TALENTS As servants we are tempted
to say "I don't know what God wants me to do with my life." But we are
given freedom and responsibility to act in the Messiah's interests. One
servant may say "I want to send a ship to bring spices from India." Another
decides to buy a string of camels to trade with Damascus. The servant with
only one talent could have run a peanut and olive stand in one of the gates
of Jerusalem. So the Lord is building his church by giving spiritual
gifts to the most unlikely people. And we can invest our love talents in
any way and anywhere we choose. He does not mind us taking risks, failing,
and then trying again. The one thing the Lord cannot abide is the
paralyzing fear of making a mistake. "I was afraid, and I went and hid
your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours" (Matthew 25:25).
TALIBAN A very strict interpretation of SUNNI Islamic law (shari'a) was taught in the madrassa schools of Pakistan. A group of these young men (Taliban means students of the Qur'an) set out to end the confusion of war lords and they took over the government of Afghanistan in1996. They forbade any kind of music, picture books, cinema or videos. They closed schools for girls, and made it impossible for women to go unless unaccompanied by a male relative for work outside their homes. Thieves had their hands amputated. On January 8, 2001 they published an edict that "the regime will enforce the death penalty on any Muslim who converts to another faith . . . any non-Muslim trying to win converts will also be killed." Eight missionaries from various countries were imprisoned in Kabul, and in danger of death. As a result of the September 2001 terrorist attack on the towers in Manhattan, Americans forces supported the Northen Alliance which took Kabul on Nov. 13, 2001 and toppled the Taliban regime. The American army was then sent to destroy the Al Quaida terrorist bases set up by Osama bin Laden under Taliban protection.
TALMUD The Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds (Hebrew talmad teaching, study, learning) were two large collections of Jewish rabbinic traditions (they emerged 200 - 500 AD). The Talmud includes the Mishna (mainly commentaries on the Bible) and the Gemara (discussions of the comments and opinions of previous rabbis).
TANTRIC, Yoga All forms of YOGA were originally designed as a preparation for deep meditation with a view to experiencing oneness with the Absolute (MONISM). The practice of tantra may have originated in Mahayana Buddhism when the emphasis moved from the monasteries (sanghas) into more popular (Dravidian ?) magical practices including the use of circle worship (chakra puja) of the mother goddess of nature (shakti, usually known as Kali), magic circles (mandala), hand gestures (mudra), and sexual symbols to convey the idea of unity in duality. In India the devotees (shaktas) retained the theory of TRANSMIGRATION but they abandoned other essentials of traditional Hinduism (about 600 AD). They rejected caste distinctions and indulged in the five Ms: intoxicating drink (madya), meat (mamsa), fish (matsya), hand gestures (mudra) and sexual intercourse (maithuna). This was on the theory of purification by opposites. In the west tantric forms of yoga have been popularized to offer posture training, hand gestures, breathing, picturing, massaging, and other techniques to improve sexual performance (see Trevor Ling, A History of Religion East and West, London, 1968, 269).
TAOISM Lao-Tzu (c.550- c.600 BC) was a contemporary of CONFUCIUS and probably preceded him in the revolt against the ancient Chinese priestcraft (see SIXTH CENTURY REVOLT). Lao-Tzu (also called Lao-Tze, Mo-Tzu) taught the need to go with the tao of heaven which is the Way of naturalism. A snow goose lives by its tao, not by rules and restraints, and it is unnatural for it to be protected and well-fed in a cage. That is why he opposed Confucius for putting humans in a cage by the rules of class, culture and ceremonial. In that sense Taoism is a form of MONISM. We might call it salvation by union with the tao of a natural life. Naturalism was rejected in China in favor of Confucianism, but it keeps reappearing as a perennial flower. In our day it has flourished in the counter-culture of theHippie life-style. The problem is that genuine love can only flourish in community relationships, and attempts at communes soon flounder on the rocks of human greed. Genuine community only seems possible by the ordering and discipline of the Holy Spirit.
TARSUS Paul was proud of the great port and university city where he was born. "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city" (Acts 21:39). He was a Jew by race but also a Roman citizen by birth (Acts 22:25-29). After Paul's conversion, he went into Arabia, returned to Damascus, and then went up to Jerusalem for a private 15 day visit with Peter and James the Lord's brother. (Galatians 1:17-19). When the Greek speaking Jews tried to kill him, the disciples brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus" (Acts 9:29-30). We assume that he established a church in his home city which served the surrounding Province of Cilicia (Acts 6:9, 15:23, 41).. But he was soon needed in Antioch (that was 80 miles, 130 km by sea, or 150 miles, 240 km around by land from Tarsus). "Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians" (Acts 11:25-26). Paul went back through Cilicia at the beginning of his second overseas missionary journey, and almost certainly visited the Christians there, as he did at the beginning of his third journey (Acts 15:41, 18:22-23).
TEMPLE In all ancient religions there were temples where individuals could pray, offer thanks, engage in worship, hopefully learn about God. Jesus complained that, instead of being a house of prayer for all nations, the temple in Jerusalem had become a den of thieves (Mark 11:17). After the destruction of the Jerusaalem temple in AD 70 God planned to have a temple of the Holy Spirit in every city and town of throughout the world. Instead of an edifice of quarried stone, a church would consist of human stones (1 Peter 2:5) in organic relation to each other. The Messiah is the cornerstone and "in him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God" (Ephesians 2:21-22). As each stone makes its own contribution (charisma gift of the Spirit) the whole surrounding community is permeated by the very presence of God among them.
