Dluxe's World

Wednesday, April 26

Liveblogging by the live-est liveblogger alive...

Tim Challies is going to be 'liveblogging' from the Together For the Gospel conference this starting this evening... You can keep up with the action via his blog.

I've mentioned the T4G guys on here before, and I frequently check into their blog. There was a time I entertained going to the conference myself, but registration had filled up by the time I felt like pulling the trigger. *sigh*

I'm sure the conference is going to be off the hook... So, Tim is doing those of us who are grounded a great service by sending his thoughts back to us!

I'd also like to point you to centuri0n's DebateBlog... I was unaware that Frank was taking on all comers until he posted a 'peanut gallery' entry on his main page. Right now, Frank's wrapping up an exchange with Brian Flemming, an atheist and president of Beyond Belief Media.

Monday, April 24

Tolle! Lege! (My Reading List)

I love to read books. This is probably due to (or is the trigger of) my Learner impulse. As much as I love reading, the rest of 'life' tends to crowd out reading. So, I'm starting to hold myself to a rigorous plan above/beyond my daily Bible and blog reading... I thought I'd post it here so you might be exposed to some good titles and hopefully hold me accountable.

Currently Reading: James & 1 Kings, Christianity and Liberalism (Machen), The Supremecy of God in Preaching (Piper)

Future Reads ('**' indicates 'On Deck' ):
The Dominance of Evangelicalism... (Bebbington)
Light and Heat: Puritan Pulpits (Bickel)
The Pilgrim's Progress (Bunyan)
The Cross and Christian Ministry (Carson)
Christ-Centered Preaching (Chapell)
Orthodoxy (Chesterton)
The Radical Reformission (Driscoll)
On the Bondage of the Will (Luther)
The Abolition of Man (Lewis)
The Cross Centered Life (Mahaney)
Humility (Mahaney)
Extreme Devotion (Voice of the Martyrs)
The Almost Christian Discovered (Mead/Macarthur)
The Forgotten Spurgeon (Murray)
Mortification of Sin (Owen)
Knowing God (Packer)**
A Quest for Godliness (Packer)
The Sovereignty of God (Pink)
A God-Entranced Vision... (Piper/Taylor)
Not the Way It's Supposed to Be (Plantinga)
Holiness (Ryle)
The Bruised Reed (Sibbes)
Lectures to My Students (Spurgeon)
Convergence: ... Charismatic Calvinist (Storms)
The Cross of Christ (Stott)
Instruments in the Hands of the Redeemer (Tripp)
Inspiration and Authority of The Bible (Warfield)**

Recently Finished (since 8/1/2005):
Doubting Thomas: Christology in Story Form... (Cobb) [review]
Confessions of a Reformission Rev (Driscoll) [review]
The Joshua Generation (Farris) [review]
A Generous Orthodoxy (McLaren - and you can skip this one)
Outgrowing the Ingrown Church (Miller) [review]
Growing in Christ (Packer)
Church History in Plain Language (Shelley)
The Holiness of God (Sproul)
Saved From What? (Sproul)
Improving Your Serve (Swindoll)
Desiring God (Piper)
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals! (Piper) [review]
Don't Waste Your Life (Piper)
The Religious Life of Theological Students (Warfield) [review]
Revolution in World Missions (Yohannan) [review]

Always accepting new titles or suggestions, as well!


Friday, April 21

How did *you* end up here?

The the neatest feature of Sitemeter's little blog counter has been the ability to look at how people got here.

In some cases, the connections make sense... I can see people who appear to be friends checking in, or people link from a comment I post on another (vastly more popular) blog.

There are some things, however, that are just strange or amusing. I thought I'd start taking a post every couple weeks to outline some of the wacky ways people stumble onto my internet outpost.

So, drum roll... Wacky arrivals:
  • It appears that I'm the top Google result for a search on 'resultant condition'. This search has show up twice, both times from geeky colleges. I can just picture some chem major looking for something important, only to come across me and my homies rambling re: Lando Calrissian.

  • If you're interested in knowing the 'definition of purple monkey dishwasher', google seems to think UrbanDictionary and I can help you out...

