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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memory Eternal

The wife of our Parish Priest just passed away last night.

May the Lord comfort my Priest, his family, and the Parish in this time of grieving.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Almost done with the rejoinder I was working on

I have all the books I need. I still have to read or reread a few more things. Other than that, it should be wrapped up in a few weeks. I would like to thank "Orthodox_thoughts" for helping out.


"Jesus is Alive" remix by Shai Linne

Despite a few theological disagreements, I thought the song was hot.

The same song done live. I still like the original version better. The remix has a different mood to it.


Lecrea's remix of "send me/represent"

This is the remix, "heavy metal style"

The same song performed live


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pizzaman created a Calvinist dictionary

A dictionary to help Arminians better understand Calvinist
(Don't take this too seriously, this is meant in good fun)

"All: The elect

Altar Call: An insult to God

Arminianism: Man centered theology

Assurance: hoping that you're

Augustine: The first church father.

Calvinism: The gospel

Call (effectual): to be irresistibly dragged

Call (general):
God's justification to condemn the reprobate.

Catholicism: What
Arminianism leads to.

Compatiblism: We are free to do whatever the
Potter decrees us to do."

view the rest at his blog


Christ is Risen - part 6

Christ is Risen part 6 from the podcast "Search the Scriptures"

by Dr. Jeannie Constantinou
Saturday, May 17, 2008

Christ is Risen - part 5

From Dr. Jeannie Constantinuo, in her podcast called "Search the Scriptures".


Are Pentecostal & Charismatic Protestants, unprotestant for talking back to the devil?

This post is in regards to a Protestant context. A good number of them will simply ignore the testamony of the Church Fathers, but many of them will have an ear for a Luther or Calvin.

As takin from the book "What Luther says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian"

It's been a while since I openned this book. But my point for doing so, is to show that it's not necessarily wrong for a Pentecostal/Charismatic to talk back to the devil, when engaged in spiritual warfare.

I know that alot of Pentecostals and Charismatics catch alot of flack for doing so by other protestants who are either cessationistic Reformed Calvinists or from those protestants who just have a low view of spiritual warfare, but they are not the only protestants who spoke back to the devil.

The very first Protestant did the samething.

1187 How to treat the Devil:

"Satan may be overcome by contempt, but in faith, not in presumption.
However, he is certainly not to be invited; for he is a powerful enemy, seeing
and hearing everything that lies before us and that we are now talking about.
And, God permitting, he spoils everything that is good. He does not want one
little blade of grass or little leaf to grow."

The Christian often
senses and feels the devil's murderous anger. For this reason Christ gives him
reassurances as John 14:21, says Luther in his exposition of this passage.

1188 Face Satan with the Word

"Experience is required,
gathered in many kinds of bouts and temptations, to be able to meet the devil
when he comes and enters into judgment with us, wants us pious, and on the basis
of the Law, argues with us about what it means to have done right or not. Before
an untried and inexperienced Christian has learned his lesson, the devil has so
disturbed him that he must fear and tremble and does not know which way to turn.
Therefore we must learn to cling to Christ's Word and comfort alone and to
permit the devil no argument about our own works or piety."

At the
sametime Luther advises opposing the assaults and temptations of the devil by
simply telling him: I am a christian. Such a firm confession of allegiance to
Christ is often sufficient to send the old evil foe on his way, says Luther in a
sermon of September 1, 1537, on John 1:14.

1189 Confessing Christ Often
Chases the Devil away

I have read.....that a man who could have no peace
because of the devil made the sign of the cross on his chest and said: "The Word
was made flesh," or, what amounts to the same thing; I am a Christian. Then the
devil was defeated and chased away, and the man had peace. And I believe that
this is true if the man spoke these words from a believing heart. One does not
gain much ground against the devil with a lengthy disputation but with brief
words and replies, such as: I am a Christian, of the same flesh and blood as is
my Lord Christ, the Son of God. Settle your account with Him. Then the devil
does not stay long."

[1] pages 402 & 403

Luther practiced what he preached. He often tells
us how he spoke to the prince of darkness when the latter came to disturb him.
According to the Nachschriften of Schlaginhaufen (May 20, 1532), the Reformer
once spoke as follows concerning his method of treatment.

1191 How
Luther Handled the Devil

"When the devil comes during the night to
plaque me, I give him this answer: Devil, I must sleep now; for this is God's
command: Work during the day, sleep at night.- If he does not stop vexing me but
faces me with my sins, I reply: Dear devil, I have heard the record. But I have
committed still more sins which do not even stand in your record. Put them down,
too......If he still does not stop accusing me as a sinner, I say to him in
contempt: Holy Satan, pray for me! You never have done anything evil and alone
are holy. Go to God and acquire grace for yourself. If you want to make me
righteous, I tell you: Physician, heal yourself."