TENANTS "There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants" (Matthew 21:33). Tenant farmers are given the right to cultivate a property in any way they choose, but they are expected to deliver a proportion of the crops every year to the owner. In this parable Jesus pointed out that the Jewish tenants of the city of Jerusalem, not only refused to deliver acceptable fruits to God, but they beat up and stoned the prophets, and finally killed the Son of God. The result was that he was going to "lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at harvest time." He explained that "the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom" (Matthew 21:41, 43). The point is that each city is a vineyard. And as Christians we have been made the tenants of the spiritual life of our city. We can enjoy all that our city has to offer, but God is love and wants his kind of love as a fruit of what we do. If the church (made up of the various denominations in our city) fails to deliver those fruits, it can be removed in whole or in part. The Son of God said to the church in Ephesus "You have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place" (Revelation 2:4-5, 16, 21-22, 3:3, 15-16 ).
TEN COMMANDMENTS Moses heard the ten categories of moral judgment on Mount Sinai, and they were written on "tablets of stone, written with the finger of God " (Exodus 31:18, 23:15). When he saw the golden calf, Moses angrily smashed the tablets (Exodus 32:19), and they had to be rewritten as "the words of the covenant, the ten commandments" (Exodus 34:27, Matthew 19:18). The ten commandments (as listed in Exodus 20:17) are not given much content, and they function more as categories of moral judgment which are found among all nations. Whenever there is a question about right and wrong, it can be discussed under one of these ten categories. Jesus summed them under two headings of love for God (Deuteronomy 6:5) and love for neighbors (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:29-31). We might contrast the laws of medicine stated as "you shall not have a fever, a shadow on your lungs, a skin condition, or broken bones, etc." Stated positively we can say "you are healthy if you are active, with a good appetite, and without pain." But stated negatively or positively, the commandments do not heal us. We need a Doctor. "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have come to call not the righteous but sinners" (Mark 2:17).
TENTMAKERS Jesus was a carpenter for at least 25 years before he began his preaching ministry (Matthew 13:55). Jewish Rabbis were expected to have a trade so that they could support themselves when needed. In Corinth Paul stayed with a couple named Aquila and Priscilla. "Because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together - by trade they were tentmakers. Every sabbath he would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks" (Acts 18:2-4). William CAREY(1761-1834) was the pioneer of a vast modern "tentmaking" movement which results in thousands of people from every profession working in countries which are closed to traditional missions Carey wrote "Whenever practical missionaries should support themselves in whole or in part by their own exertions." For this to be effective "tentmakers" (the term was used in New Bottles, 1966, on this website under Articles) should not be viewed as religious propagandists but as professionals who use their skills to do a good job that makes an important contribution to their host country. They may not be allowed to preach, but they can answer questions. "Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). And a nurse who was leaving a tough assignment in a government hospital was described as "love on two legs."
TERTULLIAN (c.155-160 - c.220-245) Raised in CARTHAGE (present day Tunisia), he became a Christian (195 or 196). Up to that time theology had been written in Greek but he was the first theologian to write in Latin. The Apologeticum (c.197) was a defense of Christianity addressed to the Roman authorities in which he included a description of the life of the Christian communities. This was followed by other powerful theological works including De Praescriptione Haereticorum (c.200) where he defended the tradition and authority of the Church. His books against Marcion (c.207) and against Praxeas (c.213) made a major contribution to the theology of the TRINITY. Meanwhile he had been attracted to the charismatic emphasis of MONTANISM (c.207). He formally broke with the Bishop of Carthage and joined a grouping of the followers of Montanus in that city (c. 212). Church leaders were horrified, but in our day this would be viewed as no more an act of apostasy than linking up with a Pentecostal congregation. In the model we use he still belonged to the one church in the city of Carthage. More serious was the fact that he soon became more and more rigoristic in his views of baptism, pagan connections with idolatry, military service, failure in persecution, and fornication and adultery. He influenced the church to become more ascetic and less welcoming.
THANKSGIVING Paul explains the reason for decline of Greek civilization as "Though they knew God, they did not honor him as God, or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened" (Romans 1:21). This suggests that giving thanks to God clarifies the minds of those who lead a nation. Looked at from the personal point of view a sense of gratitude or thankfulness is the beginning of faith. It is obviously impossible to be thankful without a personal God to thank. That's why Paul wrote, "Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6). One result is that we can see the sweetening power of thanksgiving written on the face and body language of the thankful (see OLD AGE). And when we encounter crabby grouchiness, we know that the person has no thankfulness or song in the heart. Three thousand years ago the psalm writers wrote songs of thanksgiving, and in our day many of our best-loved hymns express the same thankfulness to God. We also note that when tragedy or failure hits us, a mature faith is able to thank God that he will one day make sense of it.
THEISM As opposed to ATHEISM (see BIG BANG) theism is an explanatory model that views God as the Creator of our world (set out in the first chapter of the Bible). Faith in God begins when look at our world (trees, flowers, insects, fish, birds, mammals, humans) and conclude that such beauty and complexity must have a personal creator, as opposed to being the product of impersonal chance. Then we give that Artist a name (Elohim, Theos, Zeus, Deus, Dieu, God, Allah, Khuda, Permeshwar). And we add METAPHORS to describe what he is like (see God of Many Names). We know, as in all the arts, that the artist, playwright, or composer must live in a different space from his or her creation. Theists call it heaven. But that does not tell us whether he is indifferent to us, impassive, capricious, just, loving? Does he intervene in our world, and if so is it just on the side of our nation, or religion, or those who meet certain moral standards? The answers that are given are expressed as MODELS in the various religions and ideologies. The three main theistic religions in our world at this time are JUDAISM, Trinitarian Theism (see TRINITY), and ISLAM.
