Tuesday, July 31, 2007

expository preaching

I still like expository preaching as opposed to many of the other methods I've seen but I very much agree with the David Fitch quotes that Len posts at NextReformation. I'm amazed at the faulty logic embraced by the expository preaching disciples - they strike me as cult-like. Anyway, here are the Fitch quotes ...

It goes like this: if the preacher follows the text more closely in his preaching, both he/she and the congregation will stay true to the Word of God. No other agendas or human wisdom will slither into the preaching. If the preacher applies the exegetical historical-critical skills (s)he learned in seminary and studies the text in its original language, aided by the Spirit, (s)he can arrive at the meaning of the text all by him/herself. Expository preaching, done right (with good exegesis), sticks to the already existing stable perspicuous meaning in the text. Interpretation therefore comes second and can only follow the text. In this way, expository preaching allows God’s Word to drive the message and any interpretation is automatically subordinated to it. This is the mythology I believe is behind expository preaching in the evangelical world.

I label this a mythology [because] first of all, historical-critical methods in the hands of individuals have not yielded a singular consensus meaning as “intended by the author” in over 100 years. Instead what we have is thousands of commentaries on books of the Bible that present numerous unresolved options for interpreting grammatical lexical issues for practically every verse in the Bible. Historical critical exegesis hasn’t generated more unity over Scriptural interpretation, it has generated less.

Secondly, even if we could agree that each individual mind under the Holy Spirit can come to the one propositional meaning of the text using exegesis, we cannot assume then that these truths as communicated by the preacher will necessarily be heard as the same thing to the isolated hearer in the pew when (s)he hears them. As Derrida reminds us, repetition never leads to the “same.” Each idea is heard in terms of each hearer’s context. (In Acts and elsewhere in the NT we find that the testing of the spirit happens as a community in conversation. It happens in the words “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15:28).

The uncovering of this myth leads me to what I find most disturbing about expository preaching in churches of N. America. And that is the excessive individualism that is promoted by the assumptions that undergird expository preaching. Expository preaching can actually encourage the person in the pew to be isolated from further conversation and testing of the Scriptures within the congregation (1 John 4:1) This is because expository preaching commodifies the Word…. Expository preaching operates under the assumption that the congregation (or radio listeners) is composed of individual Cartesian selves isolated and separated from each other yet capable of listening and receiving truth as information from the pulpit. And so the expository preacher commoditizes the Scripture putting it at the disposal of the user in the pew. Ironically, as the expository preacher carefully follows the text in his preaching, the center of control for the meaning of Scripture has shifted from Scripture to the autonomous mind of the listening parishioner…. Expository preaching therefore assumes that Christian growth happens individually and cognitively.

And so I fear, that in the large evangelical lecture halls of our day, thousands sit and listen, take notes, selectively hear what they will hear and then they leave ice cold never having been confronted with the life changing proclamation of the Lordship of Christ over their lives. The Word has become information to be used for my life as it is. And it all feeds the evangelical culture of arrogance that we know the Word because the preacher follows the propositions of the text.

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hyatt and mclaren on worship

Bob Hyatt posts on honesty in worship and includes this video by Brian McLaren on the topic.

I relate to McLaren's comment on the 'worship industry' and 'cliental'. Well spoken.

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phillips on life

Dan Phillips writes a succinct yet insightful and accurate piece on life.
Proverbic distillation:

For the Christian, all misery is temporary.
For the non-Christian, all pleasure is temporary.

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dependence and responsibility

Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.

David - Psa 127.1

Jerry Bridges describes the balance between our dependence on God and personal responsibility.

God is God. We are not. He builds the house. We are invited to participate. Simple.

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sinner or saint

Are we as believers sinner or saint? Dan Edelen provokes some thought on the topic.

For the believer, I think both concepts, sinner and saint, stand in tension. I would answer which we are based on the context of the question. However, I ascribe to the adage that prior to conversion Satan spends his time convincing us we are saints (i.e., we are ok and have no need for God's plan of salvation) and after conversion he spends his time convincing us we are sinners (i.e., not worthy of God's plan of salvation).

About a year ago I was in church and the speaker asked how many of us were righteous. Of the 400+ in attendance, I was one of only two people that raised their hand.

Overall, the Scriptural bent is to proclaim that we are saints redeemed from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. The church at large tends toward the opposite. If I had to pick a title based on Scripture, Saint is it. Sinner is the name given to my old, dead nature. That guy is dead and I'm focusing on putting him off each day. The effective way to do that is to focus on the truth of my redeemed nature.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

benny hinn

I've never listened to Benny Hinn, I've never read any of his books, I've never seen the man in person - but I have formed an opinion of him. Since my opinion is uninformed, I will opt to not share it (something that doesn't seem to even slow many others down). The folks at Fide-O are among those happy to share their negative opinion and in doing so pointing me to this amazing video of Hinn.

Interestingly, over lunch two weeks ago, a friend of ours told us about a recent trip she took. She was in a restaurant and got into a conversation with the waitress who claimed to be a Christian. The waitress shared her recent journey of faith. Apparently the woman's husband, suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, had been in a wheelchair for well over a year. This women had reached a point where she struggled praying for his healing. Prompted by a friend, she took her husband to a Benny Hinn meeting. The man was prayed for, stood out of his wheel chair, and walked pain free. At the time my friend spoke to this woman, her husband had been up and walking for several weeks.

Again, I have some thoughts about Hinn but I also have thoughts about this story. First, I cannot think of a reason why this women would make-up something like this to tell my friend. Second, and more importantly, I think this is the kind of thing my God would do.

Anyway, just a story that challenges my uninformed bias against Mr. Hinn as well as if God might use him regardless of whether or not he is a charlatan.

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Some time ago I tried MySpace ... but I didn't get it.

Now I'm trying Facebook ... but I don't get it.

Am I too old or simply not cool or ? I'm open to advice ...

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the role of a man

In Service Men, Robert Hart, Vicar of St. Andrew's Chapel, writes:
In the world of faith, the stronger and more powerful give themselves to others, willing to be spent, all for love. Men love the women and the children under their care. They shoulder responsibility that turns authority into the work of a servant, and the work of a servant into authority. Jesus Christ tells us to humble ourselves as this little child, to take the lowest place.

