Archive by Author

On Scripture, On Loyalty — Part 1

14 Sep

The Psalmist says:

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11

What is it of Scripture that makes it such? What is it of Scripture that makes it revive the soul? Makes wise the simple? Rejoice the heart? Enlighten the eyes? True, and righteous altogether? More desirable than even much fine gold? Sweeter than the drippings of the honeycomb? Warns the servant of the LORD? That in keeping them there is great reward?

Surely it is not Scripture in and of itself, isolated from the One who spoke and inspired it! We do not worship a book but an Author! It is that Scripture reveals and relates to us the Character and Person of the LORD that we find the words to be our sustenance, and our bread and water to be insufficient. It is the Character of God and the knowing the Character of God that revives the soul, rejoices the heart, is more desirable than fine, is sweeter than the drippings of the comb!

If I set to godliness by merely reading, memorizing, and even practicing words on a page with no relation to the One who inspired and spoke them, then I am not walking by faith but by sight—by words that I see on the page. If I set to godliness by glorying in the glory of the Character of God, then I find myself to be loyal to Him, even He who is not seen with eyes (yet)—indeed, I walk by faith.

Jesus said of the unbelieving Jews:

“…And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:37-47)

Those unbelieving Jews knew the Scriptures, knew the word of God, but in their knowledge of the word of God, they didn’t know the Word of God, the Logos, Jesus. They knew to esteem the Scriptures, and in their esteeming of the Scriptures, they were able to completely miss the Character of God revealed by those Scriptures. Had they known the God revealed to them in those Scriptures that they did know, they would have rejoiced that the God they claimed to worship was One who calls the lame to stand up and walk; that He is One who comes near to the Samaritan woman and calls her to life, to holiness away from her life of sin; that He is One who takes notice and pity of the blind man, accounted a sinner by the seeing, and calls him to see, even on the Sabbath, which speaks of the rest to which we look forward; that He is One who weeps over the death of friends, but is also The Lord over life and death. They would have seen that the Kingdom of God had come near and that the Jubilee was at hand!

As it was, they missed the Word for the word. They missed the Word not because He isn’t revealed in the word, but because they did not have the Spirit. It’s not that the word of the LORD returned void or empty—its purpose went out to harden hearts rather than soften; they stumbled over the stumbling stone.

Their keeping of the Law that they knew so well was a piling up of filth and condemnation, as they knew not so well the Character of the Lawgiver. They thought Him as being like them, and missed being like Him.

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Out of Egypt He called His Son, back to Egypt to redeem His People

5 Mar

And the LORD said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.”  So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt.  And Moses took the staff of God in his hand.  — Exodus 4:19-20

But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”  And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. — Matthew 2:19-21

I’ve been struck before by the innumerable similarities between and foreshadowing of Moses to Jesus.  They struck me even more strongly this morning while reading in Exodus, and were elaborated on in my mind during my drive home this evening.  The phrase that really triggered this string of thoughts was the recording of Moses putting his wife on a donkey to journey, similar to Joseph putting his bride (to-be) on a donkey to journey.  Of course, that’s not a one-to-one translation, but the minutia of the stories can be used to show us the types and foreshadowings of Christ, though I certainly don’t aimed to be the “hyper-typer” who just goes fat-kid-crazy in the theological candy store–irresponsibly and stretching text and hermeneutic and tone and meta-narrative beyond what can be faithfully stated.  With the intro out of the way, let us look at the lesson of what Christ came to do be taught us by what Moses was sent to do.

Before I get to the texts I opened with, I’ll give you a list of some similarities between Christ and Moses:

1) Moses was raised in the royal family and condescended to his people, Israel.  Christ, THE King, did the same.
2) Moses was of the priestly line.  Christ superseded the priestly line of Levi, and is of the line of Melchizedek, is our TRUE Priest.
3) Moses saved his people from the taskmasters who removed the supply of straw, while they still demanded the same production.  Christ redeemed His People from the Pharisees, who added burdens to the backs of Israel, while lifting not a finger in aid to remove them.
4) Moses’ being sent by God was attested to and proved by signs.  Christ works miracles that PROVED the He was sent and WAS God.
5) Infanticide surrounds the births of both men.  The infanticide in both cases served to limit, even castrate (not to be graphic, but I honestly believe this term faithfully describes the situations) and hamstring the Strength of the people of Israel

And now we get to the point that is my purpose of writing this: Moses fled for his life from Egypt from the king, and was called back to redeem Israel; Christ (by carriage of his parents) fled to Egypt from the king who sought His life, and was called back to Israel to finally redeem Israel.

The typology of Moses and his mission to Christ and His mission reveals to us the spiritual, perfect, and complete nature of the redemption that Christ was to work for us in His Gospel.

Moses was led by God from his exile in Midian back to Israel’s exile in Egypt to deliver the LORD’s people from Egypt, from slavery, to the promised land o’er Jordan.  Moses was the answer to the crying out and lamentation of God’s people over their bondage.  However, don’t be mistaken–Israel wouldn’t let go of her slavemaster and land of bondage so quickly.  Upon continuing on reading the story of the Exodus, you find that those who disbelieved God, who still longed for their slavery in Egypt-land, continued on in rebellion against the God of their fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob.  Because of their disbelief and faithlessness, they died in the wilderness, for their not taking to heart the mighty works worked before their eyes against their abusers and taskmasters.  They died the death of infidelity and disbelief.  They inherited not the Promised Land of Abraham.