These Words have a
ring characteristic of Luther. We have some to the same effect from his own pen.
the Reformer always felt that it was best to treat the proud devil with cold
contempt. In an Easter sermon on Luke 24:36-48 he says that Christ grants or
assumes the reality of beings tht are spirits (v39) This leads him to speak of
the evil ones, the devils. He himself has observed, he says. Then he relates his

1192 Luther treats the devil with studied contempt

"The devil has often raised a racket in the house and has tried to scare
me, but I appealed to my calling and said: I know that God has placed me into
this house to be Lord here. Now if you have a call that is stronger than mine
and are Lord here, then stay where you are. But I well know that you are not
lord here and that you belong in a different place- down in hell- and so I fell
asleep again let him be angry, for I well knew that he could do nothing to me"

11 The story which tells of Luther hurling an inkwell at the devil, who
appeared to him at Wartburg, is a legend that has caught the popular fancy. See
E.G. Schwiebert, Luther and His Times, p. 519.

[2] pages 403 & 404

So it seems to me, that Pentecostals and Charismatics are within the Protestant tradition, when they talk back to the devil.

[1],[2] from the book "What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian", compiled by Ewald M. Plass, Concordia publishing house St. Louis

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Differences between East & West

One of the differences between East & West is how both understand the concept of "grace".

The West believes in what is called "created grace"

The East believes in what is termed "uncreated grace"

This might seem small and "insignificant", but this small difference goes a long way in why the East and West differ on some topics.

In the Eastern Christian World, Uncreated grace is universal. But before I talk about that aspect of it, I would like to talk about the meaning of "grace" in general.

What does "grace" mean? When I was a Protestant, the words "highly favored" was used alot. But what does that mean? For me, the term "highly favored" started to make sense, when I understood grace as "God action".

Infact, to be "gracious" implies action, it implies movement. And this is where Eastern Orthodoxy comes in. for to us, grace means "energia. "The energy" of God.

The word "energy" implies movement. It implies action. And since we believe all of Creation exist within His Energy, our understanding of grace is universal.

We are able to Know God through His grace, for this is How He made His presence known to us in creation. In the western World this would be called "The immanence of God".

Unlike the West, The Eastern Church makes a distinction between God's Energia and His Essence.

This might sound confusing at first, but if one understands it in relation to the terms "Immanence and Transcendence" then one will be able to grasp why the distinction was made.

We can never know God's Essence because God is Transcendent, but we can know His Energies because God is also Immanent.

The understanding of Universal grace has an affect on one's worldview. It's hard to look at creation as if it's devoid of the Presence and Power of God. This is why the terms "Nature and natural" are used often in the west.

There is nothing normal in God being absent from His creation. It is abnormal.

To know the Universal Grace of God is to Know His Universal Presence.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Christ is Risen - part 4

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou's 4th part of the series "Christ is Risen". In her podcast called "Search the Scriptures".


Is Organized "religion" all about the money?

Quote from: Rosehip
So many people say they want nothing
to do with organized religion,stating that it's all about money. In short, the
church is just one big business. I must admit, I've had similar doubts, and
often don't know how to respond to such accusations. I know it's just an excuse,
but still, I see a grain of truth to it as well... Also that religion is bad
because it divides people.

Thoughts, anyone?

These are things an Agnostic will most likely say. My Dad use to say stuff like this.

And I always respond back with:

1.) Churches have bills to pay.
a) light bills
b) building insurance
c) gas bill
d) they gotta pay church staff
e) mortgage
f) retirement fund
g) building fund
h) mission fund
i) education fund
j) seminary fund

2.) Everything divides people
a) TV shows divide people
b) politics divide people
c) Atheism divides people
d) Agnosticism divides people
e) any idea under the sun will divide people

but guess what?

3.) Everything also unites people
a) TV shows will unite people
b) Politics will unite people
c) any idea under the sun will unite people

The samething that divides will also unite. There is no such thing as 100% uniformity, for you will always find at least one person on the planet that will disagree.

He doesn't say this to me anymore, but the truth is, some people don't like being told what to do, and what is right and what is wrong. They feel that "religion" is trying to control their life, and stop them from being happy. ....stop them from having fun.

This is what it comes down to for some people.

They want to do what ever they want without anyone telling them it's wrong.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Interpretation & changing cultures

This is mainly a reflection to what Cdero posted on his blog.

In it he talks about the book of Job, and how Job had a different way of interpretation based on what he went through.

But this is my reflection of his post.


I do believe in multiple levels of
interpretation, and the Orthodox believe that we know God better through
Experience. And this is how I understand what you are saying about Job.

However, with that said, I do believe in parameters. Anything that goes
beyond the Parameters shouldn’t be dogmatic, and they should be just one’s
personal view. At least until others are able to digest it in a way that doesn’t
go against the grain.

Saint Paul talks about how we must watch how we
build on the foundation that Christ and the Apostles built.

"interpretation" is dynamic, but only in the sense that it must grow and adapt
to the culture that it's in. But it must always stay the same.

I look at
it like a pivot. You know how in Basketball, one has a pivot foot. Well the
samething is true about Interpretation.

One aspect of it should always
be grounded and unchangable, while the other aspect of it should always be
moving according to the culture that it's in.

