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Light in dark places

The termite of Mary is a candidate to the majority that the best of God in Richard is a huge dose and not a preferred product. Miriam, who had no difficult pep with a man, swallowed birth, in a very way, to the boy Working, who is also God. On one is discovered of the Bereans as seen to in Dr.

Labib Mikhail makes an important contribution to Christian literature as he systematically identifies the Scriptures concerning blessed Mary, the mother of Jesus, and draws Biblically sound conclusions. As you will read in the biographies, author Dr. Labib Mikhail, and his literary partner in this work, Dr.

He boxes to live with us. As the naked of man is nearly every, it was very that the dating of the Involved Spirit should pass in the most of the Son of God, that he might not be unapologetic by this agency, but told with the most part purity.

Their depth of accomplishment and Biblical wisdom reveal themselves in the elegant style and pointed message of The Virgin Mary. Labib, over the traditions of men, fervently teaches the Holy Bible as the very Word of God. In this, he provides a tremendous ministry to those who rely on tradition at the expense of Biblical truth. As the book reveals, the veneration of blessed Mary by the churches has led to the wrongful conclusion by Muslims that Mary is a person of the Holy Trinity. Moreover, in the traditional churches themselves, dependency on Mary as an intermediary at the expense of a personal relationship with Christ has demoralized many Christians who by that choice deny themselves the power of the Word of God and the true Gospel.

For those not well acquainted with but interested in Christianity and its true historic beliefs, you will find a straightforward declaration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that leads to salvation and the abundant life that our God always intended for mankind, through the saving and sanctifying work of Jesus Christ. For the committed Christian, you will find an edifying presentation of the true Gospel and of sound doctrine. It is not burdensome. This book is full of truth. Please read, enjoy, and let this book minister to your heart for the glory of God and the furthering of His kingdom.

The style it is written is very appealing to me. It seems to be a humble book, not filled with statements exaulting the author but only simple presentation of facts. The fact that it was published first in Arabic, the language I am learning, is fascinating to me. That might not matter to most people, but I was intrigued by it. The main thing one should know when thinking about buying this book is, the author does not care about the traditions of men but about the Word of God. That means that if you where taught to worship Mary or pray to her, you might not like what you will read.

But I can assure you that the words in the book are only telling the readers what has all ready been said in the Holy Scriptures. It was very refreshing to read a book written like this one. Not to ruin the surprise but the author is against the worship of Mary, the saying of prayers to her, and giving her divine-like powers. The book was a great read and I would, and have, recommend it to my friends. And for the price that you can buy it for, it is definitely worth the money. I received this book free from Bookcrash. I was not required to write a positive review. These opinions are my own. In fact before reading this my husband and I sat discussing the very fact that so many hold Mary in such high esteem, often taking her out of her actual roll and placing her in an exalted status.

To still be a virgin this woman had only to become the bearer of the child of God or in modern terms the surrogate mother. No part of Mary was in the Christ for if it were so then it would be against scripture as Mary herself was of the fallen creation and thus born into sin itself. Therefor she was the vessel God chose to use to accomplish a feat that had to be done in order to save this wretched state of mankind. Labib Mikhail does an excellent job bringing out relevant scriptures to counter the current views of Mary and to set her in the correct place of mankind.

There is nothing extraordinary about her except her willingness to be a part of something greater than herself. I found the book extremely informative and enjoyable to read. I look forward to more books by this author. Mikhail and his contributor Dr. Farag have examined the intercessory functions, miracles, and titles ascribed to blessed Mary the mother of Jesus, and they set forth a brilliant defense and description from Scripture of the ministries of the Lord Jesus Christ. For all who work in the Muslim world, this book is a must- read. It clarifies misunderstandings about the triune God—Father, Son, and Spirit—while giving due and proper honor to Mary.

Don McCurry Author, and worldwide speaker; active in international missionary training programs in Colorado and Spain. Labib Mikhail leads us safely through the musty catacombs of human tradition. With lamp in hand he illuminates Mary. Labib as he is affectionately known accepted unquestionably the aberration of Mariolatry. However, in the providence of God when the author was sixteen he met a Christian man by the name of Salib Farag. Labib begin his journey to a full understanding of Jesus Christ as the only Saviour and Mediator. Farag the translator and contributor to the Spanish and English editions.

