Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gen. 25:1-18

For the beginning verses of Genesis 25, Pastor Voddie spoke about the life of Isaac and his somewhat minimal narrative in the Bible. With Isaac, his importance is defined in terms of who he's connected to in terms of God's covenantal promise.

(Voddie touched on the "controversy" around Gen. 25:1 and his other offspring, and what was the situation that empowered him to have more children. Was it his "rejuvenation", that allowed him to have Isaac, also something that allowed him to have other children as well? The issue with Keturah and whether she was a wife or concubine is interesting but ultimately not important. One interesting note is that Keturah bore Midian, and later on with will be the Midianites who took Joseph out of the well to sell to the Ishmaelites.)

The various promises that shape the life of Isaac include God's promise to provide offspring for barren Abraham, as well as the land of Caanan. We also see through God's promise that Ishmael would be a great nation an example of Abraham's unfaithfulness, and presents the account of another son who does not get to be the promised one. Abraham did not have to sin to fulfil the promise. Ishmael was set against Isaac, and this is still manifest to this day.

In terms of the messianic linage, through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc, we see that it wasn't from the goodness and sinlessness of these individuals that God called them to be of the chosen line. Rather, God used this lineage of sinful men to lead up to Christ, the one through whom forgiveness of sins would be offered.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Radicals

The Radicals is a fascinating film about the "radical" reformation, or Anabaptist movement of the 14th century, and the tragic story of Michael and Margatetha Sattler. The film, though low-budget, is an excellent account of this movement that defied both the catholic church and other protestant reformers of the time.

The Sattlers joined up with the Anabaptist group and presented teachings that challenged those of the State, and of many protestant reformers. As this movement continued to grow, they faced horrendous persecution, and this video does NOT go light on the details of torture and execution (strong enough that I would not recommend this film for families with young children.)

What was interesting too, to me as an old Star Trek fan was seeing Mark Lenard (Spock's Dad) appear as Michael Sattler's nemesis. He's an excellent actor, and did a tremendous job in this role. Having seen him as a vulcan appealing to Klingons in the United Federation of Planets, it can be a little difficult seeing him outside of that role, but all the same, he does a great job.

The Radicals is a very moving film, and gives an excellent narrative of the early movement of the Anabaptists, their beliefs, and the horrendous persecution that they suffered from the catholic church. The DVD also includes some excellent extras, such as a documentary on the Anabaptists and chapter introductions setting the historical context. Worth checking out, but again, viewer discretion advised for the graphic torture sequences.

"Better a prison of stone than a prison of false conviction."