Decent Links (1/8/2015)

I tend to be on the look out for articles and information about Christ’s Descent into Hades (as my blog posts may show). I doubt anyone else really is that interested in it, but who knows, someone may like to read these.

It seems the guys over at Reformation21 have been posted a lot about the Descent where most of my links come from.

Gerhardus Vos on the Descent, curtouesy of Nick Batzig (I haven’t read through all or any of this but being that it’s Vos, it’s worth bookmarking). (HT Reformation21).

A Plea by Mark Jones to keep the Descent in the Creed. Though I don’t agree with the reasoning (my thesis argues for a different understanding and keeping the line) I do agree with the sentiment of keeping it!

Eric Hutchinson’s Should We Ascent to the Descent, [Must Read] is a great little piece that condenses much of my thesis into a very readable article, while providing some interesting points of reference that I hadn’t know of before. This is the one I’d read if you are interested. I especially appreciate how Hutchen’s says that the Descent clause is found in both Arian and Orthodox alike, this was not something the two sides battled on (as I note in my thesis they battle on Christ’s ontology – who He is, not what he does).

H. B. Swete’s book The Apostles’ Creed in Primitive Christian has a chapter on the Descent that is proving to be very informative, from the 1900s. Being that the Descent may date back to the 2nd century, we aren’t finding that many new information on it!

Eusebius’s Church History, Book 1, Chapter 13 (in Schaff’s Nicene and Post-Nicene Father’s 2, volume 1). What is of note, is that Eusebius apparently found some epistle in Edessa that breezes right through the Descent into Hell. As the editors note, this is likely to be a true statement (though the epistle is not part of inspired Scripture). There is no mention of this being a novel idea (the Descent) and likely shows that this concept predates Eusebius (~260 – 340 AD).

Phillip Micknon vs. Frances Bacon

What’s the point of having a website with a nominal audience if you can’t harness that power to answer all important, life-consuming questions?

I think Filet Mignon is far better than bacon. Bacon tastes like salt (albeit tasty fried salt) but Filet Mignon (well prepared) is amazing. My wife disagrees with me and believes bacon is more important. I disagree and put it to a vote.


OK, fine, if you want something regarding Spain, how about Kosher jamón or Halal jamón (Muslim approved jamón).  Jamón (with that nice accent) is the cured ham hocks found all over Spain. They really are quite tasty.

[Link] The Missionary Life

The Missionary Life: No Shortcuts, post by Evan Burns at the Gospel Coalition is a short little read but it’s a good one. He lists out two main things he would tell any missionary candidate entering the field.

1. Theological Education
I don’t think he necessarily means a formal education, he is speaking against a theological minimalism. I often hear that churches have to work together much more on the field than they do in the States. I can’t speak to that, but there is a way in which that is good – when we align and focus on the majors. But when churches add secondary or even tertiary doctrine up to first level doctrine, this is where I think the line has to be drawn. I think Evan agrees with that assessment. We need to know what Christianity is, what a church is, what theology is, if we can effectively be of any use.

2. Learning to Suffer
I haven’t been a missionary yet. I’d have to have someone else comment on this, but I think this applies to any Christian service, stateside or abroad. There is suffering involved with Christian ministry. But nonetheless it is wise words to remember that this isn’t a chance just to live abroad but service to Christ and the expansion of his Kingdom, which comes at a cost.

I also wanted to shamelessly steal his quote that he shares from Eckhard Schnabel’s Paul the Missionary: Realities, Strategies, and Methods 

Missionaries, evangelists, and teachers who have understood both the scandal of the cross and the irreplaceable and foundational significance of the news of Jesus the crucified and risen Messiah and Savior will not rely on strategies, models, methods, or techniques. They rely on the presence of God when they proclaim Jesus Christ, and on the effective power of the Holy Spirit. This dependence on God rather than on methods liberates them from following every new fad, from using only one particular method, from using always the same techniques, and from copying methods and techniques from others whose ministry is deemed successful.

The Lord is a Warrior

My only minor quibble is with The Lord is his name… actually his name is Yahweh. The Lord is strange. It’s like the constant puns in Doctor Who. “Hi, I’m the Doctor” “Doctor who?” The Lord is a title, actually a title that obscures the divine name Yahweh. The same divine name that you should not take in vain.

Even U2 got this one right. Come to think of it, time for some How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

(HT: Jeff Long)

No Longer Reformed (A Review)

No Longer Reformed (A Review)

The whole article is actually well written, in response to perceived problems in Calvinism. I’d suggest reading it. But the quote I want to draw attention too is this one:

Fischer uses the story of Jacob wrestling with God as evidence that good theology always has doubts and uncertainty because when you come face to face with God you walk with a limp (85ff.), as if the text even mentions Jacob limping or other heroes of the faith limping or has anything to do with theological method at all. Moses seems more interested in drawing implications about not eating the sinew of the thigh than in extolling the virtues of chastened epistemology.

This is certainly the danger we face when reading Old Testament stories. We immediately spiritualize it’s application. Here this isn’t even an application but more of a spiritualized concept. The story of Jacob wrestling with God should rightly be understood as a non-repeatable event (in that it isn’t repeated! People do not continually wrestle with God culminating in God knocking out their hip bone…). Secondly the concept of wrestling with God is not one we should pull out, as if it is a spiritual metaphor for something. As DeYoung notes, Moses is concerned with explaining a practice that the Israelites do, with an appeal to their history.

Now, I don’t really have a good explanation as to why the story of there, in other words, what its real application is. Feel free to share if you do. The story is found in Genesis 32 if anyone wants to wrestle with the text (see what I did there…).