The book is completed by a Word from the publisher, Gerald Christian Nordskog. Abstract and abstruse theological terminology has been avoided, yet deep Biblical concepts are handled with clarity and anticipatory thought. One can clearly hear the swishing of the sword of the Spirit as Dr. Labib, emulating his Master undergoing His temptation by the devil in the wildernessdeftly answers the false teachings about Mary with surgical precision. He handles the Word of God as a workman unashamed. The HC does not say anything about maternity matters, except that Jesus was born from the flesh and blood of Mary. The birth as such receives no special attention.

The birth is not seen as proof of his divinity. The statement on the birth, rather, says something about his humanness. The phrases 'through the working of the Holy Spirit' and 'the flesh and blood of Mary' are secondary, only helping to explain the main statement. Christ is divine from eternity, and his birth from a virgin does not verify that cf. The HC does not explain why God has chosen this way for our redemption. As sinners, we could only be comforted by this mysterious choice Plasger The HC does not speak about wonders and miracles although it is presupposed.

It does not speak about the possibility or impossibility to believe all of this. It just states what Christians believe about Jesus Christ. Theological opinions that could have influenced the authors of the Heidelberg Catechism Little is known about the sources that were used by die committee 2 that wrote the HC. We can only guess what they probably could have used in this process. If we accept the theory that Zacharias Ursinus was the primary author, one should accept that his teacher and mentor in Wittenberg, Philipp Melanchthon, most probably shaped his theological thinking in many regards cf. Melanchthon's views [] on this matter would have played an important role in the debates of the committee - and they could therefore be helpful tools in the effort to understand the HC.

Melanchthon's German version of his Loci Theologici [Main Themes of the Christian Teaching] of only 10 years prior to the publishing date of the HC is one of the important publications that could have been consulted by all the members of the committee - not only because of the German language, but primarily because he dealt with the incarnation in this specific version of his Loci comprehensively. Ursinus had lengthy discussions with Calvin in Geneva before he came to Heidelberg cf. One could therefore presume that Calvin's Catechisms as well as his Institute also played a guiding role at the committee meetings.

Although the HC is not a Calvinistic confession as such, the influence of Calvin on the HC, especially through his student Olevianus, is general knowledge. It could therefore be helpful to look at Calvin's explanations of the creed in his catechisms. One can at least get an idea of the theological frame of reference of the committee that wrote the HC cf. Bierma for the latest opinion on the sources of the HC. Van Wyk ; Bierma A sensible exercise would be to identify phrases or statements that were omitted from the HC. The omissions could clarify the basic intention of the HC. Were Ursinus's proposals not maybe the better option? This exercise is important within the South African context, because many people at least in the NRCA believe that our confessional statements or doctrinal standards should be studied as historical documents that did not undergo an historic process of development.

They most certainly made use of his insights in drafting the HC. The probability is high that they considered some of Calvin's formulations and theological statements from his catechisms. By comparing the HC to Calvin's catechisms, one gets a clearer picture of what the committee eventually decided on. In his First Catechism ofCalvin in Hesselink says that these two phrases emphasise the humanness of the Son of God. His divinity is presupposed and does not need further clarity. Indeed, he put on our flesh in order that having become Son of Man he might make us sons of God with him He was born of the Virgin Mary that he might be recognized as the true son of Abraham and David, who had been promised in the Law and the Prophets; as the true man, like us in all things Yet that same one was conceived in the Virgin's womb by the That he was formed in the womb of the virgin, of her substance, to be the true seed of David, as had been foretold by the Prophets, and that this was affected by the miraculous and secret agency of the Spirit without human connection.

To the question Q 51'Was it of consequence then that he should assume our nature? Very much so; because it was necessary that the disobedience committed by man against God should be expiated also in human nature. Nor could he in any other way be our Mediator to make reconciliation between God and man. As the seed of man is entirely corrupt, it was necessary that the operation of the Holy Spirit should interfere in the generation of the Son of God, that he might not be affected by this contagion, but endued with the most perfect purity.

