I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Archive for February 2013

Pig out

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In his 1992 essay Pig Out? 25 Reasons Why Christians May Eat Pork, James Jordan definitively refutes the notions that the Sinaitic food laws have any continuing applicability to the church, or that they ever had any intended health value. While he focuses on the food laws and their symbolism, his comments are also applicable to other can-do-no-wrong fads that search for some basis elsewhere in the ceremonial law, such as essential oils.

Jordan concludes:

The Sinaitic dietary laws were not given for reasons of health or hygiene, but were symbolic. They applied only to Israelites during the period between Moses and Christ. Noah and Abraham were not under these laws, Gentile God-fearers were not under these laws, and New Covenant Christians are not under them either. Deciding how much meat to eat, how often, and what kinds is a matter for Christians to determine for themselves in terms of sanctified common sense and the evidence of dietetic science.

Making these dietary rules a matter of faith in the New Covenant is demonic. Unquestionably this is not the intention of earnest Christians who believe that they have uncovered health secrets in the book of Leviticus. We have to remember, however, that Satan is a great deceiver, and he will mislead the very elect of God. By focusing attention on the Sinaitic dietary laws, Satan diverts attention from the one God-given food law of the New Covenant, which is to fellowship with Him at His table. God invites us to come to His house on His day and bring along some bread and wine. How many Churches serve His meal on His day (not monthly, not quarterly)? How many use bread (not wafers, not crackers, not doughnuts)? How many use wine (not grape juice, not soft drinks)? How many include the children, whom God invited in the Old Covenant, and who are surely invited today (1 Cor. 10: 1-4)? How many Churches see this meal as a covenant renewal, a time of restoring our relationship with our God? How many Churches proclaim that there is health in this covenant renewal, and sickness in abusing it (1 Cor. 11:30)?

Too many pork-haters have a low view of the Church. They replace the sacramental interpretation of the Sinaitic dietary laws with an interpretation that is little more than “medicine man religion. ” They overlook the real health giving meal, the New Covenant sacrament. As a result, they mislead the people of God.

You can order a copy of this paper from Biblical Horizons; refer to their catalog.

Written by Scott Moonen

February 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm


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In my previous post I suggested an outline for part of Luke 22.

In this passage, there is an interesting connection between the sword and the ear. The ear is the organ of hearing the master’s instruction. Peter’s sword impaired Malchus’s ability to hear Jesus’s word and command. Jesus restored his ability to hear, so that the greater sword, the word (Eph 6:17, Heb 4:12) could enter his ear and pierce his heart.

From the fact that Malchus’s name is deliberately recorded (John 18:10), it seems quite likely that he became a Christian and was known to the early church.

Malchus received back his ear and gave it to a new master. What would his conversion have cost him, as a servant of the high priest?

Written by Scott Moonen

February 20, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Posted in Bible, Christ is Lord

Luke 22

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Here is a possible chiasm in Luke 22:31-62:

A (vv. 31-34): Peter’s denial foretold

B (vv. 35-36): Swords

C (vv. 37-38): Scripture fulfilled

D (v. 39) Jesus goes out (exerchomai) to the Mount of Olives; the disciples follow

E (v. 40): Pray that you may not enter into temptation

F (v. 41): Jesus withdraws, Jesus kneels

G (v. 42): Wrestling in prayer: remove the cup

H (v. 43): An angel strengthens Jesus

G’ (v. 44): Wrestling in prayer: sweating blood

F’ (v. 45): Jesus rises, disciples sleep

E’ (v. 46): Pray that you may not enter into temptation

D’ (v. 47): Judas leads (proerchomai) a crowd

C’ (v. 48): Prophecy of vv. 21-22 fulfilled

B’ (vv. 49-53): Swords

A’ (vv. 54-62): Peter’s denial

There are a couple things that don’t satisfy me about this. First, it does not connect the cup of vv. 17-20 with the cup of v. 42 (see here for a different outline that attempts to relate these). Of lesser importance, I would like to be able to connect the angel’s strengthening Jesus with his healing Malchus’s ear.

However, I am pleased with a few things that are brought out by this outline. First, I like the contrast this draws between Jesus and Judas and their followers. Second, cup and blood are related by this, thus echoing v. 20 even if it is not brought into the chiasm. Finally, the hinge of this chiasm is the angel’s strengthening Jesus. I think this is significant for a few reasons, about which I will write more later.

Written by Scott Moonen

February 20, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Posted in Bible

A prayer for the church

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Who can count the dust of Jesus
or number the fourth part of the church?
Let me die the death of the upright,
and let my end be like his!

