Tuesday, December 28, 2010
This was my first Dyson novel and has whet my appetite for more. As the tale unfolds there is sufficient data to permit one to connect the dots, but never enough to complete the connections until near the end. The inclusion of the main character’s jailing with her alter ego, unveiled, was perfect!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Not a “How To” but a “What and Why” book. I appreciated the author’s explanation of the origins of the Liturgical Year, her definition of “liturgical spirituality” and her pithy observations throughout; such as “ to live life for lesser things is to risk not living at all” and “for life to becomes its own exhilarant, we must learn to live it consciously, beyond the visible to the meaningful”.
This is a book for those oriented toward the abstract vs. the concrete.
Received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thank You, Judge!
To understand libido dominandi one need only read WE, 1984, Brave New World and then reflect on the past 50 years.
But, to grasp crucial specifics, one needs to read and re-read Lies The Government Told You. For the great majority of us, these Lies were inculcated while we were so supremely moldable, during the very years the same government held us and our parents captive. Our parents via compulsory education laws and us children via government schools.
These lies became such a deeply ingrained part of us they functioned as filters distorting our understanding of what we were seeing! Surely, the government isn’t doing-blank! (Fill in one of the Judge’s seventeen examples.)
Thank you, Judge Napolitano for providing us with such a clear and reasoned guide. Now, every time I hear some employee of government mouth one of these mantras, the reasoning in your chapters will ring loud and clear and my mind and I will think: Sophist, "...a person who reasons adroitly and speciously rather than soundly…”.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Good handbook for basic discipleship.
Shaun’s basic paradigm for initial discipleship is quite helpful. His use of personal example throughout each segment adds to its value. His admonition that we are to share experience along with information during the process is so key to one’s impact. Shaun’s focus on the value of Order as well as his description of the Fruit of The Spirit in the process adds to the paradigms value, in my opinion. Shaun’s emphasis on the need for grounding in the scriptures and a disciplined progress from rules to principles in the growing disciple’s experience is to be highly valued’
I would suggest one avoid the chapter on The Imparter as well as chapters 18-20 in that they lean toward one particular theological posture. At the same time, in my experience I have tended to abstain from repeating ostensible, subjective miracles, falling back on the rationale of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 where he says he saw things not lawful to utter. What he saw is not necessary for our Christian experience (2 Peter 1:3, 4) nor are, again, in my opinion, such miraculous testimonies, whereas the miracles in the scriptures are divinely attested.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Monday, December 13, 2010
A resource for every believer’s shelf
Alcorn has provided a solid resource dealing with this perennial concern, one suitable to proponents on both sides of the “Divine Sovereignty/Free Will” concern. The inclusion of personal testimony/struggle with the issue of suffering is, in my opinion, especially helpful, prompting one’s identification with the particular question. The development of the question is reflected in the layout of the chapters:
1. Understanding the Problem of Evil & Suffering
2. Understanding Evil: It's Origins, Nature & Consequences
3. Problems for Non-Theists: Moral Standards, Goodness & Extreme Evil
4. Proposed Solutions to the Problem of Evil & Suffering: Limiting God's Attributes
5. Evil & Suffering in the Great Drama of Christ's Redemptive Work
6. Divine Sovereignty & Meaningful Human Choice: Accounting for Evil & Suffering
7. The Two Eternal Solutions to the Problem of Evil: Heaven & Hell
8. God's Allowance & Restraint of Evil & Suffering
9. Evil & Suffering Used for God's Glory
10. Why Does God Allow Suffering?
11. Living Meaningfully in Suffering
The author’s scriptural reflections throughout the narrative are seemingly designed to lead us to the text and wrestle with the issue ourselves.
The centrality of the Cross throughout the presentation is especially helpful, as was the observation of Joni respecting the ministry of suffering when she wrote”…feeling sin’s sting while on the way to heaven…” As I read that, my first thought was, “Yes. Lest I forget”!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
This is a book to recommend.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Timely and Informative
Very helpful explanation in understanding the next Christian. They could well represent the fourth major shift in the progress of the kingdom. The author’s explanation of their six characteristics and the seven avenues or channels in which they seek to minister was also helpful. As I read, a number of thoughts struck me: 1) the next Christians seek to adapt vs. adopt, 2) the next Christians do not appear to be focused on developing a Christian Approach but rather focus on being Christians Approaching, and finally 3) the next Christians appear to be seeking to live as leaven in the cultural loaf without seeking to determine outcome, i.e. developing a Christian culture. Personally, I haven’t the foggiest idea as to what the ultimate impact of kingdom leaven will look like. The focus, it seems to me, is to live like kingdom leaven. Awesome book and heartily recommended. My only disappointment lay in the absence of pro-life next Christians, credit to the author’s contribution relative to DS babies.
