Monday, December 31, 2007


Another basic tenet of Presuppositional Apologetics is the certainty of Christianity. It's not about a leap of blind faith. God can be known with certainty.

Scriptures teach that God reveals Himself to us in unmistakable ways. The choice not to acknowledge Him is a willful act to suppress the obvious.

But we're not talking about whether men actually set foot on the moon in 1969. This is something that - if it's true - is the most fundamental fact of reality. God is Creator and in Him all other facts have their being. So when proving such a fundamental concept, circularity is unavoidable.

Consider the laws of logic. Can you prove them? Nope. To prove them, you have to use them - and therefore, assume them before they're proven. [take a minute on that one ... and check out the picture while you're at it - if you obey it, you disobey it; if you disobey it, you obey it.]

We know they exist though, because - like God - without them, you can't prove anything. They are true, by rational necessity, because of the impossibility of the contrary.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Humor for the Fathers

Writer Ian Frazier spent a weekend watching his kids while his wife was away and at the time happened to be reading through Leviticus. This was the result.

Read it here.

Listen here.

[I think ... I couldn't get it to work on my PC.]

Exalting in Christmas

People say, 'Don't you know Christmas used to be a pagan holiday?'.
And I say, 'That fits me perfectly because I used to be a pagan!'

-Douglas Wilson, in The Regulative Principle Applied, from the Credenda/Agenda 1997 Ministerial Conference themed: Liturgical Bedlam

Friday, December 21, 2007

Piper at His Best

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man."

-J.P. Let the Nations be Glad


I'm a huge fan of Presuppositional Apologetics and think you should be too.
This method of defending the faith gets its big ol' name from its main tenet: Everyone presupposes God. Even the most ardent atheist acknowledges God in BOTH his living and reasoning.

Since we always presuppose God, when we try not to, we end up contradicting ourselves. Here is a quick example of a self-defeating statement:
'The brain secretes thought as the liver secretes bile'.

That bile was secreted by the brain of the French Enlightenment Materialist Pierre Cabanis [switch the 'b' and 'n' to cue the comedians].

If thinking is nothing more than an organ function, why in the world should I trust it to be an accurate measure of reality? Moreover why would I trust anybody else's thinking ... especially anybody who equated his brain and liver?

That statement is self-refuting, on the level of: I never tell the truth. It deserves to be discounted. Similarly, worldviews that deny God are ALWAYS self-contradicting. They cannot endure internal critique - they are disproved by their own standards.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


What's it called when a guy takes somebody else's money by threat of harm so that he can use it for himself and his friends?

Currently, we use three different words for it depending on the context.

1: if we're talking about Robin Hood, it's called heroism. [Rob the rich; feed the poor]

2: if we're talking about your property, it's called taxes. [Wealth redistribution and equality]

3: if we're talking about my property, it's called theft. [Hands off!]

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not protesting taxes. I'm protesting taxes that are used to improve the welfare of others. The handicapped are not the responsibility of the state. Neither is my retirement. Neither is my hospital bill. When a politician buys votes from the poor with promises to provide these things, guess whose money he is spending. The nanny-state to some, the bully-state to others - this is not legitimate.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Now That's what I call Amazing Grace!

'Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly: I'm a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.'

-John Newton

[as quoted in Amazing Grace - good movie despite the flagrant fabric shortage of low-cut period dresses]

Our Subjective Sciences

"The sciences bring to the 'facts' the philosophy they claim to derive from them."

-C. S. Lewis, The Pilgrim's Regress

Monday, December 17, 2007

Thinking Clearly About Culture Part 3 of 3

MOST ESSENTIAL: I think I can say, as part of the 20-something generation, that the most essential virtue necessary to reach out is authenticity. I don't have to pretend to be a skater to befriend one, in fact, if there is one trait that all young Americans share, it's the ability to spot a fake. The gospel is about the most real need that any person has. It doesn't take packaging or fancy marketing to create it. It's the power of God, regardless of how I do my hair. When a skater has cancer, he doesn't care that his doctor looks like Mr. Rogers, as long as he has the cure. When we get serious about sin, we see our pastors and churches the same way.

HELLO DALAI: In my opinion, we are overcompensating in the spirit of 'cultural' accommodation. How many times has the Dalai Lama written a NY Times best-seller? Several. Take a look at his picture up there... not what you'd call the paragon of cultural adaptation. He sells-out speaking engagements around the world. Why? People yearn for the transcendent. They're tired of being 'pitched' and sold. They crave something deeper. This guy comes to them with all of his quirks, but no pretensions and they listen [unfortunately]. We should learn from this.
Also, when we decide to cater to one subculture, we do so to the exclusion of all others. Subcultures are by design exclusive. Because marketing drives them, a rapper 'needs' to wear the type of cologne suitable for a rapper, not a golfer. So he is bombarded with commercials to convince him to have nothing to do with the golfer's aftershave, but to buy the complete line of gangsta fragrances. He and every other subcultural lemming will likely have the same reaction to the church that is found with a skate park in their front lot - 'If Grace Lutheran is a skater church, obviously they're not my type'.

FINAL THOUGHT: Paul's example of being all things to all men involved his efforts to bring the gospel to the lost. The context was evangelism, not the church's worship. !!!

Thinking Clearly About Culture Part 2 of 3

SKATER CULTURE? I've heard more than one well-meaning and Godly man talk about 'skater culture'. We are told that there is skater culture and surf culture and rap culture and tuner culture [street cars] and that it is the will of God that we infiltrate these cultures. But how did we end up with skater culture? It's easy to see how we ended up with Indian, Chinese, British culture... but how'd the skaters do it? The answer is that the skaters didn't do it. It was done for them ... or technically, to them. There is no such thing as skater culture or surfer culture or tuner culture, etc. These are more properly referred to as subcultures and they were created and perpetuated by CLEVER MARKETING.

HOIST THE SALES: It has been said that the great American genius is not meeting needs but creating them; not service but sales. That is what subcultures are all about. In the case of 'skate culture', since the eighties, sales teams have targeted mostly white, lower to middle class, twelve to twenty-two year old males [their girlfriends would follow] with skater-related products.

