Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some of My Favorite Guitarists: Bill Frisell

Bill Frisell... Rambler. I actually bought the lp of this when I was in college. Check it out. Frisell is a master!


I had a great holiday…first off God has been very good in my life and I don't show my thankfulness to God nearly enough.

Second…my folks rented an RV…My parents [John, and Dianne], My aunt [Jan], My sister and brother-in-law and niece [Erica, Neil, and Norah], Lindsey and I all jumped in to go to Greeley, Colorado.

Well, we arrived in Greeley and it was great. Two sets of my cousins [1st set: Vicki, Craig, Joselyn, and Elle. 2nd set: Mike, Kenna, Michaela, Chloe, and Annika] were there. Also, my cousin Kenna’s mother and sister were there [Betty, and Cheryl]. I’m probably butchering these names. Count them though. That’s 19 people! Sheesh!

We had a great time. Here's the Travel Log:
Wednesday 11/22/2006
[1] Driving all night [we left at 9:00pm]. Some good conversation. I told dad that I read in books and hear from pastors that sheep are really dumb. Not ever having worked with sheep, I was curious what he thought [he has worked with sheep]. So it was good to hear some stories about sheep from dad. Just some trivia, he said the goats actually have some personality and aren’t dumb like sheep. Also, making jokes about the arch in Kearney, NE…and many other things [especially Napoleon Dynamite jokes]. No offense on the Arch get board in an 11 hr RV ride.

Thursday 11/23/2006
Early Afternoon
[2] Eating an excellent Thanksgiving meal [It was great to pray together]. And being amazed at how fast my cousins are growing up. They are all beautiful and smart young ladies.

Late Afternoon
[3] Talking with Erica and Vicki about effective small groups and how to minister to each other.

Early Evening
[4] Talking with Erica, Craig, Mom, and others about angels. This was interesting because Craig had a great relative that saw an angel then died in a farm accident a few days later. We talked about how if you see an angel it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to die, so relax:o)

Late Evening
[5] Staying up until 12:30 at night with Craig, Mike, Mom, and others talking about the difference between what Roman Catholics believe and what Reformed Protestants believe [justification by faith alone vs. cooperative grace, open vs. closed communion and the supernatural activities that some believe are contained in the sacrament, doctrine of the infallibility of the pope, etc.]. After this it was fun because Craig and I stayed up and talked about Eschatology [end times], and what we’ve been learning in our devotionals. Also, we had an interesting talk about the possibility of animals speaking before the fall [BTW, I don’t think they did...other than by supernatural circumstances in which Satan was in the form of a snake and the Lord opening the mouth of Balaam’s donkey in Nu 30ish. That’s just speculation though, I shouldn’t speak where the Bible is silent.]. This was a good time of fellowship and thought provoking conversation.

Friday 11/24/2006
[6] I woke up after a full/good night’s rest it was fun to get up and play with my neice Norah. I think about 6 people slept in the RV, which I think would have stunk because the battery for the RV wasn’t charged…that means NO HEAT! It was freezing out there. I’m glad the girls didn’t get sick.
[7] After a good "leftover food" lunch we went to Estes Park. It was awesome. Driving through Big Thompson Valley. It brought back a lot of memories because we used to go out there every summer growing up. It's just as beautiful as ever. Long's Peak was quite the site as well. We also droke into Rocky Mountain National Park and saw a bunch of elk [the other car saw a moose] and we went past Moraine Park [where we used to camp] and up to Bear Lake [where most of the hiking trails we used take, start].
[8] Later that night we went to the Christmas Parade in Estes Park. It was pretty cool. And I must admit I participated in a lot of "parade banter". We caused quite a scene. It was good fun.
[9] In the car ride home a bunch of folks slept and Mike, Lindsey and I talked about church...pastors...schisms [church splits] and such. We talked about how he felt some of the treatment of some of the ministers in his former church [Methodist] was unfair...but he didn't know how he could have prevented it. We also talked about how he feels reluctant to join a new church [Presbyterian after moving to CO] after experiencing the politics and pain in the old one. It was a lot of food for thought.
[10] We got back to Greeley around 9:00 and I ate some chips and cheese dip and fell asleep watching Napoleon Dynamite.

Saturday 11/24/2006
[11] We packed up and shipped out for the trip home. Sang some songs. Listened to Erica sing the "cappucino song"... and Lindsey and Erica sing some Christmas songs. Also, I was coerced to sing the IZ arrangement of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" with Mike by Craig.
[12] Arrived home around 12:30pm!

I will always remember this trip. It was great. Next time I'll have to take my guitar:)

I'll post a few pictures later.

Recent Books

Well I've read a bunch of books in the last couple months...I'm not going review each of them, but I'll drop a comment for each one.
Evangelicalism Divided [Banner of Truth] Iaian Murray: This book opened my eyes to the context of Christianity we find ourselves in today.

