Anne Rice on Jesus, Faith, & Vocation

Anne Rice, who became famous for writing highly literate vampire novels, gives more details about her conversion to Christianity in a forum on the Washington Post online: On Faith: Guest Voices: My Trust in My Lord. Sample:

Look: I believe in Him. It’s that simple and that complex. I believe in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the God Man who came to earth, born as a tiny baby and then lived over thirty years in our midst. I believe in what we celebrate this week: the scandal of the cross and the miracle of the Resurrection. My belief is total. And I know that I cannot convince anyone of it by reason, anymore than an atheist can convince me, by reason, that there is no God.

A long life of historical study and biblical research led me to my belief, and when faith returned to me, the return was total. It transformed my existence completely; it changed the direction of the journey I was traveling through the world. Within a few years of my return to Christ, I dedicated my work to Him, vowing to write for Him and Him alone. My study of Scripture deepened; my study of New Testament scholarship became a daily commitment. My prayers and my meditation were centered on Christ.

And my writing for Him became a vocation that eclipsed my profession as a writer that had existed before.

Why did faith come back to me? I don’t claim to know the answer. But what I want to talk about right now is trust. Faith for me was intimately involved with love for God and trust in Him, and that trust in Him was as transformative as the love. . . .

Before my consecration to Christ, I became familiar with a whole range of arguments against the Savior to whom I committed my life. In the end I didn’t find the skeptics particularly convincing, while at the same time the power of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John swept me off my feet. And above all, when I began to talk to Jesus Christ again it was with trust.

On the afternoon in 1998 when faith returned, I experienced a sense of the limitless power and majesty of God that left me convinced that He knew all the answers to the theological and sociological questions that had tormented me for years. I saw, in one enduring moment, that the God who could make the Double Helix and the snow flake, the God who could make the Black holes in space, and the lilies of the field, could do absolutely anything and must know everything — even why good people suffer, why genocide and war plague our planet, and why Christians have lost, in America and in other lands, so much credibility as people who know how to love. I felt a trust in this all-knowing God; I felt a sudden release of all my doubts. Indeed, my questions became petty in the face of the greatness I beheld. I felt a deep and irreversible assurance that God knew and understood every single moment of every life that had ever been lived, or would be lived on Earth. I saw the universe as an immense and intricate tapestry, and I perceived that the Maker of the tapestry saw interwoven in that tapestry all our experiences in a way that we could not hope, on this Earth, to understand.

This was not a joyful moment for me. It wasn’t an easy moment. It was an admission that I loved and believed in God, and that my old atheism was a façade. I knew it was going to be difficult to return to the Maker, to give over my life to Him, and become a member of a huge quarreling religion that had broken into many denominations and factions and cults worldwide. But I knew that the Lord was going to help me with this return to Him. I trusted that He would help me. And that trust is what under girds my faith to this day.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • organshoes

    A solid declaration. Well said.

  • organshoes

    A solid declaration. Well said.

  • Bruce

    Yeah. What she said.

  • Bruce

    Yeah. What she said.

  • http://- Catherine

    Wow. I know several people (former fans of her Vampire Chronicles) that have been quite displeased with Anne Rice for various reasons, and her conversion ot Christianity is one of the big ones. I don’t know whether it’s mostly because they are offended that an athiest such as themselves would ascribe to a God that doesn’t make sense to them, or if they figure this is a passing fad like many celebrity conversions.

    I think if they were to read this, many would understand it’s NOT a passing fad. As my mother said, “she gets it.”

    Yeah. Anne Rice gets it, no matter what annoyed former fans say

  • http://- Catherine

    Wow. I know several people (former fans of her Vampire Chronicles) that have been quite displeased with Anne Rice for various reasons, and her conversion ot Christianity is one of the big ones. I don’t know whether it’s mostly because they are offended that an athiest such as themselves would ascribe to a God that doesn’t make sense to them, or if they figure this is a passing fad like many celebrity conversions.

    I think if they were to read this, many would understand it’s NOT a passing fad. As my mother said, “she gets it.”

    Yeah. Anne Rice gets it, no matter what annoyed former fans say

  • http://www.seminaryblog.com Scott Stiegemeyer

    I’m thoroughly enjoying her second novel, having read and enjoyed the first when it came out. I am one who has also read a couple of her former vampire books, and derived a certain literary enjoyment even from them. She is, without question, a gifted writer.

