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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Evangel Lies: By What Purpose Be Driven?!

"Tell me since when do the means justify the ends and you build the Kingdom using the devil's tools?" - Derek Webb, A Love That's Strong Than Our Fear

I ran across this article the other day by Rick Warren in the Christian Post. The method of "soul winning" that Warren suggests is so flawed that I don't even know where to begin. A fine-toothed comb is not needed here. He starts off on a bad foot and keeps stumbling all the way through. So, I'll just start where he begins to go wrong--the very beginning.

"The longer you’re a believer, the less you think like an unbeliever. After you come to Christ, your interests and values change."

[This is probably one of the only true statements (if not THE only one) in the whole article. But it's all down hill from here...]

"Because I’ve been a Christian for most of my life, I think like a Christian. I don’t normally think like an unbeliever. Worse than that, I tend to think like a pastor and that’s even farther removed from an unbeliever’s mind-set! That means I must intentionally change mental gears when seeking to relate to non-Christians."

[Here, he makes it see as if thinking like a Christian is a terrible thing ("Worst than that..."). We are SUPPOSED to be far removed from the mindset that we were once in--before we were redeemed in Christ. It shouldn't be too terribly hard for us to remember what it was like to be an unbeliever; after all, we all used to be one (not to mention the occasional fits of unbelief that we still have even as Christians).]

"If you look at most church advertising, it’s obvious that it was written from a believer’s viewpoint – not from the mind-set of the unchurched. When you see a church ad that announces, "Preaching the inerrant Word of God," who do you think that ad appeals to? Certainly not to unbelievers!"

[Just because a term may offend someones sensibility doesn't mean that it should be negated. Besides, the term isn't going to appeal to unbelievers because it's not supposed to. That's what makes them unbelievers. He assuming hear that unbelief is docile and passive, when the bible clearly declares it as hostile and suppressive when it comes to the truth of God's word.]

"Personally, I consider the inerrancy of Scripture as a non-negotiable belief, but the unchurched don’t even understand the term. If you’re going to advertise your church, you must learn to think and speak like unbelievers. The spiritual terminology that Christians are familiar with is just gibberish to the unchurched."

[It's funny how the inerrancy of Scripture is such a non-negotiable for him, yet he negotiates the declaration of this claim before unbelievers. I can almost guarantee you that it's not the theological nomenclature (big church words) that is going to be the problem for the unchurched person--he's assuming that they won't know what "inerrant" means or that it won't be explained; it's the claim itself which they will stumble over because it's not what they want to hear.]

"I’ve often heard pastors complain that unbelievers are more resistant to the Gospel today than in the past. I don’t think that is true at all. More often than not, resistance is just poor communication."

[I find this statement to be somewhat ironic; it's usually a poor communication of the Gospel that will draw people by the millions (i.e. Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren, etc.)]

"The problem is that message isn’t getting through. Churches need to stop saying that people are closed to the Gospel and start finding out how to communicate on their wavelength."

[Truth often times is hard to hear, especially when you tell it straight. The last thing in the world that a sinner wants to hear is that they are indeed a sinner; naturally they're going to draw back. His suggestion of finding out how to communicate on their wavelength is more than just a simple act of making the gospel relevant to the culture. He is actually suggesting here that we usurp and negate the power of the Gospel by changing it to fit their felt needs.]

"No matter how life-changing our message is, if we’re broadcasting on a different channel from the unchurched, it won’t do any good."

[That's just ridiculous...in preaching the Gospel we are trying to persuade them to change to channel--to see that their watching the wrong station (to stick with his analogy). What ultimately won't do any good is for us to be on the same channel that their on; using worldly means and methods will never bring anyone to true saving faith in Jesus Christ.]

"How do you learn to think like unbelievers? Talk to them! One of the greatest barriers to evangelism is that most believers spend all their time with other Christians. They don’t have any non-believing friends. If you don’t spend any time with unbelievers, you won’t understand what they’re thinking."

