A Copt responds, on their not being Monophysites

I recently posted about the Lutheran video tribute to the 21 Coptic Martyrs of Libya, going on to address the accusation that the Copts are monophysite heretics.  Reader Ori Pomerantz shared the post with Medhat Ghabrial, a Coptic Christian, who wrote a fascinating comment on Facebook that I had to share with you (with his permission).

You can read it after the jump, but basically he says that the heresy charge was a political maneuver by the Church of Rome against its rival, the Church of Alexandria.  (Recall the prominence of Alexandria in the Early Church.)  Mr. Ghabrial points out that Alexandria was the center of Nicene orthodoxy.  After all, St. Athanasius was the bishop of Alexandria!  And the Copts to this day recite and consider authoritative the Athanasian Creed!  The Coptic Church is emphatically not monophysite, as the Roman Church itself now admits.

I still hear that charge, though, among Protestants, so Mr. Ghabrial’s point needs to be better known.  He also acknowledges that Coptic Christology is much like that of the Lutherans, a subject that needs to be better known as well! [Read more…]

Christ drains the cup

Read this remarkable meditation from Chad Bird on those times of suffering when God seems unresponsive–asleep, like Jesus in the storm.

It’s a powerful example of what I have been calling for, a theodicy centered in Christ.

I post an excerpt and a link after the jump.  You’ll want to read every word.  I also give a link to his book that this is taken from. [Read more…]

Lutheran tribute to the 21 Coptic Martyrs

A year ago this week, ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in Libya. I’m pleased that the president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod issued this video tribute to these martyrs of the Christian faith.  (Note the new icon that commemorates the martyrdom.) But aren’t the Copts heretics?  Read my discussion after the jump.


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A fine video on “What Is Lent?”

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“Why We Don’t Do Ashes on Ash Wednesday”

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  I love the rite of the imposition of ashes, when the pastor marks our foreheads with the sign of the cross made in ashes, with the words “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  We need to remember that fact.

But what I want to post for the occasion is a classic piece by Rev. William Cwirla from a few years ago, on “Why We Don’t Do Ashes on Ash Wednesday.”  It’s not what you might expect.  It’s a different kind of remembrance of death, and a reflection on the pastor’s vocation.  He even goes deeper into the symbolism in a way that will help those who do “do ashes on Ash Wednesday.”

UPDATE:  Don’t get me wrong.  Most of us Lutherans do impose ashes.  See this rejoinder to Rev. Cwirla’s piece from Rev. David Petersen, via Trent David.
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Muslims dreaming about Jesus

A recurring theme in the Muslims’s conversions to Christianity, as documented by Uwe Siemon-Netto, is that individual Muslims are saying that they have had dreams about Jesus, who, in turn, directs them to the Bible and to a Bible-believing church.

Charismatics would have no problem with this, but we Lutherans (who are getting a lot of these Muslims) tend to be skeptical about such private visions, insisting that it is by means of the Word and the Sacraments that God comes to us.  But Siemon-Netto, quoting another Lutheran theologian, says that these visions of Jesus are not self-contained but follow the pattern of those in Acts (e.g., that of Saul of Tarsus and Cornelius), whose visions sent them to someone who would baptize them and teach them the Word of God.

What do you think about all of this? [Read more…]


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