    And I can’t imagine the overpowering experience it must have been to pen these books on Jesus’ life, especially as they are told in the first person, from the Lord’s point of view. I would be terrified to attempt that. And I ordinarily would scoff at anyone who would be bold enough to attempt it.

    But my impression is that she pulls it off. The books are reverent without being saccharine or entirely predictable or boring. Her extensive biblical and historical research is evident, but not in the sense of bogging down the story. Rather in the sense of illuminating it. Writing these must have been an act of worship for her. I can see no other way. Only with much prayer and fasting could one do this.

    I have not finished The Road to Cana yet, but what I’ve read so far is very encouraging.

  • http://www.seminaryblog.com Scott Stiegemeyer

    I’m thoroughly enjoying her second novel, having read and enjoyed the first when it came out. I am one who has also read a couple of her former vampire books, and derived a certain literary enjoyment even from them. She is, without question, a gifted writer.

    And I can’t imagine the overpowering experience it must have been to pen these books on Jesus’ life, especially as they are told in the first person, from the Lord’s point of view. I would be terrified to attempt that. And I ordinarily would scoff at anyone who would be bold enough to attempt it.

    But my impression is that she pulls it off. The books are reverent without being saccharine or entirely predictable or boring. Her extensive biblical and historical research is evident, but not in the sense of bogging down the story. Rather in the sense of illuminating it. Writing these must have been an act of worship for her. I can see no other way. Only with much prayer and fasting could one do this.

    I have not finished The Road to Cana yet, but what I’ve read so far is very encouraging.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I’m extremely impressed with this exerpt. It seems to me a start like this promises very fine things to come.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I’m extremely impressed with this exerpt. It seems to me a start like this promises very fine things to come.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    WoW! This is so beautifully spoken. God is so amazing and wonderful beyond our capacity to understand!

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    WoW! This is so beautifully spoken. God is so amazing and wonderful beyond our capacity to understand!

  • Van Edwards

    I’m not sure she does get it. All she has said is that she now believes in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God-Man, second person of the Trinity. That’s a start.
    But what about His atoning for our sins? If there’s no understanding that SIN is the reason that Jesus went to the cross, then what exactly are we being SAVED FROM? He didn’t die to help us understand the world (It may be a byproduct, however).
    Maybe she just didn’t write it in THIS piece. But for such a wide audience, that’s a pretty big thing to leave out.

  • Van Edwards

    I’m not sure she does get it. All she has said is that she now believes in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God-Man, second person of the Trinity. That’s a start.
    But what about His atoning for our sins? If there’s no understanding that SIN is the reason that Jesus went to the cross, then what exactly are we being SAVED FROM? He didn’t die to help us understand the world (It may be a byproduct, however).
    Maybe she just didn’t write it in THIS piece. But for such a wide audience, that’s a pretty big thing to leave out.

  • Pingback: Anne Rice on faith « The GeoChristian

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  • Manxman

    Van Edwards

    Hebrews 11:6 reads, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

    I think the quote by Anne Rice above has to do with the first step of faith for her – returning to the place where she once again admitted that He exists. Once this step is taken, there’s the issue of seeking to know and understand Him better.

    For an Easter season exercise I checked out her book Christ the Lord – Out of Egypt from the library because it had gotten a good write up in World Magazine. I was not disappointed. At the end of the book is a lengthy Author’s Notes section where she lists in great detail all the things she has read and studied. It was amazing how much time and effort she’d put in. Before I had even read this section, I realized that Rice was someone who had done her homework. I wish all Christians put in the effort she has to understand her faith.

    I’m looking forward to reading the next two books in this series, and I will be greatly surprised if she misses the point about the true meaning of Jesus’ blood sacrifice for our sins on the cross.

  • Manxman

    Van Edwards

    Hebrews 11:6 reads, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

    I think the quote by Anne Rice above has to do with the first step of faith for her – returning to the place where she once again admitted that He exists. Once this step is taken, there’s the issue of seeking to know and understand Him better.

    For an Easter season exercise I checked out her book Christ the Lord – Out of Egypt from the library because it had gotten a good write up in World Magazine. I was not disappointed. At the end of the book is a lengthy Author’s Notes section where she lists in great detail all the things she has read and studied. It was amazing how much time and effort she’d put in. Before I had even read this section, I realized that Rice was someone who had done her homework. I wish all Christians put in the effort she has to understand her faith.