  • It's worth noting that someone also stumbled here after looking for 'three purple dishwashers'. And that's just flippin' strange, in every respect.

  • If you're one of those people who thinks Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, is over the top, you'll find me if you go looking for 'mars hill church profanity'. (Though MSN likes me better, in this case)

  • My favorite: I'm the top hit if you go looking for 'comic book repent cycle pyromaniac'. What's amusing about this is that it's a completely off the wall search string that makes no kinda sense. Unless you had read this post over at TeamPyro. In which case the search is logical, though the result was surely not what the searcher was hoping to find...

  • Amusing stuff! Have a great weekend!

    Wednesday, April 19


    Earlier this week, someone posed a question re: the balance we should seek between an 'intellectual' faith and one that is 'childlike'. While this provided good lunch conversation, I thought it was worth a little post on here as well.

    First off, let's acknowledge that we're all different.* The specific way we experience our faith will vary, no doubt, because God wired us all a little differently. A passage that came to mind when were talking was from Paul's letter to the Ephesians:
    And [God] gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16, ESV)

    God has blessed us with teachers who are tasked with building our faith and knowledge. As we mature, we are striving to get beyond being "tossed to and fro ... by every wind of doctrine". To borrow an illustration from John Piper, we must be trees rather than just leaves blowing around on the ground. Our roots must be driven deep through prayerful study and meditation on God's Word. Piper also illustrated this point using dolphins and jellyfish, but I'll leave that illustration to him!

    The Apostle Peter wrote:
    [B]ut in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:15-16, ESV)

    I have a son who is now four and a half. I think that fully 80% of the sentences that pass his lips start with the word "why". He asks questions about everything and fully expects an answer. In order to teach him, and in order for him to learn, his mom or I must be able to unpack and repackage the knowledge I'm trying to give him. The level to which we decide to drill down into the dark details varies depending on topic...

    To be able to teach, I will need to have processed my beliefs carefully. Teachers need to be capable of communicating ideas multiple ways to help them 'stick' in their students.

    Two side notes: First, we're never going to have all the answers. But we should have the skills to go get them. Also, I certainly don't mean that our teachings/responses have to sound like the text of some Reformalvinist musing on the soteriological differences between Anselm and Van Til. Simple answers are fine and often preferable. But, I think we must be able to do better than "That's just what I think... So there!".

    To that degree, I think we're all called to an 'intellectual', maturing faith... We must understand what we believe and be able to provide a reasonable 'why' as well. This is for our great benefit as well as to benefit others!

    In our evangelism, our ability to defend and reason about our faith can help people revisit their assumptions about Christians. We will also consistently encounter teachings that seek to swerve us away from a right understanding of who God is. This has always been a problem, of course, though I fear that it is going to be an increasingly large one in the future.

    Currently, there's a 'debate' raging in the blogosphere re: whether or not Christ's bodily resurrection is factual, symbollic, or even all that important to the Christian faith. If you read my previous post, you know where I stand - and I would submit to you that the testimony of Scripture sides with me. There are people far smarter and 'eloquent-er' than me on both sides of this debate... The question is who are you going to believe, and how will you decide?

    We must all follow the example of the Bereans in Acts. Our minds and our hearts need to be engaged, prayerfully, in seeking the truth of God. We must test the teaching that we are given with "Scripture and plain reason", as Martin Luther said. If we fail to think and grow in our faith, we are apt to be swept away by the slick presentation, lofty speech, or impressive pedigree that errant teachers throw our way...
    For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

    Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2:11-15, ESV)

    *If there are any of you who doubt that people are different, look at someone passing on the street, burn their picture into your brain, and then run into the nearest public restroom to view your image in a mirror. Compare and contrast.

    Thursday, April 13

    He is risen!

    Easter will soon be upon us… Today I came across this post at TBHT which made me stop and ponder. Can we have Christianity without a literal, physical resurrection of Christ? Some people, like Marcus Borg, like to think we can...