"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I am personally in agreement with the author’s position regarding the role of the believer in politics and appreciated his handling of the five opposing views regarding the believer’s role. My discomfort with many of his observations and conclusions stems more from his comfortable view of a broad reach for the government in the life of the citizen. At the same time, it seemed to me he gives more attention to the public statements of the political parties as opposed to their actions over the past century or so. Platform statements are for propaganda purposes. What the parties have done is the evidence of what they believe. Seems as if there is a suggestion in scripture toward that end?
When it comes to Economics, I would lean toward trusting those in the Austrian School . Dr. Gary North has an interesting critique of the author’s comments in the area of economics here and here.
As it pertains to Foreign Policy, I could wish the author more familiar with the host of authors on the Anti-War side. I say this as one who took years to come to grips with our Imperialism, beginning with my first encounter with communists doing campus evangelism in the 60s. Sacred Cows die hard.
Still, the book is a great resource; especially the first four chapters, while his treatment of the sixty issues affords a starting point for one's consideration. This book definitely needs to be in the Christian’s library.
I recommend the book along with Chuck Colson’s Kingdom’s In Conflict, Gary DeMarr’s God and Government series, Rushdoony’s Law and Liberty, and Bahnsen’s By This Standard.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
City of Man-centered
I concur with the author’s Primer For Christian Persuaders:
1) Maintain self-awareness;
2) maintain spiritual grounding,
3) maintain perspective,
4) maintain community, and
5) maintain a spirit of grace and reconciliation
along with their Three Concluding Propositions:
1) Politics is a realm of necessity,
2) politics is a realm of hope and possibility, and
3) politics can be the realm of nobility.
The sub-title reads: Religion and Politics in a New Era.
Having read the book only once, I still do not recognize that which the authors referred to as “The New Era”?
I came away with the impression the administration the authors served under left little to criticize. (Probably too broad an observation, for sure.) That “their” administration seriously stripped the citizenry of civil liberties, mired us in foreign conflicts which will ultimately make Vietnam pale in comparison, and seriously undermined our economy is lost in their recollection of the “good” which was brought to pass.
Bottom line, for me, was the author’s simplistic suggestion America is becoming more pro-life without clarifying America’s government is ever more committed to a pro-death mind-set! Citing the decline in abortions from 1.6 million to 1.3 million without mentioning the advent and promotion of RU 486 and other abortifacients is somewhat disingenuous and suggesting the partial-birth abortion legislation was an advance when, in fact, the pre-born are still subject to this barbaric reality.
I chose that as illustrative since I personally consider the issue of SOHL (Sanctity of Human Life) to be the point of the cultural wedge. Once that point was yielded, all the cultural horror which has followed was inevitable
Years ago I read a book with the title Everything is Politics, but Politics isn’t Everything.
Believers living in this form of government need to participate and the guidelines offered by the authors are helpful.
Believers also need to remember, Politics will never change hearts and minds: only the gospel will do that.
Believers also need to be vary warty of the intoxicating influence of politics. Given man’s inherent messianic complex, politics affords an avenue to “save” everyone. Woe to the believing man or woman who succumbs to that “siren”!
Believers are called to a leavening influence, individually, and not corporately. A familiarity with Grudem's Politics According to the Bible would be helpful alongside this book.
In nearly 45+ years of intentional personal discipling, this is the first book/tool I have encountered, next to Adler’s How To Read A Book and Gregory’s Seven Laws Of Teaching which is helpful almost beyond measure when it comes to equipping believers for life in The Faith.
For years I taught flying in the military and as a civilian instructor, following this format: What, Why, and How. Not rocket science, by any means.
As I read and re-read Think I kept recognizing: What, Why and How!
