Seed picking with Philosophers

 

Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. Acts 17:18 NKJV.

Babbler, spermologos, Strong’s #4691: Athenian slang for:

  1. A bird that picks up seeds;
  2. Men lounging around the marketplace, making a living by picking up whatever falls from the loads of merchandise;
  3. A babbler, chatterer, or gossip retailing bits and pieces of misinformation;
  4. A pseudo-intellectual who insists on spouting off.

Tragically, the super-intellectuals on Mars Hill failed to see in Paul all the necessary ingredients for being a truth bringer.

Epicureanism (seeking tranquility as the highest good) and Stoicism (being free passion and passively accepting everything in life as inevitable, impersonal fate) were popular philosophies.

 

 

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The Elephant in the Room

And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.” “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” “All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mark 7:20-23 N.K.J.V.

Pride, huperephania, Strong’s #5243 Twelfth on the list of thirteen inner vices, the word means haughtiness (blatantly and disdainfully proud) arrogance (an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner) ostentatious pride bordering insolence, and disdainful attitude toward others.

It is a pharisaical sin characterized by superiority of attitude. It is a state of pride that is the very opposite of Jesus’ claim for Himself, meek (praotes) and lowly (tapeinos).

When the Elephant in My Room is Pride

The Bible is clear on pride.  Pride is not from God but from the world (1 John 2:16).  Pride will bring us down (Prov. 29:23; 16:18) and bring disgrace (Prov. 11:2).  Jesus said that it is one of the defiling expressions of a heart opposed to God (Mark 7:22).  It is one of those pervasive heart problems that can drive a life like few other struggles can. It can even drive good things we do in ministry.

Any thoughts?

Thematic maps of the Apocalypse

ALL OVER THE MAP

A Blog by Betsy Mason & Greg Miller

These 15th-Century Maps Show How the Apocalypse Will Go Down

The triangles in this map from a 15th-century German apocalyptic manuscript predict the rise of the Antichrist between 1570 and 1600.  THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

The triangles in this map from a 15th-century German apocalyptic manuscript predict the rise of the Antichrist between 1570 and 1600.
THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

In 15th-century Europe, the Apocalypse weighed heavily on the minds of the people. Plagues were rampant. The once-great capital of the Roman empire, Constantinople, had fallen to the Turks. Surely, the end was nigh.

Dozens of printed works described the coming reckoning in gory detail, but one long-forgotten manuscript depicts the Apocalypse in a very different way—through maps. “It has this sequence of maps that illustrate each stage of what will happen,” says Chet Van Duzer, a historian of cartography who has written a book about the previously unstudied manuscript.

The geography is sketchy by modern standards, but the maps make one thing perfectly clear: If you’re a sinner, you’ve got nowhere to hide. The Antichrist is coming, and his four horns will reach the corners of the earth. And it just gets worse from there.

The manuscript is also the first known collection of thematic maps, or maps that depict something that’s not a physical feature of the environment (like rivers, roads, and cities). Thematic maps are ubiquitous today—from rainbow-colored weather maps to the red-and-blue maps of election results—but most historians date their origins to the 17th century. The apocalypse manuscript, which now belongs to the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, was written two centuries earlier, Van Duzer writes in his recently published book, Apocalyptic Cartography.

According to the manuscript, the four horns of the Antichrist will extend to the ends of the earth between 1600 and 1606. The horns represent the ways he will persuade people to follow him: deceit, cunning, cruelty, and imitation of the Deity. THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

According to the manuscript, the four horns of the Antichrist will extend to the ends of the earth between 1600 and 1606. The horns represent the ways he will persuade people to follow him: deceit, cunning, cruelty, and imitation of the Deity. THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

According to the manuscript, the four horns of the Antichrist will extend to the ends of the earth between 1600 and 1606. The horns represent the ways he will persuade people to follow him: deceit, cunning, cruelty, and imitation of the Deity.

 

THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

The manuscript was made in Lübeck, Germany, between 1486 and 1488. It’s written in Latin, so it wasn’t meant for the masses. But it’s not as scholarly as other contemporary manuscripts, and the penmanship is poor, Van Duzer says. “It’s aimed at the cultural elite, but not the pinnacle of the cultural elite.”

The author is unknown. Van Duzer suspects it may have been a well-traveled doctor named Baptista. If so, he was in some ways very much a product of his time, yet in other ways centuries ahead of it.