But these products are packaged as lifestyles. Clever commercials encourage target audiences to find and build their personal identity around a distinguishing hobby or characteristic. Buying a skateboard led to wearing skater shoes, shorts, shirts, watches, then buying skater-marketed hair gel and color, wall posters for one's room, skate-related films are made, skate music labels sell music specifically tailored to skaters, carried by certain radio stations [which in turn sell advertising space to all the aforementioned skater products]. Skater jargon is woven throughout to further solidify the image that this is a lifestyle - "We even talk like skaters ... we are different ... so don't wear preppy socks; wear skater socks.  And whadaya know - we just happen to have them on sale this week!"

Moreover, last year's skater socks simply won't do either, because, after all, sales is behind this... and to keep sales up, the style of socks has to change from season to season. So subcultural styles are, by their nature, very impermanent.

The Market-Driven Church: How are churches obligated to accommodate skater culture? Do skaters require a skater pastor with spiky hair and a tattooed neck inside of a large glass building surrounded by a graffitied skate park? If we don't do these things are we neglecting the skaters' souls? I certainly don't think so.

Rich Simplicity - Worship PART 3

Scenario #3: Many years of marriage have refined me in ways that seem funny, now. One Christmas, I gave my wife a small, fire-proof safe for her present. We needed one for our important documents, I wanted one, and found a great deal ... so she got one. For her birthday, she got a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver - to go in the safe. After a while, we both recongnized a trend. [I'm proud to report that lately, she's gotten a digital camera, flowery china, and romantic letters.]

Application #3: Counselors call it the narcissism; psychologists call it projection; the Bible calls it will worship; forming God from man's image. We presume that good worship will naturally take on a look that just happens to mirror our favorite music video. My tastes become God's. I love Maroon 5, so God will too, right? We offer to God what we are willing to give Him, and that's often as deep as it goes. We've long since abandoned looking outside ourselves for a standard of goodness or beauty.

Is it really all about Him - what He desires, deserves, & demands of us? Who is worship actually supposed to please?

Rich Simplicity - Worship PART 2

Scenario#2: When a married man, after a few years, decides to introduce props and toys and other outside 'stimulants' into the bedroom, his wife can be sure that these 'developments' have less to do with his desire for her specifically than they do with his appetites for a certain three letter word in general. She ought to feel denigrated.

Application #2: If, as the result of terrorist attacks, the US experienced some sort of major power black out for the next five years, and there were no amplifiers, keyboards, or spotlights even possible for churches [let alone air conditioners] ... how would membership/attendance be affected? How would we reach out with no glitz? Would it cease to be so much about having an experience for myself and become more about approaching God Himself ... without all the props and paraphanalia?

Saturday, December 15, 2007


People used to say that if a million monkeys were busily pounding on keyboards, they would eventually produce the works of Shakespeare ... now, thanks to internet blogging, we know that's not true.
-[D. Wilson]

If you read my blog, please comment too. I need your criticism!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rich Simplicity - Worship PART 1

Scenario #1: When a lonely Christian girl decides to visit the mall wearing a tight belly shirt and skirt no bigger than a handkerchief, she is managing to be foolish in two different ways at the same time. Firstly, she is instantly attracting the wrong type of guys to herself [by the dozen] and secondly, she is repelling any decent young men who possess the good sense to avoid her.

Application #1: When a local church abandons simple worship for lights, mics, and choreography, it will attract people who are dazzled, entertained, and turned on by the particular flavor of its style, and will repulse others who know better, or distrust their own preferences and emotionalism, or who have simply come to the place where their consciences are bound and they crave the simplicity of worship as described/endorsed in their New Testaments. In ten or twenty years, where will we be/who will we be after it all?

I honestly believe that the most important thing to take place on this planet is the worship of God by His church. It's not 'just worship'. This is why I think, pray, and blog about it at 3 AM.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thinking Clearly about Culture Part 1 of 3

INTRO: What does it really mean to be "all things to all men so that you may win some with the gospel [1 Cor 9.22]"? How far can we take that idea before we find ourselves in violation of the third commandment and cheapen the message?
Today, in evangelicaland, we are being urged toward cultural relevance. We're instructed on how indispensable 'contextualization' is, and how culturally backward we have become - dinosaurs in danger of extinction if we don't kick it in high gear to catch up.
It seems to me that what is most lacking is clear thinking about culture in the first place, so here's some food for thought [from the perspective of a slightly skeptical 20-something curmudgeon].

THE BIG QUESTION: What is a culture anyway?
No one is denying that as a missionary in China, Hudson Taylor was right to dress and speak the part. But what we have in America is a bit different.
When we use the word 'culture' to describe the religion, food, language, art, social atmosphere, calendar, traditions, and ethnic history of the past few millennia in China ... and then use the same word to describe the way that 'Goths' hang out at the mall, something tells me it's time to clarify our definition.

Monday, December 10, 2007


As a follow up - Even from the second-to-last row of the third-level balcony, Handel's Messiah was glorious - like most worship was before people began to casually regard it as a plaything. [Not that this is the way I think churches should conduct worship, because it's not. If the Scripture's are our guide to what God desires and requires in worship - and they are - then simplicity is the rule. But considered as a separate category - sacred art - the convergence of beauty, goodness, and truth - it is a splendor.]

What makes it so great? A few things -

Firstly, it is completely Christocentric. From the first line to the last, it aims all praise squarely at Christ [of course, so does the Bible].

Secondly, the Messiah is composed entirely of Scriptural passages. It is a great way to commit over sixty verses to memory. Of course, I was struck by how often I really wanted to stand up and sing along. All of God's people have the joyous duty of singing God's praises, which is why choirs were eliminated in many reformational denominations. I spent a lot of time thinking about this as I resisted the urge and behaved myself.

Thirdly, God is glorified for His wrath. Judgment is not avoided. This is the difference between Biblical Christianity and contemporary churchianical idolotry. Imprecatory Passages were given to the church in the Psalms to be read and sung and memorized and exalted in. Jennen [Handel's compiler] reminds his listeners that God will sit in heaven and laugh to scorn the ungodly just before dashing them like old pottery with an iron club. There's a word for this ... Biblical.

Lastly, now that we've established the stakes, we understand just why exactly grace is amazing. And man is it ever. Christ's death procured God's forgiveness for the elect culminating in the Last Day when purchased ones from every different nation and tongue will sing in heaven of the worthiness of Christ. Amen.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Problem of Evil ... and Good

If it weren't for logic, atheism would make a viable worldview.

