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Posts Tagged ‘The Word’

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By 27 June my book Marginalia shall be available for Kindle, Google Play Apple iBooks Kobo,Barnes&Noble Bibliotheca etc., It is priced at $3.99

Marginalia is in two volumes. It is a concise guide to the Bible.The first volume has 112 pages.

The cover shows the vision of the Woman Clothed with the Sun from the Book of Revelation (chapter12).

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I have been busy with a book which I am glad to say is finished. I do not intend to publish it my self but with a publisher. I cannot say any more than the book is a concise guide to the scriptures and squarely built up on the Word. I am happy with  three months  of concentrated effort. I shall be more happy if I can polish it further. After a week I hope to take up that part.

The book has 49500 words and for any one who wants to study the Bible on sound doctrinal principles it ought to serve the purpose.

benny

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Grace describes man’s response to the world without and to God.

What we owe God?  In Christ we have become new creation. We have put on Christ. Grace must show something new that is a life on a higher plane. This aspect is between us and God who has chosen to be partakers of His glory. Grace gives us a new awareness.

Grace also gives new responsibility towards our family and community.

When we consciously cultivate the Christian virtues we are making  grace given to us to abound.2 Pe 1 :5-8(NIV)

5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the world of theatre actors playing a role try to get into the skin of the character they play. It is necessary to understand the character so they will sound convincing. The  audience as a  result is helped. This analogy  is of course awkward since it only explains a make believe world. For a Christian putting on the nature of Christ is in ernest and is his entire life. Therefore a Christian who has put on Christ must get to know what Christ typifies: love, brotherly kindness etc.

The i in CHRiST must be where it is placed and not try to make look like this: i CHRST

The qualities that St. Peter writes about are not works but fruits of grace. In the gospel of John we read that grace came with Jesus while the law is associated with Moses.

Regarding works any Christian who thinks like the Pharisee in the parable of Pharisee and the Publican would be distracting others from Christ. If salt has lost its savor what good is it? If others do not see Christ but you,  it belongs to works.

Finally a question arises: in a world Jesus Christ is just a name and not worshiped or revered as in the century when the Church was valid (and the works of the apostles were very much seen as manifestation of God) how do we reveal Christ? If one asks now how Christ looks like probably the answer would be ‘Mel Gibson.’

You see how perceptions, taste, emphasis and worship change with time. I do not think putting on Christ should be held in a literal sense.

Historical Jesus and the prince of Peace are sure to mean different for all believers. But the Son of Man who is our Savior cannot two persons; neither can the man of Sorrows who sits on the right hand of God can be two different persons.  Jesus who is the life and resurrection is only one, coequal with God in the trinity. The Word bears witness to us and it is what is our template. Our ministry as Christians are  to fill within these. Works may help you to fill out some but it will never fit. Like the leaven of the old woman it should fill the whole lump. only grace can do that work.

benny

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Duality of man is such that his body and soul must come to terms and perform as one. Body lays its emphasis differently than what Soul would. The analogy of wakeful and dream states given in my post A Habitual Offender is apt here. In a material universe  each body must function from a purely material plane. How it works can only be understood if one remembers the limits in which it has its being.
But why it should be so? Any answer to it,- if it can be led to something meaningful or significant will require yet another method.
There were some 30 gospels extant till Iranaeus the Bishop of Lyons thought of establishing four of these as canonical text?  These were not written by the disciples with whose names, they have now come inseparably attached. Mark, Matthew, Luke and John have as much claim to the real Jesus as Judas or Thomas. How come then the gospel of Thomas are Judas are non-canonical while that of John is?  (Your guess is as good as mine.) How shall we settle this difficulty by sticking to any rational inquiry?
I cited this to show what feeds reason need not necessarily be the fodder for Soul.
If I believe in the permanence of my soul while my body is corruptible  I might weigh now and hereafter on different scales.
2.

