Christmas Unto the Lord?

There is no day of the week which is not dedicated to the worship of a false God. Even Sunday was dedicated to the worship of a false God. What about all those Christians going to church on Sunday? Sabbatarians you don't get a break either becuase Saturday is just as dedicated to false pagan worship as Sunday. What is a believer to do? Go indoors and hide? No, let's not hide our light under a bushel. Just because some have set aside days for false worship doesn't mean we cannot redeem those days for the Lord. Satan does not own any day of the week. Every day on the calendar belongs to God as part of his "good" creation. Not the pagan or even Satan.

Even pagans have used musical tunes and hymns since ancient times. Does this mean we can't use musical tunes or hymns? Of course not. This is the genetic fallacy. Abuse or improper used doesn't mean disuse. We do not use musical tunes and hymns to glorify a fictional deity rather we use them in a redeeming CORRECT way. The vibration of every note played or sung belongs to the Lord. Some Christians surrender God's creation to Satan and pagans. It's as though that day cannot be taken from the clutch of the pagan's grasp.

Pagans even used temples possibly prior and contemporaneously with the Hebrews who also used  temples. Using the logic of those who give the days and music to Satan the Hebrews shouldn't have used a temple. Again, this is the genetic fallacy. We never read of any condmenation of any such thing in the Scriptures. We should just go with the words of Paul here:
Romans 14:5-9, One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. ESV
No day on the calendar irredeemably belongs to Satan. This seems to be what the anti-Christmas crowd suggests. At Christmas time people are open, possibly more than ever, to recieve our testimony as believers. We should not miss this great opportunity any more than we would wish to miss them any other day of the year.

In attempting to get away from pagan idolatry some isoloate themselves from God and the world they have been sent into to disciple. Essentially, they lose and gain nothing. Be true to your convictions but do not isolate yourself like the Jehovah's Witness during this time (they also do not celebrate birthdays). We should find something important and significant for our families to do during these times. Christians should take these days back to the honor and glory of the Lord. Celebrating the birth of Christ and outreach to the world is a great way to do that very thing.


Roger Perkins Responds to Alan Kurschner's Recent Blog Article on Hebrews 1:3

Comments by Kurschner in orange followed by Perkins' comments in black.

12/23/2011 - Alan Kurschner“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature [kai charaktēr tēs hypostaseōs autou] and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Heb 1:3 ESV)

First, a word about the spiral nature of hermeneutics that most Trinitarians overlook in their "Exegesis". Proper hermeneutics works from the macroscopic to the microscopic. That is, the avid Bible student begins with the overall genre of a book (Macro) and from there funnels down to specific passages (Micro), never forgetting the overall purpose of the book.

The book of Hebrews was addressed to Jewish Christians so wrapped up in OT Judaism that, evidently, some were wanting to return to their old tradition including animal sacrifices (E.G., 10:26). This is the very reason the writer repeatedly appeals to the OT in buttressing his doctrinal posture. Virtually all Trinitarian apologists state that the OT standing alone does not support the Trinity doctrine, and I would argue neither does the NT which was written by Jewish hands (save Luke, who was most likely a proselyte Jew). The overriding point is that if these Jewish-Christians were so wrapped up in OT prescriptions that they were wanting to revert back to animal sacrifices...do we honestly believe they were worshipping a "2nd of 3 divine individuals" never once presented in the same OT the writer appeals to? Me thinks not!

Secondly, who was "the Son" in the immediate context of Heb. 1? None other than the one through whom God spoke in "these last days," clearly referring to the Messiah who traversed this Earth as God manifest in the flesh. Yet, it would be incredible to think that God never spoke through a "second-divine-co-eternal-individual" for all of eternity, but reserved such communication until a mere 2,000 years ago? It is from this premise that the writer begins his entire work. The Son is identified in Hebrews as speaking only in these last days, the express image of God, inherited a superior name, begotten into the world "today," anointed by His "God," has companions, etc. ad nauseum. Clearly, a "Pre-existent 2nd divine individual" is entirely foreign to the writer's notion of "the Son".

Now to the phrase "express image". Moulton & Milligan, pg. 683, concludes this term as "an exact reproduction". Various lexicographers conclude the same general meaning with a few similar variables. More about this definition, as well as the tense used in this passage below.....