THEOCRACY Those who want a nation to be run by the laws of God have tried again and again to establish a theocracy (Greek theos meaning God and krateo meaning take hold of). Since God can only do this through human agents, the leaders of a church or religious organization often seek to attain this by seizing the reins of power. Samuel wanted a theocracy instead of the appointment of Saul as king (1 Samuel 8:5-9). John CALVIN (1509-64) established a theocracy (1541-53) in the city of Geneva. There was a consistory of pastors, theologians, elders, and deacons who had the power of EXCOMMUNICATION, imprisonment, torture, and the death penalty. He continued as dictator of this theocracy for over twenty years till his death, and it was impossible for anyone who opposed his edicts to survive in the city. A similar theocracy was set up by the TALIBAN in Afghanistan. Ideally this is what the SHI'A clerics (Imams, Mullahs, Ayathollahs) would prefer in IRAN and IRAQ. In practice emperors, kings, czars, sheikhs and presidents usually prefer to recognize one religious system and allow its leaders some powers on condition that they support their political authority (see CALIPHATE). It is only in American style DEMOCRACY, based on the FIRST AMENDMENT, that no religion or denomination can attain power or advantages in the federal system, the regional states, or in local government.
THEOPHANY In Hindu and Greek POLYTHEISMthere are stories of theophanies (divinities appearing in various forms among humans). The accounts of the appearing of Yahweh (written as LORD in capital letters) belong to a quite different Trinitarian model (see TRINITY, Old Testament). In the New Testament we are told "No one has seen God (the Father). It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known" (John 1:18). That means the work of the eternal Son of God is to keep coming into personal contact with humans. He did this when he appeared in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8), to Hagar (Genesis 16:13), Abraham (17:1, 18:1), Isaac (26:2, 24), Jacob (32:30), Moses (Exodus 3:6) and he walked in the fire with Daniel's friends (3:25, 10:16-19). Similarly he appeared in bodily form in the RESURRECTION appearances, and then to Paul (1 Corinthians 15:8) .
THESSALONICA After Paul and Silas had been asked to leave Philippi (Acts 16:39-40), they traveled a three day journey of a hundred kilometers (62 miles) south-west on the Roman road (Via Egnatia). Thessalonica had a synagogue and Paul was invited to preach on three successive Saturdays (Acts 17:1-2). But soon there was a riot and Paul and Silas had to flee 30 miles (48 km) south-west on the Via Egnatia to the next town (BEROEA) that had a synagogue. (Acts 17:3-9). When in Athens Paul was so concerned about the church in Thessalonica that he sent Timothy back there to help in their tough situation (1 Thessalonians 3:2), and he also wrote two letters to that church. For some much later history of that church see GREGORY PALAMAS. From 1430 to 1912 the city was governed by the Turks, and most of its churches were turned into mosques. Since 1912 it has been a big Greek city with the modern name of Salonica . It has a Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop, a Bulgarian Orthodox Bishop, and a Roman Catholic Apostolic Vicariate.
THOMAS, Apostle One of the twelve apostles was a twin (Aramaic thaoma means a twin, Greek Thomas). He comes in four lists of Jesus twelve apostles (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13). He is mentioned as courageous in John's Gospel. When Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus (a dangerous situation due to the decision of the religious leaders to kill him) Thomas, "who was called the Twin (Greek Didymus) said to his fellow disciples, 'Let us also go, so that we may die with him'" (John 11:16). But he confessed his ignorance of the way. "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" (John14:5). He was also the one who refused to believe that the other disciples had seen Jesus' resurrection body (John 20:24-25) He wanted proof by seeing and putting his finger in the mark of the nails (John 20:25). The next Sunday evening Jesus made him do that, and Thomas responded with "My Lord and my God" (John 20:26-28). According to later traditions Thomas made a missionary journey to Parthia, then to North India where he worked as a carpenter and built a palace for King Gudnaphar (see THOMAS, Acts of). It seems he made a second journey by sea to south-west India (Kerala) where there are seven congregations of the Jacobite Church of Syria that trace their lineage back to him. From India he wrote letters to the church in EDESSA ("The Doctrine of the Apostles" in Cureton's Ancient Syriac Documents). After a journey to China, he was speared to death in Mailapur, Madras (modern Chennai). This is why his sign in Christian tradition is a carpenter's adze and a spear (as painted in St.Thomas Church, Millbrook, Ontario, see INDIA, Early Christians).
THOMAS, Acts of Thomas The periodoi thoma (Greek meaning The travels of Thomas) was a translation of a Syriac original written (c.250 AD) in the missionary center of EDESSA. It records a tradition that King Gudnaphar (Godnophores in the Greek translation) of north India sent a merchant to find an architect to build him a magnificent palace. The apostle Thomas was chosen to do this (see TENTMAKERS), and when he was paid the large sums of money for his work he gave them away to the poor. This resulted in the conversion of the king and many of his followers. Scholars doubted that such a king ever existed, but now it seems from Sanskrit documents that a king named Vindapharma reigned over a small kingdom in north India at that time. There is also confirmation of the fact that Thomas was speared to death. His tomb was discovered by the Portuguese (1522), and survives to this day in Mailapur, Madras (modern Chennai). But we know that his bones were taken to the mother church in EDESSA. PANTAENUS of ALEXANDRIAis said to have visited India (c.180 AD), and he reported that he found the Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew left there by the Apostle Bartholomew (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 4.10). This suggests that there was a church in that area. We do not need to believe everything recorded in the Acts of Thomas, but there is increasing evidence that supports the tradition of Thomas' work in India (see Dr. Alphonse Mingana, "The Early Spread of Christianity in India," Manchester: Rylands Library Bulletin, volumes 9-10, 1926).
