Saturday, September 30, 2006

Blogging at the DGNC

I will post more in a bit but the confernce has been unbelievable so far. Voddie Baucham just finished speaking. I have never heard a message so clear and so riveting concerning the supremacy of Christ. Praise God for his ministry. As I left the auditorium, I could do nothing but shake my head and ask why Lord... Why would you lavish your grace on me... When the audio is up (for free) it's a must listen to.

Get the updates on

Or Challies is blogging
. He apparently has found more readily accessible internet connections that me...

I have to post some quotes later...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Posttraumatic Absentee Father Stress Disorder (PTAFSD)

Resurgence talks about Posttraumatic Absentee Father Stress Disorder (PTAFSD): Masculinity Gone Wild
PTAFSD is painfully revisited when the challenges of life hit the fan. Men can’t handle it. They can’t make decisions or commitments. They don’t know how to love women, they are seniors in high school with no idea what to do next or why; or many join the military hoping that their drill sergeant will answer their questions. Distressing longings pervert reality in dreams, fantasies, and memories. Video games, sports, music, material success, and sexual perversion become the only safe havens.

PTAFSD men intentionally and/or inadvertently avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations that expose deficiencies left by their trauma. These men avoid activities, places, people, opportunities, challenges, and fears that arouse recollections of being improperly fathered. Some men are even pathetically in denial that they are limping. The result: men are posers, they hide, avoid risk, prefer the “indirect approach", won’t lead, won’t take responsibility for their actions, they only choose easy battles.

Some PTAFSD men embrace apathy and fall victim to hopelessness about the future and have marked reduced interest in things God intends to bring men life: having a vocation, fighting sin and evil, caring for creation, living for others, marriage, raising lots of children, exercising leadership, and self-control.

Men suffering from PTAFSD are left to the world of women. Unfortunately, no woman can teach a man how to be a man. In God’s design, masculinity is bestowed from one man to another. Guys with PTAFSD get over-mothered by women who go to their sons for the emotional intimacy needed from husbands. Their sons grow up too fast. Mom keeps him too close, too long, and he becomes a “mama’s boy" destined to look to women for validation. The world of women is his home. He becomes the “nice guy" who cowers to her every wish and desire, and can’t challenge women to become more Godly. Many men, resenting over-mothering, become womanizers: they constantly need as many women as possible to get validation."

Monday, September 25, 2006

Young, Restless, Reformed

(ht: Justin Taylor)

Young, Restless, Reformed, by Collin Hansen

Nothing in her evangelical upbringing prepared Laura Watkins for John Piper.

"I was used to a very conversational preaching style," said Watkins, 21. "And having someone wave his arms and talk really loudly made me a little scared."

Watkins shouldn't be embarrassed. Piper does scare some people. It's probably his unrelenting intensity, demanding discipline, and singular passion—for the glory of God. Those themes resound in Desiring God, Piper's signature book. The pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis has sold more than 275,000 copies of Desiring God since 1986. Piper has personally taken his message of "Christian hedonism" to audiences around the world, such as the Passion conferences for college-age students. Passion attracted 40,000 students outside Memphis in 2000 and 18,000 to Nashville earlier this year.

Not all of these youth know Piper's theological particulars. But plenty do, and Piper, more than anyone else, has contributed to a resurgence of Reformed theology among young people. You can't miss the trend at some of the leading evangelical seminaries, like Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, which reports a significant Reformed uptick among students over the past 20 years. Or the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, now the largest Southern Baptist seminary and a Reformed hotbed. Piper, 60, has tinged the movement with the God-exalting intensity of Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century Puritan pastor-theologian. Not since the decades after his death have evangelicals heaped such attention on Edwards."

Read on...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


(ht: Dr. Paul Hartog)

Just finished. This is a must read if you care about Aesthetics: William Edgar's article on Aesthetics. A small section:

In their own way, evangelical Christians have joined the opposition to aesthetics. The most common form is a pragmatism, which argues that evangelism is prior to cultural pursuits. There are many variants on this. Fundamentalists, for example, present a fascinating paradox. Some identify artistic pursuit with worldliness, and thus center the discussion on boundaries: May we go to the movies? May we play folk music in church? Can a Christian be a professional actor? Others would allow pursuing artistic endeavors, indeed they would celebrate them, on condition that they be 'excellent.' Here, the discussion is centered on questions of artistic merit: is not classical music the only legitimate kind? Should not our museums feature only the great masters? Ironically, though, both sides of the fundamentalist approach neglect deeper aesthetic concerns. The first eschews them, the second contains them in a small 'highbrow' box."