[Besides this being a weak argument, there needs to be a major clarification on this point. Yes, you should have friends and acquaintances who are not Christians (if you're living in this world, it would be almost impossible). However, the way that we should relate to them should very different in many ways than the sort of relationship that I have with someone who is my brother and sister in Christ. With those who are in Christ, I can fellowship and worship. This is not possible with unbelieving friends. Due to the fact that we are on "different wavelengths", these are things that they can't necessarily relate to and can't be a part of (notice: Judas is not present at institution of the Lord's Supper--Jesus dismisses him beforehand). Our job is to witness to our unchurced and non-believing friends. If we don't we can't call them friends and we definitely can't say that we love them.]

I began Saddleback Church by going door-to-door for 12 weeks and surveying the unchurched in my area. I wrote down in my notebook five questions I would use to start Saddleback:

[Aaah, the five points of Warrenism!! Here are the practical implications of a "Gospel-less Gospel". What you are about to see laid out before you is nothing more than a marketing campaign to get more butts in seats. He more concerned with counting noses than saving souls.]

1. What do you think is the greatest need in this area? This question simply got people talking to me.

[There are better ways to start this conversation; this is a control technique. You don't want to lose any potential "customers" right away.]

2. Are you actively attending any church? If they said yes, I thanked them and moved on to the next home. I didn’t bother asking the other three questions because I didn’t want to color the survey with the opinions of believers. Notice that I didn’t ask, "Are you a member?” Many people who haven’t been inside a church for 20 years still claim membership in some church.

[What?! That's such a horrible assumption to make. What if the church is apostate? What if they're not being taught? What if it's a CULT? However, we have to consider what all of this is based on. This further solidifies the earlier point that he is not concerned with the salvation of the soul. True membership in a church can be confirmed by any number of simple follow-up questions. But this is not his concern. It's just business.]

3. Why do you think most people don’t attend church? This seemed to be a less threatening and offensive wording than: "Why don’t YOU attend church?” Today many people would answer that question with "It’s none of your business why I don’t go!” but when I asked why they thought other people didn’t attend, they usually gave me their personal reasons anyway.

[Most people who have strong convictions about not going to church or not believing in God aren't going to shy away from telling you. Most times, in fact, you probably won't have to ask or push too hard. You shouldn't even care what they think about why other people attend church--it's irrelevant to their salvation. What if the response is, " Because their weak, and they're fools to believe in a fairy tale." ? Now I have a question: How exactly does this fit into your data and statistics for how you're going to build a church? Are you willing to turn into Flannery O' Connor's character, Hazel Motes, and tell them that you are gonna solve that problem and start a "church without Christ"? At what point do you engage them with the Gospel and get to the heart of the matter? Warren never does. This idea has serious consequences, as we will see as he continues this line of questioning.]

4. If you were to look for a church to attend, what kind of things would you look for? This single question taught me more about "thinking like a unbeliever” than my entire seminary training. I discovered that most churches are offering programs that the unchurched are uninterested in.

[I don't even know what to say. That's a slap in the face to whatever seminary that he went to and it also shows his low view of teaching and preaching the Gospel at the same time. Of course the unchurched are uninterested in church; they don't know Christ! This a gross misunderstanding and bastardization of the Church of Christ from the Head of the Church himself. The church's mission in the world is to be the bearer of the Light of Truth in Jesus Christ. A non-believer isn't gonna want to have any part of that UNTIL he's been transformed by the Holy Spirit; and how does that happen? By CHURCHES (and members therein) preaching the whole truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to said unbeliever.]

5. What could I do for you? What advice can you give to a minister that really wants to be helpful to people? This is the most basic question the church must ask its community. Study the Gospels and notice how many times Jesus asked someone, "What do you want me to do for you?” He’d begin with a person’s needs.

[Here's the nail in the coffin. The church already has its marching orders; it's called the Great Commission. To ask the unchurched and the unsaved what it is the THEY would WANT from the Church is a horrible thing to do. I guarantee that they aren't going to WANT to hear about Jesus. Again, if this is their response, what do you do? It's back to Hazel Motes all over again. Because he has neglected the Gospel up to this point, he might as well misquote it. Jesus never says IN ANY GOSPEL, "What can I do for you?". The only person that Jesus answered to was the Father, God. We are to go and preach the Gospel to every creature. Not to ask them what they want to hear.]

