Friday, June 22, 2018

Trinitarianism College Course Now Complete on YouTube

I am pleased to let readers of What is Truth? know that the college or seminary level course on Trinitarianism that I taught at the Mukwonago Baptist Bible Institute a few years ago now has all of its lectures available on Youtube, just as they were already available on my website.  Many independent Baptists, even in positions of leadership, are woefully ignorant of the Trinity.  They do not understand basic facts about the Trinity that would have been taught to children in centuries past.  They have no idea how the Trinity is at the foundation of all Christian piety; rather, Trinitarianism is simply a doctrine to hold to in one's head that has no practical effect in life.  I would encourage all Christians to consider taking the time to listen to these lectures, and encourage everyone to study them who is involved in preaching or teaching the Bible, unless you have already gained an equivalent or better understanding of the glorious character of the Triune God in another manner.  If you want YouTube to have these lectures rank highly, please consider hitting "like" on the lectures and posting a comment or two.

-TDR

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Blogging Our Europe Trip: Day Seven, Part Two

On Saturday, early evening, my wife and I came back to the hub of our public transportation, Shepherd's Bush station, with our two youngest daughters, and left them at a very big British mall.  I've noticed that malls are still making it in Europe.  From my vantage point, malls are a thing of the past in the United States, but for reasons I can't decipher, Europeans like them.  For instance, the next Friday, my wife and I walked from our flat in the Leif neighborhood of Edinburgh, Scotland to look at the Britannia, which was in harbor there, and found that an entire enormous three story mall was blocking it from view.  The mall was themed to an ocean liner in all of its design.  The Westfield mall at Shepherd's Bush was of that nature as well.

In general in society, I don't think it is a good practice for single women to roam around freely without protection.  One component to our trip here in Europe has been to purchase European cell phone sim cards from a local London company that are good through Europe at least to text and phone between our four phones, and include 5gb of data.  This was very helpful for using the phone for the gps, which made life exponentially better.  I'll talk more about this, but you don't have to know the language so much if you can make it around without finding an English speaker, when none is available.  We could stay in constant contact with them, and they live in a very diverse metropolitan area, where the oldest of the two has ridden public transportation all three years of university.  She knows how to handle herself. Actually both of them do.

My wife and I went downtown into London again on the underground, and rode first to the British library.  The British museum was closed.  While we rode, we wrote postcards to people back home, and were so caught up, that we missed our stop.  We exited one too late and walked to the other track, but that packed-out train wouldn't move.  The engineer announced that the train couldn't go to the next stop, because of a security issue.  A security issue had occurred at the station where we would have disembarked, and then we couldn't go back there.  An hour later, we saw it in the news, and it was a knife wielding man, who was subdued by the police before he could do damage.  Because we couldn't get back there, we decided to use a taxi, which is unique in London, because the taxi drivers are so well trained and driving usually in distinctive styled cars.

Our taxi driver lived in Kent.  Kent, my name, comes from that region of England, ancestors of my paternal grandmother.  He was very talkative with a lot of opinions, one of which is that he liked our president.  He liked Trump.  It was a short drive to the library.  With so much of England being old and traditional in appearance, the British library is modern and ugly.  It's sad that it shelters in such a modernistic or even postmodern structure the very old books it does.

There is an exhibition in a large, guarded, secure side room of some of the most important books in history and especially English history.  They are displayed under glass, but you look at in no necessary order, all original, first edition:  Gutenberg Bible, Wycliffe Bible, Tyndale NT, King James Version, apparently Sinaiticus, and the Magna Carta. There are many other hand written originals there in English literature of well-known English authors.  The library also had displays of original scores:  the original of Handel's Messiah, Bach, Mozart, etc.  There was as we viewed the exhibition, a special large display of original Karl Marx, which included his library card at the British library.

After our short visit to the library, my wife and I went to mail our postcards and then find someplace to eat an English breakfast (for Supper) and we traced a place on our phone called The Breakfast Club with good ratings as a kind of small chain that offers the English breakfast.  However, we didn't really know London well enough to understand how bad Piccadilly Circus was.  The Breakfast Club was at that station, so when we arose from the underground and saw it, we knew it was akin to Broadway or Times Square in New York City.  It's very lascivious territory with wickedness all around.  It's as bad or worse in parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.  We found the breakfast place and ordered the first of two of these breakfasts that we ate while in the UK.

My assessment of the traditional English breakfast is that it isn't the same as the American in quality or content.  You get eggs, but they really don't do them the same. At this place, our waiter, a grungy yet talkative character, asked if we wanted our eggs fried on both sides.  We said, yes, and this was a bad move.  The yokes were not intact and the egg took on the nature of a bit of a crispy, rubbery hockey puck.  They fry the bread in oil.  It's not like something toasted.  The meat is a banger.  I ate bangers at least three times on the trip, this the first, and it is a very plump sausage, which at face value looks very good, but the taste is something of the nature of our bologna, extremely bland.  No banger has the spicy sausage taste of American sausage.  Our sausage, my friend, is much better than the banger.  The American sausage link, Jimmy Dean style, stands alone.

Then we come to the odd items of the English breakfast:  baked beans, warm tomatoe, and black pudding.  Baked beans are baked beans.  They even eat Heinz brand, our brand, but they were both times baked beans.  I imagined the tomatoe as salsa, which is nice with eggs, especially in an omelet in the U. S., but this is a slice of tomato or what we call stewed tomatoes, also warm, if you want those instead.  I like beans and tomatoes, but they both seem incongruous with breakfast to an American. The oddity here is black pudding, which is also called blood pudding.

