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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010
To the Glory of God.
I was having a religious discussion with a Muslim friend, who in describing Muslim forms of worship gave the example of moving a salt shaker on the table from point A to point B. He said that if he moved the salt shaker mindlessly, according to his own capricious whim, or even according to some pragmatic function, that the gesture, spiritually speaking, was inert or neutral. If however, he determined in his mind to worship Allah in moving the salt shaker from point A to point B, then by virtue of his mind set, it was indeed an act of worship.

I do not hold my friend up as a spokesperson for all of Islam, but I will say this much, he is not a wishy-washy liberal Muslim, but devout and sincere, more so that many Christians I know.

Having set the stage, let me say that I presume that there must be some Christians who would see the distinction given by my Muslim friend, as parallel to what the Holy Spirit commands through Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:31 ("Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."). That is, these Christians would interpret the command to "do all (i.e. whatever you do) to the glory of God" as meaning that when you engage in some pragmatic activity, you can turn it into an act of worship by focusing on how thankful you are, or again, by focusing on how much you love or appreciate God while you are doing whatever it is you are doing.

Thus, the act itself is "sanctified" because as you performed the action you were simultaneously engaged in "worshipping" God.

The question is, is that what it means to do all things to the glory of God? Does the run-of-the-mill Muslim worship his Allah according to a co-opted Christian formula, or does the run-of-the-mill Christian attempt to worship God according to a counterfeit practice?

To begin to answer this question and develop a right practice from scripture, we need to ask ourselves what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 10:31.

In chapter eight Paul addresses the practice of eating meat that has been sacrificed to idols. Two thousand years ago, people didn't rightly understand the nature of food borne diseases found in meats. Such things as botulism and salmonella were attributed to spirits in the meat. It was believed that these same "spirits" which could be driven out of the meat if you sacrificed the meat to an idol, and the idol accepted your offering.

More than a few new converts to Christianity (in Corinth at least) continued (presumably in their ignorance) to buy meat that had been sacrificed to (i.e. cleansed by) idols, even after they had become believers. Of course, as Paul explained, idols were nothing, and the food that was offered on them was no better for you than food that hadn't been offered on them.

Paul's teaching then was that meat that had been sacrificed to idols was no different (functionally) from meat that had not been sacrificed to idols. Thus a knowledgeable Christian was at his liberty to eat any meat set before him, free from the fear that the meat had been "spiritually tainted" by having been sacrificed to an idol, since there was, in fact, idols were less than dead, having no life in them, and no power to affect the meat that is naively offered on them. This was the "liberty" of a knowledgeable believer.

Yet this liberty, Paul argued, ought to be set aside by the mature believer, for the benefit of the immature believer, if the latter should (in their immaturity) conclude that the former was eating sacrificed meat because there was some spiritual benefit to doing so. Better, argues Paul, to set aside our liberty if exercising it causes someone else (in their immaturity) to progress in their error.

Paul argues that in the same way a mature believer sets aside his liberty for the sake of the immature, when it comes to such things, so Paul, as an example of maturity, has set aside his right to reap material things from the congregation in Corinth. This failure to reap material things from the congregation at Corinth was being painted (by some) as proof that Paul lacked a legitimate claim to Apostolic authority. Paul demonstrates that it is not a lack of authority that causes him to set aside what is within his liberty to take, but rather a concern for the congregation at Corinth that rises out of both knowledge and especially maturity, that he acts in the way he acts for the sake of the gospel, for the sake of God's glory, that he becomes all things to all men in order that through doing so, God would be most glorified.

Stop and summarize that thought to yourself. Paul is saying that he set aside his liberty for God's glory. That for the sake of God's glory, Paul was not only willing, but compelled to set aside his own glory.

We must bring this context to bear on the passage that shortly follows this understanding, for Paul's habit is to write in a spiral that winds its way outward from the small, but easily understood examples, to the greater wider application where that understanding exists, but is less clear to those who, by virtue of ignorance or immaturity, are less inclined to see it on the surface.

Paul then begins in Chapter ten, to speak of those who had only their own glory in mind - those who were speaking out against Paul, comparing their practice to the practice of those who grumbled against Moses in the wilderness, and (likewise) perished on that account. Paul shows that the temptation presented to the Corinthians - the temptation to grumble against Paul, was not some new temptation, but a common one (as illustrated by the mention of the exact same thing having been done to Moses by the grumblers of his day).

As the spiral winds its way back round, Paul concludes, therefore, flee idolatry! He gives practical examples of how that would look - if some person invites you to go eat, do so! But if doing so would injure the conscience of an immature believer, then do not exercise your liberty at their expense. Paul was being slandered (c.f. 10:30) for eating food that had been offered up to an idol, hence the full explanation, and it is directly in the context of Paul's explanation that we read, "whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.".

Note that this command does not say or imply that you sanctify some action by simultaneously worshipping God as you do it. What it is saying is that if something you do does not glorify God, don't do it. Let it be a rule for yourself that whatever you do, should be done for God's glory.

That was Paul's argument. He wasn't eating food that had been sacrificed to idols because he thought these foods were cleansed thereby. He was engaged in "being all things to all men" at the time, for the sake of the gospel. That is the inference, and this Paul was doing, for the glory of God.

It may seem that I am going out on a limb here because there are enough Christians out there who honestly believe that the command in 1 Corinthians 10:31 is a command to "spiritualize" or "worshipalize" every trivial, pragmatic moment of the Christian life. These, having painted an impossible picture of Christian duty, thereafter live under a persistent, fellowship hindering guilt of failing to inject an extra-biblical notion of worship into every trivial thing they do.

Now listen: You ought to worship God all the time, but there is no way that having a "worshipful frame of mind" turns moving a salt shaker from point A to point B into an act that gives God glory. God may be glorified in your worship, but He has carefully explained how you are to worship him, and moving around salt shakers is -not- on that menu. It may sound all nice and spiritual, to "spiritualize" the trivial and mundane, but ultimately you end up with holy bowel movements, and, when allowed to run its full course, you get sanctified sin.