The cartographic account of the Apocalypse begins with a map that shows the condition of the world between 639 and 1514. The earth is a circle, and Asia, Africa, and Europe are depicted as pie wedges surrounded by water. The text describes the rise of Islam, which the author sees as a growing threat to the Christian world. “There’s no way to escape it, this work is very anti-Islamic,” Van Duzer says. “It’s unfortunate,” he adds, but it was a widespread bias in that place and time.

THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY Unlike the Huntington manuscript, many works published around the same time, such as this hand-colored German book published in 1470, used pictures to depict the impending horrors of the Apocalypse. (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)

THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY
Unlike the Huntington manuscript, many works published around the same time, such as this hand-colored German book published in 1470, used pictures to depict the impending horrors of the Apocalypse. (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)

Subsequent maps, which you can see in the gallery above, depict the “Sword of Islam” conquering Europe, followed by the rise of the Antichrist, a massive triangle that extends from pole to pole. Another map depicts the gates of Hell opening up on Judgment Day, which the author predicts will occur in 1651. A small, featureless globe depicts the world after that.

Unlike the Huntington manuscript, many works published around the same time, such as this hand-colored German book published in 1470, used pictures to depict the impending horrors of the Apocalypse. (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)

 

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

All the maps in the manuscript are symbolic, but the post-apocalyptic map takes minimalism to the max. “There’s nothing on it, but it’s very clearly labeled as a map,” Van Duzer says. “It raises the question of what is a map, and it explores that boundary.”

The text is filled with idiosyncratic details. The author calculated the distance to Paradise: 777 German miles from Lübeck to Jerusalem, and thence another 1000 miles to the eastern end of the Earth (a German mile is an obsolete measurement with many variations, making it difficult to pin down the modern equivalent). He also calculated the circumferences of Earth and Hell (8,000 and 6,100 German miles, respectively, though his use of different numbers for pi suggests a shaky grasp of geometry).

In addition to the apocalyptic section, the manuscript includes a section on astrological medicine and a treatise on geography that’s remarkably ahead of its time. For example, the author writes about the need to adjust the size of text to prevent distortions on maps and make them easier to read, an issue cartographers still wrestle with today. (At the same time, he also chastises mapmakers for placing monsters on maps in places where they didn’t exist, an issue cartographers rarely wrestle with today.)

The geographical treatise ends with a short discussion of the purpose and function of world maps. It’s here, Van Duzer says, that the author outlines an essentially modern understanding of thematic maps to illustrate characteristics of the people or political organization of different regions.

“For me this is one of the most amazing passages, to have someone from the 15th century telling you their ideas about what maps can do.”

—Greg Miller

 Interesting?

 

Roman Style America.

Roman Style America

by Karen Kramer

If only we’d learn our history, we might avoid repeating it—particularly Roman history.

Way back in the fourth century, B.C. leaders in the Roman government set price controls on wheat. When there were shortages, the government would buy up stockpiles and then sell it at a fixed price below market price.

Farmers were not able to do anything about the government control. Then the government took even more control and decided to give away grain to Roman citizens. With such a terrific deal for all the citizens, the farmers decided to just give up farming and head to the city for free food.

It didn’t take long for one-third of the Roman citizenry to be taking the hand-outs.rome

What to do with so much cost to the government? The Roman officials decided to just debase the currency. They soon learned that devaluing the currency came with a bite: inflation.

But whatever you do, don’t review the bad decisions, just compound them.

By A.D. 284 Roman Emperor Diocletian thought massive government spending projects were needed.

To undertake the massive increases in military spending along with huge building endeavors, and the bureaucracy to implement it all, he used forced labor and raised taxes to exorbitant levels.

Of course, projects of this size never come in under budget. Thus, it was necessary to debase the currency—again. Ironically, the government wouldn’t take its own debased currency for tax payments—the poor citizens had to pay with the real deal. And when they couldn’t, they became slaves to the state to pay the bills—on time.

Lesson learned? Not yet. By A.D. 301 the Edict of Diocletian became law. In short, the government controlled all the pricing, manufacturing, and sales.

Anyone caught producing or selling outside those controls were given a death sentence. History records how disastrous this was. Mobs and rioters were the norm.

flagFinally, the Roman Empire weakened and eventually became, well, history. Without a foundation of a free society with respect for individual rights and a free market, Rome was just another failed civilization.

