Sunday, April 20, 2008

Made In the Image of God

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. - Genesis 1:27 AV

What does it mean for us to have been made in the image of a Holy LORD God? There have been some who contend it is a past state, lost to the fall of man in the garden. Others have suggested it is an image reserved for those redeemed souls who abide in Christ. Others still have staked a claim in promoting an image formed only in the elect of God from before the foundations of the world. Most of Christianity seems to accept the idea that all of mankind was formed in the image of God and scripture appears to bear this out. When establishing the covenant with Noah, the LORD provided an injunction against murder and its penalty with the following:

"And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." (Ge 9:5-6 AV)

The Apostle Paul also provides insight to our image when he instructs the body in his first letter to the church at Corinth.

"For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man." (1Co 11:7 AV)

So if we agree that we are, as a creation, made in the image of God, what does this entail for us? Certainly we are fashioned or rendered to reflect who God is. This does not mean that God has a body such as we nor does it mean that our physical existence is that of God although we could point to Christ as our physical LORD yet He became flesh rather than we being made in the image of His flesh. In any event there is some substance or reality that should be expressed when we state we were made in the image of God.

We are a fallen creation, a nature that is corrupted yet that nature or our spirit is one thing that distinguishes us from the rest of creation. Our LORD God is a spirit and we worship Him in spirit and in that sense, being spiritual, we are made in the image of God. Drawing this from John Wesley and again, we also see that the LORD created us with an endued authority, a dominion over the rest of creation that distinguishes us from that same creation. Thirdly, there is what I deem morality and like Wesley, I see this as the principle characteristic of God's image. Righteousness, Holiness, being upright or honest and the ability to see, understand and posit the spiritual things of God are those abilities and characteristics of God Himself. No other creation has in their possession such an image. In that sense, we see ourselves created in the image of God as spiritual creatures having dominion over the rest of creation and doing so with the spiritual attributes of God.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh Woe Is Me .. It's Tax Day

I always put this off until today because I usually owe more than get back but it's time to buckle up and take care of business ... April 15 is here!

I found this out on the net somewhere and thought it was great ...

I Joined a Mailing List
I joined a Calvinist mailing list I was predestined to join;
an Arminian mailing list because I could;
a dispensationalist mailing list because the time had come;
a Torah-observant mailing list because I should;
an Anabaptist mailing list because I could not fight it;
a Creationist mailing list, and it was good;
an intercessory mailing list after I prayed about it;
and a prophetic mailing list. I knew I would!
I joined a Sabbatarian mailing list on Friday night,Saturday night, and Sunday night, to cover every base;
got caught up in a pre-tribulation Rapture mailing list
and in a post-tribulation mailing list, just in case.
I joined a Catholic mailing list that was a piece of work;
an evangelical mailing list by God’s grace alone;
a contemporary mailing list to see what was happening;
a traditional mailing list of which I had known;
a fivefold ministry mailing list so I would be equippedto open up and operate a mailing list of my own;
an interdenominational mailing list if I missed anything else;
and a cessationist mailing list. Then I was done.
~ by Michael Rew

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wide As The Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired, Benson Bobrick, Simon & Shuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84747-7

This is one of those experiences that lasted a long time for me. I purchased this book in 2001 and it has sat on various shelves over these years waiting for me to make up my mind as to when I would actually read the entire thing. Now, I have picked it up perhaps a hundred times yet could never seem to get past a few pages at a time and this is certainly no fault of the author for this is a great story.

I am not going to write a lengthy review of the book since there are already several reviews of this publication available from numerous sources. However, it is important to point out to layman such as myself seeking a good overview narrative of the history of the English Bible that Mr. Bobrick has presented a wonderful resource. Beginning with the birth of Christianity in the British Isles and taking the reader through the histories of John Wycliffe and the Lollards, the author sets the stage for the development of various translations of the Holy Scriptures into our common English tongue. Leading the reader through the social and political climates of this age, we see an interactive fabric being woven into an amazing as well as sorrowful story resulting in the bible we hold in our hands today. The background, resources and dedication of each of the principles are explored and presented with well researched documentation. While there are more in depth resources for academic study, Bobrick's excellent narrative serves as a near perfect introduction to the history of our English scriptures.

Purchase the book from Amazon

NY Times Review

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Society of Evangelical Arminians

A new resource for Christian doctrine and apologetics is being developed to provide a source of information for those who encounter misrepresentations regarding the beliefs and teachings of most of the body of Christ. Consisting of both noted scholars and laypersons committed to preaching and teaching the Word of God and the Doctrines of the LORD Jesus Christ, SEA has dedicated itself to building a growing body of established resources and contributions. Please keep this endeavor in your prayers that the Body will be edified and grow in grace.

Blessings in Christ

A.M. Mallett

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bataan Sixty Six Years Ago

For a different flavor of posting and in memory of an incredibly brave and forgotten army of patriots that so many have either never heard of or have let slip from our collective history.

From the San Diego Union-Tribune today ...

66 years ago: The Tragedy of Bataan, a forgotten battle

A Carlsbad veteran remembers America's greatest military defeat

By Lester Tenney
April 9, 2008

On April 9, 1942, Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Armed Forces in the Far East was forced to surrender Bataan to the Japanese, this in spite of his orders of April 3 demanding that no surrender be considered and, if ultimately necessary, to “charge the enemy. Make one last stand.” He likened the situation to Gen. George Custer's last stand at Little Bighorn in 1876, except MacArthur was not there for the onslaught that followed.