Monday, September 18, 2006

What Questions are We Asking Today?

By Gary Shavey at the Resurgence

ht: The Resurgence
As I continue to read the array of emerging and/or emergent information that seems to be floating around in web space, I have come across a couple of thoughts. These thoughts have to do with some basic philosophy (mind you I do not hold a Ph.D. in philosophy so this would be very elementary). In philosophy we have two categories of questions. The “first-order questions” which have to deal with the "is" or state of the world, how things happen in the world or what should we do or find in the world. Then the other category are the “second-order questions” which are basically the questions on how we got to an answer for the first-order questions or how we tell our thoughts or answers in today’s language. Again from my limited understanding of philosophy it seems that philosophers today have focused more on the second-order questions of how our thoughts are expressed in language.

This all seems so interesting to me because most of these second-order questions have bled into the post-modern ways in which we are trying to do church or preach the gospel today. There seems to be a lot of talk on the second-order questions which really only interest people that are asking the second-order questions. Usually this means people that actually study philosophy or people that are trying to be overly intellectual. But what I see in the church and outside the church with people living in time and space are people asking more first-order questions. People are asking about their plight in life, about what the world is really about and what should we do in this life. Here the church has to respond in first-order answers but it seems to me that a lot of the “dialogue” (predominately heard in the more emergent church) comes back in second-order answers.

My question for those who would like to respond is, do you see in your missional life more first-order or second-order questions from believers to non-believers?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

What's Joel Osteen All About

I hope you are all up for some negativity this morning. And I also hope I say what I love as much as what I hate. This is a little excerpt from Joel Osteen's podcast today. He begins each service with leading everyone in the service in reciting this little chant.

This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do. Today I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess, my mind is alert, my heart is receptive, I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever living seed of the word of God. I will never be the same, never never never, I’ll never be the same, in Jesus name.”

The message that followed was thoroughly corrupt. Osteen mentioned in passing two scripture references. His whole message was about “going higher,” fullfilling your potential. The prosperity gospel is at the center of his teaching. What I did find curious was in his twenty-six minutes of moralizing how many similarities I could find between his teaching and the revivalistic right wing fundamentalists. I was surprised by this. They both tend to be very specific in application and very spotty in biblical exegesis. They even employ the same crowd moving schemes of rhetoric. Finally, Osteen tacked this on to the end of his message.

We never like to close our broadcasts without giving you an opportunity to make Jesus the Lord of your life, would you pray with me today. Just say, Lord Jesus I repent of my sins, I ask you to come into my heart, was me in you blood, I my Lord and Savior. Friends, if you prayed that prayer, I believe you got born again. Get in a good Bible based church. Keep God first place in your life. We love you, we’ll be praying for you. I hope you join us at this same time next week.”

This message having been preceded by no mention of the gospel of Christ is exactly what the church does not need.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Life's been a blur the last two weeks so just a couple of links to peek your interest.

First (ht: Between Two Worlds)
Darrell Bock, NT professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, has begun a series of blog posts on the Emergent/emerging church movement. If you're interested in such things, you may want to keep an eye on his site. See part 1 and part 2.