In Greek culture we use
Greek words like "Logos" to explain a Truth of the Christian Faith. If we were
in China then we would have to use the word "TAO" to explain the same truth
about the Christian Faith. One may have a slightly different shade that the
other may not have, but the people in that culture will be able to understand.
And that's the whole goal.

For some years now. I have seen
Christianity as semi-Pagan. I say that because Judaism is that which is non

But when Christ came, He brought down the wall that divided the
Jews from the Pagan. And eversince then Christianity has been semi-pagan.

It always had one foot in Judaism and the other in various pagan
cultures. It took the good out of each pagan culture it was in and it transforms
it to the glory of God.

I think Loving our nieghbor as God loved us
extends to the Pagan World, For God became Incarnate in the Culture of Judaism
to save the World, so in like manor....God is Working through the Followers of
His Son who ingage the pagan culture by being incarnate in it, so that they can
help save the people in that culture as well as transforming the culture itself,
for when the people are transformed...the culture will be transformed too.

We have to be "IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT OF IT".

Being in the WORLD
to me = Being INCARNATE in the CULTURE


Being not of the
World to me = Rejecting or untwisting the evil of the culture so that we can use
it to glorify God.

But that's my take on it.

should select and posses what is useful out of all cultures."
Clement of
Alexandria 195 A.D.

sidenote: Since Jesus is ISRAEL,
Christianity is the New Definition of that which is non-pagan. I only said what
I said so that people could understanding where I was coming from


The Descent Of Jesus Into Hades

This is Father Thomas Hopko's podcast about Christ's decent into Hades. There are several different Icons of Christ decent into Hades. This one is just one of the three different ones I've seen.

As seen from the website:

"Fr. Thomas uses the Paschal icon as an opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about Sheol/Hades and Gahenna/Hell."
I don't agree with everything he says here, but I agree with a good portion of it.


Christ is Risen - part 3

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou

This is part 3 of her podcast series on Christ's ressurection.

Christ is Risen - part 2

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou is on two three of her series.

St. Moses the Black Ancient Christianity Conference

Father Moses Berry is interviewed for this years "African American & Ancient Christianity conference."

from the website:

"We interview Fr. Moses Berry about the annual Ancient Christianity conference sponsored by The Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black. The dates are May 30 - Jun 1 in the Ash Grove/Springfield, MO area."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The different kinds of Puritans

I apologize for this quibble, but the word is
"Presbyterian" with a "b". Are you typing in the quoted passages because if the
books are being published with such a spelling error there is something wrong
with their editors.

I think it is a miss spelling on my part. I was typing it and I put a "p" instead of a "b". My bad.

You choose to lump them together under one name
where others do not. I understand that and as I wrote, this seems to be a point
on which we must agree to disagree.

Thank you also for the references to
both books. Is the orange line in parentheses on the quote from The History of
Christianity in the United States" by Nancy Koester your emphasis or did you put
it in to show what you consider an important point?


It's ok, we can agree to differ. I'm fine with that.

yeah, it was a quote from what Nancy said. I just never high lighted that part from the larger quote. I'll high light it in red now.

"New England: The Puritan Society of visible Saints

The first Puritan colony in New England was Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620); it was followed by the colonies of Massachusetts bay (1628) and Boston (1630). Between 1630 and 1640, the "great Migration" brought some twenty thousand English Puritans to the NEw England colonies. Puritans also settled in the middle colonies, mingling with other types of Protestants. The Puritan movement did much to shape Christianity not only in the New England colonies but in the United States more broadly. So before continuing with the story of the Puritan colonies, we must sketch the broad range and reach of Puritanism.

As we have seen, Puritanism was a late-born child of the Reformation, dedicated to purifying the Church of England. theologically, the Puritans drew from the Reformed wing of the Reformation, as articulated by John Calvin and his heirs. The challenge was how to put Calvinist theology into practice in an English context.
Not all puritans agreed on how this was to be done. Their various reform strategies gave rise to several groups: Congregationalists, Prespyterians, Baptists, the Society of Friends,(Quakers), and many small radical sects.
Later on, in the United States, Uniterianism split off from Congregationalism to become a sort of free-thinking grandchild of Puritanism. Many nineteenth-century reforms, including abolitionism, had deep roots in the Puritan tradition. Puritans saw themselves as God's chosen people, devlivered from bondage and given a divine mission in a promised land. As David Gelernter points out, this set of beliefs arose from the Old Testament story of Israel as God's chosen people which, animated Puritanism and lives on today as the essence of "Americanism". This belief(in a divinely chosen people with a special role to play in the World) runs like a red thread from the first Puritan settlements down to politics and foreign policy in the early twenty-first century. To be sure, there are also discontinuities between then and now. The Remnant in the wilderness has become a superpower, and the old Puritan sense of accountabiltiy to divine judgement has all but vanished. Yet the chosen nation idea lives on. One need not accept this worldview to recognize its power in history.

