Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sunday Gospel Readings


I would just like to tell everyone that I will be making it a habit to post a meditation on the Sunday readings every week. There is already one done on Mark 1:40-45 and Mark 2:1-12 which should cover this upcoming Sunday and also next Sunday.

Thank you,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

THE Question for Protestants

After having multiple theological debates with various Protestants, particularly with some that adhere to or are in support of various Cavalry Chapel doctrines/positions (I mention CC because I have an really big axe to grind with them, see the very first blog post on this site), I have come up with the question that no half-way sentient and thoughtful Protestant can ignore. Here it goes....

"As a Protestant, it is generally understood that you disavow any affiliations with the Pope and reject all human traditions. Having said that, how do you explain the fact that you use a book, the Bible, that is a Catholic Tradition, assembled by Catholics and officiated by a Catholic council that was headed by a Pope?"

Strip away the Bible (be it a Protestant or Catholic one) and there is nothing left but confusion. Expect to hear some off-the-wall answer as to how one has been brainwashed by the Catholic Church into accepting that viewpoint.

Silly Protestants, the Bible is for Catholics!

I look forward to seeing some opinions on this matter...


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bible Study 12-01-08- Mass cont'd

So this is the second installment of notes on the Spirit of the Mass. Please bear with the way my notes seem to be a little disorganized, for I hope that everything will come together in the end.

Here we go.

1) Layout of the Liturgy of the Word

a) Introductory Rites

i) Entrance procession and song

(1) Based on Genesis, from least to most important, the first to last, the last being the emphasis of God’s will.

ii) Sign of the Cross and greeting

iii) Penitential Rite

iv) Glory to God

v) Opening Prayer

b) Liturgy of the Word

i) 1st reading

ii) Responsorial Hymn

iii) 2nd reading

iv) Alleluia/Gospel Acclamation

v) Gospel

vi) Holily

vii) Profession of Faith

viii) General intercessions

2) Background history to the introductory rites.

a) Tabernacle- “tent”

i) Basically a tent to house the Ark

ii) God was really present in Ark, as He is present in the Eucharist

iii) Once David’s son, Solomon, builds the temple, a permanent tabernacle is built

(1) This is why we hold the Eucharist in a tabernacle.

b) Design of the temple

i) 2 truths shown by the temple

(1) Sin divides us from God

(2) God is willing to come down and meet with us on His good graces.

ii) Layout of the temple

(1) See Crappy graphic below

(2) Analysis of layout

(a) Gentiles

(i) Non-Jewish.

(ii) Romans enforced the temple limits to Gentiles with the death penalty for transgressions beyond 1st courtyard.

(b) Women

(i) Jewish women and boys under 11 and under

(c) Israelites

(i) Men 12 and older

(ii) Age 12 signifies the coming of manhood

1. Jesus found at 12

2. Samuel is 12 when he hears God.

(d) Holy Place

(i) Men brought and killed own animal at top of stairs.

(ii) Levites (equivalent of deacons) helped in slaughter by bringing animal over stairs to priests to be burned, etc.

(e) Holy of Holies

(i) Only high priest on Yom Kippur (once yearly) was to see the Ark to sprinkle blood on it and then leave.

3) Introductory rites

a) Penitential rite

i) Public admission of sin

ii) This is for all of God’s people, even clerics.

(1) Hearkens back to Peter “Depart from me, Lord, For I am a sinner”

iii) Three things about the Penitential rite

(1) This cannot and will not replace reconciliation

(a) Serious sin has been confessed, this is an admission, not a cleansing.

(2) Reminds us of attraction to sin

(a) Even with God’s grace, we can fall into sin

(b) James 5:16 is a reflection of this.

(3) Sins of Omission=as deadly as Sins of Commission

(a) James 4:17

(b) “…for what I have done and what I have failed to do…”

iv) Three ways to do Penitential rite

(1) Confetior

(2) Kyrie (pretty much dead)

(3) Tropht Kyrie (rarely done)

b) After Penitential, then it is the Gloria

i) From penance to glorifying God.

ii) “Glory to God… people on earth”- from the Shepherds.