Christianity and Liberalism [Eerdmans] J. Gresham Machen: Amazing book!

Humility [Multnomah] C. J. Mahaney: Very practical book.

Richard Sibbes [Mercer University Press] Mark Dever: Pretty Academic. It was edifying to see how Sibbes approached different theological topics. All that I have to say is that Dever is so accurate on correcting other author's misrepresentations of Sibbes that it's almost painful!

Knowing God [IVP] J. I. Packer: Excellent book!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Out of Town/Light-bloggin'

Well in honor of Thanksgiving I'll be with family for the next 5 days...

So if you read my blog, thank you! Please don't stop coming because I'll get back to a more steady flow on Monday 11/27/2006.

Give thanks to the Lord as much as you can this week [and every week]!
In Christ

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Schumann "Musical Rules at Home and in Life"

Well, today I went to Half Price Books. I came home with some good gems.
(1) Recording of Bach: St. Matthew Passion
(2) Sarah Groves Songbook [For Linds]
(3) Album Fur Die Jugend Kinderszenen, Robert Schumann [For Piano]

I'm not an excellent pianist, but I have been practicing more and more and I was really excited to get this. Anyhow, there is a section at the back of the book called "Musical Rules at Home and in Life". I thought I'd list a few for your reading pleasure:)
"Do not be frightened by words like Theory, Thoroughbass, Counterpoint etc. They can be your friends if you approach them in a friendly manner. [Mrs. Schneider...are you reading this:)]"

"Never play an instrument which needs tuning. [Guilty:)]"

"Make efforts, even if your voice is not a good one, to sing at sight without the help of the instrument; in this way the sharpness of your hearing will continually improve. If you have a beautiful voice, waste no opportunity to have it trained, and treat it as the finest gift Heaven can bestow on you! [Ummm... I think salvation is the finest gift, but I get what he means.]"

"Children are not made into healthy people by eating sweets, cakes and icing. Spiritual food, like food for the body, must be plain and wholesome. The latter has been amply provided by the Great Masters; keep to it. [I think music was definitely an idol for this man. He's right about the spiritul food, but wrong that "music" is the spiritual food!]"

"A lot can be learned from singers, but do not believe everything they tell you. [The same goes for pianists and composers, no?]"

"There are many people in the world. Be modest, there is nothing you can invent or think of that has not already been invented or thought of by somebody else. If you do think of something original, regard it as a gift from above to be shared with others. [Amen.]"

"Learn early on to read the old clefs. Otherwise many treasures of the past will be withheld from you. [This is why I hope my kids someday can learn Greek and Latin and maybe a few other languages:)]"

"If Heaven has given you a vivid imagination, then you will often spend solitary hours sitting at the piano as if in a trance seeking the harmonies to express your innermost feelings. The more mysteriously you feel yourself drawn as it were into a magic circle, the more elusive seems the world of harmony. These are the happiest hours of youth. But beware of over-indulging a talent that may lead you to waste time and energy on phantoms of the imagination. The mastery of form, the ability to clearly formulate thoughts, can be acquired only through the fixed symbols of notation. Therefore write more, and dream less."

"The moral laws are also those of Art. [If only "artists" followed this advice!]"

"From a pound of iron worth a few pennies can be made many thousand watch-springs, which are worth hundreds of thousands. Put to good use the pound that God has given you."

"Only if the form is first clear to you will the spirit then reveal itself. [I'm thinking the spirit is the aesthetic nature of a piece...not like a soul or the Holy Spirit.]"

[Schumann, Robert Album Fur Die Jugend Kinderszenen Fur Klavier Konemann Music Budapest, 1993 pp. 91-93]

Friday, November 17, 2006


Did you know that John Piper is bad. This video is pretty funny:) This puts a new spin on total depravity!

A Challenge to Young People

Are you an adult? Do you have a holy ambition?

Distorted and Plastic View of Beauty

This is a sad article “21-Year-Old Anorexic Model Dies in Brazil”. It just reminds me of the fake plastic perception our culture has of beauty...and how this view of beauty drives our sisters, mothers, wives, daughters, etc. to go to such extremes.

Here are a few quotes...
“…a Spanish fashion show responded to such criticism by banning models with a body mass index of less than 18. Body mass index is a calculation doctors normally apply to study obesity, and anyone with an index below 18.5 is considered underweight.”

Isn’t it interesting that 18.5 is underweight, but they ban models less than 18. Wow!
“Reston would have had a body mass index of 13.4 at the time of her death, according to a calculator on the Web site of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

This article reminded me of the video below…I won’t comment on the noetic effects of sin or common grace like David Powlison did here…but I pray this breaks our hearts to share the love of Jesus Christ with a culture that needs to know what love and beauty are.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Teaching on the Spot!