Blood pudding is an item of food that would seem to be included only as a tradition for a culture.  I can't surmise it to be something worthy of invention as food.  Who would think of blood pudding?  It looks the color of dark blood with clots in it, which are, I guess pieces of organ meat.  Pudding then isn't pudding, which in this case one can be thankful.  Pudding is never pudding, so if you order it, expect some kind of crispy bread with a softer interior.  This is the size of an English muffin, except almost black and tastes like no other food I've ever tasted.  I ate both of my blood puddings, both the same color, size, and shape.  I could eat them.  No gag reflex ensued, but it was curious as to its place in this ensemble.  There's got to be a story here that I do not know or it's something like mom making you eat your castor oil, and your chest sticks up a little over having done it again, having eaten this food item.  Did it again!  But why?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: Mrs. Jones of Islawrffordd, Part 8 of 22


The “subject which has perhaps caused more excitement in the public mind than any other feature of the Revival” were the “mysterious lights . . . associated with the name of Mrs. Jones of Islawrffordd,” a woman preacher and a “homely farmer’s wife”[1] in the holiness revival.[2]  With “Wales worked up to a state of religious frenzy by the revival fervour of Evan Roberts . . . Mrs. Mary Jones . . . [g]reatly impressed by the work which Evan Roberts was doing in the South of Wales . . . lifted up her voice in public prayer for the first time, and broke down hopelessly.”  Soon she had a vision,[3] read “Sheldon’s book, In His Steps,”[4] and “being much moved by it . . . she began her ministry early in December 1904” as an “evangelist” among the “Calvinistic Methodists” and others, receiving confirmation of her call to a preaching ministry “after seeing a strange light on her way from Islaw’r Ffordd to Egryn chapel.”[5]  She affirmed that she had seen “quickly vibrating lights, as though full of eyes.  She had seen light hovering over some hilltops.  The light . . . frequently accompanied her, leading the way as she went.”[6]  Witnesses stated that she “is attended by lights of various kinds wherever she goes,” which were well attested and seen by a great number of people.  These lights are “tokens of heavenly approval of Mrs. Jones and the Revival.”  Indeed, “Mrs. Jones solemnly stated . . . that [the planet] Venus . . . was a new star, had only appeared since the Revival, and was situated a short distance above her house.”  One man saw a mysterious light “from the beginning of the Revival [in his area] six weeks ago.  Sometimes it appears like a motor-car lamp flashing and going out . . . other times like two lamps and tongues of fire all round . . . other times a quick flash and going out immediately, and when the fire goes out a vapour of smoke comes in its place; also a rainbow of vapour and a very bright star.”  Lights were seen both by those professedly converted in the Revival and those who were not, “Chapel members and non-members alike.”  Another entire family saw lights “hovering above a certain farmhouse . . . as three lamps about three yards apart, in the shape of a Prince of Wales’s feathers, very brilliant and dazzling, moving and jumping like a sea-wave . . . continu[ing] so for ten minutes.”  Others, “a few minutes afte[r] Mrs. Jones . . . pass[ed], on the main road, . . . [saw] a brilliant light twice, tinged with blue.”  A woman “saw two very bright lights . . . one a big white light, the other smaller and red in colour.  The latter flashed backwards and forwards, and finally seemed to become merged in the other.”  Another saw a large light “and in the middle of it something like [a] bottle or black person, also some little lights scattering around the large light in many colours.  Last of all the whole thing came to a large piece of fog, out of sight.”  Another person saw a “pillar of fire, quite perpendicular, about two feet wide and three yards in height.”  Others saw “a cross and two other crosses [of light] . . . [t]he two crosses came nearer . . . and stood not far [away], and dozens of small balls of fire [were dancing back and fro behind the crosses . . . [while they] heard a voice singing.”  A “medical man” saw “a globe of light about the size of a cheese plate, or nearly the apparent diameter of the moon, over the chapel where Mrs. Jones was that evening preaching. . . . Mrs. Jones . . . declared that she had also seen it, but from within the chapel.”  At another meeting where Mrs. Jones was preaching and many were “very much affected . . . religious fervour was intense and the service lasted until 1 a. m.,” people present saw “a ball of light about the size of the moon,” with a “slight mist over it.  The stars began to shoot out around it, [and] the light rose higher and grew brighter but smaller.”  Others saw a “block of fire” rising “from the mountain side and moving along for about 200 or 300 yards.  It went upwards, a star” then “shot out to meet it, and they clapped together and formed into a ball of fire,” the appearance changing into “something like the helm of a ship.”  Others present saw “a ball of fire, white, silvery, vibrating, stationary.”  From the ball “two streamers of gray mist [were] emanating . . . in the space between them a number of stars.”  A “meeting of the Salvation Army” in the same location was visited by “a black cloud from which emerged first a white light, then a yellow, and finally a brilliantly red triangle.”[7]  Thus, Evan Roberts was very far from the only one experiencing marvels in the Welsh holiness revival.
Indeed, “the revival in Wales under Evan Roberts” not only “produced [these] psychological and physical abnormalities” among others in Wales, but “sparked them also in other countries,” leading to “speaking in tongues and similar phenomena as a renewal of the gifts of Pentecost and powerful evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit” that produced the Pentecostal and charismatic movement.[8]  While such “tokens of heavenly approval” of women preachers and Keswick revivalism are radically different in character from Biblical miracles, possessing far greater similarity to pagan marvels and the marvels of medieval Romanism, they certainly proved that the religious excitement was not merely the work of men, but that the spirit world was powerfully at work in the Welsh holiness revival.