    I’m looking forward to reading the next two books in this series, and I will be greatly surprised if she misses the point about the true meaning of Jesus’ blood sacrifice for our sins on the cross.

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert Talbert

    I’m moved by Rice’s credo here, and God knows, we need Christian writers today who can communicate the power of the Gospel like this little excerpt does — and a lot less of the “Christian fiction” characterized by Left Behind, the Jeannette Oake novels, and so forth.

    Maybe Anne Rice can be sort of the second coming of Flannery O’Connor.

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert Talbert

    I’m moved by Rice’s credo here, and God knows, we need Christian writers today who can communicate the power of the Gospel like this little excerpt does — and a lot less of the “Christian fiction” characterized by Left Behind, the Jeannette Oake novels, and so forth.

    Maybe Anne Rice can be sort of the second coming of Flannery O’Connor.

  • Richard

    Mike Horton did an interview with her several months ago on the White Horse Inn–she was very impressive in the historical research she did and her repudiation of liberal theology, and cited to numberous scholars such as N.T. Wright and D.A. Carson.
    Still, I wish we paid more attention to authors such as Marilynne Robinson instead of “celebrities” such as Rice.

  • Richard

    Mike Horton did an interview with her several months ago on the White Horse Inn–she was very impressive in the historical research she did and her repudiation of liberal theology, and cited to numberous scholars such as N.T. Wright and D.A. Carson.
    Still, I wish we paid more attention to authors such as Marilynne Robinson instead of “celebrities” such as Rice.

  • Booklover

    Wow. Love the credo.

    <<<>>>

    DITTO

  • Booklover

    Wow. Love the credo.

    <<<>>>

    DITTO

  • Booklover

    “. . .we need Christian writers today who can communicate the power of the Gospel like this little excerpt does — and a lot less of the “Christian fiction” characterized by Left Behind. . .”

    This is what I was trying to “ditto” in my previous post.

  • Booklover

    “. . .we need Christian writers today who can communicate the power of the Gospel like this little excerpt does — and a lot less of the “Christian fiction” characterized by Left Behind. . .”

    This is what I was trying to “ditto” in my previous post.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    I, too, would like to read things she has written on the concept of sin. However, she had me at this beautiful testament to the relentless desire of God to save us:
    “when faith returned to me, the return was total”

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    I, too, would like to read things she has written on the concept of sin. However, she had me at this beautiful testament to the relentless desire of God to save us:
    “when faith returned to me, the return was total”

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Van, in her first novel of “Christ the Lord,” the young Jesus realizes His mission at the Temple when the Lamb is slain for the sins of the people.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Van, in her first novel of “Christ the Lord,” the young Jesus realizes His mission at the Temple when the Lamb is slain for the sins of the people.

  • Van Edwards

    Thanks, Dr. Veith. Like I said, I didn’t see it in this piece, but it’s likely she’s dealt with it elsewhere. The Washington Post seems like a big place to leave out such an imperative part of the Gospel.
    Strangely enough, I read all her Vampire novels many years ago, but haven’t read her Christ novels. She is certainly a capable author and I often wondered what would happen if she used her powers for good.

  • Van Edwards

    Thanks, Dr. Veith. Like I said, I didn’t see it in this piece, but it’s likely she’s dealt with it elsewhere. The Washington Post seems like a big place to leave out such an imperative part of the Gospel.
    Strangely enough, I read all her Vampire novels many years ago, but haven’t read her Christ novels. She is certainly a capable author and I often wondered what would happen if she used her powers for good.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Van Edwards is extremely perceptive.

    “Before my consecration to Christ, I became familiar with a whole range of arguments against the Savior to whom I committed my life.”

    This is not a confession of Christ as Savior, but a confession of self-consecration and commitment. From what does she see Christ as saving her? She tells it plainly, from a lack of self-awareness and a lack of identity and purpose.

    This “Christianity” is an infatuation with self, at least as expressed both in Anne Rice’s article and in the excerpt that she made available from her book linked to in the article.

    I read both and found absolutely nothing of the preaching of Christ crucified for us. Her writing displays a total absence of the reason that Christ was born, lived, preached, suffered, died and rose again, substituting instead a purpose of self-recognition.