All good manners were born here. All hierarchies, sexual and otherwise, are here not only made bearable but made glorious. Humility and service come from without, from above, from the One who is “high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens . . . Who dwelleth on high. Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and on the earth.”

Well said.

Dr. Robert Lewis proffers 25 characteristics of a modern day servant-leader. Good list ... can you build on this?

A Servant-Leader . . .

1. Includes his wife in envisioning the future.

2. Accepts spiritual responsibility for his family.

3. Is willing to say “I’m sorry” and “Forgive me” to his family.

4. Discusses household responsibilities with his wife and makes sure they are fairly distributed.

5. Seeks consultation from his wife on all major financing decisions.

6. Follows through with commitments he has made to his wife.

7. Anticipates the different stages his children will pass through.

8. Anticipates the different stages his marriage will pass through.

9. Frequently tells his wife what he likes about her.

10. Provides financially for his family’s basic living expenses.

11. Deals with distraction so he can talk with his wife and family.

12. Prays with his wife on a regular basis.

13. Initiates meaningful family traditions.

14. Initiates fun family outings for the family on a regular basis.

15. Takes the time to give his children practical instruction about life.

16. Manages the schedule of the home and anticipates pressure points.

17. Keeps his family financially sound and out of harmful debt.

18. Makes sure he and his wife have drawn up a will.

19. Lets his wife and children into the interior of his life.

20. Honors his wife in public.

21. Explains sex to each child in a way that gives them a wholesome perspective.

22. Encourages his wife to grow as an individual.

23. Takes the lead in establishing sound, biblical family values.

24. Provides time for his wife to pursue her own personal interests.

25. Is involved in a small group of men dedicated to spiritual growth.

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not all religions are the same

NEW YORK (AP) A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday on hate-crime charges after he threw a Quran in a toilet at Pace University on two separate occasions, police said.

Stanislav Shmulevich of Brooklyn was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, both hate crimes, police said. It was unclear if he was a student at the school. A message left at the Shmulevich home was not immediately returned.

The Islamic holy book was found in a toilet at Pace’s lower Manhattan campus by a teacher on Oct. 13. A student discovered another book in a toilet on Nov. 21, police said.

Muslim activists had called on Pace University to crack down on hate crimes after the incidents. As a result, the university said it would offer sensitivity training to its students.

Mr. Christian of Barking Moonbat fame states,
Tasteless? Sure. Foolish? You bet.

But a FELONY?????

If someone took a Bible and put it in the toilet, would it be a felony charge?
If someone took a Book of Mormon and put it in a toilet, would it be a felony charge?
If someone took the Writings of Buddah and put it in a toilet, would it be a felony charge?

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good old fashioned discipline

0,,5589405,00This article just restored my faith in people. It's about time.

Party princess Paris Hilton is $60 million out of pocket after her billionaire grandfather - appalled by her jail term for drink-driving offences - axed her inheritance.

Family patriarch Barron Hilton was already embarrassed by his granddaughter's wild behaviour - notably when her home sex video was leaked on the internet.

But the 79-year-old considered her 23-day sentence last month the last straw.

"He was, and is, extremely embarrassed by how the Hilton name has been sullied by Paris," says Jerry Oppenheimer, who wrote a biography of the clan called House Of Hilton.

"He now doesn't want to leave unearned wealth to his family."

Hilton senior, the only member of the family left with a sizeable stake in the huge hotel chain, has let it be known that he intends to donate to charity the $2.4bn he will gain from this month's sale of the company to private equity firm Blackstone.

The money will go to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the charity set up in the name of the founder of the family business.

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offering effectiveness

Once again, nakedpastor makes my day ...


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what should the church be?

John MacArthur writes on what the Church was meant to be. I have to admit his opening sentences really struck a chord with me.
In many respects, the contemporary church in America looks more like a large corporation than like anything described in the New Testament. Even church leaders sometimes bear a closer resemblance to CEOs and corporate executives than to humble, tender shepherds.

I really hate what some churches have begun to look like and in retrospect, I have probably helped a few get that way. I remember recently a pastor asking me what I thought his role was. Since I felt that the community had no sense of direction and lacked unity, I chose some cooperate sounding words to respond with. I suggested he was like the CEO, he had to cast vision, build a leadership team, etc.. Again, in retrospect, I could kick myself. I'm still not sure what I should have told him but "CEO" - ouch, big mistake.

I love some of MacArthur's other points.

Here’s an obvious starting point: A church built to the Master’s plan will begin with the right raw material — a saved congregation.

If the church is to be built Christ’s way, it will be redeemed and therefore empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Your church ought to be able to instill awe in your community.

Now of course I about fell out of my chair when, in spite of the above right statements, MacArthur added nonsense like this.

Though the miracles and wonders of the apostolic times are no longer necessary now that God’s Word is complete, God’s power remains on display.

He just can't help himself. But that aside, there were some pearls in this article - worth reading. And I thought it helpful because it really highlighted the contradiction that the "already, gone for now, but back again soon" crowd has to live with.

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johnson on the kingdom in the old testament

"If you succumb to the temptation to worry, what you are really doing is borrowing tomorrow's troubles without access to tomorrow's grace." - Phil Johnson

This is from an excellent and encouraging post by Johnson based on 1 Kings 17:10 - well worth the read. Scripture is the stuff we can live by. It reminds us, as Johnson says, that "each day's supply is sufficient for that day. And if we learn to live that way, we will discover God's grace truly is sufficient."

Please also note that this passage in 1 Kings 17 reveals more. When "the man of God" showed up, not only was the flour that this poor woman had multiplied, but her dead son was raised again. This is the God of Scripture and this is how He demonstrates His Kingdom. The Kingdom is here. We have hope in it now and we have hope in its coming. I thank God not only for Scripture but for what Scripture reveals.

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magnapraise - available now!

Now you can turn your refrigerator into an all out praise and worship center. Make that dull filing cabinet in your office look like your projection screen at church. Magnapraise - little magnets with praise words on them. This looks like one very serious praise set - note the generous availability of the word 'just'. See TBNN for more info.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

stott on the cross

Justin Taylor has recently posted some John Stott quotes [here and here]. Stott's, The Cross of Christ, is on my 'every believer must read' list so I thought I'd reprint the quotes Taylor used.

