Friday, January 30, 2009

C.C. Tempo Run 1-29-09

Everything was going great until I got out of my car...

That's not me...but that's how I felt. was hard this morning. I ran slow and out of breath. Granted it was 14 degrees and the roads were covered with snow and ice, but that really wasn't the problem...

I went out too fast, lost control of my breathing, and ended up posting my worst time this year: 52:43. Yet, I am glad I went and I will keep plugging away at it...

...I am thankful for my health right now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Extreme Belly Flop

This is just plan funny. I got it from a newsletter over at Here are some comments by them about this:

"It’s hard to imagine anything worse than belly flopping into a foot of water from a height of thirty feet. The only thing more damaging would be growing up with the name Danny Higgenbottom, which is the dude’s name that pulled off this daring feat."

A Review of "The Shack" by Lane Keister

The following is from Lane Kiester over at Greenbaggins.

Job and Bunyan Vs. The Shack

The book entitled The Shack has been a marketing phenomenon among “evangelicals.” Blurbs compare the Shack to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I am here to tell you that the hype is a bit forced. Let’s do a bit of comparison, first with the book of Job, then with Bunyan, interjecting a bit of C.S. Lewis in for fun.

The Shack is the story of a man whose beautiful daughter is brutally murdered. The man leaves the faith, only to receive a message from God to meet him at the shack, the very place where his daughter was murdered. He then meets God. The Father is a big jolly black woman, the Son is a Jewish carpenter, and the Holy Spirit is a wispy, mysterious Asian woman (we’ll get to that blasphemy in a moment). The upshot of the plot is that God explains to the main character the why’s and the wherefore’s, and the man is healed. The theological upshot is that God is good, but not all-powerful. Young takes Rabbi Kushner’s prong of the dilemma. What is important to notice here is a combination of rationalism and experientalism. On the one hand, Young tears at the heart strings, making the reader bleed for the main character. On the other hand, in order for the man’s faith to be “restored,” God has to explain himself.

Contrast Job. Job lost much more than the man in the story (ten children!), and it was due to the prince of demons being opposed to him, not a mere man, even if Job didn’t know that. He lost all his possessions, and then finally his health. He had much more to complain about than the man in The Shack. He too wanted God to explain. He wanted to vindicate himself as well. But when God finally has His say, He tells Job that He does not have to come to the bar of human reason. Humans have to come to the bar of God. This is where C.S. Lewis comes in. In his brilliant essay entitled “God in the Dock,” he makes the point that the really important thing for autonomous man is that he is the judge, and that God is in the dock. The man may very well be a kindly judge and acquit God of wrong-doing, if God shows Himself up to the task of defending himself. But the really important thing is that man is the judge, and God is in the dock (on trial). Job shows us that the reverse is true. God is the judge, and man is in the dock.

Rationalism always results in God losing one of His attributes. If God is all-powerful and all-good, then how come evil exists? The Bible does not allow us to lessen the difficulty of this question by jettisoning one of these attributes. The reason the problem is so acute for the believer is that God is both all-benevolent and all-powerful.

Just to begin an answer (and not leave the readers hanging), God allows evil to exist for various reasons, but evil will not continue to last. God has dealt with the problem of evil on the cross and the empty tomb, and will finally eradicate the very presence of evil in this world in the future. No other religion, by the way, or atheism, has an answer to this question. Pantheism believes that evil is naturally part of the world. No hope of eradication there. Atheism cannot define right and wrong, so his faith in his own reason becomes shockingly apparent when he confidently talks about the problem of evil. Deists don’t believe that God has anything to do with the world. These all lack hope and eschatology.

Bunyan and Young go in fundamentally different directions. Christian’s journey is to the bar of judgment as a defendant whom God will acquit based on the spotless righteousness of Christ imputed to him. The man’s journey in The Shack is to the bench, where he magnanimously acquits God of wrong-doing, once it becomes evident that God is really powerless to stop it. Of course, if God is powerless to stop evil, then He is also powerless to eradicate evil, and so that road is also a dead end eschatologically speaking.

