuality? Why the fornication and the trans-gender themes etc...?

I've always felt compassion and pity for Katy. This woman has plunged so deeply into the surface froth of cultural amorality, hedonism....whatever you wanna call it. I am hurt on her behalf because I know that she is going to wake up one day old and ugly, and embittered. The spirit of sexuality will give her a day in the sun before spitting her out into the hinterlands of the grotesque and finally the ruthless agony of death and judgment.

In this sense she represents all of us. She is the emblem of who we are as children of Adam, those harlots of pleasure whom God sells and pushes away in anger. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 2 Peter 2:21.

Who of us on our best day does not excel in the behavior of Katy Perry? Who of us has not found ourselves laid bare before the immutable penalty given to the apostates of righteousness?

I have compassion for Katy Perry because I know that Christ has died, even for her.....perhaps most especially for her. Thus Ignatius is entirely correct when he says," Pray continually for the rest of mankind as well, that they may find God, for there is in them hope for repentance." Ephesians 10.1.

The Ignatian theology finds hope for repentance nowhere else but directly "in" the unbelieving world, in the very way of its disobedience. The reason that the world possesses this hope in the very midst of its apostasy is because it has already been claimed, apart from law, apart from the sin produced by the commandment, apart from all attitudes or dispositions of righteousness....it has been claimed by the Man who was made sin for it, and overcame sin for it.

We must pray for Katy Perry because Jesus claims her even now, because as long as it is "Today" she stands under this claim and this hope. I for one expect to see her repent and believe the Good News long before her old age arrives, long before the ruler of this age belches her out into the rubbish heap of worthlessness and non-being. Perhaps her hour of salvation is tonight at this very hour. Well, lets use God's promises as a sword against Him and find out!

Dear heavenly Father,

Have you not promised to save sinners while they are still entirely ungodly, powerless, disobedient and dead in their transgressions and sins? Is Jesus or is He not the One who came to call this sort to repentance? Is Jesus or is He not capable of working salvation on behalf of Katy Perry to the immutable effect of her eternal life? Please make these promises good on her behalf tonight, because I for one possess the effrontery of oft disbelieving your ability or willingness to do so, and would likely find it encouraging to see your Mighty Hand at work yet again. In Jesus Name Amen.

Introducing Ortus Memoria


My dear friend Theo from Abbotsford frequently contributes to this blog. It is more than worth checking out and adding to your feed-reader. I'm not sure how many people actually read my blog, so perhaps it is a little out of place to "introduce anything". Perhaps the only readers who frequent this little narcissistic, sinful and normally pathetic blog I call my own already know of Ortus Memoria. Meh, it is worth a shot anyways!

Theo has been my schoolmate since grade seven. We have performed in various bands together, have sung in choir, have gone on a cruise trip and even tried our hand at a few Disneyland rides. Both of us are staunch Mennonites, mercilessly proud of our heritage and more than willing to demonsrate that Mennonite does not mean a "sacrificium intellectus". Naturally the tactics we utilize in doing so are materially antithetical, and to the common eye perhaps even at hostile odds with each other. Yet in terms of table talk I have found no theological companion to whom I can come more quickly into agreement with than Theo.

There is no better anecdote I can give to explain our friendship than that of the 17th and 18th century Mennonite's who would yell at each other in fierce debate for hours before finally sitting down to communion and a few german hymns. Indeed friendship cannot be friendship without yelling and a little seasonable hatred. The wise man knows how to hold on to the one without letting go of the other.

Bring on the Patriarchy!

But most Christians continue to participate, enthusiastically or reluctantly, in expressions of church that have been inherited from the Christendom era. Indeed, the largest and most vibrant churches are traditional in style, conservative in doctrine, autocratic or managerial in leadership style, patriarchal, and institutional. - Stuart Murray (The Naked Anabaptist, p.94)

Why, Mr. Murray, is a church committed to "patriarchal" values something to be lamented? Hasn't the whole thrust of your book been an emphasis on the Anabaptists uncanny ability to submit to scriptural rather than cultural values? But where, pray tell, will you find "egalitarianism" decreed in scripture? Moreover, where in the history of your beloved Anabaptists will you find a group who agreed on good conscience to appoint women as bishops, elders and ministers of the Word? Is this naked Anabaptism or is this naked emerging church jumping into bed with the so-called "post-modern" sexual construct?