He has not beheld misfortune in Jesus,
nor has he seen trouble in the church.
Jesus their God is with with them,
and the shout of a king is among them.
Jesus brings them out of the old creation
and is for them like the horns of the wild ox.
For there is no enchantment against Jesus,
no divination against the church;
Now it shall be said of Jesus and the church,
‘What has God wrought!’
Behold, a people! As a lioness it rises up
and as a lion it lifts itself;
It does not lie down until it has devoured the prey
and drunk the blood of the slain.

How lovely are your tents, O Jesus,
your encampments, O church!
Like palm groves that stretch afar,
like gardens beside a river,
Like aloes that Jesus has planted,
like cedar trees beside the waters.
Water shall flow from his buckets,
and his seed shall be in many waters;
His king shall be higher than Caesar,
and his kingdom shall be exalted.
Jesus brings them out of the old creation
and is for them like the horns of the wild ox;
He shall eat up the nations, his adversaries,
and shall break their bones in pieces
and pierce them through with his arrows.
He crouched, he lay down like a lion
and like a lioness; who will rouse him up?
Blessed are those who bless you,
and cursed are those who curse you.

Adapted from Numbers 23-24

Written by Scott Moonen

February 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Spirituality, worship and the world

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Mark Horne writes about:

The Spirit is opposed to the flesh, but not the body. The Spirit gives life to our bodies and to the church-body.

Written by Scott Moonen

February 10, 2013 at 9:18 am

Posted in Biblical Theology

Up, up and away

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Jesus is lifted up, both on the cross (John 12:32-33) and in his ascension (Luke 24:50-53).

He lifts us up in and to himself (Ps. 68:18, John 12:32-33, Eph. 2:6). We are the joyful entourage of the conquering king (Ps. 24).

Thus approaching his throne, we further exalt and lift him up (Ps. 22:3, 99).

Written by Scott Moonen

February 4, 2013 at 5:52 am


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Jacob, Supplanter was his name
Uprooting other kingdoms until he alone remained
Just like Jesus the greater king to come
All His foes will fall until He is the only one

— Jamie Soles, Supplanter (listen)

What are some ways in which Jesus fulfills and expands Jacob’s type?

Like Jacob, Jesus was promised a great inheritance (Psalm 2:8). Unlike Esau, the interlopers of this world were too savvy to sell the stolen inheritance for a pittance (Matthew 4:8), and required actual blood for their appeasement rather than “red stuff” (Matthew 2:16-18). To secure his inheritance, Jesus pulls off the greatest righteous deception in all of history. Herod (the Edomite), Caesar, Caiaphas and Satan all believe that they have secured their coup by killing the son (Luke 2:9-18). But Jesus’s death is the very means by which he receives his inheritance and begins to execute judgment on his enemies.

Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

— Psalm 2:10-12

Written by Scott Moonen

February 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm


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What does water do? It covers, sometimes unto death and sometimes unto life:

  • Genesis 7:19-20 — And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.
  • Exodus 14:28 — The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained.
  • Exodus 15:5, 10 — The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. . . . You blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.
  • Job 22:11 — A flood of water covers you.
  • Job 36:30 — Behold, he scatters his lightning about him and covers the roots of the sea.
  • Job 38:34 — Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you?
  • Psalm 84:6 — As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
  • Psalm 104:5-9 — He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. . . . You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
  • Psalm 106:11 — And the waters covered their adversaries; not one of them was left.
  • Isaiah 11:9 — The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
  • Jeremiah 46:8 — Egypt rises like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge. He said, ‘I will rise, I will cover the earth, I will destroy cities and their inhabitants.’
  • Jeremiah 51:42 — The sea has come up on Babylon; she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
  • Ezekiel 26:19 — For thus says the Lord God: When I make you a city laid waste, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I bring up the deep over you, and the great waters cover you,
  • Habakkuk 2:14 — For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

This has several implications. First, this supports Leithart’s thesis that baptism is inherently an investiture, a covering. In baptism we are inducted into the priesthood of all believers. Second, this lends strong support to pouring and sprinkling as proper modes of baptism: the water and Spirit move towards us, rather than the reverse, and baptism is much more a pronouncement God makes over us than a statement we make ourselves. Finally, this links baptism with atonement: just as we are covered, our sins are covered (Isaiah 61:10, Psalm 32:1, Romans 4:7).

And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name. — Acts 22:16

Written by Scott Moonen

February 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Posted in Biblical Theology