[1]              Pg. 179, “The Revival in Wales.”  The East and the West:  A Quarterly Review for the Study of Missions. (1905) 174-188.
[2]              Similar lights were also testified to in the Pentecostal works in India and Los Angeles that arose under the influence of the Welsh holiness revival.
[3]              Pg. 10, Daily Mirror, 2/10/1905.
[4]              As already noted above, the Social Gospel advocate and heretic Sheldon influenced Evan Roberts very strongly, as well.
[5]              Pg. 184, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[6]              Pg. 137, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[7]              Pgs. 97-107, 145-161, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).  Fryer documents many other marvels not reproduced here.  Of course, not every minister or revival proponent endorsed every one of these marvels as divine, or even investigated all of them carefully; however, Biblical cessationism was hardly in great evidence in the Welsh holiness revival.  Fryer simply documents the marvels that appear to be well attested.
[8]              Pg. 159, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Bavinck.  An illustration of the Higher Life theology moving into Pentecostalism is found on pgs. 178-179, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Dayton.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Blogging Our Europe Trip: Day Seven

I am writing this post over a week after the events, while riding the train from Bologna to Venice, and then from Venice to Rome a few days later,  finish it in a flat in Rome.

I read that it rains in the UK on average 156 days of the year, so I was really expecting rain while we were on this part of the trip.  The people here talk about it.  Rain is normal in the UK, but it missed us, only at night did it pour and during the day a few light sprinkles here and there.

My family and I left our flat, rode bus 207 to Shepherd's Bush station from Acton, and took the underground to Greenwich.  You switch to a newly constructed overground train to get down to Greenwich and before people here said it was only accessible by water.  We would pick up a cruise on a large barge-like boat for tourists on the River Thames from Greenwich to Westminster, which is where Parliament and the Abbey are, among many other prominent, historic London sites.

We arrived a little early, and at that location in Greenwich is a tour of the Cutty Sark, a historic fast clipper ship from the mid 19th century.  Right next to it is the Old Royal Naval College, which includes a museum, and an example of hundreds of possible sites to visit.  When I was a teenager, digital watches came on the market, and I wore one along with many other nerds, but also, using a short wave radio, set it to the second to Greenwich time.  The world doesn't use Greenwich time any more, because atomic time is more accurate, but Greenwich time, what I called world standard time, originated at the Royal Observatory.  A time ball has dropped there, normally each day at 13:00.  We saw that observatory as we took off from Greenwich.  This is where the phrase originated, dropping the ball.

The Thames River is unusual in that it is controlled by the ocean tides.  The depth of the river rises and lowers dramatically, up to twenty feet.  This has been important to the history of England and the importance of London.  The current changes twice a day, depending on the tide.  Essentially, the Thames carried out the garbage and sewage and then brought in the cleaner fresher ocean water once a day.  During ocean storms, flooding became a problem, just like it has in Venice and other such locations.  As we moved along the Thames, we saw "the lion's heads" at the top of the embankment, the wall alongside the river.  They are cast in bronze and each holdiung a mooring ring for an emergency to tie up a small vessel.  An old poem reads, "When the lions drink, London will sink.  When it's up to their manes, we'll go down the drains."  There are times at spring and fall tides that the tide does rise to touch their bronze heads.

As we floated west, we saw the Golden Hind, a replica of the Sir Francis Drake ship on which he sailed around the world.  Quite close is the reconstructed Globe Theatre also on the southern side of the river.  We passed under varous bridges of varied age and importance, the Tower Bridge, taking on the nature of the London Tower, the famous London Bridge, the Waterloo Bridge, the Millennium Bridge, and the Westminster Bridge.  The London Bridge, even though it is now a plain modern urban concrete structure, was the first of which was built by Roman founders of London.  The longest standing London Bridge construction started in 1176, finished in 1209, and lasting until 1831.  It had numerous buildings on it, and was famous for its use for displaying the severed heads of traitors, starting with William Wallace's in 1305.  An earlier version of the London Bridge was destroyed in 1014 by Olaf to block enemies from London, inspiring the lyrics, "London Bridge is falling down."  The greatest view along the Thames in my opinion is moving to Westminster to end our cruise and seeing the Gothic spires of the Parliament building, the Abbey, and Big Ben from the river, the latter which was under repairs while we were there.

We departed from our boat and walked to a hop-on, hop-off bus, which is a good way to see everything, and visiting whatever you want on the route, several of which are available.  The bus comes with audio that comments on interesting, historical, and important sites along the way just as you pass them.  While walking to the bus, we saw 10 Downing Street, the home of the British Prime Minister, which is surrounded by iron gates and many armed security so that you could not get near the place anymore.

The busses in London, as you have likely seen, are double decker and bright red.  You can't pay cash.  Like many other metropolitan areas, you are required to have purchased some type of card, the oyster, which is refillable, or a paper card that gives you something like 75 minutes of riding.  The upper decks of these hop-on and off busses is half covered and half open-air, the latter much better for pictures.  Our bus made its way down the Strand, which is the most famous and important roads in the history of London.

Growing up, the pub was synonymous with a bar.  I don't think I even knew that it was short for "public house," which is essentially a social meeting place, but is still associated with drinking.  I noticed taverns, and I asked a Brit what was the difference, and she said there was none.  She said that the pubs have turned now into restaurants in order to survive.  Certain parts of the United States are heavy alcohol areas.  The town of just over 20,000 where I attended college had over 50 bars in it.  Englad seems worse to me.  There are pubs all over the place, it seems like at least one, and sometimes more, on one side of a city block.  Very often people are crowded on the sidewalk after work with tall glasses of alcohol in their hands.