THOMAS AQUINAS (c.1225-74) joined the DOMINICANS (1244) and came under the influence of Albertus Magnus (c.1200-1280) who introduced him to the writings of ARISTOTLE. His greatest work, the Summa Theologica, was unfinished when he died, but the sections on the Sacraments and the Last Things were completed from his earlier books by Reginald of Piperno. Aquinas made a sharp distinction between reason and faith. He used Aristotle's reasoning about the necessity of God as the first cause. But he argued that faith was needed to discover what God was like and what he had in mind for us. Doctrines such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, Original Sin, the Resurrection, Purgatory, the Last Judgment, Transubstantiation are by God's revelation and they are not contrary to reason. They could only be derived from the Bible as properly interpreted by God's appointed church. On this website we follow the Reformation view that the church is not needed to interpret the Scriptures (see SOLA SCRIPTURA), and we give reasons why the doctrines of the TRINITY, the INCARNATION and the RESURRECTION can easily be understood from the Bible. We also reject the notion ORIGINAL SIN (as defined by AUGUSTINE), the need for a period of PURGATORY after we die, a LAST JUDGMENT, and the TRANSUBSTANTIATION of the bread and wine in communion.
THORN IN THE FLESH Paul had an astonishing revelation in which he was "caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told" ( 2 Corinthians 12:4). To keep him from being lifted up with pride, it seems he was given a serious medical condition, but he did not tell us what it was."A thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated (by the revelations he had). Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power (NRSV margin has my power, referring to the power of the Holy Spirit) is made perfect in weakness.' So I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses . . . for whenever I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Some think that Paul's thorn was an eye condition because he had to use scribes to write his letters for him (Romans 16:22, 1 Corinthians 16:21, Galatians 6:11, Colossians 4:18, 2 Thessalonians 3:17). It could have been a terrible stutter (see 2 Corinthians 10:10, 11:6). Others think it was recurring bouts of malaria, dysentry, or migraine headaches. It seems that God left us to imagine our own particular thorn in the flesh. Why did Paul call his thorn in the flesh a messenger of Satan? In another Word Thought we define SATAN as the one who seeks to destroy us by lies. And whatever our thorn in the flesh he tells us it is because God does not love or care about our healing.
THYATIRA One of the seven churches of Asia Minor to which the Apostle John wrote letters was Thyatira (Revelation 2:18). It was located a hundred miles (160 km) north of Ephesus, and 50 miles (80 km) from the seaport of SMYRNA(modern Izmir). It was a center for making the purple dye which provided the business that LYDIA was engaged in (see PHILIPPI). Luke reported that as a result of Paul's ministry for two years in Ephesus "all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord" (Acts 19:9-10). So we can assume that the church in Thyatira was planted at that time (c.55-57 AD), and John may have worked among the seven churches in Asia ten years later.
TIBETAN BUDDHISM Buddhism was introduced via China into Tibet. Lamaism or Tibetan Buddhism (also found in Nepal and Mongolia) is a form of Buddhism which BUDDHA (C.560 - C.480 BC) would not have recognized. Buddha had rejected the authority of priests and their temple rituals, and taught a severe way of mental discipline to lose all desire with a view to escaping from TRANSMIGRATION. But Tibetan Buddhism offers shrines with a rich pageantry of rituals, mystery, chanting of mantras, dance, symbols, images, prayer flags, and formulas. The aim is to enlist help from the Bodhisattvas (incarnations of Buddha, see BUDDHISM, Mahayana) to have health and success in this life, and also escape from the weary round of REINCARNATION. When China annexed Tibet (1956) the Dalai Lama (supreme Lama) escaped (1959) with a group of Lamas (teachers) and monks over the Himalaya mountain passes into India. Eventually they moved to the United States where the mystery and pageantry of their services attracted many devotees. Leaders included Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche with study centers in Vermont and Colorado, and Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche in California. The way of salvation might be called Salvation by Ritual (see God of Many Names chapters 3 & 4).
TIGRIS When the HAMITIC general NIMROD had taken the key cities of the SUMERIANS (Babel, Erech, and Accad), he used the booty he had collected to move north (Genesis 10:8-12) and he built the great cities of Nineveh (with Rehoboth-ir meaning its city squares), Calah and Resen The ruins of Nineveh can be seen just across the river from Mosul (capital of Kurdistan, see KURDS). The mountains of Kurdistan are divided by the valleys of the four tributaries of the river Tigris
TIMING "For everything there is a season, and a time for every thing under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time for war, and a time for peace" (from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Disasters can occur by doing the right thing at the wrong time, as in planting a garden, buying and selling stocks, telling jokes when others are mourning. But some things are always in season. "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" Philippians 4:8).
TITHING When Abraham came back from defeating a huge army he gave one tenth of the booty to Melchizedek the priest king of Jerusalem (Genesis 14:17-20, see Hebrews 7:1-4). Jacob promised that if he came back safely from his long journey to Haran "of all that you give me I will surely give one tenth to you" (Genesis 28:13, 22). For Christians tithing one's income is not a rule to bribe God, though the last of the prophets said it was well worth trying (Malachi 3:10). It is certainly a very effective way to keep our income in perspective. It seems that God does not mind how we invest the tenth we set aside for him. In the Old Testament the tithe was used in the support of the Levites (Numbers 18:21-24), for the poor (Deuteronomy 26:12-14), and for one's own expenses for worship in Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). These days we have pressing demands to give to this or that charity. A bad way is to spread our giving around with $10 checks (which actually costs more to process than ever does any good). Better pick two or three investments (including our own congregation), which we know personally, and pray for the effective use of what we give.
