"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Friday, December 30, 2005

The local church is the hope of the world?

Protestants really need to get their ecclesiology in order. The trend is leading us to self destruction. Enough to make me become Catholic? Well no, but still we are going to far it our response. We have drifted a long way. As this story puts it, "When the Reformers distinguished between the local and universal church, they did so to point out that not every church member had justifying faith. But they insisted that every believer be immersed in a local congregation, where the gospel is rightly proclaimed and the sacraments rightly administered. The notion of freelance Christians would have made them spit out their beer."

"Not that I'm blaming Barna. His book merely reveals every thin spot in evangelical ecclesiology. We flamingly disregard 2,000 years of guidance under the Holy Spirit. We elevate private judgment above the collective wisdom of apostles, martyrs, reformers, and saints."

The theme

The entertainment theme reminds me of this book someone told me about. The cover is fitting.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

What we have said, then, has been about that second faith, which is not only to believe in Mary’s Son, but rather that he who lies in the virgin’s lap is our Savior, that you accept this and give thanks to God, who so loved you that he gave you a Savior who is yours. And for a sign he sent the angel from heaven to proclaim him, in order that nothing else should be preached except that this child is the Savior and far better than heaven and earth. Him, therefore, we should acknowledge and accept; confess him as our Savior in every need, call upon him, and never doubt that he will save us from all misfortune. Amen.
-Martin Luther

Friday, December 23, 2005

The limits of reason.

"When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity." - Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
Ok, he may not be a dead theologian. But he says so simply what Luther or Calvin would take a whole book to say. This truth is abundantly clear when looking at the recent decision on the Intelligent Design case. David Klinghoffer explains what I mean well here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Scary Santa

With all due respect that is the scariest Santa I have ever seen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The exalted (and snotty) elect

Apparently this is a problem with the Osteen family. Christianity Today recorded a similar incident where Joel whined against airline policy until he got his way and then chalked it up to "the favor of God." No, maybe you are just an annoying complainer that people hate to deal with. Again, we know what happens to the first.

Stalin's Utopia

We are always closer to a sci-fi reality like "1984" or "Journey to the Center of the Earth" than anyone realizes. Stalin just illustrates the absurdity of socialism and leveling desires: There will always be a desire to be above a lower class of people. At least as Christians we know: "The last shall be first..." We should not desire for all to be equal, but to be last.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Torture bad.

I think what really happened is Bush lost his veto stamp and doesn't want to admit it.

Is this a law like banning suicide? Yeah, Torture is bad, but passing a law against it will just mean intelligence agencies will keep doing it illegally. In a ticking time bomb senario, the moral man would have to break the man-made law for a higher law.

UPDATE: I heard on the radio a town in South America was running out of cemetary space. So the mayor outlawed dying. Typical...Pass a law, mades everything better...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What to do on Christmas

Well I have never seen so many stories about things to fight over at Christmas time. For my part I plan to say Merry Christmas to as many people as I can, and find some church that will be in session sometime that weekend. Fortunately mine will be but from the looks of this story some Protestants may have to find a nice Catholic Church and go and attend Midnight Mass. Whatever works for you, just take some time to remember it is nice to be with family, but the day is about the Christ child.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Left behind

I believe this is the Lutherans' official response to rapture theology.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Israel vs Iran?

With Iran months away from a nuke, will this be deja-vu with Israel doing what America should be doing (ala Iraq 1981) and then having us slap Israel on the wrist with a "tsk, tsk" and a *wink* *wink* ?

Its getting to the point in the Middle East where we can almost turn the book of Revelation into a checklist...

UPDATE: According to our military...Israel can't do it this time.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bored in a Culture of Entertainment

How true. This is why I liked the movie "Lost in Translation" (sans the scene in a 'gentleman's club'). We increasingly find ourselves bored in a culture of entertainment. Maybe I need to chuck my computer and TV and do something productive like reading through the complete Institutes. ahhh...redeeming the time, for the days are evil. (Eph 5:16)

Freakonomics Fiasco

I found this story at The Corner. I have not normally been interested in his findings. On the abortion issues I did not care because the strategy of killing them before they commit the crime does not hold much water with me. As the research is now falling apart they had some interesting comments that Pro-lifers are even somewhat disappointed. I agree with the point Steve makes here though, which is regardless of the ramifications lets start with the TRUTH.

Quote from the story.

"This fiasco reveals much about what's wrong with public policy discourse in modern America. Fifteen minutes of Googling would have shown book reviewers of Freakonomics that the abortion-cut-crime theory hadn't come close to meeting the burden of proof, but, instead, much of America's intellectual elite fell head over heels for this theory. Being largely innumerate and unenterprising, the punditariat is unable or unwilling to apply simple reality checks to complex models. It's easier to simply engage in intellectual hero-worship and take a guru figure like Levitt on faith."

