Monday, July 31, 2006

Corey and Tiffany Carey: K-Life

This is an excellent local ministry...and our ABF's own Corey and Tiffany Carey are the point man and woman for it. I have heard many great things about how this ministry impacts the lives of Junior High thru High School aged kids.

If you have been sitting at home watching television and thought..."Maybe I should get more involved in what God is doing in our community," this ministry is for you. And the impact is huge! You will learn a lot about God, yourself, and learn to love some other kids. The body of Christ is Glorious!

Pray for a worship leader, more leaders to help with the ministry, and just that God will be glorified and exalted in everything they do.

Their theme verse is:
1 Thessalonians 2:8 "So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. [ESV]"

Check out their website here. I'll be adding this link to the "Friends' Links" section to the right of the blog.

Will you become a fellow worker in the truth at this ministry? Open you heart and mind to it!

In Christ

Nate and Lori Johnson: Campus Crusade for Christ

Over the last couple weeks we've had the opportunity to have some great ministries share about what God is doing in their midst. The first was Nate and Lori Johnson.

I have their website linked under "Friends' Links." Click here to check it out. I believe they were at about 90% support when they came if God is leading you in a direction to support through prayer, financial, etc. please be open to it.

Bad Theology Alert [Theory: “Natural Selection gave men souls, not God”]

This article “The Human Factor" from the Guardian caught my eye…

Here are a few snippets with analysis… This is a long one…

"Nicholas Humphrey believes it was 'natural selection' that gave us souls. God, he insists, had nothing to do with it"
[Hmmm… They're off and running.]

"...nearly 40 years later, he has reached a grand theory of how consciousness might have arisen in a Darwinian world, and why it might give us reasons to live."
[I’d like to see the reasons Darwinian evolution gives us a reason to live other than “Eat or be Eaten” this article doesn’t elaborate on this as much as I was hoping.]

"He has been a media don, a campaigner against nuclear weapons and the holder of a chair in parapsychological research who was dedicated to debunking even the possibility of telepathy or survival after death."
[This looks like a possible bias that he held prior to his research. Does that rule out all his research, probably not. Does it expose his motives, yes. So, rigid preconceptions before analyzing data gives you the result you want. Zach Kapfer emailed me this quote of Mark Twain today that relates, "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as much as you please." Looks like Mr. Humphrey’s conception of what fact is [namely Darwinian evolution] determined how he manipulated what he perceived as fact.]

" As an ambitious young man, he set his sights on the biggest biological mystery he could find - human consciousness - so he switched to psychology, and began to work with monkeys under Larry Weiskrantz."
[I find this interesting…He set his sights on the biggest biological mystery he could find…”human consciousness.” So where does he start, but by “working with Monkeys.” Now maybe I’m crazy but that’s a non sequitur. Monkey’s as far as I know do not have “human consciousness.” Once again he’s working from a bias of what he perceives as truth, namely “Darwinian Evolution.”]

"Humphrey was part of the team that first discovered how to record the activity of single nerve cells in a monkey's brain. Two other members later got Nobel prizes for this work, which underlies an enormous amount of subsequent research, since it made it possible to trace the ways in which the visual cortex receives and processes signals from the eyes. It was known in principle what was happening, but now the exact brain cells involved in image processing could be found and monitored."
[Once again…I might be wrong, but this appears to be another non sequitur. How do monkey’s “single nerve cell activity” allowing us to “trace the ways in which the visual cortex receives and processes signals from the eyes” relate to “human consciousness?” Here’s a definition of “consciousness” from wikipedia
Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and one's environment. It is a subject of much research in philosophy of mind, psychology, neurology, and cognitive science.

Wouldn’t “consciouness” entail more than just the visual sense?]

"His next project was even more ambitious: to work on the aesthetic senses of a monkey."
[Once again studying monkey’s instead of humans. This does encompass the other senses that I was questioning on my last quote. But this bring up another question. Monkey's cannot communicate what they are experiencing through their senses, so how do "scientists" explore "consciousness" with a animal that cannot speak and then pigeonhole that humans are exactly the same way? I don't think you can.]

"Again, the question of what made us different arose: what had been the spur, or the reward, for human evolution, for our language and our consciousness."
[Once again he’s making the assumption that “Darwinian Evolution” is correct, when it is not. Maybe “consciousness” was given to men by God?? If we were to write that consciousness was given by God we would be accused of making an assumption on “Creation.” That would be the same accusation I’m making against him. So, who is correct? Well, I believe I am because I’m relying on the authority for all life and godliness, namely the Bible. I'm a fool for Jesus! The "foolishness of God is wiser than men [1 Cor 1:25]," count me as one of the fools then! Besides depraved minds can't even completely understand themselves, let alone experiments by depraved minds trying accomplish depraved agendas and purposes. I find the Bible to be more trustworthy than human ingenuity.]