Well, Sunday was a great day. As Lindsey and I were getting ready in the morning we received a call at 8:00[am] for me to teach in an ABF [adult bible fellowship]. It’s funny because just a few days ago I was really hoping to have the opportunity to teach again…

Anyhow, it was fun [and a good exercise] to do…but I was a little bummed that I didn’t have more prep time. The lesson was on Matthew 1:1-25. It is an excellent passage. We spent quite a bit of time reflecting on some of the different folks in the geneology.

I was mentioning something about Tamar, saying something about how it was wrong of Tamar to dress up as a prostitute. Obviously Judah was wrong to have sex with his daughter in-law…especially since he did it with the intent to be with a prostitute. Anyhow, I must not have made it clear that Judah was wrong too, because a woman in the ABF said [2 or 3 times], “Tamar was just taking what was rightfully hers.” My response was, “well, I guess technically you’re right.” But I probably was wrong to capitulate to what she said [Since Judah refused to let his other son redeem Tamar he would have been the next responsible kinsman redeemer (I think)…but assuming that there may have been other kinsman redeemers (and there probably were) Judah could have rightfully denied her this “right” to claim him as the only possible kinsman redeemer]. I was thinking, “they were obviously both wrong,” but I didn’t want to go there because we were talking about Matthew not Genesis 38)

I went straight to the cross…and I mentioned how the Old Testament is about Jesus [I hoped to read the passages about the OT being a shadow of things to come (Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1)…but I didn’t get to it].

I talked about the monergistic [in contrast to synergistic] movement of God in salvation in Matthew 1:21, “…he will save his people from their sins…” Notice He is saving, and He is saving His people. Anyhow, I related this to Romans 5:8, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

It is very interesting to teach a group of folks my parent’s age. Some of them have probably been reading their bibles for more years than I have been alive! I was really pretty humbled to have the opportunity to teach them. They were gracious and clapped for me when I was done, and said I can come back some time to teach. They were way too gracious:)

Anyhow, I was glad to have been able to describe the imputation of our sin to Christ and His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5) to us in the atonement made on the cross. I was glad to have been able to pray with them, that we would know our sin more fully that we might kill it and understand the cross more deeply in knowing our depravity.

One bummer… I wanted to make more application regarding the faithfulness of God. That He was faithful to fulfill in Christ [1 Cor 1:20; etc.] the prophecy of Genesis 3:15. That God is faithful. This is also an excellent preparation for understanding God’s covenant with us. That He made a covenant with us that if He is to break it He will be dashed to pieces [Genesis 15:12-21 contrasted with Jeremiah 34:17-22]…He won’t break it and He is faithful. Praise be to God.

I’m thankful to have taught such an ill-prepared [on my part] lesson. God is humbling me and teaching me. We discoursed on a lot more…but those were some of the highlights:)

L’ma’an Sh’mo

Monday, November 13, 2006

Psalm 23 "מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד:"

(Adonai Roi, Lo Ehsar / The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not Want)

When I was younger I used to sing the solo from Chichester Psalms (in case you are familiar with this work…yes, I was a first soprano).

Anyhow, I never knew what I was saying…turns out it was the Hebrew for the 23rd Psalm. It’s crazy…I don’t have the 23rd Psalm memorized in English, but I do in Hebrew!

For your interest here is the first part...[Psalm 23:1-3]
אֶחְסָר מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד:.
Adonai roi, lo ehsar.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

מְנֻחוֹת יְנַהֲלֵנִי בִּנְאוֹת דֶּשֶׁא, יַרְבִּיצֵנִי; עַל-מֵי.
Bin'ot deshe yarbitseini, Al mei m'nuhot y'nahaleini,
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters,

לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ ,נַפְשִׁי יְשׁוֹבֵב; יַנְחֵנִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי-צֶדֶק,.
Naf'shi y'shovev, Yan'heini b'ma'aglei tsedek, L'ma'an sh'mo.
He restoreth my soul, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, For His name's sake.

לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ.[L'ma'n sh'mo / for His name's sake]

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Names of God: Proper

Definition of God's proper names by Herman Bavinck.

"Definition of God's proper names:
When we speak of God's names in the more limited sense of that term (i.e., in distinction form his attributes), we understand thereby those appellatives which designate God and by means of which we address him as an independent, personal being. Such names are found in every language. Though in himself God is without name, nevertheless, we must be able to designate him, and we can do this in no other way than by means of the use of names. "For unless you know the name, your knowledge of the objects which it indicates will perish."