    Doing a search on the article not one occurrence was returned for the words:

    sin, sinner, atone, atonement, save, salvation, sacrifice, forgive, forgiveness, repent, repentance, damn, damnation, condemn, condemnation, grace, justify, justification, righteous, righteousness, substitute, substitution, stead, place, mediate, mediator, intercede, intercessor, absolve, absolution, reconcile, reconciliation, sanctify, sanctification, holy, holiness, pure, purity, restore, restoration, mercy, merciful, redeem, redemption.

    This is not the theology of the cross. It is a twisted theology of glory and of one’s own search for meaning, using the Gospel as a stepping stone to self-awareness and self-validation.

    Those who trust in Christ as Savior from the powers of sin, death, and the devil do not leave that out of their confession of faith.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Van Edwards is extremely perceptive.

    “Before my consecration to Christ, I became familiar with a whole range of arguments against the Savior to whom I committed my life.”

    This is not a confession of Christ as Savior, but a confession of self-consecration and commitment. From what does she see Christ as saving her? She tells it plainly, from a lack of self-awareness and a lack of identity and purpose.

    This “Christianity” is an infatuation with self, at least as expressed both in Anne Rice’s article and in the excerpt that she made available from her book linked to in the article.

    I read both and found absolutely nothing of the preaching of Christ crucified for us. Her writing displays a total absence of the reason that Christ was born, lived, preached, suffered, died and rose again, substituting instead a purpose of self-recognition.

    Doing a search on the article not one occurrence was returned for the words:

    sin, sinner, atone, atonement, save, salvation, sacrifice, forgive, forgiveness, repent, repentance, damn, damnation, condemn, condemnation, grace, justify, justification, righteous, righteousness, substitute, substitution, stead, place, mediate, mediator, intercede, intercessor, absolve, absolution, reconcile, reconciliation, sanctify, sanctification, holy, holiness, pure, purity, restore, restoration, mercy, merciful, redeem, redemption.

    This is not the theology of the cross. It is a twisted theology of glory and of one’s own search for meaning, using the Gospel as a stepping stone to self-awareness and self-validation.

    Those who trust in Christ as Savior from the powers of sin, death, and the devil do not leave that out of their confession of faith.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Veith wrote:

    “Van, in her first novel of “Christ the Lord,” the young Jesus realizes His mission at the Temple when the Lamb is slain for the sins of the people.”

    Dr. Veith and all who know Christ, do not let this blasphemy seduce you. To suggest that Jesus had to “realize” His mission is to deny all that the Scriptures teach concerning the eternal will of the Son. When Jesus was in the temple as a boy, He displayed full knowledge of the Scriptures, to such a degree that for three days He astounded the experts.

    Jesus responded to Mary that she should have known that He must be about His Father’s work. Never is there a declaration in the Gospels that even hints that Jesus did not know or needed to learn His mission. He announced it to the serpent and to the fallen couple in the garden of Eden.

    Revelation 13 declares Him as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth.”

    Jesus is the name announced by Gabriel and given to Him by Joseph and Mary.

    The Magi came and worshiped Him as the King of the Jews, and brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh (burial spices) as their gifts. The angels announced to the shepherds that in the city of David a Savior is born, and the shepherds came and worshiped him and told what they had seen and heard from the angels.

    Simeon’s confession of faith made the identity of Jesus known in unmistakable terms, as did Anna’s.

    John the Baptizer, while in his mother’s womb, heard the footsteps of the theotokos and lept with the knowledge that his Lord and Savior had entered the room, carried within Mary.

    John knew but Jesus did not?

    Jesus, who is one with the Father and the Spirit did not know?

    Anne is not confessing Jesus. She is confessing herself and her search for greater meaning, and her invention of a Jesus that she can accept. Her Jesus needs acceptance, and she is finding herself in accepting him as she defines him.

    The devil loves it when we define Jesus as one whom we must accept so that He can be our Savior. Jesus warns repeatedly against this deception.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Veith wrote:

    “Van, in her first novel of “Christ the Lord,” the young Jesus realizes His mission at the Temple when the Lamb is slain for the sins of the people.”

    Dr. Veith and all who know Christ, do not let this blasphemy seduce you. To suggest that Jesus had to “realize” His mission is to deny all that the Scriptures teach concerning the eternal will of the Son. When Jesus was in the temple as a boy, He displayed full knowledge of the Scriptures, to such a degree that for three days He astounded the experts.

    Jesus responded to Mary that she should have known that He must be about His Father’s work. Never is there a declaration in the Gospels that even hints that Jesus did not know or needed to learn His mission. He announced it to the serpent and to the fallen couple in the garden of Eden.

