Bits and Pieces Database

Significant words


        
 
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Keyword: Bible Study
Expression:

"And why this strange contradiction? It is because of the difficulties which studying the Bible presents. We must agree that on beginning it, there are many difficulties and obscurities; and, as much labour is required to clear them up, and the mind of man is naturally idle and lazy, we lose courage little by little and limit ourselves to reading the same scriptures over and over again. This unvaried sort of study hardly penetrates beneath the surface, nor does it learn new things; but always going over the same things repeatedly, inspires in us a kind of weariness, as if the Word of God was not interesting-as if it was not as inexhaustible as God Himself! Beware of thinking, however, that these difficulties are insuperable. No, my friends; but we must be prepared to take trouble; and there, as in prayer and in all parts of the Christian life, God wants man to be co-worker with Him. Knowledge of the Bible, taste for the Bible is the fruit and reward of this humble, sincere and persevering labour...If anyone, using by faith the resources which God puts at his disposal, and relying on God to guide him, follows out these thoughts of mine, which I can at this moment do little more than sketch, he will discover in the Word of God treasures which he never even suspected were there. Then it will become for him as firm a support as it was for Jesus, when He was tempted in the wilderness. And it will become for him what it was for the saints, in both the New Testament and in the Old Testament; what it was for David, and for Daniel, for Paul and all the saints of God."

Voice: Adolphe Monod
Circumstance: Teaching
Citation: Monod, Adolphe. "A Dying Man’s Regrets 2". The Study of the Word of God. 20 January 1856, 67.
Read More:

Living in the Hope of Glory: A New Translation of a Spiritual Classic

Adolphe Monod's Farewell To His Friends And To The Church

Life And Letters Of Adolphe Monod, By One Of His Daughters (s.m.).

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Keyword: Baptism
Expression:

"Baptism shall be given to all those who have learned repentance and amendment of life, and who believe truly that their sins are taken away by Christ, and to all those who walk in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and wish to be buried with him in death, so that they may be resurrected with him and to all those who with significance request it of us and demand it for themselves. This excludes all infant baptism, the highest and chief abomination of the pope."

Voice: Anabaptist Swiss Brethren
Circumstance: Statement of belief
Citation: The Schleitheim Confession (1527)
Read More:

Schleitheim Confession

Separation And The Sword In Anabaptist Persuasion: Radical Confessional Rhetoric From Schleitheim To Dordrecht (The C. Henry Smith Series)

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Keyword: Scripture
Expression:

"Unless I am convicted of error … by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God’s Word, I cannot and will not recant of anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us. Here I stand. I can do no other. May God help me! Amen."

Voice: Martin Luther
Circumstance: Spoken by Martin Luther to defend his stance at the Diet of Worms in 1521 according to unconfirmed traditional account
Citation: James P. Eckman, "Exploring Church History" (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2002), 48-49.
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Exploring Church History

Here I Stand - A Life Of Martin Luther

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Keyword: Teaching
Expression:

"Even the great preachers have spent time in the preaching wilderness, talking to arid landscapes of cactus-like people. Take Martin Luther, clearly one of the best preachers Christendom has produced."

"Luther had been preaching in his Wittenberg church for years, but the longer he preached, the more discouraged he grew. People just didn’t get it. They gladly heard him, but instead of being inspired to discipleship, they only became lethargic. Luther noted that despite his preaching, “no one acts accordingly, but instead the people become so crude, cold, and lazy that it is a shame, and they do much less than before.”"

"For instance, when Luther and the reformers started teaching that attending worship was no longer a meritorious act, that it earned people nothing in God’s eyes, people applauded. They no doubt thought it a relief to hear that worship was first a gracious opportunity to thank God and hear his Word in freedom. Nonetheless, worship attendance dropped."

"In January 1530, Luther was so fed up, he announced to the congregation that he refused to preach any longer—essentially he went on strike. Of course, Luther couldn’t stay away from the pulpit for long. Still, discouragement dogged him his entire life."