Other world religions buy into this junk, but what else do they have? As the keepers of truth, we cannot allow ourselves to lace a right understanding of scripture with extra-biblical gunk such as this.

Worship God in the beauty of His holiness. Do not be as Nadab and Abihu, bringing in strange fire, inventing your own bizarre forms of worship, but instead worship God according to scripture; and make sure you understand scripture, do not linger long in a superficial faith.


posted by Daniel @ 10:50 AM   1 comment(s)
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The Yellow Light Of Death
About two years ago I bought a used PS3.

It was one of the original 60GB variety, containing an actual PS2 chip for true, hardware, backwards compatibility. It had four (rather than two) USB ports, and three memory card readers, including SD/miniSD, Sony Memory Stick Pro, and a CF card reader. These particular units are sought after because they were better built and far more functional than the latter day, made for less (with less in them) models.

Even today these units generally sell for more than brand new units.

So it was with some disappointment that I began to notice a couple of months ago some graphic artifacts showing up as we played games on the machine. I knew that the system was running hot, so I pulled it apart gave it a bit of a dusting. But I didn't get too deep into it, I just opened the cover and carefully vacuumed out a lot of the dust that was in the venting grates and whatnot. It ran better for a time, but all of a sudden last week, in the middle of a game, it shut off, and refused to turn back on.

I had experienced the dreaded, YLoD (Yellow Light of Death). Which is rather a very poor name, given that the yellow light comes on for but a moment, and is immediately replaced by a blinking red light, and three short beeps. But there it was. Every time I tried to turn on the machine, the green light would come on, immediately replaced by a yellow, for a moment, then blinking red ad infinitum, with the three beeps. I couldn't even eject the disc of the game that was being played in the moment the machine died.

I tried letting it cool off: Nothing. I tried turning it on a few more times until finally I went on the internet to figure out what was wrong.

Well, as it turns out the problem was the same as the XBox's Red Ring of Death (RRoD), basically the sort of thing that bricks your game box so that you have to send it in, pay $150 plus shipping and handling, and wait three weeks to a month to get it back.

I found a website that said that the YLoD was sometimes just a bad Hard Disk connection. It said that if you unplug your hard drive, and plug it back in a few times, this sometimes fixes the problem. That came across as wishful (read: bunk) thinking, but hey, Naaman eventually dipped himself in the Jordan, even if it seemed dumb to him, so I gave it a try. Sadly, unlike Naaman, my skepticism was well placed. Nothing changed. But I had always intended to upgrade my Hard Drive anyway - I mean, 60GB is pretty small nowadays, and one could pick up a 250 GB drive for around fifty bucks or so, so I decided to try a new Hard Disk.

A quick trip to Best Buy, and one 250 GB HDD later, and I tried again. Nope.

Back to the internet.

Had I looked a little longer the first time, I probably wouldn't have picked up a new HDD. I admit, I was looking for some easy fix, and perhaps that, more than anything, is why I gave the old HDD thing a try. But the truth was the problem was likely either a blown power supply, or (far) more likely, a heat dissipation issue had caused a solder joint in either the CPU or GPU. Given that I had been seeing graphic artifacts prior to the blowout (little blue, rounded squares flashing now and again that shouldn't have been there), I presumed this was probably the real culprit.

The fix, if one wanted to try to do it at home, was two fold - first you had to fix the solder joint, and second, you had to fix the bad heat dissipation issue.

I am not afraid of electronics in the way some are timid, so I determined to fix the thing myself rather than spend $200 bucks sending it in. I found an online guide on what needed to be done (reflow the motherboard and chip set with a paint stripper/heat gun, then apply new thermal compound between the chips and the heat sinks, and voila! You either toast your main board forever, or fix it for a few moments, or fix it altogether.

So I borrowed a two speed Black & Decker heat gun, bought some "Arctic Silver 5" thermal compound for $14, and fixed my PS3 by myself in a couple of hours.

I took a bunch of pictures, and was going to post them, but, frankly, this probably interests me more than other people, so I am just texting this one sans photo style.

I really enjoyed ripping the guts out of my PlayStation, and even found an extra screw that had probably been dropped into the unit when it was first built! At least, I hope it was an extra screw...?

Anyway, there is a manly man feeling to sitting at home, ripping open an electronic thing, and fixing it with a glorified blow dryer and some silver thermal paste. I think I am ready to kill, skin, and eat a small woodland creature now.

Each one of us limits ourselves from doing things we are perfectly capable of doing, but shy away from for fear that it will turn out poorly. How many people have refused to take a new job, or move to another city, or buy a more suitable home for fear that things will turn out poorly?

Sometimes it is good to be reminded that we are capable of far more than we are willing to attempt; and to understand that the reason we do not attempt things is because we have been trained to fear failure.
posted by Daniel @ 8:21 AM   4 comment(s)
Friday, May 14, 2010
How Blessed Am I.
This morning, as I sat down to take my cycling shoes off, I noticed, a thin thread of metallic gold on my black cycling shorts, consistent, I say, with the long hair of my youngest daughter. I don't actually wish that I personally had hair that looked like spun gold, but I have to admit, I find it cool. Yet when I saw it I didn't marvel at the wonder of God's creation, though I ought to have; I didn't think, "How long has that been there?", as some might have wondered.

No, I immediately thought of a day not many weeks ago when my youngest daughter and I were sitting in the big chair together in my living room, and talking about how her hair had this neat effect in that it looked like gold when you looked at a single strand of it. Perhaps for her it was a conversation that she didn't enter into very deeply, but something of these kinds of conversations linger with a father. I remember the profound sense of rightness and family, I remember the sweet joy of being together, and the wonder I felt thinking about how our Lord has made each one of us different, unique, and a work of profound art.

It is funny how noticing a stray strand of hair clinging to my clothes can send me down a sentimental lane, bolstering the love that I have for my family, and reminding me of God's glory in creation. What a pleasant moment of marvel I was given.