Amazing how we stumble over the obvious: God left us a verbal propositional revelation. Words in sentences, paragraphs with the meaning and implications contained therein. The “nuggets of gold” if you will are not scattered on the ground (Proverbs 25:2). Makes one think of Paine’s observation : “…what we obtain too cheaply we esteem too lightly…”
In the New Covenant, in my opinion, God deals with us as with spiritual adults. Under the Old Covenant, He took Israel by the hand, as one would take an infant. In contrast, under the New Covenant, the law is written on the heart, we are provided with a written revelation and left to “think”!
The author beautifully blends Proverbs 2:1-10 and 2 Tim. 2:7 with the “If-Then” consideration. This is how one educates adults. Children are easily indoctrinated and just as easily fall away, as evidenced in Israel’s history under the Old Covenant. New Covenant believers are to be educated and the history since Pentecost illustrates our understanding of this reality.
Thankfully, God the Spirit is still in the initial stages of His ministry and, in my opinion, His particular movement in the author’s mind and ministry assisting us in this regard is a terrific encouragement.
My “take away” from the author’s effort is in a re-doubling of my effort to make doubly certain the “leaven” I am pleased to influence are doggedly committed to thinking, recognizing the Proverb “,,,as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”
Thank you, pastor Piper, and Bethlehem Baptist Church for your joint contribution to the Body!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Grabbed By The Title
For starters, the title has us!
People power? Power to the people? Seems as if I heard that in my distant past
Pragmatically, the people lost power even while “honest Abe” was making his Gettysburg peroration.
So much for history.
Without a doubt, the observations of one outside our mileu, dare I say foreign, is to be seriously noted and ruminated upon.
Do not imbibe/embrace the ruminations of the MSM. (I like that, given my 50+ year deleterious exposure to MSM).
Focus on propositional content vs. Image.
Wow ! Words, the ordering of words into a coherent structure has meaning/significance! Interesting.
Thank God for the input from “the other side”!
Talk about needed!
Oh? Christian involvement/participation in politics: not much said.
Bless you, Prof Trueman!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Why? Simply because of its simplicity.
Discipleship or the Equipping of every believer IS NOT rocket science.
The Lord gave the initial commission to ordinary men equipped to perform in an extra-ordinary manner.
Granted, in my opinion, they were possessed of extra-ordinary powers limited to that age, but those same powers had nothing to do with discipling/equipping! Disciples are made, not born!
Men and women of every unfolding age are discipled/equipped with Truth and truth is fitted to every unfolding age (aeon-Eph. 2:7 & 3:21).
Undoubtedly, an "immediate" miracle is mind-boggling; but the moral miracle has far more lasting impact!
Granted, in the minds of many, Dawson's approach seems mechanical, and it is. But, this is just the approach applicable to most of humanity. It is only the 15% who chafe at this approach and who, most desperately need just this tool to enable them to minister effectively across the whole scope of humanity.
I, for one, commend Dave Dawson for his willingness to share his experiences and insights relative to Intentional Discipleship. Personally, I have profited from his ministry insights, etc. for the past 40 years.
As LeRoy used to admonish: DGIWTHH
PS: check out the ministry and materials of ETS-Equipping The Saints
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Unlike so many devotionals, this one is not laid out in terms of days of the month, but simply numerically.
Another unique feature is the organization around topics: Hope and Fear, Love and Hate, Perseverance and Quitting, Faith and Doubt, Loyalty and Betrayal, Companionship and Isolation, Mercy and Judgment, Forgiveness and Anger, Joy and Sadness, and Peace and Conflict. Each topical segment begins biblically in Genesis and moves through Malachi selecting passages pertinent to the topic.
The author chose to utilize differing translations throughout the topic.
By and large, I found the comments for each day interesting and often quite stimulating, though I would differ with his observation on the rainbow's original appearance. The take on Ham’s sin was interesting, as well. You will need to purchase or borrow the book to see what he says!
I wondered why the author did not seek to explicate the place of Jesus more directly in his devotional development, given Jesus’ remarks in Luke 24:27.
Maybe the author is leaving that for his next edition?
I would recommend this book.
I received this book as part of the publisher’s blogger review program (BookSneeze).