In talking with one of my friends, he made the very interesting point also about faith. What moves Christian? It is the scroll, the evangelist, the Interpreter, the fellow believers he meets on the way, the key of faith in Doubting Castle. It is the means of grace which compels Christian to a life of faith. In The Shack, it is a one-time rationalistic showdown where God pleads and begs with the man (in effect) not only to give Him a hearing, but to acquit Him of wrong-doing. Ultimately, the man’s faith is in himself.

My friend also noted the contrast between the way in which God is portrayed in the Bible as opposed to how God is portrayed in The Shack. The God of The Shack is hardly a God with the least little hint of awe and majesty. He is not the God of the whirlwind, which is how God treated Job. He is not the God before whom all bow their faces to the ground. Instead, He is a God whose booty sways to the music. Anyone who cannot see the blasphemy and rank heresy of this portrayal of God is seriously lacking in discernment. God is Spirit, and only the Second Person of the Trinity has a human body which exists only in hypostatic union with the divine nature, and is currently a glorified body. I choose to believe the God of the Bible, who will eradicate evil because He is completely omnipotent and completely free of sin.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stunning Article by Atheist Matthew Paris: "As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God"

This is an amazing read. The original article is found here, but I have reproduced it in its entirety:

Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa's biggest problem - the crushing passivity of the people's mindset

Matthew Parris

Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it's Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work.

It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I've been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I've been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.

Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

I used to avoid this truth by applauding - as you can - the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It's a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.

First, then, the observation. We had friends who were missionaries, and as a child I stayed often with them; I also stayed, alone with my little brother, in a traditional rural African village. In the city we had working for us Africans who had converted and were strong believers. The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world - a directness in their dealings with others - that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.

At 24, travelling by land across the continent reinforced this impression. From Algiers to Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Central African Republic, then right through the Congo to Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, four student friends and I drove our old Land Rover to Nairobi.

We slept under the stars, so it was important as we reached the more populated and lawless parts of the sub-Sahara that every day we find somewhere safe by nightfall. Often near a mission.

Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away. They had not become more deferential towards strangers - in some ways less so - but more open.

This time in Malawi it was the same. I met no missionaries. You do not encounter missionaries in the lobbies of expensive hotels discussing development strategy documents, as you do with the big NGOs. But instead I noticed that a handful of the most impressive African members of the Pump Aid team (largely from Zimbabwe) were, privately, strong Christians. “Privately” because the charity is entirely secular and I never heard any of its team so much as mention religion while working in the villages. But I picked up the Christian references in our conversations. One, I saw, was studying a devotional textbook in the car. One, on Sunday, went off to church at dawn for a two-hour service.

It would suit me to believe that their honesty, diligence and optimism in their work was unconnected with personal faith. Their work was secular, but surely affected by what they were. What they were was, in turn, influenced by a conception of man's place in the Universe that Christianity had taught.

There's long been a fashion among Western academic sociologists for placing tribal value systems within a ring fence, beyond critiques founded in our own culture: “theirs” and therefore best for “them”; authentic and of intrinsically equal worth to ours.

I don't follow this. I observe that tribal belief is no more peaceable than ours; and that it suppresses individuality. People think collectively; first in terms of the community, extended family and tribe. This rural-traditional mindset feeds into the “big man” and gangster politics of the African city: the exaggerated respect for a swaggering leader, and the (literal) inability to understand the whole idea of loyal opposition.

Anxiety - fear of evil spirits, of ancestors, of nature and the wild, of a tribal hierarchy, of quite everyday things - strikes deep into the whole structure of rural African thought. Every man has his place and, call it fear or respect, a great weight grinds down the individual spirit, stunting curiosity. People won't take the initiative, won't take things into their own hands or on their own shoulders.

How can I, as someone with a foot in both camps, explain? When the philosophical tourist moves from one world view to another he finds - at the very moment of passing into the new - that he loses the language to describe the landscape to the old. But let me try an example: the answer given by Sir Edmund Hillary to the question: Why climb the mountain? “Because it's there,” he said.

To the rural African mind, this is an explanation of why one would not climb the mountain. It's... well, there. Just there. Why interfere? Nothing to be done about it, or with it. Hillary's further explanation - that nobody else had climbed it - would stand as a second reason for passivity.

