Other epiphanies

In light of the definition of “epiphanies” in the post of that name, what are some epiphanies that you have had? An epiphany is an experience that conveys an idea, a conviction. It is not merely an experience but is rather a moment of realization, usually provoked by some personal and sometimes very subtle event.

For example, I remember when I was in college, coming home from the weekend and going to my father’s farm (a hobby with him, we not being farmers). He had planted some strawberries and I picked one and put it in my mouth. It was delicious, in its sweetness and tartness and texture a taste of perfection. And it flashed on my mind that this external world is somehow aligned with me. Existence is not absurd or random or meaningless, as I had been taught in some of my college courses. It had a meaning. I didn’t particularly know what it was at the time, but eating that strawberry was an epiphany for me.

When I was in Estonia while it was still a part of the Soviet Union, I had an economic epiphany when I changed $20 of hard currency and received an engineer’s monthly wages in rubles in return, only to go into a shop to find nothing for sale. It hit me then that free enterprise economics is far superior to a socialist command economy, nudging me away from the liberalism of my birth. I also had a political epiphany there, shaking hands with a poet who had just gotten out of a mental hospital where he had been consigned for years for writing a poem criticizing Communism. I realized then the power of writing and the utter evil of totalitarianism.

I wonder if our beliefs are shaped more by our epiphanies than abstract arguments. At any rate, now it’s your turn. What are some epiphanies when the light, of various kinds, dawned on you?

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.

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

    I had a moment, when I was quite young, when it occurred to me (I’m not sure what sparked it) that just because an idea was new, it wasn’t necessarily right. In fact, an idea that has centuries of use and tradition behind it is more likely to be correct than a new, untried one. This has inclined me to conservatism ever since, although I was a political liberal for a number of years.

    My political liberalism began to come apart some years later, the moment I realized that treating a man as if he were a helpless child does not give him dignity. A job gives a man dignity.

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

    I had a moment, when I was quite young, when it occurred to me (I’m not sure what sparked it) that just because an idea was new, it wasn’t necessarily right. In fact, an idea that has centuries of use and tradition behind it is more likely to be correct than a new, untried one. This has inclined me to conservatism ever since, although I was a political liberal for a number of years.

    My political liberalism began to come apart some years later, the moment I realized that treating a man as if he were a helpless child does not give him dignity. A job gives a man dignity.

  • Dennis Peskey

    George Orwell’s 1984, starring John Hurt, was on television two nights ago. It had been many years since I had read the book, and an almost equal number since watching the movie. I sat, watched and pondered – “What’s missing?”

    While I don’t doubt the existance of our own personal “room 101″, the reality of many is overcoming or denying this albatross. My “epiphany” was Orwell’s novel lacked faith. With the death of God and noone to substain our existance, we are terribly alone – an isolation portrayed so vividly in C. S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce.”

    As Christians, we have the blessing of the Saints who have gone before us and their testimony. As Christians, we have the assurance of our adoption through Baptism into Christ and the knowledge he will never abandon us. As Christ has promised, he will be with us always to the end of the age; no matter what “room 101″ Satan puts before us, we can join with Luther and proclaim “I am Baptised” and not surrender to our fear.
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    George Orwell’s 1984, starring John Hurt, was on television two nights ago. It had been many years since I had read the book, and an almost equal number since watching the movie. I sat, watched and pondered – “What’s missing?”

    While I don’t doubt the existance of our own personal “room 101″, the reality of many is overcoming or denying this albatross. My “epiphany” was Orwell’s novel lacked faith. With the death of God and noone to substain our existance, we are terribly alone – an isolation portrayed so vividly in C. S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce.”

    As Christians, we have the blessing of the Saints who have gone before us and their testimony. As Christians, we have the assurance of our adoption through Baptism into Christ and the knowledge he will never abandon us. As Christ has promised, he will be with us always to the end of the age; no matter what “room 101″ Satan puts before us, we can join with Luther and proclaim “I am Baptised” and not surrender to our fear.
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Arfies

    My epiphanies have mostly been of the intense personal kind. One was the moment I realized that my aging parents could no longer do all the things they had always done. That was followed, some years later, by the even more discouraging thought that I could no longer do everything I had always done! Another was the thought–in my seventh decade–that the severe [punishments my mother had meted out to her children reflected her anger and disappointment with the way her life had turned out, or perhaps mimicked the punishment she had received from her parents (who were always kind and loving to grandchildren). These may seem trivial, but to me they were important.

  • Arfies

    My epiphanies have mostly been of the intense personal kind. One was the moment I realized that my aging parents could no longer do all the things they had always done. That was followed, some years later, by the even more discouraging thought that I could no longer do everything I had always done! Another was the thought–in my seventh decade–that the severe [punishments my mother had meted out to her children reflected her anger and disappointment with the way her life had turned out, or perhaps mimicked the punishment she had received from her parents (who were always kind and loving to grandchildren). These may seem trivial, but to me they were important.

  • trotk

    This one is impossible for me to put into words, but I will mention it generally:

    On the other post, Stephen mentioned that epiphanies are primarily about a shining forth. Thus, we are passive agents before an epiphany. The greatest personal example that I have occurred after the birth of my first child. What it meant that God is Father was made manifest before me in a way that I can’t describe. I tried to put it down into words at the time, but it was too big for my language. I just had to be content that I saw then something greater than I had seen previously.

  • trotk

    This one is impossible for me to put into words, but I will mention it generally:

    On the other post, Stephen mentioned that epiphanies are primarily about a shining forth. Thus, we are passive agents before an epiphany. The greatest personal example that I have occurred after the birth of my first child. What it meant that God is Father was made manifest before me in a way that I can’t describe. I tried to put it down into words at the time, but it was too big for my language. I just had to be content that I saw then something greater than I had seen previously.

  • Tom Hering

    As a child and a teenager, I felt like an outsider, and that feeling depressed me. I probably would have become a miserable adult, if I hadn’t discovered collections of Henry Miller’s short writings in my early twenties. The epiphany that came with reading Miller was that an outsider can be happy. As an outsider. You don’t have to become someone you’re not.

    I don’t have the same admiration for Miller as a thinker, now, that I had in my twenties. And I completely reject his obscenities. But I still feel a fondness toward his works. I think they prepared me, in a way, to be a Christian: someone who is in this world but not of it – and joyous to boot.