Saturday, October 23, 2010
The Least Among Us
Uncomfortable denoting it as objectively Christian, though inference is made to Christian themes, i.e. the title, and the story context: a Seminary where the main character is training for the pastorate (though this is not the true intent of the main character).
As a moralistic presentation I suspect it would comport with Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, and just about every other religious expression on the Pike.
Having personally lived through the era and experienced the bigotry in the North and in the South during that era, I resonated with the main character’s concern in standing against injustice. As a young Naval Flight Cadet in the 50’s, I well recall being tossed off a bus in the South because I chose to sit in the rear of a bus (the front being full).
I well recall the same intense anger sitting in front of Abortion Chambers in the 80’s along with many who never professed the name of Christ yet were abhorred at the injustice of elective abortion.
To label either action as specifically “Christian” is confusing.
I was especially dismayed at the presentation of the Seminary personal. Mercy! Talk about casting a “black eye” on Christianity! Balance might have been suggested by illustrating the same type of injustice in Government Public Schools, within the US Military (I can personally attest to this as well), or within the governmental structure as a whole.
Admittedly, this is the tale of one’s experience within a Seminary context, but balance ought to have been sought given the gross ignorance of today’s generations!
Overall, I would suggest viewing this video as an illustration of what many might label: Common Grace; or what I suggest as evidence of The Creator’s hand in His creation.
Personally, it warmed my heart watching the main character contend with “evil” first hand. To be honest, it brought back a host of flooding memories!
But, I would not suggest, by any stretch of the imagination, this is a Christian presentation.
I received this video as a participant in the BookSneeze review program. My review is not influenced by the publisher.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Couldn’t put it down!
From the opening sentence to the end of the book, my attention never waned. Though I believe myself to be well informed on the situation, biblically and historically, the narrative and development was such that I didn’t want to pass quickly over any part!
This is a terrific introduction to the issue and Bryant hits the nail on the head as to the source of the problem. Seeds Of Turmoil is a good introduction to Islam and to the relationships between the three religions of the book.
The unstated assumption behind the book suggests political Zionism is representative of biblical Israel.
I will happily pass this book on to others as an introduction to the problem along with a briefing on Political Zionism and Christian Zionism.
I received this book as part of Thomas Nelson’s blogger’s review program, gratis, and the freedom to post my opinion.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Portrait Of A Man
Have always been intrigued by Patton’s sense of destiny. Reading this volume enabled me to see the impact of his exposure to the scriptures wherein one encounters the message of a sovereign creator working all things after the counsel of His own will.
This bio also lends tremendous credence to the impact of parents and grandparents on the education of a child without the aid of government schools. The pressures Patton faced as it became apparent he wasn’t a product of the government system only attest to the effectiveness of educational warehousing in cloning.
The book does a great service in explaining the background and motivations behind the slapping incidents.
It is a shame the movie did not follow the biographical material outlined in this volume. Would have been a much better service to the memory of this man!
Patton and Smedley Butler are two terrific leadership role model.
I received this book free from the publisher through the Thomas Nelson bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Signs of the Times, Signs of the Timers!
For over 60+ years I have listened to the Mantra: these are the signs of the times.
Some years back, I began to ask, “…the times of what?”
Most said, “…the end of the world…” But, as I searched the scriptures I failed to find any text supporting that assertion.
Others responded, “…the signs of the end…”. To which I queried, “…the end of what..?”
Again, I was met with the assertion: the end of the world.
Others said, “…the last days…”, to which I responded, “…the last days of what…?”
Still others asserted “the end”, to which I responded, “…end of what…?”
Never in all these years have I heard any of the “…this is a sign of the end…” proponents admit to their assertions being wrong. Most egregious among these “prophets” ( in my opinion) being John Walvoord, Hal Lindsey, and Jack van Impe. (I could also include John Hagee: ).
It does appear most of the aforementioned have made good money via book sales based upon their assertions and the religious community’s credulity. (To their detriment, they neglected to give heed to the Apostolic admonitions to “test the spirits” ( 1 John 4:1) and (2 Timothy 2:15). My hope is they used this income to further the kingdom’s advance!
These men ought to be eternally grateful we are no longer are bound to Deuteronomy 13 & 18!
Against all of these “end times proponents”, I find myself bound by Ephesians 3:20, 21.