"Consciousness, in this theory, is a knowledge of what is going on in our own minds, and we have it so that we can better understand what is going on in the minds of those around us, so that we can manipulate them and avoid being manipulated in our turn. This fits human consciousness into a normal biological framework: it offers the possessor of bigger and better brains the kind of advantage that natural selection can see and work on."
[Bigger and better brains have not always allowed men to “manipulate” and avoid being “manipulated.” Some of the most idiotic people who have lived have come out on top in this regard. I’m not making the connection of how control of people has to do with consciousness…namely one’s awareness of self. Also, a "maniputlator" might just end up "manipulating" ones what are we to make of that?? Natural selection? I think not, try "Depravity."]

"He likes to quote Lord Byron: 'The great object of life is sensation - to feel that we exist, even though in pain.'"
[This is true, I believe. Only I would say it like this, “The great object of life is sensation, to feel and know that we exist to glorify God and enjoy Him forever – even though in pain.” I like that:o) I took that mostly from the Westminster Shorter Catechism #1.]

"In the mid-1990s he was able to move back to Cambridge, to a chair devoted to parapsychological research: since the whole burden of his interest in the subject was that he did not believe in it, he wrote Soul Searching, a book arguing that telepathy must be in principle impossible, and that Jesus was a conjuring charlatan like Uri Geller."
[Wow… is this a self contradiction?? Seems so. He was in a chair of “parapsychological research” because he didn’t believe in it. So he is the very definition of what he calls Jesus “a conjuring charlatan.” Here’s how I interpret that phrase… To evoke to mind [conjuring] elaborate, fraudulent, and often voluble claims to skill or knowledge; a quack or fraud [Charlatan].]

"Yet, at the same time, he was developing a new and more complex theory of consciousness, which puts something like the soul at the centre of human existence. In his new theory the clue to the "hard problem" of consciousness - the problem of why and how minds appear from matter - is attacked head-on. The fact that we find it so difficult and so threatening to believe, as he says, "that there is nothing more to human experience than the churning of chemicals and electrons within the brain" seems to him to contain the kernel of the solution to the hard problem. If it is so difficult for us to think that way, then the difficulty might in some sense have been designed by natural selection."
[This phrase is interesting…”If it is so difficult for us to think that way, then the difficulty might in some sense have been designed by natural selection.” How can “natural selection” design anything. Isn’t the very definition of “natural selection” pretty much randomness? So how can a logical disagreement with the thought "that there is nothing more to human experience than the churning of chemicals and electrons within the brain" be natural selection. Seems to contradict once again.]

"The theory is, like every other theory of consciousness, extremely controversial. After 200 years in which science has appeared to dethrone God and deny the possibility of the soul, Humphrey is the first man to claim that science can agree that we have souls - but that it was natural selection, not God, which gave us them."
[Here’s the punchline…wow! “Science has appeared to dethrone God,” and, “it was natural selection, not God, which gave us them [souls],” well that has been science’s attempt, but it’s ending up to prove the existence of God. Because there’s no authority that can prove that naturalistic science is completely true. They’ve tried, but how do you think postmodernism came about? Well, because modernists’ theories aren’t holding up. It is interesting that he’s the first man trying to harmonize the existence of the soul with modernistic science. I like that he’s at least honest in the fact that there’s something more to human existence and consciousness than just scientific rationalism, problem is that he’s trying to discover and experiment with scientific rationalism. I’ve never heard of a mystic modernistic scientist before:o) Maybe he’ll be the first one! Chances are that his definition of what a soul is is different than mine. Very interesting article!]

I am by no means a scientist, and am open for any correction. Those are just my thoughts. Have a great Monday!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Split Over Politics...Not Theology?!~

I was online for a second before worship this morning, and this article caught my eye..."Disowning Conservative Politics Is Costly for Pastor". I that's I read some of the article...

Here are a few snippets...I started to read much closer when I recognized the Names Gregory Boyd, and Brian McLaren...
"'When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,' Mr. Boyd preached. 'When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.'"
[There is some truth to this. The problem is that He isn't helping us understand what we should do about it. He's fighting the worldview of "the church winning the culture war" for winning's sake. He's not posing what our aim should be as Christians in this culture... Maybe I should read the new book that's coming out??]

"Mr. Boyd says he is no liberal. He is opposed to abortion and thinks homosexuality is not God’s ideal. The response from his congregation at Woodland Hills Church here in suburban St. Paul -- packed mostly with politically and theologically conservative, middle-class evangelicals -- was passionate. Some members walked out of a sermon and never returned. By the time the dust had settled, Woodland Hills, which Mr. Boyd founded in 1992, had lost about 1,000 of its 5,000 members."
[The most interesting thing about this to me is that Gregory Boyd is one of the strongest proponents of a heresy [I believe] going on today that I many believe will define the theological debates of our time. Namely the "Openness of God" or "Open Theism." This denies the "Sovereignty of God" and basically says that God can be caught off guard, etc. This was the spark of a huge falling out at Bethel a few years back. The sad thing is that his 5,000 person church lost 1,000 members over politics...not bad theology?? Wow!]