Generic Names: theos, daimon, kyrios, God, Asura, Ahura

Formerly the Greek word theos was held to be dreived from tithenai, theein, theasthai. At present some philologists connect it with Zeus, Dios, Jupiter, Deus, Diana, Juno, Dio, Dieu. So interpreted it would be identical with the Sanskrit "deva," the shining heaven, from "div," to shine. Others, however deny all etymological connection between the Greek theos and the Latin Deus and connect the former with the root thes in thessasthai to desire, to invoke. In many languages the words heaven and God are used synonymously: the oldest Grecian deity Uranus was probably identical with the Sanskrit Varuna; the Tartar and Turkish word "Taengri" and the Chinese word "Thian" mean both heaven and God; and also in Scripture the words heaven and God are sometimes used interchangeably; e.g., in the expression "kingdom of heaven" or "kingdom of God."

Another Greek word daimon is dreived from daio meaning: he who determines one's destiny.

The words kyrios from kyros characterizes God as the Mighty One, Lord, Owner, Ruler.

Our word "God" is of uncertain origin. Attempts have been made to prove its derivation from the word "good"; from the Avestan "khoda": "independent in existence"; from the Sanskrit "gudha" or "gutha," keutho, which would designate God as the "Hidden One," or from the root "ghu," Sanskrit "hu," meaning to invoke, so that God would be the One to whom invocations are made; or from a root kodo, kosmos to which the meaning: to arrange, to order, has been given; or from the Aryan "cuddhas," pure, good, etc., but all these derivations are uncertain.

The Indian "Asura" and the Persian "Ahura" designate God as the Living One."

[Bavinck, Herman The Doctrine of God Translated by William Hendricksen. Pp. 98-99 The Banner of Truth Trust copyright 2003]

I will quote more in the days to come as a meditation on the names of God.

Inerrancy: Legitimate Hermeneutics

Last night after teacher’s community at church I ran into some guys going to the leadership development classes on biblical interpretation. They were talking about the articles they had to read. One of which was Legitimate Hermeneutics by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. This was one of the first things we had to read for Systematic Theology I, so I thought I’d post a few quick quotes from the article!
“All of our own notions of truth and principle must be set aside in favor of those the sacred writers taught if we are to be valid interpreters (pp. 119).”

General Points on Hermeneutics:
(1) The Bible is to Be Interpreted by the Same Rules as Other Books (pp. 119-120).
(2) The Principles of Interpretation Are as Native and Universal to Man as Is Speech Itself (pp. 120-122).
(3) My Personal Reception and Application of an Author’s Words Is a Distinct and Secondary Act From the Need First to Understand His Work (pp. 122-123).

5 Principal By-passes used by various interpreters of Scripture to escape the three basic rules…:
(1) Allegorical interpretation
(2) Overdependence on the principle of “progressive revelation”
(3) Improper use of the principle of the “perspicuity of Scripture”
(4) Unfair appropriation of the alleged freedom with which the New Testament writers cite the Old Testament.
(5) Appeal to the implied presence of a dual sense in the messianic predictions of the Old Testament (pp. 125).

“The Situation here is exactly as it is with grammars and dictionaries; they do not prescribe what a language must do; they only describe how its best speakers and writers use it. So it is with hermeneutics (pp. 121)”

“Paul’s word cannot be used to claim that people without the Spirit do not understand any part of the Bible until they become spiritual (pp. 123).”

“No less vulnerable is much present-day evangelical preaching and teaching, which is often superficial and frothy, because of failure to spend enough time with the text and to patiently hear what it is saying first-rather than out of any overt embarrassment about the literal claims of an allegedly defunct Scripture. This method of sermonizing opens up an easy path – particularly for quick, adroit, fanciful, but lazy minds who, under pretense of truth and righteousness, teach what they will from where they will in Scripture. Fortunately for the church, little immediate harm is done in most cases (other than teaching poor methodology and starving God’s people from the full counsel of God). Most evangelical practitioners of this method merely “gather wool” from various passages and then import the ideas into unnatural biblical contexts (pp. 126) [my emphasis].”

“…therefore…the so-called “literal” interpretation must include the same depth of meaning as the writer himself included (pp. 127)”

“…perspicuity means simply that the Bible is sufficiently clear in and of itself for believers to understand it (pp. 128).”

“…our generation needs a whole new hermeneutical reformation. The current crisis regarding the doctrine of Scripture is directly linked to poor procedures and methods of handling Scripture… As a partial corrective for this astonishing situation, I urge that talk about the Bible be modified to this extent: that evangelicals in particular get equally busy identifying the meaning of the text itself – the meaning the original writer of Scripture intended – before we go on to name the relationships between that meaning and ourselves, our country, our day, and our conception of things; that is, before we consider the significance of the text for us (pp. 147).”

[Editor and contributor: Geisler, Norman L. Inerrancy pp. 116-147 article Legitimate Hermeneutics by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. 1980 Zondervan; Grand Rapids, MI.]

