Thursday, October 20, 2016

We've lost sight of it

In essence, baptism was a loyalty oath and a message to the demonic powers (as well as any people present) of just whose side you were on in the spiritual war. Ancient Christians understood this better than we do today. Early church baptismal rites included a renunciation of Satan and his angels because of the this passage [1 Pet 3].— Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World—And Why It Matters, page 144 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
We've lost sight of that, though, haven't we? We're practicing atheists in our daily life, living by our own strength, doing our own thing. Of course, as so many songs say, when we reach end of our own strength, we cry out to God! As if God were simply an energy drink or a Powerbar™ that we took when we ran low on energy.

So, we're selling God short and robbing ourselves of the opportunity to enjoy the presence of God in our lives. Continually. Moment-by-moment. Resting in his love for us and living by his power in us.
</idle musing>

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Yep, they're real

Another implication of the passages of Scripture we’ve examined is that the notion of demonic strongholds is biblical. We aren’t given a full description of demonic zones or turf boundaries, or even a spiritual pecking order for the dark side. We are told, however, that the unseen powers see earth as their domain. We’re told those powers resist God’s kingdom and don’t want people to become part of God’s plan to spread his good rule everywhere. That means we should expect resistance we can’t explain with logic or empirical evidence and we can’t defeat it on our own. God has given us his Spirit and unseen agents of his own to help us further his mission (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; Heb 1:13; 1 John 4:4).— Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World—And Why It Matters, page 133

<idle musing>
Mind you, this is written by a non-Charismatic! Further, he is correct—on both counts: demonic strongholds are a biblical concept. And, most important to remember for those who want to lay out a roadmap, we aren't given the details. Nor should we spend a great deal of time trying to develop a roadmap. It's a distraction from the task of living a godly life and shining in the corner of the world where God placed you.

3 By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory. 4 Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces. (2 Pet 1:3–4 CEB)
What more do we need?
</idle musing>

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It's never too late!

This just showed up in my RSS feed this morning. Here's the first two paragraphs to whet your appetite:
A hundred years ago, the New York Times reported on a rather sophisticated study for the time: 4,600 cases of cancer appearing over a seven year period, suggesting that the increased consumption of animal foods was to blame. A century later, the latest review on the subjects concluded that mortality from all causes put together, ischemic heart disease, circulatory, and cerebrovascular diseases was significantly lower in those eating meat-free diets, in addition to less cancer and diabetes.

I’m surprised they found such significant results given that people in these studies typically didn’t stop eating meat until late in life. For example, in the largest study done up until recently, up to a third of subjects ate vegetarian for less than five years, yet they still ended up with lower rates of heart disease whether they were under 60 or over 60, normal weight or overweight, used to smoke or never smoked; those that had stopped eating meat had lower risk, suggesting that decades of higher risk dietary behavior could be reversed within just years of eating healthier.

Do read the whole thing—and consider adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet! It's never too late

The Messianic Secret

The “new plan” of God’s—that he would die and then rise from the dead to reverse the curse of the fall—isn’t at all evident in the Old Testament. Instead, clues are scattered throughout the Old Testament in dozens of places. Never is it all revealed in one place. The messianic profile is only clear in hindsight—and even then only to someone who already knows what to look for and expect.

Intelligent supernatural evil beings, of course, knew the prophesied son of David had arrived (Matt 8:28–29; Luke 4:31–35). That much they could grasp from the Old Testament. But nothing the demons ever say creates the impression that they understood Jesus was come to earth to die and rise again, reversing the curse.— Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World—And Why It Matters, pages 101–2

<idle musing>
Which is why Paul can call it the mystery of the gospel...
</idle musing>

Monday, October 17, 2016

Take off the blinders!

It’s time we looked at ourselves through supernatural eyes. You are a child of God, fit for sacred space, not because of what you do or don’t do, but because you are in Christ, adopted by God (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:5). You’ve been extracted from the realm of darkness and “transferred … to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col 1:13).

We must never, not for a moment, forget who we are in Christ—and what that means to the world.— Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World—And Why It Matters, pages 84–85

<idle musing>
Ah yes, where the rubber meets the road. The supernatural does intersect with the seen realm in a very real way.
</idle musing>

Thursday, October 13, 2016

He's unlike us

Many of the strange laws and practices of the Old Testament are grounded in the need to teach people that God is unlike everything else. In his nature and character, he is unique; he is completely other than humanity and anything else. For Israel, that was a truth that had to be reinforced at all times. Otherwise, God might be thought of as ordinary.— Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World—And Why It Matters, page 72

lt;idle musing>
It wouldn't hurt us a bit to realize that, either. We like a tame god, one we can control and manipulate. Fortunately, we don't have one!
</idle musing>

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Whence salvation?

Being right with God is another way of talking about salvation. But despite what we’ve often been taught in Sunday school, salvation didn’t come to Israelites by obeying rules, by following the Law. Whether in the Od Testament or the New, salvation is never earned, or even deserved. It’s given by the grace of God in response to faith.— Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World—And Why It Matters, page 72 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
I like to tell people to read Hosea when they tell me that the OT teaches salvation by law. It's just not true! But it sure does make a nice, neat system : (

Life is messier than we want to admit...
</idle musing>

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The plot

Our story so far: God cast aside the nations and their people at Babel. The lesser gods assigned to them took dominion (Deut 32:8–9). When God started over with Abraham, it was clear that he planned to one day reclaim the nations through the influence of Israel (Gen 12:3). But the gods of the nations would have to be forced to surrender their power and worship (Ps 82:6–8). That meant conflict—in both the seen and unseen realms. As soon as there was an Israel, she was in the crosshairs of the gods.— Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World—And Why It Matters, page 67

<idle musing>
OK. Kind of. I would rate this as a bit too simplistic, but I have to remember he isn't writing this book for me. He is writing this book for the average person who hasn't spent most of their adult life reading ancient languages and ancient texts and histories. So, yes. I can agree with it as a basic overview.
</idle musing>