(1) Goes from Father, to Son, to Holy Spirit

4) Meaning of “AMEN”

a) Saying “Amen” means that you have said publicly, to God, that you believe in what you just said.

b) Why “Amen” is so serious

i) 1 Cor 11:23

(1) The very act of the Eucharist is a proclamation of faith

ii) 1 Cor 11:27

(1) Those that eat and drink unworthily will answer for it in body and blood

iii) How can one be guilty of profaning the Lord is the Eucharist is just a symbol?

iv) The previous set of verses explains why we can’t have communion in other churches.

(1) “Discern the body”= Body of Christ=Body of Church

(2) We cannot accept Communion in any other church except our own, since the splintered Christian sects are not in communion with us.

v) When Paul calls Christians that are alive as “dead”, it is because those Christians have abused the Eucharist.

vi) You cannot be antagonistic towards God (state of sin) and accept the Eucharist

5) Cycles of the Mass

a) The Mass as an event and all the Masses in a cycle reflect Creation and God’s plan.

i) See graphic below for emphasis on this.

ii) Microtrends

(1) Day- Every 3hrs, someone, somewhere is praying on the hour

(2) Week- Sunday

(3) Month-*lost this part*

6) How we got the cycle of readings

a) Back in the day, the Temple was only for sacrificing.

b) The Synagogue, however, was a place for the more devout people that couldn’t sacrifice at the temple. They came to worship, praise, etc.

c) Their readings at the synagogue went like this

i) Prophet/Writing

ii) Psalms

iii) Torah

d) Our cycle of readings largely reflect all of this.

7) Acts 2:42-47 describes the early church

a) 4 things mentioned and how they are today

i) Apostles Teaching---Doctrine/Creed

ii) Communal Life---Morality/Creed

iii) Breaking of Bread---Sacraments

iv) Prayers---Prayers

b) i through iv constitute the 4 parts of the Catechism

c) “Every day they meet…”= continued into Daily Mass.

d) At this time in history, the Jewish and Christian religions still melted together

i) Still went to temple and sacrificed but also practice in the Christian faith.

e) “Give us this day, our daily bread”

i) Hearkens back to Exodus 16, the story of manna.

(1) We must have absolute trust in God.

ii) Eucharist was the foundation of all days and especially Sundays.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bible Study 11-24-08

Today starts a 4 week session on the Spirit of the Mass for our Bible study focus and it is flipping awesome, to say the least. The only way it could get better is if I were not the youngest person there, but whatever.

With that, here we go.

1) Basic preliminary definitions

a) Mass

i) From Latin, missa.

(1) From Latin phrase Ite missa est- “Go, it is sent”

(2) “it” refers to the Eucharist (in the people)

(a) God being sent forth into the world by the people partaking in the mass.

(b) Reflects back on the closing line of mass, “The mass has ended, let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord”

ii) All above points can be referred to as the “mission”.

(1) Mission comes from the same root as mass, which is missa.

b) Eucharist

i) “Thanksgiving”

ii) Comes from accounts of last supper

iii) Has a deeper meaning

(1) In OT, there are 5 sacrifices given by priests

(2) One is the todâ

(a) Normally referred to as the “goodwill offering”

(b) More correctly translated as “thanksgiving”

(3) Was different than other sacrifices

(a) Was a meal

(b) Sacrifice given for a good thing.

(4) Process of todâ

(a) Father and eldest son went to temple, killed animal and given to priest

(b) Some given back to father, some to other priests, etc.

(c) Then meat was cooked and shared as a meal

(5) Meals were symbolic in that time

(a) Sharing of a meal was only done on the most intimate of occasions

(b) Sharing a meal was a symbol of family.

2) Mass is in 2 main elements with 2 parts to each element

a) Liturgy of the Word

i) Introductory Rite

ii) Liturgy of the Word

b) Liturgy of the Eucharist

i) Liturgy of the Eucharist

ii) Concluding Rite

c) Notice that the Mass begins and ends with a rite.