I have previously mentioned a couple who have been joining with our congregation on Sunday mornings. I mentioned their son Joel, who, though not yet two years old, is suffering from a rare and fatal illness. You can about the family through the mother's blog here. The last week has been especially difficult for this family. They love our Lord, and are leaning on Him, and I, and all my church have been before the throne of grace on many occasions, and certainly moreso this week, begging the God of all mercy to visit their situation in the fullness of wisdom and mercy. I am so thankful for this couple.

I hope that today, as you enter into your weekend, you will be thankful for, and full of adoration in, what God is doing. I pray that you gain that godly perspective by which a man may walk through life with joy and life more abundant.
posted by Daniel @ 7:34 AM   2 comment(s)
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Forgetting God's Glory
There is a difference between being grateful and expressing gratitude. One is a feeling, the other something you do. In the same way, there is a difference between regarding God to be glorious, and actually glorifying God. The one is a settled opinion, the other something you do.

I think every genuine Christian (and probably a good measure of the nominal i.e. "in name only" Christians) would agree that God ought to be regarded as holy; but how many of us make supplications to God in every prayer that His name be established as Holy on the earth? How many of us beg God to do His will on earth? How many cry out for God's kingdom to be more firmly established on earth?

Clearly I am referring back to what the church has come to call "the Lord's prayer", though it was in truth, the Lord's instruction on how we ought to pray. A template, if you will, supplied by God Himself in the person of Christ, upon being asked that He teach us how to pray.

We may reason within ourselves that God's kingdom is going to be established anyway, so why should we ask for something that is absolutely and inevitably going to happen? Why should we ask that God's will be done on earth, since it is impossible for God's will to be thwarted? Why should we ask that God's name be regarded as holy here on the earth?

Before I answer that (as best I can), let's get one thing straight in our thinking. Christ did not teach us to pray this way for His sake, or for God's sake. God gains nothing by our worship, and lacks nothing in our negligence. Jesus did not give this instruction in order to pad God's confidence, or say meritorious things. God, while the object of our worship is not the beneficiary of it: we are. Jesus taught us to adore God, to exalt Him, and to express that adoration and exaltation, in our daily lives, and again, and perhaps especially, in prayer.

I think a great many people, while understanding perfectly the concept of "worthiness", simultaneously fail to apply it.

The first thing we should note here is that God is worthy of our adoration. Jesus isn't calling us to go "above and beyond", He is calling us to perform the bare minimum of righteousness. I want to imprint this firmly in your thinking, so let me drill down a bit: God is so worthy of our adoration, that we are obligated by His worth to adore Him. Try and get your head around that. It is right and proper for a created being to adore God the Creator, just as it is right and proper to express that adoration, and again, just as it is a real moral deficiency to ignore that duty.

People don't think of adoring God as a righteous duty, because they simply do not, or perhaps cannot imagine, someone or something being so worthy of it that it imposes an obligation on us. Nevertheless, this obligation is a reality, and attending to this obligation, does not build God up, it builds us up. If we fail to answer this obligation eitehr in our heart or in our expression, we are standing aloof from genuine righteousness.

Can I spell this out more clearly? Perhaps I can in this way. No one who fails to adore God in their heart and/or in their actions can rightly say or imagine that they are drawing near to God. You cannot draw near to God and stand aloof at the same time. Either you answer the obligation to adore God in your heart and in your actions, or you do not. If you are not adoring God, you are not drawing near to God, and you are not, no matter how convinced you may be of the contrary, fellowshipping with God.

When Jesus teaches us to adore God with our hearts, our mouths, and our hands, He is teaching us a necessary component of humility, a necessary ingredient of drawing near to God, and He is teaching it, not for God's benefit, but for our own. He is giving us a necessary ingredient of drawing near to, or seeking the face of God, in order that -we- might be blessed. God calls us to adore Him, because we cannot draw near to Him without adoring Him.

I could go on and show that the same is true of asking God to see that His will is done on earth, or asking God to cause His kingdom to flourish, grow, and come to full fruition on earth - but we end up in the same place. We end up showing that these things are taught us because that is what real righteousness looks like - it recognizes God's worth, and accepts the obligation that worth places upon us, to see that God's will be done, and God's kingdom established, and this, not for God's benefit, for He gains nothing by it, but for the benefit of those who live on the earth.

One of the most uncomfortable silences I know of happens in the standard prayer meeting. The person running the meeting calls for the congregation to enter into a time of praise and adoration, which is often interpreted to be a time of thanking God a variety of things that happened this past week or month. Those present often sit in silence as each person tries to think of something interesting or noteworthy that happened recently. In a group of thirty you might find five who are willing to "share" something, and usually they are just thankful for the way something turned out, whether an answered prayer, or a situation, or what have you. It is right to be thankful in all things, don't get me wrong, and there is a place for that, and ought to be a place for that; but seldom do we hear people actually glorifying God.

I chalk that up, not to spiritual inertia, though that is certainly likely, but I chalk it up mostly to the artificiality of most prayer meetings. Let's be honest, dropping our collective guards for just long enough to affirm that public prayers are almost always more guarded, and therefore more superficial, than private prayers. It isn't a question of fervancy, for we can pray just as fervantly in the throng as we can alone. It is rather that prayers are intimate things. We are not talking to the congregation, we are talking to God, and though the best of us may be able to have our private converstaion in the open, most are intimidated by the thought. Most people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of dying. So it should come as no surprise therefore that few will be willing to break the silence in a large group, and fewer still, having done so, will be able to pray intimately with the entire congregation eavesdropping.

I know, I know, a great many congregations have co-opted the instructions concerning church discipline found in Matthew 18:19 ("Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven." [NASB]), by painting that as one person praying about something, and one or more following that prayer praying alongside them by "agreeing" with them (you know, "yes God, yeah, what he said. yeah, Amen, let that be done," etc.)

That isn't what the text is talking about, and I don't think that kind of agreeing in prayer is what is meant. In fact, if anything, that almost always ends up with well meaning people simply daydreaming while others are praying. They put their heads down, and groan and mumble, but much of it is just habit. They hear the flow of the prayer and have learned (without trying to do so) to groan and mumble at all the right times, given the standard flow of a prayer. Then they raise their head afterwards and feel guilty for having daydreamed through the whole thing. The problem isn't that they need to be more attentive, it is that this is about as artificial a way to "pray" as saying a rosary. The only difference being that when you say the rosary, you are repeating a known prayer, and when you "agree in prayer" you are just humming and hawing your amens instead of repeating someone else's prayer.