Second (ht: Albert Mohler, Does God Want Us to Be Rich?)
Theological confusion takes many forms, but with this cover story, TIME directs us to one of the most pervasive perversions of the Christian Gospel in our times -- prosperity theology. The article, written by David Van Biema and Jeff Chu, is fair, balanced, and devastating.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pastoral Ministry

Charles Jefferson decries the lack of appreciation for "pastoral ministry." He says the following:
One result of this disparagement of pastoral service is visible in the sentiments entertained by many young men entering the ministry. They say quite openly that they despise pastoral work. Study they enjoy, books they love, preaching they revel in. But as for shepherding the sheep, they hate it. They like to feel that they have special gifts for the pulpit. When their friends prophesy for them a glorious pulpit career, their heart sings. The work of the shepherd was an abomination, we are told, to the ancient Egyptians, and so it is to all the pulpit-Pharaohs who are interested in building pyramids out of eloquent words. The fear of ailing in pastoral duty is never once before their eyes. A slip in the pulpit brings gnawing remorse; a blunder in pastoral work gives the conscience not a twinge. Public worship is to them the be-all and end-all to ministerial life. They have not read the New Testament sufficiently to observe that public worship is not made the one thing needful, either by Jesus or the apostles; and that while it is not to be neglected, there are many weightier matters of the law.
Charles Jefferson, The Minister as Shepherd, pg. 24

I'm am certain, as unpleasant as it may be, at times it is healthy to read things that I strongly (and negatively) react to by nature. When I first read this paragraph I was angry at the characterization of young men. In my pride, I miss the point. This is a good reminder I think.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pinocchio has Converted

(ht: Albert Mohler)

The Telegraph is reporting that Pinocchio has become a muslim. Here's what Al Mohler has to say about it.

Where will this end? What if Huckleberry Finn becomes a Buddhist? ["Honest, Injun Joe, all I desire now is the absence of all desire. Honest"] What if Aunt Polly becomes a Christian Scientist? ["Don't worry about that gunshot dear, pain and illness are only illusions."] What if Jiminy Cricket becomes a Zoroastrian? It would give "When You Wish Upon a Star" a whole new meaning.

The literature of the West acknowledges the existence of non-Christians. The literature of the Islamic world does not acknowledge the existence of non-Muslims in the same way. Pinocchio must convert. That is a distinction worth reflection."

Prophets or Scribes

From River and Rhett
Hearts that are `fit to break' with love for the Godhead are those who have been in the Presence and have looked with opened eye upon the majesty of Deity. Men of the breaking hearts had a quality about them not known or understood by common men. They habitually spoke with spiritual authority. They had been in the Presence of God and they reported what they saw there. They were prophets, not scribes, for the scribe tells us what he has read, and the prophet tells us what he has seen.
The distinction is not an imaginary one. Between the scribe who has read and the prophet who has seen there is a difference as wide as the sea. We are today overrun with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they? The hard voice of the scribe sounds over evangelicalism, but the Church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the Wonder that is God. And yet, thus to penetrate, to push in sensitive living experience into the holy Presence, is a privilege open to every child of God.
A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

His Pomojo's Workin'

Douglas Wilson really intrigues me. Read some of his blog and I think you'll understand.

Real postmodernism, eh? That would be the postmodernism found in turgid books full of words, and lots and lots of abstract (and opaque) propositions? People who reason this way are still in the grip of modernity. They want, of all things, a Platonic form for postmodernism. But there is no such thing as a Watchtower Society governing what all the card-carrying postmodernists out there think, say and do. There is no authoritative voice "at the top" that settles all disputes. There is no top, and that is one of the points made in countless ways on the street. And the street is where pastors live and work and try to keep people from screwing up their lives.

For a different example, what is Marxism? Is it the faith that actually ruined a good portion of the globe, or is it a bit of esoteric trivia that old Karl took to the grave hidden away in the recesses of his black little heart? The faith of a people is exhibited where and how they live, and how they justify it to you when you ask them about it at the laundromat. Theology comes out the fingertips, and what comes out the fingertips is your theology. All this to say that the bumpersticker versions of postmodernism are postmodernism, and not some kind of heretical departure from Holy Writ.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Dualism and the Human Condition

Nancy Murphy teaches at Fuller. I don't know much about her, but I wanted to at least bring this issue to light. Perhaps one of you would like to read her and report back to us. A couple of quotes:

we are our bodies -- there is no additional metaphysical element such as a mind or soul or spirit."
complex physical organisms, imbued with the legacy of thousands of years of culture, and, most importantly, blown by the Breath of God's Spirit; we are Spirited bodies."

As reported in Nine Marks, this is a quick synopsis to what she's saying.