    I usually cite other, smart people left and right when I approach a topic like this. However, I thought answering this from my own memory banks would be an interesting exercise. So, get ready for philosophical messiness from me!*

    It strikes me that we need to recognize, affirm, and worship Christ’s fullness if we are to be called His followers. To do anything else is to worship a false Christ and become followers of another gospel. To my eyes, I see Christ’s life, death, and resurrection as inseparable elements of the Gospel…

    I would imagine that even people who deny the atonement of Christ would affirm the parallels between the Christ of the NT and the sacrifices of the Old Testament. According to Exodus, the Passover lamb was to be without blemish. In Leviticus, the Lord reiterates that perfection is the standard for any offering before him.

    Almost all these essentially perfect offerings were then killed… The only exception I can think of is the scapegoat for the Day of Atonement. However, the other goat and a ram are killed on the same day by the high priest. Their blood is sprinkled all over the altar as sin offerings - atoning for the wrongs of both the priest and the people. The author of Hebrews unpacks this all through chapter 9. Finally he summarizes that “under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Heb 9:22, ESV).

    How does this apply to us, to Christ, and ultimately to Easter?

    First off, we see the need for Christ to have led a sinless life. If Christ was to be a sacrifice for our sin, we know that a blemished sacrifice would be insufficient for our redemption. Worse, a blemished sacrifice is actually an affront to our holy God! What Christ suffered for on the Cross was not any sin of his own… Rather, He came to suffer for your sin, mine, everyone who lived, and everyone who will ever live (2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:14-15).

    So, Christ’s death is an effective substitute and offering for us because of his sinless life. What an amazing plan of grace! That God’s eternal Son, who knew no sin, would wrap himself in our weak flesh, live like one of us, and bear the sins of those He'd ransom in His suffering. Like the scapegoat above, Christ had our iniquities laid on Himself… And His blood, like the many sacrifices, offers atonement for our wrongdoings. If that doesn’t make you marvel, shiver, and feel good, I don’t know what possibly could. There are so many scripture references, I’ll just throw out this little list: Romans 3:21-26, Romans 5:6-11, Hebrews 9:11-28, Ephesians 2:11-17.

    How do we know this offering, this perfect sacrifice, was accepted by God? What’s our assurance of our adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5)?

    Paul’s salutation in Romans says it well:
    Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ… (Romans 1:1-6, ESV)

    Remember Christ’s words to the Jews?
    So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. (John 2:18-22, ESV)

    The raising of Christ from the dead was the stamp which proved His identity as the Son of God, the validity/acceptance of the atonement on the cross, and gives us the blessed hope that we will be united with Christ in Heaven. I can’t say much, since the Bible says it all for me.

    Christ’s life, death, and resurrection are all critical elements of the Gospel. You can’t pull one element out and still present the same message. It’s really an all or nothing proposition. And so we can rejoice always, but especially at Easter, in the knowledge that this Jesus will return again as He promised… And He’ll come as King of all, bringing us to eternal life!

    In 1 Corinthians, Paul says:
    Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

    But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:12-22, ESV)

    He is risen indeed! A blessed Easter to one and all…

    *Though I wanted to think on my own, I would've posted any of this without some review by an elder. Thanks to coramdeo for the theological review!

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    Wednesday, April 12

    Thoughts on "Give Praise to God" - Part 8 of 3278

    Actually, this is the long awaited last post on Give Praise to God. It seems customary for bloggers to link to the previous installments of a post. Far be it from me to buck conventions... So, you can read parts one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven if'n you want.

    I kept waiting to post this final article because I was digesting the latest 'worship war' that erupted in the blogsphere. Now that has died down, I'll throw my summary statement out.

    Give Praise to God was a strange read for me. I can say that I, without exception, affirm the overarching principle of the book... I differ on some application, though. I'll start by affirming where I agree.

    When we approach the worship of our God and Creator, we should do so with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28). We must be careful to recognize that even our worship, to be acceptable, must be mediated through Christ's blood. We have no basis to stand before the Lord outside of Christ's work - and yet in the Savior's blood we've been brought into the family, adopted as sons.

    Though we are now true children of God through Christ, we mustn't forget who we are worshipping - and remember that HE makes the rules. God alone has the right to define the right parameters for our worship. By grace, He's given us His ordinances in Scripture. If we worship God outside of the boundaries He sets, we're not worshipping Him anymore. We're worshipping an idol - either a indifferent, less-than-Holy God on the throne or an exaltation of ourselves (making worship about 'me').