TITO (1892-1980) Originally from Croatia Tito joined the Russian Army after the Communist revolution of 1917. On his return he was on the run as a revolutionary and imprisoned as a member of the Communist party. He organized guerrilla warfare against German occupiers. When the war ended he became prime minister (1945). Though a Communist he refused to submit to the Russian Communist program. He was made President (1953) of Yugoslavia. He had the wisdom to delegate responsibility and gave autonomy to the six constituent republics of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, and Montenegro. He also allowed the Muslims of Kosovo to be an autonomous region. Unfortunately after his death the Orthodox Serbs centered on the capital in BELGRADE were unable to respect the rights of the other regions, and Yugoslavia was broken up after the intervention by NATO to free Kosovo (1999).
TITUS One of Paul's much appreciated fellow workers was Titus (2 Corinthians 2:13, 7:6, 8:23). He was a Greek converted from a heathen background, and in spite of pressure from Jewish traditionalists he was never circumcized (Galatians 2:1-3). He was sent on missions to Corinth (2 Corinthians 7:6, 13-15), Dalmatia (2 Timothy 4:10) and no doubt other places for Paul's team (see BLOODSTREAM). In the letter to Titus Paul wrote "I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town" (Titus 1:5). Since this mission to Crete is not reported in the Book of Acts, commentators have guessed that Paul went on a missionary journey to Crete after being under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:16, 30). It is much easier to fit a mission to CRETE after Paul "set sail from Ephesus" (Acts 18:21) at the end of the second missionary journey. Paul could have visited the main synagogues on the island and left Titus with the help of local Christians to organize church congregations in the main towns (Titus 1:5).
TM As an alternative to the severe bodily control and meditation of traditional YOGA, Hinduism offered a way of freeing the mind from distraction by Japa Yoga which is the prolonged repetition of a MANTRA. This has been popularized in the west as TM, which is a technique for busy people to quieten their minds during the lunch hour. They can choose any word for a mantra and keep repeating it till they find release. In ancient Hinduism this way was preceded by the intense discipline of YOGA. An alternative to this use of a mantra to free the mind, is a long period of group chanting as practiced by the saffron clothed Hare Krishna devotees in most of our cities (see BHAKTI).
TOLKIEN, J.R.R (1892 -1973) was born in South Africa, and went to Oxford in 1911 where he specialized in Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, and the study of language (philology). He became a Reader in English Language and Literature (1920) and a Professor (1924). By 1926 he had become a friend of C. S. LEWIS with whom he shared a love for the Norse myths and legends. In February 1933 C.S.Lewis wrote that in a meeting of the INKLINGS he had just heard Tolkien reading The Hobbit. Tolkien contributed "On Fairy Stories" in C. S. Lewis (ed.) Essays Presented to Charles Williams (1947). Tolkien offered the Lord of the Rings trilogy to Colllins (1950), but it was rejected (1952). He then offered the trilogy to Allen & Unwin who published The fellowship of the Rings (1954), The Two Towers (1954) and The Return of the King (1955). The books very soon became best sellers. They do not present a Trinitarian Theistic model of God, but they picture the cosmic battle between good and evil behind the scenes of our world and our personal reaction to it.
TONGUES The Old Testament prophets were often called seers (2 Samuel 15:27, 24:11) because they would see a vision and then give its interpretation to the people. They would also find a message from the Holy Spirit coming up within them. An early example is Saul, after being anointed king. "A band of prophets met him; and the Spirit of the Lord possessed him, and he acted as a prophet among them" (1 Samuel 10:10 as in RSV. The NRSV translation "he fell into a prophetic frenzy along with them" is a very unhelpful interpretation). As with a vision, the prophet would give the interpretation of the meaning of the tongues. As Paul explained, the "tongues" are from the Spirit and come in a form that is not understood by others till it is interpreted. "One who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive" (1 Corinthians14:13). The relation between the spiritual experience of tongues and speaking clearly in a congregation is like making sounds with a harp, flute, or bugle before being able to play a tune (1 Corinthians 14:7-9). But in their own devotions many find tongues a way to express their worship, heart longings, and prayers for others that they find hard to put into words. Paul concluded his chapter about the use of tongues in a house group by saying "So, my friends, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues, but all things should be done decently and in order" (1 Corinthians 14:39).
TORAH All Jews base their faith on the promises to ABRAHAM (Genesis 12:1-3), the covenant of CIRCUMCISION (Genesis 17:9-14), the annual remembrance of the PASSOVER (Exodus 12:1-27) and the TEN COMMANDMENTS (Exodus 20:1-17). The heart of the torah is found in the five books of Moses (called the Pentateuch). But as time went on comments by the rabbis (e.g. the Talmud), and other books were used for torah instruction (guidance, law). Since the destruction of the temple in AD 70 it has been impossible for Jews to offer the animal sacrifices (Leviticus 1:1-10:20), but most Jews try to keep the kosher food laws (Leviticus 11). Jesus changed the emphasis of many interpretations of Old Testament law and stressed the inward heart attitude of faith (Matthew 5:1-6:17, Mark 7:9-23, Romans 2:28-30).