    By the way, I just read a short piece on why it’s okay for Christians to read literature. The best piece on the subject I’ve ever read. It’s published here.

  • Tom Hering

    As a child and a teenager, I felt like an outsider, and that feeling depressed me. I probably would have become a miserable adult, if I hadn’t discovered collections of Henry Miller’s short writings in my early twenties. The epiphany that came with reading Miller was that an outsider can be happy. As an outsider. You don’t have to become someone you’re not.

    I don’t have the same admiration for Miller as a thinker, now, that I had in my twenties. And I completely reject his obscenities. But I still feel a fondness toward his works. I think they prepared me, in a way, to be a Christian: someone who is in this world but not of it – and joyous to boot.

    By the way, I just read a short piece on why it’s okay for Christians to read literature. The best piece on the subject I’ve ever read. It’s published here.

  • Booklover

    I am a rather “right-brained,” logical person, so it is quite astonishing to me that I received a sort of visual epiphany, and I am hesitant to share it because I don’t quite know how to describe it.

    Years ago I went to pick up my son from the skating rink. While waiting in the parking lot, I had a sudden epiphany of eternity, which came to me in the “vision” of babies who were not on this earth—they may have been lost to abortion or early death; and there was an “Israel” feel to it so they might have been lost through the holocaust too, I don’t know. The mind picture was so very real and it gave me a deep, profound, utter sense of eternity; that each life was very real to God and very existent, even though we don’t see it here on earth. I’ve always felt and believed that way, but now I have a visual to go along with my beliefs. It was so profound and so real that it moved me to tears.

  • Booklover

    I am a rather “right-brained,” logical person, so it is quite astonishing to me that I received a sort of visual epiphany, and I am hesitant to share it because I don’t quite know how to describe it.

    Years ago I went to pick up my son from the skating rink. While waiting in the parking lot, I had a sudden epiphany of eternity, which came to me in the “vision” of babies who were not on this earth—they may have been lost to abortion or early death; and there was an “Israel” feel to it so they might have been lost through the holocaust too, I don’t know. The mind picture was so very real and it gave me a deep, profound, utter sense of eternity; that each life was very real to God and very existent, even though we don’t see it here on earth. I’ve always felt and believed that way, but now I have a visual to go along with my beliefs. It was so profound and so real that it moved me to tears.

  • Booklover

    When I was in college, I fell asleep in the laundry room as I was waiting for my clothes to launder. I woke up from my nap to see a fellow student, clothed in a fluffy bathrobe, scurrying about the laundry room. In my “epiphany,” she was beautiful, one of the most beautiful young women I had seen. As I further awakened, my brain started to fill in the information that she was not one the world would consider beautiful—too heavy, hair too short and fine, too big-boned. Yet to me she still seemed beautiful—she exuded a giving beauty and love for life and other people from within. After this “epiphany,” I try to see true beauty, and not the way the world defines it.

  • Booklover

    When I was in college, I fell asleep in the laundry room as I was waiting for my clothes to launder. I woke up from my nap to see a fellow student, clothed in a fluffy bathrobe, scurrying about the laundry room. In my “epiphany,” she was beautiful, one of the most beautiful young women I had seen. As I further awakened, my brain started to fill in the information that she was not one the world would consider beautiful—too heavy, hair too short and fine, too big-boned. Yet to me she still seemed beautiful—she exuded a giving beauty and love for life and other people from within. After this “epiphany,” I try to see true beauty, and not the way the world defines it.

  • Ryan

    After leaving the Lutheran church for three years – been attending the Assemblies of God, reading Scripture like I never have before, and condescending (fourth commandment use) to attend church with my mother… hearing these words in the beginning of the Liturgy: ‘If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, but if we confess our sins God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ and bam ‘epiphany’ – this is from Scripture… its 1 John. Then devouring the rest of the Liturgy that day and realizing not only its Scriptural nature but comfort that it brought to this sinner. That day, the first of many other small epiphanies, set my course back into the Lutheran church and eventually into the ministry.

  • Ryan

    After leaving the Lutheran church for three years – been attending the Assemblies of God, reading Scripture like I never have before, and condescending (fourth commandment use) to attend church with my mother… hearing these words in the beginning of the Liturgy: ‘If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, but if we confess our sins God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ and bam ‘epiphany’ – this is from Scripture… its 1 John. Then devouring the rest of the Liturgy that day and realizing not only its Scriptural nature but comfort that it brought to this sinner. That day, the first of many other small epiphanies, set my course back into the Lutheran church and eventually into the ministry.

  • Stephen

    On a black and white monitor of an ultrasound, out of an abyss, a fluttering gray and white surging at 180 beats a minute. Six months earlier we had seen that same black void with great anticipation, but nothing moved. Now it was shining out with life.

  • Stephen

    On a black and white monitor of an ultrasound, out of an abyss, a fluttering gray and white surging at 180 beats a minute. Six months earlier we had seen that same black void with great anticipation, but nothing moved. Now it was shining out with life.

  • sandi

    Approximately four year ago our entire family traveled to Europe for the first time. My epiphany came as I stood on ‘Pooh Bridge’ in Ashdown Forest in Sussex. The experience was like a pilgrimage to my childhood. It made me realize how important it is to nourish the imagination in children. This beloved character was alive as I stood on the bridge throwing pinecones (brought from California) over the side. Of course standing in front of countless paintings in the Louvre and the D’Osay also had their epiphanies, but the Bridge struck something deeper , something that gets put aside as we grown older, something that Lewis called ‘surprised by joy’.

  • sandi

    Approximately four year ago our entire family traveled to Europe for the first time. My epiphany came as I stood on ‘Pooh Bridge’ in Ashdown Forest in Sussex. The experience was like a pilgrimage to my childhood. It made me realize how important it is to nourish the imagination in children. This beloved character was alive as I stood on the bridge throwing pinecones (brought from California) over the side. Of course standing in front of countless paintings in the Louvre and the D’Osay also had their epiphanies, but the Bridge struck something deeper , something that gets put aside as we grown older, something that Lewis called ‘surprised by joy’.

