It’s been cold and wet in Northern California. Actually missed the celebration of Winter Solstice. But looking forward to brighter days.
I was going to post this as a comment to my last reblog post, but decided to make it a separate posting.
Since it’s Christmas Season we are suppose to be Joyful.
It’s been a tough call in recent weeks, so much negative in the news, and hypocrisy is running rampant, it’s almost impossible to discern the truth and the lie. And even more impossible to dialogue with anyone today. Everybody is offended.
This year ends on these serious notes: The Truth or Falsehood of the Impeachment narrative; although not a Baptist, I’m noting many controversial issues in the Baptist’s world and I was saddened that two of my favorite bloggers expressed the most severe criticisms of Calvinism.
Dialogue on the blog sites just can’t replace good deep discussion but it seems nobody wants to go there anymore. People are too polarized. I’ve recently read about the old Cripplegate discussions: There is a good introduction to that group under the title: Why Cripplegate?
Or I’ve been reading about another series of meetings actually called lectures that sound interesting: (Matthew)Mead succeeded John Owen in September 1683 as one of the Tuesday morning lecturers (presbyterian and congregational) at the merchants’ lecture in Pinners’ Hall. Interesting enough the Pinners’ Hall lecture is one topic that Wikipedia seems to have missed or avoided entirely, though they do refer to it under specific pastors involved, but not as it’s own subject.
Our own little Sunday School dialogue class at church has ended after a number of years. It was a forum for active discussion and debate centered around Reformed Doctrine. I’m looking ahead to another small group that focuses on Bible Study and Biblical Doctrine (Teaching) for 2020. And gearing up my M’Cheyne reading through the Bible for another year.
Perhaps even a renewal of the Inklings would be a good pursuit:
The Inklings were an informal literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford for nearly two decades between the early 1930s and late 1949..attended by Lewis and Tolkien. Perhaps even a pint of bitters (IPA) would be in order…..
Anyway enough of the negative….one last thought, I’ve been impressed both by the way Bible sheds light on the working of the Holy Ghost(Spirit), Angels and Joseph plays out in the Birth of Christ narratives…sometimes we miss those. Or the small characters like Simeon and Anna. (BTW. Joseph (they) not only Mary had a key role in bringing Jesus to the Temple so this can take place.)
Luk 2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
Luk 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
Luk 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
Luk 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luk 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
Luk 2:27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Luk 2:28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Luk 2:29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
Luk 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Luk 2:31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
Luk 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Luk 2:33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
Luk 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
Luk 2:35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Luk 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
Luk 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
Luk 2:38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Old John Gill comments on the ending of v35.
That the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed; that is, all this offence was to be taken at Christ, and he to be spoken against; and all these afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions, he and his were to endure for this end; that the secret thoughts of men might be discovered, and they be known to be what they were, whether hypocrites, or good men, foes or friends of Christ: so on the one hand, what were the Scribes and Pharisees, who talked of a Messiah, and pretended to righteousness and holiness, and yet when the Messiah came, rejected him, and so all such who followed Christ with worldly views, and expected a temporal kingdom, but left him when they found it otherwise, and Judas, one of his disciples; and, on the other hand, who were sincere and hearty? as the rest of his disciples, Joseph of Arimathea, and others, who abode by him, notwithstanding the cross; and the same use have all persecutions, errors, and heresies, the opposition and contradiction of men in every shape now, and the same end is answered; wicked men, and hypocrites, are known to be what they are; and good men are made manifest; and what each think of Christ and his Gospel, is discovered hereby; see 1Co 11:19.
1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
So if we worry about the issues we have today, note that not much has changes in 2,000 years.