Thursday, May 30, 2019

Reformer Andreas Osiander

Andreas Osiander was a well-known and controversial German Protestant Reformer, and direct ancestor 16 generations hence.

Encyclopedia Britannica:
"Andreas Osiander, original name Andreas Hosemann, (born Dec. 19, 1498, Gunzenhausen, Ansbach [now in Germany]—died Oct. 17, 1552, Königsberg, Prussia [now Kaliningrad, Russia]), German theologian who helped introduce the Protestant Reformation to Nürnberg.

The son of a blacksmith, Osiander was educated at Leipzig, Altenburg, and the University of Ingolstadt. Ordained in 1520, he helped reform the imperial free city of Nürnberg on strictly Lutheran principles and in 1522 won over Albert von Hohenzollern, grand master of the Knights of the Teutonic Order, to the Lutheran movement. Osiander also helped write the influential Brandenburg-Nürnberg Church Order (1532) and compiled the liturgically conservative Pfalz-Neuberg Church Order (1543). By substituting his own preface in 1543 to Nicolaus CopernicusDe revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI (“Six Books Concerning the Revolutions of the Heavenly Orbs”), which introduced Copernican theories in a purely hypothetical manner, he helped keep this controversial work off the Index of Forbidden Books until the next century.

In 1548, when the Holy Roman emperor compelled Nürnberg to accept the Augsburg Interim, a provisional imperial religious ordinance, Osiander fled, first to Breslau and then to Königsberg, where despite his lack of a theological degree he was appointed professor primarius of the new university’s theological faculty (1549). The envy of his colleagues and apparently his own stubborn personality produced a violent controversy the next year. One Lutheran faculty and synod after another declared its opposition to Osiander’s deprecation of forensic justification of sinners and his exaggerated stress on the indwelling of Christ himself as the essential factor in justification. In addition to his Harmonia Evangelica (1537), Osiander wrote several treatises expounding his theological views, which his followers, the Osiandrists, continued to promote until 1567.""Born at Gunzenhausen, Ansbach, in the region of Franconia, Osiander studied at the University of Ingolstadt before being ordained as a priest in 1520 in Nuremberg. In the same year he began work at an Augustinian convent in Nuremberg as a Hebrew tutor. In 1522, he was appointed to the church of St. Lorenz in Nuremberg, and at the same time publicly declared himself to be a Lutheran. During the First Diet of Nuremberg (1522), he met Albert of Prussia, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, and played an important role in converting him to Lutheranism. He also played a prominent role in the debate which led to the city of Nuremberg's adoption of the Reformation in 1525, and in the same year Osiander married. 

Osiander attended the Marburg Colloquy (1529), the Diet of Augsburg (1530) and the signing of the Schmalkalden articles (1531). The Augsburg Interim of 1548 made it necessary for him to leave Nuremberg, settling first at Breslau (Wrocław), then, in 1549, at Königsberg (Kaliningrad) as professor of the newly founded Königsberg University, appointed by Albert of Prussia. Osiander lived and worked in Königsberg until his death in 1552. Osiander's son Lukas (1534–1604), and grandsons Andreas (1562–1617) and Lukas (1571–1638) also worked as theologians. His niece married the future Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer.

Osiander published a corrected edition of the Vulgate Bible, with notes, in 1522 and a Harmony of the Gospels in 1537. In 1533, Brandenburg-Nuernbergische Kirchenordnung vom Jahre 1533 was published, with Osiander assisting in both the source material the final editing. This combined order of worship and catechism was the first work to include the Keys section of Luther's Small Catechism, of which Osiander is a suspected author.

In 1543, Osiander oversaw the publication of the book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the revolution of the celestial spheres) by Copernicus. He added a preface suggesting that the model described in the book was not necessarily true, or even probable, but was useful for computational purposes. This was certainly not the opinion of Copernicus, who was probably unaware of the addition. As a result, many readers, unaware that Osiander was the author of the preface, believed that Copernicus himself had not believed that his hypothesis was actually true. Osiander also did not sign the preface added to Copernicus' book, therefore many readers at the time assumed that this is what Copernicus had actually thought himself.

In 1550 Osiander published two controversial disputations, De Lege et Evangelio and De Justificatione. In these, he set out his view that justification by faith was instilled in (rather than ascribed to) humanity by Christ's divinity, a view contrary to those of Martin Luther and John Calvin although he agreed with Lutheranism's fundamental opposition to Roman Catholicism and Calvinism. These beliefs were maintained after his death by Johann Funck (his son-in-law) but disappeared after 1566. Osiander's view has been described as similar to Eastern Orthodox teachings on theosis.

Some historians, such as Tuomo Mannermaa, have argued that Luther's own views of justification, especially early in his life, were actually closer to the views of Osiander than to those of Flacius or what would later become confessional Lutheranism.