  • RC

    In the past six months I had an epiphany that the spirit and the physical can’t be divorced. I was struggling with the resurrection but, when I realized that God was concerned with our physical bodies as well and the death of the body was the problem not the solution, it all began to fall into place. His resurrection ensures the one day restoration of God’s complete creation! I am still trying to sort it all out but I am ever thankful for this one!

  • RC

    In the past six months I had an epiphany that the spirit and the physical can’t be divorced. I was struggling with the resurrection but, when I realized that God was concerned with our physical bodies as well and the death of the body was the problem not the solution, it all began to fall into place. His resurrection ensures the one day restoration of God’s complete creation! I am still trying to sort it all out but I am ever thankful for this one!

  • http://literarymom.com Literary Mom

    Last spring I had an epiphany about grace – or I should say a series of epiphanies culminating in a shift of theology that I’m still working through.

    http://www.literarymom.com/3/post/2010/06/the-spring-of-my-enlightenment.html

  • http://literarymom.com Literary Mom

    Last spring I had an epiphany about grace – or I should say a series of epiphanies culminating in a shift of theology that I’m still working through.

    http://www.literarymom.com/3/post/2010/06/the-spring-of-my-enlightenment.html

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I was having a hard time coming up with any significant epiphanies that have happened to me, though reading through everyone else’s reminded me of similar occasions in my life. I guess a lot of my epiphanies have been like that, coming in discussions, trying to explain to somebody what I already believe, and, in the process, coming to understand it in a fuller or even completely different way.

    One such epiphany came many years ago, when I was urging my wife-to-be to pray about something going on in her life. The thing was, all told, a fairly inconsequential thing (such that I don’t even rememeber what it was, now), and yet it was bothering her, all the same — perhaps the way something would go at work the next day, or some other detail. She was in a bit of a spiritual Catch-22, with the problem, as I discovered, being that she couldn’t see why God would care about something so trivial. She viewed God as this big entity, doing big things, and just not interested in small day-to-day things, and thus it wasn’t worth praying about. Meaning, no relief for her anguished soul.

    As a side note, I believe this was when my wife was still, technically, a Baptist, and she might have been reacting against the belief she grew up around — that not only is God interested in all the details, but he wants you to get the details right yourself, though he won’t explictly tell you how to do that. Thus, you have to go to the right, God-approved college, and pick the correct job that God wanted you to pick, and every choice has a right and a wrong answer, about which you must pray and pray and pray until you figure out what God wants you to do. It’s spiritual torture, because, as my wife figured out, you end up convincing yourself what God wants after agonizing it for so long, and you’re no more sure about your decision, but you convince yourself you have to be, and that you’ve chosen correctly. And then you look for signs at that college or in that job that God approved of your decision, because you were never really sure to begin with. A digression, yes, but somewhat necessary context for what I said in reply to her — which, though obvious, was nonetheless a revelation from God.

    God cares about the details in our lives, no matter how small, because he cares for us. Thankfully, my wife fully understood this latter point, believing that God loved her and sent Jesus to die for her sins. I went on to explain this to her with a metaphor that I only began to truly understand when I became a father. God cares for us because we are his children. Does an adult man care if some other adult is able to stack two blocks on top of each other? Probably not. Is he amused at a stranger on the bus hiding his face behind a cloth and then peeking out, over and over? No. But does that same adult man take great interest and joy in seeing his child do these things? Very much so, because that is his child. In the same way, God cares about the details of our lives.

    Too long, needs editing, but that’s my story.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I was having a hard time coming up with any significant epiphanies that have happened to me, though reading through everyone else’s reminded me of similar occasions in my life. I guess a lot of my epiphanies have been like that, coming in discussions, trying to explain to somebody what I already believe, and, in the process, coming to understand it in a fuller or even completely different way.

    One such epiphany came many years ago, when I was urging my wife-to-be to pray about something going on in her life. The thing was, all told, a fairly inconsequential thing (such that I don’t even rememeber what it was, now), and yet it was bothering her, all the same — perhaps the way something would go at work the next day, or some other detail. She was in a bit of a spiritual Catch-22, with the problem, as I discovered, being that she couldn’t see why God would care about something so trivial. She viewed God as this big entity, doing big things, and just not interested in small day-to-day things, and thus it wasn’t worth praying about. Meaning, no relief for her anguished soul.

    As a side note, I believe this was when my wife was still, technically, a Baptist, and she might have been reacting against the belief she grew up around — that not only is God interested in all the details, but he wants you to get the details right yourself, though he won’t explictly tell you how to do that. Thus, you have to go to the right, God-approved college, and pick the correct job that God wanted you to pick, and every choice has a right and a wrong answer, about which you must pray and pray and pray until you figure out what God wants you to do. It’s spiritual torture, because, as my wife figured out, you end up convincing yourself what God wants after agonizing it for so long, and you’re no more sure about your decision, but you convince yourself you have to be, and that you’ve chosen correctly. And then you look for signs at that college or in that job that God approved of your decision, because you were never really sure to begin with. A digression, yes, but somewhat necessary context for what I said in reply to her — which, though obvious, was nonetheless a revelation from God.

    God cares about the details in our lives, no matter how small, because he cares for us. Thankfully, my wife fully understood this latter point, believing that God loved her and sent Jesus to die for her sins. I went on to explain this to her with a metaphor that I only began to truly understand when I became a father. God cares for us because we are his children. Does an adult man care if some other adult is able to stack two blocks on top of each other? Probably not. Is he amused at a stranger on the bus hiding his face behind a cloth and then peeking out, over and over? No. But does that same adult man take great interest and joy in seeing his child do these things? Very much so, because that is his child. In the same way, God cares about the details of our lives.

    Too long, needs editing, but that’s my story.

  • Tom Hering

    RC @ 11, here’s an interesting take on the things you’ve been thinking about.

  • Tom Hering

    RC @ 11, here’s an interesting take on the things you’ve been thinking about.

  • Rose

    I’ve enjoyed reading all of your stories above.
    As for me, when my first child was 3 months old, we got 40″ of snow and the windchill was -40. My husband took the snowblower on the roof to keep it from caving in. I was so grateful to be protected. Afterwards, I always tried to keep that ‘attitude of gratitude’ as they say. My husband shows me the Christ.

