He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 

Da Vinci Code "X"ed Out

Not only did the Da Vinci Code not last more than 1 week atop US box office charts, but it has also fallen off the top in the UK and in Ireland as well. The culprit is X-Men III, the largest Memorial Day weekend grosser in box office history.

Monday, May 29, 2006 

Pray for Indonesia - 7000 Dead so Far

I was reading the Atlanta-Journal Constitution today about the quake that currently has a death toll of around 7,000 - that in the midst of a bird flu crisis, just months removed from severe, deadly floods, other recent earthquakes and volcanoes and just a year and a half removed from the tsunami - and I read a quote from a local man named Subarjo, a 70 year old who said:
"I couldn't help my wife...I was trying to rescue my children, one with a broken leg, and then the house collapsed. I have to accept this as our destiny, as God's will."

I could be wrong, but more than likely he was speaking of Allah, not "I AM." That's what breaks my heart for this nation...more than the thousands of deaths they have suffered in less than 2 years, is the fact that they continue to worship that which is false. They have been sold a lie and they suppress the truth. I watched some footage while I was in Atlanta of the wreckage from the quake and saw survivors repeatedly calling out to "allahu akbar." I admire the fact that they would still be calling out to their god, and even calling him "great." I imagine the situation in America would see many questioning and forsaking the faith because we feel entitled to "easy," "freedom," and "pleasantness." Suffering is a foreign concept. I know it is to me.

I believe the Lord is up to something in this nation. Yet, like the time I spent in Aceh, like what I read in the paper & saw on the tv, so many, thinking allah is punishing them for lack of devotion, delve more wholeheartedly into the lie of Islam, hardening their hearts, or being hardened, further from the Truth.

It is for that reason that I would plead with whoever may come across this page, to plead with the Lord to move exceedingly powerfully among these people. Pray that the next time calamity comes to Indonesia, that people would respond by glorifying Him Who is their Maker, Him Who is worthy of glory, and Him who I beleive is opening a door for the Gospel in the largest Muslim country in the world by leaving this staunchly Muslim people broken, and repeatedly asking, "Why." There is only One Answer, and prayer is the greatest weapon to wield and gives us the priveleged opportunity to be a part of Kingdom building in a place where Christ is not named. Come Holy Spirit, to this proud, yet broken people, glorify Your Son among them. Use us as You will in the means of this process.

Friday, May 26, 2006 

Emerging Baptists Have Been Around

As I do reading for my class this summer on the Southern Baptist Convention and its history, I've seen some theological issues from the liberal days leading up to the slow transformation that started in 79 & still continues (& still hasn't happened in some churches), that just so happen to, in my opinion, parallel Emergent theology. I'll just post some of these things & not comment.

In 1977, Professor E. Glenn Hinson of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary published Jesus Christ. In this book Hinson challenged and questioned many biblical declarations and assumptions. He wrote: "[Gospel] sources, however objective they may claim to be, have biases. They reflect the slanted viewpoints of their authors. At the same time, most possess, in varying degrees, some element of fact. The fact that none of these is factual, however, does not take away all of their value. What it takes away is the dogmatic certainty of Gospels, one can safely conclude that a kernel of historical fact underlies the early church's handling of the material."

In 1983, Professor Temp Sparkman of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary published a book entitled The Salvation and Nurture of the Child of God: The Story of Emma. This bookwas a study of how a person is saved. Using Emma as his paradigm, Sparkman explained: "Emma, much later in her nurture, will learn of significant doctrines and will repeat confessions and creeds, but will not add one measure to the basic giveness of her status. If she should become the most committed person on earth, while that would delight her Maker, she could not by such dedication gain any edge on others who refuse to consider or follow God's will for their lives." Sparkman concluded that the gift is from God and is not only to Emma but is also to all children in the world. Sparkman appeared to argue that all people are children of God, and nowhere in his book did he try to explain the necessity of salvation.

In 1985, Clayton Sullivan, a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, published his autobiography entitled Called to Preach, Condemned to Survive. The book revealed how his studies at SBTS essentially caused him to lose faith. "As a seminarian, still in my mid-twenties, I found myself baffled. I was more certain of what I didn't believe than I was of what I did believe. Southern Seminary had destroyed my biblical fundamentalism but it had not given me anything viable to take its place. That's the weakness of the historical critical method: its power to destroy exceeds its power to construct. The historical critical method can give you facts and hypotheses but it cannot give you a vision.