She is a proponent of a theory called nonreductive physicalism. She notes what her view denies: "First, physicalism is a denial of dualism. Second, the nonreductive part is the denial of the supposition that physicalism also entails the absence of human meaning, responsibility and freedom." Then she explains her theory:
What do nonreductive physicalists believe about human nature? For starters, let me put it this way: For dualists, the concept of the soul serves the purpose of explaining what we might call humans' higher capacities. These include a kind of rationality that goes beyond that of animals, as well as morality and a relationship with God. A reductive view would say that, if there is no soul, then people must not be truly rational, moral or religious; that is, what was taken in the past to be rationality, morality and spirituality is really nothing but brain processes. The nonreductive physicalist says instead that if there is no soul, then these higher capacities must be explained in a different manner. In part they are explainable as brain functions, but their full explanation requires attention to human social relations, to cultural factors and, most importantly, to God's action in our lives ("Nonreductive Physicalism," in Joel B. Green and Stuart L. Palmer, eds., In Search of the Soul: Four Views of the Mind-Body Problem, 115-16)

While this may seem to fly in the face of traditional interpretations of the Biblical teaching of multipartite man (with good reason), Murphy explains herself in this way (from Lynne Rudder Baker's review of Murphy's book, Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?:
In Chapter One, Murphy convincingly shows that there is no such thing as "the" anthropology of the Bible or of the Christian tradition. Murphy argues that the fact that the Bible seems to teach dualism is largely a result of poor translations. Once the translations are repaired, "it is hard to find any clear teaching on the metaphysical make-up of the person" in the Bible at all. (p. 37) The Biblical authors were "interested in the various dimensions of human life, in relationships, not in the philosophical question of how many parts are essential components of a human being." (p. 39) Thus, the door is open to physicalism.

All this to say, anthropology is important. We need to be aware that even those within Christendom are advocating physicalism. While Murphy denies the reductive view, many within our churches affirm it without even realizing it, thus destroying their capability to change. Victims, not victors... Other doctrines fall as well, sin for instance. The late O.H. Mowrer (a secular psychologist) puts the problem this way:
For several decades, we psychologists have looked upon the whole matter of sin and moral accountability as a great incubus and acclaimed our liberation from sin as epoch making. But at length we have discovered that to be free from sin, that is to have the excuse of being sick rather than being sinful is to court the danger of also becoming lost. This danger is, I believe, betokened by the widespread interest in existentialism which we are presently witnessing. In becoming amoral, ethically neutral and free, we have cut the very roots of our being, lost our deepest sense of selfhood and identity, and with neurotics themselves, we find ourselves asking, Who am I? What is my deepest destiny? What does living really mean?"

-O. H. Mowrer, former president of the American Psychological Association. (Committed suicide at age 79.)

Stay True Men

1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. 2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Social Responsibility

I haven't read this whole thing yet but one particular quote stood out to me. I think this is worth a post.

Pensees. Written by Dr. Dave Burgraff.

Dr. Robert Pyne, professor of theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, related the following exchange between himself and a student in a theology class. Pyne described the conversation in which he was challenging his student’s about the church’s responsibility to the poor. He writes:

I had said something in class about having an obligation to serve the needy, and this fellow challenged me afterward to prove my point from Scripture. I started with Galatians 2:10, but he said that Paul’s word’s about “remembering the poor” only applied to those suffering in the Jerusalem church. I tried the book of Amos, but he said that was an Old Testament text that didn’t apply to the church. He said that Psalm 72 and Matthew 6 provide instruction concerning the millennium, and that Matthew 25 describes standards for those who have gone through the Tribulation. He said Acts 4 merely reported (but did not endorse) the Jerusalem church’s temporary practice of communal living, while James 2 was directed toward Hebrew Christians. I tried 1 John 3, but he was quick to point out that the apostle only calls us to love one another, not to love those who are in the world, and I finally said,” I’m not sure you and I are reading the same Bible.” He was no longer convinced I was really a dispensationalist, but I had a bigger concern than that. I was no longer convinced he was really a Christian!

Friday is For Funnies

(ht: FillUp)
Challies has tipped me off to the newest rage in fantasy leagues.

Be sure to read Challies full scoring system.