Monday, October 27, 2008

Who Christians Are

We Christians are nothing else than worshipers of the Supreme King and Head, under our Master, Christ.  If you examine carefully, you will find that nothing else is implied in that religion. This is the sum of all that we do; this is the proposed end and limit of sacred duties. Before Him we all prostrate ourselves, according to our custom; Him we adore in joint prayers; from Him we beg things just and honorable, and worthy of His ear.  Not that He needs our supplications, or loves to see the homage of so many thousands laid at His feet.  This is our benefit, and has a regard to our advantage.  For since we are prone to err, and to yield to various lusts and appetites through the fault of our innate weakness, He allows Himself at all times to be comprehended in our thoughts, that while we entreat Him and strive to merit His bounties, we may receive a desire for purity, and may free ourselves from every stain by the removal of all our shortcomings.
Arnobius of Sicca, The Case Against the Pagans, Book I, cap. 27

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Two Thoughts for the Price of One

I am currently reading a work of historical fiction--about 750 pages in length. There is no dialogue, but the word pictures are colorful and vibrant in their descriptions of the author's make-believe world. And what is the title of said tome? Theology of the Old Testament by Walter Brueggemann. The author was highly recommended by one of my seminary professors, and this title came up fairly often in the bibliographies of academic works. At the beginning of the book, I was certain Brueggemann is a deist promulgating his ideas in light of Historical Criticism. Now that I am past the halfway point, he might be better described as a post-modern deconstructionst. Who knows? He might be both.

In the same vein, my sister, Karen Norton, sent an a-mail today containing the following:
There was a time when I could spend hours in a bookstore and also come out with a sack full of reading material. I can still spend hours in the store, but more often than not I come away empty handed. I guess I got tired of looking at so many of the books and while the title may have been intriguing I found the content lacked a scriptural basis.
While her thesis is the disappointment in evangelical authors that have no concern for the primacy of Scripture, the end result is the same. Philosophy is trumping truth.

On the flip side...
I was eating at Olive Garden with my wife today. On one of his return trips, the waiter asked, "Where do you fellowship?" A bit stunned, I told him, "Maranatha," and Sandi asked him, "What prompted that?" He replied, "Spiritual intuition." He had recognized the working of Christ in us and desired a small bit of Christian fellowship. The Lord works in and through us, even when we have no knowledge of it.

Philippians 1:9-11 (ESV):
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.