Friday, 14 October 2005

From Athanasius; the bishop of Alexandria, Father of orthodoxy, and my favorite church father:

If... it is by the sign of the cross and by faith in Christ That death is trampled underfoot, it is clear that it is Christ Himself and none other Who is the Archvictor over death and has robbed it of its power.

Death used to be strong and terrible, but now, since the sojourn of the Savior and the death and resurrection of His body, it is despised; and obviously it is by the very Christ Who mounted on the cross that it has been destroyed and vanquished finally.

When the sun rises after the night and the whole world is lit Up by it, nobody doubts that it is the sun which has thus shed its light everywhere and driven away the dark. Equally clear is it, since this utter scorning and trampling down of death has ensued upon the Savior's manifestation in the body and His death on the cross, that it is He Himself Who brought death to nought and daily raises monuments to His victory in His own disciples. How can you think otherwise, when you see men naturally weak hastening to death, unafraid at the prospect of corruption, fearless of the descent into Hades, even indeed with eager soul provoking it, not shrinking from tortures, but preferring thus to rush on death for Christ's sake, rather than to remain in this present life?

If you see with your own eyes men and women and children, even, Thus welcoming death for the sake of Christ's religion, how can you be so utterly silly and incredulous and maimed in your mind as not to realize that Christ, to Whom these all bear witness, Himself gives the victory to each, making death completely powerless for those who hold His faith and bear the sign of the cross? No one in his senses doubts that a snake is dead when he sees it trampled underfoot, especially when he knows how savage it used to be; nor, if he sees boys making fun of a lion, does he doubt that the brute is either dead or completely bereft of strength. These things can be seen with our own eyes, and it is the same with the conquest of death.

Doubt no longer, then, when you see death mocked and scorned by those who believe in Christ, that by Christ death was destroyed, and the corruption that goes with it resolved and brought to end.

I admit it, I bawled like a little gel the first time I read this. I think Athanasius is the only person who could draw that kind of emotion with sheer polemics (usually polemics stir rather different feelings in people, heh).

Though it is not the main point of his argument, Athanasius' acknowledgement of
1)death as a powerful enemy and,
2)Christ as the Archvictor over death which then is something we who follow him can scorn,
is such a different tack then the one often taken in the church today. It is a far superior tack if you ask me. No "christians are happy about death because it is a release from the world of woe and we are glad to be going home". Rather Athanasius builds his argument assuming everyone realizes what a horrible enemy death is. When death does come, it does not feel like something natural or good-because it is not. Our hope is not the "release" of death, but rather that we belong the one who forced death to release him from it's bonds. And he will carry those who cling to his cross back with him.
After masses of hollow platitudes about death that seem to cover the painful wounds only slightly, Athanasius comforts with a much better balm.

Future generations: When I die, do read this exerpt at my funeral. If you say I have "gone home" or "left the mortal coil" I will make a point of coming back to the mortal coil to haunt you.


Working on a piece for CIP as well as the passing of Yom Kippur have had me thinking about imputation again. It is not well explained or vigorously argued about except amongst theological types-perhaps it seems unnecessary as a doctrine to some. Some people even argue unbiblical!

As far as I understand it, a simple definition of imputation says we are declared righteous by God through Christ. He sees us through Christ's perfection. Now maybe it's just me (OT lovah that I am) but this is all over the OT-this is what all those laws were about! One of the reasons I decided it must be true. :c) I do not see how anyone could dare to argue that it is unbiblical.

Yom Kippur is usually referred to as "the Day of Atonement" but it also means Day of Covering-as in the blood covering that would envelope the sins of the people of the LORD.

The English word covering can mean to protect, to include, to compensate, to wrap, to be a hiding place; all of which apply to the transaction that occurred on that holy day. In it's simplest form, the act of covering went all the way back to the beginning and the LORD himself; he gave Adam and Eve clothing when they would never again be "naked and unashamed". And so he did for their descendants on the Day of Atonement.

The LORD has also said that on the day of judgment he would do the opposite to the wicked, exposing their nakedness to their shame. However some will be, as our first parents were, covered by God. Clothed in salvation, arrayed in robes of righteousness. He gives white robes to those who have been washed in blood. They do not belong to those who wear them, God gives them to us. The scarlet thread turns white-and enfolds our sinfulness.

Remember that old joke 'I'm naked under my clothes'? I can't help but think of it whenever I think of the atonement. The righteous are naked under their clothes-unrighteous, sinners. But God looks on them and sees the clothing of salvation-the blood covering of Christ. He sees the righteousness of Christ on us and over us. Isn't that basically what imputation means? If so, it is more than biblical; it is the only way of salvation.

I've got the blood of an innocent man all over me.

Saturday, 1 October 2005


Heh I've had this as a draft forEVER...
I have returned in one piece from seeing PeTrA! It was of course, a fabulous show. I managed to navigate around Winnipeg by way of my relatives, Got there in lots of time, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. As always, I squealed all the way through, especially when they dusted off some classic gems.
I took a few pictures (would've taken more, but I was too busy rocking out):

This was right at the beginning, John singing "It's All About Who You Know"

Bob doing a solo!

This one is unfortunately a little blurry...

Bob again because he's the MAN.

I loved the show. Thanks PeTrA for all the years of music-and doctrine, heh.
Oh and I waited a good two hours to get an addy from Bob-so I can send him CIP as MAIL ART!!! How cool is that?

(the answer is super extra cool, btw)