"A year before he died, while on a trip, he determined not to return to Wittenberg, his home town, the center of the Reformation. He wrote his wife, Katherine, “My heart has become cold, so that I do not like to be there any longer.” He was aggravated that people seemed so indifferent to his preaching. Some even mocked him as they wondered aloud what gave Luther the right to question so much they had previously been taught. “I am tired of this city and do not wish to return,” he wrote. He would rather “eat the bread of a beggar than torture and upset my poor old age and final days with the filth at Wittenberg.”Within a month, though, one of the town’s citizens talked Luther into returning."

"Though discouragement with preaching has been the common lot of preachers through the ages, there are some dynamics that make preaching a unique challenge as we enter the twenty-first century. Television seems to have co-opted people’s attention spans. Relativism knocks the legs out from under authoritative preaching.  A thousand modern Baals compete for people’s loyalty. And our congregations, well, they continue to act like people: run-of-the-mill sinners."

Voice: Martin Luther
Circumstance: Wittenberg Preaching
Citation: Stephen W. Brown, Haddon W. Robinson and William H. Willimon, A Voice in the Wilderness: Clear Preaching in a Complicated World, Mastering Ministry’s Pressure Points (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1993), 7-8.
Read More:

A Voice in the Wilderness: Mastering Ministry (Pressure Points)

Here I Stand - A Life Of Martin Luther

Martin Luther : Selections From His Writings

Luther the Reformer: The Story of the Man and His Career

 

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Keyword: Christianity
Expression:

"Christianity is more than a moral code, more than a philosophy, more than a system of rites. Although it is sufficient, in the abstract, to divide the Catholic religion into three aspects and call them creed, code and cult, yet in practice, the integral Christian life is something far more than all this.  It is more than a belief; it is a life. That is to say, it is a belief that is lived and experienced and expressed in action.  The action in which it is expressed, experienced and lived is called a mystery.  This mystery is the sacred drama which keeps ever present in history the Sacrifice that was once consummated by Christ in Calvary.  In plain words - if you can accept them as plain - Christianity is the life and death and resurrection of Christ going on day after day in the souls of individual men and in the heart of society."

Voice: Thomas Merton
Circumstance: Introduction to St. Augustine's The City of God
Citation: Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, The City of God, trans., Marcus Dods, Modern Library Paperback ed. (New York: Random House, Inc., 2000), xvi.
Read More:

The City of God (Modern Library Classics)

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Keyword: Evil
Expression:

"Wherefore the man who lives according to God, and not according to man, outght to be a lover of good, and therefore a hater of evil.  And since no one is evil by nature, but whoever is evil is evil by vice, he who lives according to God ought to cherish towards evil men a perfect hatred, so that he shall neither hate the man because of his vice nor love the vice because of the man, but hate the vice and love the man.  For the vice being cursed, all that ought to be loved, and nothing that ought to be hated, will remain."

Voice: Saint Augustine
Circumstance: Book 14, Section 6: "Of the character of the human will which makes the affections of the soul right or wrong"
Citation: Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, The City of God, trans., Marcus Dods, Modern Library Paperback ed. (New York: Random House, Inc., 2000), 448.
Read More:

The City of God (Modern Library Classics)

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Keyword: Perpetual Virginity
Expression:

Mary is declared by the Catholic Church to be “virginitas carnis” as a pure virgin in body when Christ was conceived, “virginitas in partu” which means basically that she gave birth to Christ without the usual pain with the richness of Christ imparted to her during that process, and “virginitas post partum” which means “perpetual virginity.”1 Catholic believers ascribe to all of these beliefs and denial of even one of them is taken by the Church to be denial against the Lord Himself.2

The arguments to support this belief are best highlighted by St. Ambrose’s enthusiastic defense3 that Mary was always a mistress of virginity that only knew God intimately; to suggest a mere man followed after God, is to direct vulgarity against her.4 Further, Joseph, known as a just man, would have had to lose his mind completely to seek carnal intercourse with the mother of God.5

St. Thomas listed four reasons why the Virgin Mary preserved her virginity: “(1) The unique character of Christ as the Only-begotten Son of God; (2) The honor and dignity of the Holy Ghost, who overshadowed her virginal womb; (3) The excellency of the title Deipara, and (4) The honor and chivalry of St. Joseph, who was commissioned to be the protector and guardian of his chaste spouse.”

