When all was at last ready Frodo said: “When are you going to join me, Sam?”
Sam looked a bit awkward.
There is no need to come yet, if you don’t want to,” said Frodo. But you know the Gaffer is close at hand, and he will be very well looked after by Widow Rumble.”
“It’s not that, Mr. Frodo,” said Sam, and he was very red.
“Well, what is it?”
“It’s Rosie, Rose Cotton,” said Sam. “It seems she didn’t like my going abroad at all, poor lass; but as I hadn’t spoken, she couldn’t say so. And I didn’t speak, because I had a job to do first. But now I have spoken, and she says: “Well, you’ve wasted a year, so why wait longer?” “Wasted?” I says. “I wouldn’t call it that.” Still I see what she means. I feel torn in two, as you might say.”
“I see,” said Frodo: “you want to get married, and yet you want to live with me in Bag End too? But my dear Sam, how easy! Get married as soon as you can, and then move in with Rosie. There’s room enough in Bag End for as big a family as you could wish for.”
It’s been so long since I read Lord of the Rings, that I had forgotten Rosie was in the book at all. I had taken her as one of Peter Jackson’s additions, specifically for the point of demonstrating that Sam and Frodo weren’t gay. I do remember reading that Jackson felt obliged to play her up a bit, and I think the difference is in our culture, rather than the needs of the plot. Today the assumption is, that if a man isn’t think a certain way about a woman, then he is most certainly thinking womanly thoughts about another man. Tolkien’s assumption, that he puts in Sam’s mouth is that, if a man isn’t thinking about a woman, it’s because he has some more urgent business to attend to, and that it isn’t nice to burden a lady with commitments and then forbid her to fulfill them because of other requirements.
So Claudio says:
O my lord,When you went onward on this ended action,I looked upon her with a soldier’s eye,That liked but had a rougher task in handThan to drive liking to the name of love.But now I am returned and that war thoughtsHave left their places vacant, in their roomsCome thronging soft and delicate desires,All prompting me how fair young Hero is,Saying I liked her ere I went to wars.
One of the most fascinating things about The Lord of the Rings is Tolkien’s use of word choice to convey thematic elements. In lofty scenes of valor, say, Eowyn will be kirt about with a mantle, but in Hobbiton a character named Chubb will be got of hisself with a good thick cloak.
I know that the hard theological differences between the Textus Receptus (i.e. “King James”) and modern critical versions of the Greek New Testament are basically nil, but when you get down into the details, there are a lot of little differences. Here’s one:
|And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.||And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.|
The differences are there, even if they are subtle. So no matter what your preacher or your professor tells you about the superiority of the modern translations, I think there’s some benefit to preserving the text that 500 years of English readers have understood. The TR is also the text that Greek speaking Christians have used for 1500 years, and possibly nearly 2000.
And yet, I’m becoming persuaded that the NKJV, regardless of the quality of the original text that it is based on, is just not as good a translation as some of the newer versions, like the ESV and HCSV. So here’s what I want: a new English translation based on the Textus Receptus for the New Testament, and (just to stir things up a bit), based on the Septuagint for the Old Testament. After all, the Septuagint was the version of the OT that Jesus and the apostles used. No seriously, it was. We usually translate the OT from he Masoretic Hebrew, because it’s in Hebrew, and therefore more authentic to the original Hebrew text. But all the quotes in the NT are from the Septuagint. I figure, since I’m already wishing, I might as well shoot for the moon and ask for a Bible that’s internally consistent, so that my New Testament quotes actually match their Old Testament references.
However, I have a suspicion that the market for such a Bible is pretty thin. If I ever want to see such thing, I might have to make it myself.
I am getting really tired of the theological misuse of prepositions. Today I listened to a theologian tell me yet again that the Bible is not about me. Correct: I am neither a character in scripture, nor am I personally a major theme. The Bible is not about me; it is for me. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction…” “Is it for oxen that God is concerned?” Etc.
We get the same problem with “for” and “to.” “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous…” “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will to the praise of his glorious grace…” Jesus came for sins, for adoption, to praise. The glory is an after effect, not the primary purpose. Was God short of glory and praise, that he created the world?
Then again, maybe it’s just the word “for” that theologians have trouble with.
“Siri, where am I?”
“You are on I-20, Anniston, AL.”
“What’s the population of Anniston Alabama?”
“The population of Anniston is 22,700.”
Richard Fernandez on Christian Militias in Iraq: The Odds Against.
