Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is Sacramental Millennialism an Oxymoron?

Is it possible to be a millennialist and still hold to the sacraments?
This thought occurred to me today. If you are a millennialist, you are looking for Christ to come and establish His supposed 1,000 year reign on earth. If that’s the eschatology you’re waiting for, then the eternal is not (and cannot be?) something that breaks into the here and now. For a millennialist, there is no now and not yet - there is only not yet.
But doesn’t that militate against a proper understanding of the sacraments? For in the sacraments, the not yet, the eternal, is breaking into the now through water, words, and bread and wine. We don’t have to wait for Christ to come and establish His kingdom on earth, He is doing so already!
Luther said this in the explanation to the Second Petition: How does God’s kingdom come? God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.
And so God gives us His Spirit here and now through Holy Baptism. We hear the judgment of the last day in the words of Holy Absolution. We receive a foretaste of the feast to come in the Holy Supper. In all these ways, the not yet is now, the end is breaking into the present, and the kingdom of God is coming to us.
To me, that seems diametrically opposed to any kind of millennial understanding. Is this why it’s often so hard to talk to evangelicals of this mindset? 
More to come as I have time to think . . . but I think this is important and there is a great need for us to think about this: How to speak Lutheran to an Evangelical?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Washington Monument in the Earthquake

You must watch this. This is video footage from inside the top of the Washington Monument when the earthquake struck last month. Yikes! There is footage from two different cameras, so about halfway through it starts again. Watch the shaking intensify and stuff begin to fall. It also gives you an idea how long the quake lasted. What a scary place to be when it hit!

Update: I updated the link to watch the video on YouTube since our local TV station took the original video down - or at least made it hard to find! The first camera shot isn't a part of this video, but the second (and better) still is, and you still see how intense it was.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Satellite Images of Bible Events

In doing searches for pictures, I recently found these . . . renderings of what certain biblical events might have looked like from a satellite. Pretty cool.

The parting of the Red Sea

Noah's Ark

Here's the link to the site where I found them, for proper attribution and such. There are some other images there, but these were to ones I thought the coolest. Also some interesting comments, though I don't have time to read through them all.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Best Humor Contains a Kernel of Truth

I think I like this so much because driving often brings out the worst in me! (Especially in DC traffic!)

HT: Fr. Z

-------------------


The Light turned yellow
The light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up..
He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door.  She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally….I assumed you had stolen the car.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More on the Rain Last Week


See the little white area to the north and west of the big white area? That's where I live! According to these measurements, over 15 inches of rain fell last week. Oh my. Oh, and at the army base near my home, they measured 7.03 inches in just 3 hours on Thursday night. Hence the video I posted before. Incredible. But again, we are fortunate and thankful not to have been flooded out and that all our drainage systems worked as planned. Many were not as fortunate. They are in our prayers.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What Does 12 Inches of Rain Look Like?

The remnants of tropical storm Lee created a river behind our house where there wasn't one before. All that rain in so short a time was simply amazing. I'm just glad we didn't get flooded like some other towns and neighborhoods.

video

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

6:03

Yup, 6:03. Nope, that's not a typo. I complained yesterday (just here, not to the school) about the time my kids had to get on the bus, so guess what? Now, its even earlier! 6:03. AM! My kids have to get on the bus then for school that starts around 7:25. Unbelievable. If I believed in karma . . .

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Marks of the Church

Today's TDP writing from the Apology spoke of the Marks of the Church. I have found that there is often some confusion about these - not what they are (that's easy enough: the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments), but why they are the "marks" of the church.

If you think in these terms: "I can know where the church is because she is doing these things," then you will inevitably have questions. Namely, is that church doing them right? Is the preaching pure, or pure enough? And what is pure enough? With thinking like this, the marks really aren't marks at all, but question marks. For whenever you try to base your confidence and faith on what man does, you can never be sure.

However, the Marks of the Church are the Marks of the Church not because the Church does these things, but because these things do the Church! Or in other words, the Church is where the Gospel is preached and the Sacraments are administered precisely because Christ has promised to work through these means to create and sustain His Church. Thinking like this, then, gives us not questions, but confidence, because it is all based on Christ and His promises, not on what man does. Therefore we know where the Church is because of what Christ is doing; because He has promised to be there and to build His Church through these means. Thanks be to God!

Yesterday and Today

Well, yesterday our Labor Day picnic went off without a hitch. The rains held off and a good time was had by all. A big thank you to the Evangelism Committee for sponsoring and hosting it - they are such hard workers! And to Roy and Jay for letting me win at horseshoes.  :-)

Today is reading day. After my e-mails and blog postings and stuff, I will read, read, and read some more. All for school tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have enough time to get it all done. Been a busy 7 days and I haven't been able to do much yet. But with the kids all back at school today, the house should be calm and quiet.

Which leads me to my next comment: no child should have to leave for the bus stop before 6:30 am. Our bus coming so early makes mornings tough.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Just Braggin' . . .


One day, Mrs. Peasant will realize how totally awesome she is!

Last week, she was chosen to help design the oncology unit of the new children's hospital that is in the planning stages. What works, what doesn't, what is good and helpful to the nurses - that kind of thing. So, on Wednesday, she will board a private jet (perhaps not unlike the one on the left) and fly to Grand Rapids to begin the process. She will return Wednesday night, tired, I'm sure!

And no, she didn't back into this because no one else wanted to go! She was their top choice!

Now, this presented some problems for us, as it is a school day for all the rest of us. But how could we not let her go and do this? So, I told my professor last week that I would get in as fast as I could, but would be late for class. But in His usual mega-God-awesome way (Is that a word? I guess it is now!), turns out the professor is returning from a trip to Brazil that very morning, and would like to go home and shower before coming in to teach. So we are starting class an hour later. Just too cool. Now, as long as traffic isn't too bad and I get home in time to pick up my youngest from kindergarten later in the afternoon (after my second class), all will be well.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Today's TDP

In today's treasury reading, we heard of how Obadiah hid 100 of the Lord's prophets during the tyrannical reign of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel. What makes this even more amazing is that it occurred during the 3.5 years in which Israel had no rain and therefore a severe famine. Obadiah not only hid the prophets, but then, we are told, supplied them with food and water the whole time! That could not have been an easy task - first of all to find bread and water for so many, and then provide it without being found out. That took no small amount of courage and faith on Obadiah's part.

In other news, a new school year started for me yesterday. I am excited about my Directed Research class, which is a one-on-one class with a professor. I am doing it with an adjunct from the history department who wrote on "Sin and Confession on the Eve of the Reformation." So we're going to get to talk a lot about what Luther inherited and what he then did. The goal is that during the course of this semester, I'll be able to figure out more closely what I want to write on and really get a better picture of things. I'll keep you posted.

Yesterday I also got a chance to meet and speak to Dr. Michael Root a bit. Dr. Root is a new faculty member. He just recently left the Lutheran church for the Roman church, and left his position on a Lutheran college faculty and is now at CUA. (Some of you may remember him as a man who presented quite a controversial paper at the Ft. Wayne Symposia a few years ago!) Anyhow, I am looking forward to talking more with him. For even though he is no longer Lutheran, he will be a good reference for me and will be able to help me with his knowledge of things Lutheran. No, we don't agree on everything, but at least he knows (better than most at CUA) where I'm coming from. As I said, I'm looking forward to talking with him some more.

Now got to go and get some work done!  :-)