Boycott anyone?

Right vs Right on Intelligent Design

Here's a little more for you, Aaron, on the Intelligent Design debate on the Right.

I can't get over his "God in the gaps" reasoning on some items like eye development and the genesis of bats. ID could have some validity but i have not found any good rebutals to the arguments that seem so readily available from books like this.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Saturday, November 26, 2005

More Cash

"I am not obsessed with death; I'm obsessed with living. The battle against the dark one and the clinging to the right one is what my life is all about." J.R.C.
Read more here.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Walk the Line

Looking forward to making it to Walk the Line this weekend. Looks like there are at least some positive reviews. Cash was the man. As Bono of U2 once said. "When any man hears Johnny Cash's voice he knows that in comparison he is a sissy."
I will try and post a review if I get to see it soon.

Update 11/20/2005:
Saw it last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Joaquin Phoenix had a nearly impossible task trying to portray the man in black. He did a good job given the difficulty of the assignment. (Not surprisingly, his voice was not quite up to snuff.) I was pleasantly surprised with Witherspoon. She was believable as June.
I read somewhere that John Cash took this script to his Father Johnny shortly before Johnny died. Johnny was concerned because the movie might hurt people still alive. John was right when he told his father, "Really the only person this movie makes look bad is you." At which point Johnny said "Well I don't have a problem with that." Shows Johnny's humility because the movie does make him look bad. At one point when his first wife was leaving him I strongly felt the urge to flip him off. But as his fans know it ends with redemption, June gently leading him into a small country Baptist Church, and of course the show At Folsom Prison. Great movie, anyone into music or Johnny Cash should go see it.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Intelligent Design or just critical thinking?

I had not been taking much notice of this intelligent design debate. Not really my cup of tea. But with the Vatican making the statement that it is not science gets me interested.

I think Behe is a Catholic, is his excommunication forth coming? He should have run his scientific findings by the Vatican first to make sure it is science.. But wait. If it is science then are they not suppose to comment on it, but by simply commenting on what is or isn't science they are commenting on science. That is quite a pickle. Don't introduce any critical thinking on science into the class room now.

Really I just think this is about critical thinking and teaching kids to think for themselves. Behe while open to ideas is really somewhat of a deconstructionist when it comes to evolution. Or at least near as I can tell from when I saw him speak he points out the areas where it is weak, or where there has been outright lies. Really Darwinism or 6 day creationism is not all that important to me. My faith does not hinge on how God created the world. (Although Darwinism is troubling because it CAN lead to a might makes right philosophy.) In the end challenges by people like Behe might make the evolutionary theory stronger, if it can rise to the occasion. What is everyone afraid of?

Alito's Job Ap 1985

Became a conservative reading national review. He's got my support!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Center of Christendom

Not Rome, or Canterbury, or anywhere in the USA. More and more it appears the next center of Christianity will be Africa. This is just a outword sign with the Anglican / Episcopal Church. Christ's church is on the move in Africa and Asia, and almost dormant in the west where the people have decided we are to sophisticated and proud to bend the knee, as well as in our wealth having to many other gods to entertain us.

James 2:5 (New King James Version)
5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

James 4:6 (New King James Version)
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“ God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Is the Constitution pro-life or neutral?

An interesting question. I had always taken the position that Roe v Wade should just be overturned and the decision on abortion given to the states. But apparently some think the Constitution actually forbids abortion in the Fourteenth Amendment. Is this an overreading by pro-lifers or could it be true? Some of the text of the argument:

"It is surprising, therefore, that on this most central constitutional and moral issue a preponderance of pro–life advocates and legal scholars continually misinterpret the Constitution. According to them, a proper reading of the Constitution would reject the concept of a privacy right to abortion, and thus return the nation to the pre–Roe status quo in which the decision of when, whether, and how to regulate abortion was left to the states. In offering this “restoration interpretation,” they ignore or reject the proper interpretation, which would extend the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment to unborn persons. This is what I will call in this essay the “unborn person interpretation.”

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Cult of Progress

"Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." - Chesterton (Orthodoxy, 1908)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Third Century Church Found in Israel

The first clue that it was old was that there are two fish but one of them does not say "Darwin" being eaten by another that says "Truth". Kind of nice to see the unadulterated form for a change. Read more here.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Oasis and Bono

Interesting story here on Bono's interaction with the Oasis brothers. Seems they are asking some thought provoking questions on their new album Don't Believe The Truth. I have not been into Oasis since way back to the Morning Glory album. In fact I still thought they were no longer together because the brothers could not get along. Kind of cool.