“The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be.” (The Cross of Christ pg. 160)

"The Gospel is not good advice to men but good news about Christ; not an invitation to us to do anything, but a declaration of what God has done; not a demand but an offer." (The Message of Galatians pg. 70)

"We must never divorce what God has married, namely his Word and his Spirit. The Word of God is the Spirit's sword. The Spirit without the Word is weaponless; the Word without the Spirit is powerless." (The Message of Thessalonians pg. 34)

"The Christian hope is not the immortality of the soul (a shadowy, disembodied existence) but the resurrection of the body (a perfect instrument for the expression of our new life)." (The Authentic Jesus pg. 51)

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simpson faith

Coincidental with the release of The Simpson Movie and all of this nasty poster conflict ...

"It's all Christianity, people. The little, stupid differences are nothing next to the big, stupid similarities." --Bart Simpson

"I may not know that much about God, but I have to say we built an awfully nice cage for him." --Homer Simpson, after motivating islanders to build a church

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god and money

Does this match your current thinking about money?


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the good-o-meter

Hmmm ... the Good-O-Meter - how does this fit your theological grid?

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bless his name

Come, let us sing for joy
Let us shout aloud to our King
Come, let us worship God
Lifting holy hands, bless His name

-- Tony Sanchez

This morning we did a little shouting - twas glorious!

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the accusers versus the edifiers

Here's the deal. I don't know if I'm Emergent, emerging, or whatever it's called. I suspect I'm not. I read a book once that I thought was the definitive book on the Emerging Church and although there was a lot I agreed with and a lot that challenged me, in the end I had to conclude that I was not. More so, if that book was representative, I had to conclude the movement (or conversation) was in error.

So this post is not an attempt at defense of the EC crowd but simply to say if I was to have to choose right now, it's pretty clear who is representing the accuser and who is representing Christ.

Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. - John, Re 12.10

Take a look at the two sets of 'posters' and tell me which represent a Christ-like spirit? Choose wisely. I think one set represents The Kingdom. The other does not "pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding." Ro 14.19

But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. - Jude

Update - David Rudd makes a more thorough analysis.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

emerging posters

Iggy pointed me to some really wonderful posters. These really blessed me in contrast to the idiotic posters produced by the uglier 'christians' among us. I didn't ask permission so I won't copy all of these to here. Drop by Grace's site to see the rest.

934131695 3B296C6519

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I just came back from our usual Saturday morning service project - I love this stuff. Today we simply handed out some small packs of granola bars, apples, and bananas in some low income areas. Nothing fancy but lives were touched. While we were doing this, I couldn't help but notice several other church groups were passing out flyers inviting people to VBS or some other special activity at their church. Now I don't want to judge. I expect that lives are touched through these people but for me, I felt right about providing some practical, albeit small, help.

Last week we had 5 people graduate from out Solomon Program. They went through 12 weeks of one-on-one counseling, some Bible training, some practical skills training, and at the graduation, they each received $3,000 to help with transportation, relocation, or education. It was so great to hear these people tell about how not only the money, but more how the relationships and education made a real difference in their lives. Prior to the course, 3 claimed to have a relationship with Christ. After the program, all said so. Of course the fruit is yet to be seen but to here these people witness to how Christ touched them through us was good.

The real cool thing is that all of them came into the program because they got to know us through the Saturday service work - very, very cool.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

what flavor jesus?

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Which flavor do you prefer? While that's not the point John Piper is trying to make in this short audio about whether or not we should make pictures of Jesus, I couldn't help poke fun at the pictures chosen.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

spurgeon on death

Josh Harris brings us the helpful quote from Charles Spurgeon on the topic of death:
Suppose you are a gardener employed by another. It is not your garden, but you are called upon to tend it. You come one morning into the garden, and you find that the best rose has been taken away. You are angry. You go to your fellow servants and charge them with having taken the rose. They declare that they had nothing to do with it, and one says, "I saw the master walking here this morning; I think he took it." Is the gardner angry then? No, at once he says, "I am happy that my rose should have been so fair as to attract the attention of the master. It is his own. He has taken it, let him do what seems good."

It is even so with your friends. They wither not by chance. The grave is not filled by accident. men die according to God's will. Your child is gone, but the Master took it. Your husband is gone, your wife is buried—the Master took them. Thank him that he let you have the pleasure of caring for them and tending them while they were here. And thank him that as he gave, he himself has taken away.

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words to live by

Jim Meredith proffers these wise words:
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt! We all are sinners, but we still retain the stamp of God, even though flawed. Liars sometimes tell the truth; and sinners often do good for their fellow man. Man is the sinner; his acts are often good. Since we can't read another's heart, let's loosen up a bit. Let's let the Evil one be the accuser. The old adage is true: 'Our sins will find us out.' They need not be pointed out! Let us see the good in one another!
  • Always assume intentions are honorable until it is overwhelmingly clear that they are not. Be cautious, but not caustic or cynical. God is always at work in all of our lives; don't limit him by our distrust of others. Perhaps we are really not trusting God.
  • Try to support people by encouraging their desire to do good, not correcting or standing in judgment of their outward practice. Let Jesus, the Lifegiver, define your comfort zone in how you deal with people. He loved people yet rebuked the religious leaders of his day. [R]eligion has destroyed many a man (it literally killed Jesus) when another has not lived up to certain expectations.
  • Give wide latitude to practices! For 72 years, I've seen faith lived out in a thousand ways. The Creator and Savior is bringing many from every culture unto Himself! We should (and will) stand in awe as He brings many sons and daughters into glory. Jesus never leaves or forsakes any of us; some simply move forward at a faster or slower pace; while others do not know His love or respond to his friendship, or consciously turn to 'their own way' .(Isaiah 53:6)
  • Focus on the heart, your heart, for out of it come the issues of life! (Proverbs 4:23) What really matters with God is not outcomes, but faithful heart commitment, which often leads to successful outcomes. For sure, God finishes His work! He who began a good work in you will complete it, Paul wrote to the Philippian church.

