Archive for April, 2008

The book of Acts presents an informative view of the Church, as well as an informative view of the way in which the Church read the Scriptures. As they saw that all things spoke of Jesus Christ, they also went on to apply those things to themselves. They lived the life of Christ.

This can be seen in Acts 4. Peter and John get in trouble for healing a lame man and preaching on the resurrection at Solomon’s portico, and so they are hauled before the Sanhedrin. When they return to the fellowship of the believers and relay their story, the group begins to pray Psalm 2 (vs. 23-31). They explicitly connect the characters in Psalm 2 to the characters at Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus is the Annointed. Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Jews, and the Gentiles are the heathens, nations, and kings and rulers. This much is clear.

What is often missed, however, is that the actual application of this Psalm is not simply to the death of Christ, but to the events that just occurred. The ones gathered against were Peter and John. The “threats” which the Church calls for the Lord to look on in vs. 29 are those threats of vs. 21.

Thus it is quite appropriate for this incident to be followed with the description of the believers holding all things in common. They are of one heart and one soul precisely because they are the one Body of Christ. The giving of the land is the inheritance of the nations, and that they are laid at the apostles’ feet is Christological imagery (Gen. 3:15, Psalm 110).

So the anointed who was conspired against by the rulers and the nations was indeed Jesus, but it is also the Church. We, as the baptized, are all anointed ones, and as we dwell together, we are the one Body of Christ. Our life is Christ’s life, and what is done to us, and in turn what we do to one another, is done to Jesus.

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The machine works mechanically and it is flawless.

  1. Slander/libel a group of Presbyterian ministers as “Romanist” because robes and James 2 are no worse than praying to Mary or relying on purgatory to pay for unconfessed sins.
  2. Drive off anyone who disagrees
  3. Of that number, there may be a tiny minority of lost souls who have actually begun praying to Mary or deciding that the Pope must be submitted to–souls whom you have, in fact, encouraged to believe they might as well do so if they are going to allow for robes in worship leadership or regard James 2 as inspired.
  4. Watch with self-gratification the ones you have driven off gravitate to the Presbyterian ministers you have slandered/libeled–including the ones that have indeed broken away from the true Protestant faith.
  5. Watch those who the slandered/libeled Presbyterians are unable to bring to repentance go on to Rome or Byzantium
  6. Boast at your further proof that the ministers are “leading to Rome.”  Trot out testimonies from some people who were headed to Rome long before they ever heard of the “Federal Vision” as if they are exemplars of it.

Of course, no one is actually leading anyone to Rome.  A few are being driven there.

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From: “Squirmtrap” Squirmtrap@wormneverdies.org
To: “Bitternell” Bitternell@wormneverdies.org
Date: April 21, 2008
Subject: Re: Calvinist Question

My Dear Bitternell,

I note with some amusement your alarm over your patient’s new-found friendship with a young, fervent servant of the Enemy–a Calvinist, I believe he calls himself. You fear that your patient’s theological knowledge and maturity may flourish under such an association. While there is a possibility of the first, the second seems rather unlikely.

Maturity, indeed! What do we know of this particular friend? That he is arrogant, close-minded, and zealously opposed to all traditions outside his own rather narrow one. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all, or even most, of those who claim the tradition of the late Jean Cauvin, that formidable opponent of our Father Below.

I cringe whenever I recall Grimewad’s rather severe chastisement after he failed to keep Monseiur Cauvin from taking on pastoral duties at Geneva, a position he was at first reluctant to accept. As a matter of fact, Grimewad thought he had the matter well in hand and decided to take a brief holiday to attend the Annual Temptor’s Convention. That was a grievous mistake. During Grimewad’s absence, Cauvin (or Calvin, as your patient’s friend knows him) received a visit from one William Farel, whose entreaties convinced him to stay in Geneva. Calvin’s skills were then put directly to use in the Enemy’s camp, rather than confined to a secluded scholar’s retreat where they would likely have caused little harm.

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We at Biblical Horizons have been interested in understanding the biblical texts on “sacrifice” for at least a couple of decades. There are a number of excellent tape sets from past BH conferences with great lectures on this topic. This morning one of the seminary students in my church forwarded me a link to a video of a “Jewish Priestly Passover Sacrifice.”

Unfortunately, I cannot embed it, so you’ll have to trust me that this link won’t take you to something inappropriate. Make sure you heed the warnings before you watch the video. If you are not a farmer or a hunter or used to killing and preparing game to eat, you might be grossed out.


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By Rich Bledsoe

If we take as a starting point the Tribal / Monarchical / Empire model, we can then add to it the Late Empire Phase. The particular ‘marker sin’ of Empire is false intermarriage, which signifies pluralism and syncretism. Empires by definition are “cosmopolitan” dominated by cities, high culture, many cultures, and many languages. There is more immediate contact with at least the high points of many civilizations and people groupings than any other form. But, with the corruption of Empire, any recognizable center drops out and agreed upon Truth is lost, and it is replaced by very vague and empty universalisms, and a lot of mush.In the Late Empire phase, the marker sin is the homoerotic.


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In the Fall 2007 issue of JBL is an essay “Jonah Read Intertextually” by Hyun Chul Paul Kim of Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio. The first section of the essay points to numerous linguistic and conceptual parallels between Jonah (“Dove”) and the Noah narrative: Destruction of the earth, including animals; but in this case, the world (Nineveh) is saved along with its animals (note last verse of Jonah). Jonah as dove sent out from ark of the prepared fish. The wind over the earth. The forty days. God “regrets/changes” (Gen. 6:6-7; Jonah 3:10). And more.

It’s clear enough that the Fish that protects Jonah in the literal sea is parallel to Assyria, which is being specially prepared to protect Israel during their time in the gentile sea. The Noah parallels enable us to link the gentile ship of Jonah 1 as well. Jonah is protected in that ship from God’s storm-wind, but that wind is against him. The world is okay, but now Jonah/Noah is in sin and must be hurled into the Flood. The gentiles are saved and turn to Yahweh.


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Biblical Horizons 89, November, 1996

From time to time, when I’ve lectured on how to read the Bible, I’ve used art-music as one example thereof. When we listen to a simple folk song, we hear the same melody over and over again, but this is not how composers write “high” music. Let me amplify.

A composer will put out a theme (melody) clearly and forthrightly. You can hear it without difficulty. And, from time to time that melody will come back, and without difficulty you will hear it again. But what you probably won’t hear, unless you are trained to listen to music, is that the melody is being used in more ways. It may be broken down, and parts of it used in various ways in the overall piece. It may be played in the bass line, or in an alto line, underneath a more prominent second melody or theme. You’ll hear the new melody, and not notice that the old melody is being used underneath. The melody may be stretched out into slower notes (augmented), or played twice as fast (diminished). It may be used like a round (canon; ricercar; fugue), coming in over and over again on top of itself. It may be inverted (switching high and low notes), or played cancrizans (backwards). (A good listener can hear an inversion, but it takes a really good one to notice when the melody runs backwards.) The melody may be taken from a minor key to a major one, or vice versa. A composer will introduce one theme, and then another, and then play them at the same time.

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, which starts with the famous four note theme (motif) “da-da-da-DAHHH,” actually uses that four-note motif and its inherent possibilities as the foundation for virtually everything in all four movements. We don’t notice it, however, until someone points it out to us, and shows us how it happens. And that’s okay. The symphony can be enjoyed either “naively” or “maturely.”


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