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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Archive for December, 2015

Dear George Yancy

 

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The True Light

John 1:

9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 ( John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me. ’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (ESV)


This Christmas


Do you know?

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (ESV) John 1:1-13


Diversity or Unity

Word Origin and History for diversityExpand
n.
mid-14c., “quality of being diverse,” mostly in a neutral sense, from Old French diversité (12c.) “difference, diversity, unique feature, oddness:” also “wickedness, perversity,” from Latin diversitatem (nominative diversitas) “contrariety, contradiction, disagreement;” also, as a secondary sense, “difference, diversity,” from diversus “turned different ways” (in Late Latin “various”), past participle of divertere (see divert ).

Do you wonder why there is such a push for diversity in the world today? We are told over and over that diversity is the way to inclusion, that encouraging diversity shows love and that we have to accept and encourage it. But should we?

Perhaps we need to look at what the origin of diversity is and where it will lead.Division, divide, to take one and make many. It doesn’t take much extrapolation to realize that many leads to legions. Evil is subtle isn’t it?  Make what is wrong look good and make it not only acceptable but the only way.

Except that diversity is not really inclusive, it is exclusive because it denies truth. Truth cannot exist if diversity reigns.

 

 

Luke 11:17 But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house fails.”

What better way to encourage divisiveness than to insist on diversity. Jesus said that there was only one way, and that is through Him. John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

There is no hope in diversity, only destruction. To accept Him we must become singular and look forward to unity. Only those who are united in Him will become part of the harvest. Jesus is Lord of the harvest and will recognize His because of that very unity in accepting Him only as the way.6e01f6a436e89d9ae0fc5a13419e04c1


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A Needed Word

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Peering into Academia

Academia: Through the Eyes of a Preacher

Now, it is true that most of my writings are not designed to be academic in nature. However, that does not mean that I have veered from what has caused me to grow and understand more concerning the things of God. In my recent book Academia: Through the Eyes of a Preacher I examine a number of academic disciplines associated with Christianity. Those disciplines range from history to evangelism; from discipleship to missions and everything in between.

With that, please peer into the book and see what you can glean. The below is an additional portion of the essay “The Nicene Creed: The Trouble that Caused It.” Please remember this work is copyright protected and and all rights remain reserved. Now, let’s peer into academia again.

Despite the company Athanasius found himself in there was also grave opposition to his stand against heretical teachings. Saint Hilary of Poitiers was born in 315 with an uncertain Christian heritage.[1] Even though Hilary was appointed Bishop of Poitiers and eventually made a saint questions concerning his Christianity are brought to question in that he was seen as a pagan.[2] No matter the issue of Hilary’s Christianity his writings clearly show that he did not recognize Jesus as being coeternal with the Father rather clearly states that Jesus is a creation of God. In this vein Hilary states “He is not eternal or co-eternal, nor was He uncreated at the same time with the Father…”[3]

The calling of the synod included more than discussions on the substance of Jesus. Little is said in respect to the Holy Spirit even in the Nicene Creed but there was argument against His divinity which was part of the controversy at large. The problem was even though the Holy Spirit was associated with the Godhead there was considerable uncertainty as to His nature. The matter of His nature brought to the center of the argument supposed that He was a mere person and the Arians saw Him as being subordinate to the Son who was counted as being subordinate to the Father.[4] The confusion was so great that Basil expressed “Of the wise men among ourselves, some have conceived of him [the Holy Spirit] as an activity, some as a creature, some as God…”[5] With this lack of understanding as to who the Holy Spirit was it obviously brings into question not only His substance but also His divinity and authority.

This instability in respect to the Holy Spirit becomes more compelling when His divinity is purposely stripped away. Some Homoiousians (those subscribing like or same substance to Jesus) refused to afford the Holy Spirit His rightful place in the Godhead.[6] This denial of the divinity of the Holy Spirit was part of the heretical teachings of Arianism.[7] The Deity of the Holy Spirit was also denied by Macedonius who declared that the Holy Spirit was nothing more than a “minister and a servant”.[8]

Now, to put this segment into context you will have to read the entire essay. No to worry, there are other studies that will catch the attention of all scholars. For instance, “The World of Islam,” “Diverse Gifts,” and “Looking at the Evidence” are three of the essays included in this work. You will also find an exhaustive bibliography to aid in research. So, go ahead, get you a copy and put on your seat belts. There will be surprising academic twist and turns as you learn academia through the eyes of a preacher.

[1] The Catholic University of Puerto Rico, The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1954)V

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., 102

[4] Richard E. Rubenstein, When Jesus Became God: The Epic Fight Over Christ’s Divinity in the Last Days of Rome (New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999), 205

[5] Ibid., pg 206

[6] Everett Ferguson, Church History: From Christ to Pre-Reformation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 207

[7] Ioannis Karmiris, “The Second Ecumenical Council” in The Ecumenical Review 33 (July 1981):244-248

[8] Earle, E. Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954), 129