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political paradigms shattered

Joe Carter writes of 5 things he no longer believes. I find it hard to disagree with him. What about you?
  • I no longer believe that our reaction to the Vietnam War was an anomaly.
  • I no longer believe that we can fight wars by proxy.
  • I no longer believe that Arab nations are capable of sustaining liberal democracies.
  • I no longer believe America cares about genocide.
  • I no longer believe we have the will to win against global jihadism.
And his conclusion:

While these lessons are harsh and pessimistic, I remain optimistic about the future of my nation. Just as God looks after fools, drunks, and little children, I believe he watches over America. Although we do not have the necessary will or wisdom to protect ourselves from foreign destruction, I believe--perhaps naively--that God will keep us from such harm.

Unfortunately, I cannot say that same about our self-destructive tendencies. I fear that if we decide to unapologetically embrace hedonistic materialism that God will leave us to our folly. Destruction by our own hands, rather than at the hands of jihadists, may be a cold comfort. But its comforting nevertheless.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I'm not an artist but I like to think I appreciate art. I thought this was some pretty cool stuff.


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back and back massage

I made the mistake of taking my MacBook Pro in for a yearly 'tune-up'. I was thinking this would be a short, in-store process. Little did I know they were going to keep it from Saturday until yesterday. Then when I got it back home last night - shocker! It would not start up. I had to go back today and they ended up reinstalling the operating system.

On one hand I am very disappointed with Apple that this was needed. On the other hand, unlike my PC, this is the first time in a year it was required and even better, all data, software, settings, etc. were fine - no need to mess with any of it.

Anyway, I'm up and running and here is one of the fist things I read about - How to Give a Back Massage. Go to the site for the video. My wife's in for a treat tonight.

1) Have the person receiving the massage lie on her belly on a firm, comfortable surface, such as a floor mat or firm bed. Make sure you can reach her whole back without straining your own.
2) Stand or kneel by her side. Place one hand on the lower back and one hand between the shoulder blades, over the heart.
3) Warm up the back by applying thumb pressure along both sides of the spine simultaneously: Start at the lower back and knead gently with your thumbs up to the neck area. This will also promote relaxation.
4) Use a smooth, delicate stroke (called "effleurage") to apply massage oil. In one long stroke, slide your palms down either side of the spine to the pelvis; scoop out around the hips and back up the sides to the shoulders. Maintain contact with the back. Glide your hands over the back to start a new area.
5) Continue up both sides of the neck to the base of the head.
6) Start at the spine and slide your palms in opposite directions outward to the sides of the back, starting with the lower back area and moving up to the shoulders.
7) Knead the fleshy muscular areas at the top of the shoulders, the mid-back area and the buttocks to loosen tight muscles and fascia (the connective tissue).
8) Use your thumbs or fingers to apply pressure to areas that feel hard or tight, often called knots.
9) Perform clockwise circular friction with your fingertips along the muscles that are close to the spine and around the shoulder blades.
10) Rotate the arms gently, one at a time, to loosen the shoulder joints and enhance blood flow.

Tips & Warnings

  • The many benefits of massage include relaxation, increased body awareness, improved circulation, and improved lymphatic drainage for release of toxins.
  • Massage oil is typically used to decrease the friction created on the skin and to prevent the pulling of hair. The less oil, the greater the friction and the deeper the pressure.
  • Incorporate effleurage throughout your massage as a connective stroke to move from one area to another, to soothe an area of localized deep tissue work or to make a transition to another stroke.
  • Use slow movements for a soothing or calming response and fast movements for a stimulating effect.
  • Do not put any direct pressure on the spine.
  • Avoid any broken skin, blisters or areas of possible infection.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

even a calvinist can do it

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If you like to make fun of Calvinists and you like the GEICO caveman advertisements, then you will love this post at Tominthebox.

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This one's for Jul who has blessed me on more than one occasion. Thomas Goodwin, The Center of Paul's Theology.
The center of Paul’s theology, according to Richard Gaffin, is not justification by faith nor sanctification; nor is it the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. It is union with Christ. However, this conclusion does not ‘de-center’ justification (or sanctification), ‘as if justification is somehow less important for Paul than the Reformation claims. Justification is supremely important, it is absolutely crucial in Paul’s ‘gospel of salvation’ (cf. Eph. 1:13). Deny or distort his teaching on justification and that gospel ceases to be gospel; there is no longer saving ‘good news’ for guilty sinners.’ (By Faith, Not By Sight, 43)."


‘But no matter how close justification is to the heart of Paul’s gospel, in our salvation, as he sees it, there is an antecedent consideration, a reality, that is deeper, more fundamental, more decisive, more crucial: Christ and our union with him, the crucified and resurrected, the exalted, Christ. Union with Christ by faith, that is the essence of Paul’s ordo salutis.’ (Ibid)

Calvin writes in his Institutes (3.1.1): ‘First, we must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value to us.’

"Coincidentally'", iggy reminds us that grace is not a bar of soap.


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Friday, July 20, 2007

calvinix recall

CalvinixPhinney Pharmaceuticals issued a statement on Thursday that it will recall over 50,000 bottles of Calvinix due to what the company called "defects" in the product. The company's president, Quinton LeGrange commented on the reason for the recall.

"It has been discovered that a significant number of bottles of Calvinix are defective, and rather than inhibiting Calvinist and Reformed thoughts it actually strengthens them, causing one to become more open to the reformed faith."

Full story here ...

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cool youth guy

The church office: Episode 1 & 2. As Todd Rhoades states, this guy gets what ministry is all about.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

avoid internet porn

852140619 Cc801C9985Somehow I missed this and I apologize. Here is folks, a guaranteed method to stay away from internet porn. First - get Firefox. Whether or not you struggle with porn, get Firefox anyway. Then, install the Bible Fox Firefox theme. How could anyone sin with the fish, doves, etc., right there on your browser?

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make your laptop a hotspot

I had no idea how easy this was ... now you can turn your laptop into a makeshift hotspot. I cannot tell you the number of times my family, each with our own laptops, have been out on vacation but with only one internet access. This tip will make life better for us ... or sadder if you think it is sad that we are all surfing the net while on vacation.

