Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Would Adam Have Been Happier Single? (or, The Git of Singleness)

Stanley D. Williams, PhD

Adam, when he was single, was walking around the Garden of Eden feeling very lonely, so God asked him, “What’s wrong?”
Adam said he didn’t have anyone to talk to.
So God said he was going to give him a companion and it would be a woman. God said, “This woman will cook for you and wash your clothes. She will always agree with every decision you make. She will bear you children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you, and you will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will never have a headache, and will freely give you love and compassion, whenever needed.
Adam thought about this for a moment, then asked God, “What would a woman like this cost?”
God answered, “An arm and a leg.”
Adam thought about that for a while. Then he asked God, “What can I get for just a rib?”
The rest is history. And toward the end of this, I’ll tell you the rest of the story.
So, the theological question might be, "Would Adam have been happier single?" Some of you who remember the trails that Adam went through might be quick to answer, “Yes!” I wonder how that would that have made the rest of us feel?

10 Objections to Mary

With Scripture and Reason's Response
with a tad of common sense

Stan Williams, Ph.D.

Objection 1
Mary was just a regular girl with nothing special about her.
Don't make more of her than God did.

Mary is not the only person in Christ's lineage.
She shouldn't be considered more important THAN say the incestuous Judah,
the prostitute Rahab, or the adulterer David.

In Scripture, Mary is proclaimed as part of God's salvation plan before the world was created.
Rev. 12:1-6; 13-19

In Scripture, Mary is found as the only human being consistently mentioned and associated with the incarnation and the eternal plan of salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

n     Rev: 12 (what we just read) - the woman is part of God's plan.  21 references to the woman.
n     Gen 3;15 - the woman is not a spur of the moment concept. God sees time as we see space, all at once.
n     Note: These two references are perhaps not coincidence to Jesus' use of the term to his mother in John 2
n     Is 7:14
n     Micah 5:2-3
n     Matt (Mark?) Luke, John
n     John 19:26-27 - Mary the mother of the church
n     Galatians 4:4 - fullness of time - born of a woman

Objection 2
Mary was born in sin and she sinned throughout her life
just like everyone else.

This objection uses Romans 3:23 that says "all have sinned." and 1 John 1:8 says "If we say, 'We are without sin,' we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."  "ALL" means just what it says "ALL, everyone, without exception…except Jesus of course."

The problem we face here is that there are other Scriptures that imply the opposite and

Corpus Christi - A Commentary on John 6

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist as revealed in St. John's Gospel, Chapter 6

by Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D.

·       Preface
·       John 6 Commentary
·       St. Paul's Perspective on the Real Presence
·       Early Church Fathers and the Real Presence


It was May 1997 when, as a searching Evangelical, I visited St. James Catholic Church near my home. After visiting a few times, I approached the priest, Fr. James Cronk, after Mass and asked if I might take communion with the rest of the congregation. "I've been a Christian most of my life, I explained." Fr. Cronk looked me in the eye and said, "Well, let me ask you something. Do you believe that The Eucharist is the real body and blood of our Lord?" Although I was stunned by the ludicrousness of the question I didn't hesitate, "Of course not. That's ridiculous!" He didn't hesitate either. He smiled quietly and said simply, "Then we'd prefer you not."

Arrogant Catholicism

Here's a dialogue about the Catholic Church's claim to know the truth. This took placed by e-mail during the third and fourth weeks of Lent, 2004 with my friend, John Ritland. John left the Lutheran Church along with another friend during a home Bible study us three families held on Infant Baptism. Our first child was about to be born (Trudy) and we were all attending the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church outside the gates of the Manned Spacecraft Center  southeast of Houston, TX where we all worked. Pam and I were the "unofficial" Youth Minister, and the Ritlands and Roeh's were baptized Lutheran. The story is told in some  detail in GrowingUpChristian.

The purpose of posting this is to defend Christ's words to Peter and the Apostles when he said that the Holy Spirit would lead the church into all truth. He didn't say some truth, but

A Lutheran Historian Looks at Sola Scritpura

Is the Bible Really all you Need to Determine Christian Doctrine?

That is the central question surrounding much of the Protestant Reformation. Here is what one respected, contemporary, Lutheran historian and theologian has to say about it. It is the Catholic position, clear and simple. Why are not more Lutherans and other Protestants as honest and truthful as this?  (Stan Williams)

Perhaps the Reformers were somewhat naive in the way they isolated the apostolic witness, in their belief that they could determine this by simple reference to the Scriptures. They did not always realize how bound they were by their own past, their outlook on life, their schooling in philosophy, their personal predilections. They were somewhat unrealistic about the ease with which one could slice through the complications of centuries to an original witness. "The Reformation principle of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) is fraught with the difficulty that the Scriptura has never been sola!" (1) We can still observe this: "Give a basic New Testament passage to an Orthodox, a Lutheran, a Calvinist, an Anglican, and a Congregationalist to interpret and the discrepancies in their interpretations will correlate much too closely with the various historically conditioned traditions in which they stand to justify any claim that they did no more than reproduce the original meaning." (2) History, liturgy, tradition, psychic make-up, the experiences of life color the interpretation of Scriptura.

--Martin E. Marty, pp 164-165

Quoted from: A Short History of Christianity (Second Edition) by Martin E. Marty a well-respected Lutheran historian, theologian, author, Senior Editor of The Christian Century, and Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Modern Christianity at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.

Marty quotes:
(1) Jaroslav Pelikan in More About Luther. Luther College Press, 1958, p. 50.

(2) Albert C. Outler in The Christian Tradition and the Unity We Seek. Oxford University Press, 1957, p. 36.

Confess My Sins to a Priest? Heavens, NO!

by Pam Williams

Upon discovering we were Catholic and were now going to confession with a priest, a friend wrote me.
Dear Pam, 
I would never confess my sins to a mere man when I can go straight to the Lord. N.D.

Dear N.D.,

The truth is that I felt the same way before becoming Catholic.

In terms of confession, may I suggest that you begin with the Scripture