3) 4 things that need to be made clear about the Eucharist (from Pope JPII)

a) Eucharist is the “source and summit of entire Christian life”

i) Everything we do comes from the Eucharist.

ii) It is Christ Himself, there is nothing greater than Him

iii) While it is the source, it is also our destination, the summit being that we strive to be more like Him

iv) Represents the “beginning and end, alpha and omega, source and summit”

b) In Mass, we experience the most unique moment of intensity in encountering Jesus Christ

i) While all sacraments and other activities encounter the power of Jesus, the Mass is the most intense encounter with Jesus.

ii) The Mass is the sacrifice.

c) In the Eucharist, human beings discover the full manifestation of God’s love for humanity.

i) Represents everything He did and what He is about.

d) You will never fully understand the Eucharist

i) Where our head fails us, our spirit helps us.

ii) We can encounter Him without fully understanding Him.

4) How do we receive Jesus? How does his promise mean anything now?

a) Because we are brought back to it. As a Christian, we are literally a part of Christ.

b) Analysis of the line “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19)

i) Remembrance is actually anamnesis

(1) There is no English equivalent for this word

(2) Literally means “to take something from the past and make it present now”

5) Explanation of anamnesis

a) Starts with first 5 books of the Bible

i) Genesis- Explains beginning

ii) Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy explain Moses taking Jews to the Promised Land.

b) Scriptural analysis

i) Exodus 20

(1) Arrived at Mt. Sinai and got Tablet.

(2) Punishment for golden calf is wandering for 40 years in the desert

ii) Deuteronomy

(1) Wandering is done

(2) Deut 5:1-3.

(a) Only Moses, Joshua and those descendents of those that were at Mt. Sinai were at this meeting.

(i) Those that committed idolatry were all dead at the end of the 40 years.

(b) “The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 It was not with our fathers that the LORD made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. Deut 5:2-3

iii) Exodus 2:23-25

(1) This is 40 years after God made a deal with Abraham, saying people will get own land, own kingdom and universal blessing for humanity.

(2) Explanation of the word “remember” in this passage

(a) When God “remembers”, it means something has come into being

(b) Does not mean that He forgot.

(c) Weird translation of the Greek from Hebrew.

6) What the celebration of the Mass does

a) Every celebration of the Mass brings us back to the last supper and the 3 major events of Passion, Death and Resurrection

b) We are brought back to the “hour” that the world was saved

i) “my hour has not yet come”

c) Past, present and future come together

i) “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again”

7) New Testament shows us constant progression.

a) Creation

i) Sacrifice

(1) Abel offers best of sheep

ii) Invocation of divine name

(1) God reveals himself in a personal way

(2) Reveals self in a name, YAWEH

(a) “I am”

(3) No graspable meaning yet still personal

(4) First revealed to Enosh

iii) “Walking with God”

(1) “To be upright and single-hearted”

b) Abraham

i) Total obedience to the Word

(1) Was a city dweller and then called by God to wander.

(2) Considered the ultimate example of faith, along with Mary as the NT version.

ii) Test of faith

(1) Everything hinges on Abraham getting to have a child with a menopausal wife.

iii) Concern for world

(1) Told life will be destroyed and Abraham barters with God

(2) Compare to Noah, as Noah did not show concern for others, though still a good man

(3) Because of this, the Covenant goes to Abraham.

iv) Conformity to God

(1) Abraham willingly offers son for sacrifice

(a) Happened near where Jesus was eventually crucified

(b) 2 spectators (like at Crucifixion, with 2 criminals), the son Isaac carries his own wood,etc

v) Descendants will undergo struggle/perseverance.

c) Moses

i) Saving revelation

(1) Introduced Himself for the first time since Enosh as YAHWEH

(2) Reveals himself to show love

ii) Struggle to want what God wants

(1) Moses wants God, but has hard time figuring out what he is supposed to do

(2) Struggle to conform

iii) Contemplation

(1) 1st person since Adam to see God face-to-face.

(a) Moses’ face glows so much after meeting with God that he has to hide his face from the people.

(2) 1st example of desire to know and feel God.

iv) Intercession

(1) Willing to give up life to save people not worthy of God’s love

(2) Used own personal relationship with God to barter and save the people.

v) Covenant ratified in blood

(1) Exodus 24: Shows covenant and contemplation at the same time

(a) 24:3- he tells people 10 commandments

(b) 24:6- blood put into bowls (chalices)

(c) 24:8- sprinkles blood on people, “blood of covenant”

(d) 24:11- the people listed here drink and eat in God’s presence.

