"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Monday, April 24, 2006

Does Regeneration precede faith? Are these two distinct events, or simultaneous?

John 1:13 (King James Version)
"Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

John Calvin appears to have no problem with the mystery his later followers feel they must deny.
John Calvin on John 1:13
"The will of the flesh and the will of man appear to me to mean the same thing; for I see no reason why flesh should be supposed to signify woman, as Augustine and many others explain it. On the contrary, the Evangelist repeats the same thing in a variety of words, in order to explain it more fully, and impress it more deeply on the minds of men. Though he refers directly to the Jews, who gloried in the flesh, yet from this passage a general doctrine may be obtained: that our being reckoned the sons of God does not belong to our nature, and does not proceed from us, but because God begat us willingly, (James 1:18,) that is, from undeserved love. Hence it follows, first, that faith does not proceed from ourselves, but is the fruit of spiritual regeneration; for the Evangelist affirms that no man can believe, unless he be begotten of God; and therefore faith is a heavenly gift. It follows, secondly, that faith is not bare or cold knowledge, since no man can believe who has not been renewed by the Spirit of God.

It may be thought that the Evangelist reverses the natural order by making regeneration to precede faith, whereas, on the contrary, it is an effect of faith, and therefore ought to be placed later. I reply, that both statements perfectly agree; because by faith we receive the incorruptible seed, (1 Peter 1:23,) by which we are born again to a new and divine life. And yet faith itself is a work of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in none but the children of God. So then, in various respects, faith is a part of our regeneration, and an entrance into the kingdom of God, that he may reckon us among his children. The illumination of our minds by the Holy Spirit belongs to our renewal, and thus faith flows from regeneration as from its source; but since it is by the same faith that we receive Christ, who sanctifies us by his Spirit, on that account it is said to be the beginning of our adoption.

Another solution, still more plain and easy, may be offered; for when the Lord breathes faith into us, he regenerates us by some method that is hidden and unknown to us; but after we have received faith, we perceive, by a lively feeling of conscience, not only the grace of adoption, but also newness of life and the other gifts of the Holy Spirit. For since faith, as we have said, receives Christ, it puts us in possession, so to speak, of all his blessings. Thus so far as respects our sense, it is only after having believed -- that we begin to be the sons of God. But if the inheritance of eternal life is the fruit of adoption, we see how the Evangelist ascribes the whole of our salvation to the grace of Christ alone; and, indeed, how closely soever men examine themselves, they will find nothing that is worthy of the children of God, except what Christ has bestowed on them."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Why Is Modern Culture Bored?

Update: Sorry, I had tried to post from my mobile phone and that didn't work too well.

I was going to put up an Augustine quote:
"Those who fail to discover what they are looking for suffer from hunger, whereas those who do not look, because they have it in front of them, often die of boredom." -Augustine "On Christian Teaching"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Da Vinci Opportunities

It was hard for me. I saw this phenomenon going on; everyone at work was talking about the book. Some even taking the conspiracy theories found in it seriously! It was so hard to not be condescending. It was also hard to read the book. Not HARD hard. It is a very easy read. I just could not believe I was reading a book that contained an albino assassin monk. It is pulp fiction to the core, full of cheesy dialog, unbelievable characters on every page. But I got through it, and was able to notice the creativity in the puzzles and acknowledge that there was some talent in there. It opened the dialog at work with people in great ways! I could add what I liked about the book, what I did not like, and why the history in it is pure drivel and should only be enjoyed as fiction. I hope the movie will open up more windows to discuss the truth. I agree with the sentiment of this story whole heartedly!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

John 20:1-9 (NKJV)
The Empty Tomb
1 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

In the Tomb

"When Adam lived, that is, when he sinned, death devoured life; when Christ died, that is, was justified, then life, which is Christ, swallowed up and devoured death; therefore God be praised, that Christ died, and has got the victory."

-Martin Luther “Table Talk

Matthew 12:39-41 (New King James Version)
39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Have an Atonement Centered Good Friday

"God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 2:1-2 KJV

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Transfiguration of Harold Maines

I have finally secured a copy of The Transfiguration of Harold Maines by director Jared W. Johnson. It is well done and very funny! Hard to believe much of it was adlibbed. Kudos to the actors for being so funny and believable. Director Jared Johnson's bizarre sense of humor is at its best in this piece of fiction made to look like a documentary. The idea of a documentary about a man who may have turned into a horse is an idea only he would cook up. If you want to see something truly original then I recommend this short movie.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Gospel” of Judas sheds light on Gnosticism. Not Christianity.

Those pesky Gnostics keep finding their way into pop culture even after almost 2000 years. Perhaps this will give Dan Brown material for another wonderful work of artistic fiction full of albino assassin monks who want to stop the spread of feminism. We can only hope…