  • Rose

    I’ve enjoyed reading all of your stories above.
    As for me, when my first child was 3 months old, we got 40″ of snow and the windchill was -40. My husband took the snowblower on the roof to keep it from caving in. I was so grateful to be protected. Afterwards, I always tried to keep that ‘attitude of gratitude’ as they say. My husband shows me the Christ.

  • Booklover

    @#6
    Not that it matters, but I meant to say “left-brained.”

  • Booklover

    @#6
    Not that it matters, but I meant to say “left-brained.”

  • Stephen

    Booklover @16

    There is a great short story by Dostoevsky that I would point you to if I could remember the title. I read it many years ago. It is an enormous gush of words describing just this same sort of thing as you posted @ 6. If I can find it I will come back and post it to you. I very much loved your post by the way. If you read mine @ 9 you may have a clue as to why. There is still a void for me where a child was meant to be, even a name that I had in mind that I don’t know what to do with.

    But God is merciful. A heart is beating. And I will find that story. Perhaps I need to read it again.

  • Stephen

    Booklover @16

    There is a great short story by Dostoevsky that I would point you to if I could remember the title. I read it many years ago. It is an enormous gush of words describing just this same sort of thing as you posted @ 6. If I can find it I will come back and post it to you. I very much loved your post by the way. If you read mine @ 9 you may have a clue as to why. There is still a void for me where a child was meant to be, even a name that I had in mind that I don’t know what to do with.

    But God is merciful. A heart is beating. And I will find that story. Perhaps I need to read it again.

  • George A. Marquart

    First, I would like to comment on the fact that the comments before mine reflect incredibly positive experiences. I was glad to see that so far nobody had an epiphany that took them backward in their spiritual development. Like, “God is dead,” or “If I don’t worry about myself, nobody will.” The Holy Spirit continues His miraculous work.

    I would like to mention two epiphanies. The most recent one was when, for the umpteenth time, I heard this text from the beginning of our Lord’s ministry, “Luke 4: 43, but He said to them, ‘I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.’” I understood that He did not come only for this reason, but it is so rare that in our churches we hear anything about the Kingdom of God, even though our Lord said that this is why He came. Later I put it together with Colossians 1:13, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins,” and I came to the realization that we Lutherans do not have a proper doctrine of the Kingdom of God, or, for that matter, of the Holy Spirit, because the two are very much related. Both are brought together in Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, and not correctly. Because the Kingdom does not come to us bit by bit, nor do we receive the Holy Spirit in small doses every time we pray these words, but we are brought into the Kingdom fully, and the Lord, the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell fully in His children when they are baptized.

    The other one, strangely enough was similar to that of Dr. Veith in Estonia, but it happened in Moscow in 1989. I had come to live there for the third time in my life. The time before, the system was designed to isolate us from the local population as much as possible. This time, since I was working for a joint-venture, we lived just as the Soviets did, except that our salaries were 100 times larger and we had access to hard currency stores. But we no longer had access to the special gas station (yes, one for all of Moscow) that used to dispense gas only to diplomats and “accredited” business people. But I figured that this was no problem, since the price of gas in ordinary gas stations was the equivalent of about 20 cents per gallon. The Epiphany came when I was waiting in a long line of cars for the tanker truck to come and to bring gas to the station. When the price of a commodity is kept artificially low, it disappears. I realized then that the laws of economics are as immutable as those of physics. One might say even more so because in economics you do not deal with relativity. Further, the reason they are immutable is because they are based on the nature of human beings. That is why the Soviet Union eventually failed – they had assumed a “good” human being, who could become even better. Capitalism assumes that man is selfish, and will therefore exist until our Lord returns.

    I assume, Dr. Veith, that your experience was somewhat after 1989, when the Soviets began to devalue the Ruble, while keeping salaries unchanged. Otherwise your exchange point was likely to have had four wheels and a sign, “Taxi”, on the roof. Definitely a no no. Before 1989, the official exchange rate was about $1 for 0.8R.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    First, I would like to comment on the fact that the comments before mine reflect incredibly positive experiences. I was glad to see that so far nobody had an epiphany that took them backward in their spiritual development. Like, “God is dead,” or “If I don’t worry about myself, nobody will.” The Holy Spirit continues His miraculous work.

    I would like to mention two epiphanies. The most recent one was when, for the umpteenth time, I heard this text from the beginning of our Lord’s ministry, “Luke 4: 43, but He said to them, ‘I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.’” I understood that He did not come only for this reason, but it is so rare that in our churches we hear anything about the Kingdom of God, even though our Lord said that this is why He came. Later I put it together with Colossians 1:13, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins,” and I came to the realization that we Lutherans do not have a proper doctrine of the Kingdom of God, or, for that matter, of the Holy Spirit, because the two are very much related. Both are brought together in Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, and not correctly. Because the Kingdom does not come to us bit by bit, nor do we receive the Holy Spirit in small doses every time we pray these words, but we are brought into the Kingdom fully, and the Lord, the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell fully in His children when they are baptized.

    The other one, strangely enough was similar to that of Dr. Veith in Estonia, but it happened in Moscow in 1989. I had come to live there for the third time in my life. The time before, the system was designed to isolate us from the local population as much as possible. This time, since I was working for a joint-venture, we lived just as the Soviets did, except that our salaries were 100 times larger and we had access to hard currency stores. But we no longer had access to the special gas station (yes, one for all of Moscow) that used to dispense gas only to diplomats and “accredited” business people. But I figured that this was no problem, since the price of gas in ordinary gas stations was the equivalent of about 20 cents per gallon. The Epiphany came when I was waiting in a long line of cars for the tanker truck to come and to bring gas to the station. When the price of a commodity is kept artificially low, it disappears. I realized then that the laws of economics are as immutable as those of physics. One might say even more so because in economics you do not deal with relativity. Further, the reason they are immutable is because they are based on the nature of human beings. That is why the Soviet Union eventually failed – they had assumed a “good” human being, who could become even better. Capitalism assumes that man is selfish, and will therefore exist until our Lord returns.

    I assume, Dr. Veith, that your experience was somewhat after 1989, when the Soviets began to devalue the Ruble, while keeping salaries unchanged. Otherwise your exchange point was likely to have had four wheels and a sign, “Taxi”, on the roof. Definitely a no no. Before 1989, the official exchange rate was about $1 for 0.8R.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • http://jdueck.net Joel

    Remember that this is all law law law, being applied over, into, on top of, with, under, and between the toes of, our Old Adams and Eves. Whatever that means!