The pub is also connected to famous people in the history of England, where and who they sat at pub with.  Some of the oldest of these were pointed out as we drove along -- writers, politicians, soldiers, and statesmen.

Our first hop-off point was St. Paul's Cathedral, which we planned on visiting for just an hour.  St. Paul's is very old and for centuries and centuries, really up until recently, was the tallest building in London, rising above everything else.  So much revolved around religion for so many centuries that it was a very important building.  On the outside west of the cathedral in a little garden area more difficult to see is a statue of John Wesley, even as nearby here he was said to have been converted, whether that is true or not.  Note is made of Wesley in the cathedral because the Wesleys were Anglicans, even as Susannah, John's mother never left the Church of England.  John and Charles were non-conformists who did leave it in founding Methodism.

Buried in the crypt, essentially the basement of St. Paul's is Christopher Wren, who was the architect or planner of much of London.  He has a famous statement about the whole cathedral itself being his memorial since he designed the present iteration of it, the former burning down in a London fire.  Also buried down there with a gigantic tomb is the Duke of Wellington, which is the title for Arthur Wellesley, who was famous for the Battle of Waterloo, and defeating Napoleon early in the 19th century and later serving twice as Prime Minister.

The original entrance to London, a stone archway is right next to St. Paul's.

Interesting to my two daughters are other areas besides the historical.  We went on some excursions of the foodie variety, at one point hopping off to catch other bus transportation to dum-dum donuts, a famous super donut chain in London.  After eating the donuts, we split up, with my wife and daughters taking the bus to the Charles Dickens museum, his former home, and my staying on the hop-on and off bus to later meet with them at Trafalgar Square.

I can't tell you everything I saw the rest of the way.  I found that the Waterloo station, next to the Waterloo Bridge, named after the British victory at Waterloo, was to be the original public transportation hub with Paris, France, but the French rejecting it unless the name was changed.  Instead the plans were changed to come from something close to King's Cross station in Northern London.  The Lambeth Palace is a gigantic, monstrous edifice on the south of the Thames, where the archbishop of Canterbury lives, when he is in London.  Buckingham Palace is even more grand, ostentatious in its immensity, along with its majestic nearby parks.  I hopped off for my last time to go there, and then walk the length of the park to the Churchill underground museum, which is the original location where he commanded Englad during World War 2.  He made important speeches from this location.  With it is a fine museum to Churchill, chronicling his life and career in minute detail.

More to Come

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Europe Trip. Photos

I have had a difficult time keeping up with writing on this trip. I expect to blog it all. However, you can keep up through photos on brandenburgeurope on Instagram.

Friday, June 08, 2018

"He" vs. "they": the 3rd Person Singular English Pronoun, Feminism, Patriarchy, and Biblical Christianity in Grammar



"I saw someone, and they told me ..."
"When a person goes to the store, they should carefully choose what they buy."
"When a student uses grammar, they should do so correctly."

Are the sentences above grammatically correct?  No, none of them are grammatically correct.  "Someone," "a person," and "a student" are generic references to a single individual.  In each case, correct English grammar requires:

"I saw someone, and he told me ..."
"When a person goes to the store, he should carefully choose what he buys."
"When a student uses grammar, he should do so correctly."

These are elementary facts of grammar, universally accepted when I was a child learnin' readin', writin', an' 'rithmetic.  Yet, for quite a while, in common speech "they" has been employed by many people instead of the correct generic pronoun "he."  The error has passed beyond speaking to writing.  Major secular book publishers--and book publishers for Christendom owned by secular publishing houses--are now abandoning the correct English grammatical form for either the incorrect "they," or for alternating paragraphs where "he" and then "she" are used as a generic pronoun, and so on. Why is this the case?  One word: feminism.

Feminist ideology does not like the fact that "he" is the generic singular pronoun.  This, they affirm, is patriarchal, and so is evil (although, of course, there are no allegedly objective standards for right or wrong), and so must be stamped out. Secular publishers are afraid of not being politically correct and feminist. Placating feminists is more important that using correct English grammar.  What should a Christian do?  Should they (oops, "he," my apologies to the feminist womyn among us) change the English language to support feminism?  The answer is a clear "no." Why?

1.) God, the Author of language and of the Bible, uses "he" as the generic third person singular pronoun in His infallible Word.  

The most holy, most loving, most righteous, and most wise God employs the masculine pronoun "he" as the generic singular pronoun in both the Old and New Testaments.  He does so a huge number of times.  Those who complain about the masculine singular pronoun, or who proclaim that such a usage is inferior, are attacking the wisdom and righteousness of God.  They sin the more when they pass beyond proclaiming the superiority of "gender neutral" language to corrupt Scripture itself by changing texts that say "brother" into "brother or sister" and the like, as do the NRSV, the 2011 gender neutral NIV, and other inferior English translations of the holy Word of God.

2. ) Male headship and leadership are Biblical.  Adam, not Eve, represented the entire human race (Romans 5:12-19).  Mankind is underneath either the first man, Adam, or the second Man, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:22).  Woman was made a suitable help for man, not the other way around (Genesis 2:18, 20). The head of the woman is the man (1 Corinthians 11:3) and feminism, with its proclamation of female leadership, is a curse (Isaiah 3:12). Within the equal human nature of the man and the woman (Galatians 3:28) God has ordained distinctions of role between the man and the woman.  The fact that man is the one who represents the race, not woman, is represented by employing the masculine pronoun as the generic one in the Bible.