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the right to be right

"One of the most difficult things about discipleship is denying ourselves our right to be right." - Matt Dabbs

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what we get with jesus

Nakedpaster provides this all-too-real glimpse into the hearts of too many.


Related, and much more serious, Dan Phillips continues to remind us of what we definitely get (and need) as Christ followers - suffering.

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back from haitus and ...

Yep, he's back from hiatus and still sure that the Kingdom 'was and is not but will be'. Frank Turk, aka Centuri0n, continues to try to convince us that the cessationist presupposition is more right than that of the continuationalist.

I'll give the Turk this, he seems like a smart guy and he's a good writer but I don't see that he has proven a thing from Scripture. Here's today's argument to Dan Edelen.
It is you who brings conjectural presuppositions to the text. The idea that charismatic gifts are a –given-, and a –necessity-, is a -presupposition- which you are trying to substantiate with various passages, but you ignore or retreat when passages that an alert reader would seek to find some sign of the presupposition show no sign of your assumption.

I was thinking just the opposite. I'm still looking for those clear Scriptures that the Kingdom of God is on hiatus (as the Turk was) or has taken a different shape as Turk and others posit.

He then hits us with this amazing statement.

[C]harismata are not lifted up in Scripture the way you say they should be lifted up today, and in that there are other normative means lifted up in Scripture to do the things you say the charismata ought to be doing.

He must be reading some strange version of the Bible. As I read the Word it seems to be a record of an Almighty God interacting in every detail of His creation. God showing up and doing what God does seems normative. Where it wasn't normative was not a good thing. I'm wondering how the Turk misses this and why he is anxious for the silence of God.

Then he turns to history.

As for the burden of proof being on the cessationist to say, "look: they will cease and in fact have ceased," all I have to do is open a history book and point out the fact that the gifts did, in fact, cease. The earliest apologists for the church never once pointed to on-going miracles and signs as a substantiation of the church's connection to God or for their authority.

But one must note that Turk's team dismisses any account of history pointing to the miraculous. This is how he can conclude that there are no post-canon miracles. And his thinking leaves me wondering how many historic records it would take? One? One-hundred? One per year?

The good thing is he redeems himself on this point which he and his posse routinely bring up (I wonder why the keep asking if they are going to keep retracting?).

[B]ecause that rebuttal is open to all kinds of random responses, I am more than willing to stick to the Scriptural case which cannot be avoided. That is, if the word of God says something must be true, we are called as believers to believe that and not what we'd like to believe or what we'd hope could be true.

The Turk then offers some argument regarding Paul's objective in writing to the Corinthians as he has.

[I]s Paul offering a menu of unrelated corrections to the Corinthians, or is he offering one category of correction, and in that category is he demonstrating all the applications of that specific problem?

The Turk sees the answer to this not as speculation and he somehow thinks this offers difficulty to the continuationalist. Again, offering no proof text that charismata has ceased, the Turk simply proffers that the working of the Kingdom in the New Testament and today's Church is not the command of Scripture.

And here's the clincher.

I have never encountered a "rich theology" of gifts except in cessationist systematics. I find Grudem's treatment of the subject, in the best case, optimistic; and for the record, the weakest, least-compelling aspect of John Piper's theology – Dr. Piper being someone I greatly admire – is his cautious expression of the necessity of the practice of the miraculous gifts today.

Allow me to translate - "I don't agree on this point with the big thinkers in the continuationalist camp and since we have more big thinkers that I agree with it is clear that I'm right."

Me, I'm just glad God hasn't changed and I love what He did in Scripture and what He is doing today.

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ever after

519Qdp4Jlvl. Ss500 "A chance encounter brings together former sweethearts Shane and Lauren. Life has brought them to very different places: Shane is involved with Top Gun and Lauren is a war correspondent in Afghanistan. Their feelings for each other have never changed, but neither have their opposing views on war, politics and faith. Can tragedy finally induce them to set aside their disagreements, allowing God's love to knit them together heart and soul?"

This is an excerpt from the 2007 Christian Book of the Year, Ever After - it just doesn't feel right that this should be Christian Book of the Year, does it?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

more suffering

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Discipleship means allegiance to the suffering Christ, and it is therefore not at all surprising that Christians should be called upon to suffer…To go one’s way under the sign of the cross is not misery and desperation, but peace and refreshment for the soul, it is the highest joy.”

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solomon center

I had a cool experience this evening. We typically go out Saturday mornings to serve (normally the poor) in our community. Tonight my wife and daughter spent a couple of hours at a free store (Solomon Center) our church runs. Very, very cool.

In just a couple of hours we gave simple household supplies to over 50 families. The process is people come to the laundry room in one of the buildings in a low income housing area. They fill out a form requesting supplies. Each item has some number of points assigned to it and they are allowed up to 20 points to 'shop' with. We then bag it up and off they go.

It was great. Since we do this regularly,relationships are made with those in the community. I noticed two of the volunteers serving were from the community. I spotted a lady from the church outside with the neighborhood kids doing some craft stuff with them. Apparently the kids new her because they gathered around when they saw her arrive. Several other volunteers sat around visiting with the families as they waited for us to pack up their orders. I saw some people reading books to children or helping them read if they were older. I got to carry an elderly woman's groceries back to her apartment. Etc..

I wonder how it is that so many cannot find the time to care for God's creation?

equipping for ministry

Matt Dabbs posts Top Ten Ways To Equip Someone For Ministry.

  • Get out of the way and let someone else do something you think you are really good at. It may take them longer and they may make mistakes that will make you cringe but let they try it anyway.
  • Point people to Jesus rather than pointing toward yourself. People will never be equipped for ministry unless they are exposed to the life and teachings of Jesus.
  • Live authentically in front of them. This includes the good and the bad. It is important for people to see how we handle our failures and even our sins if they are going to have a good role model for how to handle success and failure.
  • Equipping takes time. It doesn’t happen in an afternoon. It happens over a period of time and in a variety of situations. Iron doesn’t sharpen iron in one shot. It takes repetition and a variety of angles.
  • Point them to a good read. There are so many people we can sit at the feet of and learn from. People like Gordon MacDonald, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Parker Palmer, Larry Crabb, and thousands of others who speak from a variety of experiences. That leads us to the next one.
  • Never think that you have had sufficient experience to equip someone by yourself. Expose them to other mature Christians and Christian authors.
  • Show them that you have learned something from your time with them. They need to learn how to learn and how to integrate positive and negative feedback in appropriate ways.
  • Approach your relationship with them in all humility. Never think for a moment that being the more mature Christian means you are better than anyone else.
  • Take on the role of a servant to them and do nothing out of selfish ambition. Selfishness short-circuits the equipping process.
  • Get your hands dirty by serving others alongside of them. Nothing teaches better than acts of service. Through service with give the word of God life and breath, flesh and bones. In a figurative sense we become Immanuel to the world.