    (w/apologies to fws)

  • http://jdueck.net Joel

    Remember that this is all law law law, being applied over, into, on top of, with, under, and between the toes of, our Old Adams and Eves. Whatever that means!

    (w/apologies to fws)

  • Another Kerner

    An Epiphany….

    I was raised Roman Catholic, taught by the nuns, graduated from a Catholic Girl’s Academy, went away to the University of Wisconsin, took some philosophy classes, left Madison an agnostic.
    And married my one and only love.
    Delivered four children, finally realized that “educated” people needed to have some grasp of Western Christian civilization and started taking the the children to a “church”.

    This brings the Kerners to Christmas Eve, 1963……A Christmas Eve Service at a Congregational Church. I knew the story of Christmas.
    I expected it to be repeated as I had always heard it from the nuns.

    However, here is how the Pastor started his sermon.
    He recited John 3:16 and then told us what the Gift was….

    My eyes filled with tears.
    I remember thinking “I didn’t know that…”
    “No one had ever told me what the Gift was…. I have never heard the words of John 3:16 recited before, I don’t remember ever reading them anywhere….. I didn’t know Jesus Christ was the Gift.”

    When we speak of the “eyes of understanding” and “the scales falling from our eyes”, I now apprehend those words.

    The journey lead us through various churches and the study of many confessionas, all of which taught us some things which we needed to know, looking for where to finally worship.

    From the Congregationalists, through the Bible Baptists, pausing with the Bible Fundamentals, Dispensationalists, Pentecostals, Reformed Baptists, on to the Calvinist T.U.L.I.P. congregations and, at last, to the truth of the Lutheran Confessions.

    I am a Lutheran.

  • Another Kerner

    An Epiphany….

    I was raised Roman Catholic, taught by the nuns, graduated from a Catholic Girl’s Academy, went away to the University of Wisconsin, took some philosophy classes, left Madison an agnostic.
    And married my one and only love.
    Delivered four children, finally realized that “educated” people needed to have some grasp of Western Christian civilization and started taking the the children to a “church”.

    This brings the Kerners to Christmas Eve, 1963……A Christmas Eve Service at a Congregational Church. I knew the story of Christmas.
    I expected it to be repeated as I had always heard it from the nuns.

    However, here is how the Pastor started his sermon.
    He recited John 3:16 and then told us what the Gift was….

    My eyes filled with tears.
    I remember thinking “I didn’t know that…”
    “No one had ever told me what the Gift was…. I have never heard the words of John 3:16 recited before, I don’t remember ever reading them anywhere….. I didn’t know Jesus Christ was the Gift.”

    When we speak of the “eyes of understanding” and “the scales falling from our eyes”, I now apprehend those words.

    The journey lead us through various churches and the study of many confessionas, all of which taught us some things which we needed to know, looking for where to finally worship.

    From the Congregationalists, through the Bible Baptists, pausing with the Bible Fundamentals, Dispensationalists, Pentecostals, Reformed Baptists, on to the Calvinist T.U.L.I.P. congregations and, at last, to the truth of the Lutheran Confessions.

    I am a Lutheran.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Yes, George, I was there in the 1990s, just before and then just after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Estonia’s independence. As I recall, we were getting several hundred rubles per dollar!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Yes, George, I was there in the 1990s, just before and then just after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Estonia’s independence. As I recall, we were getting several hundred rubles per dollar!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    george a marquart @ 18

    “Both are brought together in Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, and not correctly.”

    If you really mean this then on this point you are not Lutheran right dear brother?

    “[not correctly] Because…. the Kingdom does not come to us bit by bit, nor do we receive the Holy Spirit in small doses every time we pray these words, but we are brought into the Kingdom fully, and the Lord, the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell fully in His children when they are baptized.”

    But this is exactly what the small catechism and the lutheran confessions do teach George!

    further… have you considered that the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms is not what modern Lutherans say it is, a theory of the civil vs the churchly estates. it is not that. that would be really a teaching of vocations. it would be law teaching.

    Have you considered that the Two Kingdoms, earthly vs heavenly (and they are both God’s Kingdoms George right?) is really a modality to teach law and gospel. This is why the parables are Jesus 3 year lecture series on law and gospel.

    here is where you can turn to read more on this from our Confessions. And I bet money you have never read this part of our confessions George. it lays out the lutheran two kingdoms and two kinds of righeousness….

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

    Peace be with you dear brother!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    george a marquart @ 18

    “Both are brought together in Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, and not correctly.”

    If you really mean this then on this point you are not Lutheran right dear brother?

    “[not correctly] Because…. the Kingdom does not come to us bit by bit, nor do we receive the Holy Spirit in small doses every time we pray these words, but we are brought into the Kingdom fully, and the Lord, the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell fully in His children when they are baptized.”

    But this is exactly what the small catechism and the lutheran confessions do teach George!

    further… have you considered that the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms is not what modern Lutherans say it is, a theory of the civil vs the churchly estates. it is not that. that would be really a teaching of vocations. it would be law teaching.

    Have you considered that the Two Kingdoms, earthly vs heavenly (and they are both God’s Kingdoms George right?) is really a modality to teach law and gospel. This is why the parables are Jesus 3 year lecture series on law and gospel.

    here is where you can turn to read more on this from our Confessions. And I bet money you have never read this part of our confessions George. it lays out the lutheran two kingdoms and two kinds of righeousness….

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

    Peace be with you dear brother!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    george @18

    “[not correctly] Because…. the Kingdom does not come to us bit by bit, nor do we receive the Holy Spirit in small doses every time we pray these words, but we are brought into the Kingdom fully, and the Lord, the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell fully in His children when they are baptized.”

    But this is exactly what the small catechism and the lutheran confessions do teach George!

    what I mean is that just because modern american lutherans who call themselves confessional lutherans taught you this error does not mean that it is lutheran or confessional. it is not.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    george @18

    “[not correctly] Because…. the Kingdom does not come to us bit by bit, nor do we receive the Holy Spirit in small doses every time we pray these words, but we are brought into the Kingdom fully, and the Lord, the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell fully in His children when they are baptized.”

