Monthly Archives: December 2009

Flit not from this heavenly Boy.

New Heaven, New War.

By Robert Southwell

Come to your heaven, you heavenly quires!
Earth hath the heaven of your desires;
Remove your dwelling to your God,
A stall is now His best abode;
Sith men their homage do deny,
Come, angels, all their faults supply.

His chilling cold doth heat require,
Come, seraphim, in lieu of fire;
This little ark no cover hath,
Let cherubs’ wings his body swathe;
Come, Raphael, this babe must eat,
Provide our little Toby meat.

Let Gabriel be now His groom,
That first took up His earthly room;
Let Michael stand in His defence,
Whom love hath link’d to feeble sense;
Let graces rock when He doth cry,
And angels sing this lullaby.

The same you saw in heavenly seat,
Is He that now sucks Mary’s teat;
Agnize your King a mortal wight,
His borrow’d weed lets not your sight;
Come, kiss the manger where He lies;
That is your bliss above the skies.

This little babe so few days old,
Is come to rifle Satan’s fold;
All hell doth at His presence quake,
Though He Himself for cold do shake;
For in this weak unarmèd wise
The gates of hell He will surprise.

With tears He fights and wins the field,
His naked breast stands for a shield,
His battering shot are babish cries,
His arrows, looks of weeping eyes,
His martial ensigns, cold and need,
And feeble flesh His warrior’s steed.

His camp is pitchèd in a stall,
His bulwark but a broken wall,
The crib His trench, hay-stalks His stakes,
Of shepherds He His muster makes;
And thus, as sure His foe to wound,
The angels’ trumps alarum sound.

My soul, with Christ join thou in fight;
Stick to the tents that He hath pight;
Within His crib is surest ward,
This little babe will be thy guard;
If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy,
Then flit not from this heavenly boy.


The Poetical Works of the Rev. Robert Southwell.William B. Turnbull, Esq., ed.
London: John Russell Smith, 1856. 100-102.

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Posted by on December 23, 2009 in Uncategorized


Transformation failure

I know I said that the post yesterday was my final post before Christmas. But inspiration comes…

Transformation failure

Sins long forgiven, consequences remain
Oh, to be innocent of what he now knows 
Echoes of past choices revertibrate, suffocate
Temptation lingers, no end in sight
Desire for God and desire for evil?
Romans 7 so real, so prescient

The kitten Sin, so small, so harmless
A million justifications arise
Malformed passions explained, caressed
Conflict waging – who wins out?
The lion Sin, larger, so vicious
Consuming his life and his kin

Fear and love of God subsiding
Divine plans and purposes, stillborn
Faith, lives, innocent children destroyed
“Fraud.  Hypocrite.  Liar”, he says  
He calls himself Christian? 
He hates his life

Faith in Christ saves, he rejoices!
How much repentance? – irrelevant! 
But is there any true faith?
For is there any true repentance?
To the empty well he ever returns
How can he not be lost, cut off?

The devil delights
Faith so unlike a child!
Yes, nations blaspheme because of him!
Yes, God knows he deserves death!
Servant of the Word – go!
Draw him outside himself again!

70×7 says, does the Christ-child
“Room in the inn” – even for him.
Leave him not to his own judgment
Draw the truth from him
Absorb his sin, his guilt
You carry Christ in your body

Sins forgiven, but consequences remain
His love grows cold
Transformation eludes, fails
So will he transform God?   
Will he desire forgiveness for this, for that? 
Come Lord Jesus – and save him from himself. 

*Note – I got the idea of the title for this post from here.  Any readers will have to tell me if they think this to, is a “theology fail”.

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Posted by on December 23, 2009 in Uncategorized


God’s pragmatism?

Although sensitive to their concerns about “fairness”, when it comes to raising their children, parents are more often interested in “what works”.  They have certain goals for their children, and they look to accomplish these through practical, even “pragmatic” means…(of course trying some things would be strictly out of bounds)

God also has certain goals for His children, such as keeping them in the true faith, increasing their love for the neighbor, protecting them from evil – and that they would come to deeply know how much He desires that all persons come to repentance and faith in His Son. 

So is God also practical – dare we say pragmatic? 

However we are disposed to think of the interaction between divine predestination and human response, it seems to me this is a worthwhile question.  Is it possible that God, like us, is a pragmatist, and that the real issue for all of us is over what we are working towards and why?   

“It” works?  Towards what end?

P.S. – Taking a break for Christmas, but will be back eventually…

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Posted by on December 22, 2009 in Uncategorized


Seemingly innocent children… are not to be trusted.

First Thing’s blog picks up on the Onion.

Untrustworthy sinners indeed.  But interestingly, they do trust… far better than us.

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Posted by on December 9, 2009 in Uncategorized


The murderous intent of a three year old is the same as that of a thirty year-old

So said a caller on a recent Albert Mohler radio program, where the conversation was about age and moral responsibility (in light of the recent execution style shootings in Washington state, and the discussions of clemency that have surrounded that).  Albert Mohler asked whether age mattered when dealing with moral accountability.  Can persons be too old?  Too young?   

In this very interesting conversation, Mohler notes that we are all “sinners from the get go”.  The question of each person’s sinfulness – and the need for many and various things to restrain us  – is not in question.  What is in question is the issue of moral responsibility, accountability, and punishment.  In the program it is noted that “governments are often faced with deciding how society should punish both the young and the old for wrongs they have committed.”

Futher, “the difficulty comes in deciding how judgment should be carried out against those who are weak and immature” (these summaries are also found here).  What I found particularly interesting is that Mohler did not limit the discussion only to matters of civil government, but also brought up passages from Deuteronomy chapter 1 (v. 35 and 39), which he often has. 

In his article, The Salvation of the ‘Little Ones’: Do Infants who Die Go to Heaven?, he writes:

“God specifically exempted young children and infants from [dying in the Wilderness after 40 years of wandering — Deuteronomy 1:35], and even explained why He did so: “Moreover, your little ones who you said would become prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good and evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.” (Deuteronomy 1:39)

Mohler asserts that all of us are born in sin, are indeed sinners, and moreover die because of our own sin.  And yet, he also believes that infants will be saved because they have never sinned consciously in the flesh.  I have heard many Lutherans take on the notion of “the age of accountability”.  Yet I have never seen anyone directly take on Mohler’s concerns here, which seem to be rooted in a rather clear passage of Scripture.  It seems to be a unique challenge, and one worthy of addressing.  Hopefully, sometime in the future, I can post on it again, but I certainly invite other’s thoughts about it now for the time being.


Posted by on December 4, 2009 in Uncategorized