This survey has been reprinted in dozens of books and articles. Several thousand churches have now used these five questions in their own communities. One denomination that I consulted with used these questions to start 102 new churches on a single day! If you haven’t ever surveyed the unchurched in your area, I strongly recommend that you do.

[The only thing left to boast are inflated numbers and himself because he surely can't boast Jesus as the Christ, the Cross, the Resurrection, or even the mercy of God. It's just not there. It's not even in the undertones of his inquiry. He's concerned with what they feel they need, not with what they ultimately need; Salvation from the Wrath of an Just and Righteous God. I would not heed his recommendation to use these questions as a model for building a true church. A Church that's built on anything less than the confession that Jesus is the Christ is not a church at all.] Acts 2:14-47, 17:16-34

Mark Driscoll - Cultural Values and the Preaching of Repentance

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. - Matthew 16:15-18 ESV

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. - Romans 10:17 ESV

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:1-2 ESV

But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. - 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 ESV

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. - 1 Timothy 4:16 ESV

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. - 2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. - James 4:4 ESV

"Men are fools till they submit to the word of God." - John Calvin

Soli Deo Gloria,


Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Quick and the Dead: Further Up and In on Mercy and Reprobation

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. – Romans 1: 28-32 ESV

“Will is to grace as the horse is to the rider.” -St. Augustine of Hippo

As hard of a topic as this is to discuss, it is something that needs to be taken seriously. Some may see such writings as an unnecessary attempt to divide the Body of Christ over issues that don’t really matter; it’s indirect on the life of the Christian, so what’s the point, right?

The point is that if it is important enough to be mentioned in Scripture—plainly laid out in Scripture—then it is definitely worth finding out. This is, in fact, one of the biggest crimes of the modern day Church; we at times don’t take the Word of God seriously enough on certain issues because it offends our sensibilities. When it comes to certain doctrines that get in the way of our own notions and fancies, we immediately dismiss them as gross misinterpretation by the one who presents the argument. Particularly in Western Culture, where the “Manifest Destiny”, “Captain Can-Do”, “Free-to-do-what-I-want” attitude is so prevalent, it is no wonder why so many have a problem with the idea of a Sovereign God who Predestines. This doctrine cuts the legs right out from underneath all preconceived notions of liberty. The idea that God chooses us without us having any say so in the matter seems to the conscience of the American Christian mind to be, well, tyrannical. But as we will see as we take a deeper look at this issue, it is an improper view of ourselves and God that bring about the faulty understanding of what the true implications of this doctrine really are.

Logical Inference within the Text

As I stated in my earlier article, the doctrines of election and reprobation are clearly taught in Scripture (Old and New Testaments). However, there still seems to be room for controversy. In my argument against Dr. Caner’s theological construct of “Whosoever Will”, I mainly used scripture passages dealing with a more general election, as spoken by Christ himself. Unfortunately, for some, this did not seem to suffice. Many who read those passages still insist on the claims that these statements made by Jesus do not necessarily correlate with Romans 9. But, this is simply faulty logic on their part. For example, the question that Christ poses to his disciples (“Have I not chosen you twelve, yet one of you is a devil?”) clearly infers that whatever the other eleven had, Judas did not. When Christ called, did he come? Yes. But did he come for the right reason? No. Judas was clearly guided by a different motive than his colleagues (this becomes apparent further along into the Gospels).

What’s New is Old

To really get a handle on this issue, it is important to look back and see that the idea of election and reprobation is not a New Testament (NT) invention. I won’t spend much time on the verses that are used in the Romans 9 passage, but I would like to go back to the beginning to see where we can first see it presented—the Old Testament.

The LORD God said to the serpent,

"Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." –Genesis 3:14-15 ESV

[In this text, a logical inference has to be made. One would be hard pressed to believe that what is being discussed here is a mutual hatred for each other held by snakes and humans. The serpent here is the acting embodiment of Satan. Therefore, it would be prudent for one to conclude that the enmity between the offspring is between the people who will be saved by God (the elect) and those who will not be (the reprobate). Without a proper understanding of this verse, any other discussion on the idea of election and reprobation breaks down. It should be noted that throughout the early chapters of Genesis, the themes of election and reprobation are represented equally.]