(i) Notice the familial ties?

vi) More notes on Moses

(1) Moses had 3 lifetimes of40 years each in his 120 years on earth.

(a) First 40: a Prince

(b) Second 40: he is met by God, returns to lead people to Israel

(i) 80 has a special significance in Biblical numerology

(c) Third 40: Man of God.

vii) David

(1) Model of faith

(a) Big-time sinner, but is a model of hope for he truly repents of his sin.

(2) Loving/joyful trust in God.

(a) “David was a man after God’s own heart”

(3) Glorify God above self.

8) Looking at the Mass

a) It is no accident that the Mass is composed of two main parts, the Liturgies of the Word and Eucharist.

i) Luke 24:13-35

(1) Scripture was reflected upon and after understanding who Jesus is, then bread is broken and Jesus is revealed.

(2) This is the BARE OUTLINE of the Mass.

b) Revelations 4 and 5 outline the Mass as well.

(1) Outlines the structure of church

(2) There are 4 things that every church must have.

(a) Crucifix

(i) “Lamb of God, living but slain”

(b) Altar

(i) Under altar are martyrs that have gone before us

(ii) Alters are often shaped like tombs for that reason

(c) Book with 7 seals

(i) There is something in church about this, but I can’t seem to find the word for it… help!

(d) Throne chair

(i) Priest’s chair

9) The Sign of the Cross

a) Ezekiel 9:4

i) The “X” mentioned is actually the symbol tav, or the Jewish “T”

ii) Literally, “making the sign of the cross”

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanks and apologies

Dear Blog Readers,

I would like to thank my friend Ehab, aka Elijah for his inspiring spiritual look at the various stories in the Bible. They are eloquently written and he has a talent for the elegant that I do not possess as of yet and for his participation in this blog I am ecstatic about. Thanks Ehab!

I would also like to apologize for the lack of updated content. I missed 3/6 weeks of the St. Paul class due to unforeseen circumstances and whatnot and since Bible studies are given by the same guy that taught the St. Paul class and he postponed Bible study until next week, so you will have to wait until next week to see anything really cool.

In other news, the posts should get better once I acquire my Livescribe Pulse Smartpen. Yes folks, this is a totally sweet piece of technology and the content will knock your socks off. I haven't set a defintive date yet but it will be sometime soon (maybe a Black Friday sale snag? Who knows!)

Anyways, I must sally forth to bed, for I have a shooting trip to attend in the morning with some old and new friends.

Pax Tecum,


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Walking On Water

Walking on Water

The scripture story we will be meditating on today is Jesus walking on water. If we want to grow spiritually, we have to meditate on the Bible. We have to read the Gospels and ask ourselves "what does this mean to me today and how does this relate to me?" Let's see what we can benefit from the story of Jesus walking on water.

Here is the story in its fullness (Matthew 14:22-33):

22 Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately he spoke to them, saying, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear." 28 And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water." 29 He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; 30 but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Let us now break the story apart and meditate on it.

22 Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,

Jesus told His disciples to get into a boat to go to the other side of the waters. His disciples got into the boat and went on the other side with no questions asked. Do we do the same? How many times do we question what God wants us to do? Even when we are so clear on what He wants us to do, we doubt it. We don't doubt it because we aren't sure whether it's from God or not, but we doubt it because it is too hard for us to do. God allows us to have crosses to carry. When we have these crosses, instead of rejoicing in the suffering that Christ allows us to share with Him, we make excuses not to do them. Let us be obedient and "get in our boat" as it is fitting to the Lord.

Jesus went up the mountain by himself to pray by Himself. This is a beautiful example for us. Do we find time to give to God? How often do you pray? How often do you think you should pray? Praying is the number one thing to do if you want to grow spiritually. It is life changing. We need to pray every night to our Father. Let us not only pray memorized prayers, but we are called to speak to the Father as a child speaks to a parent.

24 but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them.

"For the wind was against them." Ahh, yes. Do you feel troubled at the moment? Is there something in life right now that is worrying you? Anything that is keeping you up at night? Indeed we all suffer! Suffering is a part of life whether we like it or not. It helps us grow and become stronger.

