Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Driscoll, Nightline, and Sex

If you read this blog, you probably read several Mark-Driscoll-loving blogs, so this video will no doubt be spamming your feed-reader. It's Drisoll on the latest episode of Nightline.

I only have one question after watching the video: when did the mainstream, semi-liberal media, who broadcast soft-porn soap-operas in prime time, begin to care about what churches--or Mark Driscoll--are saying about sex?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Selfishness Test

Nothing proves my selfishness more than driving to Wal-Mart at 11:00pm to buy a pregnancy test and thinking about how a baby could screw up all the plans I have made for myself in the next few years.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wretched Man That I Am

Some mornings when I wake up I am sickened; my depravity is so apparent I am on the verge of crying or throwing up.

But the more vivid my sin, the greater God's grace is magnified. It extends to the far reaches of my rebellion and continues on for miles.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Thought On Bishop Robinson's Prayer

At the opening inaugural event on Sunday, Bishop Robinson prayed,

"Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be 'fixed' anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah."

Robinson then went on to spell out that his messiah consists of "freedom from mere tolerance" and a "a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences..."

Bishop Robinson doesn't think that Barack Obama will save us, but he does think that "anger at discrimination...against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people" and a "warm embrace of our differences" will.

Tree of the Week (1.20.09)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Obama's Choice

With the day close at hand, I have for you three noteworthy items concerning the appointment of Bishop Gene Robinson by Barack Obama to pray at the inauguration ceremony.

  1. "How Barack Obama Will Make Christ a Minister of Condemnation" by John Piper
  2. "The Idol of Our Many Understandings--Bishop Robinson at Prayer" by Albert Mohler
  3. "This Honestly Upsets Me" by Josh in response to Mohler's article.

With these in mind, now is the time for the Christian to ask, "By what means am I justified?" The answer is not tolerance, acceptance, or understanding. The answer is Jesus Christ.

In light of that answer, it is also imperative that the Christian ask, "What am I a minister of?" The answer is reconciliation. And, "How is reconciliation possible?" Through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Failure to acknowledge this truth is the true folly of Bishop Gene Robinson and, unfortunatley on this day before the eve of the inauguration, appears to be the folly of our President-Elect as well.

Sufficient Grace

Open your arms wide and embrace a new blogger to our blommunity (blogging community?). My good friend and reciprocal best man, Jeremy, began his blog, Sufficient Grace, last Thursday. Take a look. And don't forget to subscribe.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Manliest Man

The manliness of a man is often determined by the amount of pain that man has endured.

By that standard, Jesus Christ is the manliest man ever.

Unfortunately, we have been pumped full of "the drag-queen Jesus images that portray him with long, flowing, feathered hair, perfect teeth, and soft-skin, draped in a comfortable dress accessorized by matching open-toed sandals and handbag" as Mark Driscoll puts it (Vintage Jesus, pg 31). That Jesus would run from pain.

However, the real Jesus was willing endured the full effects of the wrath of God--the most painful pain know to man--for each individual in history that the Father gave to Him. A dose of this pain is unbearable for any individual and is enough to kill an individual for eternity, but Jesus endured it for many and it could not hold Him for 72 hours.

That's manly.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Someday Soon

Someday soon my tongue will tell
Of Earth made black, each tree fell'd,
Nothing seen but endless mire,
All consumed by holy fire.
The heaving ground, void of mirth,
An iminenet child birth.
The moon ceased to be the same,
Shower'd the ground with crimson rain;
The sun had fall'n from the sky,
In the fiery lake it died.

From above, a mighty sword
Drawn and weilded by my Lord.
Moving swiftly down He cut
All the wicked in their glut,
But passing o'er those He wrote
In His book, whom have His coat
Of righteousness giv'n that day
A Pure, Holy Lamb was slain.

Then a beast who prowl'd the land,
The blood of saints on his hands;
Suicidal, on he pressed,
Rank with death and human flesh.
Then my Lord took heed of him
Tearing children limb from limb.
Silence; then into His chest
Drew the deepest of all breaths.
The murderer could not fend
'Cause the exhale was his end.

And then looking side to side
I stood amidst His blameless bride
Chosen before time began
In line with His perfect plan.
A boy's cancer was remiss,
His mom's blind eyes witnessed it.
The lame man ran as he pleased,
His wife had no heart disease.
Pain had ended, sorrow ceased;
No one suffered in the least.