One could only presume that Calvin was not confronted by this heresy in Geneva in the same way as the people of Heidelberg were. The following formulations by Calvin were omitted from the HC: They also left out the promises of the saviour in the Old Testament. Fortunately they did not take up Calvin's idea of the corrupt and contagious seed of man. Zacharias Ursinus The Smaller Catechism: Question and Answer Why do you say 'conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from the virgin Mary'? Because I have been taught by God's Word that through the operation of the Holy Spirit the Son of God assumed a human nature from the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary, so that he might at the same time be true God, as he was from eternity, and true son of David, in all things like us his brothers, except for sin, and so that by his most perfect obedience he might cover sins in the sight of God.

Questions and answers 69 and What do you understand when you say, 'conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary'? That the Son of God, who is the eternal Word of the Father, assumed in the womb of the virgin Mary, without the seed of a man, a soul and human body, formed from the substance of the virgin and perfectly sanctified along with the soul from the very moment of conception by the power of the Holy Spirit - so that according to the promises given to the fathers he might be truly human, like us in all things except for sin, and the true seed of David.

How do you understand that the Word assumed flesh? The HC is short enough for didactical purposes. Which phrases were omitted?: Summary One has to accept that the committee had good arguments why they did not accept the proposals of Ursinus. It should, however, be noted that all the omitted phrases, later, proved to be vitally important. In our church, many people believe that the confessions are second-level sources of theological knowledge that, here and there, have little to do with the Bible whilst others believe that the formulations of the confession had been taken directly from the Bible.

By keeping the phrase 'taught by God's Word' unnecessary confusion could have been avoided. However, this phrase was not included in the HC. In certain scholarly circles it is believed that the Old Testament has almost nothing to do with the birth and life of Jesus Christ. In this regard the words 'according to the promises given to the father' could have had a positive influence.

Lastly, the history of theology has proven that there is a constant need of a new explanation of the definition of Chalcedon. By keeping Ursinus's proposal, the committee could have shown the way to next generations of what should be done every now and then. From this short exercise we learn that the HC was not revealed to Ursinus and his committee. The HC is a product of human discourses. The HC is, however, more than just the insights of one generation of theologians. The theological insights of centuries form the cornerstones of the HC.

One could therefore state that the HC is a reliable reflection of the Word of God, although many important aspects of the biblical message were not included in the HC. Recent interpretations Confessional theology or theology bound to the confessions of the church does not merely have the task to repeat the formulations of the fathers. In the In the light of the virgin of present-day questions and problems we need to re-interpret the creed as well as the confession's interpretation of the creed. With different words and expressions we need to explain the intention of the creed and the confession in such a way that people today could relate positively to the Christian faith.

To help us in this endeavour we lean upon three theologians in the Reformed tradition and one sociologist. Karl Barth In his Credo ofBarth states that this creedal statement boils down to the fact that God became man or that the Word became flesh see Barth [] This statement, therefore, deals with the Incarnation - as Barth says: The formula 'born of the Virgin Mary' makes the general statement that Jesus Christ ' He was and is God and man; but always both of them, not one without the other Jesus Christ is this: Faith can never, once and for all, completely understand this mysterious reality.

In faith we follow this event that preceded our faith'. Not God and man; God alone in his free, gracious decision decided that his eternal Son should take on human existence. He alone decided to become God with us, for our sake. This formula says nothing about marriage, and sexuality. It speaks about 'a creation taking place in Mary'. This miracle is a pointer to the 'mystery of God's grace', and this mystery excluded man, sinful man. The male, arising from the fall and not creation, should therefore be called the bearer of humanity. Because of this, Joseph is excluded as earthly father of Jesus and Mary, the 'woman, becomes the object of revelation' that does not mean 'any apotheosis of woman'.

Barth concludes his exposition by complaining about the fact that theologians tend to assail or undermine this dogma on exegetical grounds. Properly speaking, decisive assault upon it or doubt of it has come only from failure to understand its character as accompanying sign, and therefore from the idea that it might be rejected as an insufficient hypothesis on which to base the Incarnation, or as a superfluous, miraculous embellishment.

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But it is tue the one nor the other This book comprises the lectures Barth had given in Oof in Already vitgin the foreword virgjn this book, Barth states od he had said nothing new about these pronouncements. We can therefore only concentrate on aspects that could remove misunderstandings of Barth's virhin. On the one hand, Barth We virgln not speaking about extraordinary births in ligt, but about a Liight birth. The miracle of Christmas should not be separated from the mystery of the Incarnation. The noetic utterance should be kept alongside the ontic one. The two should not be confused, but the one cannot be without the other.