"'There is a lot of discontent brewing,' said Brian D. McLaren, the founding pastor at Cedar Ridge Community Church in Gaithersburg, Md., and a leader in the evangelical movement known as the 'emerging church,' which is at the forefront of challenging the more politicized evangelical establishment."
[I vote "Republican" a lot, but I consider myself to be "Independent." I just tend to be more of a one issue voter see a sermon on this here. Also, I can't help but follow the connection here that the Times makes between Boyd and the "Emergent Church Movement." Here's a post I did a while back that it appears that "Emergent" might be supportive of the "Openness of God." Also, the leader of "Emergent-US" cites a theologian that is part of "Emergent" here that believes that "Open Theism" is within historic Christian Orthodoxy.]

"'More and more people are saying this has gone too far -- the dominance of the evangelical identity by the religious right,' Mr. McLaren said. 'You cannot say the word ‘Jesus’ in 2006 without having an awful lot of baggage going along with it. You can’t say the word ‘Christian,’ and you certainly can’t say the word ‘evangelical’ without it now raising connotations and a certain cringe factor in people.'... 'Because people think, ‘Oh no, what is going to come next is homosexual bashing, or pro-war rhetoric, or complaining about ‘activist judges.’”

"Some pastors in his own denomination, the Baptist General Conference, mounted an effort to evict Mr. Boyd from the denomination and his teaching post, but he won that battle."
[This is debatable.]

"The Rev. Paul Eddy, a theology professor at Bethel College and the teaching pastor at Woodland Hills, said: 'Greg is an anomaly in the megachurch world. He didn’t give a whit about church leadership, never read a book about church growth. His biggest fear is that people will think that all church is is a weekend carnival, with people liking the worship, the music, his speaking, and that’s it.'"
[Maybe he didn't build his ministry off of a book on church leadership, or church growth, but I find it difficult to believe that he's never read a book about it. Maybe though:)]

"Mr. Boyd responded: 'I don’t think there’s a particular angle we have on society that others lack. All good, decent people want good and order and justice. Just don’t slap the label ‘Christian’ on it.'"
[But what if the "decent people who want good and order and justice" are Christians. Aren't Christians to seek justice?? Why can't Christian's desire and do Christian things and call it "Christian?" I can't help but sense some bitterness here towards something he's experienced in the church.]

Interesting article.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Brothers in India I: "Alok"


I. Devotion [morning of 3/1/05]
- 2 Kings 18:5-6 "He trusted in the Lord the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses."

- Joshua 1:6-9 "Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Alok found strength in these passages, especially when he and his wife lived in a place that they weren’t familiar with and that they didn’t know what they were doing [they didn’t have a clear vision for exactly how God was going to work in their situation].

Alok shared what he called the “5 C’s” that uneducated people can become teachers of the gospel.
(1) Character… of Christ
(2) Commitment… to Christ
(3) Conviction… of Christ
(4) Courtesy… of Christ
(5) Courage… in Christ

Alok and his wife waited for 8 months where they were living and didn’t know what to do or where to go in order to start their ministry…they were greatly discouraged, yet they continued to depend on the Lord.

People are strong in their other religious faiths [Hindus, Muslims, etc.] and it is hard to win them to Jesus Christ.

He said that God opened a door to reach people through birthday parties and they began to minister to the kids in their community.

As of March of 2005 they had 30 boys and girls every Sunday gathering. They play games, sing songs, and then tell Bible stories.

Alok constantly said, "Our success comes from the Lord!"

Alok exhorted us to, “Be strong and courageous…be careful to obey and careful to do. Continue to meditate on the Word day and night."

II. Bio and talk [night of 2/28/05 and 3/1/05]

The night of February 28, 2005 [my kind-of birthday] I stayed up late with Alok and we talked about a lot of things. He spoke about his wife… he said that they has been married approximately 2 years [in March of ‘05, so now about 3 and a half] They couldn’t have children at the time. He said that he knows if it is God’s will for them to have kids it will be so. He said she had fibroids in here uterus and had surgery to remove them. They have to wait to try to have kids. Alok said he has joy either way. With or without children! He said he will be praying for me. Also asked me to pray for him.

We stayed up late again on March 1, 20053/1/05 [once again my kind of birthday] We talked about life and ministry. He said they have lived in the town where they live about 2 years [now about 3 and a half years]. They hadn’t seen anyone come to faith in Jesus Christ, but he was ministering to approximately 50 kids who he was invited to play music for at the family’s house for a birthday party. He said they cannot share the name of Christ with the children. If they do the families will not let them be with the kids anymore. They meet with the kids weekly and they play games and sing songs with them. They also read Bible stories to the kids, and just love them and minister to them. Alok's wife also sings to the kids.

When he said something about his wife singing he started to tell me how he met her. He met his wife briefly [when they met], and their relationship grew over time by only speaking to each other. They met in March and married in June. He said her parents were strict [with a smile:)], but they knew God had ordained their relationship.

