…all of the Old Covenant sacraments, like the flood, were future tense and testified to the destruction of the flesh.
[A report from our London correspondent, Chris Wooldridge:]
A week ago, I attended two conferences delivered by Peter Leithart on the subject of the Sacraments. The first one was aimed at anyone interested; the second was addressed more to ministers and theological students.
Satan’s desire was always to turn the “pruning” of circumcision into an ax laid at the root of the tree of Israel.
Continuing on the theme of martyrdom, an online friend rightly pointed out a little while back that the handful of treatments of the “massacre of the innocents” which see this bloodshed as the first of the New Covenant’s martyrs miss the point of Matthew’s use of the word “fulfilled,” rendering it as good as meaningless.
Since Jesus loves little children, and Jesus is the Great Shepherd, our little children must therefore be His lambs.
About whom was Jesus speaking when He asked Peter to feed his “lambs”? John 21 is used in support of the practice of paedocommunion, but such an argument sees only what it is looking for. If we allow the passage to speak for itself, what is it saying?
Jesus would be gathered first to the true fathers, then, once enthroned, He would gather the true sons.
In English, the word manger is archaic, preserved for us by the Christmas tradition. In French, the word is still in use, being the infinitive “to eat.” As with every detail in the Scriptures, the fact that the One who would give Himself to us in the elements of a meal was placed in a food trough invites contemplation.
or Keeping Jesus Together
Christ at the centre of history is the entire Creation in one Man: Forming, Filling and Future.
“…the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
The Creation Week, although sevenfold, consisted of three days of Forming, three days of Filling, and then a Future, the dominion of the world promised to Adam. But before Adam could be considered qualified to rule the world as the representative of God, Adam himself would have to be a new creation.
Looking God in the Eye
The history of mankind is one of good gifts turned into idols. Blessings abused become curses in the hands of those who won’t look God in the eye.
For those of us who know the Bible, the idolatries become more subtle. This was the case for the Pharisees. The exile had purified Israel of old-school idolatry, so she invented a new school: an elitism bound by an Abrahamic heritage and energized by the abuse of Moses and the Law as a means of salvation: heritage instead of faith; obligation instead of salvation. The good things given as gifts once again became the gods.
Who are the dogs and pigs whom Jesus warns His hearers against in Matthew 7?
[This post has been refined and included in Sweet Counsel: Essays to Brighten the Eyes.]
“The Lord’s Table is for dangerous people.”
If you are going to baptize infants, it makes sense that you would also allow them to take Communion. Baptism brings one into the priesthood (through the Laver) to the court of God, and Communion is fellowship in the priestly kingdom. To unite the two is consistent—as consistent as the two pillars flanking the threshold of Solomon’s Temple.
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war… From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron.” (Revelation 19:11-15)
The Bible is big on fruit. The first “Covenant Ethic” was a prohibition on fruit from a particular tree. The transgression of Adam resulted in curses upon the fruit of the Land and the fruit of the womb. The book which describes the end of the Old Covenant, the Revelation, shows the dragon attempting to eat the son of Adam, the fruit of the womb, and then to devour the fruit of the Land, the apostolic “firstfruits” Church.  But where is the forbidden tree?