Monday Morning Pulpit: The Coming Kingdom Disrupts All Other Kingdoms

MondayMorningPulptiSometimes you run out of room or time in your Lord’s Day sermon, and so “Monday Morning Pulpit” is a chance to expand upon or reinforce ideas you didn’t have a chance to finish during the sermon.

Doing some last minute sermon prep the other week brought me to this gem in Herman Ridderbos’ The Coming of the Kingdom. It was incredibly helpful to recast some of the homiletical language from the sermon in the kingdom language that Ridderbos so helpfully draws out from the text:

…in John’s [the Baptist] and Jesus’ preaching the coming and break-through of the kingdom are put in the foreground, and not the state of things at the time of fulfillment. This tremendous dynamic of the divine coming which sets the world of the angels in motion (Matt. 1; Luke 2); fills the devil’s empire with alarm (Matt 4:3ff; Mark 1:24; Matt 12:29); yes, even causes Satan to fall from heaven (Luke 10:18), permeates and transmits itself in everything and in all who are touched by it. For the coming of the kingdom is the initial stage of the great drama of the history of the end. It throws man and the world into a crisis.

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Owl Rights

I was reading my son to sleep with a night time book about owls.

OwlsStoryThe story mentioned that owls are protected under U.S. laws. Sure enough, with a little googling, the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act protected many species, and owls were added to that treaty in 1972. The precise language states:

Unless and except as permitted by regulations made as hereinafter provided, it shall be unlawful at any time, by any means or in any manner, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture, or kill, possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to barter, barter, offer to purchase, purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, export, import, cause to be shipped, exported, or imported, deliver for transportation, transport or cause to be transported, carry or cause to be carried, or receive for shipment, transportation, carriage, or export, any migratory bird, any part, nest, or egg of any such bird, or any product, whether or not manufactured, which consists, or is composed in whole or in part, of any such bird or any part, nest or egg.

I am neither an owl-ologist, nor the son of one, but it seems to me that it is not a stretch to recognize the great lengths we go to in protecting owls based on a 1972 law. I am dumbfounded, therefore, that one year later we would aggressively attack and murder unborn babies in 1973’s Roe v. Wade.

I am against terminating pregnancies because there are self-evident truths woven into the fabric of our universe that prohibit the taking of innocent and defenseless life. More fundamentally, as a Christian I believe these unborn human beings are made in the image of their Creator, and their sacred life should not be extinguished prematurely.

But suppose you disagree with me (in spite of all the evidence, and ultrasound images!, to the contrary) that fetuses are not human beings, merely reproducing tissues; pre-human life. Fine. Could we at least work toward agreement that fetuses deserve the same rights and protections as owls?

What NA28 May Mean For the Future of Reasoned Eclecticism

DBWallaceNT manuscript guru Dan Wallace recently wrote at his blog on the newest edition of the critical text of the Greek New Testament, “Nestle-Aland 28: The New Standard in Critical Texts of the Greek New Testament.” There was a lot of interest there, but a few things stood out.

As INTF [Ed. – Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung in Münster] worked through the Catholic letters, they came to see much greater value of the Byzantine manuscripts than they had previously. In Wachtel’s presentation, he noted that the NA27 displayed “prejudice against the Byzantine tradition” while the NA28 recognized the “reliability of the mainstream tradition.” This is a welcome change in perspective, made possible because of exhaustive collations.

The changes are so great that the apparatus symbols will change as well, from a gothic “M” to “Byz.” Wallace calls it a “sea change” in Münster for how the text is approached.

Secondly, Wallace says “a step back” has been taken in the editorial process.

The previous edition was edited by three Protestants (Kurt Aland, Barbara Aland, Bruce Metzger), one Roman Catholic (Carlo Martini), and one Greek Orthodox scholar (Ioannes Karavidopoulos). The latest edition lists as its editors only “the Institute for New Testament Textual Research… under the direction of Holger Strutwolf.” … the final decisions about the text are solely in the hands of Münster.

No ecclesiastical information was listed, and it sounds like there is a fairly firm bottleneck in the final decision making process. Textual scholars would be able to say if this is typical or a departure from the norm, but Wallace noted it as a step back.

So then, on come the questions.

  1. Is this a change in reaffirming the role of the Byzantine, Majority text? (See Wallace’s article for some redefinition of what “Majority/Majorities Text” will mean going forward.) Is this a step toward bringing Received Text and Critical Text proponents together?
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Theology for Pastors from John Calvin





Dr. Scott Manetsch lectures on Calvin’s Pastoral Theology. This video was taken from the RCA Integrity conference, which we’ve linked to in the past.

There are a wealth of resources there for Midwest ministry, so look for more information from that in the future.

In the meantime, ponder what Calvin’s theology and praxis means for ministry today.

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