They have approximately 50,000 people in their village and it is mostly Hindu. He said a lot of Western people come there for the mountains [it is close to the Himalayas]. He has a scooter that he drives. He drives the scooter to the villages ministering to people door to door. He drives in the winter, and during the rainy season [monsoon season]. He said during that time in the year his wife cannot go with him because it is too cold so she stays behind. On the scooter he travels up to 2 hours away during all seasons to share Christ with his people door to door.

He would say, "when you come back you have to come to my village and record some music with me." Alok was a music teacher for 6 years before he went to seminary. He’s from Calcutta, grew up in a Roman Catholic church, went to seminary for a Masters degree at William Carey’s Baptist Church. Said his parents were both believers and so are his 4 brothers and 3 sisters [praise the Lord!]. He is 33 [as of March of ‘05]. Both his parents passed away in their 80’s and his oldest sister’s children are older than him!

He really loves his wife and that was such a beautiful thing to see his eyes light up when he spoke of her. He said he first fell in love with his wife by listening to her singing voice. [Below is a picture from their wedding.]

He really wants me to visit him in his home and I said, “If the Lord wills, maybe someday." [It is a desire of my heart, but only if God I may go back and see him. We discussed how no matter what we will see each other at God's throne in heaven one day! What a glorious fact!]

I played a recording of “Awesome God” for him [Kirk Franklin’s version] and his heart was filled with joy. He was taken back by the music. We had a great time talking about God, and our wives, and cannot wait to praise our Lord in heaven together.

Monday, July 24, 2006

"Growth In Sovereign Grace"

This week our Adult Bible Fellowship [ABF] at Valley E-Free Church in West Des Moines started a new series that we'll be doing for the next several weeks on 2 Peter.

We're taking the name of the series from the following:
"2 Peter 3:18: But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. [ESV]"

Join us as we dive into God's holy, inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative soul-filling Word. Pray that we would handle it carefully, and that we as a group might be able to be changed by the power that is in it.

I'll be posting throughout the series some things that pop out...notes from our lessons, and any other things that God in His providence pops into my view:)

Have a great week everyone! More to come [not too much though, I have some large assignments to read:)]

Brothers in India

Over the coming weeks I'll be posting some pictures and bios of some brothers in Christ that I met in India about a year and a half ago. I'm mainly doing this for prayer support for them...if you guys could join me in praying for God to bless their lives and ministries that that would be great.

All of these guys are church planting pastors...many of which are the only Christian family [their wife and kids] in their communities of approximately few million people. Unfortunately the email addresses that they gave me don't all work, so I'm currently only in contact with one of them.

In Christ

Friday, July 21, 2006

Good News... and Upcoming Event!

Good News
(1) A few weeks ago I received an acceptance letter from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Praise the Lord! Thanks for praying [if you have been], and thanks for the encouragement. You might be surprised at some of the reactions I have seen to my applying to SBTS, and the encouragement has been nourishing to Lindsey and my souls. God has brought us to this conclusion [if He works this out to the point that we get there] so we are confident of the plans He has for us.

(2) I received information about the Weekender at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, and Lord willing I'll be out there doing this from September 14-18 this Fall. I won't find out if I'm accepted to the Church Apprenticeship Program there until September. Please pray that if it would please God that He would work this out. If I get the apprenticeship or if I don't, we'll have clear confirmation of the Lord's will either way..."Yes" or "No":) And we trust whatever He answers is what is best for us and most clearly shows His glory.

Upcoming Event
(1) Desiring God Conference: Above All Earthly Powers...The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World. It looks like it's going to be an excellent one. Lord willing we'll be there. We have made reservations and registered...woo hoo! I have been Pod-Casting a bunch of the videos, and it looks like this is going to be a good one for perspective on sharing Christ in a world that believes there's no absolute truth...this reminds me of a chorus from the Voice: Progression cd :
"And the truth of God's word is absolute true, Even though some say there's no Absolute

Ironically they think they're absolutely true, now I'm an idiot, but is that a catch 22

Well whatever it is, don't let it catch some of you. If the Bible's not authority then what will we do?

If what we feel is more real and we go on our tendencies, then look around at what our tendencies tend to be"

This should be a good conference!


I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on this resolution lately by Jonathan Edwards.
"8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30"

I'm terrible at this, but it has been a good exercise.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


The house behind us is the Berwood Hill Inn. It's about four miles out of Lanesboro, MN. It's at the end of a long gravel road. It was great. No television, beautiful gardens, etc. The landscape is beautiful too...the sunrise and sunsets are something else.

This one's a little farther can see the hydrangeas. This place has even been in Better Homes and Gardens for the gardens. It was excellent to read in the morning! Also, the breakfast was excellent. How often do you have the opportunity to eat breakfast with 6 complete strangers?? Cool!

The bike trail is on the Root River. We rode 27 miles on it. And we were dog tired at the end, but it was fun. This place would have excellent views in the Fall!

There were beautiful views all along the trail...we even saw about 6 deer:)

Speaking of beauty!

Psalm 65:11-13: "You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy."