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the final authority

With his final installment in his series on truth, MacArthur further clarifies the difference between 'folks like him' and 'folks like me'. His opening line, "Anyone who faithfully and correctly proclaims the Word of God will speak with authority" speaks volumes. MacArthur sees authority as rightly proclaiming that the Word yet it was said of Jesus that He taught as one who had authority (Mt 7.29, Mk 1.22). They even proclaimed that this was different than their scribes.

Jesus taught doing the work of the Kingdom. Before I continue with that, I'd like to look at more 'authority' passages.

"But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” ... When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. - Mt 9.6,8 ... bang! Not only proclamation but demonstration of the Kingdom. That's pretty cool, so that they could know that He had authority, He didn't offer proof texts, He offered the power of the Kingdom.

Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” - Mk 1.25-27 ... bang! Again, proclamation and demonstration of the Kingdom.

And here's a cool thing, Jesus gave this authority to his disciples (Mt 10.1). What was it he gave them? The ability to read Scripture and to teach it better than others? No - they were to go out to proclaim and demonstrate the power of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

And guess what - He has passed that authority to all that are His.

So back to MacArthur - he is absolutely correct in that God is not calling His people to compromise the truth contained in His Word. But he is also absolutely wrong in that God is not calling His people to be better expositors of the written Scripture. God is calling His people to live the Truth. To walk in the light and to live lives of demonstration and proclamation of the Kingdom.

After posting the above I read Dan Edelen's post on The Church God Uses - it fits nicely. His post is worth reading. I'll simply quote the teaser verse which really hammers home the point above. Acts 1:8, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Folks - you have to get this, God isn't talking about learning Greek and Hebrew to become better Bible expositors when He says you will receive power.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

remove the cork from the bottle

I'm not sure why this is important but it sure is interesting. Here's how to remove a cork from a bottle.

the knack

Although he doesn't have a blog, Randy "no-blog" has The Knack.

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people are worth criticism

120Pxj Hudson Taylor 1865"Hudson Taylor was a missionary from England who went to China in the 1800's. He was accustomed to the "English" way of evangelism, but when he got to China he realized that how you go about being a missionary there is going to look and be a lot different than evangelizing in England. So he changed his approach, he spent time with people, he even took it to the extreme of where he shaved his head, leaving a little hair which would grow into a Chinese cue [hair tied at the back of the head in a braid], and changed his normal English garb to wearing Chinese styled baggy trousers, white calico socks, satin shoes etc. He didn't just go walking into Buddhist Temples or go to Buddhists and slam Buddhism or focus on the negatives of not knowing Jesus. He relationally went in and got dirty with them, serving the people in all types of ways. The irony, is that the English missionaries who were used to evangelizing in England in a certain way - criticized Hudson Taylor since he was doing things radically different. From the outside he looked different, no proper English dress anymore, his methods were totally different. Did he teach the gospel? Absolutely. But how he did was very different and the criticism came from poodle-types. The critics had good intents and were concerned, but they just didn't understand in different cultures you need to do things differently. He eventually broke off and started China Inland Mission and trained new types of missionaries since he knew the culture there in China and understood it would be different." - Dan Kimball
Kimball contends that people outside the church are worth us taking criticism for.

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nothing but the truth so help me ...

Jonny Mac continues his series on truth - a topic that I thought he would really nail but now I'm not so sure. He wrote a lot of nice sounding phrases that at first blush I bought but now I think I disagree with him. I would love you inputs as I think about this.

First, "Biblical Christianity is all about truth." Amen - but Iggy reminds us that Truth is a person. I suspect that is not what MacArthur has in mind.

MacArthur then says, "God’s objective revelation (the Bible) interpreted rationally yields divine truth in perfectly sufficient measure." Is that a true statement? Given our minds were radically affected by the fall, I'm not willing to say rational interpretation alone yields divine truth unless MacArthur has more in mind than the words "interpreted rationally" mean.

Next he reminds us that "Everything we need to know for life and godliness is there for us in Scripture (2 Peter 1:3)." Hmmm ... I'm not sure what this means. I don't quite see the connection between the Scripture reference (His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, ...) and his point. Also, based on his other writings, MacArthur means "all we get" not "all we need". I agree that Scripture plus the opening of our heart by the Holy Spirit is all we need but I do not agree that this is all we get. The Holy Spirit does much more.

Another text often used by MacArthur's ilk on this point is 2 Timothy 3.16-17 - "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." This is perfect for telling us the value of Scripture but it does not tell use that this is all there is. In fact, as I was trying to figure out if MacArthur simply quoted the wrong verse above, I found one of many examples that it is more than Scripture alone that shapes us into the people of God. In 1 Peter I find "make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love ... practice these qualities you will never fall." Experience (especially suffering) is another key element to our Christian walk.

Anyway, MacArthur continues with:
Good [sic] wrote only one book — the Bible. It contains all the truth God intended us to order our spiritual lives by. We don’t need to consult any other source for spiritual or moral principles to govern our lives. Scripture is not only wholly truth; it is also the highest standard of all truth – the rule by which all truth claims must be measured.

Sounds nice but I think it's wrong. "It contains all the truth" - I would have said, "it contains only truth". "We don't need to consult any other source" - I would have thought the Holy Spirit, the Church, etc. would have been key elements to my coming to know Truth. This really hits home the difference in my understanding of Scripture versus MacArthur's. I think Scripture teaches me how to interact with God and His creation while he thinks Scripture teaches me how to interact with Scripture.