Then my Lord whose back was striped,
With His pierced hands tears were wiped
Away from those He called home
Whose lives were saved with His own.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

...Strife, Jealousy, Fits of Anger...

It's quite common for people to say, "Oh, I am jealous" when someone they come in contact with has an experience they wish they could have. Unfortunately it seems Christians make this statement as much as non-Christians.

In Galatians Paul gives a list of works of the flesh. Embedded in the list is jealousy.

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Even if a true Christian acts in one of these ways, he or she rarely boasts about it and is penitent, which is the correct response. Why then does jealousy seem to get unrepentantly ignored as a part of a list that is evidence of fleshiness?

Monday, January 05, 2009


For the quadruped, looking guilty can be a way to say, "I'm sorry."

Or just, "I want to go out."

Your Desktop and You

The desktop of a computer tells you a lot about it's owner or primary user.

  1. Are the icons displayed or not?
  2. If the are, what makes up the majority of the icons?
  3. Is there any organization to the icons?
  4. What is the background image?
  5. Is the recycle bin empty or full?
  6. Does the taskbar autohide?
  7. Is quicklaunch enabled on the taskbar?
  8. Other?
I am not entirely sure what each of these things mean for a specific individual, but I am sure they correlate to some sort of life preferrences. What does your desktop say about you?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Do Not Rebuild

In his letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul gives us an excellent principle by which to live in the new year: do not rebuild.

In chapter 2 Paul tells us that the apostle Peter was eating and mingling with the Gentiles, but when a pack of Jews showed up, Peter and the other Jews "acted hypocritically" (Galatians 2:13). However, Paul saw right through their actions. He knew that the man who had walked with Jesus knew quite well that Christ died for the Jew and the Gentile (Romans 1:16). So he called them out, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews" (Galatians 2:14).

Now Paul knew that someone had begun preaching a false Gospel among the Galatians; one that required circumcision for salvation. So for Peter to withdraw from the non- circumcised to be with the circumcised would only further confuse the Galatians. But Paul makes clear to the Galatians that the circumcision issue here turned out to be the hypocrisy of Peter.

In Acts 10:9-16 Peter has a vision in relation to clean and unclean food. After Peter argues about the cleanliness of the food, he is told, "What God has made clean, do not call common" (10:15). Peter was freed to eat as he pleased. The vision has continued purpose. Peter, in a conversation with Cornelius, a Gentile, relates his vision to their interaction, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection" (10:28).

Back in Galatians, Paul knows that Peter has been told he could eat as he pleased, like a Gentile, and Paul knows that Peter has been told that he could associate across Jew/Gentile lines. So why ever would Peter withhold his fellowship with Gentiles when the Jews showed up? Why should the man who eats like a Gentile act as though Jews are more apt for salvation because of circumcision?

Paul continues.

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Then in verse 17 Paul says, "But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!"

John MacArthur explains this verse in The MacArthur Bible Commentary:
"If the Judaizers' (the circumcision-happy Jews) doctrine was correct, then Paul, Peter, Barnabas, and the other Jewish believers fell back into the category of sinners because they had been eating and fellowshiping with Gentiles, who according to the Judaizers were unclean. If the Judaizers were right, then Christ was wrong and had been teaching people to sin because He taught that food could not contaminate a person (Mark 7:19)."

Paul then nails his point home in verse 18, "For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor."

Peter "stood condemned" (2:11). Although he had heard the words come out of Jesus' mouth "Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled" (Mark 7:18-19)? and had a mighty vision in Acts 10, he still rebuilt the notion that practicing Jewish tradition somehow was contributory to salvation and proved himself a transgressor.

Paul wants so badly for the Galatians to understand that "a person is not justified by works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ" (Galatians 2:16). He must ensure that the law, as a salvation requirement, is torn down and he must not allow it to be rebuilt by Peter, the Judaizers, or even himself. Like he says in chapter 1,
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

These principles are so helpful for us entering into a new year. Two-thousand eight was a year of God tearing down my self-righteous attitude, exposing idols, and refining my views of "not justified by works of the law, but though faith in Jesus Christ." I am praying that 2009 would be a year where things that I view as supplements to salvation would be stripped away. And at the same time that I would not "rebuild" what has already been "torn down" "like a dog that returns to his vomit" (Proverbs 26:11). 

In 2009, do not rebuild.