I wanted to write more, but these quotes went a little long. I do want to comment on the bold statement in the final quote. THat is a striking problem with emergents. They cherish questions over truth because it is a culture that is destroying, not constructing or building up the church. It is self-centered justification of sin and just a recycling of the old liberalism. Thankfully, God is the one who builds His church, and the gates of hell, or a world embracing, post-modern generation, shall not prevail against it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 


my favorite hymn of all-time. mmm, mmm, mmm.

-by Augustus Toplady

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
[originally When my eye-strings break in death]
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 

Indonesia Considering Shariah Law in Aceh

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – A bill proposed by lawmakers on the tsunami-ravaged Indonesian province of Aceh would impose Shariah, or Islamic law, on all non-Muslims, the military and police, a local law enforcement official said.

Sharia took effect last year in Aceh, a predominantly Muslim region on the northernmost tip of Sumatra island. It banned drinking, gambling, adultery and other behavior deemed immoral under Islam. But it had only applied to Muslims.

The latest bill, submitted to the national parliament for debate, is expected to be adopted by the 550-seat house by the summer after facing initial resistance.

"Based on the equality in law, Acehnese people have formally proposed ... to apply the Islamic Shariah Law to all those residing in Aceh, including military, police and non-Muslims," said Alyasa Abubakar, head of a local government office which enforces the Shariah on Aceh.

"We leave it to the parliament whether to accept or reject the Acehnese people's proposal," Abubakar said last week. "I personally feel that it is not fair to apply the Islamic Sharia only to Muslims."

Abdullah Saleh, deputy chairman of the parliamentary commission handling the draft, said the change still "protects the non-Muslims' freedom to perform their religious duties."

With 220 million inhabitants, Indonesia is home to more Muslims than any other nation, but is a secular state where people follow a moderate form of the faith.

The draft will almost certainly harm delicate relations with other religions, in a country where Christian-Muslim violence has claimed the lives of thousands in recent years.

Although around 97 percent of the population is Muslim, Aceh is also home to Hindus, Buddhists and Christians.

Aceh was the single worst-hit Asian coastline in the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami which claimed the lives of some 130,000.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 

Do Postmodernists' Legs Really Hurt?

When I was 2-3 years old, my parents had a rule about me pulling out only one toy at a time to play with. If I was going to play with a different toy than the one that I had out, then I was instructed to put up the first toy before going to the second. In my totally depraved nature, I thought this rule was there to simply trample my fun, in spite of my parents explaining that cleaning my room would be much easier, in fact, almost unnecessary, if I would follow their rule. Yet, I would not, my room would become a wreck, and it would take me hours on end to take on the task of dreadfully cleaning my room.

Again, as a totally depraved toddler, I came up with a scheme that my unsuspecting parents did not uncover until my aunt came in for a long term visit. When asked to go clean my room, the terrible task would overwhelm me, and I began to complain about my leg hurting, being sore. My innocent, unsuspecting mother, trusting and loving her child, never suspected that such a cute, chubby, young child of hers had the capability of lying to get out of work. Alas, it is sad but true. That is, until my mom’s sister, my aunt Kathy came into town, at the time, not married, without children, and called me out. On telling me to clean my room, within minutes I came back complaining about my sore legs. My mom expressed to my aunt how concerned she was with this reoccurring problem, and my aunt responded by laughing. She said, “Haven’t you noticed that he only complains when you tell him to go clean his room?” Busted…she had not noticed, but now she did, and the game was over.

The problem wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to clean as it was I wasn’t sure where to begin. To a three-or-so-year-old, I did not know where to begin. Because I broke the rules of my parents, the room got so bad that I got overwhelmed and claiming to have sore legs would usually get the aid of my mom, and the room would slowly become clean.

I think postmodernists today are much the same. They do not value truth, they value questions. But that’s there game – if there are never answers, and only questions, there never has to be definitive ways that one must die to self, and let Jesus reign. They’ll die to self and let Jesus reign according to their own tastes and definitions, because, after all, God made them that way (the way of their preferences) and who can really know what’s right or truth, so they might as well go with their gut, which is usually quite shaped and mirror-imaged to culture and the “hip” of the day.

Postmodernists claim that for anyone to claim truth or to know the answers is only possible if that person is a Pharisaical, arrogant, legalist. They commend themselves for they have more awe for God than one who believes the concreteness of the promises of the Words of God for they say, “He is too vast, too transcending, too wonderful to be comprehended, therefore, what can we know?” And then they sit back, and treasure question over truth. Granted, God is too vast, too transcending, too wonderful to simply describe and define (Romans 11:33-34), yet, to say you trust as truth the ways He has revealed Himself is not to say that you have put Him in a box. He’s put Himself in a Book, 66 of them, for the one.