The text of Matthew 18 instructs the local church to exercise the power of the keys, on behalf of Jesus: to purge from the church those whose conduct denies their profession of faith. Verse 19 is part of a six verse teaching by Christ, and must be understood in the context of that whole teaching, which begins in verse 15 and runs to verse 20. When sin is found in a believer, he is called to repent by the one who so finds the sin. If the believer refuses to repent, the one who first identified the sin calls for repentance again with one or two more believers, and if the sinning believer refuses to repent, the matter is put before the church. The church must prayerfully agrees together that this person really is an unrepentant sinner before they can hold that person's profession of faith as no longer credible, and loose on earth, what (from all the evidence) is already loosed in heaven. That is, because they can no longer affirm that this person is truly a part of the body of Christ, and in the absence of that affirmation, they regard that person thereafter as unsaved, having never been a true member of the body of Christ.

Nowhere in that passage do we see find support for the notion of one person praying and a bunch of people following along with silent (or mumbled) amens; and more importantly, the passage is not about how to pray, but how the church must prayerfully agree (that is, agree together after spending time in prayer on the matter) before they have the authority, on Christ's behalf, to declare someone's profession of faith invalid.

That's a bit of a detour I suppose, as our discussion is not about how to conduct a coherent and productive prayer meeting, or how to weed out those bizarre religious habits we so thoughtlessly ape just because other people have done it before us; but rather to focus on the fact that adoring God, and magnifying His name are not empty obligations, but the very stuff of life itself.

Think of genuine adoration as you would a spiritual thermometer. If you are adoring God in your heart and expressing that adoration openly and often, you are at one degree above the freezing point, anything less is spiritual bankruptcy. Oh, you might think it a small thing, given that you pray every day, and read the bible, and go to church, and have a ministry, and give generously, and have made so many sacrifices... but what have you done if you have done this without adoring God?

Think on these things.

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posted by Daniel @ 7:32 AM   5 comment(s)
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Called To Pastor?
While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." - Acts 13:2 [NASB]

We want to keep in mind as we read this passage that the pronoun "they" (as in, "while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting") finds its antecedent in the previous verse, where it describes, "certain prophets and teachers" (c.f. Acts 13:1, emphasis added). That is, while these particular prophets and teachers were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

Two things we want to understand as we look at this passage. First of all, we want to make a distinction between [a] the Holy Spirit explicitly saying a precise and lucid thing to a prophet or teacher, and [b] people putting into their own words their own speculative interpretation of some experience they had, and then calling this the "voice" of the Holy Spirit who "said" things to them. I know a lot of people use that kind of language today (The "God told me..." crowd), but that isn't what was going on.

We have no reason to believe, and every reason to deny the idea, that these teachers and prophets were putting their intuitions into words and attributing those speculations to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit spoke, and these teachers and prophets heard His voice - they heard the words that are attributed to the Holy Spirit. That is the normal sense of the text, though wishy-washers will want to read into that the idea that these teachers and prophets merely felt some sort of feeling that they then put into words which they ascribed to God.

We want to avoid falling into the all too common habit of imposing latter day presumptions back into the text in order to produce an "interpretation" of the text that agrees with our own (flaky) theology.

The second thing we want to note is that the Holy Spirit is pointing these teachers and prophets back to a previous summons. He is not calling Paul and Barnabas there and then, but calling everyone to set Paul and Barnabas aside from the present ministry they were involved in to engage themselves in that for which He had previously called them.

Note that I put the word "called" into italics there? I did that because that word, "call" has become taken on some level of Christianese significance that I don't think scripture can support.

In Koine, the word for "call" is kaleo, and depending on the prefix, it can be used in a variety of ways:

en-kaleo: to "call against" or to "accuse"
The Koine word for "call" is kaleo, and depending on the prefix, it can be used in a a variety of ways.

en-kaleo: to "call against" or to "accuse"
eis-kaleo: to "call into" or to "invite"
epi-kaleo: to "call by name"
para-kaleo: to "appeal/entreat" or "call to conciliation"
pro-kaleo: to "provoke" or "challenge"
pros-kaleo: to "summon" or to "call to ones self"
syn-kaleo: to "call together"

Here in Acts 13, Luke chooses to use the form "proskaleo", meaning that the Holy Spirit had previously summoned Paul and Barnabas to a particular ministry. To get a feel for the word, we see it used previously by Luke in Acts 2:39, where we read, ""For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." " [NASB]. I want to highlight the Holy Spirit has "called" every Christian to Christ in the gospel, and that every person who comes to Christ, answers that same call.

The reason I want to highlight that "calling" is because there was no hocus pocus in it. You heard the gospel, were convicted of it's truth, were granted the grace by you believed, turning away from sin, and embracing reconciliation to God through faith in Christ. It wasn't that you had a "feeling" which you interpreted as a "call" to salvation, rather it was a call that was clearly stated in scripture.

I venture at this point to propose that when God summons a person to anything, that summons is not open to interpretation. It is clearly stated, in lucid language, and does not rest upon anyone's ability to interpret what this feeling, sign, experience, or what have you "means". God has chosen to speak through His Son in these final days( i.e. through the words of scripture), such that we have no reason to imagine that God in previous epochs spoke clearly and lucidly, but now mumbles in the shadows of our own feelings, and intuitions, so that those of us who are willing to chase after every heartburn or itch imagine that we are more spiritually tuned in that those who ridicule the practice. Feelings come and go, they may line up with what God intends from us, but more often than not, they run contrary to God's will. Intuition is a sad and beggarly counterfeit to the Holy Spirit.

I bring up this passage in Acts 13 because it is, I suppose, the most likely place a person would turn to in the word if they were trying to argue that there is such a thing as a "call to be a pastor".