Since I would like to be trained in the footsteps of my Mennonite forefather's in preferring the whole of scripture rather than bits and pieces, allow me to belt out a hearty "bring it on!" for a restoration of patriarchal values.

In keeping with the scriptural model, and thus the model given to us by the infallible Lord of heaven and earth (who does not change like shifting shadows), I welcome a church and a society which can freely say:

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands....For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. 1 Peter 3:1a, 5-6a.

It is the example of the infallible scriptures that the wife call her husband "Master". I welcome this, and I thoroughly condemn any so-called "Anabaptist" model which would critique it (and thus scripture, and thus God).

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:23-24

I welcome with rejoicing a church and a society which teaches women to submit to their husbands as the church (supposedly) submits to Christ as Lord. This goes far beyond mere complementarianism to a direct hierarchy. The church will never issue commands to Jesus or compel Jesus to submit to it....in the same way the wife will never find herself in a position of lordship over the husband, nor will she ever take on his role of being the head and the one who issues commands.

Both the complementarian model and the egalitarian heresy mirror a church which thinks that it is on equal footing with Jesus and can do all of the things He does to the point where terms like "Lord" and "head" and "Master" become absolutely worthless and empty ways of describing Jesus. If Anabaptism prefers Jesus to culture, it can only oppose these two models with the most fierce and vicious hatred as movements of the devil, finding their source in the pits of Hell and perdition rather than from God, who does not issue doctrines willy-nilly.

Anyways, I want to digress at this point into a subsidiary rant. Insomuch as modern day "Anabaptists" stumble on these very clear scriptural points and teach others to do the same, they have forfeited all right to critique and to judge the church's of "Christendom" which have supposedly relatavised the teachings of Jesus in favor of a cultural ethos. How are they any less guilty of doing this? "Christendom" locates the ethical system of the Sermon on the Mount in some distant eschatological kingdom, and Anabaptists point the scriptural teachings on women to an aberrant infiltration of Jewish culture.

Believe it or not, the Sermon on the Mount has something to say about this:

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

Here then is your "Anabaptist" commitment to the Sermon on the Mount. They disown clear christic teachings on the relations between men and women, and the position of women in the church, as being "cultural" rather than "scriptural"....moreover they boast in doing so. And then they cast fierce judgment on "Christendom" for disowning the Sermon on the Mount as ethical mandates for a future era rather than principles which are binding on all Christians today. This is precisely the hypocrisy which the Sermon on the Mount condemns....thus the Anabaptists of today can only emphasize the Sermon on the Mount in a nominal way which, biblically speaking, is a fallacious and excrescent way.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bring on the Christendom!

I do not believe there is any way back to Christendom, nor do I want to see this flawed system restored.

The Christendom era has left the body of Christ with toxins in its bloodstream- practices, instincts, commitments, structures, attitudes, biases, compromises, and reactions that damage our health and disfigure our witness. We need to purge these toxins from our system.

-Stuart Murray (The Naked Anabaptist)

I'm inclined to disagree with Stuart- entirely. The more I read into what Murray describes as "Christendom" the more I lament its loss and the more I hope that it will be radically restored to us. Indeed, the last thing we need kicking around is another form of "Emergent" theology which stands under the guise of the now trendy term "Anabaptism". Let it be said that those who today call themselves Anabaptists are actually not Anabaptists at all.....they haven't been re-baptized and I have not yet come into contact with a single one of them who advocates the practice of re-baptism.

Anyways, back to the point. Here is what Murray describes as Christendom:

.Christendom was a geographical region in which almost everyone was at least nominally Christian.
.Christendom was a historical era resulting from the fourth-century conversion of Constantine and lasting into the late twentieth century.
.Christendom was a civilization decisevly shaped by the story, language, symbols, and rhythms of Christianity.
.Christendom was a political arrangement in which church and state provided mutual, if often uneasy, support and legitimation.
.Christendom was an ideology, a mindset, a way of thinking about God's activity in the world. (Taken from p.73)

Oh bring it back!!!!! Please!!!!! Anything but this wretchedly banal thing called the "pluralistic era" or the "post-colonial" phase of communist laziness.

Seriously, who would ever have a beef or an ax to grind with the societal criterion described by Murray? It sounds remarkably awesome!