Osiander was a Christian mystic and his theology incorporated the idea of mystical union with Christ and the Word of God. He believed that justification for a Christian believer resulted from Christ dwelling in a person. Contrary to Luther's belief that justification was imputed by God's grace, Osiander believed that the righteousness of a believer was accomplished by the indwelling of God; thus, God finds one righteous because Christ is in that person. Calvin rejected these views of Osiander, as did Melanchthon and Flacius. Flacius' opposing view was that God justifies us by Christ's work of obedience on the cross, not by his presence in us.


Monday, April 29, 2019

John 19:25-27 - The Care of Mary

There they stood. Aghast. Shocked. Numb. Was this real? Certainly surreal. Her Son was hanging there, treated like a traitorous criminal. 
It had all happened so fast. The oppressive Roman soldiers had already taken out their vengeance on Him, whipping and scourging His body. Pilate, it seemed, in some kind of dark humor, had baited his anti-Semitic troops with that tongue-in-cheek charge plate over His head: KING OF THE JEWS. The crown of thorns they had used to mock Him was still stuck on His head. And He hung up there, bloodied, exhausted, exposed, humiliated. They listened to the public shaming and cursing. Her first-born Son.
Now it felt like

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Adrian Rogers on the Word

At the June 11-13, 1985, Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, a special committee was created to study and determine the sources of controversy and from their conclusions make recommendations to bring harmony. This group became known as the Peace Committee. They made their report on June 16, 1987, while Dr. Rogers served his second term as president of the SBC.
At a certain point in their many deliberations over the Bible’s inspiration, Rogers made his epic and unforgettable assertion after

Friday, April 20, 2018

Are you making disciples? 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12

Photograph of a sport shoe. The logo have been...
A large manufacturing plant came to a town to produce shoes. The corporate management invested great sums of money and many hours among many people to produce the finest shoes possible. Investors spent money on salaries for the best staffing and management they could find. 

Digital sewing machinery was installed for shoe-making. Materials were purchased from all over and shipped in to make the shoes. The plant went into operation with several hundred employees busily working hard. Machines were running at full capacity. Activity was at a maximum.
Today the international president of the company arrives for an inspection and asked the production manager, “How many shoes have we produced so far?”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

John 3:16-21 - What about those who have not heard?

With Chief Mulbah Killinpowen and friends, May 2014
In 2014, I was at the City of Refuge orphanage in Belimu, Bong County, Liberia. During the course of the week, I met Town Chief Mulbah Killinpowen, the oldest living person in Bellemu, and the chief zoe of his area, wielding great spiritistic power over the people. He had lived all his life without hearing a clear witness to Christ until he saw the JESUS film in KpelleDuring the invitation to follow Christ, Chief Mulbah did something unprecedented for a tribal elder or a zoe.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Haggai: Message, Where Christ is found

Zerubbabel displays a plan of Jerusalem to Cyr...
Zerubbabel displays a plan of Jerusalem to Cyrus the Great (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Image result for Zerubbabel rebuilds TempleKey Message: THE TEMPLE: REBUILD IT! Haggai 1:8, 14; 1 Corinthians 15:58. Get your priorities in line, Haggai says, it is time to “build the house” for God’s pleasure and glory. He encouraged them through God’s promises. (1) God promised success through His presence (Hag. 1:13-14; 2:4-5); (2) He promised to reward their work and dedication to Him with peace (Hag. 2:6-9) and blessing (Hag. 2:18-19); (3) God promised to restore David’s throne on earth through a descendant of Zerubbabel (Hag. 2:20-23). Ezra 6:14 says that Haggai saw the successful achievement of his ministry in the completion of the post-exilic Temple. Haggai and James have much in common: a partnership of faith and works.
Where Christ is found:
THE DESIRED OF ALL NATIONS: Haggai says the Lord will shake Creation and the nations and the One Desired of all nations will come. Then they will come to worship at the New Temple filled with God’s Glory (Hag. 2:6-7). In Luke 2:32, Simeon saw the baby Jesus at His dedication at this same Temple. He called Him a Light for the Gentile nations and for the glory of Israel. Haggai saw a clear vision of Revelation 7:9; 21:22, the Lord Almighty and the Lamb. Our God is a missionary God who fulfills all His promises.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Haggai - Author, Location, Date

Haggai shows us Jesus Christ, Desire of the Nations

Author: Haggai which means, “My Feast” or “On the Feast.” Haggai might have been born to Godly parents on a feast day in Exile in Babylonia and came to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel in 538 BC (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4). Haggai is mentioned in Ezra 5:1-2; 6:14 as one of two prophets who encouraged the remnant from Exile to rebuild the Temple in spite of the difficulties. He exalted the LORD instead of himself. He cheered and encouraged, not just rebuked. He practiced what he preached. Haggai and the younger prophet Zechariah worked at the same time. Zechariah was the visionary. Haggai was practical get-the-job-done. These two kinds of people need to walk together.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Haggai 2:10-23 - Hope You Can Count On

Haggai (12thC AD), Saint Mark's Basilica, Venice
When we married, my wife and I made some promises to one another. Amanda promised me that she would never make me drive a minivan. Now we drive a church van. I promised her she would never be a pastor’s wife. Now we are going to Liberia as missionaries, not just to pastor, but to pastor pastors. Sometimes we make promises you can count on. Other times we don’t. Thankfully, today we will discuss a promise we can count on, a hope we can count on, and it comes from the book of Haggai.