TORMORE SCHOOL used to be located in Upper Deal, Kent, England. On September 14th. 2001 a reunion was organized by Geoffrey Rowson (Tormore 1937-42), Barcroft, Wrantage, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 6DB, England. He has copies of group photos those at the school in 1936 and 1937, and he has been in touch with F.G.Turner's grandson (1957-62), Michael Convile and others including the 44 old boys and 35 wives who attended the reunion at the Vyne in Hampshire (now owned by the National Trust). That was where Tormore was evacuated during the war (1940-45). Attending the reunion were B.L.Edwards (the second of three brothers), J.J.Slaughter, N.Mcfadyan, and I.D.E.Herbert who overlapped with me.
I (Robert Brow, Tormore 1933-38) had my first schooling in French in Brussels but I had to struggle with French grammar under Miss Meredith. I remember swimming at the Royal Marine Baths in Deal, and marching in a crocodile wearing an Eton collar to the parish church down the road. The only preparation I remember for later being ordained was "Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, were the only two who ever got through to the land of milk and honey." I still use the Latin and Greek I learned from Fidget for my work on the Model Theology website (www.brow.on.ca). That site includes Autobio 2000 with some of my memories of being at Tormore
Can someone tell me when Tormore School was
founded, when Mr. Spurrier took over, and when the school finally closed?
I would like to add that to this review. My address is 116 Rideau
Street, Kingston, Ontario K7K 2Z9, Canada. I can't cope with much snail
mail but I happily answer large quantities of e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
TOUCHING It has been proved that newborn babies kept in a sterile environment without being touched and cuddled have serious health and psychological problems. In the ancient world people avoided lepers, but Jesus touched them (Mark 1:41). And in our day it was Christian missionaries who welcomed lepers into loving colonies and took the risk of
touching them. Jesus also let himself be touched. "She came behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak" and "immediately her hemorrhage stopped" (Mark 5:27-29). The laying on of hands and anointing the sick with oil inevitably required tactile contact ( Hebrews 6:2, James 5:14) Five of the Epistles tell Christians to hug each other and let themselves be hugged.(the "kiss of peace" was the equivalent of a Middle Eastern hug).
TOWER building When institutions become rich and powerful they soon want to build a tower. "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth" (Genesis 11:4). Some suggest that the "top in the heavens" was an attempt to go up and take control of God. But this is merely a metaphorical expression for a tower that is higher than other buildings in the city (modern sky-scraper). The real intention was to "make a name for ourselves." To avoid the institution being "scattered abroad" the object is to indicate its might and authority. An early example was the ziggurat in the city of Ur. The remains of this can still be seen in IRAQ (modern Tell el-Muqiyer 180 miles, 290 km down the Euphrates from Baghdad, see SUMERIANS). In Ur the object was to promote the divine authority of the King, and the huge tower in three layers, surrounded by a protective wall, was the temple of the moon-god Nanna served by hundreds of priests (see Religion: Origins and Ideas, chapters 2 & 3). Jesus warned us to count the cost before building a tower (Luke 14:28). Perhaps institutions should count the long term cost of building sky-scrapers. In the case of the tower of Babel God was not pleased and scattered the grandiose plan of the builders (Genesis 11:6-9).
TRANSCENTAL MEDITATION see TM
TRANSFIGURATION When Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a high mountain (perhaps Mount Hermon) he was transfigured before them (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-9, Luke 9:28-36). His heavenly glory shone right through his clothes which became dazzling white. The three disciples heard Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah (representing the Law and the Prophets). And the topic of their conversation was Jesus' imminent exodus (Luke 9:31). It may be significant that Moses was buried but his body was never found (Deuteronomy 34:5-6), and Elijah was taken up into heaven (2 Kings 2:11). With a view to preserving the occasion, and in great terror, Peter wanted to make three shrines. But Jesus ignored this suggestion. Then an awesome cloud descended upon them (as a sign of God's presence, Exodus 19:9, Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26, Acts 1:9, Revelation 1:7). We observe a degree of transfiguration when an ordinary plain girl suddenly becomes radiant when she discovers that she is loved by a wonderful man who wants to marry her. Stephen was transfigured just before he was martyred so that he looked like an angel (Acts 6:15). When he came down from Mount Sinai Moses' "face shone because he had been talking with God" (Exodus 34:29). And referring to that text Paul explained that by the Spirit "All of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another" (2 Corinthians 3:18).
TRANSMIGRATION A common image in Hinduism is of the human soul like a drop of water swirling around in the clouds. Then it lands on the earth and takes many different forms till it finally flows back into the sea where it loses its individuality by being merged in the great ocean. In this metaphor humans have a soul that is imprisoned in the changes of our personality. Salvation is deliverance from the round (samsara) of being reborn again and again to merge with the Absolute. Final perfection therefore requires an escape from our sense of personality. In Original Buddhism this was achieved by the eradication of our desires. In Hinduism the way of knowledge offered the escape of knowing that all our experience of the world is imagination (maya). Or through Yoga it was possible to focus our mind from all distractions till we experience a monistic trance. But all forms of transmigration reject Theistic faith in the resurrection of the body. In a Christian model it is impossible to be a person and relate to other persons without a body that can move, talk, listen, feel, grow, learn, and love. And that requires the resurrection of the body, not the transmigration of our soul. Jesus' resurrection body was a spiritual but still a recognizable functioning body (Luke 24:39-40, John 20:19-28, 21:1-15).