Mission to Israel: Part III

Rob Young, Chad & Ashely Tierney all arrived home safe to God's glory from Israel this afternoon. If you catch them ask them about the Locust shed's some major light on the way God used locusts and locust imagery in the Bible [Exodus 10; Judges 6:5; 7:12; Psalm 105:34; Proverbs 30:27; Isaiah 33:4; Jeremiah 46:23; 51:14; 51:27; Joel 1:2; Amos 7:1; Nahum 3:17; Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6; Revelation 9]. Evidently the Middle-Eastern locusts aren't as piddly as the ones we have here!

Desert Locust Schistocerca gregaria

Rob called me about an hour and a half ago. Just wanted to give you an update if you had been praying for this mission trip! God is Good!

In Christ

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Armor of God

We picked up this cool picture last weekend. Lindsey and I went to Lanesboro, Minnesota. We rode 27 miles on our bikes through the river valley of the Root River. It's a beautiful bike trail that is much longer than we actually rode. We stopped at a pie shop for home made pie, and there were a few antique shops that we went to. We also stayed at a bed and breakfast called the Berwood Hill Inn. It was awesome. Anyhow, I wanted everyone to see this picture:) Lindsey hung it in a place where we'd see it all the time to remind us to put on the armor of God!

Here's the entire passage:
Ephesians 6:10-20

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. [ESV]" (My emphasis)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Reformed Rap

Linds and I picked up one of the best cd’s I’ve heard in a long time (off the recommendation of Justin Taylor)! This is a rap album…and if you don’t like rap you should start because this album has a strong message, namely Sovereign Grace from God through atonement of Jesus Christ to people who are helpless.

Click here for purchase information, also click here to see Voice's website.

Here’s the refrain from track 6 “All Rap Is
"All rap is, is the lust of the flesh that is easily seen in drugs and sex, and

All rap is, is the lust of the eyes, almost any video can help you realize,

All rap is, is the boasting of what he has and does to how he lives in MTV cribs

I ain’t hatin’ but to me raps the glorification of what led Christ to propitiation."

Check out this interview Voice did with Justin Taylor.

I really like this disc. Just remember if you don't like probably won't like this disc. But if you love truth I have no doubt the Words will minister to you!

[UPDATE: Lindsey caught this. I wrote the words to the chorus incorrectly. Lol... so I updated them:)]

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Am I a Pacifist?! (C.S. Lewis on Pacifism)

To be perfectly honest I don't know where I stand on this issue. Seeing the violence in this world it's hard not to desire pacifism everywhere, but I just don't know if it's if the context we find ourselves in is not pacifist, are we forced to conform to our innate sinfulness of evil?? I'm not war the better of two evils?

I just read C.S. Lewis' essay "Why I'm Not a Pacifist" and I have to admit I do lean Lewis' way a bit. Here are a few quotes...
"[Abolishing war by Pacifism] consists in assuming that the great permanent miseries in human life must be curable if only we can find the right cure; and it then proceeds by elimination and concludes that whatever is left, however unlikely to prove a cure, must nevertheless do so. Hence the fanaticism of Marxists, Freudians, Eugenists, Spiritualists, Doublasites, Federal Unionists, Vegetarians, and all the rest. (pp. 44)" [Vegetarians?? lol...]

"If I am a Pacifist, I have Arthur and Aelfred, Elizabeth and Cromwell, Walpole and Burke, against me. I have my university, my school, and my parents against me. I have the literature of my country against me, and cannot even open my Beowulf, my Shakespeare, my Johnson, or my Wordsworth without being reproved (pp.45)...To be a Pacifist, I must part company with Homer and Virgil, with Plato and Aristotle, with Zarathustra and the Bhagavad-Gita, with Cicero and Montaigne, with Iceland and with Egypt. From this point of view, I am almost tempted to reply to the Pacifist as Johnson replied to Goldsmith, 'Nay Sir, if you will not take the universal opinion of mankind, I have no more to say.' (pp.46)"

"[Pacifism] It may spring from the belief that human history is a simple, unilinear movement from worse to better - what is called a belief in Progress - so that any given generation is always in all respects wiser than all previous generations. To those who believe thus, our ancestors are superseded and there seems nothing improbable in the claim that the whole world was wrong until the day before yesterday and now has suddenly become right. With such people I confess I cannot argue, for I do not share their basic assumption. (pp. 46)"

Discussing our Lord's words "turn the other cheek [Matthew 5:39]"
"[There are] three ways of of taking the command...One is the Pacifist interpretation; it means what it says and imposes a duty of nonresistance on all men in all circumstances...

Two...the minimising interpretation; it does not mean what it says but is merely an orientially hyperbolical way of saying that you should put up with a lot and be placable. Both you and I agree in rejecting this view [This view would deny the authority of Scripture!]...

Three the text means exactly what it says, but with an understood reservation in favour of those obviously exceptional cases which every hearer would naturally assume to be exceptions without being told...that is, insofar as the only relevant factors in the case are an injury to me and my neighbour and a desire on my part to retaliate, then I hold that Christianity commands no absolute mortification of that desire (pp. 49).
...if a homicidal maniac, attempting to murder a third party, tried to knock me out of the way, I must stand aside and let him get his victim?

