I came across some references to early Christian ritual vestments this morning in Matthew Brown’s The Gate of Heaven. He cited The Awe-Inspiring Rites of Initiation by Edward Yarnold, and The Archæology of Baptism by Wolfred N. Cote. I looked up these references and they were intriguing in describing an early Christian practice of face veiling during initiation rites: [Read more…]
I was driving in my car on Saturday listening to a radio program called “The Other Side” with Steve Godfrey. Steve believes himself to be a psychic medium, someone through whom people can connect with loved ones who have passed on to the “other side.” I do not deny the possibility of communicating with those who are on the other side of the veil, as many have done just that within the Church, but the way these so-called psychics say they connect with relatives on the other side just seems a little shady to me. To me it seems like more of a show than any actual communication going on – Steve asks the person lots of questions in order to divine what the person on the “other side” might be saying. A lot of “wait a minute,” and “hold on,” and “just a second,” are thrown into the mix as Steve receives his revelations from passed loved ones. His website says his “mission in life is to help you believe that there is life after death, and love eternal,” which is a good cause, but I am very skeptical of his methods and motives.
But he said something on the program that night which resonated with me, and with LDS beliefs. [Read more…]
I was first introduced to Cyril’s Catechetical Lectures by Hugh Nibley in his phenomenal work The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri. Cyril of Jerusalem is a prominent early Christian theologian, and is considered a saint by many. His most famous writings are set of twenty-three catechetical lectures which he delivered around 347 or 348 A.D. while still a presbyter or priest before he became the Bishop or See (Seer?) of Jerusalem. Most of these lectures were given as instruction to candidates before baptism and initiation. One of the appendices of Dr. Nibley’s book contains snippets from Cyril’s lectures on the “mysteries” (ordinances) or advanced instruction given to the newly baptized or initiated, having already performed these rites. These are contained in the last five of the twenty-three lectures, or lectures 19-23, often called the lectures on the mysteries. All the lectures can be read in full online at New Advent or at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, albeit the translation is different than Nibley’s which he takes directly from the Patrologia Graeca by J.P. Migne (Vol. 33, cols. 1065-1105). [Read more…]