Ultimate loyalty of Christian believers is to God rather than any human authority–Eugene M. Boring

While Luke– Acts is not a political apology directed to outsiders, his narrative wants to make clear that Christians are no overt threat to Rome and can be good citizens. Both Christians and authorities should know this. Nonetheless, when push comes to shove, Luke is clear that the ultimate loyalty of Christian believers is to God rather than any human authority (Acts 5: 29). Thus: On the other hand… Luke has some statements, stories, and images that explicitly resist the empire, or offer an alternative to it.

Luke 1: 4. The ἀσϕάλεια (asphaleia, security, confidence; NRSV “truth”) promised by Luke’s narrative echoes the slogan of the Pax Romana, “peace and security” (εἰρήνη καὶ ἀσϕάλεια, eirēnē kai asphaleia; cf. 1 Thess 5: 3). What Caesar promised, only the God of Jesus Christ can deliver.

Luke 1: 32. God will give Jesus the throne of David, and he shall rule.

Luke 1: 52. The advent of the Savior will bring down the mighty from their thrones, and exalt the lowly.

Luke 4: 6. In Luke, the devil gets one additional line in the temptation story. Worldly power over the nations of the civilized world (οἰκουμένη oikoumenē, used of the Roman Empire) has been given to him, and he gives this authority to whomever he will. This reflects the apocalyptic theology sketched above, in which God is pictured as temporarily granting power over the world to angelic or demonic beings. This is a miniature version of the apocalyptic scheme pictured on a grand scale in Revelation, where the Roman Empire is seen as an expression of demonic power. Here it means concretely that the present rulers of the world have received their power and authority from Satan. Jesus resists the offer to rule the world by this kind of power. He offers an alternative, and it will prevail. God will rule.

Boring, M. Eugene. An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology (Kindle Locations 19098-19100).


Sergej Rachmaninov – Vespers (All-Night Vigil), for alto, tenor & chorus, Op. 37 – YouTube

Sergej Rachmaninov – Vespers

Vespers is a sunset evening prayer service in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours. The word comes from the Greek ἑσπέρα and the Latin vesper, meaning “evening”. It is also referred to in the Anglican tradition as evening prayer or evensong. Wikipedia

The All-Night Vigil (Pre-reform Russian: Всенощное бдѣніе, Vsénoshchnoye bdéniye; Modern Russian: Всенощное бдение) is an a cappella choral composition by Sergei Rachmaninoff, his Op. 37, premiered on 23 March 1915 in Moscow.

0:00 Come, Let Us Worship 2:36 Bless the Lord, O My Soul 8:00 Blessed is the Man 12:23 Gladsome Light 16:30 Lord, Now Lettest Thou 20:39 Rejoice, O Virgin 23:51 The Six Psalms 27:12 Praise the Name of the Lord 29:53 Blessed Art Thou, O Lord 36:40 Having Beheld the Resurrection 40:44 My Soul Magnifies the Lord 51:32 The Great Doxology 59:07 Today Salvation 1:01:20 Thou Didst Rise 1:05:39 To Thee, the Victorious Leader Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.


Not far from Buddahood

A university student while visiting Gasan asked him: ‘Have you ever read the Christian Bible?’
‘No, read it to me,’ said Gasan.
The student opened the Bible and read from St Matthew:
‘And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.’
Gasan said: ‘Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man.’
The student continued reading:
‘Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto
you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.’
Gasan remarked: ‘That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood.’
Compiled by Paul Reps

C.S. Lewis and Reality — Mere Inkling

In this increasingly relativistic cauldron we call “the world,” chaos is fueled by the concept that everyone is entitled to determine their own reality. It all depends on one’s perspective. “Perception is reality,” is a common sentiment. More clearly said, “an individual’s perception is their personal reality.” In other words, the way that a person […]

via C.S. Lewis and Reality — Mere Inkling

Just look around–David Berlinski


David Berlinski

THE IDEA that human beings have been endowed with powers and properties not found elsewhere in the animal kingdom—or the universe, so far as we can tell—arises from a simple imperative: Just look around. It is an imperative that survives the invitation fraternally to consider the great apes. The apes are, after all, behind the bars of their cages and we are not. Eager for the experiments to begin, they are impatient for their food to be served. They seem impatient for little else. After years of punishing trials, a few of them have been taught the rudiments of various primitive symbol systems. Having been given the gift of language, they have nothing to say. When two simian prodigies meet, they fling their signs at one another. More is expected, but more is rarely forthcoming. Experiments conducted by Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth—and they are exquisite—indicate that like other mammals, baboons have a rich inner world, something that only the intellectual shambles of behavioral psychology could ever have placed in doubt. Simian social structures are often intricate. Chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas reason; they form plans; they have preferences; they are cunning; they have passions and desires; and they suffer. The same is true of cats, I might add. In much of this, we see ourselves. But beyond what we have in common with the apes, we have nothing in common, and while the similarities are interesting, the differences are profound. If human beings are as human beings think they are, then religious ideas about what they are gain purchase. These ideas are ancient. They have arisen spontaneously in every culture. They have seemed to men and women the obvious conclusions to be drawn from just looking around. An enormous amount of intellectual effort has accordingly been invested in persuading men and women not to look around. “The idea that human minds are the product of evolution is ‘unassailable fact.’ ” Thus Nature in an editorial. Should anyone have missed the point, Nature made it again: “With all deference to the sensibilities of religious people, the idea that man was created in the image of God can surely be put aside.” Those not willing to put such sentiments aside, the scientific community has concluded, are afflicted by a form of intellectual ingratitude.



Berlinski, David (2009-08-26). The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions (pp. 155-157). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.