I for one always beam from ear to ear when I read of Constantine's conversion and his programs towards making Christianity the state religion. Christianity should be the state religion because Jesus (not Allah, not Karma, not a positive force field previously known as the aether, and most certainly not a secular principle of human self-consciousness which sets itself over and against God) is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (cf. the entire book of Revelation, and after that...the rest of the bible). I highly doubt that it is the task of Christians to usher in this blessed necessity...but man if it comes, I soooo welcome it.

Check out the words of Paul: ".....so that all nations might believe and obey him." Rom.16:26. Did you hear that? That's the goal of the revealed gospel: the subjection of all nations on this planet to belief in Jesus and obedience to His Name.

Pluralism is a sham, and politicians must be made aware that they have obligations to Jesus their Lord....they must be made aware that they must render account for the theological stance they represent in the political sphere. It may be the duty of the Christians to remind politicians of this...I don't know. One thing I do know is that God is not a secularist, and He is certainly not content with any civilization that attempts to cooly distance itself from His concrete and Jealous commandment to faith and baptism.

A society which promotes religious freedom and plurality is not God's society, nor does it stand in the bee-line of His blessing. It just doesn't. Idolatry is a crime that stinks to the high heavens....it is an adultery and a pernicious theft that far exceeds the petty things our society contemns....the bible knows of no other response to political toleration of this crime than fierce judgment from the Hand of God. This is why rulers like Josiah, Hezekiah or the older Manasseh who fear God and purge the land of religious syncretism receive such high accolades in scripture, and rulers like Nebuchadnezzar (who sacrificed to his own strength, so Hab.) and Sennacherib and Antiochus Epiphanes get destruction. I'm not advocating that the church take up arms and resist public idolatry.....what I am suggesting is that politicians should, and the degree to which they do not will determine the severity of the judgment due them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Ignatius of Antioch has to say about the Philistinic Perspective on Paul

'For if we continue to live in accordance with Judaism, we admit that we have not received grace.' (Magnesians, 8).

Ignatius is entirely correct. Judaism was not, is not, and cannot ever be a religion of grace. The law came from Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Before the time of Jesus Christ grace was essentially hidden from man, who was subject to a Law that demanded perfection but could not give it, who could only keep it in a "legalistic sense", in a sense deemed by God to be "rubbish" on account of the sin nature, in a sense that did not allow for the true cleansing of the conscience from sin, but rather perpetuated transgression and guilt.

And yes, the ST Jews were all given to works-righteousness, for this is the natural condition of man, to which there is no escape apart from the revelation of faith and of grace through the atonement of Jesus.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Questions that haunt me tonight.

Is it possible to believe that the Word would have become flesh even if man had never sinned, and still maintain the freedom of the Word to do so?

Is it available to man to live out the Sermon on the Mount in such a way as to actually live it out and simultaneously boast solely in Jesus Christ?

Is it available to man to practise the Sermon on the Mount without immediately creating a new law of righteousness and thus marginalizing Christ?

Why is the Sermon on the Mount situated where it is in the Gospel, after the Virgin Birth narrative, baptism and temptation of Jesus, and before the Passion, Descent into Hell, Resurrection of Jesus and His Great Commission?

Is the Sermon on the Mount lived out by a student of Jesus unconsciously or consciously? In other words, is he to expect that he will actually live it out or must he continuously keep its precepts in view as rules which must be attempted?

Does the Sermon on the Mount possess the same texture as the killing letter, or the law that brings death spoken of by Jesus Christ in 2 Corinthians?

If not, how do we explain Mt.5:17?

If no one knows the Son but the Father (so Mt.11:27) in what sense can it be said that Christians have a personal relationship with Jesus?

Why the "historical Jesus" movement is a bunch of rubbish.

The revealing power of the predicate "flesh" stands or falls with the free action of the Subject Logos. The Word is Jesus Christ. With this the "historical Jesus" of modern Protestantism falls to the ground as the object of faith and proclamation. It was purposely discovered, or invented, in order to indicate an approach to Jesus Christ which circumvents His divinity, the approach to a revelation which is generally understandable and possible in the form of human judgment and experience. Karl Barth (KD 1.2 p.136)

Karl Barth is absolutely correct here. But of course, the miserable and pernicious sophists today clap their ears shut at this "sound and fury" and carry on with their history. It is no wonder to me that they have discovered with their human methods a merely human Jesus, who can be dispensed with immediately in favor of an abstract moral principle that he may or may not have inculcated. Or better yet, his importance may be dispensed with or overshadowed by the infinitely more important "story of Israel" or "salvation history". Once again I am left speechless and dumbfounded at the infinite banality of today's theological spectrum. Alas, a PHD and a routine knowledge of the biblical languages cannot guarentee that you will not be a depraved, vile heretic.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jesus Christ in the Old Testament.

