Poignancy Illustrated

Sheila Walsh (The Stream) captures the essence of the Christian walk in the last sentence of her description of orphaned lambs. What a person really believes works its way out in their conduct, it manifests itself. The orphaned lambs knew the shepherd’s care by previous association, they trusted him and so were the first to run to him.

We often fail, but Jesus never fails so lets fix our eyes on Jesus so we may run with endurance the race set out for us (Heb. 12.1-2).


I am very fond of sheep. I grew up on the west coast of Scotland with sheep all around me, field after field of white wool and incessant crying when things seemed a little off.

[…]Of all the lessons I have learned from these defenseless, gentle animals, the most profound is the most painful. Every now and then, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and immediately reject it. Sometimes the lamb is rejected because they are one of twins and the mother doesn’t have enough milk or she is old and frankly quite tired of the whole business. They call those lambs, bummer lambs.

Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die. So the shepherd will take that little lost one into his home and hand feed it from a bottle and keep it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up warm and hold it close enough to hear a heartbeat. When the lamb is strong the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock.

“Off you go now, you can do this, I’m right here.”

The most beautiful sight to see is when the shepherd approaches his flock in the morning and calls them out, “Sheep, sheep, sheep!”

The first to run to him are the bummer lambs because they know his voice. It’s not that they are more loved — it’s just that they believe it.

Temporal Distortions: Rome


Leonardo De Chirico has revised and re-posted an article of his that demonstrates how the Roman Catholic distortion of time plays a major role in its current ecclesiology (which is, as I’ve mentioned, its major selling point in the post Vatican II era). He focuses on two words, two biblical measures of time, “hapax” (“once for all”) and“mallon” (“for evermore”)

As Protestants, we believe the following:

1. The incarnation of Christ was “once for all”
2. Christ’s death and resurrection and our redemption were “once for all”
3. “Revelation” was “once for all delivered to the saints”.

Roman Catholicism flips these precisely on their head:

1. The Roman Catholic Church is the “ongoing incarnation of Christ” (“for evermore”)
2. “The Eucharist” (“the sacrifice of the Mass”) is a “re-presentation” of the one sacrifice of Christ, providing redemption on an ongoing basis (“for evermore”) throughout time.
3. The “once for all” sense of biblical revelation is opened up to being integrated with “living Tradition” that is mediated by the Magisterium, creating a dialectic between the biblical message and the process of tradition.

De Chirico’s original Themelios (2004) article is here.

In it, he suggests “Roman Catholicism is not intentionally driven by the desire to confuse the time periods of God. It would be uncharitable and prejudiced to think so,” he says.

However, Roman Catholicism IS driven to exalt itself: “Rome IS all about aggrandizing Rome”. And if it means distorting the Biblical message about God’s work in time, it has no hesitation to do so. This is not at all “uncharitable and prejudiced to think so”, because it is true.