    But this is exactly what the small catechism and the lutheran confessions do teach George!

    what I mean is that just because modern american lutherans who call themselves confessional lutherans taught you this error does not mean that it is lutheran or confessional. it is not.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    another kerner @ 20

    i was raised lutheran. was fortunate to have been given the holy gospel at a young age. and now I am still amazed at discovering what it means to be a lutheran. at age 54. always something new. from grace to grace.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    another kerner @ 20

    i was raised lutheran. was fortunate to have been given the holy gospel at a young age. and now I am still amazed at discovering what it means to be a lutheran. at age 54. always something new. from grace to grace.

  • George A. Marquart

    Fws @23

    Sorry, the way you wrote it, I am not certain which you say is the correct Lutheran confessional position. Could you please clarify? Thanks.

    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Fws @23

    Sorry, the way you wrote it, I am not certain which you say is the correct Lutheran confessional position. Could you please clarify? Thanks.

    George A. Marquart

  • Booklover

    Oh my, Stephen, and thank you.

  • Booklover

    Oh my, Stephen, and thank you.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    george @ 23

    “[not correctly] Because…. the Kingdom does not come to us bit by bit, nor do we receive the Holy Spirit in small doses every time we pray these words, but we are brought into the Kingdom fully, and the Lord, the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell fully in His children when they are baptized.”

    But this is exactly what the small catechism and the lutheran confessions do teach George!

    In the our father there are 7 petitions which says “this is a complete list”. Luther makes a point of saying that all these 7 things come indeed without our prayer or asking george. it does not come because we pray for them. the clearest illustration of this is the 4th petition that says daily bread comes indeed without or asking even to all the wicked. this is to say that it is not our faith or believing that makes anything so. It is a good God who makes his goodness happen by any means necessary . cf the lawless judge driven by a conscience widowed from Love that is the fulfillment of the Law. That is you and me dear george in our Old Adam.

    so you are so very right that the kingdom of heaven (note that the heavenly AND earthly kingdoms, gospel and law, are both God’s Kingdoms). This is the point of ‘on earth as in heaven” and that is just one place where law and gospel are embedded in the Our father. The Kingdom or rulership of Our Lord comes to us both with Law and Gospel George.

    The earthly or law kingdom is where God makes all of his fatherly earthly divine goodness and mercy happen that you see listed in the 1st article and the 4th petition. it happens without our prayer, worthiness or faith. it is fatherly goodness. it is not about second article Lord-who-purchased-with-blood. That goodness that is the heavenly kingdom also comes from that same fatherly goodness and mercy that produces the earthly kingdom goodness by the holy spirit killing old adams everywhere with the law to produce earthly kingdom goodness. and then the third article springs from and is a part of the earthly kingdom. Yes. what we can see and do in our bodies in church is all law law law and earthly kingdom stuff where God rules old adam with the law. But there alone, from that earthly law driven seed that is planted…. God invisibly germinates the stuff of the Heavenly kingdom. in with and under that Earthly law kingdom seed that we are commanded to plant.

    I hope this make sense to you george. stop reading that reformed guy you quoted and dig into our confessional writings. you will need to unlearn alot of what you were taught from your recent lutheran forefathers. What you are grasping about the Kingdom of God is all right there but I am suggesting you are leaving change on the table by not seeing that you need to see Kingdom of God through the lense of Law and Gospel as our Confessions seek instruct us to do.

    You will only get Kingdom of God as a law idea if you continue to read the reformed. this is both right and fatally wrong at the same time.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    george @ 23

    “[not correctly] Because…. the Kingdom does not come to us bit by bit, nor do we receive the Holy Spirit in small doses every time we pray these words, but we are brought into the Kingdom fully, and the Lord, the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell fully in His children when they are baptized.”

    But this is exactly what the small catechism and the lutheran confessions do teach George!

    In the our father there are 7 petitions which says “this is a complete list”. Luther makes a point of saying that all these 7 things come indeed without our prayer or asking george. it does not come because we pray for them. the clearest illustration of this is the 4th petition that says daily bread comes indeed without or asking even to all the wicked. this is to say that it is not our faith or believing that makes anything so. It is a good God who makes his goodness happen by any means necessary . cf the lawless judge driven by a conscience widowed from Love that is the fulfillment of the Law. That is you and me dear george in our Old Adam.

    so you are so very right that the kingdom of heaven (note that the heavenly AND earthly kingdoms, gospel and law, are both God’s Kingdoms). This is the point of ‘on earth as in heaven” and that is just one place where law and gospel are embedded in the Our father. The Kingdom or rulership of Our Lord comes to us both with Law and Gospel George.

    The earthly or law kingdom is where God makes all of his fatherly earthly divine goodness and mercy happen that you see listed in the 1st article and the 4th petition. it happens without our prayer, worthiness or faith. it is fatherly goodness. it is not about second article Lord-who-purchased-with-blood. That goodness that is the heavenly kingdom also comes from that same fatherly goodness and mercy that produces the earthly kingdom goodness by the holy spirit killing old adams everywhere with the law to produce earthly kingdom goodness. and then the third article springs from and is a part of the earthly kingdom. Yes. what we can see and do in our bodies in church is all law law law and earthly kingdom stuff where God rules old adam with the law. But there alone, from that earthly law driven seed that is planted…. God invisibly germinates the stuff of the Heavenly kingdom. in with and under that Earthly law kingdom seed that we are commanded to plant.

    I hope this make sense to you george. stop reading that reformed guy you quoted and dig into our confessional writings. you will need to unlearn alot of what you were taught from your recent lutheran forefathers. What you are grasping about the Kingdom of God is all right there but I am suggesting you are leaving change on the table by not seeing that you need to see Kingdom of God through the lense of Law and Gospel as our Confessions seek instruct us to do.

    You will only get Kingdom of God as a law idea if you continue to read the reformed. this is both right and fatally wrong at the same time.

  • Stephen

    Booklover @26

    The story is called “The Dream of the Ridiculous Man” by Dostoyevsky which I have in an edition of short stories I bought in India published in Moscow by Progress Publishers. If you could find it I’m sure you would love the story. If you really want to get your hands on it, let me know if you can’t find it.

    S

  • Stephen

    Booklover @26

    The story is called “The Dream of the Ridiculous Man” by Dostoyevsky which I have in an edition of short stories I bought in India published in Moscow by Progress Publishers. If you could find it I’m sure you would love the story. If you really want to get your hands on it, let me know if you can’t find it.