Notice how the verse says "But the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land." What is so significant about this? Who was the one who is on the land? It is Jesus. Do you feel like you are really far from God? As if God does not care about you or your problems? "Why is God making me suffer like this?!" We ask questions like this when we are suffering. We all feel anxiety at times. We all feel like God is far away from us at times. We all feel like we are being "beaten by the waves".

25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.

What a beautiful verse. He came to them! Jesus was on top of the mountain praying the whole time. He could see the boat that the disciples were in. He saw that they were suffering, but He did not come to the rescue right away. He waited. He does the same to us. We all have our own boats. We go through ups and downs in life. When we suffer, God does not always come to the rescue the way we want Him to. He allows the suffering to happen. Does he like punishing His children? By no means! He allows it to happen because a greater good comes out of it. There are other reasons why He allows it to happen but man cannot know this for sure. Who can know the mind of God? Nevertheless, let us put our trust in God, for He alone will deliver us. Whether in this life or the next. Are you suffering at this point? Is your boat being beaten by the waves? Be patient. Let this story be an example for you. Put your trust in the Lord and you will be saved from your anxieties. Offer your sufferings up to the Lord and share in His suffering that He suffered for you. If anyone thinks their suffering is too impossible to overcome, let them look at the Cross of Christ! Let us humble ourselves, for humility leads to exaltation.

Jesus came to His disciples walking on the water. In the story that we are meditating on, what is causing the Disciples to suffer? Surely it is the waters. What does Christ do? He comes and walks on the water which means the water is under His feet. What a powerful and beautiful image. Jesus walks on top of the very thing that is causing His disciples to suffer. Christ defeats their sufferings for nothing is impossible for God. So too for us. He will come to us and walk all over our anxieties. It is a matter of putting our trust in Him.

26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.

How many times does Christ come to us for rescue and we simply do not recognize Him? He comes to us and extends His arm out to us and we simply do not recognize Him. He teaches us the true way and we simple ignore it. We think that God will never put this much burden on us and expect us to follow His ways. We ask questions like "you mean I have to be nice to her? She hates me!" Do you think Jesus prayed to the Father in vein when He prayed for those who were crucifying Him saying "Father forgive them for they not know what they do"? Let us forgive all those who have wronged us. Let us live in love. Love transforms cultures. I am guilty of falling short of this, most of us are. Let us not make God what we want Him to be, but let us allow God to make us who He wants us to be! Let us recognize Him when he stretches out His arms and tries to help us. The biggest thing that gets in our way of recognizing Him is pride. Let us be humble and follow His ways rather than ours and we will recognize Him as Lord instead of a stranger. The way you get to know a friend is by spending time with him. Do you spend time with the Lord by reading His word and talking to Him?

27 But immediately he spoke to them, saying, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear."

The words "it is I", in Greek are "ego emi" which means "I AM" which is the name of God in the Old Testament (Yahweh). Christ walking on water and saying "I AM" is a way of telling His Disciples that He is God. When God comes to the rescue, we should indeed have no fear.

28 And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water." 29 He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus;

Peter still had doubts that it is Jesus. We can look at Peter and think that He is stupid for still doubting after Jesus is walking on the water in front of Him. But don't we also do the same thing? After all the times that God has helped us through a problem (whether we know it or not), we still doubt when we fall into another problem. Will we ever learn? Let us not judge Peter's actions, but let us look at our own. For we are the same today as His disciples were back then. Always looking for more evidence.

What does the Lord tell Peter? "Come". Beautiful. Christ also tells us to come to Him. We need to hear His voice by being still. It is written in the Psalms "Be still and know that I am God." It is also written "If today you hear His Word, harden not your hearts." Let us open our ears to the Lord and harden not our hearts. Let us come to Christ when we are called to come. It is never too late to come to Him. No matter what you have done, God will forgive you and erase your past and give you a brand new start.

Peter does come. He comes and walks on water. I can relate to Peter. Ever since I came to the Lord, I too feel like I've been walking on water. It is a joyful feeling to have. Peter walked on the very same waters that he was afraid of.

30 but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."