Quick example: Christopher Hitchens in his book, 'God is not Great' summarizes a classic argument against God's existence known as 'the problem of evil' on pg 268:

"Is he [God] willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?"

Then, 30 pages later, when discussing moral relitivism, Hitchens makes this statement:

"There is no such thing as evil, and those who argue with me on this point are wicked, stupid, or both."

Now, I'm no rocket surgeon, but if there is no such thing as evil ... how can you use the 'problem of evil' to argue against theism? Moreover ... with no evil, there's no such thing as good; with no good, there's no such thing as great; with no great, how am I even supposed to understand the title of his book?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Handel's Messiah: THE BEST EVER

The first time that Scripture ever describes someone as being 'filled with the Spirit of God', it was Bezaleel - an artisan/silversmith - for the purpose of achieving supreme excellence in his vocational craft as he directed the construction of the tabernacle and ark. Now, not only does this explode the wacky ideas that accompany the 'pentecostal' theology of being spirit-filled, but it gives us further grounds to cultivate a true, lifelong appreciation of the arts.

In my humble opinion, art doesn't get any more appreciable than Handel's Messiah. Tomorrow, Lord willing, my brother and I will get to see the BSO perform it. For me it is a highpoint of every year ... three hours of the sublime. It is a foretaste of the great last day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess Christ as worthy of worship when I stand for the halleluah chorus along with every other sinner in that place. Here is a rendition of one of my favorite pieces - a quote from the Messianic prophecy of Malachi 3.3: 'And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer up to Him an offering of righteousness'.

or this unforgettable piece from Isaiah 9.6: 'For unto us a child is born...'


Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Why is it that whenever you begin a gospel discussion by saying something like, 'Sleeping with your girlfriend is wrong', every enlightened sophisticant of our age knows that morality is relative, but when you follow up with the topic of racism, everyone begins the old 'tolerance two-step' and becomes a hardline absolutist?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

We Need Psalm Help

When you begin singing Psalms -- when you sing them in their entirety, not little happy snippets that are collected here and there for praise choruses -- but when you start singing the psalms systematically and regularly, you understand something about our reformational heritage. You find yourself singing things you've never sung before in your life. And you may have been a Christian 30, 40, 50 years, but you're singing things you've never sung before in your life. One of the differences you will notice right away is the Psalms are composed by someone who had enemies. And these enemies show up in the Psalms.

The pop evangelical today is just becoming dimly aware that there is such a thing as an adversary and we don't quite know what to do. And part of the reason we don't know what to do is we don't know the Psalms. If we knew the Psalms, what do you do when confronted by the enemy? You pick the Psalm that's most appropriate. But most Christians don't know anything about the Psalms. They don't know how to sing the Psalms, they don't know how to resort to them when they're confronted with all sorts of peril and difficulty.

- D. Wilson, in his lecture on Anne Bradstreet from the 2000 History Conference

Monday, December 3, 2007

Homophobia and Hypocrisy: Stirring the Pot

The official party line of the homosexual propogandistas is: 'As long as we're not hurting anyone, we can do what we want!'

If I grant the premise [which I certainly wouldn't on psychological, spiritual, or especially physical grounds] then I'm left wondering: How in the world could homophobia still be wrong?

Why can't all the homophobes of the world unite and press forward with their clubs and rallies and protest marches to perpetuate hatred? Why can't we send them into our gov't schools to present passionate arguments against tolerance? As long as they stop just short of actual physical violence or flagrant discriminatory acts, why can't they do what they want? No one is getting hurt, and as long as no one is getting hurt, what they do can't be considered wrong ... right?

Is 'homophobia' immoral? Insofar as it includes hatred, I sure think so. But I think this because Jesus has told us that hatred is a violation of His prior commandment forbidding murder. And of course, this same Jesus, through His Apostles, also said, 'neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor sodomites, nor homosexuals will inherit the kingdom of God'. For several millennia now, God has been using the same 3-letter word for both the hateful glare and lusty gawk.

Judgment Day approaches and consistency is crucial because the Judge has promised that we will be judged by the standard we've already chosen to use on our neighbors.

COMING SOON: Life in Sherwood Forest

Robbing the Rich to Feed the Poor - American Politics at it's worst. The completed blog is coming soon.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

But the Emporer has no Clothes on!

“If we are all biological accidents, why shouldn’t the white accidents own and sell the black accidents?”

- Scott Bell author of The Darwin Conspiracy

Please notice the subtitle of Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in the original 1859 title page pictured above:

'Or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.'

[Charlie D. used the term race to include a variety of meanings including the one I'm insinuating here ... see my quotes below in the Watson blog for an example.]

Friday, November 23, 2007

Our Hearty Protestant Heritage

So determinedly faithful were the early Scotch-Irish [Presbyterian Settlers] it was said that when the crops failed and the food was short, they could live off the shorter catechism.

-George Grant, in a lecture on Gideon Blackburn at the 2000 History Conference

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Arrows in the Hand of a Mighty Warrior

When you bring your kids up, you are protecting them for a time, not protecting them forever. You are protecting them for a time in just the same way that you protect your soldiers in boot camp while you're training them. But you don't move them from boot camp to a safer location. What you do is you train your soldiers in order to put them in harm's way. Where's the sound of battle? You want to instinctively move in that direction not the other direction. You want them to be able to handle what's thrown at them.
This is the rule of thumb. You say, 'When is my child ready to take on the secularists in the secular institution?... the workforce or at a secular [school] college or grad school ... when are they ready to do this?'
The answer is: they are ready to do it when someone who knows them and knows the instutution recognizes that WHEN THEY GO THERE, THEY ARE GOING TO DO MORE DAMAGE TO THE INSTITUTION THAN THE INSTITUTION IS GOING TO DO TO THEM.
It's not sufficient to say, 'I think we can send them there and they will survive.' Survival is not the point. This is a war. The point of a war is not to survive the war. The point of a war is to win the war.
So what you want to do is to say: 'If our graduates go to this place, will they be equipped to handle everything that's thrown at them and will they throw some things back that the institution itself will not be equipped to handle.'
-Douglas Wilson, What is a Christian Worldview?, ACCS Conference 2007

