Thursday, October 30, 2008

how do you see

This video brought to my attention by iggy reminded me of an expression I've used when discussing how we interact with the world.

Do you see people as scenery, machinery, or opportunity?

  • Scenery - could those around you just as easily be scenery? Do you even notice them or do they mostly blend in with the background?
  • Machinery - could those around you just as easily be a machine? When you got served lunch at the fast food place, was the person around you a person or a machine serving your needs?
  • Opportunity - do you see people as individuals that matter to God?
Anyway, you get the idea ...

Monday, October 27, 2008

wrong righteousness

Before you can ever make a clean and unamended confession of your sin, you have to first begin by confessing your righteousness. It’s not just your sin that separates you from God; your righteousness does as well. Because, when you are convinced you are righteous, you don’t seek the forgiving, rescuing, and restoring mercy that can be found only in Jesus Christ. ~ Paul David Tripp, Whiter Than Snow


Sunday, October 26, 2008

the cross

2976941176 34E66E6AbaBefore we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance). Indeed, 'only the man who is prepared to own his share in the guilt of the cross', wrote Canon Peter Green, 'may claim his share in its grace.' ~ John Stott, The Cross of Christ



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In the Old Testament there were two kinds of covenants; those of promise (e.g., Gen 15) and those of law (e.g. Exo 24). These varied covenants fit under a simple structure of two overarching covenants, that of Grace and of Works. Therefore these multiple covenants can be viewed as ratifications of continuous overall covenant. That is, those covenants made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel are all part of the covenant of Grace first promised in the garden (Ge 3.15).

This is important to understand so that we do not mistakenly begin to view the Old Testament as essentially the Law and the New Testament as essentially the Gospel. There is one Gospel (Gal 3.8), one plan of Salvation (Eph 1.4-6), and one common faith (Eph 4.4-6).

As Kim Riddlebarger writes;

The individual covenants with Abraham, Moses, and David foreshadowed as part of a larger covenantal structure the new covenant ratified by Christ's blood (Heb 10.11-18). The great redemptive events found throughout the Old Testament are unintelligible apart from this covenantal structure and an emphasis on God's promise of a coming Redeemer, who is also the covenant Mediator.

Adam was the first breaker of the Covenant of Works. He failed in perfect obedience anf received the consequence of such (Gen 2.17). This act of rebellion brought the curse of death upon all humanity. This has never been abrogated and for any of us to now be saved, someone must fulfill all of the terms of the original covenant (Mt 5.48; 1 Pet 1.16). Bad news - all of us are guilty of the same (Hos 6.7). Good news = Jesus Christ completely met all all of the requirements of the Covenant of Works in thought, word, and deed (Rom 5.12-21). And more so, overcoming the penalty of death is demonstrated in His resurrection as the Lord of Life (Rom .25).

future things

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Eschatology is about the past, present and future. As Christians we are concerned with all three (Eph 1.3-14).

In very broad terms the biblical sweep is from creation to the new creation by way of redemption, which is, in effect the renewing of creation. yet the end is not merely a return to the beginning ... ~ William Dumbrell, The Search for Order: Biblical Eschatology in Focus

God's creation was good. Man fell into sin and paradise was lost. God however promised redemption which has begun and will ultimately be fulfilled. But that fulfillment will be more than a return to paradise. It will be paradise glorified.

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bud v. obama

I love it ... years ago it was Budweiser.

Now it's Obama.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

forward hope

From first to last, and not merely in the epilogue, Christianity is eschatology, is hope, forward looking and forward moving, and therefore also revolutionizing and transforming the present. The eschatological is not one element of Christianity, but it is the medium of Christian faith as such, the key in which everything in it is set, the glow that suffuses everything here in the dawn of an expected new day. … Hence eschatology cannot really be only a part of Christian doctrine. Rather, the eschatological outlook is characteristic of all Christian proclamation, of every Christian existence and of the whole Church. There is therefore only one real problem in Christian theology … : the problem of the future. ~ J├╝rgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope

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Warning ... hardcore anti-abortion video ... Video deleted because I love Shannon ... that seems like reason enough ...