I suppose there are some reading this who might even gasp at the thought that someone might stand up and say the emperor has no clothes that there is no such thing as a "call to be a pastor". I leave it to the reader to determine (from scripture) whether such a beast is the invention of men or the invention of God.

Think this through for a second. James warns believers that they should not allow many to become teachers (c.f. James 3:1). Doesn't that seem a little presumptuous if we allow the notion that God calls people to specific ministries? I mean, that's like saying, "Let not many of you obey God's call when it comes". Should not James write something in tune with the idea that God calls people to something specific? Shouldn't James write, Let not many of you "mistake God's calling on your life" or maybe, "Be on guard against misinterpreting the signs by which God calls you to teach" or some such odd thing.

The way James writes, it should be hard to overlook the lack of any sort of mysticism in the assuming of Christian duties. He writes as though it he fully expects many believers to endeavor to teach, and is warning them not to pursue this vocation lightly. If anywhere in scripture we should hope to find a call to the mystical, it would be here. Yet we find nothing to suggest that people were being singled out by the Holy Spirit, and spiritually "pressured" into "answering a call" to vocational ministry.

Do you want to know if you are called to pastor? The answer is simple. No, you aren't, there is no such thing. What you -are- called to do is deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus. That means conducting your life in complete obedience to the commands of God as recorded in scripture.

I wonder how many apt teachers, and leaders are sitting on their rumps waiting for a mystical call that is never going to come, and again, how many people are in ministry today because they have interpreted some coincidence, experience, or feeling as a call from God into the ministry, as though Christian ministry was something above and beyond what God has already commanded for every believer.

I do believe that congregations should have teaching elders. I believe there is nothing wrong with having a pastor, in fact, I believe a healthy church has many teaching elders/pastors, and I am even okay with congregations having a "senior" pastor, so long as the role doesn't imply a spiritual hierarchy (and exalted authority), but remains merely an administrative distinction.

I don't mind if some young man is inclined to minister in the capacity of a pastor, so long as it is obvious that the man meets the requirements of the office. Note: scripture does not list a mystical calling as a requirement.

Consider how many blatherers there are today, gibbering nonsense in their closets at night, imagning themselves to be speaking in tongues. Even the person who believes that inarticulate ululations are divinely bestowed upon gifted believers, yet one must confess that at least some of these who practice mindless blubbering are in fact just deceived into imagining that their own, self-generated, sputtering is in fact dialog in an angelic tongue. That is, everyone can agree that at least some people are deceived about the gift of tongues and are, in their zeal, faking it, and imagining their doppleganged utterances to be legitimate. These who are deceived suffer from a zealous deception - regarding as spiritual, what is in fact the invention of their own mind.

In the same way there are well meaning Christians today who are interpreting all kinds of things as messages from God, when in fact, they are not. Certainly the Lord leads His people, but scripture doesn't suggest that this leading is mystical and vague, rather the impression we get is that we, in the New Covenant, have a better written testament, and the indwelling Holy Spirit within as the means by which we can live up to the expectations of that covenant; ministering in the strength that the Holy Spirit provides (i.e. ministering in the gifts provided by the Holy Spirit). For some that eventually plays itself out in vocational ministry (missions, pastoring, etc.) but for most it plays out in living peaceable, humble, and obedient lives, bringing up godly families, and doing the work that every believer is called to.

We might describe this in terms of the parable of the talents; that we should use whatever gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit, to the fullest. For some that means vocational ministry, for others, it means a more common, but just as full, ministry.

I think the idea of being "called" into some particular ministry is not biblical, and is even dangerous and destructive. I likewise think that most people are confused on the issue. Hence this post.

My hope is that, if nothing else, people will examine the idea of a "calling" and determine if it is biblical, or just a mystical trend that is rapidly, but baselessly, entrenching itself in Christian thinking.


posted by Daniel @ 10:27 AM   1 comment(s)
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Why Can't I Pray For Others?
I will tell you why. Because you don't love them.

You say, "No, but I do love them."

But that is only because you have confused affection and familiarity with love. Paul describes love in 1 Corinthians 13, and frankly, it isn't described as a feeling. Did you never notice that? Love is this, says Paul, Love is that. Love does not do this, nor that, but does this and that. Love it seems, like faith, is not dormant or useless, but produces works that demonstrate its presence.

Now, as I have said, it isn't that you are incapable of love, or even that you don't want to be someone who loves - you are capable of it, and you probably want to be someone who loves, the problem, as Paul writes, is that you can't seem to find a way to do what you know to be right; You want to do good, but end up failing, you want to avoid evil, but in the end you end up indulging yourself.

It's a cycle you have never really escaped, for all your religion, and it manifests itself in all kinds of ways, though prayerlessness is probably the most obvious.

What should you do?

Well, here is where the advice comes.

First of all, you won't find a verse in scripture that says, God commands you to pray for six hours ever day. Or God commands you to pray in the mornings. Or God commands you to hold a green handkerchief when you pray, or kneel, or face north, or whatever. What scripture does say however is that you are to love your neighbor as yourself. The prophet Samuel understood this, which is why he could say, "far be it from me to sin in not praying for you" - that is, he recognized that failure to pray for others was sinful, not because the eleventh commandment ("though shalt pray for others, lest I smite thee") obliged him, but rather he understood what is said in Leviticus 19:18 ("you shall love your neighbor as yourself"), that you are to love one another. A thought that is echoed in the New Testament both verbatim, and in parallel thoughts, such as Paul writes in Romans 12:10, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; " [NASB].

Let's be fair too. Affection makes love pretty easy. I mean, I love my children, not just because I am commanded to in scripture, but because I have a deep affection for them. Loving them is easy. In fact, even wicked and godless people are able to love their own children. Thank God for that grace, but remember that it isn't an obligation on God's part, as though God is obliged to provide you with affection for those you are commanded to love.