The original Puritans wanted a godly society- a fully reformed church and nation. When they lost their political power in old England, New England became their last chance to complete the Reformation. This "Holy Experiment" was guided by religious convictions.""

pages 15 & 16 from the book "The History of Christianity in the United States" by Nancy Koester

I would like to post what Dr. Alister Mcgrath said. I was looking at it last night. I'll highlight the important stuff in red.

""When Charles appointed the high Churchman William Laud as archbishop of Canterbury in 1633, the Puritan faction within the Church of England was incensed. At this time, Puritans were divided into factions-such as Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Separationists. Presbyterians believed in an organic church, with a graded hierarchy of government; Congregationalists held fast to the idea of the Sovereignty of local congregations. There is no greater disruptive force, no greater incentive to fragmentation, than a common creed held with a difference. The perception of a difference often leads to its accentuation, sometimes to the point where what is held in common seems to recede into the background, overshadowed by the suspicion and hostility evoked by the division. A seemingly minor divergence tus had the potential to become the cause of division and strife within Puritanism-if it was allowed to do so.

Yet the increasing perception of a dangerously hostile establishment caused Puritans to see their differences from a somewhat different perspective and to bring a sense of realism to their differences. Internecine hostilities were suspended in order to concentrate on the greater threat that confronted the movement. Puritanism became an increasingly well organized movement, alert to both dangers and opportunities. Whether, taken in isolation, that would have led to anything much remains open to question. In the context of the growing tensions between Charles and Parliament, however, the position of Puritans could be seen as much more serious."


pages 136-137 from the book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution-A history from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first" by Dr. Alister Mcgrath.

On pages 153-154 he says:

"The Pilgrims Fathers were not, it must be appreciated, typical of Enhlish Puritanism at this time. They were separatists whose beliefs were more characteristic of the Anabaptists than of Calvin: they were convinced that each congregation had the democratic right to determine its own beliefs and choose its own ministers. Most English Puritans of the age were Presbyterians who were committed to the notion of a single mother church with local outposts-a "universal church" with "particular congregations" bound together by shared beliefs and leaders. It was only a matter of time before the defining conflicts of the Old World would find themselves being replayed in the New. But this time, decentralization would win.

One of the most remarkable features of the early history of New England Protestantism in the 1620s and 1630s is that most Puritan communities appear to have abandoned a Presbyterian view of church government within months of their arrival and adopted a congregational polity instead. The Plymouth COlony Separatists appear to have been significant in bringing about a major shift in how congregations organized themselves and related to other congregations. Reacting strongly against the rigid hierarchical structures of the European state churches, the American settlers opted instead for a democratic congregationalism. Local congregations made their own decisions. Instead of centralized authority stuctures-such as presbyteries or dioceses-the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay area developed "a highly decentralized and well-nigh uncontrollable Congregational church order which licensed any individual congregation to revise Calvinist theology as it saw fit. And revise it they did."


And in regards to the American Revolution he says:

"Protestantism and the American Revolution

The Historical roots of the American Revolution are complex, and it is difficult to assign priority to any factor as the ultimate cause of the rebellion against British rule. The burdens of taxation, the lack of due representation, and the desire for freedom were unquestionably integral ingredients in the accumulation of grievances that drove many colonials to take up arms against the kings. Yet religious ussue also played their part, not least in intensifying a sense of injustice over the privileged status of the Church of England in the British colonies. The Church of England had become established by law in the southern states of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia, and even in four counties of New York State. Although dissent was permitted, the situation rankled Baptists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians. Opposition began to grow.

In the early 1770s, Congregationalist ministers in New England regularly preached on the theme of religious and political freedom, linking both with resisting English tyranny. Throughout Puritan Massachusetts, pamphlets appeared offering a religious justification for the use of armed force against an oppressor and urging young men to join militias. The rhetotic and theology were not entirely unlike the rhetoric and theology that prevailed during the prelude to the English civil War.

So was the American Revolution actually a war of Religion? It is difficult to make the case for its being so. Religious elements were involved-above all a desire to ensure religious freedom and eliminate the privileges of the established church. Yet it would not be true to say that these concerns dominated the agenda of those driving the Revolution. The Patriots came from a wide variety of relious backgrounds, only some of which were driven by the theological backgrounds, only some of which were driven by the theological vision of the New England Congregationalists. The "black Regiment" of preachers such as Charles Chauncy, Samuel Cooper, and Jonathon Mayhew(so-called on account of their clerical dress) criticized the British from their pulpits. Yet the Great Awakening had renewed a sense of vision among Lutherians, Methodists, and Baptists, and that renewal widened and diversified the theological base of the Revolution."


pages 160-161

I will also quote something from the handbook of Denominations in the USA regards to Congregationalism. The important stuff will be highlighted in red.