Since there is no direct relationship with this idea to Scripture, it seems apparent that it is the typological declaration of Mary as “mother of God” rather than “human mother to the human part of Christ” that creates this false belief. The perpetual virgin belief also rests upon the typological ideas of sainthood with regards to Joseph. Mary becomes a “type” of God’s mother, which translates so firmly into the false notions of the Catholic Church, that apparent Scripture referring to her other children are guffawed and linked to a possible relationship of Joseph with another woman prior to Christ’s conception (based some upon apocryphal sources with the notion that Joseph also abstained from carnal intercourse after Christ’s birth), with Mary assuming a step-mother role, as Joseph assumes the step-father role with Christ.6

So, typological associations are some of the best Bible Studies to do when the Holy Spirit leads us to connect the deep mysteries of God in a way that it gives us new understanding to his nature and will. But, if great care is not taken to ensure full Scripture support, hermeneutical interpretations can go south quickly, and lead to a great deal of false teachings against Christ and His Word.

Bibliography

Pohle, Joseph, and Arther Preuss. Christology: A Dogmatic Treatise on the Incarnation, Dogmatic Theology. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder, 1913.

References

1 Joseph Pohle, and Arther Preuss, Christology: A Dogmatic Treatise on the Incarnation, Dogmatic Theology (St. Louis, MO: B. Herder, 1913), Section 3, 83-104.

2 Ibid., 101.

3 I researched the original writings that contain Ambrose’s position; however, most are in Latin, and beyond my scholarship. His words for part of this are found in “De Inst. Virg., VI, 44: “Sed non deficit Maria, non deficit virginitatis magistra; nec fieri poterat, ut quae Deum portaverat, portandum hominem arbitraretur. Nec Ioseph, vir iustus, in hanc prorupisset amentiam, ut matri Domini corporco concubitu misceretur.”

4 Pohle, 102.

5 Ibid.

6 Ibid., 99.

Voice: Kathy L. McFarland
Circumstance: Discussion Board
Citation: Kathy L. McFarland, 201240 Fall 2012 NBST 652-D01 LUO, November 2012
Read More:

Christology : A Dogmatic Treatise on the Incarnation

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Keyword: Bible Study
Expression:

Many, many Christians focus over and over and over again on material that is already known, and fail to delve deeper into Scripture with a mature mind that fears God but yearns more relationship with Him. Hebrews 6:1-8 speaks about this practice of repeating study, over and over, about the same things without advancing knowledge further.

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of  baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:  But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned."

That Scripture is full of typological solutions to encourage Christians to move past the study of sin, faith, baptism in Christ, baptism in the Holy Spirit, death, resurrection and eternal judgment once those principles of the doctrine of Christ are known. Hebrews 6:4-5 speaks of the real change made in Christians who have received the Holy Ghost and partaken of the full Bible Study with gifts given to them by God. And it reminds believers not to crucify Christ again and again.

It is my opinion that most Church gatherings do exactly that. They speak the same words every week, according to the Church schedule. Each sermon is predictable and spoken to the lesser in the congregation. Mature Christian development is overlooked constantly. I would think that as mature Christians, we should not only learn the skills of hermeneutics, but recognize that as we grow in faith, depth in His Word demands our studies. This requires development of typological, analytical, and associative skills as well as the need to develop the recognition of patterns in His Word that can intrigue our exploration with His guiding.

Voice: Kathy L. McFarland
Circumstance: Discussion Board 4
Citation: Kathy L. McFarland, 201240 Fall 2012 NBST 652-D01 LUO, November 2012
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Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians: 001 Foundation

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Keyword: Allegory
Expression:

It is wise to take great care in examining allegories; it is important that the exegesis and hermeneutical evaluations of the text must insure that the original intent and plain meaning are considered. However, Scripture is the living Word of God; it is the collection of books that has ever existed, or ever will exist, that allows the Holy Spirit to reveal deeper things of God as the maturity of a Christian progresses. Often, the mature Christian is taught these deeper things through the allegorizing of the text.