You should use correct grammar because you should do all things decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40), but abandoning "he" as the generic 3rd person pronoun involves more than just a change in what is grammatically acceptable.  It is, on the contrary, an assault by feminism on Biblical patriarchy--which, by the way, is loving and self-sacrificial male leadership, not male tyranny--and on the very Creator of male and female and of language itself.

The Christian should continue to use "he" as the English generic singular pronoun.  He should teach his children to do so as well.  Christian school teachers and homeschool parents need to make sure their children are employing grammar correctly here. Don't give in to the feminist zeitgeist.  When a person does so, they are sacrificing he is sacrificing an important, and Biblical, aspect of the English language and culture, and is also implicitly confessing an (alleged) inferiority of the Word of God and its Divine Author to the monstrous reign of idolatrous women.


Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Blogging Our Europe Trip: Days Five and Six -- London

Part One   Part Two

As I write this post, my family and I are actually just finishing up day ten, so I've got a lot to write to keep up with this series.  I plan on doing that and making some observations as well about the culture and spiritual condition of the UK, as I have seen it.

Our family stayed in a flat with a London address in the Western portion of London not called West London, because there is one of those too.  It was between two areas, Shepherd's Bush and Acton.  It has been very secure with a locked front door and another locked door on our second floor with two more locks on our personal door.  We had two bedrooms, a living-dining room, bathroom, and a kitchen with a washer (no dryer) that was clean and very suitable.  We lived in worse in California.  I've seen exponentially worse in the area where we live.  I'm traveling with a wife and two daughters and they all liked it.

Our neighborhood is urban enough to have three mom and pop grocery stores within the three blocks only to one side of us.  Four blocks over is then a very city small grocery store.  It is not friendly to cars and most people around here don't have them.  You are not rewarded for owning one.  It's easier to use public transportation.  It's easy to see the region intends for it to be that way.  Part of that is that there was no available parking on the street or public parking close to the flat and no garage. We kept our car until Thursday morning, but did drive it on Wednesday night to a strict Baptist church.

Strict Baptist probably sounds like a church with a lot of rules or scruples.  In the range of the strict Baptists are those that are called "gospel standard," usually an even more strict, strict Baptist church.  Church categories are different in England, so you can't read into what you might think a church is.  Strict refers to how a church limits participation in the Lord's Supper, that is, only members participate.  It was a very small group with a solid message from a psalm.  We stayed and talked to the pastor and his wife for an hour or so afterwards before returning to our flat.  He considers himself of a belief, such as John Gill, except with a local only ecclesiology.  One might think of A. W. Pink.

The first day we took the underground to the Tower of London, which is in fact the original London.  London was a sort of fortress that went back to the time of the Romans along the Thames River.  The Tower however was built by and for William the Conqueror in 1078 after he came and conquered England.  The Thames has always been very important to London and, therefore, England.  The ocean tides come in and go out and the current changes when it does.  This also allows for a more moderate climate at such a high latitude.  The Thames flowed in a moat around the Tower of London and was its early waste system with garbage, sewage, even dead bodies and carcasses thrown in and taken out with the tide.  As time went on, it created a major stench, but the moat was a deterrent with an entrance across a bridge into the tower.

On Tower Hill just up from the Tower of London many both famous and infamous people were beheaded.  Crowds gathered even as a form of entertainment.  Inside the Tower, royal or noble characters were executed, including Anne Boleyn, unsuccessful wife of Henry VIII.  All of them were thrown into an unmarked grave under Chapel Royal of St. Peter.  These include Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, and Lady Jane Grey.  A memorial marks the spot of the chopping block.

Also in the Tower, the name of the entire castle, is the White Tower, essentially the keep of the tower and the oft residence of the King of  England.  In the Tower are stored the crown jewels, including the largest cut diamond in the world, which is at the top of the scepter of the Queen.  Many other important historical components make up the Tower of London, including the bell tower, the queen's house, where England kept the Nazi, Rudolf Hess, imprisoned through much of World Two.

From the Tower we walked across the Tower Bridge, which came centuries after the Tower of London, but was designed with compatibility with it.  We walked off the bridge to Borough Market, where we ate the delicious street food, including my first cold pork pie.  I ate it and finished it.  It's a fairly solid piece of cold meet; however, also with the congealed lumps of fat.  I bought an exquisite one, which doesn't change those facts.  I don't think I would be exaggerating to say there were over 100 vendors next to the South side of the Thames at the Borough Market.

From the Market, we walked to the London Bridge underground and rode to Westminster, where we then visited Westminster Abbey.  The gigantic Gothic styled structures in Westminster, West of ancient London, at the opposite end of the Strand, rising majestically on the Northern shore of the Thames, remind you of the mixture of religion and politics in England.  The queen is still the head of the church of England.

Westminster Abbey is an abbey, a cathedral, a burial place, and a museum to the history of England.  The church of England is the church of England and so all over the inside of Westminster Abbey are memorials to major figures in English history, mainly Anglican ones.  You can visit a dilapidated non-conformist cemetery to see the graves or tombs of non-Anglicans.  You also have Windsor castle, where other royals are buried in its chapel, including Henry VIII.

The formerly Roman Catholic turned Church of England cathedrals all look similar and they are all over England, soaring above even small towns, like Thirsk in Yorkshire, where James Herriott was married.  In the neighboring town of Ripon is another of these, immense and tracing back to the 12th century.  They are sad in that they are empty shells, dedicated to a lie, which is why the Church of England is sinking into oblivion, replaced by a secular state, it's new state religion.