The author of Hebrews expands on describing the Son's radiance of the glory of God by ascribing to the Son, "the exact imprint of [God's] nature." The Greek expression used is highly significant: "charaktēr tēs hypostaseōs autou." This statement about the Son being the exact representation of the essence of God tells us two things about the Son: (1) He is divine,

The Son is the one OT Yahweh in flesh, so of course He's Divine in this sense. Problem is, He's NEVER identified in Holy Writ as a "2nd Divine-Individual, apart from 2 other Divine-Individuals, each with their own separate center of consciousness". Secondly, an imprint or reproduction is not the thing that it is a reproduction of...in this case the invisible God. The term translated "exact imprint" connotes that which is tangible and visible....not invisible. Hence, it is clear that some sort of body is in view here, which precisely our position relative to the Son of God and only advances the argument!

and (2) is distinguished from another person (the Father in this case) because he shares in—represents—the same nature as another person.

Ahhh yes, the presuppositions are coming through nicely now aren't they? Here, we have an indirect admission in belief in "distinguished" "divinity," with the modification (& invention) of "persons" in order to circumvent the glaringly obvious lean toward Tritheism. Thankfully, we Oneness folks don't have to add to the Scriptures like this in order to force our doctrine into a text that never acknowledges the same. Interestingly here, it is said that the supposed divine persons "share" the nature of God, which immediately raises questions as to exactly which "person" would be "the Almighty" or "the Supreme Deity" since they all "share" the same nature? Again, thankfully Oneness believers do not have to wrestle with such conundrums inherent within such unbiblical notions.

For if the Son were the Father, it would be strange, if not illogical, to speak of him as the representation of God's nature.

In the first place, I don't know a Oneness believer on Earth who confesses "the Son IS the Father". This is a complete straw-man tactic either ignorantly (at best) or dishonestly (at worst) used to attack the Biblical message of the Mighty God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:19; Jn. 14:10). I will give this writer the benefit of the doubt & assume the former. What is "strange" & "illogical" is the idea that, in His present heavenly state (note the present tense "IS the exact imprint") the supposed "2nd divine individual" is a "reproduction" of the supposed "1st divine individual"? Who is representing the "2nd & 3rd divine individuals" in Heaven?? If co-equal, wouldn't they need a representative as well, especially in light of the Trinitarian doctrine of "Perichoresis" (Intermingling)? Strange this is not at all the notion presented to us in the Revelation 22:3-4. Think I'll stick with the Bible.

There are two persons in view here, not one.

Assumption stated as fact. There are 2 states of existence: The One Yahweh in His Transcendent existence, outside of the Incarnation, and this self-same God within the self-imposed limitations of the Incarnation...as "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His BEING (NIV)". One God, 2 simultaneous offices of existence...not "2 divine-individuals, each with their own separate center of consciousness".

Moreover, the last statement in this verse, "he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," demonstrates two co-existing persons.

The phrase "sat down" simply connotes the finished work of Christ, the Messiah, in contrast to those priests who "stood daily" (E.G., Heb. 10:11-12). The term "Right Hand" is simply a Jewish idiomatic expression (which the Hebrew believers would readily pick up on) denoting mediatorship, glory and the place of authority....all of which the Messiah occupies. The verse knows nothing of "divine individuals in the Trinity" and the text standing alone will never support such a notion despite the desperate attempts to force it into the Bible.

Therefore the Son cannot be identified as the Father.

Again, we do not confess this, but, whom the Son is equally never identified as is a "2nd of 3 divine-individuals, each with their own separate center of consciousness...entirely unknown throughout 4,000 years of Hebrew revelation". "Illogical" indeed!


Andreas Kostenberger from Biblical Foundations: When Was Jesus Born, and When Did He Die?

Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter every year, but few know when Jesus was actually born and when he died. Not that any great doctrine rests on the calculations below, but it sure is nice that we can have reasonable confidence that the dates of Jesus’ birth and death are secure and can be gleaned from a combination of biblical and extrabiblical historical data. I may not be willing to stake my life on the accuracy of the data below, but I am confident enough of these calculations that the license plate of my van reads as follows: 5BC–AD33. So here you go:

Jesus’ birth most likely took place in late November of 5 B.C. (the most authoritative treatment of which I am aware is Paul L. Maier, “The Date of the Nativity and the Chronology of Jesus’ Life,” in Chronos, karios, Christos: Nativity and Chronological Studies Presented to Jack Finegan [ed. J. Vardaman and E. M. Yamauchi; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1989], 113–30). This, incidentally, would allow enough time for Jesus to be born and for Herod (who died in 4 B.C.) to mount his campaign to have all the boys two years old and under in Bethlehem and vicinity killed (see Matt 2:16, 19).