When will the saints learn assertions are not arguments?
When will they learn assertions by godly men are no more valid than assertions by the ungodly?
Sincerity is not the standard, truth is! (Isaiah 8:20 & 2 Timothy 2:15).
How much damage has been done to earnest saints led astray by such assertions?
How much fodder has been provided to the like of Dawkins and Hitchens?
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
In retrospect we discern He has been writing with “crooked sticks”.
Whenever we begin to suspect this, we respond as the prophet Habakkuk in Hab. 1:13…”thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil…”
Let me share my outline of the Minor prophet Habakkuk: Chapter 1-NO! Chapter 2-OH! Chapter 3-AH!
He forgot God operated outside the prophet’s frame of reference.
What was evil for the prophet was not evil for the Creator God. (do you presume to hold God to a standard?
Forgive the analogy…but every time I found it necessary to physically discipline one of our children I suspected they thought it “evil”. Years later, they generally recognized it as “good”. Just as David in Psalm 119:71 & 75.
Crooked Sticks abound today!
‘Course, they have always abounded throughout history.
This is the manner of God’s working with a fallen race! At the moment, we are experiencing a close proximity to what God “experiences”, i.e. almost instantaneous awareness of current events! YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. The experience is almost overwhelming…frustrating…confusing.
Add to that the modus operandi of Government in terms of propaganda and confusion and the effect multiplies exponentially.
Whither shall one turn? Who does one trust?
Isaiah advised us and did the Apostle Paul.
Thank God for the doctrine of His Sovereignty
Thank God For the Whistleblowers
Personally, I think so!
To me, each of these whistleblowers manifests the Shamgar spirit.
They are part and parcel of what A J Nock referred to as The Remnant.
Thank God such men and women exist, for their very presence or potential presence puts the fear of God in the psyche of those within Government.
We are all familiar with Lord Acton’s comment “Power tends to corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. We tend to assign this phenomenon to the larger entity, but it most certainly applies to someone in every governmental level.
Who among us hasn’t been treated as a serf by some local bureaucrat? The bureaucrat hides behind the euphemism of “public servant” when, in point of fact they rapidly become petty tyrants.
What do they fear, at all levels of “public service”?
Why, the Whistleblower!
God, in His infinite goodness, insures there is one or more Shamgars at every level. Men and women possessed with clarity of thought and vision, coupled with a sensitive conscience and who finally say, “Enough is enough” and blow the whistle.
The “systems’ “ response? Ignore them. Ridicule and stigmatize them, circle the wagons and fight them, attempting to bludgeon them into submission. Failing in the latter, they kill them. Eric Hoffer let us know this is the only effective means of dealing with a “True Believer”.
So, for my part, I thank God for the whistleblower, adding him or her to my personal prayer list and pray that, if I am ever faced with a similar decision I would not draw back!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Time and again, our government conducts itself in the most shameful of manners.
Recall the Tuskegee Experiments?
Recall Agent Orange?
Recall Depleted Uranium?
Recall Exon Valdez?
Recall the BP use of chemical dispersants?
At this point, we have reached a new low. It seems as if BP and the Government have hit upon a new strategy to hide their ineptitude: slave labor.
To me, this is a significant step lower than the use of "coerced informants" to obtain convictions.
By using "slave labor", the government will be able to hide from the public the deleterious effects of the dispersant upon humans, let alone the aquatic and avian populations.
Will we ever say, "Enough is Enough?"
Patrick Henry said it best: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!"
A concept foreign to our recent past and current generation.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Talk About Contrast
Thankfully, God IS sovereign and man will not ultimately screw up creation.
In terms of the immediate, it certainly looks bleak.
For me, personally, I am appalled at the concern for the wildlife in the Gulf area (though, by no means do I suggest we ought not to be concerned). But, for a nation which kills without conscience more than a million humans annually via abortion, I simply cannot rouse myself to save a Pelican or Porpoise!
I am concerned for the inhabitants of the Gulf area whose livelihoods are being callously ignored by our government, irrespective of their public pronouncements.
Maybe, God in His sovereignty, is moving to provoke our populace to rise up in indignation (maybe righteous indignation), and take back their government.
For far too long, we have allowed our politicians free reign such that they have forgotten they are accountable representatives versus our rulers!