The Westminster Abbey is cavernous and ethereal in its airiness.  The stonework and design and detail are dumbfounding.  Queen Elizabeth I and her sister Mary, the murderous Roman Catholic, are buried in the same room, which does seem fitting.  King James I is buried here, but hidden from view.  Such varied figures as David Livingstone, Geoffery Chaucer, and William Gladstone are interred here and memorialized, almost too many to count.  You walk along literally stepping over their graves.

Next we went to Harrod's, the mammoth and historic department store, still in London and West of Westminster Abbey.  There's nothing like it that I've ever seen.  Everything is top of the line, including its coffee cafe among all the other cafes, where everything is perfect.  You don't order coffee in most places in England.  You order a type of coffee.  For instance, they look at you with questioning eyes if you say, I want a large coffee.  No, you want an Americano, and not with cream, but with milk.

We took the underground back to The Shard, and rode to the top of the tallest building in London, which is the best vantage point for the entire surroundings of London and a beautiful view of everything around the Thames River.  It is a high speed elevator, two actually back to back, and then down, and back home for us.

On Friday, we took the train out to Windsor Castle, which is West of London and Heathrow airport in the country town of Windsor, which seems like a Disney village to the queen.  The last train is the queen's train, to the queen's station, to her little royal shopping area, and then the castle.  We arrived shortly before the changing of the guard, which also seems like the Disney on parade, the queen's band, the queen's guard, with great pomp and pageantry. 

Windsor Castle receives many visitors, but it is immense and swallows them up easily.  It is the most castley looking castle you might see.  It is the weekend residence of the queen and she is there when her flag is flying.  It was.  Windsor is a defensive fortress for English royalty on a hill with giant walls and gates and a keep if all else fails.  The queen has her own chapel there, St. George's.  And then there are chapels within the chapel, many.  Henry VIII is buried there.  Queen Victoria is also buried at Windsor.  The recent royal wedding was held there, and we stood right where it occurred.  It's not a large area, the place where the ceremony itself took place especially.

We stayed most of the day at Windsor, but we didn't go back to the flat.  We left the two daughters at Westfield shopping center, where we pick up our underground at Shepherd's Bush, and my wife and I went on to the British library, expecting perhaps to visit the British museum at some future time.  We went to the library to see original documents.  We saw the Gutenberg Bible, original Wycliffe, original Tyndale, original King James Version, original Magna Carta, the Sinaiticus for what it's worth, but there is also a lot of other originals.  You've got an original score of the Messiah by Handel to see, an original Bach, original Mozart, and even Leonardo Da Vinci, original drawings by him.

We had taken a cab from the underground to the library.  That's an experience in itself in London, as its cab drivers are unique, but I'm not going to move into that, except to say he was a Trump fan, who lived in Kent....the county in England.  Not everyone hates Trump everywhere like many or most might think.  We ate a traditional English breakfast with black (blood) pudding, which isn't really pudding as we know it, and tomatoes and beans and a plump banger, which actually tastes like bologna.  The eggs were fried to flat disks like frisbees (sorry English people, and I will try a breakfast this morning after I write this).  We drank English tea.  Then everyone made it back home that night.

On a side note, we had to take the cab because we overshot our underground stop by one station.  We got on the return train and it could not move because a crazy knife  man was at the station we were supposed to stop at.  We were busy writing postcards to people back home and lost track of our station, but it meant that we did not stop where the crazy knife yielding man was.  The mayor of London thanked the police on twitter for its role in apprehending him.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: A False Pentecost, Part 7 of 22