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Monday, October 20, 2008

receiving sinners

Some folks wonder how I can be a Calvinist and not see the ugly side of this theology. Well I am and I don't.

The Calvinist is the man who has seen God, and who, having seen God in His glory, is filled on the one hand with a sense of his own unworthiness to stand in God's sight as a creature, and much more as a sinner, and on the other hand, with adoring wonder that nevertheless this God is a God who receives sinners. ~ BB Warfield

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

the fatherhood of god

You sum up the whole of New Testament teaching in a single phrase, if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the holy Creator. In the same way, you sum up the whole of New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. ‘Father’ is the Christian name for God. ~ J.I. Packer, Knowing God


think about god

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. ~ A.W. Tozer

What do you think about when you think about God?

live for christ

To live for yourself is to rob yourself of your own humanity. It is only in living for Christ that we actually begin to become what we were meant to be. ~ Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More


Friday, October 17, 2008


Obama-Mccain 1010269I

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Live in such a way where the only thing you have left to do is die. ~ C Michael Patton


Finally, this is the kind of politicking I like ...

McCain at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner part 1

McCain at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner part 2

Obama at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner part 1

Obama at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner part 2

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

i don't get it

Someone was making the argument that John McCain voted with George Bush 95% of the time and since Bush's approval rating is roughly 29%, McCain must be bad.

That's odd logic to me but that aside, since Barack Obama voted with his party 96% of the time and the Democrat controlled Congress has a 13% approval, does that make Obama worse?

I hardly think so. But then why do people argue like that. As I've contended, too many people are anxious to display their ignorance. Me, I like to try to hide mine.

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facts, what are they? has their review of the final (thank God) debate. Here's the summary.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Obama's WealthSpread™: I Can't Believe It's Not Earned!

Wealth Spread 500While canvassing neighborhoods in Ohio this Sunday, Barack Obama advised a tax-burdened plumber not to worry about money because under his presidency money will disappear since it will no longer have any meaning anyway. Instead, all Americans will be living off Obama's highly nutritive WealthSpread™ formula that is surprisingly low in effort and is being promoted by a group of leading nutritionists known as the Cook Fringe of the Democrat Party under the brand name "I Can't Believe It's Not Earned!"

"Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" the plumber asked, complaining that he was being taxed "more and more for fulfilling the American dream."

"It's not that I want to punish your success," Obama responded. "I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

Read the rest ...

And, in a bold move to woo offended female votes ...


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Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

keller on the gospel

In a comment made here, Darryl Dash pointed me to Tim Keller's excellent post about the Gospel in all its forms. Keller opens with the age old yet accurate adage:

The gospel has been described as a pool in which a toddler can wade and yet an elephant can swim. It is both simple enough to tell to a child and profound enough for the greatest minds to explore.

Keller contends that while there must be one Gospel, there are many forms in which that Gospel can be expressed. He uses Simon Gathercole's formula to provide a three-point outline of the Gospel.

1) Jesus was the promised Messianic King and Son of God come to earth as a servant, in human form (Ro 1.3-4; Phil 2.4ff)
2) By his death and resurrection, Jesus atoned for our sin and secured our justification by grace, not by our works (1 Cor 15.3ff)
3) On the cross Jesus broke the dominion of sin and evil over us (Col 2.13-15) and at his return he will complete what he began by the renewal of the entire material creation and the resurrection of our bodies (Ro 8.18ff)

Keller summarizes as follows:

Through the person and work of Jesus Christ, God fully accomplishes salvation for us, rescuing us from judgment for sin into fellowship with him, and then restores the creation in which we can enjoy our new life together with him forever.

I like how Keller then summarizes how he uses the Gospel.

1. I don't put all the gospel points into any one gospel presentation.
2. I use both a gospel for the "circumcised" and for the "uncircumcised."
3. I use both a "kingdom" and an "eternal life" gospel.
4. I use them all and let each group overhear me preaching to the others.

no further questions

This settles it. I thought my mind was already made up but this clinches it.