But it does offer wisdom for those who turn to history for the lessons it can teach.

Why can’t people see where we are headed as a nation—same old same old. The ‘Lemmingnization’ of America. 

Are You exercising Your Spiritual Ministry With Authority?

 

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the circumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting (certificate of debt with its) requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And having taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the Cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:13-15.29bd8d64cafbe4926a698eade7ed45db

Wiped out, exaleipho, Strong’s # 1813. From ek, “out,” and aleipho, “to anoint”; to wipe out, wipe off, wash. Use metaphorically, the word means a removal or obliteration, whether of sins (Acts 3:19), of writing (Col. 2:14), of a name (Rev. 3:5), or of tears (Rev.21:4).

Jesus Christ’s triumph over sin and evil powers was accomplished in “it”—that is in the Cross. This text, joined to and studied beside others (Eph. 2:13-16; Gal. 3:13,14; 2 Cor. 5:14-17; Rom. 5:6-15; and Rev. 12:10,11), firmly establishes Jesus suffering, shed blood, sacrificial death, and resurrection triumph as the only adequate and available grounds for ransom from sin, reconciliation to God, redemption from slavery, and restoration. The Cross is the sole hope and means for full reinstatement to relationship with God and ruler ship under Him –to “reign in life” (Rom. 5:17).

Two points need to be expressed to avoid presumption or imbalance.

  1. God’s sovereign authority and almighty power is the source from which mankind derives any ability to share in the exercise of God’s kingdom power.
  2. But even more important, seeing sinful, fallen man had lost all claim to his early privilege of ruler ship under God, let us remember the grounds upon which all kingdom privilege or power may be restored and by which such spiritual ministry with authority may be exercised.

Can a man change a man—short answer-NO, only Jesus can change a man.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 NKJV.

Renewal, Anakainosis, Strongs#342, a renewing or a renovation which makes a person different than in the past.butterfly

To “renew” is “to renovate” implying a restoration to freshness or to an original state. It implies the potential of redemption’s power to reinstate features of God’s original intention for humanity and a recovery of many potentialities of the soul as designed before the fall.

The mind speaks to the intellect or understanding, but also includes all that is described in the word “mind-set,” that is, the feelings (emotions) and the will (a group as a definition of the soul, mind, will, emotions). Being “transformed” by the renewal of the mind indicates a literal “change in the form or formulas of thought or being.”

This speaks of redemption’s provision of power to instill godliness in us—a power that transforms:

  1. Our thoughts, which lead to formulating
  2. Our purposes, which proceed to dictate our actions; and, so,
  3. Our actions become character-determining habits, shaping the life and setting the course for the future.

The path to godly living is not some complex plan, nor is it energized by the flesh, but it does call the believer to willing submission to the Father’s provision and ways.

Seeing the invisible: Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing yet the inward man is being renewed day by day (speaks to a process over time) 2 Cor. 4:16.

And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him… Col. 3:10. By your patience possess your souls. Luke 21:19.

Seek the one who can transform a man Jesus.

 

 

Justification through the Blood, Sanctification through the Spirit.

He-is-Risen

Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God: to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:24-26 KJV.

Redemption, apolutrosis, Strong’s #629. “To deliver by paying a price.” The N.T. records the fulfillment of the O.T. types and prophecies of redemption through the sacrifice of Christ. The completed truth is set forth in the three words which are translated redemption:

  1. Agorazo, “to purchase in the market.” The underlying thought is of a slave market. The subjects of redemption are “sold under sin” (Romans 7:14), but are moreover, under sentence of death (Ezk. 18:4; John 3:18, 19; Rom.3:19; Gal.3:10). And the purchase price is the blood of Redeemer who dies in their stead (Gal.3:13; 2Cor.5:21; Mat. 20:28; Mk. 10:45; 1 Tim. 2:6; 1Pet.1:18).
  2. Exagorazo, “to buy out of the market.” The redeemed are never again to be exposed to sale.
  3. Lutro, “To loose,” “To set free by paying a price (John 8:32; Gal.4:4,5, 31,5:31Rom.8:21). Redemption is by sacrifice and by power (Ex. 14:30); Christ paid the price, The Holy Spirit makes deliverance actual in experience (Rom.8:2).

He is our Redemption, He is Risen, let us rejoice.

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