Christianity, post-Reformation and post-Luther, with its teaching of a direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God, unmediated by the collective, and unsubordinate to any other human being, smashes straight through the philosphical/spiritual framework I've just described. It offers something to hold on to to those anxious to cast off a crushing tribal groupthink. That is why and how it liberates.

Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the knowhow that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted.

And I'm afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.

Cheyenne Canyon Tempo Run

(Got this image off of Krupicka's blog)

I finally got back out for a Thursday morning run with C.R.U.D., and my knee is doing great. I am energized simply by the fact that I have no pain after the run! As you can see by the topo and elevation chart above (if you click on the picture you can see a very clear map and numbers), these "tempo" runs are 4.2-ish miles up (to just shy of 8,000 ft.), and then its just a leisurely run back down. Everyone starts at their own start-time, trying to get to the top at 6:40AM. The times range from about 34 minutes to just over an hour. I am right at about 50 minutes, which makes me one of the slowest out there...

...but the workout is great, the views are amazing (you see the city lights on the way up, and then the sun rises for the run down), and realizing that others are out there also, and running up the hill WAY faster than you are, it keeps you going.

I did these runs as part of my training for the Death Valley Trail Marathon last year, and, I am planning on keeping them up as I think that they will help build a good base for the Grand Canyon R2R2R this May (43 miles; 13,000 ft. of elevation gain). As soon as we can coordinate it with the kid's school schedule, Elke plans to come out for these runs as well.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The War In Gaza: A Biblical Perspective & Plea

Here is a letter from a minister in Beirut who knows what he is talking about...

...please take the time to read it.
Until now I have refrained from sending out a missive on the tragedy of Gaza. This will be brief, for I plan to write a comprehensive assessment of the Middle East situation later.

I am livid over the unchristian statements of those perverters of biblical truth known as Christian Zionists. John Hagee, Benny Hinn, Pat Robertson, Hal Lindsey, and a host of others of that ilk, have little or no understanding of the biblical hierarchy of values, the role of Israel in prophecy, and Middle Eastern history, especially its history for the last 100 years.

Benny Hinn recently made a statement in an interview with Benjamin Netanyahu that epitomizes the twisted thinking of all Christian Zionists. He said, "The future of the United States depends on America's treatment of Israel."

Instead of stating biblical truth, he mindlessly mouthed this watchword of Christian Zionist ignorance, which is based on a radical misunderstanding of Genesis 12:3. The truth is that the future of the United States depends on America doing the right thing, which means getting back to the Gospel of Christ and consistently demonstrating the impartial justice and even-handed compassion to all people that the Gospel requires. Anything other than that is an implicit denial of the one true Gospel given by the one true God who "so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life."

Putting Israel above justice and love, as Christian Zionists do, is blatant idolatry. Israel treats the Palestinians as sub-human, as its Zionist founders have done from the time they conceived the establishment of the state of Israel by displacing the indigenous inhabitants of the land, which they succeeded in doing in the late 1940s.

I do not condone terrorist attacks perpetrated by anyone, including Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. All hatred and murder are evil. I am also opposed to all antisemitism--recognizing that both Jews and Arabs are semitic--and I am equally opposed to the destruction of the state of Israel and to the destruction of the Palestinian people.

The ad nauseam repetition of the Christian Zionist refrain that "there are no Palestinians and there never was a Palestine" not only shows their ignorance about linguistic usage but also reveals their biased attempt to negate the personhood, dignity, and human rights of the majority of the people who lived in the land that the Zionists occupied in the twentieth century. Like all movements with an ungodly and perverted agenda, they find it necessary to make semantic and linguistic accommodations to suit their own agenda.

Since some will erroneously think that my perspective is partisan in favor of Palestinians and Arabs over against Israelis and Jews, I urge you to read the balanced, brilliant essay of one of the most highly qualified people in the world. He addressed the Israel-Gaza tragedy just last week. He is a Jew who served in the Israeli army and is now an Oxford professor of international relations. His name is Avi Shlaim, and I hope you will read every line of his brief essay. If you want to understand what is happening there today, you must understand why it is happening, and Professor Shlaim does a masterly job of explaining the context of this enormous Gazan tragedy. Here is the website where you can read his essay [DR: I am not endorsing this essay...but it is an interesting read].