    A right attitude of worship should pervade everything in our life: How we study scripture and pray with family, how we connect with others, and obviously how we function when gathered corporately as the Body of Christ.

    There it is, an affirmation of the book's theme. Now, where I differ. First, I don't offer any of this criticism flippantly or to denigrate those on the other side of the aisle. We're on the same team, after all...

    The authors of this book, though not of one mind, are certainly advocating for a strict application of the 'regulative principle' of worship. Their application presses into the the extreme, in my opinion, relative to music. The strong implication of the book is that if it isn't hymnody or psalmody it should be cast into the flames.

    I've tried to think of the best way to express my take so it makes sense without turning into a rambling flurry of words. I hope this illustration is appropriate:

    When I pray, there are all kinds of emotions and expressions that come out. There are times where I'm praising God for the lofty, almost indescribable truth of who He is. If you wrote down what I say, it'd probably read a lot like a theology text or some Puritan essay. There are times where my prayers are saturated with Scripture, practically quoting out of the Psalms or one of Paul's letters.

    There are also times, however, where I'm almost at a loss for words. I have found myself just repeating over and over my regret for the place I'd put myself, crying out for God to melt my heart and bring me near again. And believe me when I tell you that I am far from eloquent in those moments...

    I think our prayer life rightly has this kind of ebb and flow... I can't help but feel that our corporate worship can rightly have the same.

    We must evaluate our worship of God 'theologically'... Are we rightly glorifying God for who HE is? Still, the particular expressions used to that end can be broad. Singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" or some heavy Psalter is bedrock, theological truth. But, we should also be able to sing simple cries to God to change our hearts or melodies speaking of the surreal love we've been shown. Simple or new is not always bad...

    Context is important. If you're singing nothing but "Draw Me Close to You", which inspired the recent flamewar, you are not rightly worshipping God. Period. However, I think there is a place and limited role for songs like this. And while it doesn't turn garbage into roses, good pastoral leadership (thoughtfully choosing musical/liturgical elements and explaining their place to the congregants) should open a palette of expression to us that draws on the best of the lofty and the humble.

    I love Bob Kauflin's commentary here. Wish I had his mind and his heart!

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    Be Heard!

    Check this out, and then send a note to Google/blogger... While I suppose there are people who would find my little rants 'offensive', I think that pederasty goes completely over the top.

    Friday, April 7

    Set condition to DEFCON 5

    For those of you 'regulars' (all 7 of you) who are just tuning in - You missed it. Really. Can't you tell?

    On Thursday, Ingrid @ Slice of Laodicea linked to my post re: Emerging wedding pastors. This is really the first, and likely to remain the only, bit of notoriety garnered by anything I've done/written.

    If you're inclined to see what the hubbub was about, scroll down or click here.

    I figure that the normal hit/page load numbers for this blog could be artistically rendered as a ghost town with tumbleweeds blowing through. Then the listing on Slice hit... The counters (newly configured early this week) ticked up. I guesstimate that the past 24 hours will represent at least 2 months worth of 'normal' traffic.

    All of which is pretty neat and more than a little humbling. What you type out here matters because you never really know who's reading... Hopefully, you're given something worthwhile to say once in a while. At least that's my prayer...

    Anyway, now that it's just us home folks I'll post the wrap-up to Give Praise to God sometime this weekend. I know you're waiting with tingling anticipation (all 7 - Er, 6? - of you).

    Thursday, April 6

    Come one, come all?

    I am not really what you would call a 'friend' of the Emergent (so-called) conversation. That said, I'm a person who likes to have my ideas and preconceptions challenged. It forces me to think, re-think, and react. So, I peek at the blogs of people I disagree with pretty regularly.

    The post on the emergent-us blog today burned me up. I like to write irritated, so here we go... The article is discussing the approach of weddingpastorusa.org, a service that seeks to "connect Emergent Pastors with couples looking for a minister to perform their wedding ceremony."