Can you imagine if the whole world operated as postmodernists and as me as a toddler, and looking at the full scope of things, became overwhelmed, and therefore never moved forward, but complained about sore legs? What if I were to go to the Grand Canyon, put my hand over my mouth and say, “He’s too magnificent, this silly Bible doesn’t tell the half,” and throw it over the railing and forsake its ways. What if after 9/11, the NYC workers surveyed the wreckage and said, “Where on earth do we start? It’s too daunting!” And so they just sat around talking, having question time about what the best methods would be to clean up, yet never starting the actual process in fear of seeming arrogant to all the other workers. I understand the desire, looking at the overwhelming mess of my room, I became weighed down, and made up stories to keep from the tiring task.

Maybe God, like my parents, gave us His Word not only for His glory, but for our good. Perhaps there are a few concrete truths and answers in there that it would be arrogant for us to not claim for certain because it would show lack of faith in Him to do so. Perhaps all the questions from postmodernists are not truly because they want deeper, better answers, but because their lazy, and they claim their legs are sore, when truly they just don’t want to hear what it clear, to clean up their rooms – they just don’t trust it’s for their own good, they think culture instead has their best interest in mind.

Finally, there are those who like to say, “When Jesus was asked a question, He asked a question in return, therefore, Jesus was all about questions, not answers.” Ahhh, gotta love the postmodern hermeneutic. Perhaps, it should be clear, and this could be an arrogant claim because I am saying it is right and true, but perhaps if you reassess His questions, you will see that Jesus is asking a question that gets to the root of the problem. The Pharisee or whoever would ask the initial question was always playing around, not really caring about the question they were asking but trying to ensnare Jesus, and Jesus always knowing the motive of their heart, didn’t like playing the inquisition game and cut to the chase by asking a question that addressed the real issue. So, I am going to say that Jesus’ questions were to get at the heart of truth, and to reveal answers in light of His Truth.

Quit claiming your legs hurt when it is clear Who He is and what we are to do. And clean your room, its become quite messy.

Friday, May 12, 2006 

Revival Coming in NYC?

In light of a recent urban evangelization course and being just weeks away from spending the summer in NYC, this article was interesting on a possible coming revival to the USA's largest city.

Monday, May 01, 2006 

That Gospel Goodness

The Together for the Gospel personal highlights:

Dever on the pastor as a Postman...the job of the pastor in preaching is to simply faithfully deliver God's message to the people.

Singing along with 2800 men to simply arranged, God-glorifying hymns and songs with deep theology in the words.

CJ Mahaney's response to Dever's message and brokenness over the Gospel in his own life.

CJ Mahaney's transparency in his struggle to try and impress with his message and not serve the pastors with his message.

Mohler mentioning, along with the others, that his desire is to see the local church become again the place that prepares future pastors for ministry.

Getting lunch for free because the waitress forgot about our order. Then, getting dinner for free because a dear brother in Christ picked up the tab for four others.

The encouragement by the main 4 in the 1st night's panel discussion to find friends and co-laborers in the Gospel who can be partners in your life and community for the Gospel.

Mahaney's exhortation to always watch yourself in ministry.

Mahaney's response to why he's no longer a pastor...led him to discuss his desire to have a father in Christ type mentor, the never-ending search in my life that I've found in the past, but have not had since my earliest days as a believer.

Almost my favorite part: John Piper's entire address. That man is this generations gift of God to more fully show us God. Floored by his address. The weight of God's glory filled that room.

ULTIMATE PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT: Getting to catch up with my heroes and friends of the Christian faith and ministry. My pastor under whom I got saved, David King, my first associate pastor, Todd Howard (now 2 time associate pastor), and my first sunday school teacher as a believer, Jimbo Bass, though in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, were all there together. I got to spend every moment of free time listening in on their conversations on ministry, the Gospel, and the church. I also got to spend each moment of the day with them...from speakers to meals to late evening conversations, my soul was so blessed to catch up with them and to just be in their presence again. If only my best friend Aaron Martin could have made it, and my wife too, you could just go ahead and have put me six feet under because I would have been in Heaven. What a gift those once in a lifetime type relationships are, and how sweet, because of the Gospel, the Lord has made them.

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