Jesus’ crucifixion probably occurred on Friday, April 3, A.D. 33. Luke 3:1–3 tells us that John the Baptist, Jesus’ forerunner, began his ministry “in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.” Both Roman historians Tacitus (Annales 4 §4) and Suetonius (Tiberius 73) date the beginning of Tiberius’s reign at A.D. 14 (the precise date is August 19, the day of Emperor Augustus’s death). Hence the 15th year of Tiberius’s reign, counting from August 19, A.D. 14, brings us to A.D. 29 (14 + 15 = 29).

According to Luke 3:23, Jesus was “about 30 years old” when he began his ministry. If Jesus was born in 5 B.C. (as argued above) and began his ministry, as is indicated by all four Gospels, shortly after that of John the Baptist (that is, in the latter part of the year A.D. 29), this would mean that Jesus was about 33 years old when he began his public ministry (see H. W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977], 31–37 and B. Messner, “’In the Fifteenth Year’ Reconsidered: A Study of Luke 3:1,” Stone-Campbell Journal 1 [1998]: 201–11).

John’s Gospel records Jesus’ appearance at at least 3 Passovers: (1) in Jerusalem (2:13, 23); (2) in Galilee (6:4); and (3) again in Jerusalem (11:55; 12:1). In addition, it is likely that he attended a fourth Passover not recorded in John but recorded in the Synoptics (Matt 12:1 pars.?). This adds up to a length of about 3 ½ years for Jesus’ ministry. If he began his ministry in late A.D. 29, this brings us to A.D. 33 for the crucifixion. It so happens that because of astronomical calculations A.D. 30 and 33 are the only possible dates for Jesus’ crucifixion as far as the date of Passover in these two years is concerned (for the dating of the four Passovers in question see esp. C. J. Humphreys and W. G. Waddington, “The Jewish Calendar, a Lunar Eclipse, and the Date of Christ’s Crucifixion,” Tyndale Bulletin 43 [1992]: 331–51, esp. 335).

Finally, John 2:20 says that the temple was completed 46 years ago (see for this translation A. J. Köstenberger, John [BECNT; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004], 109–10). According to Josephus, the renovation of the temple building proper started in 20/19 B.C. (Antiquities 15.11.1 §380), with completion 18 months later in 18/17 B.C. (Antiquities 15.11.6 §421). Again, counting from 18/17 B.C., adding 46 years brings us to A.D. 29 (there was no year zero)—a great way to check our math above!

For Further Study: See the chart in A. J. Köstenberger, John (BECNT; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004), 11–13, and commentary at 1:19 and 2:20, and the previous post on Johannine chronology here. See also H. W. Hoehner, “Chronology,” in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (ed. J. B. Green, S. McKnight, and I. H. Marshall; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1992), 118–22. Also, http://www.biblicalfoundations.org/c...th-c-l-quarles.

The Spanish translation of this post can be found here: http://fundamentosbiblicos.com/

Click here to read from Biblical Foundations website.


Quotes of Note:

For years I have had a daily reading schedule. I have a very broad or eclectic reading taste. That may explain why I am quoting such a variety below. At any rate, here are some select quotes from some recent reading material:
"The Word of God is the Word that God spoke, speaks, and will speak in the midst of all men...That man who refuses to listen and to obey the Word acts not as a free man but as a slave, for there is no freedom except through God's Word." ~Karl Barth (Evangelical Theology)
‎"...theological study and the impulse which compels it are not passing stages of life. The forms which this study assumes may and must change slightly with the times. But the theologian, if he was in fact a studiosus theologiae, remains so even to his death." ~Karl Barth (Evangelical Theology)
Prayer without study would be empty. Study without prayer would be blind. ~Karl Barth (Evangelical Theology)
I’ve often said some men say they are standing for truth when they are really standing for their interpretation of the truth. We have fought each other over dead issues while the living perish. A man’s love for God can be measured by the love he has for the man he loves the least. ~T.F. Tenney
When the author walks on the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right - something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise. It will be too late then to choose your side. ~C.S. Lewis
Those thinkers who cannot believe in any gods often assert that the love of humanity would be in itself sufficient for them; and so, perhaps, it would, if they had it. ~G.K. Chesterson
“I have read my books by many lights, hoarding their beauty, their wit or wisdom against the dark days when I would have no book, nor a place to read. I have known hunger of the belly kind many times over, but I have known a worse hunger: the need to know and to learn.” ~Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man)

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)