...the best way of bringing up a child was to let it hit its parents whenever it was in a temper, or, when it had grabbed at the jam, to give it the honey also.

...I think the meaning of the words was perfectly clear - 'insofar as you are simply an angry man who has been hurt, mortify your anger and do not hit back.'

Indeed, as the audience were private people in a disarmed nation, it seems unlikely that they would have ever supposed Our Lord to be referring to war. War was not what they would have been thinking of. The frictions of daily life among villagers were more likely to be in their minds. (pp. 50)"

"St. Paul approves of the magistrates use of the sword (Romans 13:4) and so does St. Peter (1 Peter 2:14). (pp. 50-51)"

"For let us make no mistake. All that we fear from all the kinds of adversity, severally, is collected together in the life of a soldier on active service. Like sickness, it threatens pain and death. Like poverty, it threatens ill lodging, cold, heat, thirst, and hunger. Like slavery, it threatens toil, humiliation, injustice, and arbitrary rule. Like exile, it separates you from all you love. LIke the gallies, it imprisons you at close quarters with uncongenial companions. It threatens every temporal evil - every evil except dishonour and final perdition, and those who bear it like it no better than you would like it. (pp. 52)"

[Lewis, C.S. [Edited and introduction by Walter Hooper] The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses Revised and Expanded Edition. Collier Books: Macmillan Publishing Company; New York. 1980.]--> FYI...The hyperlink is a much newer version of this book.

Any thoughts...I'm still trying to work this out.

In Christ

[Update: Okay after a nights rest I think I'm a pacifistic non-pacifist... Also, this position, I believe, in no way affects my teaching a young boy that hitting a bully back is not something that could be done in obedience to Christ. He must turn the other cheek.]

Jerome: Letter 108

I'm currently finishing a reading assignment in early Latin Theology... This quote turned my stomach a little. I think that not everything that was viewed as holy in those days is also veiwed as holy now. I doubt I would lick the place where Jesus was laid in the tomb out of worship to Him!
“Before the Cross she threw herself down in adoration as though she beheld the Lord hanging upon it; and when she entered the tomb which was the scene of the Resurrection, she kissed the stone which the angel had rolled away from the door of the sepulcher. Indeed so ardent was her faith that she even licked with her mouth the very spot on which the Lord’s body had lain, like one athirst for the river which he had longed for.”

[Early Latin Theology Selections from Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose and Jerome. Pp. 353, Letter 108. Translated and edited by S. L. Greenslade. The Library of Christian Classics Ichthus Edition. Louisville: The Westminster John Knox Press, 1956.]

I might feel the spot or something else [lay down on the spot, lay my head on the spot]...but like with my mouth. What do you guys think??? Would you kiss the spot where Christ laid...lick the spot...just look at the spot...feel the spot??

Mission to Israel: Part II

Here’s another update from Rob Young and his team in Israel.
Hey guys,

We just got back from a place called ------------, where they have excavated a farming area dating back to the 1st century. [Their main contact] G’s daughter was our tour guide. It was a pretty neat place. One thing she did was read several parables, and the village helped to show the context of the parables (e.g. the types of land in the parable of the sower, etc).

We ate out for dinner last night, and I have never in my life been to any place like this before. We went out late, maybe 8:30pm, and the restaurant was empty at first when we got there. Turns out it also doubles as a Houka bar (where people go to smoke tobacco out of water bongs). But it was in a narrow street, typical in the area with another door that opened into a 1700's building built by the Turks, with
stone arches. It was interesting. It had an old empty well inside which a few of us climbed into, and it was full of fraternity-like couches to sit on (they were filthy just like fraternity couches too). Pictures will really be the only way to describe this place. We had about 3-4 kinds of bread and 6-7 types of dipping sauces, and we got to have some duck and lots of the best olives I have ever had (my mouth felt like I had swallowed a salt shaker when we left).

Anyways, we did some more outreach in another small village just outside ----------- this morning, and I got to go with G [their main contact] for the first time, which was good, because no one that the two of us ran into spoke good English. This has been more of a problem in the villages outside ----------. (Why can't everyone here just learn English!?!?)

There will be a Bible study tonight which we have invited many people to, and Saturday will be the main outreach event at which point several of us will be giving testimonies and presenting the gospel.

Up till then we still have several more times of witnessing and planting some seeds. Saturday morning we will also be doing follow-up with our main contacts. Thank you all so much for your prayers. We can definitely tell that people are praying for us, and there is a deep, deep need for truth here.

Looking forward to seeing you!


[I have edited out names, locations, and a few other details]

Please continue to pray for Rob and their team…also their wives/husbands/families back home!

In Christ

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mission to Israel

We have some brothers and sisters in Christ that are in Israel right now. I just received an email from Rob's some of what he had to say...
This last Sunday I shared (after Rod and George had) from 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

God has continually put me in situations this week that have made me so thankful for these verses, and so in awe of God for my salvation. If you have a chance this week, take a day to meditate on these verses.