Strategy: Capture the Robes, the rest will follow

... American liberals adopted a culture-wide offensive strategy after 1865, a long-term strategy of institutional infiltration and capture. Three institutions were the primary targets of this strategy: the college, the judiciary, and the Church. I have called this strategy capturing the robes. These three institutions have long possessed enormous influence in American life. All three are marked publicly by the wearing of black robes on formal occasions. Robes were the medieval world’s mark of judicial sovereignty.
... These groups did everything they could to capture the leadership of each group, in order to mold public opinion. They have been remarkably successful in their efforts.
We might also call this process "capturing the minds." It is incorrect to say that a man is what he eats. It is also incorrect to say that a man is what he owns. No, a man is what he thinks, what he truly believes in. Shape his thinking, and you can manipulate the man. Shape the thinking of the spokesmen of the activist minority in any society, and you can manipulate that society (within shifting limits historically, of course). ...
The liberals’ strategy has worked exceptionally well. They have captured the nation.

-Historian Gary North on the 'liberalizing' of the Presbyterian Church and the entire culture

A Thanksgiving Poem

No Children!
Edgar Guest

No children in the house to play--

It must be hard to live that way!

I wonder what the people do

When night comes on and the work is through,

With no glad little folks to shout,

No eager feet to race about,

No youthful tongues to chatter on

About the joy that's been and gone?

The house might be a castle fine,

But what a lonely place to dine!

No children in the house at all,

No fingermarks upon the wall,

No corner where the toys are piled--

Sure indication of a child.

No little lips to breathe the prayer

That God shall keep you in His care,

No glad caress and welcome sweet

When night returns you to your street;

No little lips a kiss to give--

Oh, what a lonely way to live!

No children in the house! I fear

We could not stand it half a year.

What would we talk about at night,

Plan for and work with all our might,

Hold common dreams about and find

True union of heart and mind,

If we two had no greater care

Than what we both should eat and wear?

We never knew love's brightest flame

Until the day the baby came.

And now we could not get along

Without their laughter and their song.

Joy is not bottled on a shelf,

It cannot feed upon itself,

And even love, if it shall wear,

Must find its happiness in care;

Dull we'd become of mind and speech

Had we no little ones to teach.

No children in the house to play!

Oh, we could never live that way!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sap to Syrup

Jeremy S. Begbie does a wonderful job of discussing the dangers of sentimentality and modern evangelical fascination with it. Begbie writes that these deficiencies include the misrepresentation of reality by the evasion or trivialization of evil, emotional self-indulgence, and the avoidance of appropriate costly action. “The sentimentalist loves and hates, grieves or pities not for the sake of the other but for the sake of enjoying love, hate, grief or pity.” (51)
This is the cruel side of sentimentality in that the anger over injustice does not result in action to right the injustice. The pictures of children starving in Africa may evoke pity or concern, but if it does not provoke action, then the felt pity becomes more important than the very real human needs.
Sentimentality creeps into the music of worship as well. As Begbie writes, “In a quite proper concern for intimacy with God through Jesus, reality can be misrepresented…⎯if sin is evaded and trivialized, God is shorn of his freedom and disruptive judgment and taken hostage to my emotional requirements.” (57) Music that is “a direct and unadorned expression of love, with music that is metrically regular, harmonically warm and reassuring, easily accessible and singable” (56) may have a place is worship; however, much of this music in its sentimentality is “isolated from other dimensions of relating to God."
Devotion to Jesus, after all, entails being changed into his likeness by the Spirit⎯a costly and painful process.” (56) The result of neglecting to embrace the broader and deeper theology of the need for the sacrifice of Christ can easily leave us with “a Jesuology that has no room for Jesus as the incarnate Son of the Father, even less room for the wide range of the Spirit’s ministries, and encourages us to tug Jesus into the vortex of our self-defined (emotional) need.” (56)
-Greg Wilbur in his review of the book pictured above

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Poetic Incite

by Steve Turner

This is the creed I have written on behalf of all us.

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone,
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy is OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything is getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something
in horoscopes, UFO's and bent spoons;
Jesus was a good man
just like Buddha, Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher
although we think His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same--
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end,
if the dead have lied,
then it's compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan.

We believe in Masters and Johnson.
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links
between warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors
and the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find
the truth that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.

We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.
We believe in the rejection of creeds,
and the flowering of individual thought.

"Chance" a post-script

If chance be the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
and when you hear
State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man worshiping his maker.

Monday, November 12, 2007

One FLEW Out of the Cuckoo's Nest

"The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one of us (all creatures great and small) and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight—that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in. That God must either be turned into a symbol for something less concrete or abandoned altogether."
-Daniel C Dennett - Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Things

Foolish Folk like Dan Dennett have yet another reason to place their hand over their mouth, and this one comes out of the middle of their very own ideological camp - not three years ago, Anthony Flew, the world's foremost philosophical atheist, publicly recanted his atheism for a vague but strong form of deistic theism. After a lifetime of truth suppression he's relented, having lost the strength to continue the schizophrenic resistance of omnipresent evidences, but still has miles to go before he sleeps. Keep him in your prayers. Here's excerpts from an interview w/ him last week []:

Q: In your"two decade migration," as you call it, God was the conclusion of a rather long argument, then. But wasn't there a point in the "argument" where you found yourself suddenly surprised by the realization that "There is a God" after all? So that, in some sense, you really did "hear a Voice that says" in the evidence itself " 'Can you hear me now?'"

Flew: There were two factors in particular that were decisive. One was my growing empathy with the insight of Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical Universe.

The second was my own insight that the integrated complexity of life itself – which is far more complex than the physical Universe – can only be explained in terms of an Intelligent Source. I believe that the origin of life and reproduction simply cannot be explained from a biological standpoint despite numerous efforts to do so. With every passing year, the more that was discovered about the richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the genetic code. The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological [relating to essence or being] and not chemical.

The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins' comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a "lucky chance." If that's the best argument you have, then the game is over. No, I did not hear a Voice. It was the evidence itself that led me to this conclusion. ... I would add that Dawkins is selective to the point of dishonesty when he cites the views of scientists on the philosophical implications of the scientific data. ...