There’s a ton more to this article. And even though I’ve read it I repent for not always teaching hermeneutically [leading the people in good hermeneutics] as I have studied the Word in preparation for the lesson. This is a good reminder to me!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Workin' Out: Update # 1

This post is for all those out there who are dying to know how my workouts are going… There is one person who has requested an update, so here it goes:o)

First Workout on 10/08/2006
3 sets of 12 reps each for the following:
Curls: 17.5lbs per arm
Lat Raises: 20lbs per arm
Dual Axis Incline Press: 30lbs 1st set 35 lbs 2nd and 3rd set
Back Extension: 90lbs
Ab Crunch: 1st set 70lbs, 2nd and 3rd sets 90lbs
Lat Pull Down: 70lbs
Shoulder Press: 1st set 30lbs, 2nd and 3rd Sets 20lbs
Arm Extension: Didn’t use
Dual Axis Row: Didn’t use
Running: 10 minutes @ 6 MPH

First Check-point 11/07/2006
3 sets of 12 reps each for the following:
Curls: 20lbs per arm
Lat Raises: 50lbs using both arms on machine
Dual Axis Incline Press: 70 lbs [last set only 9 reps]
Back Extension: 130lbs
Ab Crunch: 110lbs
Lat Pull Down: 110lbs
Shoulder Press: Machine no longer works:o)
Arm Extension: 55lbs
Dual Axis Row: 60lbs
Running: 15 minutes @ 6.5 MPH

I’ve also been doing 50 crunches and 50 push-ups in the morning everyday. I do this 5 times a week...and this is actually encouraging to see some strength improvement over a month. I don't weigh any less [I fluctuate between 214-219] but I look a little more slim...and am definitely sore:)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Names of God: Extrabiblical "Trinity"

A few quotes from Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield on God.

[Works of B. B. Warfield Volume IX, Studies in Theology]

“The nature of God has been made known to men, therefore, in three stages, corresponding to the three planes of revelation, and we will naturally come to know Him, first, as the infinite Spirit or the God of nature; then [second], as the Redeemer of sinners, or the God of grace; and lastly [thirdly] as the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, or the Triune God (pp. 110)”

“The essential elements which enter into and together make up this great revelation of the Triune God are, however, most commonly separately insisted upon. The chief of these are the three constitutive facts:
(1) that there is but one God (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 64:6; 1 Cor. 8:4; Jas. 2:19);

(2) that the Father is God (Matt. 11:25; John 6:27; 8:41; Rom. 15:6; 1 Cor. 8:5; Gal. 1:1, 3, 4; Eph. 4:6; 6:23; 1 Thess. 1:1; Jas. 1:27; 3:9; 1 Pet. 1:2; Jude 1);

the Son is God (John 1:1, 18; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:8; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:6; 2 Pet. 1:1);

and the Spirit is God (Acts 5:3, 4; 1 Cor. 2:10, 11; Eph. 2:22); and

(3) that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are personally distinct from one another, distinguished by personal pronouns, able to send and be sent by one another, to love and honor each the other and the like (John 15:26; 16:13, 14; 27:8, 18, 23; 16:14; 17:1).

The doctrine of the Trinity is but the synthesis of these facts, and, adding nothing to them, simply recognizes in the unity of the Godhead such a Trinity of persons as is involved in the working out of the plan of redemption. In the prosecution of this work there is implicated a certain relative subordination in the modes of operation of the several persons, by which it is the Father that sends the Son and the Son who sends the Spirit; but the three persons are uniformly represented in Scripture as in their essential nature each alike God over all, blessed forever (Rom. 9:5); and we are therefore to conceive the subordination as rather economical, that is relative to the function of each in the work of redemption, than essential, that is, involving a difference in nature. (pp. 113-114)”
[I edited with my emphasis, and for clarity in reading]

Monday, November 06, 2006

Names of God: Improper Antropomorphic Descriptions of God

From Herman Bavinck's The Doctrine of God [Banner of Truth pp. 86-88]
God has a soul [Lev. 26:11; Matt. 12:28]
A Spirit [Gen. 1:2; etc.]
Mention is never made of God's body, although in Christ God assumed a real human body [John 1:14; Col. 2:17]
Church is called the body of Christ [Eph. 1:22]

Bodily Organs
Countenance [Ex. 3:20, 23; Is. 63:9; Ps. 16:11; Matt. 18:10; Rev. 22:4]
Eyes [Ps. 11:4; Heb. 4:13]
Eyelids [Ps. 11:4]
Apple of his eye [Deut. 32:10; Ps. 17:8; Zech. 2:3]
Ears [Ps. 55:1]
Nose [Deut. 33:10]
Mouth [Deut. 8:3]
Lips [Job 11:5]
Tongue [Is. 30:27]
Neck [Jer 18:17]
Arms [Ex. 15:16]
Hand [Num. 11:23]
Right hand [Ex. 15:12]
Finger [Ex. 8:19]
Heart [Gen. 6:6]
"Yearning of his heart" (A. V.: "sounding of his bowels") [Is 63:15; cf. Jer. 31:20; Luke 1:78]
Bosom [Ps 74:11]
Foot [Is. 66:1]