Peter was fine when he had his eyes set on the Lord. He was walking on the water with no problems, walking towards Christ. When did he begin to sink? When he saw the win, and was afraid. In other words, when he took his eyes off of Jesus. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will do great things. When we take our eyes off Jesus, we too will fall. Let me put this in an example. Let us say that someone has an addiction to alcohol. This person can try and overcome this addiction by keeping his eyes on Jesus. If he prays and reads the Word of God and meditates on it, he will grow spiritually, rather than trying to satisfy his flesh. But let's say that the storm is the alcohol. Right when this person takes his eyes off of Jesus and thinks about alcohol, he will be tempted. Temptation is the first step to sin. He will surely fall if he doesn't focus his eyes (better yet his life) on God.

But we all fall! Does that mean it's too late? By no means. Look at Peter's words, "Lord, save me." Let us do the same when we fall and call on the Lord to save us. A saint is not someone who is perfect, but a saint is someone who gets right back up every time he falls.

31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Jesus will do the same for us when we call out "Lord, save me!" He will reach out His hand and catch us. If Christ will help Peter who had such little faith, how much more will He help those with strong faith? Let us not doubt, but trust in Him.

The wind ceased. The storm is over now. For with God, all things are possible. We need to worship God too. Not only when He does great things for us, but always. God will always do great things for us; it is up to us to recognize Him when He comes.

Grace and peace be with you!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Anthropology of St. Paul

This is the 2nd installment of notes on the 3rd week of the class I am attending on St. Paul. Enjoy!

1) The Anthropology of St. Paul

a) Word vs. Thought

i) Terminology is very GREEK

(1) Uses Greek terms

ii) Understanding of humanity is very HEBREW

iii) The term GREEK in reference to philosophy is such a misnomer because it means anything from Plato to Aristotle to anything in between

b) Examples

i) Idea that human beings are born a mixture of good and bad

(1) E.g. Good angel, bad angel

(2) Good things come from the heart

(a) Jesus referenced this idea.

2) Jesus’ and Paul’s understanding of humanity

a) Goes back to Genesis 1 and 2

i) Genesis 1

(1) God created by use of word

(2) Story is designed to portray a royal procession

(a) Most important last

(b) “In image and likeness of God”

(i) Crowning point of creation

ii) Genesis 2

(1) Less transcendent than Gen 1

(2) Soul and Body embodied

(3) Much more simple than Gen 1

(4) Adam names animals

(a) Naming controls destiny

(b) Shows authority.

3) The Words of St. Paul

a) Image=Selem (or Greek Ikon)

i) In ancient world, statues would be used as authority reminders

ii) Therefore, we externally represent God.

b) Dominion-not dominion but radah, which means “to cherish”

i) We are to run the earth like God would run it, to cherish it.

c) Likeness=demut

i) We share in God’s glory

ii) He made us interior like himself.

d) What this all means

i) We participate in God’s glory.

ii) We exercise dominion.

4) St. Pauls understanding of Image and Likeness.

a) Lost in the fall

i) In fall, we only have a faint flicker, if anything at all, of God’s glory.

ii) Humanity, by its own choice, turned over dominion to satan as “god of the earth”

(1) Notice the lowercase g.

iii) These two characteristics are very general.

5) Divisions

a) Flesh is not equal to Body

b) Spirit is not equal to Soul

c) 1 Corinthians

i) 2 heresies of equal yet opposite intensity here.

(1) One went to total license

(a) Anything goes, the body is of no consequence.

(b) The body walks the soul around.

(c) Notice the incestuous relationship in 1 Corinthians

(2) One went to extreme asceticism

(a) We go beyond the body to the point of irreversible harm

6) More Anthropology of Paul

a) Kardia=heart

i) Has a very specific meaning

ii) This is the one where a person chooses to accept or reject God

b) Synedesis=conscience

i) Religious understanding

ii) Ability to discern religious truth because of knowledge of Christ

c) Nous=mind

i) The ability to understand

ii) Loosely connected to synedesis

d) The difference of synedesis and nous

i) Mind knows doctrinal stuff (nous)

ii) Conscience places doctrine into practical use (synedesis)

7) Utilizing control in our lives

a) The only way to hold these things in check (kardia, nous, synedesis, etc) is by some sort of external control on the unity.

b) 2 types of control

i) Everyone is controlled by something

ii) Everyone is a slave to something.

iii) See crappy graphic below for explanation

iv) If by self…

(1) Paul says you are in “disintegration”