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Fireproof - go see it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

maria ruiz

NSV is one of several partners of a JEM Ministries in Juarez, Mexico. JEM Ministries serves the orphaned and marginalized of Juarez by meeting the spiritual and practical needs of the community.

For the past 7 years we've served in Juarez, and for the last 2, have specifically been building on a 12,000 square foot orphanage/trade school campus for JEM. JEM Ministries is lead by Pastor Jesus Ruiz and his wife, Maria. Maria was awarded CNN's Heroes award for her daily commitment to crossing the border from El Paso to Juarez, MX. And she's now made the final top ten 'Heroes' and has been rewarded $25,000 for their ministry.

But that's not all. If she wins the top 'Hero of the Year' award, which is announced on Thanksgiving night on CNN (9pm EST), she will win an additional $100,000 dollars. The winner is based on who gets the most votes. Go vote now! Please.

Here's their CNN video segment and story.

So again, go VOTE here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

the fear of the lord

I like this, from chapter 2 of Porn-Again, "Wisdom is living your life in congruence with the will of God by walking in grace with him. Wisdom begins with fearing God (Prov. 1:7)."

Mark Driscoll does a great job reminding us of how seriously God takes sin.

In chapter 3, Driscoll outlines;

The Bible is emphatically clear that God’s men should abstain from certain sins that war against their souls. First, God’s men should not commit adultery (Ex. 20:14). Second, God’s men should not covet their neighbor’s wife, even if her clothes leave little to the imagination (Ex. 20:17). Third, God’s men should not participate with prostitutes who use their bodies as a commodity to be rented for a good time or a good photo (Prov. 23:26–27; 1 Cor. 6:15–16). Fourth, God’s men should not be polygamous, because their father Adam and Head Jesus each had one bride (Eve and the Church). Fifth, God’s men should not be fornicators who slide their hands, which God made to lift up in prayer (1 Tim. 2:8), up the shirt of their girlfriend, even if she asks (1 Cor. 6:9–13).

... Practically, ... only you and God truly know your heart and, rather than trying to obey legalistic rules, you must be honest about the lusts in your heart and reduce those triggers that stimulate you.

I'm always amazed when people argue over what is pornography. I never get the intent of that. What is pornographic to me may not be to you. But either way, we both know it and we both work hard to excuse it. Stop.

it's about a person

Christianity’s change process does not revolve around a system of redemption but around a person who redeems. The Bible calls us to focus on Christ our Redeemer - the Word of God made flesh - who gives us the pattern and power for change. Christ is our hope. He links the forgiveness of the past to the growth of the present to the hope of the future. ~ Timothy Lane & Paul David Tripp, from How People Change

HT:TW via PC

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

bailout update

Here it is ... more honest that most of what is out there ...

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Yes, this video happens to be against democrats but I'm sure there is footage to match of the republicans doing the same.

Bottom-line, if the best you can do is accusation, you should give up. I like Bob Hyatt's words on this.

I think "change" and "hope" and "reform" (even the mavericky kind) start during the campaign, and so far, I'm not seeing much of it.

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gospel again

Darryl Dash writes:

Our efforts to promote justice, obey God, and love others are necessary implications of the Gospel, but they are not the Gospel itself. It is wrong to ignore the implications; it is also wrong to confuse the them with the Gospel.

In the context of the Gospel of the Cross - he is exactly right!

In the context of the Gospel of the Kingdom, then I would not agree with him as he wrote it. But then I don't think he was making this distinction and I'm sure both he and I would agree that the former is a prerequisite to the latter.

I continue to struggle with several friends trying to get them to understand this. They continuously confuse, even defend, that good works is the Gospel. They say that in spite of it being nearly 100% within their natural means and devoid of any "Gospel of the Cross". I'm befuddled.

what if ...

John Mark Reynolds reflects on why he is afraid of both US presidential candidates and I have to agree with him. In his post he lists four government actions and his perception of the inevitable outcome. My thoughts are similar. Fundamental, and this is what candidates cannot say, there is nothing they can do. The problem is people. People ranging from greedy politicians, greedy folks in the financial world, greedy consumers trying to live outside their means, etc.. All of us. It's the rich trying to get richer and the poor trying to act unpoor.