That's a bizarre thought for most people. We tend to think of love growing out of affection, rather than affection growing out of love. We think this way because we are typically responde to infatuation with affection, be it the infatuation that leads to friendship (brotherly love) or the infatuation that leads to marriage (romantic love), whatever the case, infatuation typically precedes affection, and affection love. We presume therefore that in order to love someone we must first be infatuated, or at least gifted with some divine affection for them. When this is what we expect, we feel justified in our lovelessness since affection hasn't fallen out of the sky in our direction. Who can blame us? We don't want to be insincere in our love do we? We don't want to be merely pretenders do we?

We have to be very careful and precise here. You have likely heard sermon #277, you know the "Love is a verb" sermon. The one where you are exhorted to demonstrate love to people you don't love, and this because you are a Christian. You typically ignore the whole sermon as ridiculous, since it would make you a hypocrite to go out and pretend to love, when you don't really love.

That reaction however is only there because the pastor forgot to preach sermon #277B. The part where he explains that the reason you will ignore others is because you have a settled habit of denying the life of Christ within you. The reason you refuse to love others is because you are preoccupied with yourself. You resent any obligation, you recoil from any inconvenience, and you zealously guard your "right" to personal inertia and comfort. He misses the part where he reminds you what exactly it means to follow Christ - it doesn't mean that He has given something of Himself to you, something that is only visible when you deny yourself. The command to take up your cross is the same as the command to walk in the Spirit.

Why on earth are we commanded to walk (i.e. conduct ourselves) in the Spirit?

We are commanded to walk in the Spirit because our inclination will be to walk in the flesh. That is, we will be inclined to follow (and cater to) our own desires and interests. Unless we deny this inclination, and instead do as we are instructed, we will only ever live and walk in the flesh.

If (and when) however, we walk in the Spirit, we are not doing so simply as an act of obedience, we do so with this hope: that in drawing near to God, He will draw near to us, and make His home in us. That is, when we deny ourselves and obey the words of Christ, we are allowing the life of Christ to live in and through us, and in doing so we are drawing near to God, looking to draw strength in our duty from the fellowship we find as we draw near.

How many flounderers would gain footing if they knew that obedience actually paid off in fellowship? How many would pursue God if they understood that God can be both found and known? How many, I wonder?

Anyway, it all boils down to this: you don't pray for others because you either don't want to draw near to God (whether that's because you think it is pointless, or useless or maybe you are ashamed, maybe you don't want to repent, whatever it is), or you are ignorant of why you ought to draw near. Whatever the case, love demands that you pray for those you know, and failure to do so is simply robbing you of joy.

The crazy thing is, some (most?) of you will read this, and agree, but after nodding your head, you will just continue on as you have, perhaps with some new tidbit to chew on until you forget it and move on to the next thing.
posted by Daniel @ 7:31 AM   4 comment(s)
Monday, May 10, 2010
Be Quick To Hear And Slow To Speak.
I can't think of any scenario where this biblical command is more applicable than on the Internet, where every word written will be archived until Christ returns.

Twenty years ago, I was living with five other men in a rented house. Three of my room mates were dear friends, one of the remaining room-mates was an acquaintance, and the last room-mate a stranger to me. There were enough of us living there that some tensions arose concerning our various opinions of how we ought to divide our labors, our bills, and especially our groceries. On one particular occasion, the fellow whom I have described as my acquaintance expressed some opinion that ran contrary to my own, and I quickly piped up some clever phrase that at once cut him to the core by laying bare the idiocy of his remark, and more than this, I refused to hear another word he had to say in the matter, lest he embarrass hismelf further by opening his mouth again.

I remember him sputtering, unable to reply, and I remember that as he sat there nailed to the spot by weight of my wit, and his own lack, I turned my back and leaving him in the company of everyone else, to choke on his own embarassment - I felt a certain smug pride in having put him so soundly into his place.

Of course, my recollection of events is probably a little skewed and off. I wasn't walking with the Lord at the time, and frankly, I think I have told the story enough times that I have likely embellished it to the point that the original story would need to be mined out of all that has embellished it. But I do remember that I did put him in his place, and that I felt rather smug in doing so.

There is something about this sort of double-whammy that pleases the flesh immensely. First, I look clever and second, he looks the fool; I look the master, and he the hapless student. I am exalted in the sight of my friends, and in the same sight he is laid low.

But whatever glee I felt in that moment only strikes me as shameful now. Would that I had known the Lord, I would perhaps have extended grace rather than build myself up at his expense. Better to suffer the arrows of a fool, and commit my way to God, than to take it into my own hands. Better to answer with charity and grace than to embarass and ridicule someone whom God made in His own image - a person whom God crafted to have strengths in areas where I am weak, and weaknesses in areas where I am strong.

What did God think of my especially awesome way of putting this man in his place? Did God rejoice that I took a gift he have me, and used it to ridicule the work of His hands?

I guess I marvel at grace. The older I get, the longer I know the Lord, the more inclined I am to both overlook an offense, and again to respond in kind. It is not something I have ever tried to foster in myself, but comes to me, as it were, by surprise. I marvel to find this growing within me.

Is not my God a gracious and amazing God?

He is.

I write to you who are new in your faith, who may wonder what kind of work God does in a man - is there anything that God does apart from the work you yourself do in obeying him? Talk to believers who have been in the faith for some while, and you will find that what amazes us, is not the work that came immediately on the wings of some momentary obedience - but rather the work that goes unnoticed; not the hammer strike that breaks the concrete, for anyone can do that; but rather the tender shoot that has grown up beneath the stony slab, and slowly and patiently punches through it somehow, though it is tender and itself easily destroyed. How can a weak and tender blade of grass smash a stone? So is the work of God in the life of a believer sometimes marveled at. How did God do this work in me, asks the believer, when I never noticed it until it was accomplished?

I love God more and more, each and every day, and am learning to be slow to speak, and quick to hear. It is a work that has been going on silently these many years, but I marvel at it nonetheless, as the fruit of it begins to poke through the pavement of my life.


posted by Daniel @ 11:24 AM   8 comment(s)
Friday, May 07, 2010
Not Many Teachers...
It came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. - Job 42:7 [NASB]

We are admonished us in James 3:1 in this way, "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment" - [NASB]. The focus there is typically on those who would teach. But I want to begin this post with the thought that those who teach must first be taught.

