Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sumedru's Fire in the Schoolyard

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Religious Icon from Romania

This is an example of one of the many religious icons (invariably manufactured in Greece).that are for sale in all the monasteries The very fabric of the buildings feels drenched with prayers and they made such an impression on me that I felt a religious icon would help remind me, when back home, of these quiet and peaceful places.
The silver in the icons in the churches and monasteries, gleams from constant stroking and kissing. They are usually illuminated and burning incense is often hung close to them. They attract the attention of all ages.
I was surprised at the numbers of both young and old in all places of religious observance. Romanians will invariably 'cross' themselves when passing a church, even when on a bus ! The Orthodox Church still has a powerful influence over the hearts and minds of most of the population. The standard of living of the monks and nuns though, is noticeably better than that of the majority of Romanians. When I got a peek into their living quarters in one monastery I was surprised at the standard of the furnishings - better than I had seen in any retail outlet in Romania.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Pupil Johnny Badulescu Singing "What Joy I Have in Jesus"

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We Know to Celebrate

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Romania is a Chosen Place

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

What Does It Mean to Be the Son of God?

What does it mean to say Jesus is the Son of God? This is a fairly common phrase and refers to many different persons. For example angels are sometimes called sons of God. Job 1:6 says, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them" (cf. Psalm 29:1; 82:6). Also the nation Israel was called God's son. God tells Moses in Exodus 4:22, "You shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord: Israel is my first-born son and I say to you, Let my son go that he may serve me.'" And of course Christians are called sons of God: "All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Romans 8:14). Or even more close to our text, Jesus says in Luke 6:35, "Love your enemies and do well and lend expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High."
This broad and diverse use of the term "son of God" shows the need for a very careful reading of Scripture. One of the demands of careful reading is that we not insist that words or phrases always mean the same thing. The same word or the same phrase can mean many different things. When you speak or write, what you want is for people to ask what you mean by your words, not what someone else may mean by them. And not only that, you want people to decide what you mean by your words now, not what you meant by them five years ago. Well, it's just the same with biblical writers. We must not assume that what Luke means by a word or phrase is the same as what Moses meant by that same word or phrase. Nor should we assume that "Son of the Most High" in Luke 1 means the same as "sons of the Most High" in Luke 6.
The principle to follow, in order to be fair to a writer, is: try to use the sentences closest at hand in deciding what a word or phrase means; and then use the more distant analogies, if there is some clue that the same issue is at stake in both places.

Now if we follow this principle in Luke 1 we find two things:

1) There is an Old Testament analogy to Jesus' sonship, and yet.

2) His sonship is unique in the whole world.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Good Manners at Table