"How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Lk 24:25-27

This gospel teaching gives authority and instruction for Christians to boldly find and proclaim Jesus Christ through the law and the prophets in good faith. Those who do not do so are not worthy of being called "theologians", but according to Christ "fools" and dimwits. In a binding sense that is all of us, for all of us may observe our own daily disobedience in this precise regard. Look at how many Christian scholars today snidely omit to mention Jesus of Nazareth as the goal of Old Testament material, much less proclaim it? I need not mention names. You know who you are.

For us Christians, this is no trifle. It is a commandment from the eternal God to which we either obey or disobey (Rom.16:26). And, as a matter of God's command it is only ever a matter of obedience or disobedience. The consequence of this fact is that we cannot go the way of biblical scholars who find no Jesus in the pages of the Torah and the Psalms and the Prophets, lest our allegiance shift to mere men rather than the power and commandment of our God.

Evolutionary theory....learn your place.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an evolutionist. I like evolution. I like the theory, like the interpretation and am warmly receptive to its being taught in school.

But don't teach evolution in seminaries and theological schools. It isn't theology. It has nothing to say about Creation, Providence, God's immanence and transcendence, and His time. NOTHING. Those who think that evolutionary theory (or any scientific theory of origins or anthropology) can constrain, guide, or contribute to the discussion of Creation are wrong. They have told themselves and the world that God can be apprehended in a manner other than faith in Christ. They have told us that nature, and the act of a human being interpreting nature, can normatively make bee-lines into the Sacred things of God. To this damnable and reprehensible idea....wow, I am so disgusted right now I can hardly speak.

Who the deuce do we think we are anyway? There is no "dialogue" between faith and science because faith belongs to, comes from, and exists within a world that is eternally divided from this one. This whole temporal order, along with its principalities powers, investigations, labors, endeavors at truth is passing away as we speak. Why are we daring to mix the temporal with the eternal? Oh let me guess. The fact of Christ's incarnation establishes that humanity and its world is essentially good. Christ came to bless our humanistic endeavors and pat us all on the back for them. The manhood of Christ essentially means that God is immanent within all human endeavors. Oh my gosh. You wretched pelagian, heretical, idolatrous, blasphemers. Stick with your heathen religion.

Oh my goodness, I can hardly contain my rage at human arrogance.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stay away from SBL.

It's some society in the states where a bunch of puffed up, liberal scholars get together and discuss how much the bible got wrong and how you should worship their own bovine rendition of God. Granted, there seem to be a few conservative brothers that linger there (Jim West, Mike Bird etc...), and I offer them my forgiveness for it.

Anyways, I've heard reports that the up-coming SBL meeting is charging its speakers for use of projection equipment. Interesting. In the ancient near eastern world hospitality was taken a little more seriously. It was considered an honor to house a guest from a distant land for up to three days, offering him food, shelter, refreshment and even protection if necessary (Cf. John Walton, IVP BBC OT p.273). America could learn a thing or two from this mindset. Instead we charge our teachers for the use of a projection system, because we are too uncouth and stingy to foot the costs ourselves. Why the devil would anyone want to go to an SBL meeting which purports to tell us a thing or two about the scriptures and their divers life settings, when the organisation can't even get its hospitality right? There is a word for this in the english vernacular: hypocrisy. Or if you prefer: Romans 2:17-24.

And so to Jim West, Robert Cargill, and anyone else who dares to set foot in such a meeting, I can give you no better advice than this:

Do not eat the food of a stingy man, do not crave his delicacies; for he is always thinking about the cost. "Eat and drink" he says to you, but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the little you have eaten, and will have wasted your compliments. -Proverbs 23:6-8.

Enjoy your time there, friends!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Damn history.

That the Word was made flesh does not render one ounce of authority to the historical method for determining whether Jesus was or was not Lord. Neither does the fact that Jesus was a Jew give an ounce of authority for the scribes and the teachers of the law to determine whether he was the Son of David. This is where the fundamentalist apologists and the historical critics are plain wrong. The darkness will never apprehend the light, and will literally refuse to step into the light because its deeds are from hell. Humans do not possess truth. They are not qualified to proclaim truth or determine truth or critique truth. Thus their historical meanderings and their apologetic endeavors are entirely worthless and useless. They will only end up crucifying the Lord of glory and thus denying him rather than affirming his rightful kingship over man.