(a) Mind, emotion, etc. is supposed to work as one

(b) Ends up being that mind says one thing, body another

(c) Death is final dissolving.

v) If by evil…

(1) It is self+evil

(2) Deeper struggle

(3) Try to do good, but reality falls short

(a) Romans 7

8) Final 2 terms of Anthropology of Paul

a) Sarx=Flesh.

i) Literally, of death things, a corpse.

b) Pneuma=Spirit

c) Putting it all together

i) Body/Soul describe person in how they operate

ii) Flesh/Spirit describes the moral/spiritual

(1) Flesh:Moral, Spirit:Spiritual

iii) Flesh does not mean body, spirit is not ethereal

(1) Describes relationship with God.

(2) Flesh=anything one does in living in dominion of sin

(3) Signifies human person in weakness and sin

(a) Dies and falls away

iv) To rely on oneself means one does not have the Spirit.

9) Bible verses

a) 1 Thes 5:23

i) Person has 3 aspects and only if Christians

(1) Soma

(2) Psyche

(3) Numa

(4) Non-believers get the sarx

(a) Will pass away into eternal death

b) Heb 4:25

i) Word of God like a sword

(1) Bone from flesh

(2) Soul from Spirit

ii) Shows dichotomy

10) Why Paul says what he says

a) Paul had to move out of Judaism to save people and as such had to explain things in a different manner

b) He had to explain why people needed a savior.

11) Ideas of God

a) Infinitely personal

i) God’s “wrath” is a personal term

(1) God is personally offended at sinners

b) “Good news”

i) Paul made this term

ii) Mark took term and made literature genre out of it.

iii) God sent son to show mercy, etc.

(1) Our personhood is just a shadow of God’s mercy.

12) How Paul describes sin.

a) Three tier process

i) Act

(1) Spoken of the least

ii) State/Condition

(1) Getting into original sin with this concept

iii) Power

(1) Why sin exerts the influence it does is because of the power it has over us.

b) The acts we commit are manifestations of the enslaved condition we are in to those over us.

c) One is either for God or for Satan, there is no neutrality before God.

d) Three Temptations

i) Of the Devil

(1) Pleasure

(2) Power

(3) Possessions

ii) John’s view

(1) Flesh

(2) Pleasing to eyes

(3) Pretentiousness of the world

iii) Examples of the 3 temptations

(1) Eve

(2) Golden calf

(3) Desert temptation of Christ.

e) Sin is a choice and an imposition upon us that exists

f) Sin is a personal choice, inherent nature and external power

g) Paul sums up all sin as being essentially IDOLATRY

i) Goes back to Mt. Sinai

(1) You shall love God ENTIRELY

13) Romans analysis

a) Paul, james and John say that if we love this world, one’s life will disintegrate

b) Anything can be an idol if we don’t understand them properly.

c) Bible verses

i) Rom 1:16-17

(1) One cannot live by the law and have no faith

ii) Rom 1:18-25

(1) Outlining adultery.

(2) The Gentile world in a nutshell

iii) Romans 1:31

(1) Senseless

(a) Plain stupid

(2) Faithless

(a) Lose faith in God

(b) Claim what you do is OK with God.

(3) Heartless

(a) From no faith to uncaring

(b) Careless of what others think of you or what you are doing

(4) Ruthless

(a) Passive hate to active hate.

iv) Rom 1 was about Gentiles

v) Rom 2 was about Jews and Greeks being in the same boat

(1) Not having the law doesn’t excuse those transgressions against morality.

(2) But, transgressions under the law are worse.

14) Paul’s view of God.

a) Paul had always viewed God in terms of Employee/Employer relationship

i) By serving and obeying, he would get something

ii) Unfortunately, obedience=perfection

(1) Can’t be done

(2) No one is perfect

15) Insights of Paul into purpose of the Law

a) Enumerates sin

b) Show it can’t be done (perfection)

c) Press to ask God for mercy.

16) Law eventually changed to the Beatitudes

a) Active charity required.

b) One who does charitable acts is good

c) If one does nothing, one just doesn’t break the law

i) No charitable acts committed

d) Commandments can’t save because they are mandatory

i) They are the core of being a human being.