Friday, February 27, 2009

Something I'm thankful for...

When you search "Do not love the world" in google, this is the first link

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Big Test

ht: Mark Vance

This from David Brooks:
When I was a freshman in college, I was assigned “Reflections on the Revolution in France” by Edmund Burke. I loathed the book. Burke argued that each individual’s private stock of reason is small and that political decisions should be guided by the accumulated wisdom of the ages. Change is necessary, Burke continued, but it should be gradual, not disruptive. For a young democratic socialist, hoping to help begin the world anew, this seemed like a reactionary retreat into passivity.

Over the years, I have come to see that Burke had a point. The political history of the 20th century is the history of social-engineering projects executed by well-intentioned people that began well and ended badly. There were big errors like communism, but also lesser ones, like a Vietnam War designed by the best and the brightest, urban renewal efforts that decimated neighborhoods, welfare policies that had the unintended effect of weakening families and development programs that left a string of white elephant projects across the world.

Read on

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Pages turn, questions burn
No way to tie the ends
Concepts swirl, confusion curls
The chords of my mind in knots
Where I saw the ground, I now see sand
Rising tides, where once was land
There is no rope to escape this sea
Its billows crush, overwhelm me
A Journeys calm--the end draws near
When we see light, we have no fear
But on this trip there's no respite
Just vultures, questions, encircle the site
Journey's shared, none are spared
From this hell we call différance

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quotable, The Brothers Karamazov

What's strange, what would be marvelous is not the God should really exist. The marvel is that such an idea, the idea of the necessity of God could enter the head of such a savage, vicious beast as man. So holy it is, so touching, so wise, and so great a credit it does to man. As for me I've long resolved not to think whether man created God or God man. I'm trying to explain my essential nature, what I believe in and for what I hope. I accept God simply. But note, if God exists, and if he really did create the world, then he created it according to the geometry of Euclid and the human mind with the conception of only three dimensions in space. Since I can't understand even that, I can't expect to understand about God. How could I solve problems that are not of this world? Whether God exists or not? All such questions are utterly innappropriate for a mind created with an idea of only three dimensions. And so I accept God and am glad to. And what's more I accept his wisdom, his purpose which are utterly beyond our kin. I believe in the underlying order and the meaning of life. I believe in eternal harmony. I believe in the word to which the universe is striving and which itself was with God, which itself is God and so on, to infinity. Yet, in the final result I don't accept this world of God's. And although I know it exists, I don't accept it at all. It's not that I don't accept God you must understand. It's the world created by him I don't and cannot accept. I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage. That in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of allresentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood they've shed, that it will make it not only possible to forgive, but to justify all that has happened with men. But though all that may come to pass, I don't accept it. I won't accept it. Alyosha that's my creed. I'm in earnest.

(Why don't you accept the world?)
I could never understand how one could love one's neighbors. By my mind one can't love one's neighbors, though one might love those at a distance. I once read somewhere of John the merciful, a saint that when a hungry frozen beggar came to him, he took him into his bed, held him in his arms and began breathing into his mouth, which was putrid and loathsome from some awful disease. I'm convinced that he did that from self-laceration, from the self-laceration of falsity, for the sake of the charity imposed by duty as a penance laid on him. For anyone to love a man he must be hidden. For as soon as he shows his face, love is gone.

The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky

There are two reasons this quote fascinates me.
1. Ivan understands very clearly the tension between Jesus' command to love God and his command to love our neighbors. In a sense it is quite easy to love God, but on the other hand it is very difficult to love our neighbors. So much so that it inevitably leads Ivan to reject God himself. More practically if one does accept God and 'loves him,' there can be a tendency to withdraw from men for their vileness. Ultimately I agree with Dostoevsky that Alyosha is the hero, but I can certainly relate to Ivan.
2. Ivan calls any sort of expression of love to any certain man (rather than mankind in general) 'self-laceration.' He says the only motivation one might have to care for another would be a sort of pretentious self-flagellation. Christ himself is the answer to both the first question and this second one. When we gaze into the humility of Christ we can ourselves stoop with humility to help our fellow man, even when we see his face.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Harold Hoehner (1935-2009)

Yesterday from Justin Taylor:
Sad news out of Dallas this morning: Harold W. Hoehner, Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, died unexpectedly this morning at the age of 73 after a morning run.
In 2006 Crossway published Interpreting the New Testament Text: Introduction to the Art and Science of Exegesis, edited by Darrell Bock and Buist Fanning, who joined a number of other authors in producing an exegetical textbook in tribute to Harold Hoehner. The following is from the end of their introduction to that book:
What can be said about Harold as a person! He is a man of integrity, energy, frugality, strong opinions, and hard work, but always coupled with a genial sense of humor, humility, and a loyal and collegial spirit. Those of us who have served with him at DTS have had the rare favor of genuine mentoring: he guided us as students, recruited us as neophyte faculty, defended us and challenged us when necessary, and all along modeled for us what scholarship in the service of Christ can be. His loving and robust family life with Gini, their children, and now grandchildren has pictured what we want for our families. Most of all Harold has show us what it means to be a man of God, committed to Christ and his gospel, and reflecting the fruit of the Spirit over a lifetime of faithful service.

Personally, he opened my eyes to what good scholarship is. His commentary on Ephesians is without equal. I will be studying at DTS in the fall. I wish I could have met him.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

ABC story on missionaries

This is a very interesting news story. It sounds like the missionaries are accused of destroying the native culture (including infanticide) and proselytizing. Is proselytizing illegal in Brazil?


Monday, February 09, 2009

Aren't You Glad Your Mother Was Pro-Life?

From all accounts a rejected super bowl commercial?

Interesting to say the least.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Multisensory Preaching?

This is a thought provoking article. What say you?

When I was working on my Doctor of Education at Southern Seminary, I was working out in the gym one afternoon, and I struck up a conversation with a Doctor of Ministry student about my dissertation on multisensory preaching. When I told him what that was, he immediately assumed that I was of the emergent church culture. His comment to me was, "So, I guess you water down the gospel with all the cool visuals." It was a slam against the use of any form of preaching other than lecture preaching. This student even felt that preaching had to be from a pulpit, as if Jesus ever used one of those.

At any rate, it made me aware of how much misunderstanding there really is swirling around multisensory preaching. So let’s take on the second of our three questions: Does multisensory preaching water down the gospel?

More links: 1 2

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Christ and Culture Revisted

These biblical guidelines make for a worldview that is sharply distinguishable from the worldviews around us, even where there are overlapping values. We cannot embrace unrestrained secularism; democracy is not God; freedom can be another word for rebellion; the lust for power, as universal as it is, must be viewed with more than a little suspicion. This means that Christian communities honestly seeking to live under the Word of God will inevitably generate cultures that, to say the least, will in some sense counter or confront the values of the dominant culture. But to say the least is not enough. Christians thus shaped by Scripture envision of church that not only counters alternative cultures but also seeks sacrificially to serve the good of others -- the city, the nation, common humanity, not least the poor. Salt does not confront; it enhances. Believers must be the best possible citizens (cf. Jeremiah 29:7; cf. also 1 Peter 1:1; James 1:1), and that means that Christians, who are taking their cue (and thus their worldview) from outside the dominant culture, not only shape and form a Christian culture recognizably different from that in which is embedded but also become deeply committed to enhancing the whole.

D.A. Carson, Christ and Culture Revisited, pg. 144

Monday, February 02, 2009

Quote of the Day

" thin may be the line between democracy and demagoguery."
Carson, Christ & Culture Revisted pg. 122