Joke of the Week: Two nations separated by a common language
An Englishman was visiting Alaska and found himself in a fishing village on the Bering Sea. As he stood on the wharf watching boat after boat unload salmon, he asked a fisherman standing there, “I say, What do you do with all those fish?” The old salt smiled and said, “Well, we eat what we can, and what we can’t, we can.” The Englishman laughed and laughed, and resolved to tell the joke to his friends when he returned home.
Back in England, upon his first visit to his favorite pub, he told his friends, “When I was in Alaska I saw boatloads of salmon being brought into this village, and I asked a fisherman there what they did with all the fish. He smiled and said to me, “Well, we eat what we are able, and what we are unable we put up in tins!”
Saluda Press offers free downloads of Bible study guides not yet published. They can be found at Dropbox, a cloud storage site. If you don’t have Dropbox on your computer you can sign up and download the app easily. Once you have Dropbox, log into my account. User name: email@example.com, Password: sharonr241. If that doesn’t work, try User name: firstname.lastname@example.org, Password: RobertR63041. If you do download and use any of these studies, please email me and let me know what you think of them. Candor is appreciated: if they are found wanting in any respect, I want to know before I have them published. I will be grateful for your feedback.
Your turn to talk back
I have finally fixed the Contact Me page of this website. Previously it would not accept or forward comments; now it works just fine. I welcome your comments, positive or negative; I will respond by email if appropriate. Right now I have no way of knowing how many people read my blog, so I will appreciate even a brief note that you read it.
It’s over. After all the hoopla, totality lasted a whole two and a half minutes. The eclipse covered less than half of the United States, and it appears to have been a sign of…nothing. The Bible tells us of a longer darkening of the sun, one with genuine significance: “Now from the sixth hour [noon] there was darkness over all the land till the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Matthew 27:45-46). Isaac Watts took this verse and put it into a hymn: “Well might the sun refuse to shine, and shut his glories in; when God the mighty Maker died, for man the creature’s sin.”
The Bible speaks of a future darkening of the sun: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:29-31).
Let Monday’s eclipse remind you of the death of Christ for the sins of all who cast themselves on him for forgiveness, mercy, and eternal life. If you have not yet turned to Christ in faith, do so today. When the sun grows dark for the last time will be too late to do so.
Not a freebee, but worth the price
New this month: Saluda Press’s third book in the Timothy Series of Bible study guides, Galatians: Freedom in Christ. Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians to prevent them from abandoning the true gospel of Christ for a false one. In our own time, researchers have found that over half of Americans believe the same false gospel that endangered the souls of the Galatian Christians. Every Christian today needs a solid understanding of the truth of the gospel as laid out in Galatians, and this 150-page study guide will help you gain that understanding. Its thirteen lessons feature study questions (and answers!) and study notes that will help you grasp the teaching of Galatians. Buy it today for the sale price of $9.00 (that includes sales tax and shipping by going to Buying My Books at the top of this page. After Labor Day the regular price of $11.95 (plus shipping and sales tax if applicable) goes into effect. Save yourself $4.95 (discount, shipping, and tax) by ordering it in the next 2 weeks.
Luther’s 95 Theses for 21st Century Christians, continued.
In these theses Luther shows by logic that one cannot pay for unabsolved sins by doing time in purgatory, addressing a claim made by the indulgence sellers. We who do not believe in purgatory need to apply his logic to ourselves if we think that we can avoid the hell our sins deserve by our own suffering, either in this world or the next.
- Therefore the pope, when he uses the words “plenary remission of all penalties,” does not actually mean “all penalties,” but only those imposed by himself.
- Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences.
- As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life.
Thesis 20 is a corollary of Thesis 5. Luther brings the matter up again in conjunction with the penalty of purgatory. The pope can remit no penalties that apply to those who have died, for no penalties prescribed by the Church carry over to the dead. It follows that they cannot be fulfilled by time in purgatory—nothing remains to be fulfilled. The church cannot prescribe purgatory as a substitute for penalties that no longer apply. Hence the pope cannot grant an indulgence which releases one from purgatory, and indulgence preachers who assert that are in error (Theses 21 and 22).