We are in the middle of Holy Week, the week beginning on Palm Sunday. The first Holy Week ended on the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday, with Jesus still in the tomb. The next day, the first day of the following week, he showed himself to be alive. As Peter put it in his sermon on the first Pentecost, “God raised him, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24). Just as no Saturday can hold back the coming Sunday, so Jesus’ death on Saturday of Holy Week could not hold back his resurrection on Easter Sunday: “it was not possible for him to be held by it.” The same truth applies to those who are Christ’s by faith: it is not possible for us to be held by death. Because he lives, we too shall live.
Hey, Homeschooling Mom
The Crescent and the Cross: The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad combines gripping adventure with a clear statement of the Christian faith and an introduction to Islam. Your child will enjoy the story while being reinforced in basic Christian teaching, learning basic apologetics (how to defend and advance the faith in speaking with others), and learning what Muslims believe (and why Islam is unable to meet the real spiritual needs of people). The book is a valuable supplement to whatever curriculum you are using.
To help you make the most of this book in your child’s education, Saluda Press has a FREE study guide to go with the book. It contains question and activities for each chapter.
This Study Guide is meant for parents who want their children to understand my book better. By having your child work through the questions and activities you will help him or her to know more about the people and places mentioned in the book and to grasp better the meaning of the story. The Study Guide may be used as a supplement to your child’s private reading, or in homeschooling if the book is used as a reader
If you buy The Crescent and the Cross before the end of May I will email you the Study Guide free. You can buy The Crescent and the Cross on Amazon or by going to the top of this page, clicking on Buying My Books, and following the instructions. You can use a credit card or PayPal.
Luther’s 95 Theses for 21st Century Christians
Here is the next installment.
- God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest.
Luther maintains in Thesis 7 that there is no remission of sin or forgiveness except for the humble. The Lord began his Sermon on the Mount with these words:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:3-6
The poor in spirit, are those who mourn over their sins, those who are meek (that is, those who do not push themselves forward as though they deserve special treatment), and those who hunger and thirst for (personal) righteousness. They are the humble who receive forgiveness. This word has always been true ever since the first sin, it was true in Luther’s day, and it is just as true today.
We need this truth more than ever nowadays, for we live in an age of affirmation, affirmation that wars against humility. From childhood on we are praised and affirmed in all we are, say, and do. Mediocre accomplishments are lauded. Awards are given for participation in events, for everyone’s sense of self-worth must be strengthened. Bad behavior is excused—it wasn’t our fault. A majority of young people believe they are above average, like the children of Garrison Keilor’s Lake Wobegone. We have been told for more than a generation now that “I’m OK, you’re OK,” and we find it pleasant and easy to believe it. In a recent presidential election one candidate said he had never asked God for forgiveness. The candidate was frank and open, but he was not humble!
At the same time we are told to assert our rights, including the right to fight for our own way to prevail. Even in the church, too many Christians reserve the right to decide for themselves whether or not the word of their pastor applies to them when it displeases them. They make themselves their own pope. That, too, wars against meekness and humility.
In the last phrase of Thesis 7 Luther maintains that God does not remit the guilt of those who reject legitimate spiritual authority (in his day, that of the parish priest) in favor of personal autonomy. Speaking to his apostles, the Lord said the same thing indirectly:
Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. Matthew 10:40
We can’t make ourselves humble. Luther points out that it is God who grants humility and submission to legitimate church authority. Pray for the humility that constitutes the foundation of true repentance, a repentance that must accompany faith if we are to be saved.