Also, look at Ephesians 2:8, Matthew 11:25-26, and especially 2 Corinthians 4:4 and 4:6. Read v.6 right after v.4 and you will see what I mean.

Israelis (Muslims and "Christians" here) have a very, very, very postmodern mindset. "All 3 religions are the same [of course they are not]" and "You're way works for you" are the orders of the day.

If I didn't think you would get bored I would paste all of 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 because it responds to us as believers so well, but instead I will just take a few verses.
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.' Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe... we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles, but to those who believe... Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

Wow! Praise the Lord for our salvation! Praise the Lord for removing the blinders from our eyes so that we can see his face! I was talking with Rod about this earlier tonight (poor Rod, I have talked to him a lot about this :) and he said, "It makes you wonder why he chose us."

Answer? God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise! it is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

Thank the Lord that I am not responsible for the salvation of these people, because my Arabic is terrible and my responses are not always perfect. But maybe some of them will one day boast in the Lord as their wisdom, their righteousness, their holiness, and their redemption. Good night guys, I love you!

Please pray for Rob, the team...that the glory of God would be seen by the folks they are ministering to. Also pray for the political tensions between Israel and Palestine and that they would accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They are there for Christ...not Israel and not Palestine!

Rob, that's a good Word!

In Christ

Monday, July 10, 2006

Television Show "24"

This show is downright intense. Lindsey and I borrowed the first season from the Dyvigs and 16 hours later we don't quite know what to think. It was good, but since we're at a good stopping point I don't really care to watch 32 more hours to get caught up with the most current season. If you watch it from week to week I'm sure it's fun though. It's just way too addictive for such large amounts of time.

The show is very well's really fairly believable and the special effects and acting are pretty good. The pictures below are the only scene that had a flaw [That I saw]...I'll add commentary to help:) BTW...I'm making up the commentary:)

Jack: "I know those dirty rotten terrorists are around here somewhere. There were a total of seven and I've killed five so I know it's just us three...where could those other two be!?"

Jack: "Wait, what's that??...I sense something!"

Jack: "Nothing 3 o'clock to my right..."

Jack: "Nothing 1 o'clock to my right..."

Set Crew Guy with a clear face shield and blue top on his head [Whispering]: "Jack the two terrorists are on the next dock. Look to 12 o'clock in front of you"

Jack: "AHHHH!!!!! [Thinking 2 things at the same time (1) Where did that guy come from? (2) The terrorists are at 12 o'clock!]"

Jack: "Take That!!!!!"

Two Terrorists: "Dang it...the set crew gave us away again!"

Jack: "Whew...wait a minute...where'd that guy go?? He must have been an angel...I'll just keep shooting!"

Sorry if I gave anything away:) I just thought it was funny that the set crew guy was in the scene! Maybe he was supposed to be an angel?? You never know...the writers of this show are pretty unpredictable. They certainly boast that:)


Thursday, July 06, 2006

To the Sky...What is my God?

"But what is my God? I put my question to earth. It answered, 'I am not God,' and all things on earth declared the same. I asked the sea and the chasms of the deep and the living things that creep in them, but they answered, 'We are not your God. Seek what is above us.' I spoke to the winds that blow, and the whole air and all that lives in it replied, 'Anaximenes [philosopher who taught that air is the first cause of all things] is wrong. I am not God.' I asked the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars, but they told me, 'Neither are we the God whom you seek.' I spoke to all the things that are about me, all that can be admitted by the door of the senses, and I said, 'Since you are not my God, tell me about him. Tell me something of my God.' Clear and loud they answered, 'God is who made us.' I asked these questions simply by gazing at these things, and their beauty was all the answer they gave."

I love the beauty of the Iowa sky. Let my awe be a response of praise to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit! He made it all.

Psalm 19:1 "To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. [ESV]"

Genesis 9:13-15 "I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. [ESV]"

Revelation 4:3 "And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. [ESV]"

Nahum 1:3 "The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. [ESV]"

Job 37:10-13 "By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning. They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. [ESV]"

Isaiah 44:2 "I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. [ESV]"

Matthew 17:5 "He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.' [ESV]"

Acts 1:9 "And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. [ESV]"

Psalm 107:25 "For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. [ESV]"

Psalm 50:3 "Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest. [ESV]"

Matthew 16:3 "And in the morning, 'It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. [ESV]"

Revelation 14:16 "So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped. [ESV]"

Psalm 85:11 "Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky. [ESV]"

Daniel 12:3 "And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. [ESV]"

Matthew 24:30 "Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. [ESV]"

Matthew 26:64 "Jesus said to him, 'You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.' [ESV]"

Mark 14:62 "And Jesus said, 'I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.' [ESV]"

1 Thessalonians 4:17 "Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. [ESV]"

Revelation 1:7 "Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. [ESV]"

God bless you all today!

In Christ

Pilgrim's Progress

Right now Lindsey is reading Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. She’s loving it! Last night she had me read the middle paragraph in the picture below…

Wow! Can you imagine writing this about the Papacy during the time of the Reformation. No wonder Bunyan went to prison! Hopefully this will encourage us to be a little more bold in our truth telling witness at work, home, and in the Church!