In a nutshell, Moses led physical Israel from literal Egypt to a physical Promised Land, to Jerusalem.

Let’s look at the spiritual nature and completeness of Christ’s leading Exodus from Egypt to Israel:

Jesus was led by God from His exile in Egypt back to Israel to deliver His, the LORD’s People from slavery to the Promised Land o’er (and through) Death.  Jesus was the answer to and fulfillment of the LORD’s promises to redeem Israel from their death and bondage to sin.  Don’t be mistaken–Jesus wasn’t the savior and redeemer that everyone in Israel was looking for.  A lot of those who were of Abraham by flesh would not let go of their slavery to the Law and to their own “righteousness” so easily.  They still longed for their sin, proving themselves to have never been of their fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, and much less of their God.  It is because of their disbelief and their lack of spiritual eyes through faith that they thought that they had already arrived in the Promised Land.  Rather, they died the death of infidelity and disbelief, wandering around in the desert, drinking sand while thinking it milk, and eating dust without the sweetness of honey.  They inherited not the Promised Land of Abraham.

To simplify, Christ led spiritual Israel from a figurative Egypt–literal Jerusalem–to a spiritual and true Promised Land, to Zion.

My writing fails to truly convey the glory of what Christ has done for us.  The Children of Abraham are not those by mere flesh and blood, but are by spirit, by Christ’s Flesh and Blood.  The Israel we look forward to does NOT find it’s completion in a city built by David or a temple built by Solomon, but in a City built by God, and in the indwelling of HIS Spirit in us so that WE are made temples, temples which Christ serves as our TRUE Priest!

 

The Quixotarian

4 Nov

There are echoes of what man was meant to be everywhere: myths, legends, fairy tales, movies, etc…  Man has it implanted within his soul, his spirit, his very being these ideals that he was meant to fulfill.  To borrow language from some men who, in some ways, met these ideals, I would say that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain, unalienable concepts of perfection.  That He has place within a yearning for the relaxation of that tension in which all of creation is suspended.  This relaxation is the realization of some original plan, some original beauty–a return to some Eden, that equilibrium.

Indeed, Scripture itself speaks of such an endowment.  I’m referring to Solomon and Paul, of course.  It is this endowment that renders all men without excuse (Romans 1).

Q:  So what does this mean?

A:  That because man can conceive a story in which the Knight slays the Dragon and rescues the Princess, we will be held responsible for the Truth that Christ ACTUALLY came and defeated that enemy Death, sacrificing Himself in order to save His Bride when we stand before Him, our LORD, Savior, and Judge.

Therefore, one can discern that this blog will, in some fashion, concern the Gospel, but how exactly?  The aspect of the Gospel of its affecting EVERYTHING!  There is not one thing that remains to be placed by the Father under the feet of Christ!

I have used the example of how all of our didactic stories which teach ideals are reflections of that inward groaning for the redemption of everything (as well as the reflection of that inward conviction that we are, in fact, that obstacle to the success of that Mission), to illustrate and explain the genesis of “The Quixotarian.”

The name owes its creation to the wordsmithery and creativity of Jeff after I told him of my appreciation of the word “quixotic.”  Its definition being (to the credit of Merriam-Webster):
“Foolishly impractical especially in pursuit of ideals; especially; marked by rash lofty romantic ideals or extravagant chivalrous
action”

I personally think it noble for one to be such, to be a Quixotarian, when, as I have already explained, those ideals are actually due to and reflective of the Gospel that Christ came to save for Himself a People.

Since the Gospel swallows up all, expect this blog to speak on anything and everything:  philosophy (Jeff), theology (all), music (all), art, literature, technology (Kep), politics, C.S. Lewis, Doug Wilson, the stars, and so on and so forth…. Time escapes me to list everything that is fair game for us to discuss, as nothing escapes Christ’s Footprint.  To display how the Gospel permeates ALL areas of existence, and to let you know whose thoughts you’ll be reading, I’ll introduce the contributing authors/writers:  Ryan is a graphic designer/artist (I hope he doesn’t mind my linking to his website, which you should check it as he’s got some excellent work: Ryan D. Harrison Design); Josh Kepley, or “Kep” for all our intents and purposes, is our patron saint of electrical engineering and technology, and his corresponding holiday is, well, I forgot his birthday, but I call it “La Dia de San Joshua (Yoshua)”;  Matt McMichen, though he may simply be denoted by “McMichen,” is an accountant out yonder in Austin, TX with PWC;  Jeffrey Robertson is the house philosopher and a teacher at Auburn Classical Academy of Literature, Logic, History, and the Gospel through all of them;  last and least is myself, Wesley Sims, and am a student of Building Science, somewhat of a Chestertonian, and a recipient of much Grace through the camaraderie of each of these gentlemen and fellow saints.

As far as the content is concerned, if you’re Christian, do not worry–we won’t speak on anything “secular.”  It is impossible for those in Christ to do so (see the whole of the Reformation, and the Bible).  It’s not cheating; it’s actually inescapable.  It may be in the form of linked articles, prose, poetry, commentary, or your run-of-the-mill blogging style, perhaps even our own philosophical theories on Beauty and the Aesthetic (one can only hope).

But if you are one who does not consider yourself to be a member of the Church, you should not worry either.  We won’t speak of anything that isn’t of interest to you–we’ll just, prayerfully, speak with much more substance than those who do not enjoy the freedom of Christ.