Whatever one's views about prophecy may be, let us believe and act like Christians who represent the love of Christ for all peoples. Although loyalty to Christ does not exclude legitimate patriotism, it does entail the repudiation of the worship of Caesar in all forms. God's ultimacy and absolute claim to exclusive worship must never be subordinated to anything--any ideology, movement, institution, or state, including the state of Israel.

As Christians, we must earnestly and unswervingly seek to treat all people impartially according to the righteous standards revealed in the Bible. So-called Christian Zionism, which has aligned itself with anti-Christian, political Zionism, is an ideology and movement that blatantly contravenes this fundamental truth.

Compassion for Christian Zionists leads me to attribute their wrongheadedness not to evil but to ignorance. It would be hubris for me to claim that they are ignorant but I am not if the issue in question were complicated and subtle. But biblical teaching on this matter is so simple and perspicuous that even a child can understand it: God first, not Israel first.

God first means that His character and His ethical standards must not be compromised for the sake of Israel but must stand in judgment over Israel, the United States, and every other nation.
The obtuseness that prevents the understanding of this plain, biblical truth is enough to boggle the mind.

Christian Zionists can only be understood as the victims of long-term indoctrination in an aberrant eschatology. Contrary to the belief of many, that aberration is not advocated by dispensationalism or supported by it. Christian Zionists have abandoned normative dispensationalism and have replaced it with a radically warped reinterpretation of it.

I have sought to explain this in detail in other papers--which were sent to some of the main leaders in Christian Zionism--and so far no Christian Zionist has even attempted to refute my thesis. Like Ephraim (Hosea 4:17), they are joined to their idols and refuse to relinquish them. How sad for the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ and the witness of Christians to the world, which is often confused and alienated by the unloving, chauvinistic voices of Christian Zionists.

Let us stand firm for the cause of Christ,

Mark Hanna
January 14, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Inov8 RocLite 315

The Inov8 RocLite 315 was my first pair...the pair that hooked me. But let me tell you a little "don't do this" story about my first experience with them...

I had been running for years with the big, bulky, support, stability, we-wont-let-you-feel-the-trail, shoes. So, when I got my first pair of these thin, minimally cushioned "English" shoes, I wondered how it would be. So, I decided to dive in and went out and ran a 9-miler in the Garden of the Gods...

...big mistake.

I could hardly walk the next day, and I thought I was going to have to send them back. So I went down to a local shop that sells Inov8s, and asked what was up. The girl there said, that I had to take it slow and get my feet and legs used to the neutral, minimal support. So I did. I would take them out for a 2-miler, then a few 3-milers, then 5, then 7, then 10...

...then, the big jump was running to Barr Camp (about 12-13 miles) and back in them. By the time I did this run (maybe a month in), I couldn't believe how comfortable the shoe was, and how little foot pain I had. I usually had really sore feet after a long run, but now, none. What had happened is that my legs had gotten stronger and the much more natural foot-strike was allowing me to run more naturally...more like I was barefoot.

After being sold on these RocLites, I wondered if I would ever find a better shoe, and hoped that Inov8 didn't quit making them. I couldn't imagine ever running in anything else...

...until I tried the Inov8 Terroc 330.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Calvin Book 1, Chapters 4-5

These chapters are dealing with the general subject of the knowledge of God and specifically the fact that everyone has an innate knowledge of God. That is, everyone knows (of) Him as he contemplates himself, and everyone knows (of) Him as they contemplate the world around themselves.

As is seen in this section, and a theme which will continue, is the inseparable tie between the knowledge of God and the worship of God. And Calvin shows that we fall into a sort of hypocrisy when we gaze at the majesty of God, and yet then turn away from Him to fashion our own rites and devices of worship: "all who set up their own false rites to God worship and adore their own ravings." (Vol. 1, p. 49) Indeed he agrees with one Lactantius, who asserted "no religion is genuine unless it be joined with truth." (Vol. 1, p. 50).

