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43 Responses

  1. Duane Arnold says:

    “Late have I loved you,
    beauty so old and so new,
    late have I loved you.

    And see, you were within,
    and I was in the external world and sought you there,
    and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely things
    which you made.

    You were with me, and I was not with you.
    The lovely things kept me far from you,
    though if they did not have their existence in you
    they had no existence at all.
    You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness.
    You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness.
    You were fragrant,
    and I drew my breath and now pant after you.
    I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you.
    You touched me,
    and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.”

    Confessions X.27

  2. John 20:29 says:

    lovely words, lovely descriptive words…
    i wish that we had someone with that gift who struggled with the obligations and demands of State and family life today… someone who would describe so poetically the path we walk and our never failing Father and Creator in today’s cluttered world… an overcomer poet for today’s life

  3. JoelG says:

    Interesting quote Duane. I was just pondering how God doesn’t seem to reveal Himself to us through the 5 senses He gave us. And now hear comes ol’ Augustine talking about hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and being touched by God. I’ll be darned…

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Interesting article especially about the lack of missionaries. However, when you think about it, American Christianity has set up 2 great theological principles that make you wonder why any missionaries would be sent out in the first place.
    Salvation by age and salvation by ignorance. Why would anyone want to ruin a good thing?

    It wasn’t always that way – Christians did not believe in either – so they went and told the good news.

  5. JoelG says:

    I will bite MLD

    How does Christs work on the Christ not cover those who didn’t hear that they were freed from the guilt of sin and its ultimate consequence?

    I have such a hard time believing that God would send a baby to eternal torment.

  6. JoelG says:

    I should have put a comma after bite. I don’t want to bite MLD.

  7. I posted the text from a recent memorial service message I gave. Always nice when some one knew God, loved God and served God.

  8. Em says:

    Sometimes I think MLD’s declarations disclose a root of bitterness and I wonder why…
    Declarations such as “Salvation by age and salvation by ignorance” apply to whose Christianity? It misses the mark of describing the Faith of anyone I know . .. missing the mark in such a way is dangerous ground .. some subjects don’t lend themselves to “exaggerration for effect” could be wrong … could have misunderstood … hope so

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Remember, my comments were in the context of the article / link posted. I don’t think that today’s lack of missionary activity is due to any lack of zeal but instead due to poor theology.

    So if, as we used to say, the natives in the deepest, darkest parts of Africa are ‘saved’ in their ignorance (hence my term salvation by ignorance) why would we want to send missionaries out to ruin that salvation they have? So the missionary shows up to these saved people who know nothing of Jesus and they are presented with a choice – “give up the gods of your fathers and worship the One True God Jesus Christ or be forever separated from God”. Now you have ruined it for them – they must choose – and if they say “no, we are loyal to our fathers and their gods, we will have nothing to do with your Jesus.”

    Now you have caused them reject the Jesus of the Bible and have sealed their fate to hell. You know why the missionaries of the 17th and 18th century went out and stayed out in the field? Their belief was that ‘those who have not heard were not saved, or, their is no salvation by ignorance.

  10. JoelG says:

    Fair points MLD.

    On the other hand, perhaps their rejection of the Word would change as missionaries lived out their salvation and loved and served them regardless of their initial response. This is why I believe in the concept of preaching the Gospel is more than just words. Perhaps missionary work is for the “salvation” of the missionaries as much as it is those they are preaching to.

  11. Muff Potter says:

    JoelG @ # 6 :
    “I have such a hard time believing that God would send a baby to eternal torment.”

    It’s good that you have a hard time with it.
    It shows that you have a conscience.
    It’s just plain wrong to hurt a baby.
    There is no holy god or holy book that will ever make it right.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    July 8, 2017

    Alright… it’s someone’s birthday.
    Initials – MN…
    Likes fiery birds…
    Lives in Phoenix, Oregon
    He’s a great guy (most of the time!).
    Loves Sun Records.


  13. pstrmike says:

    Happy Birthday Michael!