    Bill Yaccino starts his article by relating the story of a young couple struggling to find place/minister for their wedding.
    I’ll never forget the rejection in Jennifer’s voice. “Some asked if we were members of the church – I guess we gave the wrong answer. Some asked if we were living together – again, wrong answer. Others asked if we were previously married. Still, others required we go through a 10-week counseling session. I guess we just had the wrong answers to some of the questions. Honestly, it made us feel pretty sh#%@y!”
    Jennifer continued, “We took a look at your website and thought you seemed like the type of minister we wanted at our wedding. Can you help us? Oh, and what do we call you? Reverend? Father? What?”

    I obviously can't speak to the tone that Jennifer heard on the phone when speaking to the 'other' churches. Sadly, it is quite possible that some things were said to her in a very rude, smug, hurtful manner. That's not grace or mercy.

    Still, neither is capitulating to the way of the world. Jennifer describes herself and her fiance as "spiritual but not religious." It seems they want the trappings of a Christian wedding - pretty sanctuary, nice flowers, an organ - without having to be challenged on their beliefs. I don't think it should work that way. Marriage is a sacred and wonderful thing which should be guarded carefully. The churches and pastors she contacted were right to hold the line and disagree to perform the ceremony.

    No worries, though... Pastor Yaccino to the rescue!
    Long story short, I was invited to officiate several weddings for these “unchurched” people. They liked the way I lived out my faith and how they felt free to question and reconsider their own. So I performed a few weddings. I loved it! And guess what? They loved it! So did their families, their friends, even the secular wedding professionals with whom I partnered.

    I'll ignore the obvious pun re: whether these people needed to be (re)married several times. Anyway, this seems to be the greatest thing since sliced bread! Right? After all, everyone's happy, the pastor 'lived out his faith', and the lovey-dubby kids 'reconsidered their own'. What's the big deal?

    It's bunk, I tell you. Here's the big deal: What kind of faith was being lived out? And what elements of faith were being reconsidered?

    Pastor Yaccino lived out a faith that tacitly condoned conduct that is in opposition to God's commands. So, the faith modeled is one that says "It's great to be happy!" rather than "There's right and then there's wrong..." While I certainly think there was a need for pastoral care in this situation, it should've been lovingly talking with the couple and explaining God's model for what a husband and wife are to be - namely a representation of Christ and the church. And while we're not trying to be mean, we can't simply take that profound thing and compromise it just to get a few smiles.

    Worse - Look at the witness for 'our' faith that this young couple gets. "There is a God and he wants us happy. He's not concerned about all that other stuff... He blesses your marriage and wants you happy!" If they reconsidered their faith, it wasn't to consider it in light of a true Gospel of sin, wrath, and peace through Christ.
    And here’s another really cool thing - they paid me well! Not like the cheapo weddings I had done for the previous 12 years in the church. Most importantly, for the first time in a dozen years, I felt Missional. I felt authentic. I felt empowered to serve these couples without an agenda. I echo Rob Bell when he said; “I am learning that the church is at its best when it gives itself away.” (Velvet Elvis, p. 165).

    Ah... Well, at least the compensation was good. Shame about all those cheapo weddings for people in his Pastoral care, eh? You know, I've heard that there are a lot of industries that pay well if you're willing to compromise your ethics. Pardon me, I need to go be ill.

    Regarding another couple, Yaccino states:
    Both Amy and Raed are respectfully and culturally connected to their faith backgrounds, but neither lives out or embraces their faith actively. They are, however, in their own words “spiritual,” and very interested in living out life the way it is “supposed to be.” Isn’t it interesting how human nature takes a look around and notices that things are not the way God intended them to be!

    Yes... I think Solomon touched on that in Ecclesiastes. I'm pretty sure that Paul touched on it, too.
    Anyway, at the end of an incredibly interactive discussion, Raed said, “You know, I’ve always been curious and intrigued with the teachings of Jesus, but the whole Muslim/Christian thing never allowed me to go there.” Wow! Amy and Raed called me, a Christian pastor, to help them celebrate on one of the most important days of their lives. I can represent my faith in Jesus best, by serving them best.

