Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Wonderful Exchange

I live in a house with five other med students, all of whom are Christians, and lately the topic of the Eucharist has come up in our conversations. My housemates strongly take the typically Protestant "Symbolic" view while I've tried to argue for what would probably be described as a more Lutheran view, the Presence of Christ being spiritually, "with the bread, in the bread, and under the bread." So last night to take a break from studying I cracked open John Calvin's Institutes to look at his view on the Eucharist once again. It's not that I haven't looked at it before. When I was at Asbury Seminary I wrote a paper on it but Calvin's view was confusing enough for me that I felt the need to refresh my memory. This post really isn't about the Eucharist though because I simply wanted to post a wonderful sentence from Calvin that I came across while I was reviewing his theology of the Sacrament. So here it is:

This is the wonderful exchange which, out of his measureless benevolence, he has made with us; that, becoming Son of man with us, he has made us sons of God with him; that, by his descent to earth, he has prepared an ascent to heaven for us; that, by taking on our mortality, he has conferred his immortality upon us; that, accepting our weakness, he has strengthened us by his power; that, receiving our poverty unto himself, he has transferred his wealth to us; that, taking the weight of our iniquity upon himself (which oppressed us), he has clothed us with his righteousness.
- John Calvin, Institutes 4.17.2

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jenks Lake to Dollar Lake Saddle

Today I enjoyed a beautiful hike in the San Gorgonio Mountains. I went with a friend from Christ's Church, Frank, who has hiked the area extensively and suggested this trail. We had planned on a short eight mile hike but the day was so beautiful that eight turned into sixteen, eight in, eight out. We gained about 3500 feet of elevation and ended up at just about 10,000 feet at the Dollar Lake Saddle about five miles from the summit of San Gorgonio. After today's hike I am even more determined to summit San Gorgonio as soon as possible. As I hiked I ran through the list of pharmaceuticals I'm about to be tested on but I also enjoyed conversation concerning our faith with a fellow Anglican and brother in Christ. The scenery was much more beautiful on today's hike compared to last week's summit of Old Baldy. Here are some of the pictures:

Looking up at the summit of Mt. San Gorgonio, highest point in Southern California.

That's me at the saddle looking to the southwest. Behind me, in the haze, is the Inland Empire, where I go to school and where I'm currently writing this blog.

Frank and I at the saddle.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Old Baldy - Mt. San Antonio

Today I climbed Mt. San Antonio, the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains. At 10,064 feet it is also the highest point in Los Angeles County. I was lucky enough to find a classmate to take a break from studying and climb with me. It was an easy climb with a few steep areas and a round trip of about ten miles. Jon brought his Bible up so we took a break at one point and took turns reading out loud some of our favorite Psalms. We ended up reading the 1st, 23rd, 51st, 104th and 139th Psalms. As usual it was wonderful to be reminded of God's goodness and majesty in the beauty of the mountains. Here are some pictures from the hike:
Summit of Mt. San Antonio, looking West.