Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christos Anesti/Paschal Troparion

This beautiful song is sung by Divna Ljubojevic.

Christ is risen from the dead,

Trampling down death by death,

And upon those in the tombs

Bestowing life!

This translates the Greek:

Χριστς νέστη κ νεκρν,

θανάτ θάνατον πατήσας,

κα τος ν τος μνήμασι,

ζων χαρισάμενος!


Khristos anesti ek nekron,

Thanato thanaton patisas,

Kai tis en tis mnimasi

Zo-in kharisamenos!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How We Got Our Alphabet

MLC's Charlie Chaplain

Myths about the Council of Nicaea

The following series of videos was produced by an Eastern Orthodox and it is presented from their perspective, but I thought there was some good material in regards to refuting false ideas about the Council of Nicaea.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This is my Name - יהוה and אהיה

I found this to be a helpful presentation on the Divine name in the Old Testament.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Luther’s Dunghill

The following excerpt was taken from The God Who Justifies by Dr. James White, p. 119-123.


I doubt Martin Luther any longer cares that he is remembered as a beer-drinking, pretzel-eating theologian whose illustrations were often more earthly than the sensibilities of many modern readers can allow. Hiding behind his gruff exterior was a sharp intellect and a sensitive heart that could express itself in the most surprising ways.

One of Luther’s most famous illustrations comes from the rural farms of Germany. Farmers, needing a way to fertilize their fields, would collect the refuse of their farm animals into piles to be spread out on the fields when the weather demanded. These “dunghills” would at times dot the landscape and were, of course, anything but attractive to either see or smell. Drawing on this commonplace occurrence, Luther once attempted to demonstrate the difference between justification and sanctification. He likened our sinful state to a dunghill: ugly and offensive, it has nothing in and of itself that would make it pleasing to anyone, let alone to God.

This is what we are like in our sin. There is nothing that would recommend us to God, nothing that is acceptable, nothing that merits His blessing. We are foul and repulsive in our sin. As I said, Luther’s theological illustrations were earthy, brutally honest, and, in this case, perfectly true.

Justification, he went on, is like that first snowfall of the approaching winter, the one that covers everything in a blanket of pure white. Unlike later snowfalls, where man has shoveled and plowed and otherwise worked to clear a path for himself, that first snow is clean, beautiful. Everything is covered in the same uniform blanket – even, Luther points out, those piles of dung. What was once foul is no longer. The smell is gone. That repulsive sight is gone. All is white and clean and pure.

This is how justification differs from sanctification. In justification we receive the pure and spotless righteousness of Christ, a blanket that covers over our sin in the sight of the Father. The dunghill is still, intrinsically and internally, a dunghill – that hasn’t changed. What has changed is its relationship to an external standard – God’s standard.

That first snowfall, the righteousness of Christ, an alien righteousness, the righteousness of another, is imputed to us, covering us and removing our offensiveness before God the Father. We do remain sinners inwardly; it is the work of sanctification that changes us internally, conforming us ever closer to the image of Christ.

Martin Luther did not deny the renewing work of the Spirit in regeneration – the fact that we are given a new heart, for example. His purpose in this case was solely to show how and why justification differs from sanctification.

Luther has taken his lumps over the years for this illustration. It is common for many to bring up this story and say, “See, Luther and those who follow him in their understanding of justification don’t really believe that God changes us. We can just go on sinning and all will be well.” Do such objections have merit? Do they carry weight? Is the view of Luther and his followers a legal fairy tale?

I have found the best way to defend Luther on the issue, aside from biblically demonstrating the nature of justification via the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and the non-imputation of sin, is to turn the illustration around. How do other religious movements believe that pile of dung can ever hope of be pleasing in God’s sight?

The primary teaching of the religions of man is that when a person is “saved,” he is made internally and intrinsically pleasing to God. To bring it into Luther’s context, when the pile of dung is “saved,” it is internally changed from a pile of dung into a pile of… gold! A fine, shiny pile of gold that would, of course, be desirable to anyone, including God. God would surely like to have this pile of gold in heaven with Him, so long as the gold remains what it is – intrinsically pleasing to God – it will enter into His presence.

But man’s religions cannot bear a perfect work of salvation that gives no place to man. The very nature of these religious systems requires that salvation be conditional upon continued works on the part of the followers. The idea of failure, falling away, has to be held over the heads of those you wish to control through religious power. So in our illustration, there must be some consequence to failure (sin) on the part of the pile of gold as it goes through life.