I accept the God of Aristotle who shares all the attributes you cite. Like C.S. Lewis I believe that God is a person but not the sort of person with whom you can have a talk. It is the ultimate being, the Creator of the Universe.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Supressing the Truth in Unrighteousness 101

"The luckiest thing that ever happened to me was that my father didn't believe in God, and so he had no hang-ups about souls. I see ourselves as products of evolution, which itself is a great mystery."
-Dr. James Watson

From Falling Sparrows to Spawling Pharaohs

Hello Friends - would you please keep me in prayer. I am currently studying to present a Sunday School series on the Providence of God for the adult class in our church. As one who aspires to enter the ministry, this is a necessary step and a somewhat intimidating one. I covet your prayers and will keep you posted as the time draws near. God is blessing in the preparations so far, but I also need prayer regarding the delivery. I am prone to quite a bit of nervousness, even after years of public speaking. As I'm currently waiting on my job assignment for work, please also pray that practically, God would provide a great job situation so that I am able to devote myself to my family and the pursuit of the ministry more fully - rather than a stress-tank position that would drain me and detract from both. Many Thanks!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Watson VS. Sharpton: UFC 80?

Watson and Crick are the legendary duo who won fame and fortune for discovering the double helix structure of the DNA molecule. Crick died in 2004, but Watson is alive and kicking ... when his feet aren't in his mouth.

In a recent personal interview, Dr. James Watson provoked intense international outrage by saying that he is "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours -- whereas all the testing says not really."

In today's world, the notion of racial equality is accepted as a sacred dogma, but the good Dr. doesn't let that stop him from noting that: “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true”.

He then gets to the point: “there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so”.
He asserts that social pressures to be politically correct have hindered mainstream science from recognizing some races as superior to others. Finally, he predicts that within a decade, we'll be forced to acknowledge this in the face of data from genetic research.

Man am I glad to see this in the press! This guy is like the poster child for the evolutionary worldview... well, okay, maybe more like the great grandfather of it. But he has done us all the favor of STATING THE OBVIOUS. RACIAL BIGOTRY IS AN UNAVOIDABLE CONSEQUENT OF EVOLUTIONARY TEACHING. This is a monumental cultural contradiction that no one seems to want to face, but it's a simple historical fact and has been obvious since the very beginning. Let's not forget that Darwinism arose out of the same late-Victorian, racist, imperialistic Europe that birthed a certain chubby, little baby Adolf. This is Darwin's dirty little secret.

To quote the man himself [The Descent of Man, chapter 6]:

'At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.'
-Charlie D. [Darwin... not Daniels - shorter beard, better fiddler]

Next up, the famous Scopes 'Monkey' Trial of 1925. This case involved a substitute teacher allegedly indoctrinating students with the noble precepts of evolutionary biology. It is lauded today as a milestone of American justice, though the teacher lost the case, he is championed as a martyr of scientific truth. How about a quote from the 1914 Hunter's Civic Biology textbook he taught from [pg 196 in the original]:

"At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man…the Ethiopian or Negro type…the Malay or brown race…the American Indian…the Mongolian or yellow race…and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America." [emphasis added]

Doesn't it make you sick? But Hunter or Watson say this stuff, not because they are being clouded by their prejudices, but because they are being honest, objective and logical. They are reasoning soundly and consistently from the cosmogenical premises we as a society have accepted [10 cent word of the day]. As the late Greg Bahnsen would say, when you hear men like this make such comments, just respond by asking them to repeat what they've said more loudly and directly into the microphone.

Actual human dignity can only be derived from the fact that persons of every race possess God's image because Jesus Christ has made them so.

But will he hire a Postmodern Attorney?

This morning the AP reported that the famous 'postmodern' architect Frank Gehry is being sued by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] regarding 'design flaws in the Stata Center', one of his most 'celebrated' postmodern creations.

'The school asserts that the center, completed in spring 2004, has persistent leaks, drainage problems and mold growing on its brick exterior. It says accumulations of snow and ice have fallen dangerously from window boxes and other areas of its roofs, blocking emergency exits and causing damage.' On top of all this, it's ugly enough to make a vulture puke.

Postmodern art seeks to break all the rules and represent the chaos of reality. In archecture, it does so with stairs that lead nowhere, unopenable doors, upsidedown walls, that sort of stuff. On this project Gehry was paid a cool $15 mil to design a building that would reflect a world where, we are told, design is impossible and reflection is absurd. Probably not the best idea on a campus brimming with the world's top engineers. Yes, we laughed during construction and the laughter has returned. Why do the heathen rage?

I guess in his worldview, lawyers provide a social form of natural selection. I wonder how much more it will take to drive hardcore postmodern architecture into extinction as unfit? I was looking forward to seeing what Gehry Designs would come up with in collaboration with NASA or Honda or Winchester, even. Wouldn't it be exciting to see a new line of postmodernJohn Deere riding mowers and weed trimmers?

Oh well ... guess you can't make up the rules as you go. Maybe those of us who still believe in aesthetic absolutes aren't as thick as we seem. Maybe there is something still to be said for tradition. Now, about worship music ...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Straight shooting from Michael Horton

When asked What does your movement, speaking generally, fail to see that it ought to see? Michael Horton answers, "I think we have failed to see that emotional summer-camp experiences cannot sustain a robust faith through the trials of real life. So, ironically, while Evangelicalism celebrates reaching the lost, it is losing the reached. He continues. "The gospel is never an 'of course.' it is always surprising, counterintuitive, even offensive--even to life-long Christians. Taking the gospel for granted or confusing it with our own political, social, moral, and cultural campaigns is seriously weakening the church's life and testimony today."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

The whole quote

God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him, in the midst of loss, not prosperity.

-John Piper

He that has ears to hear, let him hear

If you haven't heard Joost Nixon's, 'Bleeding Heart Calvinism' you need to. I promise it will be worth every bit of your 4 minutes.

He that has ears to hear, let him hear here.