"The proper from of church polity of structure of authority has been an issue in Christianity since New Testament times. the dominant Catholic/Orthodox tradition resolved that issue in favor of episcopacy or rule by bishops. As the protestant Reformation developed in the sixteenth century, polity became one of the key issues. The Reformed tradition, associated with John Calvin (1509-64) and John Knox (ca. 1513-72), rejected episcopacy in favor of a presbyterial system in which a council of clergy had authority.
In England, dissent took corporate form in the Puritan movements, of which Congregationalism represented the most radical wing.
page 120 [4]

"Between 1630 and 1640, 20,000 more Puritans arrived at Massachusetts Bay. Even less inclined toward Separatism than was the Plymouth colony, the sttlers of the bay established an effective "theocratic" government. Church and commonwealth were that society's two instruments. Contrary to popular belief, it was not a stern and rigid regime of the saints, but it was strict and could be as intolerant of religious dissent as the church of England was. The story of the banishment of radicals like Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) and Roger Williams (1603-83) are well known. When four quakers (see Friends), including a woman, were hanged on Boston Common in the 1660s (after the end of the Puritan Commonwealth in England), there was a public outcry in England. Following the Golden Revolution, New England was forced to accept the Act of Toleration in 1689.

Congregationalists like Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) of Northhampton played leading roles in First Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740s. That revival was marked not only by the eloquence of george Whitefield (1715-70) but also by vigorous writings and preaching of Edwards, whose books are now regarded as American classics.

Congregationalists in New England were leaders in the American Revolution, and during the next century Congregationalism played a major role in developing American institutional and religious life. In the field of education, this church had already made tremendous contributions. Members of this church founded Harvard in 1636. Yale (dounded 1797) was a project for the education of Congregationalist clergy in Connecticut. Dartmouth (founded 1769) developed from Eleazer Wheelock's (1711-79) school for Native Americans. These schools were among the first colleges in North America."
pages 120-121 [5]


[1],[2],[3] from the book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution-A history from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first" by Dr. Alister Mcgrath. Copyright 2007, published by Harperone.

[4],[5] from the book "Handbook of Denominations: in the United States" 11nth edition by Frank S. Mead & Samuel S. Hill revised by Craig D. Atwood. last copyrighted in 2001. published by Abingdon Press Nashville
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The connection between the American Revolution and Puritanism

Everything About Puritanism isn't bad, but I just wanted to show the influence they had on the founding fathers of this great Nation.

Interesting. It is always good to gain new
information. Could you please give some links or information on these groups?
Thank you in advance.

I said I know conservative Prespyterians that still call themselves "puritan". We are not allowed to post other forum links on this board. but there is an infamous conservative Calvinistic & Reformed board called "the puritan board". It is a mixture of conservative Calvinists from different denominations. Reformed Baptist, Southern Baptist, Low church Anglican, Prespyterian, Dutch Reformed, Congregational, Evangelical Free, and some independant Calvinistic Fundementalist type churches.

They have a rule that only those who agree with Calvinism are allowed to post on that board. Everyone else can only read what they say, but they can't respond. But I personally know people that call themself "Puritan". You will just have to meet different kinds of American conservative Protestants. Eventially you will find some.

Then we will have to agree to disagree. Would you
please give some historical references for the Congregationalists and are they
the same as the Congregationalist churches of today?

I shouldn't have to give internet historical references. I learned this stuff in history class in middle school, and high school. I also learned it from reading various books.

The Puritans that came to America didn't vanish into thin air.

This book will give you a short history of Congregationalism as well as a host of other groups.

Also if you buy a few Church history books, then you will see a connection.....especially in regards to American church history.

Well, I know of the phrase "Protestant work ethic"
which was coined by the German sociologist Max Weber. He wrote a book on it that
was published in 1905

I looked your "cliche" as you called it up and it is equated
with Weber's idea.

I always knew it as "the Puritan work ethic". Sometimes people confuse the Pilgrims with the Puritans, they do overlap, but in middleschool my history teacher mentioned their "Work Ethic".......the more you work, the less time you have to sin.

But the work ethic stereotype comes from the Reformed tradition of Protestantism. I maybe wrong, but I think Rome use to call the Lutherians "Protestants" while calling the Geneva camp "Reformed".

Now she calls them all by the name "Protestant". But the Work Ethic stereotype would stem from the Reformed Tradition.....not the Lutherian one. And as we all know, the Puritans were "Reformed" in doctrine.

I know of Harvard and Yale (though one source of
information says that it was founded by "Congregationalists" rather then
"Puritans". You appear to think that they are the same, but there seems to be
some difference of opinion.) I beg your pardon, "HBCU"? Would you please post
what those letters mean?

The Pilgrims were eventually absorbed by the Puritans, but both the Pilgrims and a good portion of the Puritans were "Congregationalist" in Church Government.

The other batch of Puritans were Prespyterian in Church government and they hooked up with the Church of Scotland. And this is why the Prespyterian denomination is seen as the "Church of Scotland" today.

And this is why I keep saying "Congregationalist, Prespyterian, and low church Anglican".....not to mention the "Baptists" for they too were heavily influenced by the Puritan Congregationalists & their close cousins the English Separatists.....which is what the Pilgrims were....they were English Separatists....but anyway.

HBCU means "Historic Black Colleges & Universities". Some of the New England Puritans (Congregationalists) were also Abolitionists.