In my lifetime, “Public Servant” has become an oxymoron!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
The Heart Mender
Up front this is a review resulting from the BookSneeze program of Thomas Nelson Publishers. The review represents my personal opinion, unsolicited in terms of outcome resulting from the gratuitous provision of the book.
Personally, I love historical fiction, ala Leon Uris, Tom Clancy, et al.
This story brought back memories of the Gulf Coast, along with smells and sounds! Wow.
As a history buff I was well acquainted with the operations of the Kriegsmarine in the Gulf, having lived in Pensacola, FL and Morehead City, NC.
But, is the bulk of it really built of facts other than what was found in the buried vegetable can and WW II archival history of the Kriegsmarine operations in the Gulf?
The plot does offer a heartwarming story of the power of forgiveness and the restoration of lives damaged by the ravages of war. The role of Danny in the story graphically illustrates the value of "the weakest of these" in our culture.
The fact that a particular enemy submariner, ended up on the coast of Alabama and was assimilated into the culture does not strike me as strange and speaks volumes to the character of the citizenry in that part of the nation.
Once I began reading, I couldn't put it down until the last page!
Thank you, Mr. Andrews. I loved this work and look forward to reading more!
PS: visit his site
Thursday, June 10, 2010
It also blesses my heart as well us evinces Kudos to Awana
What's In An Example?
1) Daily devotional life
2) Disciplined Bible reading
3) Systematic Bible study
At the time, the disciplines seemed awesome, but their example was motivating and whet my appetite and I purposed to develop those disciplines.
Now, 45+ years later, I have read through the Bible probably 70 times, memorized umpteen thousands of verses, and studied my way through the New Testament, all the Prophets, most of the Pentateuch, and many of the historical books.
All of which to say: Thank God for Example (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Their Lives were the means God used.
Hopefully, my life carries the same weight.
How about yours?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I received this book as part of Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program.
Author Wilson’s style is engaging and down to earth. His weaving of biblical scenarios, personal experience, and the experiences of others who have experienced God’s Plan B brought to mind experiences in my own life and that of others. It was a refreshing reminder of God’s sovereignty and providence.
What we call Plan B is really Plan A discovered to us in accord with God’s timetable. Our struggle occurs as we labor to make peace with the plan. We are like Job wrestling with events, wanting to argue with God, convinced we know better. At such moments, we need a friend to come alongside and remind us to “…let the peace of God rule in our hearts…” so that we might come to know the will of God as “…good, acceptable, and perfect…”.
Wilson has done us a service crafting this anecdotal reminder, undergirded with biblical example. I highly recommend this one.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The End of the World?
In fact, double Yeow!!
Reading Will The World End In 2012 was an interesting and somewhat enlightening experience til I came across the author’s reference to Mr. Van Impe as a “respected Bible teacher”. What? How often must a man be wrong before he loses the title “respected Bible teacher”, at least in the area of eschatology? Mr. Van Impe may have much of the Bible committed to memory (a fact which makes me somewhat envious ), but his interpretations are way out in left field. Seems he turned right at third base!
Dr. Hundley reviews ten end time scenarios. Some I had never heard of, so the exposure was helpful, especially the chapter on CERN, the super collider. The remainder I had heard of and had dismissed as of little value.
I must admit, I am one of the blogger reviewers, receiving the book, Gratis, and am also a Christian persuaded by the scriptures that this old planet will continue, “…world without end…”, or eon after eon until such time as The Creator determines to destroy it (if ever?).
I would not recommend this book.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Theology & Politics
As one who has traversed the theological landscape from Classical Arminianism to Classical Reformed over the past 50+ years I consider myself as one informed, though, by no means, an expert/authority.
After close on to 50+ years of evangelical reading/thinking I find myself further removed than my position in 1964!
Where, at the moment, does that leave me?
In left field, our outside the ballpark?
The latter position is my bottom-line supposition.
While, at the moment, historically, I can appreciate the advances of The Church, my suspicion is, we have lost the bubble.
Today, we are more closely aligned with corporate America than the suggestions within the Bible.
The two poles!
The former, IMHO, represents the plan of God for spiritual infants.
The latter for biblically informed and equipped NC believers
I can hear the disclaimers…it won’t work, etc.
