Archive for the ‘News’ Category

If we dare suggest …

March 5, 2010

… that this news article (link) is in any way, shape, or form connected with clerical celibacy, we will be promptly attacked. However, rationally speaking, one should not be surprised to find a higher than average number of homosexuals among the population of men who are willing to promise never to engage in sexual relations with a woman.

Colour Me Impressed!

August 31, 2009

This takes Scripture memorization the full distance (link). And what’s even better, the person in question is not content with simply memorizing the Bible: “I want a relationship with Jesus more than just reading and memorizing verses,” he’s reported as saying.


Reformed Mafia Raided!

October 9, 2008

Well, perhaps the story is not nearly as exciting as that, but I was still sorry to see that the Reformed Mafia blog indicated that it was “Closed for Season” (link). I notice that my friend Theojunkie shares my disappointment (link).

Fishers of Men

July 19, 2008

I couldn’t help but smile at this lovely feel-good news story about a river rescue (link). At the same time it reminded me of the Biblical analogy between fishing and evangelism.

We need to be careful, of course, to remember that we do not fish with a baited (or lured) hook, but with a net. Recall the experience of the disciples who were fishing all night and caught nothing, but when they obeyed God’s instruction and fished on the other side of their boat, they got a massive haul?

Evangelizing can be like that. When God chooses to put fish in the net, he does so. We do our duty: we put the nets in the water, but God brings in the harvest of fishes. Sometimes it is a slow night, other times it is a busy morning.

But there is another application of the analogy. Sometimes we hear non-Calvinists suggest that man is drowning in a river, and God throws him a life preserver. Let me suggest that if God wanted to, God could pull him in with hook and line, like the fisherman in the story above. If God wants to save a man, nothing – not even a little bit of foolish flailing on the part of a spiritual flounder is going to stop that.

Even more amazingly, God can do so with means such as a hook that fights the will of the fish, but rather by changing the will of the fish so that he loves the net. Speaking for myself, I’ve been netted by the Lord, and I’ve never been happier. I’m his willing slave, who delights to be in the house of the Lord.

Praise be to that greater Fisher, for whom we are under-fishers,


Canine Heroism

February 12, 2008

This news story (link) is both sad and happy. Dogs rescued their owners from death by fire, but lost their own lives in the process. Read the story. It may make you cry, particularly if you are fond of dogs.

The final sentence of the article really struck me:

“Everything I lost is nothing compared to them,” she said.

The analogy between the situation and our salvation is amazingly complete. We are saved from death by fire through the death of Christ, and that should endear him to us greatly. Furthermore, in the process, we will lose everything that we have. All our earthly possessions will be destroyed by fire. But our sentiment should be the same as that woman’s namely, that we everything we lose we should count as nothing compared to Christ.

And one can imagine the faithful dogs saying the same thing: they did not count their own lives worth saving, but considered that as nothing compared to saving those whom they loved. Now perhaps that is not the case, here. Perhaps here the dogs incidentally sacrificed themselves, or were simply trapped and coincidentally saved their owners. Furthemore, the dogs could have no assurance of success.

Not so with Christ. Christ considered the loss of his life for the salvation of the elect to be “joy.” Christ is God, so he knew he could no fail to accomplish what the Father sent him to do. Christ endured not only the loss of his life, but the wrath of God in our stead. He finished the work of salvation.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

How much greater our Savior than the canine saviors in the news article! How much more greatly should we love Him who died for us!

Praise be to glorious name!


News from the Front

February 11, 2008

Praise be to the Lord for this encouraging word about the continued success of the allied forces against Al-Qaeda in Iraq (link).

A house divided against itself cannot stand.


Modern Views on Circumcision

February 8, 2008

This brief article describes a situation that is not a good one (link). The man has two wives and eleven children. It’s not good for men to have more wives than one, and such men are prohibited from serving as elders in the church.

This man did two things that most people would consider strange today:

1) he forbade his wives from seeking prenatal care during their pregnancy; and
2) he performed home circumcisions on two of his boys when they were eight days old, using a utility knife.

Apparently referring to the latter item, the article quotes a neighbor as saying that such a thing is “sick” and that he couldn’t understand how anyone could do that:

“Sick, he’s got a sick mind,” a former neighbor said. “Anybody that would do that to their children — there’s something really wrong with them.”

It’s not all that different from the ancient outside view on circumcision:

Exodus 4:24-26
24And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him [Moses], and sought to kill him. 25Then Zipporah [Moses’ wife] took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

But consider the contrast. The modern polygamist used a utility knife, whereas Zipporah used simply a sharp stone. The modern polygamist did it himself (and forbade his wives from seeking prenatal care) because he apparently distrusts doctors, a perfectly understable phobia, even if it is not one to which can fully relate.

I’m not defending the polygamist. Today we have doctors who can perform medical circumcisions, and there is no religious reason for continuing the rite of circumcision in view of the replacement of circumcision by baptism in the New Testament administration.

Nevertheless, to say that someone would have to have a “sick mind” to circumcise their children is simply to fail to recognize the religious significance of the act. The religious significance is the symbolic removal of the uncleanness of the flesh, as a symbol of the hoped-for removal of sin from the heart of the child. In a bloody way, it pictures what the bloodless sacrament of baptism pictures: the work of the spirit in regeneration.

The sacraments of the Old Testament (Passover and Circumcision) were bloody sacraments, picturing the blood of Christ with literal blood. The sacraments of the New Testament are not bloody, though they symbolize blood (both the wine of the Lord’s Supper and the water of Baptism picturing the blood of Christ).

The passage above should also be a klaxon to those who think the paedobaptism issue is trivial. The paedocircumcison was not trivial to God. If Zipporah had not circumcised Moses’ children, God would have executed the sentence of death for breaking the covenant:

Genesis 17:14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

God takes the symbols seriously, and so should we.


%d bloggers like this: