Friday, August 29, 2008

Come As You Are

For some sagacious Labor Day reading, seasoned with wisdom, take a look at my father-in-law's new blog: Come As You Are Productions.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Resolution 8

Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

Edwards clearly wrote this resolution to foster humility in his life. He is sure that no matter how terrible another's sin is, he is capable of worse. When we hear the shortcomings of others we should be brought to a place of repentance knowing that our condition is no lesser than the one who gave into temptation. We should repent and thank God for His Grace.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Moral Issues, Social Action, And Christ's Fame

Social action is becoming more popular than moral issues as the next generation enters midlife.

Rhetoricians love to discuss the old hat "Religious Right" and their obsession with the morally questionable abortion and gay marriage. And the hip, new political crowd adores talk about the poor, the rich, and the gap between them.

Those who desire reform in the moral issues arena rely heavily on informing, while those who desire social issue reform rely heavily on acting.

Looking at both from a political perspective, despite popularity level, neither can be legislated.

Looking at both from a Christian perspective, despite popularity level, both call for attention. Diminishing the importance of one is wrong. Christians who desire to see social action can say, "Don't forget to do" to Christians who desire to see morals preserved. And Christians who desire to see morals preserved can say, "Don't forget to think" to Christians who desire to see social action.

Let us seek to strike a balance.

Social action Christians and moral preservation Christians should not undergo attacks from the other group.

Considering all of these things, let us ensure our number one goal is to make Christ famous.

Tree of the Week (8.26.08)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Running For More Than President?

When people say that Obama is the antichrist, I usually just laugh.

Nevertheless, people are hanging on his every word and this blog has me thinking twice...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Should I Tolerate Or Have Tolerance?

Are tolerance and to tolerate two different concepts?

How can tolerate mean: "
to allow the existence, presence, practice, or act of without prohibition or hindrance; permit," or "to endure without repugnance; put up with," and tolerance mean: "a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry?"

I am very capable of having a "fair, objective, and permissive" view of differences. And for the most part I do. But having a "fair, objective, and permissive" view of differences and calling it tolerance is simply a poor word choice. Call it acceptance.

For example, I am pro-life. I put up with people who are pro-choice. I do not in any way prohibit their "existence, presence, or practice." However, I do not feel that requires me to have a "fair and objective" attitude toward the pro-choice concept. I think that it is wrong and I will defend that position and attempt to reason with pro-choicers from my point of view. And if at the end of the day they still have the same opinion, that is just fine. I do not consider them a bigot or myself a bigot. I think that they are wrong, but that is not bigotry. Bigotry is removing their status as a human because of their opinion.

If we have weighed the options we do not need to continue to have a permissive attitude toward concepts that we feel are blatantly wrong. But we can tolerate them; we can put up with them. And know this: we should always be accepting to people. But that does not mean we have to like their beliefs. In that way we have tolerance as defined above. And we should always tolerate as defined above.

John 4:1-45

Friday, August 15, 2008

Resolution 7

Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Death By Love

Mark Driscoll has a new book coming out on September 30, titled Death By Love. And the Re:Lit people have put together a trailer for it.

If you are interested, you can pre-order the book on the Crossway website. And of course you can become a fan on Facebook.

Tree of the Week (8.12.08)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Red-Letters and the Ranking of Scripture

Not too long ago I got a new Bible. I began paging through and I noticed something different from my previous ESV Bible: the words of Christ were not in red.

At first I thought nothing of it. I read my new Bible and was quite content. However, recently I have been thinking about it. And I have questions.

In 1899, a man by the name of Lous Klopsch decided that a red-letter Bible would be a good idea.

Modern Christianity is striving zealously to draw nearer to the great Founder of the Faith. Setting aside mere human doctrines and theories regarding Him, it presses close to the Divine Presence, to gather from His own lips the definition of His mission to the world and His own revelation of the Father… The Red Letter Bible has been prepared and issued in the full conviction that it will meet the needs of the student, the worker, and the searchers after truth everywhere (Red Letter Origin,

But is the red-letter Bible really a good idea?

I am not sure that I have the correct answer or a complete answer, but after much thought I am in definite opposition to a red-letter Bible. And here is why.

First, Paul tells Timothy that "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Tim 3:16). He does not say, "Only Jesus' words are breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." Or, "Most importantly Jesus' words are breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." No. Paul says "all Scripture."