It's time for Christians to stop fornicating with every stump and tree of human principles and proclaim their Lord in the freeness and self-authenticating power with which He is Lord.

The proper take on the Gospel of John.

That the dialogues, events and teachings recorded there actually occurred, in history. It baffles me that modern man, who is separated from the time of Jesus by two freaking thousand years, and divorced from his culture as the east is divorced from the west, can be the arbiter of what Jesus did and didn't say, of what he did and didn't do. Get behind me Satan.

And the problems of difference of tone and content between the so-called "Synoptics" and John mean squat. SQUAT. One might as well expect that a human being must only adopt one manner of speech and one topic for his speech, for his whole freaking life if he is to be deemed human. These historians need to get outside and observe real humans doing real living (As was proposed by Martin Hengel and with him, Henri Blocher). They should observe how a businessman speaks when he is at work and when he is at the bar and when he is at home and when he is on vacation and when his best friend just got hit by a car etc....and see how radically his idiolect can alter from situation to situation! In a manner of hours!

Oh these damnable humans. Get over yourselves and subject yourself to the Gospels which know more about what Jesus did and didn't do than you EVER will. And if you find a contradiction, embrace it rather than devising some silly synthesis, or favoring one document over the other etc...

Modern Hatred of Luther

It is nearly ubiquitous. Scarcely a day goes by where I am not forced to endure some college lecture where Martin Luther is not only scoffed at (in the most infantile theological ignorance), but literally maligned and mis-represented. I would dare say (and this is much thanks to the idle scholarship of the NPP folk, who should-with the exception of Dunn- be disbarred from all universities and sent back to school) that he has become a bit of a scapegoat for all of our theological problems. Anti-nomianism in your church? Forget John Agricola, lets blame it on Luther! Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany? Forget about John Eck or Wagner or the medieval superstitions centering around the bubonic plague.....it's Luther's fault! Individualism in the West? Lets not mention that Luther damned mysticism and solitude and ardently demanded the gathering and fellowship of Christians....lets not mention it because we are ignorant of it....lets blame the individualistic, self-absorbed conscience of the west on Luther! And by all means, the under-appreciation of James is most certainly Luther's fault (as opposed to Eusebius and the vast majority of church fathers before him who neglected to place it in the canon). And so on and so forth...
I think this hatred of Luther is un-qualified for two reasons.
First of all, those who criticize Luther usually end up admitting that they have read very little of him. This simply will not do. Irenaeus in the 2nd century censured the weakness of earlier Christian polemics against the gnostic movement, which did not consider it a necessity to read gnostic literature. A more modern example in contradistinction to this behavior would be Karl Barth, who frequently held colloquium's, lecture courses and summer reading classes on Schleiermacher...for the express purpose of studying him! In his preface to Protestant Theology in the 19th Century, one of the chief reasons that Barth listed for publishing the work was the snide attitudes of his students, who refused to acknowledge the genuine value of the contributions made by theologians who lived in the period before them.
Secondly, but very much in line with the content of the first, Luther's contribution to the theological sphere and the church was Justification through Faith in Christ, Alone. That little word "Alone" stands over and against a whole aeon of-literally miserable- works-righteousness, uncertainty before God, lack of joy, and the exultation of human traditions and orders as a means for acquiring grace. Forget about determining whether the ST Jews were pelagian.....the Catholic church materially WAS.
The fact that modern sophists and dillettantes haven't a smack of gratitude for Luther's teaching on the eternal liberation wrought by faith in Christ, apart from all works....tells me that they consider the preciousness of this truth to be a mere trifle. But when Paul brought the message of justification by faith apart from works to the Galatians, they thought they were visited by God Himself! They were so overjoyed at Paul they could have torn out their eyes for him.
The fact of the matter is, if we persist in this ingratitude God may very well strip Luther's or Paul's teaching from us entirely. We may lose the message of faith in Christ entirely and be delivered over to works-righteousness. I already see the latter glorified in not a few self-styled evangelical writers and teachers, to the effect that one might find more consolation in Tridentine Catholicism than in their wretched, miserable and abominable representations of the Christian message. The devil can speak against the gospel through the lips of those teachers called of Christ, as he did twice through Peter. Protestantism may abandon its birthright under the wrath of God and have to be told a thing about grace and faith from catholicism, or from another sector altogether.

