Patrick’s Breastplate

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Despite the image of St. Pat above, I’m sporting my orange (not green!) in support of Irish Presbyterianism. Patrick was an ardent missionary, and labored to see the Gospel brought to Ierne. His well known prayer, “Patrick’s Breastplate” is printed below. May Christ be with you, before you and behind you today by faith.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.
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Capitol Prayer

CapitolPrayer2Almighty God and Everlasting Father,

We call upon You, the Infinite One, from Whom and through Whom and to Whom are all things. You are the sovereign One, and all sovereignty comes from You. Nations rise and fall and kings receive power and sovereignty from You. In You, true wisdom is found. You know and understand all things, and no one can search out Your ways. From you comes righteousness, justice, and courage. You are the source, and all things are from You. Indeed, we live and move and have our being in You.

And so we call upon You this afternoon seeking divine help. Would you grant, O Lord God, to this august company of men and women, the power that You alone possess to serve those whom they are called to represent. You have placed each of them here, and so grant them the wisdom necessary to make laws and decisions to benefit and bless this great state of Iowa. Instill in them justice and righteousness, that they would always strive to promote that which is true and good and beautiful. Graciously pour out courage and knowledge, that through their decisions and actions You would rule this land for righteousness’ sake.

In all of these things, we ask that You would do this not for anything good within us or for our own sake, but only for the sake of Christ Jesus, by whose blood we may find mercy and grace. Grant all of us a true and abiding faith in Him. We ask these things of you now in His holy and perfect Name, even Christ the Lord.


“When the words of our hymns are based on Scripture itself, barring misinterpretation of the text, there is a guarantee of theological rectitude.” – Muller. RT @danborvan

Garner Community Services for Spring 2011

Garner Community Spring Services 2011
“Behold the Lamb of God!”

The following is a list of the special services held in Garner during the Lenten season. All special services will be held on Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m., except the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. Any freewill donations go to supporting God’s Pantry, Meals on Wheels, and the Ambulance Fund. Questions? Contact the church office.

March 13 Zion E&R Church (alone)
March 20 No special service
March 27 Garner United Methodist Church
April 3 Zion E&R Church
April 10 Garner Ev. Free Church
April 17 Peace Reformed Church
April 21 – Maundy Thursday Zion E&R Church (alone)
April 22 – Good Friday Garner United Presbyterian Church
April 24 – Easter Sunday SonRise Service – 8:00 a.m.
Worship Service

Just In Case You Missed ‘Em

With the overwhelming influx of information available, discerning readers must become selective in what they give their time to read. Just in case you missed ‘em, here are some links I found valuable, and hope you will also.

Horton’s Recent Chapter on Scripture
Dr. Rev. Michael S. Horton contributed to Christian Theologies of Scripture: A Comparative Introduction with his chapter “Theologies of Scripture in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation: An Introduction.” Download it from the link above.

Before Rob Bell, There Was David Swing
PCA pastor-scholar Sean Lucas reminds us of the liberalizing David Swing, and why the most popular pastor of the biggest church in Chicago is no longer there.
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Wollebius on Heretics & Schismatics

I mentioned in a different post the tricky nature of distinguishing between heresy, heterodoxy, bad teaching, etc. Johannes Wollebius (1586-1629) described some careful thinking and distinguishing between the various categories. In chapter 27 on “The False Church” of his Prolegomena, he notes:

1. Not every error makes a heretic.
There may be error against the foundation like that of the Arians and Marcionites, who denied, the one the deity, and the other the humanity, of Christ; or concerning the foundation, as the papists err in teaching transubstantiation, by which the truth of the human nature of Christ is taken away; or error by addition to the foundation, which errors are by Paul called hay, wood, etc. (1 Cor. 3:12).
2. The following makes a heretic: (i) an error against the foundation or concerning the foundation, (ii) conviction, (iii) contumacy.
3. Not every schismatic is a heretic.
A schismatic is one who, although holding to the foundation of the faith, departs from some practice [ritus] of the church, rashly or because of ambition.

Arius Didn’t Describe Himself As Arian

Greg Boyd: “I strongly doubt Rob Bell would describe himself as a “Universalist.”

Greg Boyd: “…hell (which, by the way, Rob does emphatically believe in)…”


Greg Boyd: Despite my Open Theist Views, I strongly doubt that I deny God’s sovereignty, omniscience, or Scripture’s fidelity.
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Eliot: Will the Aged Eagle Stretch Its Wings?

I’m probably a bit harsh to say that the only good thing about Ash Wednesday is the following poem by British poet T. S. Eliot, but after reading the moving words, perhaps you’ll see why I love the poem so much. For all those who dare not stretch their wings in their aged sickness, who do not dare to turn again, may Eliot’s words be a balm and soothing reminder of the Word without a word.

Ash Wednesday

T.S. Eliot

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
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Adoption in Scripture

Time Reference Category
Eternity past in the counsel of the Holy Trinity Ephesians 1:4-5

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

Adoption according to unconditional election based on God’s choice in eternity past
History of redemption Romans 9:4

They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.

A temporal adoption based on the Mosaic Covenant
Incarnation Galatians 4:4-5

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Adoption corresponding to salvation in general based on Christ’s redemption
Individual experience in human history Romans 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Adoption applied individually as conversion or regeneration
The Future Day of the Lord and Second Coming Romans 8:23

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Glorification of people and creation as the fulfillment of God’s election (see top)


Every instance of υἱοθεσία (“adoption”) in Scripture.  (Acts 7:21 is actually ἀνaipεὼ, “to take up.”)  Based off of reflections from here.