5/12/13 What are Apostles?
5/19/13 Is there an "office" of Apostle?
5/26/13 Are there any Apostles in the church today?
6/2/13 Is there new revelation in the church today?
Panel: Jonathan Switzer, Senior Pastor at Crossroads Valley Chapel; Dr. Brian Lee, Senior Pastor at Christ Reformed Church in DC.
6/9/13 What is Quakerism?
6/16/13 What is the ground for belief and behavior?
6/23/13 What is the path to peace?
6/30/13 What is meant by "all people are created equal"?
Panel: Jonathan Switzer, Senior Pastor at Crossroads Valley Chapel; Annette Breiling, Founder of Friends Meeting School in Ijamesville and Trustee of Sandy Spring Friends School.
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The Frederick Faith Debate is an open and honest forum for our local faith community leaders to share and discuss their views of the truth.
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Crossroads Valley Chapel
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[Public Domain: Free for download]
A Harmony of the Four Gospels in English By Edward Robinson http://tinyurl.com/34fvwc (available as text or pictures)
The NIV Harmony of the Gospels
By Stanley N. Gundry, Robert L. Thomas
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed: "You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. You who are Israelites, hear these words. Jesus the Nazorean was a Man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know. This Man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify Him. But God raised Him up, releasing Him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for Him to be held by it. For David says of Him: 'I saw the Lord ever before me, with Him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted; my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, because You will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will You suffer Your holy one to see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.' My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day. But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that He would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the Resurrection of the Christ, that neither was He abandoned to the netherworld nor did His Flesh see corruption. God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right Hand of God, He received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured Him forth, as you see and hear."
Saint Peter in this Reading is exercising his office as the Supreme Pontiff. The Gospel verse, "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16) comes to mind here. It's tempting to think that the tone of Peter's voice is quite stern. Here's something to consider, however: The apostle Peter we've grown accustomed to from the Gospels is quite different from the Holy Father Peter heard in this Reading. Peter speaks here with authoritative confidence -- the same confidence which always flowed from our Lord Jesus Christ. Obviously Peter has been given the graces needed to carry out his appointment as the Vicar of Christ, and so by now, after being an apostle of Jesus, learning His teachings, seeing His miracles and having witnessed His Resurrection, there is evidence that Peter has spiritually matured to a lofty degree. Thus it might be a mistake to assume that when Peter "raised his voice" it means that he was harsh. Most likely he "raised his voice" only to be heard. An elevated level of Christian spiritual maturity usually means that one conducts themselves with the compassion and mercy of Christ – although it cannot be ignored that some saints were known to have a short fuse. Most likely Peter's tone is one of heartfelt tenderness even with his use of the blunt words, "you killed" since Peter himself is quite aware of his own thrice denial of Jesus. The more that one is exposed to the Light of Christ, the higher awareness one has of their own sinfulness. The saints were most grateful for that, which is why all of them were very faithful to the Sacrament of our Lord's mercy. Thus Peter knows he has traveled a long, difficult road to reach the point of what intimates to be an exalted spirituality. An important theme in Peter's speech is a bit subdued and could be missed if reflection doesn't accompany the perusing of Peter's address. That theme is -- what has happened to Jesus, from brutality to glory, was a divine plan. Peter says that with the words "set plan and foreknowledge of God" but they are somewhat overshadowed by the words "you killed, using lawless men." But now Peter and the other apostles stand before us as witnesses to Christ's Resurrection. Concerning the Resurrection of our Lord, Peter first points out that David had prophesied it and quotes the king's words from Psalm (15) 16. After quoting David, Peter then proclaims that he and the others are eyewitnesses to the fulfillment of King David's prophecy. Another subtle hint that Peter's speech is one of commiserative fellowship rather than angry judge is his use of the affectionate term, "My brothers." At the Vatican web site you'll find that most public addresses made by popes began with the words: "Dear Brothers and Sisters." There's something both ordinary and extraordinary about these words. First, they are an acknowledgment from these men of God that we are all brothers and sisters in the Lord. But also, when these words come specifically from the Vicar of Christ, we also hear Jesus speaking through them and thus it is the Lord Himself saying to us: "You are My brothers and sisters." Peter proclaimed that it was impossible for Christ to be held by death and that is prophesied here by David; but another side to David's prophecy is to understand that Israel's king is also referring to himself and all humanity. Because of Christ, death no longer can hold us as we are called from death to the paths of life, to be filled with joy in our Lord's presence forever.