  14. Duane Arnold says:

    #14 Mike

    On the second! Great minds…

  15. JoelG says:

    Happy Birthday Michael! What a blessing you are to all your readers. Thank God for giving us you. Blessings to you.

  16. JoelG says:

    Muff I love the Lutheran way and the Gospel for sinners is there. But when I heard a Lutheran teacher teach that there’s no assurance babies are guaranteed heaven it gave me pause. I don’t see how a God like Christ would wouldn’t save those who can’t comprehend the Gospel.

  17. pstrmike says:

    Duane! ?

  18. Em says:

    The thing we, perhaps, need to sort out is the probable misconception taught in some instances that, if you aren’t in the Church, you are condemned to hell when you leave this earth…
    I fully accept that rejecting the Gospel of Christ assures one of an uncomfortably warm eternity. The purpose of the incarnation of God the Son is not one of a variety of ways to reconcile to one’s Creator.** Yet I must leave the nuances of humanity’s judgement to a perfect, holy, righteous God. Our placement in eternity will be perfect and will not in any way compromise God’s absolute holiness (His holiness is a lovely and a terrifying absolute – a study in itself). ???
    **recall our Lord, Himself, praying to the Father “…if there be any other way…”
    There wasn’t any other way.. “All glory to Jesus, begotten God The great I AM is He Creator, Sustainer and wonder of all: the Lamb of Calvary.”

    ? Another ? HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Michael

  19. Xenia says:

    Babies go to heaven because they haven’t sinned yet.

  20. JD says:

    Happy Birthday Michael!

  21. JoelG says:

    Amen Em. I just wonder if people are truly rejecting the Gospel when they reject the Gospel. I know that doesn’t make sense. But we are so full of sin that I wonder if we even have the ability to make a clear choice. I know there’s plenty of Scripture that teaches otherwise. But I also remember Jesus’ words: “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they are doing.”
    This is forgiveness that isn’t even asked for. Hmmmm…

  22. JoelG says:

    Xenia that makes sense. But what about Psalm 51:5?

  23. Em says:

    JoelG, I like to think that as long as there’s life, there’s hope – I didn’t mean to imply that we only get one chance AND i agree our understanding can be slow so I think that it is a heart thing,
    I suspect most of us come to Christ very short on understanding… I came when I was deeply moved by God’s love — my repentance came later

  24. Em says:

    Interjecting a comment on Joel’s question to Xenia
    David was conceived in sin – the cross paid his sin debt, too… Lots of good stuff in that Psalm

    Are all babies innocent? If they tragically pass away as little babies, are they without accountability for sin? As the mother of five, they’re little self absorbed sinnerrs right from the start, but it isn’t logical that they’re accountable, they’re without understanding…

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So now it seems that we try to explain away our theology of ‘salvation by age’ with our theology of experience – a theology of what I can imagine God would or could or should do.

    I spoke of this theoloby of or by experience in the past. Jesus clearly said that satan was bound, but we can’t trust the scripture, so the reply is – “well, the Bible may say satan is bound, but look around, I can tell with my own eyes (my experience) that satan is not bound.”
    So now we project on God what we would do.

  26. JoelG says:

    You’re right MLD it is dangerous to trust our own reason and experience over God’s Word. Just thinking out loud.

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Joel, I am just having conversation. 🙂

  28. Descended says:

    Happy Birthday Michael.
    I got you something.

  29. JoelG says:

    “As the mother of five, they’re little self absorbed sinnerrs right from the start,”

    Lol yes it doesn’t take long does it?

    Here’s the thing about babies… If they die and are in the presence of the Lord what “age” are they? I’m assuming that they are as aware there in the presence of the Lord as any older person. And I can’t imagine anyone there in the presence of the Lord turning away His forgiveness.

  30. Michael says:

    Thanks for all the birthday wishes…I went up the mountain for the day and it was good.

  31. Michael says:

    Anglican doctrine is built of scripture, tradition, and reason.

    I was always afraid of the last two…now I think it foolish to have excluded them for so long.

  32. JoelG says:

    Sounds like a perfect way to spend your birthday.

