Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I just finished MacArthur's "Hard To Believe". It's a Hard to Read book. It's been awhile since I picked up something that hurt good. It's a good feeling. Kinda tickles.

Also I've added a link to M'Cheyne's Daily Bible Readings to the list on the right. If you click it, it takes you to today's selections. If you're not familiar with how M'Cheyne's works, the ones labeled "Family" are to be read by the husband to the family, and the ones labeled "Secret" are read individually. If you decide to start this, pick a time and regularly get everybody prepared to read the word, every night, at that time.

So now it's time for me to start the next book in this fat stack sitting on my dresser, which is "A Christian Manifesto". From Hermano Urn's report of the book it should shake me up a little. Good eatin.

I'm noticing more that most people who bear the title Christian aren't living up to their descriptions. There is a numbing sea of apathy amongst American Christians that is as far as the eye can see. I'm disturbed by the lack of ambition toward improving spiritual life and there are a huge amount of people who are content to just benchwarm at church. I may have said this on here already, I can't remember.

"Hard to Believe" hit on this fact pretty heavily. He doesn't waste any time getting to the point of saying that he doesn't make any assumptions about peoples' salvation. Never assume that a person who says they're saved really is.

I guess the way to describe how we should be towards people like this is to be what I could call "fire tenders". We should be working on stirring people up and keep them hot so they don't fall out and cool off. Intead, a lot of people are practicing a form of spiritual isolationism, forgoing fellowship in favor of treating church like a roll call is being taken. Blah.

In other news, I'm in contact with a young man who started off coming across as a quasi-atheist with some questions about the Bible. After a late-night visit to his blog I've noticed that he's more or less calling down anathema against everything God-related. I almost--ALMOST--left a comment... but chose not to because his commenting reader base seems to support this view and it's not my intent to make him look like a twit in front of his friends. One of the views is that the Bible shouldn't be trusted because if even one contradiction shows up, the whole thing is trash. I told him that if the Bible has been around this long after being attacked the same way for hundreds of years, it's probably pretty stable if people are still trusting in it. So he points me to the verses Deuteronomy 27:22 and Genesis 20:11-12. To save some time, here they are:

Deut 27:22 Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen'

Gen 20:11-12 11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.

He didn't even quote the verses themselves, just the references. I'm assuming he thinks there's a contradiction here because a rule instated in Deuteronomy appears to have been broken with God's sanction before it had even been invented... It would be like being arrested for selling whiskey 20 years before the Prohibition.

In a way, I'm thankful that people like him and the American Atheists organization exist. They have a tendency of shaking the fakers off that don't have true faith. I don't have a problem saying the Bible is true because there's some kind of God-given information inside me that I can't trace logically and can't just tell anybody about either. It's just THERE. I can't deny it, and I'd be a fool if I did after seeing what all He's done in my life.

Also, I've been pressed lately on the topic of Christian persecution. I don't know why. I read these stories about how Christians were killed for their beliefs and I wonder, what would I do if that started happening here? It's a distasteful thing to think about but it's a possibility. What would you do if someone held a gun to your child's head and threatened to shoot if you didn't recant your beliefs? This BUGS me. Not because of the situation but because I honestly don't know what I'd do. Even Peter denied Christ 3 times in a pretty short time span and he was RIGHT THERE with Him.

Today's Prayer:
Lord... there is a ruckus coming and I can feel it. I would ask that you watch over all of us who truly pursue the faith and strive to live for Your glory. It's a hard road, which is to be expected. We have no idea what in particular is on this road, but You do. It's one thing to say that we're ready and another to actually believe it. I don't know where I'm at on this, but I know that You have the power to strengthen us for what's ahead. I'm asking now Lord, that You please give us that thousand-yard stare that goes along with focusing on the eternal things so that the quick lives we live here aren't what we focus on. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

This Is The Coolest Thing I've Seen All Day.

Look at this.

What you're looking at is the Romanesco Cauliflower. It's in what's known as a fractal formation, meaning there's a pattern here that repeats itself.

You'll notice that it's made of small cones that get smaller as they spiral around the center axis until it reaches the end at the top. You'll also notice that each cone is actually made of even smaller cones that spiral around, and get smaller as they reach the top.

Design in action, folks. I just wanted to show you that not only did God make this example of His intellect, but also made it, for us, to taste good with ranch sauce.

Take care,

Some Emerging Problems.

Hey folks,

I've been a little remiss about posting this blog, not because I'm afraid of the subject matter but because until now I haven't been able to accurately explain my stance.

In case you've been out of the loop on this, in Missouri (and only, as far as I'm aware) there's a movement in churches to reach out in previously unconsidered or poo-pooed methods. It's known as the Emergent Church Movement.

A local church here has taken it upon themselves to have Bible studies at a nearby bar. This wouldn't make anyone bat an eyelash but for the fact that this church claims to be a reformed southern baptist church--not quite the kind of people you'd expect to see in a bar, much less conducting a Bible study in one.

On the MO Baptist Yahoo group, there's been a huge debate about whether it's biblical to drink. There are plenty of verses that can be spun either way but it comes down to the concept of: Does it say it's ok or not? The answer is: Neither. If neither is true then it's a moot point but now the two sides of the coin are: If it's not right or wrong, then why do it... and, If it's not right or wrong then why NOT do it?

Obviously this topic is causing a lot of debate and unnecessary fighting amongst people that were really close before. A church recently split up over this. So here's my take on it...

The drinking isn't what we should be focusing on. The problem is not that some Christians might drink and some might not, the problem is: Should this church be toeing the line on where they conduct their studies? Should they be using this bar as a guise of "fitting in" with nonbelievers? Shouldn't they be doing more to set themselves apart from the rest of the world--not in some prideful, snooty way, but in a holy way, where their actions belie a different root cause?

There's something extremely reckless about choosing to have a bible study at a bar when they know full well that it's going to get out and people are going to find out about it. Why do something that's going to knowingly cause a division? Why not just preach the Gospel when people are out of the bar the rest of the time? They aren't going to stay in there forever--they have jobs and families and friends to keep up on. Make relationships and tell them. Doing it in a bar just appears "cutting edge" and increases the risk of seeding your church with nothing but weeds that are more concerned about excitement than education.

This thing is just another fad to build a church quickly. Building a church is Jesus' job, not ours--our only job is to teach the congregation (pastor) and spread the Gospel (congregation). Anything else that tries to appeal to peoples' emotions or sensibilities takes the power of God's Word out of the equation. It becomes more a function of the messenger's ingenuity rather than the dull thud of the truth in scripture. There's immense power in a message when--knowing that peoples' true nature is to hate the things of God--people turn toward Him when they hear that none of us are able to impress God, or be holy in His sight by anything other than Him reaching down and choosing us for His good purpose. That really takes the wind out of your sails.

I guess the thing that upsets me most is that once again the true Message is being obfuscated in the name of "reaching out" much in the same fashion that wine was diluted with water to make it less offensive. Done correctly, the Message is going to make some people mad. I hate seeing people trying to pad the truth and make it easy to swallow. It's not meant to be, and anybody who buys into it is getting gipped, quite possibly their soul is being damned by being wrapped up in farcical teachings, with a thin stubborn shell so there's no chocolate mess.

The Gospel is a sledgehammer, not a scalpel. Believe it. Don't be afraid to get greasy doing God's work.

Take care,