Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fughettaboutit

Fuhgettaboutit




Darryl Hart Goes and Gets All Biblical



Darryl Hart, determined to wipe out the memory the Christian Year, has returned to his old fundamentalist ways and, by his own admission, engaged in Bible thumping

He makes two points against the Christian Year by quoting the Bible. 

The first is that Jesus has told us how to remember him (and it doesn't allow for a Christian year): 
Jesus told us how to remember him, right?
18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22) 
       Isn’t it enough to remember Christ weekly in Word and Sacrament?


The second is that Jesus has told us to direct our minds to him in heaven:
I seem to recall Paul also saying something about where we should direct our thoughts. I remember. It’s about Christ in heaven not Christ on earth.

1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Col 3)
He acknowledges that these Biblical quotations may not be slam dunks against the Christian Year, but adds the snarky suggestion that where the church year goes in perhaps the Bible goes out:
Passages like these may not be slam dunks, but can’t the church-calendar people at least interact with scriptural injunctions about remembering and thinking, or is it the case when the church calendar comes in the Bible goes out?
Let's begin with this last quotation: (1) Is it the case that where the "church calendar" goes in the Bible goes out? I suggest Dr. Hart ask that question of Thomas Cranmer, J.C. Ryle, Phillip Hughes, Leon Morris, John Stott, J.I. Packer. 

(2) But, let's move on to consider Dr. Hart's first Bible thump: "Do this in remembrance of me." Do we remember our Lord in the Holy Supper? We surely do? But how?

The Old Testament (which has many exhortations to remember, not only the words of the Lord but also the deeds of the Lord, e.g. Ps. 77:11,12; Ps. 105:4-6; Ps. 111:2-4; Ps. 143:5) instituted a special remembrance of the LORD's redemption of Israel from Egypt, the annual Passover-Unleavened Bread observance. Remembrance is central to the celebration of the Old Testament precedent of Holy Communion:
Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten...
Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory.  You shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’  And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. You shall therefore keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year. (Ex. 13:3,7-10).
This annual remembrance was more than mental recalling of a past event. It was each successive generation of Israel putting itself in the place of the original generation, as though they themselves were slaves in Egypt, and the LORD intervened on their behalves to redeem and set them free. The deliverance of first generation was their deliverance, too. When the Lord saved their fathers, the Lord saved them. 

This remembrance is different from Israel's remembrance of the manna, bitter water made sweet, defeat of the Amalekites, water from the rock, or the miraculous crossing of the Jordan. This is a sacramental remembrance. But does sacramental remembrance mean there is to be no remembrance of the other mighty acts of the LORD? To ask that question is to answer it. All the Lord's acts on Israel's behalf were redemptive, and all of them were remembered, but there was only one sacramental remembrance. All of them were recalled, some of them by Feasts, e.g, Tabernacles and Purim, some not. But only one event was sacramentally remembered. 

Likewise, the Lord's Supper is a distinctive remembrance just because it is a sacramental remembrance. But that does not rule out other remembrances of our Lord and his saving deeds? Of course not.  Proof text?
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel (2 Tim. 2:8).
Dr. Hart asks, "Jesus told us how to remember him, right?" Then he quotes St. Luke's account of the institution of the Supper. But he concludes, adding to the way he quotes our Lord as telling us to remember him: "Isn't it enough to remember Christ weekly by Word and Sacrament?" (Does Dr. Hart's church practise weekly Communion?) Remembering the Lord in Word and Sacrament is exactly what the Christian Year enables Christians in churches that observe it. The Christian Year enables a fellowship of worldwide churches to remember our Lord's saving work together in an orderly and comprehensive manner.  

Is this a slam dunk in favor observance the Christian year? No. But it is a slam dunk refutation of the assertion that our Lord told us how to remember him in Luke 22 and that's that. Did our Lord tell us to remember him in the Supper? Yes. Did he tell us to remember only his death and only in the Supper? No. 

One wonders if Dr. Hart and his congregation can sing from Trinity Hymnal...
According to Thy gracious word,
In meek humility,
This will I do, my dying Lord,
I will remember Thee.
Thy body, broken for my sake,
My bread from heaven shall be;
Thy testamental cup I take,
And thus remember Thee.