The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. –Genesis 6:5-8 ESV

[It is evident from the passage that God has granted to Noah something that is not privy to the others. He finds favor with Noah and his family, not based on merit, but by sovereign election.]

Hard Sayings for Soft Hearts

There were some Bible passages that were intentionally left out of the original blog (in order to invoke discussion). I also have a tendency to hold some things back for the sake of time and brevity. However, due to recent comments and correspondence that I’ve had with individuals, I realize that this is a seriously hard nut to crack. Here are some of the absolute, unabashed sayings on the “darker side” of election that tend to be overlooked or left out of our vocabularies. I ask that as you search the Scriptures, pray for God to give you a soft and receptive heart; that you may be pierced by His Word.

Here are NT scripture references that point more clearly to the fact that election is indeed a two-sided coin. Both mercy and hardening are taught from the outset:

And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that

"they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven." -Mark 4:12 ESV

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

"The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,"


"A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense."

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. -1 Peter 2:7-10 ESV

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.
-1 John 2:18-20 ESV

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. –Jude 4 ESV

He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. –Revelation 13:7-8 ESV

“In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?” - St. Augustine of Hippo

Soli Deo Gloria,

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"Dead Dogma": Made Alive in the Life of Christ

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me" - John 5:39 ESV

With such a wide spread abandonment of biblical dogma and doctrine in Churches these days, there's no better time than Easter to reflect on the incomparability of Christ in our dogma. No one has stated this more profoundly, in my opinion, than Dororthy Sayers. This is an essay from her book, Creed or Chaos. Enjoy:

The Greatest Story Ever Staged

Official Christianity, of late years, has been having what is known as “a bad press.” We are constantly assured that the churches are empty because preachers insist too much upon doctrine-“dull dogma,” as people call it. The fact is the precise opposite. It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness. The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man-and the dogma is the drama.

That drama is summarized quite dearly in the creeds of the Church, and if we think it dull it is because we either have never really read those amazing documents, or have recited them so often and so mechanically as to have lost all sense of their meaning. The plot pivots upon a single character, and the whole action is the answer to a single central problem: What think ye of Christ? Before we adopt any of the unofficial solutions (some of which are indeed excessively dull)-before we dismiss Christ as a myth, an idealist, a demagogue, a liar, or a lunatic-it will do no harm to find out what the creeds really say about Him. What does the Church think of Christ?

The Church’s answer is categorical and uncompromising, and it is this: That Jesus Bar-Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, was in fact and in truth, and in the most exact and literal sense of the words, the God “by whom all things were made.” His body and brain were those of a common man; His personality was the personality of God, so far as that personality could be expressed in human terms. He was not a kind of demon or fairy pretending to be human; is the official creed of Christendom. He was in every respect a genuine living man. He was not merely a man so good as to be “like God”-He was God. Now, this is not just a pious commonplace; it is not commonplace at all. For what it means is this, among other things: that for whatever reason God chose to make man as he is-limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death-He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human ex­perience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors ‘of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. when He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worth while.

Christianity is, of course, not the only religion that has found the best explanation of human life in the idea of an incarnate and suffering god. The Egyptian Osiris died and rose again; Aeschylus in his play, The Eumenides, recon­ciled man to God by the theory of a suffering Zeus. But in most theologies, the god is supposed to have suffered and died in some remote and mythical period of pre-history. The Christian story, on the other hand, starts off briskly in St. Matthew’s account with a place and a date: “When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King.” St. Luke, still more practically and prosaically, pins the thing down by a reference to a piece of government finance. God, he says, was made man in the year when Caesar Augustus was taking a census in connection with a scheme of taxation. Similarly, we might date an event by saying that it took place in the year that Great Britain went off the gold standard. About thirty-three years later (we are informed) God was executed, for being a political nuisance, under Pontius Pilate”-much as we might say, “when Mr. Joynson-Hicks was Home Secretary.” It is as definite and concrete as all that.

