20210825

Nincompoop


Writing on the word nincompoop, Anatoly Liberman (Word Origins 111) says

... At one time, nickumpoop was more offensive than it is now and may have referred to a certain Nickum, a notorious poop. Weekley suggested that Nickum is Nicodemus, mentioned in John III:1-4. Nicodemus, "a man of the Pharisees," came to Jesus by night and confessed his faith in Him. Jesus responded that "[e]xcept a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" Jesus did not answer the question directly but repeated: "Ye must be born again" (the quotations are from the Authorized Version).
The nocturnal interview did not do Nicodemus any good in the eyes of posterity. He gained the reputation of a blockhead unable to understand the simplest things and became a popular figure in medieval mystery plays. Modern French nicodIme means "simple-ton:". Some time later, nickumpoop changed to nincompoop, perhaps under the influence of ninny, a sixteenth-century word for "duffer," supposedly from Innocent, by misdivision, like Ned and nuncle from Ed and uncle.
In Weekley's opinion, ninny and its synonym noddy are traceable to Nicodemus's name; to boost his hypothesis, he cited noddypoop, another word for "fool:' (Nor did Nicodemus fare better in later times. The French family name Nicot goes back directly to Nicodemus. Jean Nicot, French ambassador at Lisbon, introduced tobacco into France in 1560; hence nicotine.)
In deciding whether to accept an etymology, we usually have to weigh probabilities. Someone called Nelme comes from a family that once lived "at an elm:' By contrast, nincompoop cannot be shown, beyond reasonable doubt, to derive from Nicodemus, rather than from, for instance, Nicholas or Old Nick. Weekley's conjecture is good, and that is all we are allowed to say. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology agreed with it, but Skeat did not, and most modern dictionaries say the meaning is uncertain.

20210409

Abandon all carnal thoughts of him


When Christ ascended, he physically removed himself from his people on earth and from this present state of affairs. He can no longer be known on earth in a physical way, only in a spiritual one. Calvin hence tells us to “abandon all carnal thoughts of him”. His physical ascension assures us that it is right to seek our Master where he really is - in heaven - and nowhere else. He does not live in temples made with hands, as some think (see Acts 17). Our relationship with him on earth can only be spiritual - brought about by the Spirit, sustained by faith. Physical contact is no longer possible. He has ascended on high.
From my book What Jesus is doing now, p  45

20210408

The Two Ronnies: Rhyming Slang Sermon

The Two Ronnies Ponting Punting

Praying for regeneration

To argue that someone who is not born again cannot pray for regenerating grace because of the sin in his soul is wrong. If it was true, the same argument could be applied to a born-again person praying for holiness. The prayers even of those who are born again are mixed with sin. If you cannot pray until rebirth because your prayers are sinful then you cannot really pray until you are perfectly holy either. If the presence of sin is a reason for not praying in one case, it is in the other.
Therefore we urge anyone who is not born again to pray for it to happen, not because new birth is obtained by prayer as such but because there is no better way to prepare for it. It is better to pray than do nothing. The prayer of the unregenerate is marred by sin, but not necessarily any more than any other prayers.
From my book What the Bible teaches about being born again, p 152

The regeneration of all things

A new order of things is coming and it is those who have first been born again who will enter that kingdom. ... As our souls have been restored and refreshed already so there will come a time when all things are restored or regenerated. We most often speak of this in terms of glorification although it is as much an entire or completed sanctification (just as regeneration is an initial sanctification), or, in terms of regeneration, the external and universal regeneration that follows internal and personal new birth.
From my book What the Bible teaches about being born again, p 145

Conversion and regeneration

Conversion consists of repentance and faith and it is being born again that makes these two possible. It is not that by repenting and trusting in Christ we are born again but that by being born again we are enabled to repent and trust in Christ. Kuyper says that some old Scottish theologians would speak of the implanting of the faith-faculty (regeneration) followed by faith-exercise and faith-power. Without the faculty, the exercise of faith and its power cannot be known.
From my book What the Bible teaches about being born again, p 134

Regeneration and Assurance

Two dangers confront us in this area - on one hand, wrong headed presumption and on the other, needless despair. It is God’s will that every newborn Christian should know that he has entered God’s Kingdom. Nevertheless, not all have the same level of assurance about this. Better that we enter heaven doubting our new birth than that we go to hell falsely assuming we have been born again.
From my book What the Bible teaches about being born again, p 127

20210313

He can never be content in his sins again

"Benjamin Beddome wrote:
'The principle of grace will always be rising up against sin, and at length will triumph over it.'
The regenerate man has broken with sin and will no longer live in it as he once did. The born-again sinner sins, but he can never be content in his sins again."
From my book What the Bible teaches about being born again, p 121


20201029

10 "Dutch" Phrases


In English several phrases contain the word Dutch. These phrases are not always obvious in meaning.
  1. Dutch treat/go Dutch - an outing, meal, or other special occasion at which each participant pays for their share of the expenses/To pay one's own expenses on a date or outing. (Dutch treat can also be used for a marijuana strain).
  2. In Dutch - In disfavour or trouble
  3. Dutch auction - A type of auction in which the price on an item is lowered until it gets a bid. The first bid made is the winning bid and results in a sale, assuming the price is above the reserve price.
  4. Dutch courage - Strength or confidence gained from drinking alcohol
  5. Dutch uncle - An informal term for a person who issues frank, harsh or severe comments and criticism to educate, encourage or admonish someone (opposite to avuncular)
  6. Dutch barn  - In the UK a barn that has a roof, but no walls. (the term is used differently in the USA and differently again in Canada)
  7. Dutch cap - A woman's lace cap with triangular flaps on each side, worn as part of Dutch traditional dress (but also used for a type of contraceptive)
  8. Double Dutch - Language that is impossible to understand; gibberish (in the USA used for a skipping game that uses two ropes)
  9. Dutch angle - Also known as Dutch tilt, canted angle or oblique angle, this is a type of camera shot which involves setting the camera at an angle on its roll axis so that the shot is composed with vertical lines at an angle to the side of the frame
  10. Dutch barge - a traditional flat-bottomed shoal-draught barge, originally used to carry cargo in the shallow Zuyder Zee and the waterways of Netherlands.
{Also note Dutch braid, Dutch toast, Dutch hoe, Dutch elm disease, Dutch pan or oven (a cast iron casserole) and Dutch disease (the apparent causal relationship between the increase in the economic development of a specific sector and a decline in other sectors.)}
As Jan Akkerman might say Thank you very Dutch.