While Baptist church membership, and that of old-school evangelicalism, began to decline after Evan Roberts finished his revivalistic course, Pentecostalism boomed, as Roberts’s influence had led many others in the holiness revival to have supernatural encounters with the spirit world similar to those he had experienced.  Donald Gee notes:  “It is impossible, and would be historically incorrect, to dissociate the Pentecostal Movement from . . . the Welsh Revival [through which] . . . the spiritual soil was prepared . . . for [its] rise.”[1]  Jessie Penn-Lewis wrote: 
[T]he Pentecostal character of the Awakening in Wales is unmistakably clear . . . the wider fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy [in chapter two about signs and wonders through Spirit baptism] is at hand.  Undoubtedly we are in a new era of the world’s history, when we may expect supernatural workings of God such as have not been known since the days of the primitive Church. . . . [B]y [receiving] a baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, “signs and wonders” w[ill] follow.[2] 
Not Roberts only, but very many saw visions and heard voices.[3]  Prominent ministers and witnesses testified that Wales was seeing what “was spoken by the prophet Joel . . . the promise [is] now evidently fulfilled in Wales”:  “If you ask for proof of that assertion, I point to the signs.  ‘Your young men shall see visions!’  That is exactly what is happening. . . . It does not at all matter that some regular people are objecting to the irregular doings. . . . If you ask me the meaning of the Welsh revival, I say—IT IS PENTECOST CONTINUED, without one single moment’s doubt.”[4]  Consequently, throughout the holiness revival of 1904-5 there were “many stories of aerial lights, aerial choirs, flashes and visions.”[5]  “Dreams, religious and otherwise, were registered by the score.”[6]  “During the Revival many persons vowed that they had heard voices in the air calling them by name and speaking to them in distinct tones and words.”[7]  The multiplication of such marvels from the spirit world was natural, since “[v]isions were looked upon as the gift of the Holy Spirit, a mark of Divine favour, and one of the concomitants of true conversion.”  With the the neglect of the Word of God “there were many who appeared to know more about their visions than about their Bible.”[8]  Thus, “Miss Florie Evans,” Evan Roberts’s coworker, “could speak of visions and messages . . . [and] prophesied.”[9]  The marvels attending Roberts made it clear that women were to preach and teach men:
The old objection of many of the Welsh Churches to the equal ministry of women has gone by the board. . . . Women pray, sing, testify, and speak as freely as men . . . the toppling of the hateful . . . ascendency of the male. . . . Paul, it is true . . . found it necessary, while addressing the Church of Corinth, to draw a very hard and fast line limiting the sphere of female activity . . . Christianity, however, is at last sloughing the Corinthian limitation[.] . . . The Quakers began the good work. . . . Now in South Wales we see the fruit of this devoted testimony . . . [i]n the present Revival women are everywhere to the fore, singing, testifying, praying, and preaching.[10]
Indeed, the visions were innumerable, but unlike Biblical visions, where God revealed real, specific, and knowable truth, the visions of the holiness revival either set forth all sorts of meaningless foolishness or specifically taught unbiblical errors.
[P]arishoners . . . heard bells chiming . . . a thunder clap followed by lovely singing in the air . . . [others heard] strange music, similar to that caused by the vibration of telegraph wires, only much louder. . . . The Vicar[11] of a parish . . . heard voices singing . . . [g]radually the voices seemed to increase in volume until they became overpowering. . . . It was as real to his senses as anything he ever heard and the words were distinct, in Welsh.[12]
A “young girl, 18 years of age” who was “almost illiterate” was supernaturally enabled to pray with “the most refined and literary sentiments, couched in admirable phraseology[,]” and her “changed appearance” was very striking, becoming “much more gentle.  Her face, previously course, has now quite a refined appearance . . . [becoming] a Madonna-like face” as she also has gained “contact with . . . her mother, though she has been dead about 15 years. . . . [S]he seems to feel her mother’s unseen influence, certainly seeing and perhaps helping her in her difficulties.”[13]  Another woman “heard the voice of her dead son, and [affirmed] that the conversations that had repeatedly passed between them were as real to her as those that had passed between them in the days of his flesh.”[14]  A “young man . . . heard a voice speaking distinctly.  The Spirit said (in Welsh)” a variety of things, including a command that “in the most public place” the young man was to deliver the message:  “Tell them that hypocrisy is the worst sin against Me . . . [t]he Spirit,”[15] a message contradicting what Christ said was the worst sin against the Spirit, to blaspheme Him (Matthew 12:31; Mark 3:29-30; Luke 12:10).[16]  The man also testified:  “I had a vision . . . a beautiful light, pure, and brighter than any light I have ever seen, and clusters of something very soft and white falling upon me gently and covering me all over.  I called them blessings.”  He also had other “dreams,” although he said, “I doubted whether it was the Holy Spirit.”[17]  The minister Joseph Jenkins was “clothed with strength from above, and he knew it,” receiving power from the spirit world, after “a strange blue flame took hold of him until he was almost completely covered.  It rose . . . from the floor of the room and billowed up, encircling him.  It retreated and returned a second time, and then retreated and returned again.”[18]
            While Scripture states that saving faith comes not by seeing miracles but by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), in the holiness revival people professed conversion and were led to become members of congregations because of the marvels they experienced.  For example, in a “Revival service” at “St. Mary the Virgin’s Church”:
[A] young man . . . saw a lighted candle emerge from the font [for administering infant baptism and, according to Anglican dogma, regenerating infants thereby] and the figure of an angel shielding it with his wing[19] from the draught that came from the open door.  The flame was very small, and the least breath of wind would have extinguished it but for the protecting wing.  Before the service was ended he gave his adhesion to the Church. . . . [The man testified:]  “I did not believe in Christ before [the vision] that He was our God and my Saviour.  I had always denied Him, but never again, for I believed then [at the time of the vision].”[20]
A woman who was hostile to the holiness revival, but whose husband was part of “the Church Army,” “began to feel very queer,” saw “the room” where she was become “all dark,” and “it seemed as if the room was full, or like a swarm of bees around [her, and she] heard some sound . . . like the buzzing of bees,” and then saw her “four children [who] had died in infancy . . . singing the hymn, ‘O Paradise,’” and then “saw the children again and Jesus Christ . . . [a]s natural as you see Him on a picture[21] . . . behind them, and the children said, ‘Crown Him, Mam,’[22] and they disappeared.”  As a consequence she “has been quite a different woman and is present in all the services.”[23]  A boy whose father was far away testified:  “I distinctly saw my father in the [revival] service [in  a vision].  He knelt alongside of me and looked at me with a pitiful face and said, ‘My dear boy, pray for me.’ . . . I had never taken religion very seriously before, but I do now.”[24]  Another man’s testimony was noteworthy:
[He saw] a faint light playing over his head.  As it came nearer it increased in size . . . he saw . . . a man’s body in a shining robe.  The figure had wings . . . every feather in the wings . . . was heavenly beyond description. . . . [I]t did not touch the ground.  He looked at the hand and saw the prints of the wounds . . . recognized Him as Jesus . . . [and] shouted—“O my Jesus,” and the figure ascended . . . on His wing . . . out of sight.[25]  He felt filled with love, and from that time he can love every one without difference.[26] 
A lady felt that she had been cut off from God until she saw a “vision of Christ in his kingly robes . . . that had set all right.”[27]  At another meeting people were filled with “agony . . . men and women jumping in their seats . . . others testifying that they had received the Holy Spirit, and one person said, ‘Don’t try to understand this, but throw yourself into it.  It surpasseth all understanding.’”  Another who “did not believe much in the Revival” was turned into an advocate by marvels:
[He was] caught in his hat and began walking down the staircase, when he was instantaneously knocked (as it were) unconscious.  He ran down the stair, and he then jumped five of the steps to the floor[.] . . . He looked like a madman . . . and shouted out, “Here is reality to-night.” . . . [H]e ran into the chapel, and on by the pulpit.  He jumped on top of a seat, and he threw his hat with all his might up towards the ceiling of the church, and with a loud voice [gave out his experience.]  “It is above all understanding,” he said.  He remained partly unconscious for a fortnight . . . and he saw a vision of a place beautifully white, and a voice came to him that God would be his refuge and strength. . . . He was moved by the Spirit twice after this fortnight to unconsciousness.  How he escaped from injury while jumping and passing across seats was marvellous . . . he received such physical strength that he thought he could move away a tremendous weight.[28]
Another man, at a holiness revival meeting, testified:
I had a thrill through my body, causing great pain.  I cried bitterly; why, I don’t know. . . . [For a few days] I felt great pain, and . . . I lost all appetite for food. . . . [at a] prayer meeting . . . there was great agony through my body.  Why, I know not.  But it remained through the week. . . . I prayed unto God to forgive my sins and reveal unto me Himself.  I don’t remember the prayer.  I lost all consciousness that night. . . . I perspired very much, so that I thought that water had been thrown over me. . . . A voice told me that [a particular person was] in the meeting to-night by the door.  And I said, ‘No, he is not here[.’] . . . Then the voice told me the second time exactly the same words, and I answered him back[.] . . . I was astonished when I found [out that the voice was] true.  Had the voice only told me once, I would [not] have believed . . . but when I heard the voice the second time, I was surprised [and found out what it said was true]. . . . [M]y body lost all its pain on that Saturday night . . . [and] I am happier than ever[.][29]
By means of such visions, voices, excitements, and marvels—rather than by means of clear preaching of the gospel—vast numbers were professedly converted.[30]