Contextual Notes:
Haggai is the first of three prophets after the Exile who ministered to the small community of Jews who were permitted by the Persian Administration to return to their homeland. The messages we have in Scripture from Haggai’s ministry all happened between

Friday, January 20, 2017

Robert Leighton, servant of Christ

Archbishop Robert Leighton
Introducing one of my ancestors, a Scot who served Christ in the United Kingdom all his life, Archbishop Robert Leighton (1611-1684). I am descended from his brother Sir Elisha Leighton. Robert never married and had no children.

"Robert Leighton, some time Bishop of Dunblane, and afterwards Archbishop of Glasgow, was born at Edinburgh, in the year 1611. The name of Leighton is found in some of the oldest annals of Scottish history. The family from which Archbishop Leighton was descended, was of very ancient date, and appears to have been for a long period in possession of an estate in Forfarshire.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The wonder of Christmas morning

John Chrysostom preaching in Constantinople 

This year Christmas Day falls on a Sunday. We pray your Christmas is awesome this year. Here is an excerpt from a Christmas morning sermon about the 4th or 5th Century by John Chrysostom (c.349-407), Archbishop of Constantinople:

"What shall I say! And how shall I describe this Birth to you? For this wonder fills me with astonishment. The Ancient of Days has become an infant. He Who sits upon the sublime and heavenly Throne, now lies in a manger. And He Who cannot be touched, now lies subject to the hands of men. He Who has broken the bonds of sinners, is now bound by an infant's bands.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Old Cox Barn

Just north of Mount Airy, North Carolina, in southwest Virginia, near Hillsville, there is a wonderful retreat designed for missionaries and ordained pastors.

Geraldine and Sam Smith host there a rest stop for Christian missionary workers and ordained pastors. Best of all, it is free to them.

They bought an old barn several years ago and remodeled it into a beautiful mountain retreat with lots of light and friendliness.

The Smiths live in the home, too, but you always have as much privacy as you want.

We had the privilege of staying there in 2013 after a very difficult period in pastoral ministry.

We weren't the best guests because we were not in a great place emotionally at that time, having just left a very difficult pastorate. However, we very much appreciated the hospitality at the Old Cox Barn, even if we had a hard time receiving it at the time.

The Smiths provided two meals a day for our whole family in a nice bed and breakfast setting -- at no charge -- because we were in full-time ministry.

Because of all the nice, fragile things the Smiths have in their home, it is not the best lodging for small children we discovered, but for a small group retreat for adults it would be awesome as well as for missionaries or pastors looking for a quiet (really quiet) place to go and pray or study or write.

Close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains, let me recommend this place to you.

I don't have permission to give out their phone number publicly, so you will have to find them on your own, but when you do, you will find a very kind couple and a quiet retreat.

There is a creek in the field below the house.

The creek and old field extend down to another old barn.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Seven things sin does to us

Isaiah 64:5-7 teaches several things about the nature of sin and the way it affects us. 

The modern critic says, “How can God judge so brutally? How can he trample men like grapes?” 

But Isaiah counters, “How can we be saved?” These verses contain a complete description of the impact of sin on human beings.

First, sin arouses the anger of God and directs it against us (Isaiah 64:5). "You are indeed angry, . . . And we need to be saved."

Second, sin is habit-forming: We continue to sin against God’s ways (Isaiah 64:5). "for we have sinned—/ In these ways we continue"

Third, sin is defiling, making it impossible for us to approach Him (Isaiah 64:6, 7). "But we are all like an unclean thing, . . . For You have hidden Your face from us"

Fourth, sin so corrupts our character that even the best we can do is fouled by base motives (Isaiah 64:6). "And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;"

Fifth, sin is destructive, shriveling us up from within and creating circumstances that sweep us away (Isaiah 64:6). "We all fade as a leaf, / And our iniquities, like the wind, / Have taken us away."

Sixth, sin alienates us from God, creating a distaste for the Lord that keeps us from calling on His name (Isaiah 64:7). "And there is no one who calls on Your name, / Who stirs himself up to take hold of You"

Seventh, sin causes God to hide His face from us and to judge us (Isaiah 64:7).  "For You have hidden Your face from us, / And have consumed us because of our iniquities."