Human Emotions
Joy [Is. 62:5]
Rejoicing [Is. 65:19]
Grief [Ps. 78:40; Is. 63:10]
Anger [Jer. 7:18, 19]
Fear [Deut. 32:27]
Love, in all its variations (e.g. compassion, mercy, grace, longsuffering, etc.)
Zeal and Jealousy [Deut. 32:21]
Grief [Gen 6:6]
Hatred [Deut. 16:22]
Wrath [Ps. 2:5]
Vengeance [Deut. 32:35]

Human actions Ascribed to God
Knowing [Gen. 18:21]
Trying [Ps. 7:9]
Thinking [Gen. 50:20]
Forgetting [1 Sam. 1:11]
Remembering [Gen. 8:1; Ex. 2:24]
Speaking [Gen. 2:16]
Calling [Rom. 4:17]
Commanding [Is. 5:6]
Rebuking [Ps. 18:15; 104:7]
Answering [Ps. 3:4]
Witnessing [Mal. 2:14]
Resting [Gen. 2:2]
Working [John 5:17]
Seeing [Gen. 1:10]
Hearing [Ex. 2:24]
Smelling [Gen. 8:21]
Tasting [Ps. 11:4, 5]
Sitting [Ps. 9:7]
Rising [Ps. 68:1]
Going [Ex. 34:9]
Coming [Ex. 24:22]
Walking [Lev. 26:12]
Descending [Gen. 11:5]
Meeting [Ex. 3:18]
Visiting [Gen. 21:1]
Passing [Ex. 12:13]
Casting off [Judg. 6:13]
Writing [Ex. 34:1]
Sealing [John 6:27]
Graving [Is. 49:16]
Smiting [Is. 11:4]
Chastening [Deut. 8:5]
Punishing [Job 5:17]
Binding up the wounds and healing [Ps. 147:3; cf. Ps. 103:3; Deut. 32:39]
Killing and making alive [Deut. 32:39]
Wiping away tears [Is. 25:8]
Wiping (out) [2 Kings 21:13]
Washing [Ps. 51:2]
Anointing [Ps. 2:6]
Cleansing [Ps. 51:2]
Decking with ornaments [Ezek. 16:11]
Clothing (with) [Ps. 132:16]
Crowning [Ps. 8:5]
Girding with strength [Ps. 18:32]
Destroying [Gen. 6:7]
Laying waste (making a waste) [Lev. 26:31]
Killing [Gen. 38:7]
Plaguing [Gen. 12:17]
Judging [Ps. 58:11]
Condemning [Job 10:2]

Names which indicate a certain office, profession or relation among men.
Bridegroom [Is. 61:10]
Husband [Is. 54:5]
Father [Deut. 32:6]
Judge, King, Lawgiver [Is. 33:22]
Man of War [Ex. 15:3]
Hero [Ps. 78:65; Zeph. 3:17]
Builder (architect) and Maker [Heb. 11:10]
Husbandman [John 15:1]
Shepherd [Ps. 23:1]
Physician [Ex. 15:26]

In connection with these mention is made of his seat, throne, footstool, rod, scepter, weapons, bow, arrow, sword, shield, wagon, banner, book, seal, treasure, inheritance, etc.

In order to indicate what God is for his children language derived from the organic and inorganic creation is even applied to God.
Lion [Is. 31:4]
Eagle [Deut. 32:11]
Lamb [Is. 53:7]
Hen [Matt. 23:37]
Sun [Ps. 84:11]
Morning Star [Rev. 22:16]
Light [Ps. 27:1]
Torch [Rev. 21:23]
Fire [Heb. 12:29]
Fountain [Ps. 36:9]
Fountain of Living Waters [Jer. 2:13]
Food, Bread, Water, Drink, Ointment [Is. 55:1; John 4:10; 6:35, 55]
Rock [Deut. 32:4]
Hiding Place [Ps. 91:1; 121:5]
Shield [Ps. 84:11]
Way [John 14:6]
Temple [Rev. 21:22]

Saturday, November 04, 2006

What's in a Name?

A good quote to inspire reflection on names! Do you know what your name means? How do you name your children? Do you know what God's name(s) mean? Do you know the different names of God given in Scripture? I hope to post a little on this over the next week:)
"A name is an indication of the bearer, an appelation according to this or that attribute which he reveals and by which he may be known. Between the name and its bearer there is a certain connection, and this connection is not arbitrary. Even among us though names have for the most part become sounds without meaning that connection is felt. A name is something personal: it is not a mere number. It is always more or less unpleasant to have one's name mispelled. Our name stands for our honor, our worth, our personality, our individuality. That connection between the name and its bearer was more evident when names still had a transparent meaning, when they actually revealed the bearer (my emphasis)."