Reynolds writes that, "I think some rules and regulations are helpful as sign posts to right behavior . . . but if our leadership class (on Wall Street and Washington) has become corrupt, then what group will we count on to enforce the laws?" He's correct. I'm not sure we need more laws. We need to put some people in jail based on the current laws.

Along those lines, we need to force Congressmen to put there name next to every earmark they propose on a given bill. I think if this data were readily available our job as voters would be much easier by cutting through the rhetoric. Just give me a tally of the bills they proposed and the earmarks they attached to others. I can decide from there.

On that note, as my wife and I watch the candidates speak of how the both warned of the coming crisis, we couldn't help but think that they both just admitted to being ineffectual. The harder folks work to blame others, the worse they look themselves.

Anyway, my mind is made up, one of the candidates is at least on a team that is pretending to point in a general direction that I like while the other is not. Both parties and both candidates have significant issues and I cannot help but wonder why Christians are so vocal on choosing sides and worse getting caught up in attacking the other side. I have many friends that just cannot see the difference. They want to argue for their candidate or accuse the other but for some reason do not want to pick a topic (e.g., abortion, how to run a healthy economy, etc.). And worse, they justify their passion by saying politics are important, as Christians we should ... you can fill it in. Then I wonder why the only time they have this passion is during election time. I wonder ...

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just the facts jack

Ok - another debate has gone by and we know less ...

Some of the lowlights from ...
  • McCain proposed to write down the amount owed by over-mortgaged homeowners and claimed the idea as his own: “It’s my proposal, it's not Sen. Obama's proposal, it's not President Bush's proposal.” But the idea isn’t new. Obama had endorsed something similar two weeks earlier, and authority for the treasury secretary to grant such relief was included in the recently passed $700 billion financial rescue package.
  • Both candidates oversimplified the causes of the financial crisis. McCain blamed it on Democrats who resisted tighter regulation of federal mortgage agencies. Obama blamed it on financial deregulation backed by Republicans. We find both are right, with plenty of blame left over for others, from home buyers to the chairman of the Federal Reserve.
  • Obama said his health care plan would lower insurance premiums by up to $2,500 a year. Experts we’ve consulted see little evidence such savings would materialize.
  • McCain misstated his own health care plan, saying he’d give a $5,000 tax credit to “every American” His plan actually would provide only $2,500 per individual, or $5,000 for couples and families. He also misstated Obama’s health care plan, claiming it would levy fines on “small businesses” that fail to provide health insurance. Actually, Obama’s plan exempts “small businesses.”
  • McCain lamented that the U.S. was forced to “withdraw in humiliation” from Somalia in 1994, but he failed to note that he once proposed to cut off funding for troops to force a faster withdrawal.
  • Obama said, “I favor nuclear power.” That’s a stronger statement than we've heard him make before. As recently as last December, he said, “I am not a nuclear energy proponent.”
  • McCain claimed “1.3 million people in America make their living off eBay.” Actually, only 724,000 persons in the U.S. have income from eBay, and only some of them rely on it as their primary source.

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for geoff

Since my friend Geoff bit on the joke about the physical appearance of some of US political players, I just had to toss this one in ...

"What's the difference between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama?"

"One is a well turned-out, good-looking, and let's be honest, pretty sexy piece of eye-candy.

"The other kills her own food."

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

virus alert!

If you get an e-mail with "Nude Photos of Sarah Palin" in the subject line, do not open it. It might contain a virus.

If you get an e-mail with "Nude Photos of Hillary Clinton," do not open it. It might contain nude photos of Hillary Clinton.

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prophesy and politics

Dan Edelen has this to say:

When Christians repent of their sins and distractions (including political distractions), when they humble themselves and cast off their mistaken notions of power, when they pray to stay true to the focus of the only genuine Kingdom, then God will heal their land through their sharing of the Good News with the lost and the making of disciples. When Christians live out the high calling of the Gospel before earthly kingdoms and shame those unworthy imitations with their service to the only True Kingdom, then God will heal their land.