    Revelation 13 declares Him as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth.”

    Jesus is the name announced by Gabriel and given to Him by Joseph and Mary.

    The Magi came and worshiped Him as the King of the Jews, and brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh (burial spices) as their gifts. The angels announced to the shepherds that in the city of David a Savior is born, and the shepherds came and worshiped him and told what they had seen and heard from the angels.

    Simeon’s confession of faith made the identity of Jesus known in unmistakable terms, as did Anna’s.

    John the Baptizer, while in his mother’s womb, heard the footsteps of the theotokos and lept with the knowledge that his Lord and Savior had entered the room, carried within Mary.

    John knew but Jesus did not?

    Jesus, who is one with the Father and the Spirit did not know?

    Anne is not confessing Jesus. She is confessing herself and her search for greater meaning, and her invention of a Jesus that she can accept. Her Jesus needs acceptance, and she is finding herself in accepting him as she defines him.

    The devil loves it when we define Jesus as one whom we must accept so that He can be our Savior. Jesus warns repeatedly against this deception.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Oh for pete’s sake. This woman has turned her back on atheism and is walking the road back to faith. Her theology remains imperfect. It may always be imperfect (particularly because she’s a Catholic). But her journey is TOWARD Christ, not away from Him.

    Because heaven knows, if we meet anyone who is interested in Christ but whose theology is wanting in any way, it’s our duty to rebuke them and drive them away from Christ. “We don’t want Heaven crammed,” as Swift said.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Oh for pete’s sake. This woman has turned her back on atheism and is walking the road back to faith. Her theology remains imperfect. It may always be imperfect (particularly because she’s a Catholic). But her journey is TOWARD Christ, not away from Him.

    Because heaven knows, if we meet anyone who is interested in Christ but whose theology is wanting in any way, it’s our duty to rebuke them and drive them away from Christ. “We don’t want Heaven crammed,” as Swift said.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Dear Lars,

    When Jesus rebuked Peter, even equating Peter’s attempt to embrace a Jesus of his own invention as the words of Satan, did it drive Peter away? When St. Paul rebuked Peter for his false actions that were leading even Barnabas astray, did the rebuke drive Peter away or to repentance that he even admits in his own epistle?

    When Jesus rebuked Thomas for his unbelief, praising those who believed without seeing, did it drive Thomas away?

    Throughout my life I have received strong rebukes, honest and straightforward rebukes, for which I am everlastingly thankful.

    Those who visit Dr. Veith’s site and read the false doctrine of Anne Rice being praised need to hear such rebuke so that rather than being seduced by her words they will rather flee to the safety of the pure Word and Sacraments.

    Van did a very nice job of pointing to the lack of the true Christ in Rice’s writing. Then Dr. Veith tried to shut him down with defense of and more praise for her false Christianity, very politely of course.

    People need to be made aware that the Gospel is not present in the Christianity that Rice is preaching. The pure Word and Sacraments are the life of the holy catholic Church. This is where the saints will find their true identity, in Christ, where He has promised to be.

    All else, the Scriptures warn us to mark and avoid, so that we do not fall into temptation and make shipwreck of the faith.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Dear Lars,

    When Jesus rebuked Peter, even equating Peter’s attempt to embrace a Jesus of his own invention as the words of Satan, did it drive Peter away? When St. Paul rebuked Peter for his false actions that were leading even Barnabas astray, did the rebuke drive Peter away or to repentance that he even admits in his own epistle?

    When Jesus rebuked Thomas for his unbelief, praising those who believed without seeing, did it drive Thomas away?

    Throughout my life I have received strong rebukes, honest and straightforward rebukes, for which I am everlastingly thankful.

    Those who visit Dr. Veith’s site and read the false doctrine of Anne Rice being praised need to hear such rebuke so that rather than being seduced by her words they will rather flee to the safety of the pure Word and Sacraments.

    Van did a very nice job of pointing to the lack of the true Christ in Rice’s writing. Then Dr. Veith tried to shut him down with defense of and more praise for her false Christianity, very politely of course.

    People need to be made aware that the Gospel is not present in the Christianity that Rice is preaching. The pure Word and Sacraments are the life of the holy catholic Church. This is where the saints will find their true identity, in Christ, where He has promised to be.