Possibly we might prefer not to take this tale too seriously -there are disquieting points about it. Here we had a man of Divine character walking and talking among us-and what did we find to do with Him? The common people, indeed, “heard Him gladly”; but our leading authorities in Church and State considered that He talked too much and uttered too many disconcerting truths. So we bribed one of His friends to hand Him over quietly to the police, and we tried Him on a rather vague charge of creating a disturb­ance, and had Him publicly flogged and hanged on the common gallows, “thanking God we were rid of a knave.” All this was not very creditable to us, even if He was (as many people thought and think) only a harmless crazy preacher. But if the Church is right about Him, it was more discreditable still; for the man we hanged was God Almighty.

So that is the outline of the official story-the tale of the time when God was the under-dog and got beaten, when He submitted to the conditions He had laid down and became a man like the men He had made, and the men He had made broke Him and killed Him. This is the dogma we find so dull-this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and hero.

If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore-on the contrary; they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him “meek and mild,” and recom­mended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies. To those who knew Him, however, He in no way suggested a milk-and-water person; they objected to Him as a dangerous firebrand. True, He was tender to the unfortunate, patient with honest inquirers, and humble before Heaven; but He insulted respectable clergymen by calling them hypocrites; He referred to King Herod as “that fox”; He went to parties in disreputable company and was looked upon as a “gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners”; He assaulted indignant tradesmen and threw them and their belongings out of the Temple; He drove a coach-and-horses through a number of sacrosanct and hoary regulations; He cured diseases by any means that came handy, with a shocking casualness in the matter of other people’s pigs and property; He showed no proper deference for wealth or social position; when con­fronted with neat dialectical traps, He displayed a paradoxical humor that affronted serious-minded people, and He retorted by asking disagreeably searching questions that could not be answered by rule of thumb. He was emphati­cally not a dull man in His human lifetime, and if He was God, there can be nothing dull about God either. But He had “a daily beauty in His life that made us ugly,” and officialdom felt that the established order of things would be more secure without Him. So they did away with God in the name of peace and quietness.

“And the third day He rose again”; what are we to make of that? One thing is certain: if He was God and nothing else, His immortality means nothing to us; if He was man and no more, His death is no more important than yours or mine. But if He really was both God and man, then when the man Jesus died, God died too, and when the God Jesus rose from the dead, man rose too, because they were one and the same person. The Church binds us to no theory about the exact composition of Christ’s Resurrection Body. A body of some kind there had to be, since man cannot perceive the Infinite otherwise than in terms of space and time. It may have been made from the same elements as the body that disappeared so strangely from the guarded tomb, but it was not that old, limited, mortal body, though it was recognizably like it. In any case, those who saw the risen Christ remained persuaded that life was worth living and death a triviality-an attitude curiously unlike that of the modern defeatist, who is firmly persuaded that life is a disaster and death (rather inconsistently) a major catas­trophe.

Now, nobody is compelled to believe a single word of this remarkable story. God (says the Church) has created us perfectly free to disbelieve in Him as much as we choose. If we do disbelieve, then He and we must take the conse­quences in a world ruled by cause and effect. The Church says further, that man did, in fact, disbelieve, and that God did, in fact, take the consequences. All the same, if we are going to disbelieve a thing, it seems on the whole to be desirable that we should first find out what, exactly, we are disbelieving. Very well, then: “The right Faith is, that we believe that Jesus Christ is God and Man. Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsist­ing. Who although He be God and Man, yet is He not two, but one Christ.” There is the essential doctrine, of which the whole elaborate structure of Christian faith and morals is only the logical consequence.

Now, we may call that doctrine exhilarating or we may call it devastating; we may call it revelation or we may call it rubbish; but if we call it dull, then words have no mean­ing at all. That God should play the tyrant over man is a dismal story of unrelieved oppression; that man should play the tyrant over man is the usual dreary record of human futility; but that man should play the tyrant over God and find Him a better man than himself is an astonishing drama indeed. Any journalist, hearing of it for the first time, would recognize it as News; those who did hear it for the first time actually called it News, and good news at that; though we are apt to forget that the word Gospel ever meant anything so Sensational.

Perhaps the drama is played out now, and Jesus is safely dead and buried. Perhaps. It is ironical and entertaining to consider that once at least in the world’s history those words might have been spoken with complete conviction, and that was upon the eve of the Resurrection.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. - Luke 24:27 ESV

Soli Deo Gloria,

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