Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Steve Ray here. My kids and I recently pooled together all of our resources and bought land way out in the country on a river with a forest. My daughter and son-in-law's house is already half built and the rest of our family plans to join them soon. Lord willing, I will semi-retire there with all my kids and grandkids surrounding me.

Eagle.jpgIn the middle of our forest, there's an eagle's nest. Over the last few years we've enjoyed observing the two eagle parents as they raise their young. But it is interesting to watch the lesser birds, such as noisy crows and blackbirds, since they don'tblike the eagles. The eagles are bigger and fly higher,  they are threatening to the lesser birds. The eagles eat fish and small mammals and have no interest in the crows and blackbirds — they basically ignore them.

As soon as the majestic eagle spreads his wings and rises into the air the pesty crows and blackbirds come flapping from their hideouts in hot pursuit. It seems the blackbirds are afraid of the eagles so they attack them with the seeming intent to intimidate to eagles to leave or to start a petty fight — or at least to point out to the eagle that he is not better then them. The crows are lucky the eagle ignores them. (See the video clip below.) 

 The same thing happens in human society too, even among Christians. I will explain what I  mean. But first, Dr. Francis Beckwith (interview here), is the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society (a respected and honored position his noisy critics could never dream of achieving). He has an earned doctorate and an impeccible reputation. He was recently received into full communion with the Catholic Church.  Not only did Catholics welcome his entry into the Catholic Church, but many of his more mature, knowledgeable and charitable Evangelical associates regarded his decision with respect too, even if they did not agree with his decision.

EagleNest.jpg(Eagle's nest on our land. For more about our eagles, click here.)

Dr. Beckwith has flown high enough to see the big picture. He is respected the world over as an honest, knowledgeable and respected theologian with great integrity, but there are always noisy crows and blustering blackbirds sitting at their computers who think their raucus attacks and fluffed up feathers prove they are better than the eagle. If it wasn't so pathetic it would be funny.

But as we've watched our eagles, we've learned that the eagle is wise to ignore the blackbirds and continue flying high.  We've noticed that the eagle can always outlast the smaller birds. It rises higher and higher and the less capable and short-sighted blackbirds eventually drop out of site. The eagle soars to the clouds – leaving his know-it-all critics behind and seeing things from an even higher perspective.

By the way, few people notice the crows, but many love the eagles. And like most Christians, I find it best to ignore the noisy crows myself; they are a waste of time.

 

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Baptists at Council of Nicea?

by Steve Ray on November 14, 2007

"Ancient Baptists" and other Myths

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Nicea, August 24, A.D. 325, 7:41 p.m.
“That was powerful preaching, Brother Athanasius. Powerful! Amen! I want to invite any of you folks in the back to approach the altar here and receive the Lord into your hearts. Just come on up. We’ve got brothers and sisters up here who can lead you through the Sinner’s Prayer. Amen! And as this Council of Nicea comes to an end, I want to remind Brother Eusebius to bring the grape juice for tomorrow’s closing communion service . . .”

Ah yes, the Baptists at the Council of Nicea. Sound rather silly? It certainly does. And yet, there are those who claim the Church of Nicea was more Protestant in belief and practice than Catholic. . . .

. . . I had not seen this piece before, but found it intriguing and thought I'd share it. For the whole article written by patristic scholar Fr. Hugh Barbour, O.Praem., click here to read it in Envoy Magazine.

There was recently a lame attempt to make St. Athanasius look like a Reformed Baptist, but to respond to this I suggest you read "St. Athanasius was a CATHOLIC, not a Proto-Protestant" by Dave Armstrong here.

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