    Are we serving them well by performing a wedding? Is that really what a pastor (shepherd) is supposed to be about? I would think that serving them would be to lay out the message of Christ to them in love. That is serving them! Confronting them with their need for redemption and reconciliation from a holy God, only made available to them through Christ... And then telling them, that though we do love them, we can't condone starting a marriage steeped in unrepented sin. Offering to counsel them, talk to them, buy 'em a cup of coffee and ask/answer hard questions. That's loving.

    Simply marrying them and patting them on the back with a smile isn't.

    Yaccino closes:
    Here is my dream for you, my fellow Emergent Pastors: Will you reach out to couples in your area looking for help? Will you help them even if they might be “wrong answer” people? Isn’t this what it means to be ‘Missional’? George Barna said in his new book, Revolution, that people will increasingly look outside the church for any type of spiritual connection or interest. That is exactly what I have experienced!

    I'm not surprised this is what he experienced. Though I'm saddened by it. Paul knew Timothy would experience it too. That's why he said: "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." (2 Timothy 4:3-5, ESV)

    Amazing... Barna says they'll look outside the church for it. Yaccino seems to think they should be able to find it in the church as well. Does it strike anyone else that Paul exhorted Timothy to 'do the work of an evangelist'? Isn't that different than just being a Wedding Planner.

    I don't mean to be crass, but if people want their wedding without strings attached we should let them have it. Elsewhere. Find a JOP, or a wedding chapel, or something... But don't redefine what we believe just to be nice. Let's be nice AND truthful.

    I'm strongly looking at my missiology lately, for several reasons. And as someone considering ministry as a vocation, I do vow to 'reach out to couples', even the 'wrong answer people'. But reaching out to them means loving them as Christ loved them - communicating the reality of sin, the grace of God in Christ so they have the right answers.
    The world is in need of pastors who are willing to be Missional, authentic and empowered to serve without an agenda.

    Bunk. They need us to have an agenda! The question is what agenda do we bring? "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10, ESV)

    I'll take my relationship with Christ over being a 'Friend of Emergent' any day.


    Tuesday, April 4

    Wrapping up and moving on...

    I'm going to try very hard to wrap up the (only) series of posts I've been making re: Give Praise to God in the next day or so. In skimming the last couple chapters there didn't seem to be anything earth-shattering. I want to close that book out for a couple reasons.

    First off, I like to finish what I start. But, I have to be honest that I'm not as 'engaged' in the book as I was before. So, I think it's best to take it out to pasture (and return it to TGH's library).

    Secondly, I recently downloaded a ton of cool workshops/lectures from the people at Acts29. I got the link to these off Steve's always informative Reformissionary blog a while ago, but never had the chance to listen. I've been going through one presentation a night (about an hour) and taking notes.

    Finally, I got a copy of Piper's Brothers, We Are Not Professionals in the mail today. The book was a freebie from the equally cool people at Desiring God in response to a letter I wrote in. I wanna jump into the pages right away.

    So, this is the stuff that's driving me right now. And, this will undoubtedly be blog fodder for a few weeks.

    Tune back for more... In the meantime, check out today's post on TeamPyro for a little brain-ercise.

    Monday, April 3

    My 4 nylon strings gently weep.

    Caught this link a couple days ago off of the TeamPyro blog, though I hadn't checked it out.

    There are some talented people in the world. And some of them play ukulele.

    Saturday, April 1

    J. Greshem Machen - One cool dude...

    I love to learn new things... So, I'm always thrilled when I find out about or stumble over some new author who has something valuable to say.

    I've seen the name of J. Greshem Machen around before. Never read any of his stuff, though. Then I heard this quote last night while listening to a church planting lecture/sermon:

    Time was when Reason sat in regal state upon her throne, and crowds of obsequious courtiers did her reverence. But now, the Queen has been deposed and Pragmatism, the usurper, occupies the throne.

    Some humble retainers still follow the exile of the fallen Queen. Some men still hope for the day of restoration when the useful will be relegated to its proper place and Truth will again rule the world. But such retainers are few... So few that even the very humblest of them may perhaps, out of charity, be granted a hearing which in Reason's better days he could not have claimed.

    Wow. It would seem I need to click 'Add to Cart'.