TRANSUBSTANTIATION The idea that the bread and wine of a communion service was physically changed into the body and blood of the Messiah emerged in the Middle Ages (first defined at the Lateran Council, 1215). It was based on taking Jesus' words literally. "This is my body . . . this is my blood" (Matthew 26:26-27). Using the logic he derived from ARISTOTLE, the great Roman Catholic theologian THOMAS AQUINAS (c.1225-74) explained that the whole body and blood of Jesus were converted into communion bread and wine, and only the appearance (accidents) of the host and wine remained. Later theologians argued that transubstantiation could only occur in a service conducted by a priest in the apostolic succession. This meant that Anglicans, Lutherans, and other denominations did not have access to the Lord's body and blood. A modified doctrine of the real presence in the Eucharist uses the argument that it is the ring in a wedding, or a handshake to seal a deal, that seals a transaction and makes it effective. (For our interpretation of Jesus' intention at the last supper, see The Church in this City Chapter 8).
TRAPPISTS When the CISTERCIANS began to lose influence a reformed and much stricter order was established at La Trappe (1664). They live in a common dormitory (as opposed to the usual monastic cells), and engage in daily worship services. They support themselves by manual work, and practice extreme abstinence (no meat, fish, or eggs) with no time for recreation. They illustrate the fact that people who want to be monks and nuns thrive on as much austerity as possible. But it is hard to imagine Paul approving of such disciplines for our Christian life. He wrote "They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving" (1 Timothy 4:3-4). So he goes on to say "Do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink" (Colossians 2:16). And Jesus himself said "Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?" And Mark added "Thus he declared all foods clean" (Mark 7:18-19). The New Testament never commends monastic austerity.
TREE OF LIFE In the Garden of Eden, among all the trees that could be enjoyed, there was "the tree of life" and another forbidden tree called "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:9). The result of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree (it was not an apple) was that humans would die (2:16-17, 3:2-3). But Adam and Eve ate of it and did not die physically. Something died, which resulted in spiritual deadness (Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13). Having died in this way, humans were excluded from the tree of life which would have made us immortal (Genesis 3:22, 24). This tree of life is evidently not a literal tree with literal fruit. Solomon used the term metaphorically. Wisdom is a tree of life (Proverbs 3:18) "A desire fulfilled is a tree of life" and "a gentle tongue is tree of life" (13:12; 15:4). And in the last book of the Bible "I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise (garden, as in Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:3) of God" (Revelation 2:7). In the eternal city of God "on either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit" (Revelation 22:2, 14).
TRIBULATION In the model Called PREMILLENIANISM there is a RAPTURE of true believers out of the tribulation of this world. Variants of this are a pre-tribulation rapture and A post-tribulation rapture. Jesus did speak of a time of terrible tribulation . "At that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, and never will be" (Matthew 24:21, 29, 1 Corinthians 7:26, 29-31). But this would be in the lifetime of his hearers (Matthew 24:34, Luke 21:29-32). And in fact there was terrible confusion for Jews and Christians all over the Romans Empire in the years before the fall of the city. As Jesus said "nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places" all this is the beginning of birthpangs" (Matthew 24:7) Preachers take these verses to refer to our own day, and assume that wars and terrible events here and there are proofs of an imminent SECOND COMING. But Jesus announced this would precede his coming in the fall of Jerusalem and the toppling of the temple (AD 70) with the metaphorical portents of the sun being darkened, the moon not giving its light, the stars falling and the powers being shaken (Matthew 24:29 quoted exactly from the fall of Babylon in Isaiah 13:10, 13).
TRINITARIAN ONENESS All Christians believe in the Trinity. Usually they experience a personal relationship to each of the three Persons before they can explain how the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are related to one another. In the Gospels Jesus views himself as in a oneness of subordination to the Father. "The Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing" (John 5:19, 30). Similarly with the Spirit. "When the Advocate (advocatus means one called alongside) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father" (John 15:26). In a UNITARIAN view of God only the Father is eternal, and the Son and Holy Spirit are in subordination because they are created beings (see ARIANISM). In Trinitarian Christian faith the eternal oneness of God is a conversation of three Persons held together by perfect love. There is a subordination of loving relationships, as a loving parent continually submits to the needs of a little child. But the oneness of love is part of God's eternal nature. In that model we do not introduce questions of equality and superiority, only of different functions.
TRINITY Wherever Christians gather in any country of the world they share a common experience of God as a loving Parent, God as the Son who took birth among us, and the Holy Spirit inspiring and empowering them. This means that the Trinity was an experience before it became the doctrine that was expressed in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. And the astonishing fact is that the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Anglican, Episcopalian, Baptist, Pentecostal, and many other denominations, all agree to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). This Trinitarian model of God is constantly rejected by those who want to offer a better idea. But it is easy to see that church groups that discard it inevitably move out of the mainstream. Either they become Unitarian like the Muslims (and modern Jehovah's Witnesses), or they adopt one of the variants of Hindu Monism. And neither of those alternatives can explain how a unitarian or monistic God could ever be loving, or how he could possibly adopt us into his family oneness.
TRINITY, Old Testament It is often suggested that the doctrine of the TRINITY was invented by the early church. But the making of human-kind in the image of God was decided by God (elohim), a Trinity of three Persons (Genesis 1:26). And these three Persons are clearly distinguished in the Old Testament. The eternal Son of God (Yahweh written as LORD in capital letters, based on Exodus 3:13-15) appeared to Hagar (Genesis16:13), Abraham (17:1, 18:1), Isaac (26:2, 24), Jacob (32:30), Moses (Exodus 3:6) and walked in the fire with Daniel's friends (3:25, see 10:16-19). The reigning sovereign Messiah was viewed as the Son (Psalm 2:7, 10:1) and God can be addressed as Father (Deuteronomy 8:5; 14:1; 32:6, Psalm 89:26; 103:13; Isaiah 63:16; 64:8; Jeremiah 3:4, 19; 31:9). There are also interventions of ruakh elohim (Spirit of God, literally "Spirit God") in creation (Genesis 1:2; Proverbs 8:30), artistic inspiration (Exodus 31:3; 35:30), empowerment of leaders (Judges 3:10, 6:34, 11:29), the source of wisdom (Proverbs 1:20-33; 8:1, 14-21; 9:1-6), and the one who spoke through the prophets (Isaiah 11:2, 44:3, 61:1). The constant interrelationship between the three Persons is illustrated again and again in the New Testament (e.g. Matthew 1:20, 17:5, 28:19, Mark 1:10-11, 9:7; Luke 1:31-35; 4:1-3; John 6:43-46; 8:18-19).
