2 October 2020

It is not often now that I quote Calvin doing what he does best — which is not systematic theology but exegesis. Calvin had read almost everything available in the Paris Theological Library — before he ran for his life to Switzerland. it shows. Like most well trained late medievals, he sought the source text, which for the New Testament is Greek, and Erasmus’ Greek text had been out for a generation. So you get this.

17 If I should be offered. The Greek word is spendomai, and accordingly there appears to be an allusion to those animals, by the slaughter of which agreements and treaties were confirmed among the ancients. For the Greeks specially employ the term spondas to denote the victims by which treaties are confirmed. In this way, he calls his death the confirmation of their faith, which it certainly would be. That, however, the whole passage may be more clearly understood, he says that he offered sacrifice to God, when he consecrated them by the gospel. There is a similar expression in Romans 15:16; for in that passage he represents himself as a priest, who offers up the Gentiles to God by the gospel. Now, as the gospel is a spiritual sword for slaying victims, so faith is, as it were, the oblation; for there is no faith without mortification, by means of which we are consecrated to God.

He makes use of the terms, kai leitourgian — sacrifice and service, the former of which refers to the Philippians, who had been offered up to God; and the latter to Paul, for it is the very act of sacrificing. The term, it is true, is equivalent to administration, and thus it includes functions and offices of every kind; but here it relates properly to the service of God — corresponding to the phrase made use of by the Latins — operari sacris — (to be employed in sacred rites) Now Paul says that he will rejoice, if he shall be offered up upon a sacrifice of this nature — that it may be the more ratified and confirmed. This is to teach the gospel from the heart — when we are prepared to confirm with our own blood what we teach.

Most people take the poured out as a sacrifice as referring to martyrdom. Calvin does not. He talks about our life and witness as a sacrifice, Because the times are bad.

I had a long conversation today with someone from California. Stuck there. Worried sick. And so when I look at this passage, I don’t think as Calvin did. I see a need not to moan. And most of us really want to moan right now.

Philippians 2:14-18

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

Your country has already betrayed Christ, in whose name the settlers prayed: in whose name the genocidal tribal wars were quelled before the treaty. They will not worry about betraying you. Particularly if they are woke.

Don’t grumble. Adapt and overcome.

They will take your honour and espirit de corps away.

Get out when your time is up, with honour.

They are ruining the commercial software you need to run Direct X and your have to collaborate with. (Didact’s rant here is beautiful). Use Linux and WINE, and overcome.

But don’t expect any praise here. The spirit of this age hates the spirit of Christ, and by extension all that is good, beautiful, true and useful. In short, all the good stuff.

The Dark side does not even have cookies.

We are here to remind people that there is a nature and order that points to God, and to proclaim his gospel. I wrote to my old man, who turns Fourscore and eight in a few days, that the LORD has not taken him because he still has a task to do.

So do we. For we are lights in a time when the Darkness has come, and rationality left the building.

We are not to be as the spirit of this age. Nor are we to be like it.