    I’ve heard somewhere, possibly here, that the Church Fathers (one at least) tried to reconcile the God revealed in Christ with the God revealed in the Old Testament. This would be a case of using reason to arrive at the truth over simply relying on God’s Word.

  33. Michael says:


    There are so many things the Bible doesn’t really answer and sometimes the answers it gives contradict each other.

    For example…Rahab lied to save the Israeli spies.
    I’ve read so many commentaries trying to reconcile her sin of lying and the fact that God commends her faith.

    It doesn’t take a genius to say that under the circumstances she did a righteous thing.

    That’s using reason to avoid 100 page commentaries that can be solved in a few words…

  34. Em says:

    When I read MLD’s thots here and he is adamant that his chosen scripture interpretations are correct – he declares that what contradicts his teachers is human viewpoint – a rationalization that suits our preferred view of life … and of God
    He’s wrong about that. But he is correct that what God says, what He is and what He does will always be the right thing – His righteousness and His justice cannot be compromised – no matter how much we humans flounder and debate… “My God is better than your God?” That’s not possible, if we think on it. ….

    Just saying … again. ? ?

  35. Xenia says:

    I’m also a mother of five. Babies aren’t sinners. At what age their behavior becomes sin I cannot say.

  36. em... again says:

    well, i’ll compromise with you, Xenia… all of them are beautiful and worth the effort…
    i think that they are innocent, not well practiced sinners, but little sinners with vast potential nevertheless 🙂

  37. Jean says:

    There’s a pantheon of wisdom here this weekend.

  38. JoelG says:

    “…..a theology of what I can imagine God would or could or should do.”

    Isn’t this the Canaanite woman’s theology?

    Matthew 15:25-28

  39. em... again says:

    would a good God hurt babies?
    seems to be an ongoing question and one that keeps some from coming to trust God as worthy of worship among other things…
    God doesn’t hurt babies, we do… i think a better question might be, does God cause pain, suffering and misery … or … does He hold back the wholesale collapse of this rebel world in its ability to create pain, suffering and misery?
    We like to think we’re nice and sometimes we are – lots of nice folk here – but truth be told, if we look at this world with open eyes, it should be clear that we are riddled with potential, imminent potential to cause all kinds of hurt… and i’m siding with those who say that God is holding back our destruction (yes, i believe in Satan and think that that is his goal for us – destruction). i suspect – dunno – that God is sifting, turning and overturning until every last possible soul is salvaged from this mess

    just sayin… it was a comment here a few weeks ago that got me thinking… and concluding that God is the One Who is keeping us from “mass destruction” by this amazing love and grace we hear of. He’s not the baby-killer, we are…

  40. em... again says:

    every now and then this pops up – usually on a secular site such as this one from something called, “Standard News,” i believe…

    “There are thousands of religions around the globe. It’s even been said that they are some of the most profitable organizations in the world. There are billions of dollars spent yearly on churches, advertising, and publications. In addition to that are the salaries for the clergy that reach into millions of dollars.

    Many members of the church don’t believe that the clergy can make a lot of money, but evidence shows that they do. Many leaders of the church live a lavish lifestyle. Because of that, some pastors are heavily criticized. Critics say that they just use religion and Bible to earn money.

    Here’s the list of the richest pastors in the world and their estimated net worth.” list followed

    i know that this has been thoroughly covered here on the PhxP… i am wondering if we should, perhaps pray that God will goad (sometimes called sticking it to them 🙂 ) the ones who love Him and set out to do His work, to divest themselves of their riches and, ahem, follow Christ? could be wrong… just wondering…

  41. Jean says:

    Christianity is not yet dead in Europe. If you watch this, have a tissue nearby.

  42. Em says:

    I don’t usually watch utube (limited high speed) – something said, watch Jean’s link … so glad I did … A beautiful trumpet announcing the Christian’ s version of jihad? This makes three times blessed today with unexpected beautiful music praising God… wonder what that guard had to say? wonder if he knows that God heard him, too? thank you Jean

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