The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

Archive for the tag “james b jordan”

The Case for Reading the Bible Through New Eyes and Ears

I began my day reading through Jim Jordan’s magnum opus, Through New Eyes. Jim is a dear friend and we have worked together for three years (09-11). I have literally read and listened to hundreds of articles, sermons, & lessons. If Jim publishes, my eyes will seek to scan it. In many ways, he has taught me to love the Bible in a deeper way than before. Read more…

The Battle in Bear Country » Sullivan v Wilson: Is Civil Marriage for Gay Couples Good for Society?

The University of Idaho hosted a public debate, to a crowd of over 800, on February 27, 2013. The debate was participated in by Andrew Sullivan, blogger and former senior editor of The Atlantic, and Douglas Wilson, pastor of Christ Church of Moscow, ID, author and educator. The topic of the debate: Is Civil Marriage for Gay Couples Good for Society?

Battle of the Beards

Battle of the Beards

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Audio Series: How to Read the Bible for the First Time…Again

Just this past weekend (04/22/2013), Steve Jeffery, minister of Emmanuel Evangelical Church in Southgate, North London, England, hosted a colloquium for those who wish to experience the Word of God with new eyes.
The event featured special guest speaker Reverend James B Jordan, director of Biblical Horizons and soon to be joining Dr. Peter J Leithart at the Trinity House Institute for Biblical, Liturgical, & Cultural Studies in Birmingham, AL, who gave a four-part lecture entitled How to Read the Bible for the First Time…Again. Read more…

Two Criteria for Elections that Actually Matter

I suspect there are two things that come into play, providentially, when God assigns us a ruler.

  1. the image of the people
  2. the maturity of the people

Allow me to explain. We probably wish that our rulers be elected based on their qualifications and fidelity, fidelity to justice, to commitments, to principles, to the Constitution, etc. That the ruler, once elected, then leads the nation according to his qualifications and fidelity, making the nation either great or not (depending on the degree to which he is qualified and faithful or not). In other words, we think the ruler makes the nation in his image.

It is more likely, I suspect, that–in America, at least–the people elect a ruler, not based on his qualifications and fidelity, but based on their image. We create a ruler in our image, electing the ruler who will rule according to our wants, desires, lusts, ideologies, and principles (or lack thereof).

I say this happens in America, at least, because I don’t think that was the case in ancient Israel. Kings were anointed primarily based on the laws of succession, not the will of the people. In that arrangement, it was more likely that a good king would lead the nation toward the good, and a bad king would lead the nation toward the bad. In fact, this is exactly what we see with good kings like Hezekiah and Josiah, and with bad kings like Ahab and Manasseh.

In America, though, we elect rulers in our image. We get what we are.

Likewise with the second argument: the maturity of the people. Egypt was an immature nation. Pharaoh has a dream that none can interpret; Joseph interprets it. Joseph then tells him how to plan as a result of the dream, something the Pharaoh acknowledges no other in the land could do. Egypt, in its immaturity, lacked wisdom. Joseph is installed as the Pharaoh’s right-hand man to lead the nation through plenty and famine. What Joseph proceeds to do is shocking to Christian conservatives and libertarians alike. He leads the country into socialism. During the years of plenty, he taxes the people from their grain and crops. During the years of famine, he sells back for money what he took from them without payment. He does so to the point where they end up selling him their cattle, homes, and property in order to eat. The government ends up owning everything (except for the church–the property of the priests, coincidentally). Joseph ruled an immature and unwise nation the way it needed to be ruled.[1]

If we are unwilling to live with freedom–and the great responsibility that brings–then God is going to give us rulers who will not allow us to have that freedom. We will be given the rulers our maturity and wisdom demands or allows. We do the same with our children, don’t we? When they are young, lacking maturity and wisdom, our rules are stricter (tyrannical by a teenager’s standards). As they mature, we give them more freedom. Sometimes, we have one child who earns freedom that our other child, at that same age, has not matured into. It seems we have not only elected a president made in our image (again), but we have elected a president who will take away the freedoms we don’t even want, that we haven’t matured into. God is sovereign. Maybe we should start with repentance and teaching our children how to live with the responsibility of freedom.

[1] Jordan, James B. Primeval Saints. Canon Press, 2001, pgs. 141-149. James Jordan explains much more clearly what I have muddled through here, regarding ruling the mature or immature.

How to Celebrate a Christian Hallowe’en

Halloween is not pagan. There, I said it.

Halloween, linguistically, is a contraction of All Hallows Eve, or Hallows Evening, or Hallowe’en. We should recognize the word Hallows from the Lord’s Prayer: “hallowed be thy name.” It is a celebration on the evening before All Hallows Day, also known as All Saints Day, November 1st.

It is not pagan; it is Christian.

Jesus Christ came into this world; he was incarnate. We celebrate his incarnation on Christmas. Jesus Christ, living in this world, defeated death, sin, hell, and Satan. We celebrate his victory on Easter. The Church, united to Jesus Christ, continues what James B. Jordan calls the “mop-up operations” of Jesus Christ’s victory. We celebrate our victory on All Saints Day (and Hallowe’en) by remembering the saints who gave up their lives for that victory.

Hallowe’en, then, is the evening in which the Church lives out Christ’s victory and celebrates that victory in her own right.

The Church celebrates that victory by giving liberally. At one point in history, Christians would take food door-to-door to distribute it to the poor. As the Church grew in numbers, people began coming to the homes of Christians to receive distribution of food and treats.

The Church celebrates that victory by loving life. We give not just food to the poor, but treats to children and join in the fun and joy they receive by receiving treats liberally from us.

The Church celebrates that victory by mocking Satan in mocking disguises. Some have pointed out that this is the advent of the red, horned Satan with a silly tail and cartoonish pitchfork. Satan’s sin is his pride, and we laugh with Christ in his victory over Satan by mocking him with cartoonish disguises. Christians join in the fun and joy that comes with Christ’s victory by mocking Satan and his minions in this way, as well as by celebrating saints and biblical heroes as we wear costumes representative of them. There is no harm in wearing costumes representative of other figures as well: princesses, fairies, and others.

Hallowe’en is under the dominion of the Church because it is under the dominion of Christ. Christ rules Hallowe’en just as he rules Christmas, Easter, Sunday, and every other day. The Church participates in and exercises this dominion when she celebrates Hallowe’en, and especially when she celebrates it with more joy, gusto, and vigor than a secular world that completely misses the true meaning of this day–missing it by either assigning no meaning to it, or by assigning false meaning to it.

Learn to love this day. Love it by joyfully giving liberally to the wonder of little children. Love it by joining the saints in all times as we mock the pride of Satan and his defeat at the hands of our Lord and King, Jesus Christ. Love it by loving the life and creation that God has graciously and bountifully bestowed upon us.

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