The truth is that not everyone takes instruction equally.

Some are more willing than others to honestly examine not only what they hear, but also what they presume to believe already. The one who is contrite in heart, is not only [a] more likely to correct their own doctrine, but [2] likely to do so more often than the one who presumes to be right simply because he or she knows himself or herself to be sincere and well schooled in what they believe.

It isn't a question of denomination or education however. Whatever your denominational or educational circumstances may be, the odds are good that (for all your genuine zeal and sincerity of heart) a fair bit of your personal theologically is [1] imprecise, some smaller portion is [2] off center, and for some, perhaps a portion is even [3] contrary to scripture.

When we hear the proverbial James 3:1 sermon, the admonition is usually that you shouldn't take up the mantle of a teacher haphazardly because teachers incur a stricter judgment. The reason for this, or so the standard sermon goes, is because your theological error, while it is your own, is only polluting you. But when you take on the mantle of a teacher, you may well spread some polluted doctrine to others, who in turn may spread it abroad, and in so doing you incur a greater judgment upon yourself.

That's a very good and true point, and I repeat it here because it is good and true. That alone is sufficient reason for any right thinking person to think twice before opening their mouth to teach another anything pertaining to God.

But we do not hear a lot of sermons that dwell on God's anger directed at those who, though well meaning, and full of zeal, preach or spread error.

I don't know why it is, but the flavor of our day is that God is pretty laid back when it comes to error, as long as the person spreading it is sincere and well meaning. The idea, I suppose is that as long as I am sincere in trying to promote God's kingdom, God can't really be mad at me if, in my zeal, I flub some "inconsequential" truth, especially if in doing so I am engaged in "kingdom work".

Good gravy! Truth is never inconsequential. It may not be directly applicable, it may not be immediately relevant, but misrepresenting or misstating the truth is never inconsequential. Okay, I digress.

But in this passage from Job, the picture we get of God is not one of a laid back, anything goes as long as their heart is in the right place, sort of God. His anger is clear and dangerous. I mean, it isn't described as "displeasure" or "annoyance" - it is described as wrath. God help anyone who doesn't tremble at the mention of His wrath, for there would indeed be a heart that is almost stone.

I wish people still feared the Lord. I wish they were afraid to take up the mantle of teacher, afraid to handle the word of God, lest they incur wrath upon themselves and others. I wish people would only dare to speak when God's word provokes them to do so. I wish preaching wasn't an occupation. I wish that the next sermon you hear springs from a soul that is at once terrified at the thought of mishandling the word of God, but only slightly more terrified of withholding that truth when it needs to be declared. How many pastors are going to step into the pulpit on Sunday, trembling before God's word?

Some might imagine that by saying this I am encouraging you, the reader, to evaluate your pastor. Is his preaching full of fire, or is it lame. Pffft. I am not suggesting any such thing. I am writing to you, the reader, and I am saying that God's word is exalted, and holy, and must be handled properly. I am writing to encourage you, the reader, to hold your tongue when it is right to do so, and to wag it when God's truth demands it. If you dare to recite some truth from scripture, do not handle it poorly - God's word is not to be mumbled, or shuffled into, or roped lazily alongside, some idle conversation - it is a fire, a burning fire that demands primacy, a cannon that booms, a thunderous eruption full of gravity and exalted in significance in every uttering. Handle God's word as one handles power itself. Abandon its casual use so that when it comes out from you, it takes center stage.

Sure, we are His children, and every sin we can commit is washed clean in Christ's blood, but God help us all when we take upon ourselves a mantle before we are ready for it. Would that I could go back ten years and shut my mouth.

I find that the longer I am in the Lord, the less I want to preach. The more inclined I am to God's glory, the less I wish to sully it with my own words. It seems to me an odd thing to desire so strongly to proclaim the truths of God and all the while to tremble at the thought of speaking it.

I encourage you therefore, preacher, speaker, sharer of truth, that in whatever capacity your mouth opens to speak truth, that you regard that opportunity with the gravity it deserves.


posted by Daniel @ 9:26 AM   2 comment(s)
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Powerless Christians
The Jew, the Muslim, the Catholic, even the secular humanists, can all live impressively moral and generous lives. Their religion, like your own, produces an external morality. What does your religion offer them that theirs does not?

You might say that their religions are "wrong" and yours is "right". That is, you might say that your religion offers them the truth where theirs offer them a lie; a counterfeit or false religion that has usurped the only genuine religion.

That's fair. I mean, all things being equal we want to be in the right religion.

But is that what sells your faith to others? Is that what draws people to your God? Do people approach you, or has anyone ever approached anyone else (for that matter) saying, "I think your religion makes more sense than mine, so how do I become a Christian?".

Consider that however your faith looks to the world, there are people of other religions who are also on display. If an agnostic person were trying to discover the one true faith, what in your life sets your faith apart from the faith of the world? It's correctness? The fact that you teach a small group study on Thursday night? Because you volunteer your time at a woman's shelter? I mean, what is it that sets your religion apart?

I am going to be blunt here. Unless you truly walk in the Spirit, your religion is going to be just as empty and pointless as theirs. We all know what human effort looks like and produces, and listen: their religions are producing it also. The outside observer cannot tell the difference between Judaism, Islam, Catholicism, Greek/Russian Orthodoxy, and walking-in-the-flesh Christianity. They all attempt to live according to some moral standard, and they all do so in their own strength. Their lives, though projecting an aura of moral superiority when compared to the world, and while some might paint this, in their ignorance, as a spiritual thing, do not differ from the lives of those Christians who habitually walk in the flesh.