    All else, the Scriptures warn us to mark and avoid, so that we do not fall into temptation and make shipwreck of the faith.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Mark 9:38-41.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Mark 9:38-41.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Mark 9:42-50

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Mark 9:42-50

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Luke 11:21-26
    21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
    22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
    23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
    24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.
    25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.
    26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
    (KJV)

    Turning from one false understanding to another does not protect against the forces of evil.

    Only the Truth of the pure Gospel and Sacraments can provide that protection.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Luke 11:21-26
    21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
    22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
    23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
    24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.
    25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.
    26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
    (KJV)

    Turning from one false understanding to another does not protect against the forces of evil.

    Only the Truth of the pure Gospel and Sacraments can provide that protection.

  • S Bauer

    If John the Baptizer’s knowledge of Jesus as the Christ was full and complete while he was still in the womb, then why did he question Jesus about this very thing after he was imprisoned by Herod?

  • S Bauer

    If John the Baptizer’s knowledge of Jesus as the Christ was full and complete while he was still in the womb, then why did he question Jesus about this very thing after he was imprisoned by Herod?

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    S Bauer,

    We all experience doubts of various degrees when we are facing trials and temptations. John was facing challenges to his life, to the validity of his ministry, to his understanding of the Gospel.

    That is why he sent his disciples to Jesus to have his fears overpowered by a clear declaration from the Word Himself. Like us, John started relying upon his own reason and strength and needed to be turned again by the Pure Word.

    Jesus simply replied with what John himself had preached. John was comforted and confirmed by the Word that the Scriptures declare.

    By responding in this way, Jesus did far better for John than if He had come to the prison and spoken to him face to face. Why? Because John knew the Scriptures. Therefore, Jesus confirmed John with the Scriptures that John knew and could turn to over and over again. More importantly, it was not just Scriptures from any context, but the Scriptures that spoke directly to John’s weaknesses, Scriptures that directly confirmed that Jesus was the One for whom they had been waiting. This Jesus, who was marching steadfastly as the Lamb of God who takes the sin of the world, who told His followers to take up their crosses daily and follow Him, this Jesus really was and is the Promised One whom John rightly proclaimed, and for whose name sake John was now being persecuted. John heard from Jesus the confirmation from the Scriptures that his sufferings were not on account of a false faith, but on account of the world’s and Satan’s hatred of the Truth.

    This was what John needed to hear, from Jesus.

    That is why John sent to where he knew Jesus was to be found and not from any other source.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    S Bauer,

    We all experience doubts of various degrees when we are facing trials and temptations. John was facing challenges to his life, to the validity of his ministry, to his understanding of the Gospel.

    That is why he sent his disciples to Jesus to have his fears overpowered by a clear declaration from the Word Himself. Like us, John started relying upon his own reason and strength and needed to be turned again by the Pure Word.

    Jesus simply replied with what John himself had preached. John was comforted and confirmed by the Word that the Scriptures declare.

    By responding in this way, Jesus did far better for John than if He had come to the prison and spoken to him face to face. Why? Because John knew the Scriptures. Therefore, Jesus confirmed John with the Scriptures that John knew and could turn to over and over again. More importantly, it was not just Scriptures from any context, but the Scriptures that spoke directly to John’s weaknesses, Scriptures that directly confirmed that Jesus was the One for whom they had been waiting. This Jesus, who was marching steadfastly as the Lamb of God who takes the sin of the world, who told His followers to take up their crosses daily and follow Him, this Jesus really was and is the Promised One whom John rightly proclaimed, and for whose name sake John was now being persecuted. John heard from Jesus the confirmation from the Scriptures that his sufferings were not on account of a false faith, but on account of the world’s and Satan’s hatred of the Truth.

    This was what John needed to hear, from Jesus.