Second, Paul says to the elders at the church in Ephesus, "I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). He did not say, "I did not shrink from declaring to you the words of Christ."

Third, the author of Hebrews tells us that "the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). The "word of God," not only the words of Christ. Sure, the words of Christ pierce divisions of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, but I do not see here that they are a more effective "two-edged sword."

Forth, the Gospel of John clearly tells us that Jesus is the Word. And John tells us that the "Word became flesh" (John 1:14). If Christ is the Word, and was with God in the beginning, and is God, why would we focus on only the words Jesus spoke in the flesh? And in that case I would hope that all of the words in my Bible would be red because they are all spoken by the preeminent Christ, where "all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell" (Col 1:19).

Fifth, I believe that Scripture interprets itself. Sometimes I use Paul's letters to understand the words of Christ. Sometimes I use the words of Christ to understand the prophets. Sometimes I use the poetic books to understand Paul. Elevating the words of Christ may diminish the symbiotic relationship Scripture has with itself.

Overall, I think that we must consider that all Scripture is equally as important. It is hard to place any of the words "breathed out" by an all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, infinite God on a hierarchical scale.

Doing away with red-letter Bibles may not be the proper reaction to these thoughts; however, being aware that the red-letters do not necessary mean "more important" and understanding that all Scripture is equally beneficial is, at the least, an important conclusion to draw.

Friday, August 08, 2008


I have two supplements to recent posts.

Firstly, to Monday's post entitled More Than Just the Olympics, I want to add this blog post by Abraham Piper: Pray for China During the Olympics.

Secondly, yesterday I posted on the upcoming Desiring God Conference. Here is a video in conjunction to Piper's written comments concerning Mark Driscoll's talk.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Desiring God Conference

I am beyond excited for this year's Desiring God Conference. What really jumped out at me in reading the preliminary material for the conference was the theme: The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. And further, the description of Mark Driscoll's talk is particularly intriguing. Here is how John Piper describes it:

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, has agreed to tackle the knotty issue of tough and tender words, words in controversy, words in confrontation, words like Jesus and Paul used when they called people vipers and said, “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed” (1 Cor. 16:22).

Rebekah and I are planning on attending. I pray that every Christian would consider going to this conference. I went last year and was greatly encouraged and edified by the teaching and testimonies of God's faithful servants. And if you cannot make it, you can always listen to the sessions at the website of Desiring God.

I trust that it "will be mind-sharpening, heart-humbling, mouth-seasoning, backbone-strengthening, and Christ-acclaiming."

Two Tickets to Paradise

Rebekah and I went to Cancun for our honeymoon. It was wonderful.

Monday, August 04, 2008

More Than Just the Olympics

Sure, the Olympics are coming up, but the impact China is having on the world extends far beyond a little friendly competition. And in light of today's events and rekindled Olympic security talk, I decided to look at China's world influence a little closer.

  • China's recent urban explosion is the largest in history. As PRI's The World shows us, China's urbanization is having an intense impact on the global economy as well the environment
  • "Made in China" has lost its meaning. And it's impacting the world's economy. gives us a glimpse of how 'Made in China' is Cheap No More.
  • While the U.S. is still far and away the biggest military spender in the world, China is accelerating its military growth. reports on how this could provide uncertainty for the U.S.
  • The Economist: while China is trying to boost its image during the upcoming Olympic games, all the hype may not be enough to make the rest of the world forget about the way the country treats its people.
There are opportunities in China like never before. I urge you to continue to monitor the advances of China. And to pray for its people.

Newport Folk Festival

If you at all enjoy folk music and are not already familiar with the Newport Folk Festival, get familiar. You can listen to all of the concerts in their entirety on the NPR website.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Two Shout Outs

For any of you who have not checked out RRR, the blog of resident Thorns poet, Jordan, you must. It is an absolute joy.

Also, Rebekah and I are extremely pleased with the way that our wedding photos turned out thanks to Alyssa at Mosaic Photography. If you are in the Fargo/Moorhead area and need photos taken for a special event, I urge you to check out Mosaic. Here is a sample:

Time to Blog

Blogging was not my top priority in July. But now I am married. And I have a job. And life is finally slowing down and dropping into a bit of a routine. So now I have time to ensure that you get your blog fix. And I have plenty of material.

Lick your finger and raise it up into the blogosphere. The winds of blog are blowing.