The height of this 'hypocrisy' is seen in those who pretend to be religious, pretend to be following after God, but in reality they are running from Him and hiding from Him under the guise of their own religious actions, will, and works.

On the creational side of things, Calvin clearly has a high view of and admiration for God's creation. He wonderfully calls it "divine art" (Vol. 1, p. 53), and then makes a connection between art and wisdom...and is that ever a needed connection! Today, "art" is divorced from wisdom, and all manner of idiocy is accepted as "art". But a biblical view of art would return us to a view of art as the wise expression of its creator, just because the creation-the divine art-expresses the wisdom of the Creator.

In this vain, and a theme I will revisit in later posts, is the whole question of the 'subject' of art. In other words, are there subjects that are off limits when it comes to art. I would emphatically answer 'yes', and especially I am thinking about God as a subject of art. We are not to paint Him, draw Him, make statues of Him, nor create images of Him through prose...

...again, I will revisit this theme in other posts, but for now we need to begin seeing that as Calvin addresses the subject of the knowledge of God, He is simultaneously and necessarily treating what is called the "Regulative Principle of Worship".

Calvin Book 1, Chapters 1-3

What comes first...?

Calvin begins by addressing the age-old epistemological question of what comes first, the knowledge of God or the knowledge of self...and he does so brilliantly. Indeed he really doesn't choose between them, but rather holds them as equally ultimate and reflexive. In other words, we can't think about God without thinking about ourselves, and we can't think about ourselves without then thinking of God.

He also defines "true" knowledge of God and speaks of it as a "piety", but means by this that we wed love of God with knowledge of God. In other words, Calvin is not satisfied with static information about God...he believes that knowledge of God, if it is true knowledge, must move a person and impress them deeply.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Better Run Today...

I ran Waldo Canyon on New Year's Eve and totally bonked. Well, this morning I ran it with Elke (my wife) and had a much better experience. Not only was my breathing and leg strength much better, but the weather and scenery was glorious. It actually got up into the 60s today, and therefore this morning, the temps were already well above freezing on the trail. Ezra (the dog) came along and had a blast. The views of the Pikes Peak were perfect. It was clear and beautiful, and we had the whole trail to ourselves...

...above is a topo with mileage and altitude of the trail.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Prefatory Address To King Francis

If you want to know more about this dapperly dressed bloke pictured above, you can go to Wikipedia. This is Francis who was King of France during Calvin's lifetime (he reigned from 1515 to 1547).

Some random comments on the Prefatory Address:

1. He urges the king to attend himself to the great questions, "how God's glory can be kept safe on earth, how God's truth may retain its place of honor, how Christ's Kingdom may be kept in good repair..." (p. 11)

2. Calvin's main concern is that God be glorified, and particularly in our doctrine of salvation. This is largely a concern in light of the Roman doctrines that want to leave room for man's works.

3. He argues that although the Reformed doctrine seems new, it is not. It is just that it has been obscured for so long that it now has this appearance.

4. He argues against "miracles" being a proof of Roman Catholic teaching. He urges rather that we go to the Word to find proof for our beliefs since signs and wonders can and have led people astray.

5. Also, he counters the argument that the Reformation is against the Church Fathers. He does this by showing that he has an exceptional grasp of the Church Fathers and can stand with anyone who wants to go down that path with him.

6. He fully affirms the visible/invisible Church distinction, and warns against those who think they must "see" something for there to be the Church.

7. He clears the notion that controversy means error, by noting that it is when the truth is preached strongly and accurately that Satan is most provoked. Thus the reality of controversy could just as reasonably mean that the Reformed doctrine is the truth!

In the end, Calvin sought in this Preface to open Francis' mind to hear a presentation of the Reformed Faith. He was concerned that there had been so many slanders against it that he would not actually give it a fair reading. Therefore, he was trying to give counter-arguments and reasons for rumors that were afoot. Yet the Preface also shows us Calvin's grasp of Scripture and gives us a foretaste of the kind of biblical backing that he will provide for each doctrine that he discusses.