Raising Spiritual Warriors

One time I called one of my sons who was a freshman in his dorm and I asked him, 'How are you doing with sexual purity?' He said, 'Dad, I'll call you back.' And what had happened was that on the floor of his freshman dorm, he walked down the hall and said, 'What's goin on?' And a really attractive young woman said, 'Depends on what you want. Do you want to get drunk, do you want to get stoned, or do you want to blankety-blank?' And see, she was ready for all three, he said. All she needed was a time and a place and she'd be there with me. And see, a Christian kid dissolves and falls apart with that. There's only one kind of person who will survive, not a good church-goer, not a Christian kid - only a soldier will be able to stand that kind of a battle. I said, 'What did you do?' He said, 'I did what you did. I did what Joseph did. I walked away. And I'm calling you now for accountability because, dad, she was good lookin. And I don't want to nurse this, I don't want to think about it. I want to confess it to you then ask me about it next week. I don't want to go there.'

- Phil Downer, author of A Father's Reward

Straight from the horse's mouth

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Theological Litmus Testing

One of the things you can do if you are dubious about a restaurant is to simply walk in and take a look at one of their restrooms. Depending on the conditions there, you can go on to look at other things -- the menu, the prices, the service, etc. But an appalling restroom ought to be a deal-breaker. Using a similar approach, take a grand tour of all the Reformed seminaries in the United States. Do not sit in on classes, or visit the bookstore, or examine the curriculum, at least not first. Just make sure you hit the chapel service. Sit there and ask yourself if you want this to be the future of the Reformed world. Are they singing "Jesus is my boyfriend" music? Is the worship inane? Is the message God-honoring? Is the overall demeanor breezy and casual, with shorts and flip-flops abounding? Is this what "reverence and godly awe" mean to them?

-Doug Wilson [from Blog and Mablog]

Haven't you always suspected...?

To save you some time - I could beat around the bush and make it sound a little bit nicer - but to be honest with you, most people who talk about the permissive will of God are fudging. They're having a real difficulty understanding the full strength of God's sovereignty. And so they try to soften it by saying, 'Well God, in some cases, permits things to happen.' Well stop and think about it. If God permits things to happen, that is, He's not behind them, He hasn't planned them or purposed them, then why are they happening that way? It's like there's some inherent tendency or direction in the course of history and God says, 'Well, I'm just not going to touch that. I'll stand back and let that happen.' No, that isn't true. He works all things after the counsel of His own will. So there is no permissive will of God.

-Greg Bahnsen in the lecture on providence from his systematic theology course

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

An Honest Answer is like a Kiss on the Lips

"... in pastoral counseling I am doing no favors to anyone by sugar-coating what the Bible teaches about sin. This is for the simple reason that sin destroys. Sin is what you are dealing with -- it is not what you get to redefine... in this instance, as with all sin, acceptance is not love, but rather the opposite."

-Doug Wilson blog-commenting on Brian McLaren's request to have 5 or 10 years moratorium on decisions regarding the issue of homosexuality and pastoral counseling.

Friday, October 5, 2007

What does faith look like in a 2 year old?

I was recently telling my 2 year old the story of Moses and the burning bush. This is how it ended:

Gabe: Daddy, was Moses good?
Me: Yes. Moses walked with God and he was a good guy.
Gabe: I want to walk with God ... and I want to walk with giraffes.

My Spidey Sense is Tingling

Where women have their 'intuition', men have their 'gut'. Mine has been wrong on several BIG occasions, but it remains with me and I do pay attention, especially if more red flags are flying than when Rocky fought that big soviet guy.


Every professing Christian gets the benefit of the doubt with me - it's automatic. I will give anyone a hearing if they come in the name of my risen Lord, it will be a Berean hearing, but it will be kindly granted every time. Having said that, and taken the time to consider things, here it is:

I'm always suspicious of best-selling authors, pastors and fully-booked conference speakers whose whole message revolves around the inadequacy of words. For people who distrust words, emergent guys sure seem to have a lot to say. How is it possible to diminish the role of words and still retain the substance from a 'faith of the Book'?

Though a passionate advocate of liturgy, participation in worship, story and narrative, relationships and community, leaving behind the failures of fundamentalism, resisting the errors within modernity and gnosticism, the importance of body, mind and spirit engaging in worship and devotion to God, living as a Christian 'at all times' [to be read in Rex-Kwan-Do voice], spiritual authenticity and hardcore realism, engaging the culture head on, radically bringing the gospel, rethinking life in terms of fundamentals, presuppositions and worldviews, huh [take a breath] ... I remain humbly critical of the Emergent Movement and strongly suspect it to be doing more harm than good.

I think I can understand why it's so appealing. People realize that they don't have much of a basis to their faith, and instead of looking to the old paths, they're taking the cylindrical glass elevator of postmodernity to higher ground [renouncing with disdain the stainless steel box version of modernity].

For the totally negative thumbnail evaluation [think of the previous paragraphs as noting the positive traits]: It seems to be largely based on a therapeutic model [see David Wells] and certainly can't be described as God-centered. It's highly effemeral and emotionalistic. It's an anti-institutionality institution and as such, Tim Keller predicts, can't last long without fundamental alteration. It caters to the cyber-oriented young urban professionals who live such artificial lives, they hunger to bleed just to know they're alive [as one of their own poets has said].

Emergent techniques would do little but alienate every farmer, plumber, truck driver and dock loader around and just about everyone else from any background who's older than his mid thirties. We'd end up with quite a lopsided 'church'; giving birth to a deformed body. Journaling, reflecting, emoting, venting, insence, lattes, 'feeling' each other - these things are fine, but holding fast the faithful word of truth requires a bit more beef.

To long for authenticity is crucial. Trying to grab authenticity from the fog of postmodernity, though, will not result in much to pocket [I admit from experience] even if the fog comes wafting down from the cathedral rafters.

John Piper on the Emergent Church

My root sense is at the bottom [the emergent movement's guiding principle is] - commited relationships trump truth. ...

I don't understand the way these guys think. There are profound epistemological differences - ways of processing reality. I can't make definitive statements about what they believe about almost anything, except a few strong statements about certain social agendas where they would clearly come out of their chair on the hatred of human trafficing or something like that. But as far as doctrinal issues I can't tell because as I pushed on them, I could tell, 'That's not what we do here. We don't try to get agreement on the nature of the atonement. That is alienating to friendships so we don't do that.'

Galations 1 - 'If I or an angel from heaven brings you a gospel other than the one I gave you, let him be accursed.' That's just no friendship. So it seems like Paul is putting the gospel down as whether there is a good relationship or not. ...

