Welcome to the March 2016 blog! I can only hope that March features weather as nice as February has been in Texas—sunny, balmy, flowering trees blooming. If only the p0litical climate was as nice as the weather!
The Word for today
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:42-47 KJV).
What fellowship! What an example!
Think about it
Let us not seek the Republican answer, or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future. – John F. Kennedy
Men divide horizontally—high class, middle class, and low class, but God divides perpendicularly—right or wrong, sheep or goats, heaven or hell, saved or lost, did or didn’t! – Johnny James
“I feel like I did when I was 20.” You forgot what 20 felt like. – Johnny James
Someone tried to encourage Hillary after her poor showing in the early primaries by reminding her that Nelson Mandela was not elected President until he had served 27 years in prison.
It is said that Jesus fulfilled at least 48 Old Testament prophecies. What are the probabilities of that happening? Cover the state of Texas with 100 million billion silver dollars and the pile would be two feet high. Mark one of the silver dollars and toss it into the pile. Blindfold a friend and give him one chance to pick up the marked silver dollar. The odds of your friend selecting the one marked silver dollar are the same as one person fulﬁlling only eight of the numerous prophecies. Mathematicians calculate the probability of fulﬁlling forty-eight prophecies as the number one followed by 157 zeros. – Everything Bible Book
In the ancient world, no one read to himself; this is a modern phenomenon. People listened as small children, and then they read out loud until they learned to “read in their heads.” Every written document in the ancient world was read out loud—even a personal letter from a wife to a husband. The biblical books were no different. Rhetoric, the art of persuasive speaking, was one of the most important and valued areas of learning. – Everything Bible Book
How did the Roman Catholic Church begin?
I am sometimes asked about the origin of certain churches and denominations, particularly the Roman Catholic Church. That church has had a prominent role in Christianity for nearly 1700 years. Pope Francis seems to be bent on it continuing to have a leading role. I thought about writing on this but I noted that someone else had done so with some excellent research, so I will point you that are interested to that site (below).
We are told that the word “Catholic” was first coined by Ignatius of Antioch in c. AD 107. Polycarp picked it up in AD 155 with the meaning of “the whole church throughout the world.” It was again used in the Nicean documents in 325. An imperial decree in 388 was included in the Codex Justinianus that believers be called “Catholic Christians.” Since Rome was the seat of the Empire, with the conversion of Constantine the church leaders located there became prominent. The Bishop of Rome would ultimately become the pope and the term “Roman” was added to “Catholic” in common usage—perhaps to emphasize where its “seat” was—thus the Roman Catholic Church. After the Great Schism of 1054, “Roman” identified it as separate from the Eastern Orthodox Church. So it appears that Roman Catholicism, along with its name, evolved rather than “began.” The following article contains some very interesting information.
Death of the Trinity
The recent spate of articles and books attempting to prop up the multi-person theory of God underscores the fact that the Trinity is dying. The authors know it. Efforts are underway to shore it up by restating the theory in a post-modern theological hermeneutic. Within major denominations there is a sense of staleness and a lack of vitality about the doctrine. The miasma of death is upon it.
Why, after 1600 years of propagation and enforcement by the most powerful and influential entity on earth, would it come to this? Let me count the ways.
It is unintelligible.
Dr. Charles Ryrie affirms that theology must be intelligible: “The word ‘theology,’ from ‘theos’ meaning God, and ‘logos’ meaning rational expression, means the rational interpretation of religious faith. Christian theology thus means the rational interpretation of the Christian faith. Theology is intelligible. It can be comprehended by the human mind in an orderly, rational manner.” Agreed.
To explain the concept of a co-existent, co-eternal Father and Son is not possible. Eternal sonship is incomprehensible. Not that Christians are incapable of grasping the miraculous, but Trinitarianism goes beyond the miraculous to incredulity. Three hundred years after Christ at the Council of Nicea, some of Christianity’s most astute minds were already challenging the rising theory. When the dust settled and a report was published, it read: “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ , the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance (homoousion) with the Father; by whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; he suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost.” That is the abrupt end of the description of the Trinity.
“And in the Holy Ghost.” They were comfortable with the Father and Son concept, since those terms were in Scripture, but they didn’t know what to make of the Holy Ghost. Who was He/It? Another person in the God family? A spiritual force? The action arm of the Godhead? In other words, they were still trying to figure out just where the Holy Spirit fits in the Deity. Fifty-six years later, at Constantinople in AD 381, they hammered out this statement: “And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
So 350 years after Christ, theologians now proclaimed there was a three-person God. The hypothesis: The Eternal Three were not revealed in the Old Testament but were hinted at in the New. For humanity’s redemption, the First Person of the Trinity assigned the Second Person, His eternal Son, to manifest Himself in the flesh to die for humanity’s sins. Afterward, the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, who is said to “proceed” from the Father and the Son, is sent into the lives of believers. Who can explain a co-equal, co-eternal God, comprised of a Father and a Son, joined by another Spirit who is also God but proceeds from those two, yet none existed before the other? Little wonder that Christians are asked to accept it by faith—likely meaning faith in the institution which developed it—without understanding it.
The concept of an eternal family of Gods is unintelligible.
It was concocted by men, not introduced in Scripture.
The Word has life and power (Hebrews 4:12). If the doctrine had been clearly stated in the Scriptures, it would not be on its last legs. But it was not. Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament presents a tripartite being as God. God would have surely shared His identity with Moses or Abraham, or perhaps David or Isaiah. If not, He would have revealed the Godhead to John or Peter or Paul. None of them seem to know of a triune deity. As the Christological doctrines began to be debated in the second, third and fourth centuries, apologists and writers of the times tried to put the Godhead in terms not found in Scripture. The Christian faith began to be awash with philosophies and pagan ideas that were prominent in that era.
As Union Theological Seminary professor Dr. Cyril C. Richardson, a confessed Trinitarian with a touch of doubt, observed: “I cannot but think that the doctrine of the Trinity, far from being established, is open to serious criticism…. [to continue reading this article CLICK HERE]
Here are two very interesting articles concerning Bible translation and transmission by Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts in Dallas. They are worth your time to read.
Five More Myths about Bible Translations and the Transmission of the Text
The Number of Textual Variants: An Evangelical Miscalculation
These two recent publications contain Bible lessons that deal with issues facing Christians today. In Life Is Too Short, the topics of anger, bringing excess baggage into the Christian journey, unwarranted guilt, doubt, apathy, spiritual deception, drugs, depression, poor choices, and sins of the spirit. Relevant, timely and down to earth. Life is just too short to live with these negatives.
In People in Proverbs nineteen people mentioned in the Book of Proverbs are placed under the microscope. These include The Man of Understanding, The Generous Man, The Fantasy Chasing Man, The Powerful Man, The Conceited Man, The Virtuous Woman, The Contentious Woman, The Indiscreet Woman, The Disciplined Man, The Prudent Man, The Deceitful Man, The Happy Man, The Proud Man, The Safe Man, The Stupid Man, The Lazy Man, The Offended Man, and The Risen Man. Filled with truth in street clothes, those who teach will find practical insights and illustrations to make your lesson come alive.
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It’s getting crazy!
Why Women live longer than men:
The Last Shot
“If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.” – Mark Twain (Mark, if you would have read your Bible, you would have been well informed!)
Thanks for stopping by. Be blessed!