[Bavinck, Herman The Doctrine of God Translated by William Hendricksen. Pp. 83 The Banner of Truth Trust copyright 2003]

"God's Power in the Pentateuch"

This is just an observation as I've been reading through the Pentateuch [first five books of the Old Testament]...

God performed the plagues on Egypt, "To show [them His] power, so that [His] name [would] be proclaimed in all the earth (Exodus 9:16). (ESV)" It seems brutal, but that is really what was going on behind it all.

We see the fruit of this in that, " Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses (Exodus 14:31). (ESV)" Also, "Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy (Exodus 15:6). (ESV)"

These passages kick off the theme of God's power that cannot be missed. I'll try to build up to a surprising event that I didn't remember from the last time I read these books culminating in Leviticus 9.

Israel at Sinai began a new period of time (Exodus 19), of God relating to His people, a time under God's laws given through Moses. They received laws about many things [the ten commandments (20:1-21), altars (20:22-26), slaves (21:1-32), restitution (21:33-22:15), social justice (22:16-23:9), sabbath and festivals (23:10-19), etc.]. They also received instructions on making the ark of the covenant (25:10-23), the table for bread (25:23-30), the golden lampstand (25:31-40), the tabernacle (26:1-37)...and on and on it goes through chapter 30 and then again from Exodus 35-40.

Exodus 40:34-38 is a testimony to the Lord's faithfulness in that the Glory of the Lord was dwelling among Israel.

Then in Leviticus the first 7 chapters outline how Israel was to offer offerings for atonement of sin. It is clear through the demand for having to cyclically make atonement all year every year that this substitutionary atonement was not a full atonement for all sins that we see in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We see all the different procedures for offering sacrifices to the Lord in these first 7 chapters of Leviticus. God is very detailed in what He expects for atonement, the tabernacle, priests clothes, etc. It's like all of this tension is building from Exodus 19-Leviticus 7. Tension of all these standards that Israel must meet in order to please God. In my mind I'm thinking, "this is all impossible," and, "to what end are all of these things being done?"

So in Leviticus 8 God, through Moses, consecrates the priests, Aaron and his sons. He basically ordains them and follows a very specific ritual in order to do this. Then in Leviticus 9 the priests do their first offering!

A bull! It's interesting that this is the first real mention of Aaron since he led Israel in idolatry of the golden calf...and he is sacrificing a bull. So they do it...all according to God's design and then this happens in Leviticus 9:22-24:
"And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings.
And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people [my emphasis]. (ESV)"

What a reward to the people who obediently followed God's very particular instructions. And then this...

"And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces [my emphasis]. (ESV)"

How humbling would that have been...

Of course Israel stumbled right after this, but what an amazing experience to come out of Egypt; to sin against God numerous times and be forgiven; to be given, out of God's grace, a law would point to our sin; to be given an understanding of atonement in a shadow of what was to come in Christ being seen in glory on the cross and resurrected; and then to see God's glory in this consuming of the offering.

I don't spend enough time on my face in reverence of God's power and glory!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"My Introduction to the Emergent/Emerging Church"

I first heard about the Emergent Church [EC] in a conversation with a friend about 2 years ago. He asked me if I had ever heard of the movement, and I hadn’t.

I was curious about EC so after some “Googling” I ended up at Emergent Village . I listened to all the audio available from Tom Wright [I think], and a conference at Columbia college. The conference was hosted by Brian McLaren and Tony Jones with some guest speakers Walter Bruggeman and a few Reformed guys.

My honest reflection from the talks were that Bruggeman was an unhappy man who started with some good views on American consumerism’s effects on the church, but became a little misdirected in his focus and solutions. He went in a complete opposite direction from David Wells’ focus and solutions, based off of some similar sociological analysis [which concerns American consumerism’s effects on the church as well]. Bruggeman severely stumbled me from that talk for a long time [if you're curious about how ask me sometime:)]. Also, Jones and McLaren’s approach to the Reformed men, they invited to be panel speakers, was disrespectful. They treated them as presuppositionalists [In reality aren’t we all?]. Anyhow, the entire thing did not leave a good taste in my mouth.

I read a lot of the documents that they listed as sources as well [I don't own any books...I've just tried to read free stuff online]. The only one I found helpful was McLaren’s stuff on a good perspective in worship music [albeit not as helpful as some stuff that John Frame has written or Ligon Duncan III with the "distributive principle"].

At about this same time I was listening to talks regarding the New Perspective on Paul [NPP] by Sinclair Ferguson [my professor for Systematic Theology II], and had read articles by J. Ligon Duncan III [my professor For Systematic Theolgoy III] [Sidenote: I’m getting a copy of a talk that Derek Thomas gave at Dordt College last weekend regarding Luther and Calvin on the NPP]. NPP is propogated by Tom Wright and others.