Moving on, MacArthur writes:

Such a conviction is the very antithesis of the post modern notion that no one should ever claim to know objective truth. And that is another major reason why Christianity has been targeted by the proponents of post modern inclusivism. Authentic Christianity is “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Christian truth is not subject to change or amendment. It isn’t nullified by changes in worldly opinion or standards of political correctness. It doesn’t need to be adapted and redefined for every new generation.

Here MacArthur demonstrates his continued inability to accurately represent other views. His implication is that those outside his circle claim that there is no truth. While this is true for some, many are claiming something a little different but he represents it as all the same. Many are claiming our ability to know objective truth completely is in question. Our ability to know Truth in Jesus is not in question. The fact that there is truth is not in question. Only our ability to know truth (lower case "t") absolutely is questioned. But MacArthur and others like to group all of those folks together and say we do not hold to a standard of truth.

So yes, Truth has been delivered to us the saints. And yes, the Holy Spirit guides us to all truth and Truth. And yes, Christian truth is not subject to change or amendment. But I do not absolutely know all truth. I'm not sure why he continues to represent so many as not getting this.

Ok - enough of the criticism, I'll skip down to the conclusion.

We must recover our love for biblical truth, as well as our conviction that it is unassailable truth. We have the truth in a world where most people are simply wandering around in hopeless ignorance. We need to proclaim it from the housetops, and quit playing along with those who suggest we are being arrogant if we claim to know anything for certain. We do have the truth, not because we are smarter or better than anyone else, but because God has revealed it in the Scriptures and has been gracious to open our eyes to see it. We would be sinning if we tried to keep the truth to ourselves.

Amen! We must stop acting like we do not know Truth and we must proclaim Him to the world. We must stop acting ashamed of revealed truth and live lives to standards foreign to the fallen world. We must stand out as different. We are ambassadors of a Kingdom that is in antithesis to the kingdom of this world. Ours is not to blend in but to stand out.

So to his conclusion, John MacArthur, I say Amen.

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don't buy stuff

Randy "no-blog" found this video on how to stop buying stuff. Actually, this is the one I was looking for but he has a better search engine than I do. Thanks Randy.

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how not to waste money

Randy Alcorn's simple advice on how not to waste money - remember whose it is. Money, time, energy - it's all God's. We are called to be stewards of it. Are you conscious of God's provision and sovereignty in all that you do? I know that if I were, I would spend differently.

Or, there's also the less spiritual but always practical advice to stop spending money you don't have.

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Monday, July 16, 2007


"Instead of focusing on the great men of God, I prefer to focus on the great God of men." - John Wimber

Sunday, July 15, 2007

upside down church

This is some old stuff I found posted by Andrew Jones but I like it and although it's not new, many continue to work in the wrong, but typical model. It's church done upside down.

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wind energy

I had no idea that the wind was so misunderstood. As I watched this I cried and in the end cheered as the Wind finally found purpose.

Please sense the sarcasm.


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i'm rated "g"

In case you were worried:


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pillars of christian character

I'm beginning another book that promises to be good, John MacArthur's The Pillars of Christian Character. The beginning of the book will develop the pillars of faith, obedience, humility, love, and unity. Then MacArthur writes that spiritual growth is a command rather than an option. This is followed by some chapters encouraging the attitudes of forgiveness, joy, and thankfulness at all times. The book closes with chapters on spiritual strength, self-discipline, the nature of worship, and finally Christian hope. I'm looking forward to reading this.

The introduction begins with a wonderful anecdote of the pillars in the town hall in Windsor. When construction of the town hall was complete, the city fathers toured the building and thought that the interior needed more support pillars. The customer allows being right, the architect Sir Christopher Wren, had the extra pillars added. But these were fakes in that they never reached the ceiling. They looked impressive and appeared to provide support but in fact they were mere illusions - they served no real function.

MacArthur points out that this is often the case in our churches.
Substance is replaced by shadow. Content is out - style is in. Meaning is out - method is in. The church may look right, but it bears little weight.

We are to be the pillar and support of the truth (1 Tim 3.15) but as MacArthur notes, we "have built a facade that offers no support, bears little weight, and falls short of reaching the heights God designed for the church and wants it to reach."

MacArthur adds that in his experience, "if the spiritual attitudes of the people are right, ... the church's organizational structure, form, and style become far less important." I'd add that the latter is still very important but it flows out of the former and therefore is the perspective and order correct, but the latter is "right". It's more of a 'which one flows from which one' perspective and it's always wrong if the structure and form drive the spiritual.

I'd also modify MacArthur's claim somewhat in that he credits "careful, long-term, biblical teaching" with accomplishing that right spiritual attitude. While I think it is imperative to have this, as Iggy reminds me, we all ultimately need to be in relationship with the truth, Jesus. Too many seemingly make teaching the goal which is as wrong as abandoning it. The 'goal' is neither, the goal is Christ Jesus Himself.

In MacArthur's defense, he later states the his goal, as with Paul, is that Jesus Christ be fully formed in those he ministers to (Gal 4.19). I did not intend to imply MacArthur does not think this, I was only using the above as a cue to warn the teaching itself is not the target.

Later MacArthur says, "transformed lives should be the goal of all pastors and church leaders". Again, right but I'd simply add that this is the goal of all Christians not only the paid clergy or those in "leadership positions". Let's be careful not to force this into our western world paradigm (as opposed to Biblical) of what the church looks like.

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the greek way to restore the church

818638044 3E8Eeceb57I was fortunate to make some beautiful friendships while living in German. One of the wonderful families we were privileged to get to know was that of Anastasios and Andrea (Greek and German - go figure). Tassos publishes The Journal of Biblical Accuracy which was rated 'must see' on Phil Johnson's bookmarks.