[1]              Pgs. 5-6, The Pentecostal Movement, Donald Gee.
[2]              Pgs. 77-78, The Awakening in Wales, Jessie Penn-Lewis.
[3]              Pgs. 22-23, 100, The Great Revival in Wales:  Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw.  Chicago, IL:  S. B. Shaw, 1905.
[4]              Pg. 87, The Great Revival in Wales:  Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw.  Chicago, IL:  S. B. Shaw, 1905.  Capitalization reproduced from the original.
[5]              Pg. 249, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[6]              Pg. 73, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[7]              Pgs. 136-137, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[8]              Pg. 139, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[9]              Pg. 89, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[10]            Pgs. 55-56, Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.
[11]            Scripture teaches that no mortal is a Vicar; such a title demeans the glory of the Son of God.
[12]          Pgs. 93-94, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[13]            Pgs. 135-138, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905); cf. Deuteronomy 18:9-14 and the many other prohibitions in Scripture on contact with the dead.
[14]            Pg. 137, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[15]          Pgs. 94-95, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[16]            Of course, hypocrisy is very wicked and should in no wise be condoned.
[17]          Pgs. 94-95, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[18]            Pg. 17, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Brynmor P. Jones.  Another vision received by Jenkins was connected to the events that led to Evan Roberts beginning to see visions himself and commencing his revivalistic course (pgs. 58-60, Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).
[19]            While in Scripture the cherubim and seraphim have wings, no angel is said to be winged.
[20]            Pgs. 95-96, 123-124, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[21]            Pictures of Christ are idolatry and a violation of the second commandment, for “the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures” (2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, 22:1; Exodus 20:4-6).
[22]            While the children in her vision commanded this woman to crown Jesus Christ, the Bible never tells Christians to crown Him, since the one who crowns another has authority over the one who is crowned.  As the eternal Son of God, Christ has reigned from eternity and will reign immutably to eternity (Hebrews 1:8-10), so nobody crowns Him, while as the God-Man, the Father exalted Christ as Mediator at the time of His ascension (cf. Psalm 110), so that, while the terminology of crowning Christ is not even used in connection with the ascension, the Father’s exaltation of the Son of Man is the closest thing to such an affirmation in Scripture.  The dead children, therefore, tell the woman to do something that is contrary to the Bible.
[23]          Pgs. 93, 130-133, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[24]            Pg. 125, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[25]            Since the Lord Jesus Christ does not have wings, this man did not see the Jesus who is the Son of God, but another “Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4); and the fact that he felt certain emotions as a result of his supernatural experience is no reason whatsoever for thinking that his experiences came from the Holy Spirit of God.
[26]            Pgs. 95-96, 139-141, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).  Further details, unpleasant to repeat to those who rejoice to spiritually see Jesus by faith rather than seeking after His physical appearance, in accordance with the fact that even those who “have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth [must] know . . . him no more” (2 Corinthians 5:16), have been omitted.  It is worth noting that the Apostle Paul testified that he was the “last of all” to see a bodily appearance of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:8).
[27]            Pg. 56, The Great Revival in Wales:  Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw.  Chicago, IL:  S. B. Shaw, 1905.
[28]            Pgs. 127-128, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[29]            Pgs. 129-130, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[30]            Further records of visions appear on pgs. 95, 100, etc., of Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.