That's what's so mindboggling to me - when I read some of the emergent main leaders, they talk about how Jesus has been domesticated by the church and they want to recover 'the radical Jesus'. In my judgment, the Jesus they're recovering is NOT radical. There's not a radical Jesus without Hell. There simply is no radical Jesus. Everything becomes milk toast without the wrath of God. He came into the world to rescue us from the most horrid thing.

Once you get that straight, then having your head chopped off is minor, it's minor. Because - don't fear those who can kill the body and after that have nothing more they can do. I mean, who talks like that today in America?! Fear the One who can kill both soul and body in Hell. If you strip that away from Jesus, He's just a local guy; He's no big deal. I don't see how they can talk about, 'We're gettin' the radical Jesus back.' You've lost Him. He's just gone without His radical call, "I'm here to rescue you from Perdition and you'll all have to die on the way to Heaven. Through many tribulations you must enter the kingdom."

-John Piper [in Conversations with the Pastors from Desiring God Conference 2006]

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Making Church Safe for Men

Church has become an activity for little old ladies of both sexes. Feminine piety is now considered to be THE normative form of piety. When the feminine element leads or dominates, the result is that those men who are masculine are encouraged to stay away.
The individualization of piety has meant that individual men must try to learn how to think like a bride. They don't do this very well, and so they stay away. Those who learn to do it well may develop another problem - they may become effeminate.

Music has been one of the chief culprits in the feminization of the church. THE CURRENT EMPHASIS ON 'FEELING WORSHIPFUL' IS FRANKLY MASTURBATORY, WHICH IN MEN PRODUCES A COWARDLY AND EFFEMINATE RESULT. The fact that the church has largely abandoned the singing of psalms means that the church has abandoned a songbook that is thoroughly masculine in its lyrics. The writer of most of the psalms was a warrior, and he knew how to fight the Lord's enemies in song. We must return to a world of vigorous singing, vibrant anthems, more songs where the tenor carries the melody, open fifths, and glory.

-Douglas Wilson in Future Men

Thy rod and staff they comfort me

[Without church discipline] the whole church takes on a completely different character. John MacAurthur claims that 99% of churches don’t even bother with church discipline. The only time you hear a rebuke is if you don’t give enough money. The reality of life is what Calvin said a long time ago: ‘The mark of a true church is discipline.’

- Alexander Strauch [author of Biblical Eldership and Leading with Love]

I can't find 'seminary' in my concordance either

Q: What can the seminaries be doing to be training better pastors?
A: Well, we need to get back to Biblical studies and sound theology. But again, as the seminaries go, so goes the clergy. And as the clergy goes, so goes the church. We know that from around the world. The problem is that seminaries are from the academic world. And they’re almost slaves to whatever is latest and newest and the biggest fad in the academic community. And the last thing seminary professors want to be seen as is being out of touch, or being old-fashioned, or being obscurantist - that sort of thing. So that we have weak professors. I mean professors who don’t have the strength of conviction to stand in a world of skepticism. It’s a worldview issue here.
And I think you may see new models for education of clergy getting it back more to the local church and less dependent upon the professionals.

- R. C. Sproul [interview on Generations Radio - The 21st Century Reformation]

Shepherding a Child in the Fear of God

We need to help our children get a hold of this whole issue of the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Children desperately need to know the fear of the Lord. We’ve emphasized the imminence of God in modern evangelicalism, but we’ve lost sight of the transcendence of God - this God is a holy God. He’s a sovereign God. He’s a powerful God. He’s a glorious God. He’s a severe God. He’s a God Who will not trifle with wickedness or wink at iniquity. He’s a glorious, glorious God.

But we’ve really made God into a celestial vending machine in modern evangelicalism where we put in our coins of Bible reading and prayer. Then we push the buttons to get what we want. And when we don’t get what we want, we kick the machine. Now I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had conversations with people who’ve come to me and said, ‘I’m mad at God.’ Now think of the effrontery of that. The thing formed says to the One Who formed it: He has no hands. The pot mocks the Potter. How on earth can we, trapped in our finitude, have the effrontery to give God a report card and decide God has not done well in his task of running the world and ordering providence for us.

We need again and again to help our kids to see the wonder and glory of the character and being of God so that they are overwhelmed with His glory - this marvelous God that has made them and all things for His glory. This God is an awesome and glorious God before Whom wise men tremble because wisdom begins with the fear of God.

I remember one night one of our kids said, “You know, Dad, instead of having bumper stickers that say: 'Smile! God loves you', we ought to have bumper stickers that say ‘Tremble! God is a consuming fire.’”

I said, ‘You’re right.’ Because you can not understand anything about God without understanding the wrath of a holy God on sin. And we need to help our children get a hold of this.

-Ted Tripp [Preparing our Future Generations, sermon #3]

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

China: a billion rebukes

Yesterday I heard yet another radio show on the church in China. There is tremendous growth, tremendous opportunity, and tremendous NEED. Today is the pivotal point in the developing Chinese church with a reported five million Christian converts per year. Many regions, depending on local officials, still experience varying degrees of persecution, oftentimes very intense forms. All of the experts agree that the single greatest need is for pastoral training in sound doctrine to prevent the widespread parasitism of cults. With the momentum and sheer size of the church in China, such a cult take-over could make the Mormons look like a gang of goons on a streetcorner by comparison.

And so it struck me - here we are in America ... reformed believers ... with more doctrinal training than we know what to do with ... almost bloted [to be crass: constipated] with teaching ... and so little output ... so little impact. Could it be that God has raised up the reformed believers in America for such a time as this? The one thing that our bleeting brothers and sisters most desperately need - right teaching - is the one thing that, for all our faults, we most certainly possess.

So why aren't the borders of China being flooded with reformed American teachers? We ought to be jumping out of our skin to get over there. Brethren - let's talk about it [Calvinists are good at that] - then let's DO SOMETHING.

