Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Incarnation’s Sole Purpose!

calvin_slices_01 In short, the only reason given in Scripture that the Son of God willed to take our flesh, and accepted this commandment from the Father, is that he would be a sacrifice to appease the Father on our behalf. "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer . . . and that repentance . . . should be preached in his name." [Luke 24:46-47.] "For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life for my sheep. … This commandment he gave me." [John 10:17, 15, 18  p.] "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up." [John 3:14.] Another passage: " 'Father, save me from this hour.' … But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify thy Son" [John 12:27-28, conflated with v. 23]. Here he clearly indicates why he assumed flesh: that he might become a sacrifice and expiation to abolish our sins. – Calvin’s Institutes 2.12.4


Sunday, April 19, 2009


Today is the Octave Day of Easter, sometimes known as Low Sunday (and also known historically as St. Thomas Sunday and Quasimodo Sunday).   Simply, it is the Sunday after Easter Sunday.  quasimodoSince 1970 Low Sunday has been officially known as the Second Sunday of Easter in the Catholic Church. Also, octave refers to an eight-day feast or the eighth day following that feast, sometimes referred to as the "Octave Day".  And among Eastern Christians this day is known as Thomas Sunday.

The name Quasimodo came from the Latin text of the traditional Introit for this day, which begins "Quasi modo geniti infantes..." ("As newborn babes...", from the First Epistle of Peter ( 1 Peter 2:2). Literally, the Latin, quasi modo means "as recently” or "almost like". Which, of course, reminds me of the sad character in Victor Hugo’s,The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo (almost like…).

Quasimodo was born with several rather ugly physical deformities.  Among the more obvious was a large wart that covered hi s left eye and a severely hunched back.  He is found abandoned in Notre Dame (on the foundlings' bed, where orphans and unwanted children are left to public charity) on a Quasimodo Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter, by the archdeacon Claude Frollo, who adopts the baby, names him after the day the baby was found, and brings him up to be the bell-ringer of the cathedral.

A small sculpture of Quasimodo can be found on Notre Dame, on the exterior of the north transept along the Rue de CloƮtre Notre Dame.


Note: The photo is of actor Charles Loughton as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Law of Grace!

calvin_slices_01 To be Christians under the law of grace does not mean to wander unbridled outside the law, but to be engrafted in Christ, by whose grace we are free of the curse of the law, and by whose Spirit we have the law engraved upon our hearts [Jeremiah 31:33]. - The Institutes of The Christian Religion (2.8.57)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Eighth Commandment!

"You shall not steal." (Ex. 20:15)calvin_slices_01

Let the ministers of churches faithfully attend to the ministry of the Word, not adulterating the teaching of salvation [cf. 2 Cor. 2:17], but delivering it pure and undefiled to God's people. And let them instruct the people not only through teaching, but also through example of life. In short, let them exercise authority as good shepherds over their sheep [cf. 1 Tim. 3:1ff; 2 Tim. 2:1ff; 2 Tim. 4:1 ff; Titus 1:6 ff.; 1 Peter 5:1ff]. Let the people in their turn receive them as messengers and apostles of God, render to them that honor of which the highest Master has deemed them worthy, and give them those things necessary for their livelihood [cf. Matt. 10:10ff.; Rom. 10:15 and 15:15ff.; 1 Cor. 9:1ff; Gal. 6:6; 1 Thess. 5:12; 1 Tim. 5:17-18].

Section: 2.8.46 of “The Institutes of The Christian Religion

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Hate the Cross!

A William Stringfellow quote:William Stringfellow

Many men do not believe. Many men hate the Cross because it means a salvation not of their own choosing or making, but rather of God’s grace and his mercy. Men hate the cross because it means a salvation which is unearned, undeserved, unmerited. Men would much prefer God to punish them than to forgive them because that would mean that God is dependent upon men and needed their obedience to be their God. Then God would be in fact no different from an idol of race, nation, family, or whatever, and a man would feel justified either by his obedience to the idol or by the punishment of his disobedience.

(”The Scandal of Palm Sunday,” Free in Obedience [Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2006], p. 33.)