Since Roman Catholic apologists are those who most often raise objections to Luther’s view…, let’s put the pile of gold into that context. (This is also fair to Luther, who was reacting to the Roman Catholic doctrine to begin with.) In the Roman Catholic system our dunghill would become a pile of gold through the “laver of regeneration,” baptism. It would then be internally changed and made pleasing to God.

However, the pile of gold may commit sins during the course of its life on earth. Some sins, it is said, do not destroy the grace of justification that has turned the dunghill into the pile of gold. These are called venial sins. But there are punishments, temporal punishments, that come with such sins. We would liken those to flecks or globs of dung that appear on the surface of the gold. They are not enough to cause the gold to be rejected by God en toto, but some mechanism for cleansing the gold must be envisioned. This leads to the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory, the idea of a place of cleansing (or purgation) after death but before entrance into the presence of God.

But what about those serious sins that do, in fact, destroy the grace of justification? These “mortal” sins would instantaneously turn the pile of gold back into a pile of dung. The dunghill must then rely upon other remedies to regain the grace of justification (the sacrament of penance, in this particular case) and again become a pile of gold. Yet there can be temporal punishments for mortal sins as well, so even though the dunghill becomes a gold pile, it’s not a perfect gold pile – it still must be concerned about self-purification.

The worst thing with such a system is this: the pile never knows whether it’s gold or dung. Since there are requirements that must be fulfilled to obtain justification and maintain it, one can never know if everything that needs to be done has been done.

And so the real issue of this entire study comes to the fore. Is salvation the work of God? Does God save, perfectly, completely, in accordance with His own purpose and grace? Or is the gospel a “maybe,” a “do this and live.” Is it a matter of “done in Christ Jesus,” or is it “do with help and assistance from God”?

Perfect Savior, Perfect Salvation

Clothed in the righteousness of Christ that is ours by faith and faith alone – this is the hope of the believer. Why should God bring you into His presence if you were to die today? So many, when asked this question, respond with talk of works, deeds, or attitudes. Even those who call themselves Christians will speak of things they have done: giving to church, attending regularly, helping in the nursery.

In reality, there is only one answer to the question that is biblically correct: God will accept me because I am clothed in the perfect righteousness of His Son, a righteousness imputed to me by faith and faith alone. I make no other plea, for none is necessary. I am accepted in the Beloved One, the Son, whose death in my place removes all my sin, and whose perfect righteousness, imputed to me, allows me to hear the words of the Father: “Not guilty. Enter into My presence.”

What kind of righteousness is yours? What is the object of your faith? Do you trust in the God who justifies, or do you trust partly in this work, partly in that sacrament, partly in those religious ceremonies? Do you hope that grace will help you to do things that will allow you to merit eternal life? Or do you know, with the assurance of faith, that only Christ and His righteousness can avail for you? There can be no greater treasure in this life than to have the certainty of acceptance with God. Do you have this treasure? Only you can answer that question. None other on earth can truly know. But it is a vital inquiry you cannot afford to ignore.

God has been called many things by man down through the ages. The Bible uses numerous phrases and titles attempting to bring out the grandeur and majesty of Yahweh. But the most precious are those that describe Him as the God who is faithful to His promises, faithful to His covenant of salvation. His Word has given us the most precious title of all – precious, at least, to the one who knows intimately the sin that is his, the guilt, the righteous judgment that hangs over his head – and that title is, “the God who justifies.” He is the god who declares righteous by the redemption found only in His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the just and holy Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. All glory and honor and thanks go to Him. Let the redeemed of the Lord boast in Him, and in Him alone.

The Fuzzy Mass

What do they do if a monkey steals the consecrated host? Give it an indulgence?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Martin Luther's Bondage of the Will

This audio recording of Luther's Bondage of the Will is from the Calvinist site and was produced by Still Waters Revival Books ( The audio quality is not that great, but I thought the reader did a good job.

Luther considered this one of his best works along with the Galatians commentary and the Small Catechism.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Lutheran Jacques Migne

From Wikipedia:
Jacques Paul Migne (25 October 1800 - 24 October 1875) was a French priest who published inexpensive and widely-distributed editions of theological works, encyclopedias and the texts of the Church Fathers, with the goal of providing a universal library for the Catholic priesthood.

Migne had become convinced of the power of the press and the sheer value of raw information widely distributed. In 1836 he opened his great publishing house, Imprimerie Catholique, at Petit Montrouge, in the outlying 14th arrondissement of Paris. There he brought out in rapid succession numerous religious works meant for the use of the lesser clergy at popular prices that insured a wide circulation. The best known of these are: Scripturae sacrae cursus completus ("complete course in sacred scripture") which assembled a wide repertory of commentaries on each of the books of the Bible, and Theologiae cursus, each of them in 28 vols, 1840-5; Collection des auteurs sacrés (100 vols., 1846-8); Encyclopédie théologique (171 vols., 1844-6).