Why women should not preach.

"For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." 1 Timothy 2:13

I cannot think of better reasons. I think this verse also nicely bludgeons the view that Paul was speaking to a local problem only. Obviously it was a local problem. But it was a local problem conditioned and actualized by a universal problem: here being the particular depravity of women ("it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner"). Obviously, any woman or man who has bought in to the modern egalitarian construct will be emotionally upset and outraged at me saying this. If they are, they should sincerely question whether they have allowed their emotions to get in the way of an honest exegesis of this text.

There are two consequences in effect from the creation epic, both of which are binding on the church community. The first is revelatory: Adam was created first, then Eve. The second is hamartiological: It was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. Because this is so....because the Pauline and Jamesian anthropology does not alter the basic sinfulness of man in the community of Christ but underscores it ("Through the law we become conscious of sin..") there are consequences to ecclesiological ordinances which continue to stand under this situation. Eve was created to be a helper, not a leader of Adam. For Paul, placing a woman as the leader or "Father" over the church through the gospel is to essentially deny that the Work of God in the beginning was "Very Good". It can thus only be a testimony of blasphemy rather than of Christ. Secondly, placing a woman as a leader over the church will have disastrous effects on the community because the woman is essentialy "deceived" and the quintessential sinner. She was so quickly led astray by the devil into disobedience of the Word before....how much more in the age of sin will she fail at keeping the community safe from the devil? Indeed she will not, because she stands over and against the Very Good work of God by taking on the position of a leader as opposed to a helper, and because she is in and of herself deceived and a sinner.

Monday, November 1, 2010


The Argument: Language is a dynamic art. I am committed to the perpetual discipline of honoring its archaisms and traditions just as I am committed to adapting and even creating some forms of my own. In particular, the creation of words expresses my belief in the glorious liberty of the children of God. Our Father in Heaven, He who has redeemed us from all sin and death through Jesus Christ, continues to present this world and its divers objects to us anew to "see what name we would give to them" (cf. Gen.2:19). The art of contributing to the development of language is available to all, as can be seen in the simple phenomena of "anti-language"; or the usage of familiar terms and phrases in a new manner so as to hide the meaning from the public. This is naturally one simple aspect of language development among many. One may note that among friends, family units, townships or even most especially broad social networks the adaptation of human speech is constantly underway. My cousins on the farm in Manitoba refer to the inner skeleton of the haybale as the "carcasse". This term has no linguistic recognition in the formal agricultural lexicon, and is thus entirely private. But if you get the opportunity to open up a haybale with a pitch fork you may find that no word more aptly expresses the texture of a freshly exposed core. In a more professional dimension, you might pick up any work by the psychologist Viktor Frankl and see that in every chapter, he is un-ashamedly coining terms and phrases to better understand and inculcate the sundry issues and concepts encountered in his profession. Words that have forever stuck with me that derive from his work are: logotherapy, the will to meaning, noological, paradoxical intention, and existential vacuum. The following are my contributions to this blessed art, no doubt with many infantile stammerings and first tries. Some were made in spontaneous collaboration with friends and co-workers (as shall be noted) and others solely by me. I already have intended, and do intend to continue using them in my common speech without apology or sheepishness. Feel free to take them up and adopt them in your speech as well, if you so desire.

Barnacious: An adjective pertaining to: 1.The study of agriculture. 2. The study of barn culture and architecture. 3. The study of agricultural terms. 4. Any object or phenomena which is proper to a barn. 5. A person who delights in farming.

Clamastruous: An adjective pertaining to the devastation of ones social reputation and status in toto.

Malgabrious: Mal-Gab-rious. Adj. Describing a person given to the habit of gossiping maliciously about others. Vrb. Malgab-ing. Nn. Malgaber-s. Variant, plural: Malgabracity. Cf. Jim West.

Modarrogant: Mod-arrogant. Adj. 1.Describing a person who is moderately arrogant. 2. Describing a person who demonstrates his arrogance via false modesty. Modarrogance. (I am indebted to friend Matt Peters for contributing to the development of this word).

revelatio ab perditio: A personal and existential unveiling of ones own pernicious and damnable character. Not to be confused with Revelatio ab Perditio which is a work of God's revelation in faith alone.