TROAS The ancient city of Troy was captured by Greeks under Agamemnon (c.1200 BC) to rescue Helen, the wife of Menelaus of Sparta. After tough resistance by the Trojans a huge wooden horse with Greek soldiers inside was taken into the city (Homer's Iliad). When the Holy Spirit prevented Paul, Silas, and Timothy from going east into EPHESUS or north into BITHYNIA, they came to the port of Troas (Acts 16:6-8). There Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia asking him to come over and help them. As a result, Timothy was left in Troas to mind the church there, and Paul, Silas, and Luke (see the "we" passages") sailed across the Aegean to PHILIPPI (Acts 16:9-12). There was a second visit during the third missionary journey (2 Corinthians 2:12-13), and a third on the way back when Paul and his team spent a week with the church in Troas. During a communion service Paul preached at length (Acts 20:4-12), Eutychus fell asleep, and fell three floors but was picked up alive by Paul.
TRUE, God's Truth In any one of the thousands of human FORMS of life (doing Base 10 maths, geometry, Newtonian Physics, Quantum mechanics, gardening, Western medicine, Homeopathic medicine, Acupuncture, Reality Therapy) truth is the sum of propositions where we can learn to say "That's true" or "That's False." Art lovers say "that's beautiful" or "that's ugly" with great confidence, but every different school of art assumes that truth is on their side in making such judgments. The French academy said that Van Gogh's paintings were garbage, and he never sold a single picture to the public. In our day people say "We demand justice." But JUSTICE has no meaning except within a form of life in which we can agree that this or that is just or unjust. Try arriving at the truth about justice between the Likud party of Israel and the Palestinian Hamas. We can assume that God can say "That's true" to every correct statement in every one of the thousands of activities that humans engage in. And he can distinguish every human form of life from every other, and get the language games for each word exactly right in their context. But that vast knowledge is not accessible to us. The Bible does assure us that Jesus is the Truth concerning the only way a human "comes to the Father" (John 14:6). We should not add that this is also a statement about how much information infants, the retarded, and the ignorant, need to be resurrected by the Son of God.
TRUMPET In battle trumpets gave the signal to advance or retire (1 Corinthians 14:8). They sounded at a coronation, as they still do in moments of national celebration. What then is the meaning of "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:51-54)? Some imagine this is the trumpet of the last judgment. But there is no evidence that Paul expected to sleep in the grave for the next two thousand years. He looked forward to be clothed with his resurrection body the moment he died. "While we are still in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed . . . we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed. so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life . . . We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord" (1 Corinthians 5:2-6). He foresaw no delay to await a future last judgment. "I am hard pressed between the two; my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better" (Philippians 1:23). That suggests that the moment we die, "in the twinkling of an eye", we immediately receive our resurrection body and we hear the trumpet of welcome into the joy of heaven (see RESURRECTION).
TRUTH When Jesus said he had come "to testify to the truth" Pilate asked the question "what is truth?" (John 18:37-38). There is no truth in the abstract, only systems of mathematical, scientific, historical, political, or religious truth. As John explains in his Epistle, those who claim to know the Messiah without being in an organic relationship to the Son and their brothers and sisters in a Christian community do not belong to his truth (1 John 2:4). Jesus' words "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 12:6) express the fact that his truth is part of a direction of walking and a particular form of life (a term used by Wittgenstein to express the fact that we only understand words by sharing in the language games of a particular form of life). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God's truth (John 16:12), and Jesus said "he will guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13). So we do not have to deny that there are truths in other forms of life, but we know that only the Holy Spirit can guide us into "the way, and the truth, and the life" of the Kingdom of Heaven.
TRUTH, Presentation Paul said that "We refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God's Word; but by open statement of the truth we commend to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God" (2 Corinthians 4:2, see Ephesians 6:14, MESSIAH, Strategy). And the purpose of presenting the truth is to silence the one who is "a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44), also called "that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world" (Revelation 12:9).
TURKEY Tarsus on the coast of south-east Turkey was the home of PAUL. For his three missionary journeys through what is now present-day Turkey see Acts 13:13-14:25, 15:40-16:8, 18:19-21, 19:1-20:1. 20:5-38. His letters to cities in Turkey included those to the Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon.
TYRE, Church Jesus visited the city of Tyre (25 miles, 40 km north of Sidon) apparently on a holiday with his disciples, and he was asked to heal the daughter of a Syrophoenician woman there (Mark 7:24-31) She may have been part of the church which was later begun by refugees from Paul's persecution after the stoning of Stephen. "Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spake the word to no one except Jews" (Acts 11:19-21). Paul spent a week with the church there on the way back from his third journey. The Christians there pleaded with Paul not to go to Jerusalem. But when he left Luke wrote that "all of them, with wives and children, escorted us outside the city. There we knelt down on the beach and prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board, and they returned home" (Acts 21:3-7)