Gethsemane can I forget?
Or there Thy conflict see,
Thine agony and bloody sweat,
And not remember Thee?

When to the cross I turn mine eyes
And rest on Calvary,
O Lamb of God, my sacrifice,
I must remember Thee-

Remember Thee and all Thy pains
And all Thy love to me;
Yea, while a breath, a pulse remains,
I will remember Thee.

And when these failing lips grow dumb
And mind and memory flee,
When Thou shalt in Thy kingdom come,
Jesus, remember me.
Or, in another of James Montgomery's humans, is there disallowed remembering?

Go to dark Gethsemane,You who feel the tempter's pow'r;Your Redeemer's conflict see;Watch with Him one bitter hour;Turn not from His griefs away;Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

Follow to the judgment hall; View the Lord of life arraigned;O the worm-wood and the gall!O the pangs His soul sustained!Shun not suff'ring, shame, or loss;Learn of Him to bear the cross. 
Calv'ry's mournful mountain climbThere' adoring at His feet,Mark the miracle of time, God's own sacrifice complete: "It is finished!" Hear the cry; Learn of Jesus Christ to die.
Early hasten to the tombWhere they laid his breathless clay;All is solitude and gloom;Who hath taken Him away?Christ is ris'n! He meets our eyes:Savior, teach us so to rise.
(3) Let's consider Dr. Hart's second Bible thump, the quotation of Colossians 3:1-4 of which Dr. Hart says,
I seem to recall Paul also saying something about where we should direct our thoughts. I remember. It’s about Christ in heaven not Christ on earth.
I have a question and then an exegetical point. Paul tells us to direct our minds above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Does Dr. Hart intend to say that when we think of Christ we must think of him only in his heavenly life - which remains a bodily life in which he continues to bear the marks of Calvary- and not about about his redemptive life and work on earth? What do we know of the heavenly Christ, the Christ who sits at the right hand of the God the Father Almighty except that he is the Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, descended into hell, on the third day rose again from the dead, and ascended into heaven?

The exegetical point is that I believe that Dr. Hart has misunderstood what the Apostle means by "things on the earth." What are these things on the earth? They are not the matters of Christ's earthly life but of the fallen and sinful things of our nature:
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[ with its practices...(Colossians 3:5-9).
These are the things which we are not to think of. Rather we must set our minds on things above? Why? Because that is where Christ is and that is where we are in the sense that our true life is "hid with God in Christ." 

The point Paul is making in Colossians 3 is similar to the point he makes in Philippians 3 where he also makes the "heavenly-earthly" contrast:
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven , and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ... (Philippians 3:18-20).
Colossians 3:1-4 says nothing about thinking about only a heavenly Christ in contrast to an earthly one and, thus nothing about remembering the works of our Lord on earth for our redemption. It has nothing to do with the Christian Year and thus, on the grounds Dr. Hart argues, nothing to do with whether it is allowed or disallowed to follow the cycle of the Year.

Dr. Hart is wrong about Colossians 3 and thus his point about the difference between his remembrance of his parents and his remembrance of our Lord is wrong:
Here’s the thing: when I think of my beloved parents, I have lots of memories to which I might turn. My mother behind the driver’s wheel, my father rubbing my cherub face on his two-days of stubble while he recovered from surgery, my parents’ singing duets to enraptured cousins, aunts, and uncles during summer vacations (yikes!). I also sometimes think of what their intermediate state might involve (and I know it doesn’t involve looking “down” at me or hearing my prayer requests).

But my parents aren’t Jesus. Duh. How I think about my Lord is on a different order of importance. And get this — the Bible gives some instruction about how I should remember and think about Jesus. Replaying his life and participating in it (Lent) or thinking that I’m preparing for the savior’s birth (Advent) don’t make sense.
Dr. Hart's parents did not and do not have the divine nature joined to the human, and they are not redeemers. But they were and are human beings who lived on earth and now are in heaven (presently disembodied). Our Lord, too, was and is human (he embodied in heaven). He lived and worked on earth. He bodily rose, and bodily ascended, and will bodily descend from heaven to earth. That makes it not only entirely appropriate but mandatory, whether by the Christian Year or some other means, to remember who our Lord was and what he did on earth. 