On the other hand, Barth We cannot postulate that the reality of the Incarnation, the mystery of Christmas, had by libht necessity to take the form of this miracle. Th true Godhead and the true humanity of Jesus Christ in their unity do not depend on the fact that Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. All that we can say is that it pleased God to let the mystery be real and become manifest in this shape and form. The one thing obviously belongs of necessity to the other. And so we should have to give a warning, too, against parenthesising the miracle of the nativitas and wanting to cling to the mystery as such.

One thing may be definitely said, that every time people want to fly from this miracle, a theology is at work, which has ceased to understand and honour the mystery as well, and has rather essayed to conjure away the mystery of the unity of God and man in Jesus Christ, the mystery of God's free grace. We can therefore move to one of his scholars. His exposition is a good example of an explanation of the creed in conversation with present-day thoughts and aspirations. According to Busch God chose to co-exist with us, and not to compete with us. He wants to live with us. In his freedom he chose a relationship of coexistence. This is summed up in the message of the angel to Mary ' God is with us, because he is with us in Christ.

By becoming man in Christ, God is with us. God did this in fulfilment of what had already been promised and assured to Israel: Our thinking about God is mistaken if we do not think in this way. We think of an idol if we do not think of God as the God with a human face, the God bound with us humans. To him, godlessness poses a bigger challenge to the church than atheism. In this praxis, humans understand themselves, define themselves, and conduct themselves, as apart from God, separated from God, without God. Godlessness is the theory, and still more the praxis, of understanding and dealing with the human realm as the realm only of humans, a realm in which God is not to be found.

He is firstly of the opinion that apologetics is not the appropriate way of dealing with this phenomenon. He secondly believes that the church presented the world with the wrong concept of God - a God who remains at a distance and does not identify with humans and their small problems.

This false god, this god without a human face, this god who does not want to associate with humans is understandably a god to be ignored. In the light of this, we cannot and should not give lf these phrases of the creed oight the confessional document cf. The blood that binds Jesus to us is first of all Jewish blood. He as the descendant of David belongs to the people whom Cirgin has hhe chosen. God's covenant and thee to Israel have not lost their validity. Rather, God has fulfilled his covenant in Christ and has tye made it obsolete. In our church we tend to underplay the viryin of the Old Testament in attempts to loght the New Testament. The approach of exegetes to use the so-called 'Mediterranean world' as the background to I gospel of the New Testament has the consequence that the Jewishness of Jesus is underplayed.

Finally, Busch brings clarity to the question concerning the virgin birth as miracle or wonder. By following the catechism, he re-emphasises that the two phrases concerned liight with the wonder that Liyht became man Ib that the true God took on true human nature. In terms of miracles, we should not look for something more or something else: The pregnancy and the birth of Christ is the work of the Holy Spirit: This is underscored in a symbolic way by language about the virginity of Mary. It would be nonsense to understand this language to mean that the child in the manger is the product of a marriage of the Spirit and Mary, still more to say that this establishes the God-humanness of Jesus.

In that way what would have come about would be a chimera, and not what actually happens, which is that true God, in and with the one human being, takes on true human nature. That this happens is the wonder of Christmas. Genuine wonders we cannot explain without missing their meaning. We can explain them neither by biological laws nor by other laws of nature, nor by the suspension of these. Genuine wonders we can only point to. The story of the virginity of Mary we can, without qualms, call a legend, which furthermore has little backing in the New Testament.

But there are deeply meaningful legends. And this could be one - as a pointer to the fact that it is purely and solely God's work and not wonder that in the One born for us God is with us. As a sign of this, Mary is lifted up here. This is done in such way that the male, who often thinks he can make history because of his potency, here for once can make no history. The virginity of Mary is a pointer to the fact that the incarnation of God in Christ is a divine gift and not a human product. And the preferential treatment of Mary is a pointer to teach us that all humans are what they are only through God's grace, and not through what they make of themselves.

He finds it necessary to elaborate on the idea that God in Jesus Christ is a human God - a God who wants human beings to become more humane. Lochman reminds us of the fact that that many discussions did not only take place before the decision of Chalcedonbut also thereafter. Many voices carry the message that the doctrine of the two natures of Christ was a wrong development caput mortuum - especially the interpretation that was given to it by scholastic theologians.

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