Well, irrespective of one’s theological perspective…
It may well work….
Lordship and Free Grace
I came to saving faith in Christ’s finished work while an incarcerated teen in the 50s.
Jesus was presented to me, in His gospel, as God and Savior; as one who objectively procured my salvation aside from any action on my part.
I was dead in trespasses and sin. Unable to respond. Spiritually dead.
Jesus was proclaimed to me as Savior, one who had paid the price of my transgressions without any action on my part.
The fruit of His work was presented to me as a gift.
Concurrent with this objective propositional presentation, I was privileged to see these truths lived out in the life of one Jim Larsen, chief/senior counselor on The Victory Farm in Ortonville, MN in the 1950s.
Unfortunately, no data is available on the web regarding this ministry.
My spiritual eyes were opened. I not only understood, but willingly accepted the offer. (Acts 16:14).
Quite honestly, I went to bed one evening, hating God; and awoke next morning, believing.
I believed; I trusted in what was proffered.
In retrospect, my belief and trust were one in the same!
At that moment, in the economy of God, I passed from death to life: from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light all during which I was a passive recipient.
Since that day, it has been one battle after another.
I am not what I once was, nor am I what I hope to be:
But what I am, I am by grace, and when I se Him face to face
I shall be like Him, perfectly.
Such is the awesome power of Grace.
New Covenant Thoughts
For quite some time, now, I have been wrestling with my understanding of The New Covenant.
For some. The New Covenant is reserved for Israel, later.
For some, it is the Old Covenant under a new administration.
For others, it is New, but….?
As I have wrestled with the issue, it seems to me the Old Covenant represented God’s dealing with “infants”, whereas the New represents His relationship with spiritual adults.
Under the Old Covenant, God dealt with His people via detailed and explicit rules.
Under the New, God deals with us as Adults: few rules and ample latitude.
Just as Jesus said in The Sermon on the Mount, “…but, I say unto you…”, so too in the New Covenant does the Lord Jesus raise the bar of conduct so as to address “attitude” vs conduct: the heart vs. the external behavior.
Somehow, IMHO, the New Covenant is the ideal arena in which the saints, living as Salt and Light, can have a Leavening influence.
The Lord Jesus does not describe for us what the “loaf” will look like, having been “leavened”!
He only assures us, the lump will be leavened!
On our part, we earnestly desire to describe/prescribe what the loaf will look like!
On His part, he only assures us the lump will be leavened!
And all glory will accrue to Him!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
A Century Turns
I am reviewing the book as a participant in the publisher’s blogger review program. This is my first venture into the history genre, generally opting for theology, culture, etc.
The book is extremely well written, holding one’s attention throughout. Having lived through the era, it served well in terms of maintaining a sense of chronology. I have not read the previous two volumes, but do intend to add them to my library given the accuracy of their chronology.
Born in a Democratic state (MN) and initially nursed at that udder, the book was a helpful reminder of the numerous issues, incidents, promises and political personalities which drove me from my roots. (Another reason the first two volumes will be helpful!)
My initial take on the book is it is simply a condensed re-telling of the neocon propaganda promulgated during the time frame chronicled. Mr. Bennett is a significant figure in that circle (made readily apparent throughout the narrative in the endnotes—in fact, I began to wonder just who was being promoted?).
The glossing over of the administration’s errors (WMD, our government’s involvement in Iraq’s use of chemical weapons against the Kurds, our encouragement of Iraq’s war against Iran after our humiliation in the hostage incident, the ad hominem attack on Joe Wilson and the Valerie Plame affair, etc…the list goes on!) was simply a rehash of what I observed as those particular events unfolded.
FWIW, IMHO, Mr. Bennett confuses Nationalism and Patriotism. But, I would defend to the death his right to his opinion. My suspicion being, he would not hold the same conviction, given his observation relative to the Dixie Chicks. We seem to be in a new era where dissenting opinion is immediately categorized as either hate speech or unpatriotic.
Yet, I would recommend one buy the book.
Then read something by Mark Twain relative to our nation’s demonstrable aspirations following the Spanish-American War up to our current AfPak adventure.