Anyway, Tassos recommended I read an article by Rev. Archimandrite Fr. Eusebius A. Stephanou about the church. Being the shallow person I am, my first reaction was I really like this guy's clothes so I felt compelled to include his photo here. That aside, it is an interesting article and it builds on some recent posts I've made regarding the Church. Father Eusebius rightly states:
Too many are looking in the wrong places for the solution to the present crisis in the Church. Are we to rely simply on new programs and administrative changes? The word of God makes it crystal clear to us:

- Repent collectively of our sins of disobedience.
- Bring Christ out of obscurity into prominence between Liturgies.
- Restore the Headship and Lordship of Christ.
- Enunciate as frequently as possible Christ's "pre-eminence in all things" outside the Church building, as well as inside.
- Cause the Bride of Christ to be inflamed with a nuptial love for her coming Divine Spouse.
- There cannot be spiritual renewal until Jesus is glorified!

If our Church is truly the Church of the Apostles and Fathers, then let us talk the language of the Apostles and Fathers. Their sole aim was to exalt the Name of Jesus and to die for Him. They desired to "decrease so that He might increase" (John 3:30)

Very well said.

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iggy on truth

My friend Iggy from Montana reminded me of a recent post of his. It's a real eye-opener and will certainly challenge some assumptions made by many of us. It's worth reading.

His reminder is that Truth is in the person Jesus Christ and that the objective/subjective truth debate pretty much misses the point. Take a look and let me know what you think.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

worship is a reponse

Worship is always a response to God. This is a foundational understanding for us as worship leaders, and as worshippers. We do not, will not, and never have initiated anything with God. Worship always begins with Him, and ends with Him. He calls to us, and we respond. He acts in our lives, and we respond. He allows us a glimpse of Him, and we respond. The human soul is forever called to respond to God. Our natural response to any revelation of God is worship. When we respond to God in worship. He always responds back to us with a glimpse of something more. - Kris MacQueen

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cowboy troy

I Play Chicken With The Train by Cowboy Troy (featuring Big & Rich) ... I don't get it. It is definitely weird (to my world). But I kinda like it. I may actually start liking country music ... not.


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Friday, July 13, 2007

cessationism rolls on

The contradiction and inconsistency in the cessationist camp continues to roll on.

John MacArthur in a great piece on objective truth writes:
Give up the ground of biblical truth, and whatever belief-system you have left is not worthy to be labeled Christian, even if it retains vestiges of Christian symbolism and terminology. Many who would call themselves Christians today are in precisely that situation. They use the language and symbolism of Christianity, but their real source of authority is something besides Scripture. Some simply live by their feelings and shape their beliefs in accord with their own personal preferences.

But just a week earlier, Phil Johnson wrote:

If charismatics could produce the kind of miracles described in the Bible, or if anyone's "gift of tongues" turned out to be authentic or objectively translatable languages (like in Acts 2:8), I would be forced to reconsider my cessationist opinions.

Both sides of the cessationist and continuationalist argument have had some pretty big brains proffer their point from Scripture. I think the continuationalist side is more consistent with the whole of Scripture but I see merit in both arguments. I can even understand why cessationists think have proven their point and claim victory - although I'm not sure how proving God doesn't work through His people as He did in Scripture is something to celebrate.

Anyway, what I don't understand is now that about everything that can be written on the topic has been, the 'team' that thinks their strength is Biblical truth, feels ok with throwing out comments such as those of Johnson. I find Johnson's remarks consistent with the unbelievers of Jesus' day and inconsistent with the right thinking his own camp puts forth regarding the high standard of Scripture.

So Benny Hinn can claim that miracles are real and Phil Johnson can claim that they are not, I claim the Scripture regarding the Kingdom are true. Folks, what we have here is a simple case of the "already, not yet". The MacArthur camp thinking of the Kingdom as "here once, gone today, and back tomorrow" just doesn't float based on Scripture - and that's enough for me.

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al mohler and the pope

Here's a great piece that models love, respect yet uncompromising firmness in response to the wrong (re)statement from Pope Benedict XVI that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church. I'm always amazed at the protestant extremes on this issue. Some people seem to think that contrary clear Roman Catholic doctrine that we could all some how get along. Others simply hate all that hints of Catholicism.

I prefer Mohler's approach.

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thank your volunteers and rob bell

Todd Rhoades at MMI is in fun mode today. I especially liked two of today's posts.

The first is an 80's hair band way to say thanks to your volunteers.

That just screams "THANK YOU" and certainly will compel others to pitch in to serve!

The second is a hilarious imitation of Rob Bell. Personally, I like the Nooma videos for what they are. This guy has the act down right.

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inconvenient gospel

Here's a short, sharp quip by my new friend Dan Edelen in response to, "how to tell you are not a Christian" ...

You never let the Gospel inconvenience your lifestyle.

And the Jonathan Moorhead 'coincidentally' asks ...

When is the last time you shared the Gospel with someone face to face? Just asking . . .

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

stop sinning

Speaking of King David in his continuing study on Psalm 51, Sam Storms states:
David not only prays for pardon from past sin but also for the power to walk in future purity.

Simply asking for pardon isn't enough. One must also have the power by which not to commit the same sin again.

Excellent truths. Read the entire article here.

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new defense for algore III

Algore (that's Limbaughise for Al Gore) offered a new defense for his son's arrest last week.
My boy was upset about global warming. The terror that is global warming was the cause of his arrest. He was so upset that he momentarily lost control of his emotions and began driving too fast. The medications he possessed were not enough to help alleviate his depression.

Read the complete story here.

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truth according to phillips

Dan Phillips is starting what promises to be a great series for those that have little or no Bible background. If something is stirring in your heart to understand this person called Christ and this thing called Christianity, this should be a good series to follow.

It is called Hello, Out There©. The first one is about truth. Is there truth and if so, can we know it? Very, very well done.

Read it. And for those of you that don't bother to read the comments, here is JSB's add and Phillips' reply. Excellent.

JSB: Jesus is the locus and the Logos. I heard Christopher Hitchens say the other day that there is no moral pronouncement a Christian can make that an atheist cannot also make. Which rather misses the point, doesn't it? The atheist can "say it" but cannot back it up. Cannot make an argument that would make it binding on all (and what good is a morality that does not extend beyond one person?) I think Schaeffer used to argue that truth had to be revealed, or the whole concept was meaningless.

DJP: Very well-put, JSB. A "morality" that is only binding on me falls rather short of the definition of the word, doesn't it? It would be hard to explain the difference between that definition of "morality," and "whim" or "mood" or "preference."

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