The first apostles used allegory to express the more excellent Jesus Christ that surpasses all other prophets, priests and kings that came before Him as revealed in the Old Testament. The Old Testament typical figure of Christ, however, is always a sinful person, while Christ alone is the Son of God, sinless in nature. So, the use of allegory does not suggest equal nature, but rather a pattern, that when examined closely, can bring Christians closer in their relationship and knowledge of Christ.

That Christ is superior to the Old Testament typological comparisons is found throughout the New Testament: Romans 5:17 shows Christ brings more grace than Adam, Hebrews 9:11 shows Christ is a greater tabernacle and Hebrews 9:14 shows Christ as a better sacrifice. John the Baptist contrasts new wine with the old wine (Matt 9:17, Luke 5:37-38) and there a great deal of many new things brought by Christ (2 Cor 3:6; Heb 8:7, 13; Heb 12:24, 2 Cor 5:7; Eph. 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10; Luke 5:36; Rev. 2:17, 3:12).

In my opinion, the New Testament encourages allegorical comparisons through the multitude of comparisons of Christ to the accounts of the old things written in the Old Testament. But, allegorical and typological comparisons must not be speculative in their nature. It seems to me that there is a fine line in exegesis; while the New Testament challenges scholars to connect the dots to allegorical comparisons, great damage can occur if great care is not taken. It seems very probable that deviation from the original meaning of Scripture with allegorical representation without solid foundational support will lead to false interpretation and teaching of God’s Word. How far that line extends for good exegesis is not expressed fully in our textbook up to this point in our study, though the history of hermeneutics shows it scattered throughout the exegesis process.1

The most interesting historical account discussed in the textbook concerning allegorical interpretation occurs, as you mentioned, in the Middle Ages. It was one part of four (Literal, Allegorical, Moral, Anagogical) and preformed the task as doctrinal statement of Scripture.2

I take it to mean that a preacher would read Scripture, and then tell the audience what it meant by creating allegoric connections that could be understood by non-scholars. That is the only way I could figure out how allegorical could be related to doctrinal; if you have a better way of connecting allegories to doctrine, I sure would appreciate your insight!

I feel overwhelmed even trying to discuss this subject with such a back-and-forth historical account of allegory use confusing me at every turn. Philosophically, I discovered in my research that there are two different types of allegory called the Mimetic and Ludic Principles; one reflects the correspondences of text, while the other represents the drama within our own minds that makes a connection.3 If these two principles are in fact legitimate (which my educational level at this point can neither confirm nor deny), then representing the Mimetic Allegory that derives specifically from the text would be more acceptable than Ludic Allegory that derives
specifically from our minds in our own imaginations. And, further research showed me that there is a significant movement among those of Eastern Orthodox doctrine to restore the evaluation of literary allegories of Scripture, with the view that it is a genuine Christian practice of necessity that emphasizes relationship and process in modern day worldviews.4

Whether that crosses fully over to Protestant practices, I’m not certain. But, the way you presented it and the way I understand it seem safe: Don’t interpret Scripture past the point past the words that it reflects specifically; there should be no subjective allegorical or typological advanced past the original meaning and Truth of the Scripture.


Bibliography


Crossan, John Dominic. "A Metamodel for Polyvalent Narration." Semia 9, (1977).


Ford, Mary. "Towards the Restoration of Allegory: Christolgy, Epistemology and Narrative Structure." St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 34, no. 2 (1990).


Klein, William W., Craig L. Blomberg, Robert L. Hubbard. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2004.

References

1 William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg, Robert L. Hubbard, Introduction to Biblical Interpretation (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2004), 23‐62.

2 Ibid., 43.

3 John Dominic Crossan, ʺA Metamodel for Polyvalent Narration,ʺ Semia 9, (1977).

4 Mary Ford, ʺTowards the Restoration of Allegory: Christolgy, Epistemology and Narrative Structure,ʺ St. Vladimirʹs Theological Quarterly 34, no. 2 (1990): 161‐195.