    S

  • Booklover

    That sounds very interesting. . .I found it online and I shall read it! My 2000 classics were destroyed in a flood last summer, so if I had Dostoevsky there, he would be gone. (My Veith books were upstairs and saved!)

  • Booklover

    That sounds very interesting. . .I found it online and I shall read it! My 2000 classics were destroyed in a flood last summer, so if I had Dostoevsky there, he would be gone. (My Veith books were upstairs and saved!)

  • Stephen

    How incredibly sad for you, a book lover! I am more a book fetishist, and I live in what’s called “flash flood alley” in Texas. All the theology and literature are up high. The art books are down low. I’ve never thought about it because we live on a hill. Hmmmm. I hope you are finding plenty to read. Blessings!

  • Stephen

    How incredibly sad for you, a book lover! I am more a book fetishist, and I live in what’s called “flash flood alley” in Texas. All the theology and literature are up high. The art books are down low. I’ve never thought about it because we live on a hill. Hmmmm. I hope you are finding plenty to read. Blessings!

  • George A. Marquart

    Thanks for your response, fsw.

    Sometimes the more words I use, the more unclear the argument becomes. But let me try again:

    From Luther’s Small Catechism, indisputably part of our confessional writings:

    The Second Petition.
    Thy kingdom come.
    What does this mean?–Answer.
    The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself; but we pray in this petition that it may come unto us also.
    How is this done?–Answer.
    When our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead a godly life here in time and yonder in eternity.

    First, Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition does not say that we are in the Kingdom. Instead, apparently we should pray that it would come to us. But the Kingdom does not come to us; we come into the Kingdom as St. Paul tells us in Colossians 1: 13, and as our Lord told Nicodemus. We should look again at that Greek verb “ἔρχομαι”, a form of which (ἐλθέτω) is used in our Lord’s Prayer. When used metaphorically it does not mean “come” in the literal sense. It would be better translated “prosper”, or “grow”, or “succeed”. I have been praying “come” and “komme” for most of my life and I do not propose changing that, but I never thought that the Kingdom should somehow come to me; I always thought of it in the sense of the Kingdom prospering and increasing.

    Secondly, Luther says that this Kingdom comes to us when “our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit …” Inasmuch as we tend to pray this prayer at least daily, we keep asking for the Kingdom to come to us, and for the Holy Spirit to be given to us each time we pray it. But it is clear from Scripture that when we are baptized, we are reborn as new creatures into the Kingdom of God, and the Lord, the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of he Blessed Trinity comes to dwell in our hearts. The idea that we can get bits and pieces of the Holy Spirit reduces Him to some kind of magic elixir. As John tells us in his Gospel, (John 3:34) “… for God gives the Spirit without measure….” (οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου), or as we might say, “without measuring”.

    Fsw, I don’t know who the Reformed person is whom I am apparently quoting, because the only quotation in #18 is Scripture. I have a document from the Estonian government from 1937 that states that I am a Lutheran (I know, that is Law – I am just pulling your chain). To the best of my knowledge I have been one all of my life. I think the Lutheran confessions are one of the finest expositions of what Christianity is all about. I do not go searching for errors in it. At the same time, because I hear so much from Lutherans about the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom that does not conform either to the Confessions or to Scripture, I have looked at the parts of the Book of Concord dealing with these topics quite extensively. Mostly I found that the early reformers had a grasp of these doctrines that exceed that of modern day Lutheran theologians. Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition is an exception.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Thanks for your response, fsw.

    Sometimes the more words I use, the more unclear the argument becomes. But let me try again:

    From Luther’s Small Catechism, indisputably part of our confessional writings:

    The Second Petition.
    Thy kingdom come.
    What does this mean?–Answer.
    The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself; but we pray in this petition that it may come unto us also.
    How is this done?–Answer.
    When our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead a godly life here in time and yonder in eternity.

    First, Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition does not say that we are in the Kingdom. Instead, apparently we should pray that it would come to us. But the Kingdom does not come to us; we come into the Kingdom as St. Paul tells us in Colossians 1: 13, and as our Lord told Nicodemus. We should look again at that Greek verb “ἔρχομαι”, a form of which (ἐλθέτω) is used in our Lord’s Prayer. When used metaphorically it does not mean “come” in the literal sense. It would be better translated “prosper”, or “grow”, or “succeed”. I have been praying “come” and “komme” for most of my life and I do not propose changing that, but I never thought that the Kingdom should somehow come to me; I always thought of it in the sense of the Kingdom prospering and increasing.

    Secondly, Luther says that this Kingdom comes to us when “our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit …” Inasmuch as we tend to pray this prayer at least daily, we keep asking for the Kingdom to come to us, and for the Holy Spirit to be given to us each time we pray it. But it is clear from Scripture that when we are baptized, we are reborn as new creatures into the Kingdom of God, and the Lord, the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of he Blessed Trinity comes to dwell in our hearts. The idea that we can get bits and pieces of the Holy Spirit reduces Him to some kind of magic elixir. As John tells us in his Gospel, (John 3:34) “… for God gives the Spirit without measure….” (οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου), or as we might say, “without measuring”.

    Fsw, I don’t know who the Reformed person is whom I am apparently quoting, because the only quotation in #18 is Scripture. I have a document from the Estonian government from 1937 that states that I am a Lutheran (I know, that is Law – I am just pulling your chain). To the best of my knowledge I have been one all of my life. I think the Lutheran confessions are one of the finest expositions of what Christianity is all about. I do not go searching for errors in it. At the same time, because I hear so much from Lutherans about the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom that does not conform either to the Confessions or to Scripture, I have looked at the parts of the Book of Concord dealing with these topics quite extensively. Mostly I found that the early reformers had a grasp of these doctrines that exceed that of modern day Lutheran theologians. Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition is an exception.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dear george @ 31

    i am suggesting that the ONLY thing that makes us Lutheran is our agreement with the confessions. only.

    and those confessions are all about teaching us to see and do all through the lense of law and gospel with that aim that christ alone , alone through invisible faith alone is alone in the heavenly kingdom of god.

    as for the second petition dear brother: you should not read it in isolation from the rest of the confessions but as with scripture, let confessions interpret confessons.