Abraham's children will be like the stars in the sky. If the current statistics are anywhere near accurate, China alone will account for several galaxies. We have what they need. Christ's sheep are starving but the wolves are feasting. Brothers - to arms.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Strong Words and Smooth Seas [R.C. quotes from the Ligonier Cruise]

"I think we have a tendency as Christians to underestimate the power of that natural corruption in our hearts. I tell people the most basic sin of the human race is the proclivity for idolatry - for exchanging the truth of God for a lie. And regeneration does not cure that instantly. We have to fight it as long as we live.
We still have people today who profess to be Christians, who say they love Jesus, but they discount a ton of what God reveals about Himself in Scripture. They choke on sovereignty. They don't want to hear about the wrath of God. They don't want to hear about the justice of God. And yet they say, 'I love God.' But the god they love has been stripped of his scary and uncomfortable attributes. And that's idolatry. And all of us to some extent still engage in discounting the full nature of God from our thinking. Because if we really deal with God in the fullness of His holiness and of His sovereignty, we'd be on our face all the time before him.
If I say to people, 'God loves you unconditionally' and they are not Christians, what do they hear? That means: 'God's gonna love me no matter what I do. I don't have to repent. I don't have to come to Christ. I can keep on sinning and that's not going to affect God's love for me. Because God's love is unconditional.'
That's scary stuff. That's not the God of Scripture. The God of Scripture hates your sin. And when it comes to the divine judgment, He's not gonna' send your sin to Hell. He's going to send you there, okay?
But I talk to a lot of people, and the little old lady will say to me, 'But my God is a God of love.' And I'll say, 'Well where'd you ever get the idea that God was a God of love? From Iraq? From Vietnam? From the cancer ward in the hospital? From the ghetto in Los Angelos or New York? Is that where you learned God was a God of love? No, I'll tell you where you learned that God was a God of love - from the pages of the Scriptures. The same source that tells you He's holy; and that He's righteous; and that He's a God of wrath and a God of judgment. But we come to the Bible like it was a smorgasbord and you take your plate like we're at the Ledo, and you take a little grace and a little mercy and a little love, and you leave the holiness and the justice and the sovereignty there because you don't like that. That's what we do. I mean, we all do that. And we reconstruct a God that we can live with. That's our most basic sinful tendency. But we have to fight against that as long as we live."


"W.C. Fields began to read the Bible on his deathbed and someone said, ‘W.C., what are you doing?’
He replied, ‘I’m looking for loopholes.’
So there are legalists like that. But let me tell you what being legalistic isn’t. It’s not being legalistic to obey the law of God. And so often, people who are Christians, who are earnestly trying to be obedient Christians, and genuinely seek to be in conformity to the law of God and obey God are accused of legalism by those who are less than scrupulous about giving obedience to God. Now the pendulum swings either way. There are times where the church gets very legalistic in the negative sense and obscures grace and mercy and all the rest. But that’s not where we are now. The big problem in the church today is not legalism, it’s antinomianism.
Though the law doesn’t save us, the law reveals to us what is pleasing to God. And the Christian heart is a heart that should seek to do that which is pleasing to God. Jesus put it very simply: ‘If you love me, keep My commandments.’ But we have this cheap grace in our day. We even have a ghastly, ghastly doctrine of the ‘carnal Christian’. You can’t find it anywhere in sacred Scripture. I’m telling you that’s designed so we do evangelism and people make a profession of faith and then the next day they’re no different than they were the day before and we want to count them and say, ‘Well, they made their profession of faith!’ Well, profession of faith never saved anybody - it’s the possession of faith. And your works won’t save you, but it is impossible to have true faith - converted faith - without a changed life. Your sanctification begins the very second you’re converted or you haven’t been converted."

- R.C. Sproul [from Q & A #1 of The Providence of God Alaskan Cruise 2005]

Friday, September 21, 2007

Let the righteous smite me - it shall be a kindness.

As a matter of fact, let me share something with you. Sunday morning is the greatest hour of idolotry in America. Did you know that? Now people always come to me when I say, 'You hated God' and they'll say, 'No I didn't.'
I'll say, 'Yes, you did.'
They'll say, 'No I didn't. I loved God.'
'No you didn't.'
'What do you mean I didn't love God. I loved God.'
'No, you didn't love God. You loved a figment of your own imagination.'

You know pastors will sometimes ask me to come and teach on the attributes of God and I'll say 'You probably don't want me to do that.'
They'll say, 'Why?'
'Because it'll probably split your church.'
'Teaching on the attriubutes of God will split my church?'
"Yes, it will. Because if I start teaching on the love of God - fine. But if I start teaching on the justice of God, the holiness of God, the sovereignty of God I'll make it about three days in most churches - if that long - and you know what will happen? People will start standing up and go, 'That's not my God. I could never love a God like that!'"

That's why people all over America today are sitting in churches and they are committing idolotry. Because they are not singing to the God of the Bible, they are singing to a god they made with their own minds that looks more like Santa Clause than he does Yahweh.

Richard Owen Roberts once mentioned that AIDS was the judment of God. And some lady got so angry she couldn't see straight. She stood up and said, 'AIDS is not the judgment of God.'
He said, 'Ma'am, what's your proof?'
She said, 'Because little babies die of AIDS. Therefore AIDS is not the judgment of God.'
Richard Owen Roberts said, 'How many little babies do you think God killed when He flooded the earth in the time of Noah?'
You don't love a God like that, do you? He's not politically correct. You think about it. We're talking about God.

As C.S. Lewis always said and I'm fond to repeat, 'He's not a tame Lion.'

That's another thing young people don't quite understand. You've got so many charlatans who say God is here and God is there and God showed up here last night. I dare say that He doesn't show up much, because when God really shows up, it's not to tickle. The presence of God is as terrible as it is wonderful.

-Paul Washer [excerpts from Man Apart from God and What is the Gospel?]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

'F' stands for 'Fuhrizzle'

The kind of Christianity that is being nurtured in our churches is one that does not have the sort of fiber to take people through the great conflicts of life… It’s a kind of Christianity that doesn’t see truth in any other terms than what is true for me or what is therapeutically beneficial for me. If I can see truth in those terms, I will believe it, but not in any other terms. But the fact of the matter is that Jesus called His followers to come after him and take up there cross. Those words trip lightly off our tongues but let us bear in mind the image. We are being invited to our own death. And in many parts of the world today, that has a quite literal meaning. And if not death, then imprisonment. And if not imprisonment, then serious, serious harassment. We have none of that in America. Our Christian faith that is therapeutic, and easy, and adjusted to the consumer, and offered on the consumer‘s terms. I just don‘t think it will take us through any crisis that might be coming down the road.

- David F. Wells in an interview w/ Desiring God ministries