 

Voice: Kathy L. McFarland
Circumstance: Discussion Board 1 reply to another student's post
Citation: Kathy L. McFarland, 201240 Fall 2012 NBST 652-D01 LUO, October 2012
Read More:

Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, Revised Edition

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Keyword: Women Preachers
Expression:

Before I reply fully to your question, let me first support your efforts to minister as God has led you to do. You are ordained, I assume by some religious board that has authority that can be passed to you; with that ordination comes the responsibility to minister to the people under your care, according to the rules of the granting authority. You must surely be of excellent character and an able Christian leader to be given the authority over others in a Church setting.

With your heart convinced that God leads you to this ministry, and the boardʹs granting of authority to you, then if your participation is ineffective in the ministry of Godʹs Word, then the blame lies upon many, not just yours alone. But, I doubt that is the case; I have participated in many classes with you and know you to be a strong and educated worker for the Lord, with a gift with words and an apparent teaching heart.

Regardless, no matter how much I will it to be different, Scripture support for your authority position as a female minister is lacking. You suggest it is my presupposition against women in the pulpit, but it is not; rather, it is the exact opposite. I have been a Bible Teacher with Godʹs leading for over thirty years, have faced rejection, oppression, persecution, and attacks (usually by the religious side). My work for the Lord requires me to be aggressive, pithy in my writing, bold in my teaching, and supportive of folks that are rejected by most in faith positions. My presupposition is that a strong, mature Christian woman can march into Hell with a Heavenly cause, do the works of the Lord in a ministry that far surpasses the efforts of most ministries done by men, and successfully manage and lead Christians toward a stronger relationship with the Lord.

That is why I have so much difficulty with this issue. I have looked at the different traditional Scripture that keeps a woman from the pulpit, and I cannot find a way to bend Godʹs Word to the point that it nullifies the negative; I already know that there is no positive support of it. I keep hoping that in my education I will light upon something that will open my eyes to examine the issue in a way that possibly I have skewed in my interpretation. But, it never comes.

So this is the way I resolve it; since I know the Lord has expectations and gives me works to do on His behalf, and since I am confident that the Holy Spirit moves in me to do these works, I must do them regardless. Whether man accepts my works or not makes absolutely no difference to me. The Lord didnʹt tell me to receive the approval of men; rather, Iʹm just supposed to do the job He gives me to do. But, even that job is conflicted through the traditional Scripture that prohibits women according to many fundamental and conservative Christian folks.

My heart knows the expectations of Christ; those receiving the works from my hands get to choose whether to accept it or not. I am without authority. According to Scripture, I cannot have authority because that task is limited to men over other men alone according to 1 Timothy 2:12. But, there is evidence that women can serve in the church as ʺservantsʺ or ʺdeaconsʺ (Romans 16:1).

So that is my line that I have adapted. I do the works of the Lord because He gives them to me to do. I am a servant to both Him and the people that He brings me to teach. They can quite frankly, take my teachings or leave them; but, between you and me, once they have received the teachings that are moved by the Holy Spirit, they would be foolish to reject them because they are not my words but His that they wrestle with.

I wonder if many of our sisters that are given works to do in the church as leaders are not leading with the heart of servitude, rather than the heart of authority. In that case, some support can be found in Scripture. Thatʹs about as far as I can bend on this one. I often seek a new way of looking at things, and am open to any
commentaries that are grounded in the Truth of Scripture.

Regardless of my belief, you go girl. If Godʹs works are expressed through you, do not quench the Holy Spirit to please manʹs expectations. But, look at your heart and see whether your works for Him are accomplished as a servant or a master. If they are as a servant, you are not in disobedience to Godʹs Word, and any authority granted you from your ordination board is something they must deal with when the Lord asks.

Voice: Kathy L. McFarland
Circumstance: Reply to ordained woman preacher concerning my stance on women as pastors
Citation: Kathy L. McFarland, 201240 Fall 2012 NBST 652-D01 LUO, October 2012
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Two Views on Women in Ministry (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology)

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