Viking Travel Journal––Day 4

Norwegian Glaciers

We opted to take a seven hour train ride from Oslo to Bergen, Norway because it was a “must do” and the scenery was supposed to be “breathtaking.”

It was neither.

It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t live up to the hype.

The best scenery is captured in the pic here of the glaciers.

The Wife summed it up best (as she normally does): “It just looks like East Tennessee.” And she should know.

But that was okay because today was a day to read about Olaf Tryggvason (Cir. 960–1,000 A.D.) the man who brought Christianity to Norway.

Olaf’s story is a remarkable for a couple of reasons. First, he spent much of his boyhood as a slave. He was born into royalty, but through some political changes in Norway ended up being separated from his mother and sold into slavery. I was immediately reminded of John Knox and St. Patrick, whom we studied on last years’ GSB tour. Continue reading “Viking Travel Journal––Day 4”

When an Eclipse Meant Something

Like many Americans, this past Monday I gathered with others outside to experience the eclipse.

Where I live, we only had about a 75% eclipse, but it was still interesting to watch it get semi-dark in the middle of any otherwise sunny day.

As you know if you have been following this blog, three weeks ago, The Wife and I returned from our Reformation Tour in Prague and Germany.

While there, I had started reading the letters of Jan Hus. While I was on the treadmill yesterday I was getting toward the end of his letters and came to the point in his life where he was jailed in Constance, Germany and was getting ready to make his first defense before Sigismund, King of Germany, just a month before he would be burned at the stake. In introducing the letter Hus wrote that day, the editor mentioned that:

“On the 7th Hus was again brought before the Council. The friary was surrounded by the town guard, and at an early hour the Council assembled for Mass. While this ritual was proceeding the sun was eclipsed, to the consternation of all. An hour later, about 8 A.M., Hus was brought before before the court.” Continue reading “When an Eclipse Meant Something”

Rapture Now, The Sequel

Perhaps you’ve heard. Harold Camping is now saying the Rapture will happen in October.

If you missed last Saturday’s Rapture, don’t worry; the next one promises to be very similar. No one will be taken up, but more false teaching will be taken down.

I’m still trying to understand these believers who are so fixated on the Rapture. How did they get like this? What desire so colored their objectivity that they could ignore Scripture and believe Camping’s teaching?

Did they sing I’ll Fly Away one too many times growing up and now can’t get the tune out of their head? Or did they read a Left Behind book and now every time they see an attractive cloud start fantasizing about hooking up with it? Or maybe they are frustrated acrobat wannabees who see the Rapture as the ultimate circus gig sans the net? Continue reading “Rapture Now, The Sequel”

On Saturday’s Rapture & Other False Teachings

I don’t know about you, but I watched this latest installment of Rapturists Gone Wild accompanied initially by anger, followed closely by my sarcasm and ending with pity.

I was angry at misguided Christians damaging the credibility of the Church with false teaching. I then found comfort in some sarcastic tweets and Facebook posts.

But ultimately I ended with pity.

My pity was for those who had been naive enough to buy into another round of false teaching about the end-times, and worse, that they were foolish enough to risk all to broadcast it to the world.

Nobody doubts their sincerity, but they were sincerely wrong, and being sincerely wrong is the same as being wrong. I’m sure they didn’t go in wanting to get it wrong, but they ended up duped.

So, how do you avoid embracing false beliefs?

Continue reading “On Saturday’s Rapture & Other False Teachings”

The Beast Of Revelation-Part III

©iStockhoto.com/richmatts

In two previous blog posts I gave the evidence from Revelation that the beast was Nero Caesar. I’ll conclude here with two more clues which point to Nero.

1.  His Death. Revelation 13:8 says those who aren’t Christians will worship the beast. As I mentioned in a previous post, Nero was one of the first Roman Emperors (along with Caligula) who claimed to have become a god while still alive. Then comes these two verses:

“If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.”

Revelation 13:9-10. Sure enough, in 68 A.D., Nero died by the sword, his own; he committed suicide. Continue reading “The Beast Of Revelation-Part III”