One final surprise, but given Mr. Bennett’s neocon persuasion and commitment to large government I should not have been, is the complete absence of any reference to the role of Ron Paul in the 2008 debates! Telling, to be sure.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Living in the Millisecond Age
Time was when one had time to reflect and the suggestion, “…Let me think on that…” meant a distinct period of future time.
Not so, today.
We now live in the ultra-fast lane of intimidating milli-seconds.
At our disposal lies Google, Wiki, Twitter, Facebook, etc….what need is there for reflection?
Reflection…what’s the matter with you?
Millennia ago a wisdom writer suggested, “…the heart of the righteous thinks before it speaks…”. Not so today!
Today we have the wisdom of the ages at our fingertips!
So, our “fingertips” make decisions and lo, and behold we find ourselves in a “world of hurt”;’ thank you Bernanke, Geitner, et al!
One wisdom writer also suggested, “…let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak…:”
Would this mentality reigned in our Beltway and among our Elite!
Sadly, this does not seem to be the case. To our beltway Elite we are sheep: to be led, to be led to the shearing, and eventually to the slaughter.
One day, hopefully, some one will read The Politics of Obedience
In terms of Freedom...they do allow us to bleat just prior to the release of their guillotine
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Maybe, Maybe Not
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
sic et non
“The Voice™ is the product of the best minds in this emerging generation of Christian leaders.” (So notes Amamzon.com in their Editorial review section.)
Have to admit I am a latecomer to this series, now completed as The Voice New Testament.
The editorial review comment on Amazon.com states The Voice to be a new translation of the dynamic equivalent philosophy.
Having received my copy yesterday, I read through Matthew, portions of John, Acts, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians. Hebrews, 2 Timothy, 1 & 2 Peter, 1 John, Jude and The Revelation. My plan will be to continue during my morning reading til completed.
To be sure, it is very readable and I found the screen play dialogue format helpful. The side-bar boxes containing informative data are also helpful. Commentary within the context of the passages can be helpful, but also subject to mis-leading, i.e. the reader thinking it to be actually part of the text!
Couple of things bumming me out at this point: changing a noun into a verb in 2 Tim. 4:7. The Voice reads, in part, “…I have kept believing…” when the text says Paul “…kept the faith… (NASB, NIV, ESV, and a host of others).
I understand the concern for gender but fail to grasp why “brothers” in 1 John is translated “brothers and sisters” in most places, and “fathers” is translated as “fathers and mothers”, yet children is not translated as “boys and girls” nor is “young men” translated as “young men and women”. Hey, let’s be consistent in our gender inclusively!
In Matthew: I can’t seem to recall anywhere in the Greek text where John is ever called the teacher or teacher and prophet? Also the sidebar comment about Mary never having kissed a man caught me off guard. How is this ever known? Yeow!
Still, for reading I would class this with The Message, a good read but one to avoid when one is interested in studying the text.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Now, there’s an oxymoron!
A gun to the head of one who seemingly “has”, and the “gunner’s” handout to the one who has not!
The only one who really benefits is the “gunner”: he takes what is yours, gives it to another in need and is thought to be The savior.
In the end, the government gains more power and the “robbed” is rendered more powerless.
We hide such tyranny under the euphemism of “Compassionate Conservatism”.
Give me a break!
Odds are, if the governmental tyrants would leave us, those in need would benefit to a greater extent and experience real compassion.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Re-stating the obvious in an engaging and entertaining manner is both an art and a science. In each case, Andy Stanley, IMHO, is a Master Craftsman.
Direction Determines Destination.
D³ must be written on our given the Imagio Dei (image of God). Still, time and again we lean on the corrupted heart inherited from Adam rather than disciplines ourselves to orient our lives in harmony with God’s word.
Andy’s use of personal “failings’ and other life experiences seasoned with “salt” and relating to D³ serve to help us say, “Hey, wait a minute! I did that very thing!” or “That’s exactly where I am at this moment!”
Two of Andy’s observations resonated with me as I read: 1) Not being on a Truth Quest and, 2) What you won’t know. The latter observation reminded me of the Apostle Peter’s observation in 2 Peter 3:5 about being “willingly ignorant”. Once that fatal decision is made, the Truth Quest is impossible.
Great read and one to periodically utilize as a refresher for the typical mistakes we tend to make when initially charting a “direction”.