The three great series that have made his reputation were Patrologiae cursus completus, Latin series (Patrologia Latina) in 221 vols. (1844-5); Greek series (Patrologia Graeca), first published in Latin (85 vols., 1856-7); with Greek text and Latin translation (165 vols., 1857-8). Though scholars have always criticised them, these hastily edited, inexpensively printed and widely distributed texts have only slowly been replaced during a century and a half with more critically edited modern editions. Though the cheap paper of the originals has made them fragile today, the scope of the Patrologia still makes it unique and valuable, wherever modern editions do not yet exist. It is a far more complete collection of Patristic and later literature than anything that has appeared subsequently or is likely to. To create so much so quickly, Migne reprinted the best or latest earlier editions available to him. In the PG the Latin translations were often made in the renaissance before any Greek text had been printed, and so do not necessarily match the Greek text very accurately. The indexes themselves are useful for locating references in the patristic writings. The collection is now available on CD-ROM at some research libraries and an electronic version is online as a subscriber service.


My goal is to one day be a Lutheran Jacques Migne by putting together an online database of works by the Lutheran fathers in their original languages.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

“The Midnight Lion”—Gustav Adolf

Gustav Adolf (Gustavus Adolphus) was the
Swedish king whose intervention in the
Thirty Years’ War was instrumental in preventing
Roman Catholic forces from
crushing the Lutheran Church.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Once to Every Man And Nation

Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Johann Reu - Luther and the Scriptures

I scanned and uploaded Johann Reu's book Luther and the Scriptures, so feel free to download it.

Johann Reu - Luther and the Scriptures (low resolution - 23.3MB)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM), under the umbrella of The Center for the Research of Early Christian Documents (CRECD), exists for the following purposes:

To make digital photographs of extant Greek New Testament manuscripts so that such images can be preserved, duplicated without deterioration, and accessed by scholars doing textual research.

To utilize developing technologies (OCR, MSI, etc.) to read these manuscripts and create exhaustive collations.

To analyze individual scribal habits in order to better predict scribal tendencies in any given textual problem.

To publish on various facets of New Testament textual criticism

To develop electronic tools for the examination and analysis of New Testament manuscripts.

To cooperate with other institutes in the great and noble task of determining the wording of the autographa of the New Testament.

CSNTM is a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status
(incorporated in Texas on September 13, 2002). All
donations are tax-deductible.

Why Digital Photography?
Below are sample photographs of Greek New Testament manuscripts. Two are taken with microfilm, two with digital technology. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts desires to take high-resolution digital photographs of Greek New Testament manuscripts, preserving the treasures of the ancient Church and making the images accessible for scholarly research.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rorate caeli desuper

This beautiful song is based off of Isaiah 45:8.

Rorate, cæli, desuper,
et nubes pluant justum ;
aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem,
et justitia oriatur simul :
ego Dominus creavi eum.

Biblia Sacra juxta Vulgatam Clementinam. 2005 (Ed. electronica) (Is 45:8). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Complete Hebrew O.T. and Complete Greek N.T. on Audio

I spent a great deal of time looking for a quality recording of the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament and I came across this website:

The recordings are done by Dr. Louis Tyler.

"Dr. Louis Tyler is a Baptist minister and has taught Hebrew, Greek, English, Spanish, German, and Bible. He holds a BSE from the University of Texas at Austin (1970) with teaching certification in English, Spanish, and German; the M.Div. degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1974); an MA in Hebrew (Greek minor) from the University of Texas at Austin (1981); and a Ph.D. in Foreign-Language Education-Hebrew (second language: Aramaic), also at UT Austin (1988). He currently teaches at the Río Grande Bible Institute in Edinburg, Texas."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Church and Change Christmas in July

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vespers or Matins Service During the Week

I was recently thinking of whether it would be a good idea to have a vespers or matins service two or three times during the week. It would not be anything major like a Sunday service with a sermon etc., just reading some passages out of the Bible and singing a few hymns. I always feel refreshed after corporate worship and parting of the sacrament with fellow believers.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Konzerte in der Frauenkirche Dresden

This gave me goose bumps! A small glimpse of heaven.

Hi-Fi Hymn Book

There are a lot of nice hymns on this site and they are adding more all the time.