My Mother school was started by them "Hampton University". Hampton University sent the founder of my school to Alabama to start what is now "Tuskegee University".

But they started a whole bunch of HBCU' Howard....ect.

You have asserted that there is a "Puritan
Influence" on the American Revolution, but you have not provided any sources or
documentation to back this up. Would you please provide some support for this
claim. What people or movements in the time leading up to the American
Revolution are you thinking of when you write this, please? Also, the phrase "No
king but Christ" was not, from all of my reading, a rallying cry of the American
Colonists. I have found a reference to a biography of a Donald Cargill with that
title for example (Scots and during the reign of Charles II apparently). But no
reference to the American Colonies and the politics and economics that were
motivating forces for the Revolution.

Some of these for people to look
up were the Navigation Acts:

The Stamp

What are
termed the "Coercive Acts"

You've asserted this before. On what evidence and documentation do you
base this claim please? Have you read the Declaration of Independence which lays
out the reasons for seeking to be a separate nation?


There were alot of things that influenced them. You had the first great awakening that was an influence, You had King George's Lineancy with the Canadian French Roman Catholics, that was a major influence....especially in New England.

And yes I read the declaration of independence. The Puritan mindset always wanted independence from the English King.

Do you really think the Puritans had amnesia? Do you think they forgot what happened in the British civil war?

Another influence were the works by early Puritans that gave them the "BIBLICAL" right to revolt against a "tyrannical king"!

This is a website that lists some of the books that influenced the founding fathers of this great Nation of ours.

Some of the links don't work anymore, but most of them should work.

All comments in quotes takin from the "American Colonists's Library". [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34]

"A Short Treatise on Political Power, John Ponet, D.D. (1556) President John Adams credited this Calvinist document as being at the root of the theory of government adopted by the the Americans. According to Adams, Ponet's work contained "all the essential principles of liberty, which were afterward dilated on by Sidney and Locke" including the idea of a three-branched government. (Adams, Works, vol. 6, pg. 4). Published in Strassbourg in 1556, it is the first work out of the Reformation to advocate active resistance to tyrannical magistrates, after the Magdeburg Bekenntnis (the Magdeburg Confession)."

as takin from ther "American Colonists Library"

The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, John Knox (1558). A vigorous critique of the tyranny of "Bloody Mary's" reign in England, and a call to resist. A large portion of the Americans who fought in the American Revolution were adherents to Knox's doctrines as set forth in this document.

as takin from the "American Colonist's Library"

The Right of Magistrates Over Their Subjects, Theodore Beza (1574). Expanding upon Calvin's political resistance theory set forth in the final chapters of his Institutes, this work by Calvin's successor in Geneva, Theodore Beza, was published in response to the growing tensions between Protestant and Catholic in France, which culminated in the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre in 1572. This text suggests that it is the right of a Christian to revolt against a tyrannical King: a principle central to the American colonists' cause.

As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"

"the rule of law."
Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, or, A Vindication Against Tyrants (1579). This Calvinist document is one of the first to set forth the theory of "social contract" upon which the United States was founded. The idea was disseminated through the English Calvinists to the pen of John Locke, and eventually into the Declaration of Independence. John Adams reported the relevance of this document to the American struggle.

As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"

The Dutch Declaration of Independence (1581); This Calvinistic document served as a model for the U.S. Declaration of Independence. In his Autobiography, Jefferson indicated that the "Dutch Revolution" gave evidence and confidence to the Second Continental Congress that the American Revolution could likewise commence and succeed. Recent scholarship has has suggested that Jefferson may have consciously drawn on this document. John Adams said that the Dutch charters had "been particularly studied, admired, and imitated in every State" in America, and he stated that "the analogy between the means by which the two republics [Holland and U.S.A.] arrived at independency... will infallibly draw them together."

As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"

The Puritan Influence

1599 update of the translation made by the Puritans in Geneva 1560. This was the Bible of choice in New England. These are the footnotes which provide a Calvinistic theological interpretation of the Bible.

As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"

The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, Sir Edward Coke (1628) Written by a Puritan leader of Parliament, this document was almost the only textbook for lawyers (e.g., Jefferson) during the American Colonial Period. Coke's influence over the minds of American politicians is inestimable. Clear traces between Coke and the U.S. Constitution are apparent in this work.


The Petition of Right, Sir Edward Coke (1628). This document set forth complaints of the members of Parliament to King Charles I regarding rights of due process. Charles did not receive this complaint warmly. As a result, Charles I shut down Parliament, which ultimately culminated in the English Civil War, and contributed to the exodus of 20,000 Puritans to New England.


Protests of the House of Commons, Documents showing the growth of Parliament's hatred for King Charles I, first complaining against his closet Catholicism, his Arminianism, and his presumptuousness in levying taxes without the consent of Parliament.


(1629). This document sets forth the Puritans' commission in New England.