- Yes to the God-created right of self defense and all government codes that recognize it. Self defense, and the arms that go with it, is always in the absence of stable government, or in support the lesser magistrate against an overweening empire. Militias against the police are called something else, since any legitimate militia would begin its recruitment among its most likely volunteers – the police.
- Requiring some kind of overarching political coordination of the final collapse of the Ottoman empire by some Western administration strikes me as that very sort of overweening empire. I’m conflicted on this one: As a Christian and a Soldier, I recognize some responsibility for us as Americans to act as the world’s police, especially in support of obvious non-negotiables, such as religious freedom. By all means protect the saints! On the other hand, as an American Soldier, I’m not really interested in picking sides as a civilization collapses. I’m not sure that liberty is a vine that can survive well on the trellis of a foreign military power.
- Here’s a thought experiment: Islamic civilization is collapsing (and good riddance). Who knows what will spring from the ashes? But European civilization collapsed once, and what came after was much better. Now imagine what would have happened to the West if China in its golden age had stepped in and rescued Europe from the barbarians. Would we exist at all today?
2 Peter 2:1
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bringin destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
I take this to mean that false teaching in the church replaces the danger posed by false prophets in the old covenant. From that premise, I think it’s safe to conclude that teaching in general replaces prophecy as God’s primary means of communicating to his people. You can see this in church history: where prophecy has been practiced, its influence has been insignificant compared to teaching in the church.
However, you can’t conclude that therefore prophecy has ceased. Was there no teaching in the old covenant? I think a better conclusion is that prophecy and teaching switch places in terms of relevance. Formerly, false teaching was relatively less significant, because any new doctrine would have to be ratified by prophecy, or it would be considered prophecy, and subject to prophetic tests. Now, any prophetic word has to be ratified by the guardians of church doctrine, or it is considered teaching and is subject to doctrinal tests.
The result should be that we are relatively free with prophecy and relatively reserved with our teaching. Suppose a man prophesies that it will rain on Wednesday, and lo! it doesn’t rain. Is he a false prophet? Not really. He’s a silly man, attempting to be obedient to the scripture that says to pursue prophecy. He should be advised that he blew it, but to keep trying. Suppose again that a man teaches that no one may prophesy regarding rain on Wednesdays. Well that man might well be on his way to becoming a false teacher. He should be answered directly, on doctrinal grounds, paying close attention to how great a risk, really, he poses to the life of the church.
1 Peter 1:3 – “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
I know a number of catechisms and various resources, all of which teach that holy scripture gives us everything that we need pertaining to life and godliness. But if you look at the text in scripture where that teaching comes from, you see that it says nothing of the sort. Peter says that His (that is, Jesus’) divine power has given us everything we need, but he doesn’t tell us the exact mechanism.
The key difference is that the point of the text is to give you confidence that you have everything you need, and to place that confidence in the appropriate object of our faith: Jesus Christ. The point of the teaching is to narrow the means that Jesus has of giving you what you need to a specific source of information – scripture.
Now I want to affirm all the usual assertions about the authority and inerrancy of scripture. All those things are true. But we don’t bolster the authority of scripture when we go beyond the text to reach for an assertion about it’s authority. That actually undermines the text, because you are asserting something extra that you didn’t exactly get from scripture. Worse, that little extra piece doesn’t even come from some extra-biblical source that is actually recommended in scripture, such as church leaders, or a prophetic word. No, that extra bit came from that famous bugaboo of theological error, “your tradition.”
Traditionally, the psyche has been broken in to three main parts: the mind the will and the emotions. I’m okay with that. The interesting thing to me is how we try to tweak ourselves by strengthening or redirecting those parts without really understanding how they function. So people try to change their lives by appealing to their emotions, or by increasing their willpower.
Well, here’s an image for you: The psyche is like a heating and air conditioning system. The will, big and powerful, does all the work, so it’s the actual compressor, heat pump, what have you. The emotions are the thermometer – not the thermostat! They respond to internal and external inputs, and they change all the time, but they have no ability to communicate the way things ought to be – only what is. The mind is what determines what ought to be, compares that with what is, and tells the will to get to work. And that would be the actual thermostat.
Later, we can discuss what it would be like, psychologically speaking, to have a compressor that wasn’t powerful enough to overcome the environment, or a thermometer that was always 5 degrees to cold, or a thermostat that doesn’t automatically switch from hot to cold…