But when Christians look to earthly kingdoms, when Christians take their focus off the Lord and put their faith in power systems rooted in sin and compromise, they will wind up off course, off message, off purpose, and ultimately disappointed. God does not heal the land through man’s elections but through Christians living out their allegiance to Christ’s unearthly Kingdom by concentrating on making disciples and serving the least of these no matter what government is in power.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

vp debates

SNL VP Debates ... you need to wait until after the initial commercial.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

toilet water

Jer 2:13 - God people tend to satisfy their thirst not by drinking from his streams of living water, but instead drinking from man-made toilets. From the first chapter of Mark Driscoll's Porn-Again. He continues, "the church alone has access to the living water from God’s perfect Word, but largely fails to teach men masculinity in any area, particularly regarding their sexuality." The chapter ends with this summary:

In our age of lewdness and perversion we, like our Father, must avoid crassness, while wisely and boldly speaking frankly about the joy and beauty of sexual intimacy when it is confined by the loving directions of the God who created both us and our desires. And, we must refuse to speak in sanitized clinical euphemisms like calling adulteries “affairs,” fornication “dating,” and perverts “partners” because God uses frank words for deplorable sin so we will feel its sickness without anesthesia.

modern church historical

Church history in a nutshell ...


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fact checking's summary on the VP debate is in ...

  • Palin mistakenly claimed that troop levels in Iraq had returned to “pre-surge” levels. Levels are gradually coming down but current plans would have levels higher than pre-surge numbers through early next year, at least.
  • Biden incorrectly said “John McCain voted the exact same way” as Obama on a controversial troop funding bill. The two were actually on opposite sides.
  • Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount, but a family of four would not have been affected unless they made at least $90,000 a year.
  • Biden wrongly claimed that McCain “voted the exact same way” as Obama on the budget bill that contained an increase on singles making as little as $42,000 a year. McCain voted against it. Biden was referring to an amendment that didn't address taxes at that income level.
  • Palin claimed McCain’s health care plan would be “budget neutral,” costing the government nothing. Independent budget experts estimate McCain's plan would cost tens of billions each year, though details are too fuzzy to allow for exact estimates.
  • Biden wrongly claimed that McCain had said "he wouldn't even sit down" with the president of Spain. Actually, McCain didn't reject a meeting, but simply refused to commit himself one way or the other during an interview.
  • Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008


I love the debates ...

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economic crisis says everyone is to blame for the current economic crisis. I'm not ok with that so I'm officially blaming Randy Noblog.

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doubt again

Simply put: defeat doubt by immersing your mind in the Word of God. This is the ordained means by which the Spirit will indelibly imprint on your heart the joyful and undeniable assurance that what God has said, God will do.

Paul said much the same thing when he prayed that the Romans might ‘abound in hope’ Romans 15:13b). But abundant hope or full assurance only comes ‘in believing’ (Romans 15:13a) or in connection with and as a result of our faith in what God has made known. Sin-killing, Satan-silencing confidence doesn’t fall from heaven like manna, nor do we serendipitously bump into it as we skip blissfully and ignorantly down the yellow brick road to a heavenly Oz. The Spirit imparts hope and confidence and assurance by means of and only in connection with our growth in the knowledge and understanding of God in his Word. ~ Sam Storms, The Hope of Glory



I had a gazzillion thoughts fly through my head on this one ... thanks Jon.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

business as usual

McCain and Obama and the rest ... business as usual.

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L.B. Graham states the following in regard to Christian writing and specifically fiction but I've edited because I think it applies to the whole of Christian living.

Christianity is not about moralism ... Christianity revolves, not around good behavior, but around God’s mercy shown to man in the death and resurrection of Christ. However, even though we know this to be theologically true, I think we struggle to remember this as we go about our daily lives ...


When the Christian trusts, he is happy; when he doubts, he is miserable. When the believer looks to his Master and relies upon him, he can sing; when he doubts his Master, he can only groan. What miserable wretches the most faithful Christians are when they once begin doubting and fearing! It is a trade I never like to meddle with, because it never pays the expenses, and never brings in any profit —the trade of doubting. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Fear Not