The Best Trail Running Shoe Out There...

I honestly don't know where "out there" is, but Inov8 does make great trail running shoes. I have now ran in them for about a year and I own three pairs. I will be highlighting them in some future posts, but google the funny name and check out their website in the meantime.

The Christocentric Calvin

Although not part of the reading proper, the Introduction has some helpful material for setting a structure for reading through the Institutes. So often Calvin is pigeon-holed into a mold that seems to present him as only concerned with predestination and election. The following quote from the Introduction, is a great corrective for this, and a great reminder on just how we are to be reading the Word of God:

...for Calvin the Bible is the believer's infallible book of truth when it is read under the direction of the Spirit. Furthermore, Holy Scripture has its organizing principle in the revelation of Christ, and has its chief office in enabling us to appropriate the life-giving grace of Christ. "The Scriptures are to be read," says Calvin in his Commentary on John's Gospel, "with the purpose of finding Christ there." It is important to realize that the focal point of the Institutes is not found in God's sovereignty, or in predestination, or in insistence on obedience to God's Word itself, apart from constant reference to Jesus Christ, whom the written Word makes known. (p. lvi)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Leaving & Cleaving

Over the weekend I was in Grand Rapids, MI to preside over the wedding of my friend, and former congregant, Sean McDonald. It was a beautiful wedding and I am grateful to have been a part of this wonderful day in the lives of Sean and Laura.

A couple of other bonuses over the weekend were getting to see Rob Wieland, also a member of our congregation in Colorado Springs, but now studying at RPTS in Pittsburgh, PA, and Philip Loden, who has been at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO for the past 4 years (Philip is also a member of the congregation). The three of us were hosted marvelously by the Rev. Ray Lanning household, and were made to feel at home throughout the course of the wedding festivities and business.

Sean and Laura requested that I preach from Ephesians 5:22-33—that classic marriage text—and I found it a frustrating exercise to try to prepare a “homily” on one of the most profound texts in all of the Bible. Nonetheless, I limited myself to a few points that could be drawn from the text, but there is much more to be mined from this treasure trove...

I began by noting that it is impossible, and unbiblical, to separate theology from practical living, and that in this text, in fact, Paul has grounded all of his practical instruction about marriage upon the foundation of Christology. That is, marriage is ultimately to be a reflection of the person and work of Jesus Christ—the husband loving his wife as Christ loved the Church, and the wife submitting to her husband even as the Church submits to Jesus Christ.

But then I went to the quote from Genesis 2:24, “A man shall leave his father and mother and holdfast to his wife.”, and then Paul's astounding statement immediately afterwards, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” In other words, Paul is saying that the ultimate referent in that Genesis 2 passage is actually Jesus Christ and His bride the Church.

I then developed the idea of leaving and cleaving being something bigger than a single-sided action of the child—or in this case—the Son, but rather that it involved and involves the Father or parents also. Indeed, it was at the cross that this leaving and cleaving ultimately happened, and it is fascinating to note that Psalm 22:1, which Jesus quotes while hanging on the cross—“My God! My God! Why hast Thou forsaken Me?”—and particularly this word “forsake”, is the exact same verb as “leave” in Genesis 2:24!

Thus at the cross there was the most profound and mysterious “leaving and cleaving” that happened...and it involved not only the Son leaving the involved the Father forsaking the Son. Now, words and human minds fail us here. This is holy ground and almost too deep to make comment on. But somehow, as Athanasius said, “Remaining what He was, He became what He was not”.

...anyway, I struggled with the right words at this point and even made an unfortunate comment, with unintended consequences, of Christ leaving His “native” relationship with the Father (which Rev. Lanning corrected me on). I should have just brought us to the vastness of the mystery and called for a time of gazing with our hands over our mouths...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Calvin On Your iPod or in iTunes

Over at the Princeton Seminary site, they have all kinds of nifty options for either reading the Institutes or even listening to them throughout 2009! You can set it up to have the daily readings come by way of an RSS feed, or hit the little purple "iTunes" button on the left, and then "subscribe", and you can get a daily podcast of the section of the day read to you...