So at the outset I wasn’t a fan of Bruggeman, or Tom Wright [I guess Wright wrote one of the best books on “justification” published by Banner of Truth and then after that he denied that he believes any of it]. [Here's an article if you're curious about Wright's views.] And a lot of stuff that EC leans toward theologically is by those guys [there are other theologians they look up to…but at the time this is who I was able to read that EC recommended].

Shortly after all of this I emailed Brian McLaren [his email at one time was listed on the site] to see if they had a mission statement because the beliefs section on Emergent Village [now values and practices were really difficult for me to understand. They were kind of vague doctrinally to me, and I really couldn’t get a clear idea of what they were talking about in the use of some of terms and phrases they were using. I never heard back [sidenote: almost a year later (5/4/06) Emergent posted this article on why they don’t have a doctrinal statement].

When I was in college I went through a period of time that I was against any form of the institution of the church. With my own eyes I wasn’t seeing the local church live the way I saw it living in the New Testament. God has softened my heart toward institutionalized Christianity [pretty much all existing local churches cell, home, etc. are institutions...just some smaller and some larger] and He is shaping my vision of what the local church should look like more and more.

Unfortunately for EC I believe that social action is only effective if it is grounded in good dogma and doctrine [you can read a lot more of what I think of some of this in a series of posts I did. I’ll link them below]. Therefore, it is fruit that bears from a tree rooted in good soil. Even a tree in poor soil bears fruit for a time, but it certainly doesn’t live as long [I guess the four soils would be a good example of this, only it is in regards to hearing the Word, not works]. I can understand peoples’ frustrations with the church, but a fuzzy view in some arenas and an abandonment of orthodox theological views in others is not the correct way to go in my opinion.

It’s interesting to me that some of the folks in EC are making decisions and such in a similar way that the mainline denominations made when “modernism” came on the scene. This split the church into fundamentalism and liberalism [generally speaking]. Then a third head popped up “evangelicalism” which had [very generally speaking] theology of the fundamentalists but was trying to engage culture (see Life of Carl F. H. Henry interview) [actually this head had a root in many years prior]. Read Evangelicalism Divided and Christianity and Liberalism you’ll see where I’m coming from with some of these comments [I’m sure there are plenty of other books]. Anyhow, there was a watering down of “evangelicalism” from the late 1950’s to 2000 in the ecumenical movement and this is what led to the disillusionment that we are faced with today [in my opinion]. Carson talks about this a little in the Being Conversant with the Emerging Church book. He, as Scot McKnight points out in his recent lecture at Westminster Theological Seminary, was not accurate on everything, but I think on the idea that Carson discusses about this movement having roots in the modern movement is spot on [harsh words allude to EC in a footnote used Carson’s book Conversant from his book The Gagging of God when he says, “…postmodernism [is the] bastard child of modernism: the genetic descent can scarcely be denied…” pp. 26 footnote 71]. I think much of postmodern epistemology is always with the best intentions... I just don't want to see EC lose the gospel like many of the churches did in what went down in the "liberalism" of the late 1800's to 1900's. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think conservative theology can be coupled with social justice. Maybe that's one of the streams of the "Emerging Churches" that Mark Driscoll talks about.

Anyhow, I'm still following this movement, and I am humbled...seeing the great depth of my sin as I have erroneously heaped judgment at times on brothers and sisters in Christ that are part of this movement [I'm just concerned. I guess it's another good intent that may have bad fruit]. I'm trying to learn how to be more like Christ too. I'm praying for you brothers...and I hope that God will continue to cling us to His inerrant Word, and to a clearer vision of His work on the cross, and His continued work through us...for the clear communication of the gospel to the lost in order that God may save as many has He desires. I'm sorry for any unloving judgment I have pointed in your direction, if you consider yourself a cohort of EC. It may be a sign of my lack of maturity...but I think these are dangerous waters and we must move forward extremely carefully.

I welcome any corrections or rebukes regarding the subjects that I might have misrepresented. To the best of my abilities this is how I have understood everything so far. Please let me know of any rebukes or corrections!

Thanks for listening [reading :)].

In Christ
[Below is the series of posts I did on the Emergent/Emerging Church Movement 5/8/06 to 5/18/06]

What is the Emerging Church Movement?
Emergent/Emerging Church
Part 1
Part 2
Part 2.1
Part 2.2
Part 2.3
Part 3
Part 3.1
Part 3.2
Part 3.3
Part 3.4
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Concerns Regarding The Emerging Church Movement.
Part 1
Part 1.1
Part 1.2
Part 1.3
Part 1.4
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 4.1
Part 4.2
I ended this series with this post Emergent/Emerging Church in order focus on Christ instead of concerns/criticisms of EC.

"A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words"

[HT: Josh Dyvig/Tim Ellsworth/Little Green Footballs]

I just had to post this!