What does the Bible teach? Remember Jesus Christ. 
Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets, including D.G. Hart, who wanted to make me afraid. 






















According to Thy gracious word,
  In meek humility,
This will I do, my dying Lord,
  I will remember Thee.
2
Thy body, broken for my sake,
  My bread from heaven shall be;
Thy testamental cup I take,
  And thus remember Thee.
3
Gethsemane can I forget?
  Or there Thy conflict see,
Thine agony and bloody sweat,
  And not remember Thee?
4
When to the cross I turn mine eyes
  And rest on Calvary,
O Lamb of God, my sacrifice,
  I must remember Thee-
5
Remember Thee and all Thy pains
  And all Thy love to me;
Yea, while a breath, a pulse remains,
  I will remember Thee.
6
And when these failing lips grow dumb
  And mind and memory flee,
When Thou shalt in Thy kingdom come,
  Jesus, remember me.


1 Go to dark Gethsemane,
You who feel the tempter's pow'r;
Your Redeemer's conflict see;
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.
2 Follow to the judgment hall;
View the Lord of life arraigned;
O the worm-wood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suff'ring, shame, or loss;
Learn of Him to bear the cross.
3 Calv'ry's mournful mountain climb
There' adoring at His feet,
Mark the miracle of time,
God's own sacrifice complete:
"It is finished!" Hear the cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die.
4 Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid his breathless clay;
All is solitude and gloom;
Who hath taken Him away?
Christ is ris'n! He meets our eyes:
Savior, teach us so to rise.




If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.[c] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[d]with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,[e] free; but Christ is all, and in all.


Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid. 6:14

Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.5:19


Gethsemane Shall I Forget

3 Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand theLord brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten.

17 “If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?’ 18 you shall not be afraid of them but you shallremember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So will the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.



Ps 77 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
   yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
   and meditate on your mighty deeds.


Glory in his holy name;
   let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
11 Seek the Lord and his strength;
   seek his presence continually!
12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
   his miracles and the judgments he uttered,


Seek the Lord and his strength;
   seek his presence continually!
5 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
   his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
6 O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
   children of Jacob, his chosen ones! Ps 105


Great are the works of the Lord,
   studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
   and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
   the Lord is gracious and merciful. Ps111


5 I remember the days of old;
   I meditate on all that you have done;
   I ponder the work of your hands. Ps 143


. 6 Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? 9 Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Mt 16


Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. Gal2:10
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 1 2 tim 2


3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4
7Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Heb 13


Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.


Remember my chains.  - Col 4:18


Remember Lot's wife.

Return of the Bible Thumper

PUBLISHED ON April 25, 2016
Bill Smith tries to pull the church calendar out of the solar year:
Does Dr. Hart really think that the solar year and the interadvental age are at odds with one another? Does not the interadvental age consist of some finite number of solar years? Does living in this interadvental age mean not recalling the works of Christ by which the corner of history was turned and we entered the last age? And how is focusing one’s mind on the redemptive works of Christ by following the Christian year contrary to setting one’s mind on Christ?
Well, what does the Bible say?
Jesus told us how to remember him, right?
18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22)
Isn’t it enough to remember Christ weekly in Word and Sacrament?
I seem to recall Paul also saying something about where we should direct our thoughts. I remember. It’s about Christ in heaven not Christ on earth.
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is youra life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Col 3)
Passages like these may not be slam dunks, but can’t the church-calendar people at least interact with scriptural injunctions about remembering and thinking, or is it the case when the church calendar comes in the Bible goes out?
Here’s the thing: when I think of my beloved parents, I have lots of memories to which I might turn. My mother behind the driver’s wheel, my father rubbing my cherub face on his two-days of stubble while he recovered from surgery, my parents’ singing duets to enraptured cousins, aunts, and uncles during summer vacations (yikes!). I also sometimes think of what their intermediate state might involve (and I know it doesn’t involve looking “down” at me or hearing my prayer requests).
But my parents aren’t Jesus. Duh. How I think about my Lord is on a different order of importance. And get this — the Bible gives some instruction about how I should remember and think about Jesus. Replaying his life and participating in it (Lent) or thinking that I’m preparing for the savior’s birth (Advent) don’t make sense.

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