Robet Kolb Identity, Security, Meaning

Grades, know-how, skills at fixing bikes or friendships with members of the opposite sex, respect of peers, the right address in the right part of town: grade school, middle school, and high school train us well for living with the kinds of goods that sustain adults in our society. Promotions, respect of colleagues, skills at fixing deals or the plumbing, the right address in the right part of town: jobs, clubs, political parties demand “the right stuff” from us and give us in return some sense of who we are, where we’re going, and how safe we’ll be as we go.
But adolescents and adults alike have experienced how tenuous the regard which we have for another can be. Prestige and respect depend too much on circumstances and happenstance-–on the whim of others and the energy which we can muster for the moment. They offer no abiding and permanent haven or identity.
Our gods do not work very well, however clever we may be in shaping and reshaping them. But we have to have identity, security and meaning. And so we choose to live with the lies we have forged to provide the foundation and structure of our lives. Self-deception permits us to control the gods who control our world.

Teach God’s Children His Teaching: A Guide of the Study of Luther’s Catechism
Robert Kolb
p. 41


Chrysystom on the Calling of James and John

And see how he does with exact care intimate unto us their poverty also: in that He found them sewing up their nets. So exceeding great was their poverty, that they were mending what was worn out, not being able to buy others. And this too was for the time no small proof of virtue, their beating poverty with ease, their supporting themselves by honest labor, their being bound one to another by the power of love, their having their father with them, and attending upon them.

John Chrysostom
Homilies on Matthew
Homily 14; Matthew 4:12

John Chrysostom on Temptation

Yea, for therefore you took up arms, not to be idle, but to fight. For this cause neither does God hinder the temptations as they come on, first to teach you that you have become much stronger; next, that you may continue modest neither be exalted even by the greatness of your gifts, the temptations having power to repress you; moreover, in order that that wicked demon, who is for a while doubtful about your desertion of him, by the touchstone of temptations may be well assured that you have utterly forsaken and fallen from him; fourthly, that you may in this way be made stronger, and better tempered than any steel; fifthly, that you may obtain a clear demonstration of the treasures entrusted to you.

For the devil would not have assailed you, unless he had seen you brought to greater honor. Hence, for example, from the beginning, he attacked Adam, because he saw him in the enjoyment of great dignity. For this reason he arrayed himself against Job, because he saw him crowned and proclaimed by the God of all.

John Chrysostom
Homilies on Matthew
Homily 13; Matthew 4:1

John Chrysystom on why the Holy Spirit descended as a dove at Jesus’ baptism

But why in the fashion of a dove? Gentle is that creature, and pure. Forasmuch then as the Spirit too is a Spirit of meekness, He therefore appears in this sort. And besides, He is reminding us of an ancient history. For so, when once a common shipwreck had overtaken the whole world, and our race was in danger of perishing, this creature appeared, and indicated the deliverance from the tempest, and bearing an olive branch, Genesis viii published the good tidings of the common calm of the whole world; all which was a type of the things to come. For in fact the condition of men was then much worse, and they deserved a much sorer punishment. To prevent your despairing, therefore, He reminds you of that history. Because then also, when things were desperate, there was a sort of deliverance and reformation; but then by punishment, now, on the contrary, by grace and an unspeakable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15 Therefore the dove also appears, not bearing an olive branch, but pointing out to us our Deliverer from all evils, and suggesting the gracious hopes. For not from out of an ark does she lead one man only, but the whole world she leads up into heaven at her appearing, and instead of a branch of peace from an olive, she conveys the adoption to all the world’s offspring in common.

John Chrysostom
Homilies on Matthew
Homily 12; Matthew 3:13

Excerpt 2 from “On Doctrine De Scriptura Sacra (1950): Letters Addressed to Lutheran Pastors, No. 14” by Sasse

No one can, however, contest the fact that the matter which the Age of Orthodoxy exegesis found expressed in 2 Tm. 3:16, the doctrine that the Holy Scripture arose through the working of the Holy Ghost and is filled with the Holy Spirit, is the viewpoint of the New Testament. Thus Jesus Christ, the apostles, and the church of the apostles understood the Scripture, the Bible, that is, what we call the Old Testament. In the Torah, in the Prophets, in the Psalms it is the Holy Ghost who is speaking. The unity of the Holy Scripture consists in this, that the Holy Ghost speaks in the various writings which make up the Scripture. Therein it is different from all other writings. The problem exists also for us people of the New Testament in view of the HOly Scripture, namely, where the boundaries of the canon are. A person can have various opinions concerning which writings belong to the Bible (cf. quotations such as 1 Cor 2:9f.; Jude 14f.). But of every word that is in the Scripture, and not only of this or that one, Jesus and the apostles would be able to say what Heb 3:7 says in introducing the quotation of Ps 95:7-11: “as the Holy Ghost saith.”

Scripture and the Church: Selected Essays of Hermann Sasse
edited by Jeffrey J. Kloha and Ronald R. Feuerhahn
p. 63

Johann Gerhard on the authentic text of Scripture

§ 316 …

In De verbo Dei, bk. 2, c. 10, Bellarmine burdens us in this controversy with a double calumny: “(1) That we consider only Luther’s version authentic; (2) that we disagree not a little bith in choosing an authentic Latin version.” However, we claim the Latin or German version of neither Luther nor anyone else as authentic, but only the Hebrew text in the Old Testament and the Greek in the New.

Johann Gerhard
On the Nature of Theology and on Scripture
p 282

John Chrysostom on The Baptists rebuke of the Pharisees

But if one accurately mark his words, he has also tempered his rebuke with commendation. For he spoke these things, as marveling at them, that they had become able, however late, to do what seemed almost an impossibility for them. His rebuke, you see, is rather that of one bringing them over, and working upon them to arouse themselves. For in that he appears amazed, he implies both their former wickedness to be great, and their conversion marvellous and beyond expectation. Thus, what has come to pass, says he, that being children of those men, and brought up so badly, they have repented? Whence has come so great a change? Who has softened down the harshness of their spirit? Who corrected that which was incurable?

And see how straightway from the beginning he alarmed them, by laying first, for a foundation, his words concerning hell. For he spoke not of the usual topics: Who has warned you to flee from wars, from the inroads of the barbarians, from captivities, from famines, from pestilences? but concerning another sort of punishment, never before made manifest to them, he was striking the first preparatory note, saying thus, Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

And full well did he likewise call them, generation of vipers. For that animal too is said to destroy the mother that is in travail with her, and eating through her belly, thus to come forth unto light; which kind of thing these men also did being murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, 1 Timothy 1:9 and destroying their instructors with their own hands.

John Chrysostom
Homilies on Matthew
Homily 11; Matthew 3:7