On that memorable day 66 years ago on Bataan, 12,000 American service men and women, along with 57,500 Filipino troops, were ordered by Major Gen. Edward King, the commander of all fighting forces on Bataan, to surrender to the Japanese Imperial Army. This was the largest military defeat in the history of the United States, yet it has gone largely unnoticed and forgotten all these years.

Yes, the date has been all but lost. Few remember it or the circumstances that led to the defeat of a once-proud army – except the survivors of this catastrophic event.

Let's retrace a few of the events of that period.

Military records show that on Jan. 15, 1942, MacArthur was quoted as saying to his men, “Help is on the way from the United States ... Thousands of troops and hundreds of planes are being dispatched.” He added, “Our supplies are ample,” and he told his men on Bataan to hold out until aid came. “Any day now,” he said. And, like a faithful dog, all of the fighting men and women on Bataan believed him.

Only days later, on Jan. 24, MacArthur realized the fall of Bataan was inevitable and ordered all stocks of food and ammunition on Bataan be transferred to the island fortress known as Corregidor. It was decided that when Bataan fell, the surviving troops would be transferred to Corregidor, which military leaders believed could not be penetrated. (On May 6, Corregidor fell to the Japanese and 4,000 of our troops were taken by boat to Manila and then on to their first prison camp, Cabanatuan.)

But no troops were transferred from Bataan because they had managed to prevent Japan from breaking through the last line of defense. All well and good, except all the food and ammunition had already been transferred to Corregidor. So as time marched on, the meager supply of food was quickly devoured, which left only horses, mules, monkeys, iguanas, snakes, bananas and pineapples for the daily diet. By this time, the average ration for the troops dropped to just 1,700 calories a day, not enough to sustain a rigorous soldier.

On April 3, the Japanese launched a full attack against the forces on Bataan. But despite the critical situation, MacArthur, in Australia, sent orders to Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, in command of all forces in the Philippines: “I am utterly opposed under any circumstances or conditions to the ultimate capitulation of this command. If food fails, you will prepare and execute an attack upon the enemy.” President Franklin Roosevelt agreed with MacArthur and issued his own “no surrender” orders. On April 4, Wainwright forwarded the orders to Gen. King.

April 8, the Americans and Filipinos could fight no longer. As the Japanese approached, King sadly concluded he had no alternative but to surrender. He had to do the unthinkable, disobey his commander's orders. But without food, ammunition and medical supplies, King felt that the troops on Bataan were going to be slaughtered like pigs in a pen if something was not done, and done quickly.

King ordered all forces on Bataan to surrender to the Japanese Imperial Army the next day.

Thus 69,500 men, the largest military force in American history to surrender to an enemy, were ordered to put down their arms. About 2,300 military and civilians would escape from Bataan to Corregidor. The scores of thousands remaining became the victims of the infamous Bataan Death March. Most of those lucky enough to survive the barbaric march were then taken by “hell ships” to Japan and became slaves of some of Japan's largest industrial companies.

Of the 12,000 Americans captured on Bataan that fateful day, about 2,000 ultimately came home, and today we can count about 200 still alive and doing as well as can be expected considering our age and the health background we carry around with us. The worst military defeat of the United States military occurred on Bataan, yet most Americans know little if anything about the events that led up to the final hours. Maybe it was because when we survivors were finally released from our prison camp in Japan, prior to receiving our four years' back pay, some were required to sign a document that forbade them to talk to reporters, newscasters or anyone else about the events of our capture, our trip to Japan and our imprisonment for the three-and-a-half years that followed.

Now, after all these years, let them come after me. I guess that was why I was destined to come home, to keep the memory alive and the story accurate.


Tenney, a resident of Carlsbad, is a survivor of the Bataan Death March and three-and-a-half years as a Japanese prisoner of war.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

God Choosing God

During a discussion of the meaning and implications of Christ with regard to election, the Calvinist fellow with whom I was engaged made an interesting albeit uniformed statement. He declared without equivocation that "the Creator was not chosen" being much in line with a previous rhetorical question he had asked "How can God be chosen?" Now I replied with an equally rhetorical question of "How can God be both Father and Son?". In any event, we left off at that point and I am not sure if the discussion will be picked up again. The topic of election and Christ being The Elect in whom we trust goes to the heart of the dispute between Calvinists and most of the body of Christ. There should be no dispute in stating that Jesus of Nazareth, Christ, Messiah and Redeemer was chosen of God. The scriptures declare it so in no uncertain terms.

"Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles." (Mt 12:18 AV)

This is referencing the following passage from the prophets.

"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." (Isa 42:1 AV)

Jesus Christ is The Elect of God. That is a fundamental belief within Christianity and can only foolishly be denied. I must admit I do not understand the mind that denies such clear doctrine of the church yet it is denied in some circles if only to inappropriately buttress Calvinist election. Now, it is my hope that this is not a widely held view among Calvinists yet if Calvinists can look to the raising of Lazarus as an example of the Calvinist paradigm regarding spiritual death, then I should not be surprised when little thought is employed in other circumstances. Let's explore the evidence of Christ's election further.

"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded." (1Pe 2:4-6 AV)

Can there be any doubt in any Christian's mind that Jesus is our Elect of God and by inference we are elect in Him?