In view of all that sin has done to us, it is no wonder Isaiah cries out, “How then can we be saved?” 

The answer is in Isaiah 64:8. Check it out.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

SITS November Top 10

The top 10 posts on this blog of the last month:
(BTW - This is the 2000th published post for SITS).





Jul 29, 2012 





Jul 22, 2012 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

How to vote in the election

VOTE on Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How to Effectively Cast Your Ballot
1. Pray first.
2. Do your research on the candidates.
  • Check to see what their platform is.
  • Consider their character.
  • Examine their actions.
  • Remember that you are voting for policies, not personalities.
3. Search your conscience.
4. Search the Word and determine if your conscience is aligned with the Word.
5. Pray and Vote. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Isaiah 63:7-17 - The Trinity

The situation seemed hopeless. No one wanted to go there. It was a land of deep spiritual darkness and strong demonic forces. The high priests of witchcraft actually held more power over politics than the tribal kings. But there was one man who knew he was called to this land and this people, a runaway slave. In fact, he had fled enslavement by this very people group.

God had called him to this dark nation in an astonishing vision when he saw a man from that people group bringing him letters. The first one read, “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come home and walk among us.” That was all he could read. He was overcome, and he immediately made plans to take the Gospel to the very people who had enslaved him.

When this pioneer missionary arrived among this violent, rough people in the profound bondage of paganism, the name of Jesus had never been heard among them. Pat brought that message to them, energetically traveling all over the countryside, sharing the Gospel and preaching with courage. Bitter enemies undermined Pat’s message, and he received death threats regularly, especially from the highly educated priestly class who practiced black magic and controlled the kings.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

John 3:22-36 - The Humility of John the Baptist

John the Baptist

Dr. George Washington Carver said, "When I was young I was walking along a dusty dirt road. I said to God, 'God, tell me the mystery of the universe.' But God answered, 'That knowledge is reserved for me alone.' Then on that dusty road I kicked a peanut. So I said, 'God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.' Then God said, 'Well, George, that's more nearly your size.' And he told me." The young African-American scientist went on to develop hundreds of useful products from the peanut.[1]

M.R. DeHaan, the founder of Radio Bible Class and co-editor of the daily devotion Our Daily Bread, used to say, “Humility is something we should constantly pray for, yet never thank God that we have it," because then we would have to repent for pride! Tonight, I have been assigned to preach on humility, and I suppose the Lord knew I need a lesson on it most of all. Our lesson tonight focuses on the humility of John the Baptist. We will give a sketch of his life but focus on a moment in John’s life when his humility was most on display – the day he realized it was time for him to step out of the spotlight.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Excavator Sir Henry Layard imagined Nineveh at its zenith
Nineveh had been the capital of Assyria for about a hundred years, but it had existed since at least 5000-4000 BC (Genesis 10:11). It was the greatest of four cities established by Tower of Babel builder Nimrod (Genesis 8:8-12; 11).

excavations of Nineveh
Layard's excavations of Nineveh
By the time of Jonah and Nahum, the city was the not only the capital of the Assyrian Empire, (Genesis 10:11-12) it was one of the greatest  world-class cities.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

David Fanning: SC Loyalist in Backcountry Revolution

David Fanning was North Carolina's
 most notorious Tory
He lived for a time as an Indian trader
on Raeburn's Creek in Laurens County, SC
For his terrible atrocities, Fanning was excepted 
from a general pardon by the US government
 after the Revolution and had to flee to Nova Scotia.
"There was born in Johnston County, N. C, in 1756, one of the boldest men, fertile in expedients and quick in execution, that ever sprang from North Carolina parentage. He was a poor boy, obscure, humble and unlettered. He was apprenticed to Mr. Bryant, from whom, on account of harsh treatment, he ran away when about fifteen years of age. 

"His miserable condition secured him temporary home with Mr. John O. Deneill, of Haw Field, in Orange county, but in the course of two or three years he went to South Carolina and engaged in trafficking with the Catawba Indians, and settled on Raeburn's creek, branch of Reedy River, in Laurens district in upper South Carolina. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

A man angry at Jesus' authority (Luke 4:31-37)

The Byzantine-era synagogue at Capernaum (Photo: Gene Brooks)
In our last post, we saw anger in Nazareth's synagogue at Jesus' authority. In this post, we see anger in Capernaum's synagogue, but the outcome is different.

Anger flared a second time in a synagogue in Luke 4, this time at the village of Capernaum Luke 4:31-37; || Matt 4:13-16). This time it came from just one man and the spirit resident in him. Literally, he was “having a spirit of an unclean demon”[1] (Luke 4:33-34). In a dramatic display of the fulfillment of Isaiah 61 in their hearing, a demon cried out, “Ha, What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?”