May it never be said of us that, "it is by our tyranny that men have been put to death, and because of our age, though we are alive, we have grown so crazy, and stiff in our joints, that we can now do little more than to sit in our Cave’s mouth, grinning at Pilgrims as they go by, and biting our nails, because we cannot come to them."

Let us not enter the path of disunity and harm toward the church’s gospel witness, and grow to complete ineffectiveness at all for the gospel. Let us use our effective efforts for healthy gospel witness.

[I know the ineffectiveness in the paragraph is referencing Pagan and Pope's harm toward Christian Pilgrims...but still...may any of this never be said of us! First, let it never be said that our effectiveness was such that it stumbled believers. And second, let it never be said of us that we grew old in our poor use of our strength. Let us use our power for an effectiveness that displays God's glory. That way when we lose our strength to age we can look back on the good rather than the evil.]

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Relevance (C.J. Mahaney Chimes in)

C.J. Mahaney at Together for the Gospel chimes in on relevance in culture! Check it out!

Here are a few points…from a quote he used of Ray Ortlund, Jr. (Trinity Journal 18, NS, no. 2, Spring 1997).
“First, a biblical preacher critiques his methods, his forms of contextualization, his adaptations to culture, his style, not primarily by the standard of culture but by the superior standard of the gospel itself.... The message of the Cross must discipline and control us—indeed, limit us—even though that puts us at a disadvantage in winning an audience."

"For him [Paul] theology reigned supreme in every aspect of his ministry. Theology for him, energized him, cheered him, emboldened him. It was his ministerial fountain of youth. One wonders how far we may drift from Pauline ministry and still retain a plausible claim to biblical authenticity in our work.

Here are few quotes from Mahaney…
We must do more than nod our heads as we read, we must make application to our pastoral ministry in very specific ways.”

“Are there more books on your desk from the business section of Barnes and Noble than there are the great works of Calvin, Edwards, Owen and Spurgeon? Let us not be numbered among those for whom "theology...sits lightly on their practice of ministry" or pastors who are "exacting in their methodology, but vague in their theology."

“…by following the example of Paul, let "theology reign supreme" with the message of "Jesus Christ and him crucified." May this be the "the controlling center" of our preaching content, the structures and practices of our church and our evangelistic strategy. Then, and only then, will the church be truly relevant to our culture.”


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Friends Bloggin'

This is long overdue, but I have three very close friends who are also present on the blogosphere...some of you may know them, but here are their blogs.
Michael Miesen
Zach Kapfer
Josh Dyvig

Also, if you look at the far right column of my blog you'll see some helpful breakdowns of some resources that I check out all the time on the net. Churches locally, nationally, ministries, book publishers, friend's blogs, folks at my church's blogs, etc.

Check 'em out:)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Superman Returns...(Warning this post is a possible Spoiler)

[FYI Warning!!! If you read this post and haven't seen the movie it may spoil some things.]

Lindsey and I saw this movie last weekend. I thought it was alright. I had a few problems with it though.
(1) That the whole relationship thing w/ Cyclops from X-men and Lois. You know I don't know that actor's name, but he is definitely falling into a type cast situation with his acting roles. He is always a good guy who never gets the girl...e.g. X-men movies, Spidey 2, The Notebook, and now Superman Returns. Sheesh!

(2) If Superman is such a great guy how are we supposed to explain his sleeping with Lois before marriage (and no intent for marriage), and depending on your morals how about his leaving her after the one night stand or whatever? With this plot line Superman is getting himself in deep doo doo if you ask me.

If Narnia is an allegory of the Biblical Jesus Christ (with a few discrepancies), then Superman Returns is an allegory of the Da Vinci Code (with a few discrepancies).

There were strong allusions to Jesus Christ, but then there was the whole lineage deal, “As the Father becomes the Son, so the Son becomes the Father.” Really if you know anything about Mormon theology it sounds reminiscent of their view on becoming a God ["as man is, God once was; as God is, man may be"] and having your own planet and you and your wife procreating spirit children to inhabit that planet (sounds weird, but it’s truely a theological doctrine of Mormonism!).

I wish they would have started the Superman series over again like they did with Batman Begins. I would say good try, great effects, nice attempt at a contemporary life situation, but they completely missed the mark in terms of the intent of the original idea of Superman's moralistic ideals, and being a gentleman. I always viewed Superman to have a professional relationship with Lois...not this big romantic thing (although in the last 2 decades the romance thing has been written in because the kids that were reading the original as kids grew up and were more interested in that sort of thing). Comics are for action suspense etc. Soap operas are for romance (my dad says that soap operas rot the brain…I have to say I agree…that’s another conversation).

Overall good try, but not as good as I was expecting. Brandon Routh did a good job of acting though, so did Spacey with the Lex Luther character. It was very entertaining though! There are a few scenes that simply ROCK!

Just my 2 cents