    You will be pleased to know then that the confessions do indeed teach that the kingdom of God, the kingdom of invisible faith and grace and christ do indeed cone and come in complete and utter fullness in baptism and with the new birth. where can you find this? well. just for instance you can find it in article VI of the formula of concord titled ” the third use of the law” the two kingdoms are fully discussed there! where? why in the luther sermon that that article refers you too as the fuller explanation of what article VI is driving at. which is law and gospel in the modality of earthly kingdom vs heavenly kingdom! yea yea. I know and agree that modern lutherans teach two kingdoms as civil estate vs churchly estate. this is really then to teach the two kingdoms as two vocations (read law) within the earthly kingdom. and then sometimes some make the terrible mistake of , from that point , trying to say that the eaerthly and visible church and the administration of the word and sacraments is the heavenly kingdom or “left hand kingdom.” and THIS is a direct return to the roman scholasticism that the augustana protests against.

    here is the luther sermon george. I bet you have never seen it before or read it….

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

    some weeks back you refered to a reformed writer, was it rc sproul or was it some other reformed writer who s name starts with an s? and said he had the straight scoop on the kingdom. No. you will see kingdom of god as equalling law from the reformed. for Lutherans there are two kingdoms. both are gods. one is law and the other is gospel. and god can only truly be known and his will can only be truly know in the heavenly kingdom.

    and then the parables come alive. they become our Lords 3 year lecture series on law and gospel even though he never uses those terms. how? heavenly and earthly kingdom. righteousness works vs righteousness of faith.

    again back to article IV. that article teaches that the new man (heavenly kingdom!) has, upon baptism, everything it will ever have in the resurrection! to the extent that the believer is new man, article VI says that the law no longer applies and we do good as light is “done” by the sun and as angels do gods bidding. automatically. spontaneously.

    and the overall point of the our father in the catechism is that there are 7 petitiona that are all done by god without our prayer or faith or asking or even our faith! read what luther says in that context. God knew what abraham would do. the point was that abraham did not know. God will give us all 7 petitions whether we pray them or not. so the point is not making god do something. the point is our receiving those things with faith and thanksgiving. read the large catechism on the second petition. it will help alot. I am arguing that the second petition agrees with your point that the kingdom comes to us FULLY with the new birth of baptism. this is the solid confession of the Lutheran church george.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dear george @ 31

    i am suggesting that the ONLY thing that makes us Lutheran is our agreement with the confessions. only.

    and those confessions are all about teaching us to see and do all through the lense of law and gospel with that aim that christ alone , alone through invisible faith alone is alone in the heavenly kingdom of god.

    as for the second petition dear brother: you should not read it in isolation from the rest of the confessions but as with scripture, let confessions interpret confessons.

    You will be pleased to know then that the confessions do indeed teach that the kingdom of God, the kingdom of invisible faith and grace and christ do indeed cone and come in complete and utter fullness in baptism and with the new birth. where can you find this? well. just for instance you can find it in article VI of the formula of concord titled ” the third use of the law” the two kingdoms are fully discussed there! where? why in the luther sermon that that article refers you too as the fuller explanation of what article VI is driving at. which is law and gospel in the modality of earthly kingdom vs heavenly kingdom! yea yea. I know and agree that modern lutherans teach two kingdoms as civil estate vs churchly estate. this is really then to teach the two kingdoms as two vocations (read law) within the earthly kingdom. and then sometimes some make the terrible mistake of , from that point , trying to say that the eaerthly and visible church and the administration of the word and sacraments is the heavenly kingdom or “left hand kingdom.” and THIS is a direct return to the roman scholasticism that the augustana protests against.

    here is the luther sermon george. I bet you have never seen it before or read it….

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

    some weeks back you refered to a reformed writer, was it rc sproul or was it some other reformed writer who s name starts with an s? and said he had the straight scoop on the kingdom. No. you will see kingdom of god as equalling law from the reformed. for Lutherans there are two kingdoms. both are gods. one is law and the other is gospel. and god can only truly be known and his will can only be truly know in the heavenly kingdom.

    and then the parables come alive. they become our Lords 3 year lecture series on law and gospel even though he never uses those terms. how? heavenly and earthly kingdom. righteousness works vs righteousness of faith.

    again back to article IV. that article teaches that the new man (heavenly kingdom!) has, upon baptism, everything it will ever have in the resurrection! to the extent that the believer is new man, article VI says that the law no longer applies and we do good as light is “done” by the sun and as angels do gods bidding. automatically. spontaneously.

    and the overall point of the our father in the catechism is that there are 7 petitiona that are all done by god without our prayer or faith or asking or even our faith! read what luther says in that context. God knew what abraham would do. the point was that abraham did not know. God will give us all 7 petitions whether we pray them or not. so the point is not making god do something. the point is our receiving those things with faith and thanksgiving. read the large catechism on the second petition. it will help alot. I am arguing that the second petition agrees with your point that the kingdom comes to us FULLY with the new birth of baptism. this is the solid confession of the Lutheran church george.

  • George A. Marquart

    Fsw: the “S” man was Fr. Alexander Schmemann, not Reformed but Russian Orthodox. An extremely well educated, erudite, loving person, whom I never had the pleasure of meeting, but another native Estonian – they are crawling out of the woodwork all of a sudden. So was the previous Patriarch, Alexei II, unfortunately. Even Estonians have some not so admirable people.

    By the way, Dr. Veith, when the Ruble exchange rate started to go crazy in the early nineties, someone asked, “What is the relationship between the Dollar, the Pound, and the Ruble?” Answer: “A Dollar is worth a pound of Rubles.”

    Ok, I’m done with this.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Fsw: the “S” man was Fr. Alexander Schmemann, not Reformed but Russian Orthodox. An extremely well educated, erudite, loving person, whom I never had the pleasure of meeting, but another native Estonian – they are crawling out of the woodwork all of a sudden. So was the previous Patriarch, Alexei II, unfortunately. Even Estonians have some not so admirable people.

    By the way, Dr. Veith, when the Ruble exchange rate started to go crazy in the early nineties, someone asked, “What is the relationship between the Dollar, the Pound, and the Ruble?” Answer: “A Dollar is worth a pound of Rubles.”

    Ok, I’m done with this.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart


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