Medulla Theologica (The Marrow of Theology), William Ames (1629). The Medulla was the principal required textbook in the Ivy League in the American Colonial Period. One cannot adequately grasp the intellectual climate of New England without understanding the concepts in this book. The following two sections on the Decrees of God and Predestination highlight the central peculiarities of Puritan theology. Ames was unequivocal in stating that God controls the universe and that humans do not "change" or "determine" God's behavior in any way.


John Winthrop, Esq. (1637) A treatise indicating an early desire among the Puritans to keep church and state separate.


The first written history regarding the founding of Harvard College (@1640)


including many other political writings the 17th century Englishmen.


(1641) An oath taken by British citizens loyal to the Puritan interests in Parliament.


Declaration to Justify Their Proceedings and Resolutions to Take Up Arms (1642) Thomas Jefferson, in his Autobiography,said that this Puritan "precedent" was an inspiration to the American cause.


Massachusetts Bay School Laws (1642) Requiring that every father teach his children the Catechism; if not, the children shall be taken from the home.


The Establishment of the United Colonies of New England (1643) The first attempt at a union of colonies, foreshadowing the United States. This document combines several colonies together for the primary purpose of national defense. This is the first document resembling a federal constitution in America.


Letter of Oliver Cromwell (1644)


Lex Rex This treatise systematized the Calvinistic political theories which had developed over the previous century. Rutherford was a colleague of John Locke's parents. Most of John Locke's Second Treatise on Government is reflective of Lex Rex. From Rutherford and other Commonwealthmen such as George Lawson, through Locke, these theorists provided the roots of the Declaration of Independence. This page provides the list of questions Lex Rex addresses.


Lex, Rex, Samuel Rutherford (1644). This excerpt shows Rutherford's social contract theory and includes the Puritan theory of resistance to a tyrant.


The Character of A Puritan, John Geree (1646)


The Westminster Catechism (1646) Second only to the Bible, the "Shorter Catechism" of the Westminster Confession was the most widely published piece of literature in the pre-revolutionary era in America. It is estimated that some five million copies were available in the colonies. With a total population of only four million people in America at the time of the Revolution, the number is staggering. The Westminster Catechism was not only a central part of the colonial educational curriculum, learning it was required by law. Each town employed an officer whose duty was to visit homes to hear the children recite the Catechism. The primary schoolbook for children, the New England Primer, included the Catechism. Daily recitations of it were required at these schools. Their curriculum included memorization of the Westminster Confession and the Westminster Larger Catechism. There was not a person at Independence Hall in 1776 who had not been exposed to it, and most of them had it spoon fed to them before they could walk.


An Agreement of the People (1647) A proposal for a republican government in England


King Charles I's Speech at His Trial (1649); Including Judge Bradshaw's response appealing to social contract theory.


An Agreement of the Free People of England (1649) The manifesto of the Levellers, the leaders of the 1649 English Civil War that deposed Charles I and brought a period of parliamentary rule. It expresses many of the ideals that later inspired the American Revolution.


The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1650) by John Milton in defense of the execution of Charles I by the British Parliament a few days after its occurance. It includes an excellent evaluation and summation of the political literature produced on the Continent in the 16th Century. Charles I was the first monarch executed in Europe by his subjects, setting the stage for a religious struggle which would grip Britain for several decades to come. The language and spelling of this edition has been done directly from the 1650 edition


(1653); The Constitution of the English Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell. Many of the founders, such as Samuel Adams, considered Oliver Cromwell their hero, and considered the Commonwealth as the glory years of England.

Excerpts from the Navigation Acts, 1660-1696, The first Parliamentary legislation toward the colonies which would lead to the colonial rebellion of the eighteenth century. [27]

Theopolis Americana ("God's City: America"), Cotton Mather (1709) This excerpt from Mather's sermon shows how Mather, with other Puritans, believed that America was truly the "Promised Land." This thinking led ultimately to the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, whereby Anglo-Americans believed that it was their divine commission to spread their culture from Atlantic to Pacific.


Vindication of the Government of New England Churches, John Wise (1717) A Puritan political sermon which included most of the principles of government embraced by the founders of the U.S.


Intentions of the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) (1740) The desire of this group to land an Anglican Bishop in the American colonies ignited the American Revolution.


A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers, Jonathan Mayhew (1750) About this document, John Adams wrote, "It was read by everybody; celebrated by friends, and abused by enemies... It spread an universal alarm against the authority of Parliament. It excited a general and just apprehension, that bishops, and dioceses, and churches, and priests, and tithes, were to be imposed on us by Parliament." This sermon has been called the spark which ignited the American Revolution. This illustrates that the Revolution was not only about stamps and taxes but also about religious liberty.


Resolution of the House of Burgesses in Virginia (1774) This resolution was inspired by similar resolutions made in the Puritan Revolution of 1641; the Burgesses resolved to commit their crisis to prayer and fasting.


Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, Jefferson and Dickinson, July 6, 1775. This document was inspired by the Puritan Declaration of August, 1642, "Declaration of the Lords and Commons to Justify Their Taking Up Arms," available in John Rushworth, ed., Historical Collections of Private Passages of State, Weighty Matters in Law, Remarkable Proceedings in Five Parliaments (1680-1722),vol. 4, pp. 761-768.