    That is why John sent to where he knew Jesus was to be found and not from any other source.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    She’s a writer, not a preacher. At the risk of being slammed (with scripture, so it can’t hurt that much), I’d like to defend a profession of Christ as a start to a life of faith. To label Anne Rice as a heretic goes a bit far, I think. Sure, she needs to grow in her understanding of sin and the purpose of the life and passion of Christ Jesus, but so do my teens who have been very well-catechized in our orthodox Lutheran faith and do receive the Word and sacraments. In a way, Anne Rice is like a child has years to make up for, yet she already has this high adult platform from which she communicates. No one is getting their catechism from her, any more than they get it from another Christian writer. She is a writer (and sees that as her vocation). She doesn’t profess to be a preacher. I haven’t read any of her books, but I do notice many people reading them. For me, that gives me a chance to open a discuss with someone and knowing that they are at least open to discussing religion. That’s a good thing, I think.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    She’s a writer, not a preacher. At the risk of being slammed (with scripture, so it can’t hurt that much), I’d like to defend a profession of Christ as a start to a life of faith. To label Anne Rice as a heretic goes a bit far, I think. Sure, she needs to grow in her understanding of sin and the purpose of the life and passion of Christ Jesus, but so do my teens who have been very well-catechized in our orthodox Lutheran faith and do receive the Word and sacraments. In a way, Anne Rice is like a child has years to make up for, yet she already has this high adult platform from which she communicates. No one is getting their catechism from her, any more than they get it from another Christian writer. She is a writer (and sees that as her vocation). She doesn’t profess to be a preacher. I haven’t read any of her books, but I do notice many people reading them. For me, that gives me a chance to open a discuss with someone and knowing that they are at least open to discussing religion. That’s a good thing, I think.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Theresa,

    It sounds as though your comments are directed to me, though you have not specifically said so. If you feel slammed by me, perhaps it would be best that you e-mail me or contact me at my site.

    I have probably already proceeded too far on Dr. Veith’s site. I will refrain from commenting further here except to encourage you to ask yourself what the Scriptures say regarding the things that you have stated rather than what you think or feel. This is always what we each need to ask ourselves.

    This is a difficult medium to utilize without misunderstanding occurring. If anyone has felt “slammed” by me, please know that my sincere desire is to direct toward the pure Gospel, by which alone true comfort and peace may be known.

  • http://notalone-saints.blogspot.com/ Pr. Paul A. Siems

    Theresa,

    It sounds as though your comments are directed to me, though you have not specifically said so. If you feel slammed by me, perhaps it would be best that you e-mail me or contact me at my site.

    I have probably already proceeded too far on Dr. Veith’s site. I will refrain from commenting further here except to encourage you to ask yourself what the Scriptures say regarding the things that you have stated rather than what you think or feel. This is always what we each need to ask ourselves.

    This is a difficult medium to utilize without misunderstanding occurring. If anyone has felt “slammed” by me, please know that my sincere desire is to direct toward the pure Gospel, by which alone true comfort and peace may be known.

  • Richard

    Interesting discussion. And we haven’t even touched on the dichotomy of Ann Rice’s commitment to pro-life issues while being a big Hillary Clinton supporter.

  • Richard

    Interesting discussion. And we haven’t even touched on the dichotomy of Ann Rice’s commitment to pro-life issues while being a big Hillary Clinton supporter.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Oh no, I didn’t feel slammed. I was making light of the scripture battle earlier in the thread. It put a smile on my face to see Christians challenge each other (in a good way). My comments about being slammed by scripture were meant in good humor. Written comments, of course, can’t show a grin and I assumed that many on this site know that I don’t get worked up about too much…at least not online. Peace to you, as well. Good discussion and good questions. The future will tell, perhaps, how far Anne Rice’s faith travels in her time of grace.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Oh no, I didn’t feel slammed. I was making light of the scripture battle earlier in the thread. It put a smile on my face to see Christians challenge each other (in a good way). My comments about being slammed by scripture were meant in good humor. Written comments, of course, can’t show a grin and I assumed that many on this site know that I don’t get worked up about too much…at least not online. Peace to you, as well. Good discussion and good questions. The future will tell, perhaps, how far Anne Rice’s faith travels in her time of grace.

  • joel

    Anne Rice has been saved by Jesus from the sins of forgetting God and underestimating His extravagant goodness. If in her conversion story she had focused on the penal substitution theory, I would think she didn’t “get it” as well as she does obviously does now.

  • joel

    Anne Rice has been saved by Jesus from the sins of forgetting God and underestimating His extravagant goodness. If in her conversion story she had focused on the penal substitution theory, I would think she didn’t “get it” as well as she does obviously does now.

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  • tom chastain

    for another intresting story read “evidence for the resurrection by josh mcdowell he was an athiest and became a christian this book has the historical proof for the ressurection of jesus christ his other book is more thean a carpenter it awnsers alot of the questians that you have

  • tom chastain

    for another intresting story read “evidence for the resurrection by josh mcdowell he was an athiest and became a christian this book has the historical proof for the ressurection of jesus christ his other book is more thean a carpenter it awnsers alot of the questians that you have


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