I just want to encourage you, reader, if you are a believer, to walk in the Spirit, for God's glory, for your joy, and to set your light on a hill. Anyone can conform to a religious ideal - but religious ideals have no power above what man can produce.
posted by Daniel @ 7:23 AM   3 comment(s)
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Gleanings from Elihu
"I thought age should speak, and increased years should teach wisdom. But it is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding..." - Elihu† the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram

This reminds me When John the Apostle references Christ as the key of David. Recall in Isaiah 22, a man named Shebna who was in charge of the royal household - the household where King David had once lived. The Lord removes Shebna and replaces him with Eliakim, taking the key to the house of David away from Shebna and setting it upon Eliakim's shoulders, so that no one can get in or out except that Eliakim opens the door for them. Having the key to the house of David meant that Eliakim and only Eliakim could lock the door. If it was locked no one could get in, and if it was unlocked no one could be kept out. That authority was given to Eliakim by God, and expressed poetically in this way: When he [Eliakim] opens no one will shut, when he shuts no one will open. When John the Apostle writes (in John 10) that Christ is the door to the sheep, he is referencing the same idea - the idea that no one enters except through Him, likewise in the book of revelation (c.f. 3:7), where John refers to Christ as holding the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and shuts and no one will open. I understand this to refer to entrance into the kingdom, and so should you. But I further understand the nature of that entrance, that it is through grace by faith - through an understanding that does not come about through intellect, wisdom or age, but through a spiritual endowment whereby a person is able to understand spiritual things.

This the Apostle Paul echoes when he writes that "the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God" - the things of the Spirit of God are "shut" to the natural man, and the natural man can find no way in himself to "open" these things because they are spiritually discerned. Unless the Spirit reveals them, you cannot discern them. But when the Spirit reveals them, you neither can deny them. It is in fact just such an act of revelation that brings about our salvation; that is what we speak of when we say by grace, for God is not obliged by our sin to endow us with spiritual discernment whereby we believe the gospel and are saved. The reality of it is given in an act of grace. It is not that we comprehend what the gospel is, its mechanics, and tenets - it is that we are given grace in this manner: that we are suddenly able to put our trust in God.

When Elihu says that it is the Spirit of God who gives understanding, he is saying a profoundly true thing, but the wisdom of Elihu doesn't end there.

"Why do you complain against Him That He does not give an account of all His doings? Indeed God speaks once, Or twice, yet no one notices it."‡ - Elihu

I hear this complaint from time to time amongst new believers. Why doesn't God take any notice of me? I pray, but I never get the sense that God is there, or that he is answering, or even hearing my prayers. I feel like I am talking to nothingness, and my experience seems to confirm that!

Well, Elihu got it right. It isn't that God doesn't take notice, or that God doesn't respond, it is that you are ignorant of God's ways, and in the fog of that ignorance you are looking for something that is altogether different than what is supposed to be there.

"In a dream, a vision of the night, when sound sleep falls on men, while they slumber in their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that He may turn man aside from his conduct, and keep man from pride; He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from passing over into Sheol.
- Elihu

Here Elihu describes one way in which God turned men away from their sin in the days before Christ. He gave them dreams at night, when they slept. The end result was that they woke up convicted of where the line between sin and righteousness was drawn. In those days at least, God would sometimes make these things plain to men in their dreams, for the purpose of correcting their pride in waking life, and in so doing, keeping them from eternally shipwrecking their soul. Elihu's argument is that God isn't silent, rather it is men who are deaf. He isn't emphasizing that God speaks through dreams, he is emphasizing that God speaks through the revelation of our wickedness, and His righteousness - that putting these things before us, is like lighting a path for our feet, so that those who receive light, can walk by it.

Now, lest we imagine that God intends the primary means of convicting us of our sin and of the righteousness way we are to walk is supposed to be through our dreams, I remind you that this is no longer the ministry of dreams, but of the indwelling Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin and of righteousness through the message spoken by Jesus, recorded by the Apostles, and delivered to us as the canon of scripture. It is as though the author of Hebrews knows that men are puffed up with pride, and will eventually demand personal revelation in the form of dreams, whispers, intuitions and daydreams, such that every indigestion will be interpreted as "a word from God"; I say, it is as if this is the reason he has written so clearly that God no longer speaks to his children like that. (c.f. Hebrews 1:1-2) But Elihu doesn't stop with dreams:

Man is also chastened with pain on his bed, and with unceasing complaint in his bones; so that his life loathes bread, and his soul favorite food. His flesh wastes away from sight, and his bones which were not seen stick out. Then his soul draws near to the pit, and his life to those who bring death. If there is an angel as mediator for him, one out of a thousand, to remind a man what is right for him, then let him be gracious to him, and say, 'Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom'; let his flesh become fresher than in youth, let him return to the days of his youthful vigor; then he will pray to God, and He will accept him, that he may see His face with joy, and He may restore His righteousness to man. He will sing to men and say, 'I have sinned and perverted what is right, and it is not proper for me. 'He has redeemed my soul from going to the pit, and my life shall see the light.' Behold, God does all these oftentimes with men, to bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be enlightened with the light of life.¤ - Elihu

Elihu spells out what John later summarized: God chastens whom He loves. The purpose of this chastening is to keep a man from going to the pit. It is one of the ways in which God interacted with His children in the past, and which John's summary tells us in the book of revelation (c.f. 3:19), and continues to interact with us today.

But the wisdom of Elihu broadens out:

If He should determine to do so, if He should gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.†† - Elihu

Here we learn that the life that we are living owes its existence to God's sustaining Spirit. It is the unquenchable life of God that animates (today) every single human being on earth, so that no one can say that his life is his own. We are debtors to God in all things except sin.

Elihu understood that wisdom comes from God, not from age or intellect. He understood that our sin or our righteousness does not help or hinder God, but affects other people. He understood that God is not absent in our lives, but thriving in them, even when we are blind and deaf to His presence. He understood that it was arrogance that blinded people, for this was the heart of his argument against Job - an argument that God did not rebuke or correct.

These are just a few of the truths that stood out this morning as I passed through Job in my morning reading of scripture. Each truth a reinforcement of themes that permeate the whole of scripture, light upon light. I figured since I hadn't posted in a while, I might just post this.

† c.f. Job 32:7 [NASB]
‡ c.f. Job 33:13-14 [NASB]
° c.f. Job 33:15-17 [NASB]
¤ c.f. Job 33:18-30 [NASB]
†† c.f. Job 34:14-15 [NASB]


posted by Daniel @ 7:32 AM   0 comment(s)
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