In a tussle between Hereafter and Now the latter always needs to be addressed. Time is of the essence. It is indeed foolish if I should give up the bird in hand for the two in the bush.
The other side of the coin is when we have by a choice made on insufficient evidences. Who on earth can tell what tomorrow may bring? Esau sold his birthright merely because he was faint with hunger. To him his hunger was all that mattered. Later he repented over his decision bitterly but to no avail. The younger had established his precedence once and for all. If I respect my soul as something special I may appreciate Abraham who lived in tents since he sought for ‘a city which hath foundations.’(Heb 11:10)As a Christian my enquiry of my soul is set in context of the faith of my forefathers. An experience I have given in the following section thus has to be understood within this framework.
3.

From my young age I have been instructed from the Bible and it never ceased to exert its hold on me ever since. It stimulated my interior life as much as other books, films, music and art.
I was Benjamin to my father (obviously my name is derived from it). I was led into reading the Bible because my father brought up each of his children in what he thought was  right. I never read the Bible with the feeling of hell or punishment and seeking out His ways through the ages interested me. My conclusions were my own. Honing my intellect on His Word was an essential part of me. Curiously enough I had as a result a  ‘strange’ feeling that God was ever present. My life went on its sedate steps,- and in my fifties, one night I woke up from my sleep. All I could remember was the verse 12 from Deut 33. I referred the Bible and found that it was Moses’ blessing on Benjamin. ‘The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him…and he shall dwell between his shoulders.
What made me think the verse referred to me? Did my soul take over at that point to convince me so? It was uncanny that instantly I could bring out the meaning in its many ramifications as a hint of things to come. I convinced myself that I was beloved of God as though God validated what I had felt all along. What dwells between the shoulders if not the head? I knew then I was in the plan of God.  Or in the Mind of God. Of course I heard later from another person who ( bore the name Benjamin) had a similar experience. On looking back I see it more of my soul at work, laying down a warning. My body or intellect could not have guessed it. Of course there was a very distressing moment a few years later when I needed all the resources at my command to face it. ( Was it then Soul at work ? I was all alone but partly because of my belief I could face the challenges. Nurture of Bible and an independent turn of mind also contributed.)  Having survived the crisis I can now look back and say it marked my adulthood. Besides it was but the beginning of the most fruitful and emotionally satisfying phase of my life.
I think Soul merely stepped in where my body was inadequate.
Soul worked with my life in a manner that was natural. It could tap on my nature and nurture to take my life on yet another plane. I may not go to Church or read the Bible as carefully as I did before. Yet God is as real as it was then. In a way different from that of my father or my brothers. Soul of man is God made as real as any man who would learn of Him. If one says it is Supreme Intelligence or any other it is so for him or her. Who am I to contradict soul of another?
benny

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How We Make A Mess Of The Message ©
Monk Anselmo once received a monk of exceptional parts and he spoke eight languages and had translated the Holy Writ in each. I was present the time he explained to the yokels of The Pie-In-the Skye the manner God had blessed him. He was sure it was to spread the word of God to people of all tongues all over the earth.
After all the excitement died he said with a very woebegone expression that it set off a bitter feud among nations as to the day when the Lord God rested from his labor. ‘Eight times I have been burnt in effigy’ said the visiting scholar monk, ‘and it makes me sad.’
After a week he asked Monk Anselmo pointing to me and Master Crapper, “This two have been idling for a week.” The venerable monk asked his host, “Are they sick or something?”
Monk Anselmo called me and asked me to answer the monk. I explained.
“ We got the Holy Writ by all accounts on Sunday. The day our Good Lord rested after creation. On Sunday, the Lord enjoins us to take rest. So we refuse to work as matter of principle.”
“One cycle of cosmos is one day in Lord’s calender,” added Master Crapper, “Come next cycle we shall work our butts off.”
We, if endowed with some sense shall use our heads according to our best knowledge and abilities. So don’t go on trying to drive some sense into me how to think or make meaning out of what I see as crystal clear. Tomorrow perhaps I may find out something else and change my opinion I hold today. In other words teaching a dog old or young what you think as new tricks is quite useless.

benny

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