Sources of the Declaration of Independence (1776) Documents which prove that Jefferson modeled the Declaration largely upon the 1689 Declaration of Rights.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

The price of Gas and my love for traveling

I'm thinking about not going to the "2008 African American & Ancient Christianity" conference.

The price of gas is just way too high to drive, and the price for a round trip flight is way too much as well.

So I might just sit this one out. Maybe

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Christ is risen

Christ is Risen by Dr. Jeannie Constantinou

from the site:

"Today, Jeannie begins a short series on the resurrection of Christ."


Augustine the Libertarian freedom

Ben, over at Arminian Perspectives did a great post about Augustine and Free will.

"Some refer to Calvinism as Augustinianism. John
Calvin took the teachings of the later Augustine and systematized them.
The only major difference between the later Augustine and Calvin’s theology is
the doctrine of perseverance. Augustine believed that one could be truly
regenerated and yet not be granted the gift of perseverance. Calvin denied
that one who was truly regenerated could fail to persevere. But what about
the early Augustine?
The early Augustine had a theology that was little
different than the theology which had dominated the church since apostolic
teachings. Augustine held to a libertarian view of human freedom and only
began to move away from that view when embroiled in debate and controversy with
the Pelagians. In these debates his theology began to shift.
might claim that this shift was due to theological maturity and greater insight
into Biblical truths once overlooked. Another possibility is that when
trying to counter the Pelagian arguments regarding free will Augustine went too
far in the other direction and began to fall back into some of the gnostic
determinism which he had abandoned upon his conversion to Christianity from
the Manichaean sect. Augustine’s later redevelopment of much of
his theology was the direct result this overreaction to the Pelagian
controversy. I prefer the latter explanation.
So what did the early
Augustine believe concerning the will? He agreed with the consensus
of the chruch Fathers before him. He held to a libertarian view of
free will and argued for it along the same lines as many Arminians do
Compatibilists often tell us we are “free” if we are not
coerced by external factors and do what we “want” to do.
The part that they often leave out of the conversation is that they believe that
our “wants” are causally determined by internal factors"

Read the rest at his blog


What I'm reading this month

What I'm reading this well as the end of last month.


The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Hardcover) by Dr. Michael W. Holmes

The greek text is on oneside, while the english on the other. the scripture references are at the bottom of the English side of the page. For those that don't know what the term "Apostolic Fathers" mean. It just means those christians or christian works from 70 A.D. to about 150 A.D.

It's anotherway of saying "Those christians that lived closest to the Apostles".

I'm also reading

Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution--A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First (Hardcover) by Dr. Alister Mcgrath

This book is really insightful. It's mainly about Protestant Biblical interpretation from the 15 hundreds to the 21 century.


Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition (Paperback) by Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan

This book really didn't have what I was looking for. It was pretty much basic stuff. The basics.....not too deep....into depth. So I'm gonna have to find another source.....eventually.

From the Bible:

I'm just looking at certain verses as of now.

I'm looking at the verses the Apostolic Fathers quoted from the Bible. Dr. Michael W. Holmes made it easy to trace some of the verses they quoted or referenced.

I'm trying to see how they understood certain scriptural passages.

Also in regards to Dr. Alister Mcgrath's book, he traces various interpretations that different Protestants had of various passages. He also shows how some old interpretations got dumped for news ones........even by the same denominational group. It's a very interesting and enlightening book. He starts in the 15 hundreds and ends in the 21 first century.

So I'm basically looking at scriptural interpretation. I need some of this info for a project I'm doing.


Can nonchristians "really" love?

Originally Posted by ChoirBoy I am
talking to one of my co-workers today and she asks me a question that at first
seemed simple but the more I thought about it I was unsure. So I will ask you
all. Here it is.

If God is Love, can someone who is unsaved really love?

Thats it...what do you say?

What do you mean by "really"?

Do you mean "to love others"? When the notion of love is brought into the picture the idea of "selfishness" must also be put into the picture.

So do you mean "loving others"?

Even in regards to Loving others, one must keep in mind what the Lord said:

Matthew 5:45-47
"that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?"

Luke 6:32
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them."

So it's not saying they can't love. I think it means that God wants a greater love from us. He wants to expand it's boarder....from loving only those who love you, to loving both those who love & hate you.....Loving all men.

Luke 6:27
""But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,"

And when Add the Love of God to the mix then you sum up the level of Love that God is asking for.

LOVING JESUS more than family

Matthew 10:37
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;"

THE WHOLE man must LOVE God

Mark 12:30
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'

But the gift of greater LOVE(to love more than just those who love you) comes from God.

If man accepts it, then his love will grow. If man rejects it then His love will grow cold.

So I would say that it is God's Love that we are able to love others in an extraordinary way.

Originally Posted by ChristNDC
unconditional love is only what God gives us - believers - the grace to
accomplish. So, I totally agree with Az...

Ultimately all forms of love comes from God. Because all good things come from Him.

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