Friday, November 04, 2005

To Build or not to Build

I'm torn: The cultural conservative in me wants a fence, but the libertarian in me doesn't. I don't know if California's culture being overrun by Hispanic culture would be a bad thing either...Hollywood nihilism or Catholic moralism? Mexifornia may not be a bad thing...

Jonathan Edwards quote of the day.

"True liberty consists only in the power of doing what we ought to will, and in not being constrained to do what we ought not to will" -Jonathan Edwards

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Majority-Catholic Supreme Court

Interesting story on how William Brennan contributed to what could soon be a conservative Catholic majority supreme court. In short his decision on Roe united Catholic's and Evangelical Protestants politically. Protestant presidents have packed the court with Catholic intellectuals. I could do without Cumo's snide remark closing out the story. But you will have that with the MSM.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Russia and Rome

No talk of trying to get the former KGB guy out of the church. Oh well. One step at a time.

Alito and abortion

Drudge had a link to freak out pro-lifers:


But then National Review has a defense:


The people who think for me are arguing! What to think, What to think?!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Won't help them

The Dems shutting down the Senate may help delay Alito. But I can not see how acting like 60's anti-war hippie kooks will help them at the polls. As far as elections go this is handing the Republicans a victory. Keep it up Harry! Louder please.
Hopefully Frist can find a way to let them act like freaks but still push Alito through.


While I was hoping for Janice Rogers Brown I look forward to the fight for Alito. This is a great choice that I am very excited about.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

C. H. SPURGEON Mark 16:15-16

"No outward forms can make you clean,
The leprosy lies deep within."

Friday, October 21, 2005

Narnia at war

Most of this controversy is to be expected. I would say that there is probably something to some race concerns with Lewis. He certainly would not have our modern sensibilities about such issues. But those lining up against Narnia are sure to over sell the issue and turn Lewis's stories into something they are not. In the end the stories have a Christian view point and that is simply something that those who claim to preach tolerance can not tolerate.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Lion, Witch and Wardrobe and Jeb Bush

I think the more that read this book the better. It is a great piece of children's lit and should not be kept out of the class room because it has a Christian premise. It will hardly brainwash kids. If this author saw fit to read it to his daughter but is convinced it is covertly going to turn kids into... Gasp... Christians then he has some inconsistencies to deal with.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Miers Nomination

I have been watching the Miers situation for a few days now and have come to the conclusion that while she may not be the best pick, she is a fine and solid choice. I think other issues are boiling over with conservatives and her nomination is where the frustration is being vented. While I am not a fan of the NY Times I would have to say this is a pretty good story. I would like to add a comment to this story, that I really do not have much use for Gary Bauer. He seems to have a personal issue with the Bush family and sides against the President as often as he can, which supports my premise that a lot of this is not really about Miers. Everyone needs to calm down a bit.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


...Goldberg's book is finally available for pre-order. He has been developing this for a number of years. Born out of his annoyance at being called a fascist for being a conservative, when really fascism is a socialistic system far and away from conservatism. Much closer to... well liberalism.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Seems that Mr. Buckley saw fit to write about the Dartmouth story himself here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

God and Man at Dartmouth

Anyone who has been to collage since Buckley's first book, God and Man at Yale, was publish would probably not be surprised by this story. Simply more signs of our country's need for revival. I do find it amusing in a sad sort of way how ridiculous and out right stupid the self proclaimed enlightened elites can be.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Durbin reads the Bible in Senate Committee

I heard some buzz about this on Rush today. That Durbin read something about or by Solomon. I was able to find something about it here. Normal kudos to the guys at NRO for this one. Durbin is my Senator and he invokes religion from time to time. He seems to show little understanding. Never the less this is wise advice to give and take. Makes me wonder since Durbin was once pro-life, when did you sell your wisdom for power Senator? Great observation by Edward on other lessons Durbin could learn from Solomon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

C. H. Spurgeon on Holy Water

Posted with all due respect to my Catholic and Orthodox bretheren. I love it when someone lets it fly and says what he really thinks. I am on a bit of a Spurgeon kick and this is classic.

"Holy water! bah!"
C. H. Spurgeon

Monday, September 19, 2005

plea for the end of faith

I will have to admit that Harris may have some valid points here on how misguided religion can run amok. But on the whole he is simple wrong and woefully out of balance. I think he would do well to study the French revolution. They turned the churches into "temples of reason", and the whole thing was a bloody brutal mess! His view is one dimensional and very dangerous. Christ is the light of the world. While there is much darkness in religion, if we focus on Christ there we find the only light. In reply that is where I would try and focus my case. On Christ. Not the good that religion may have done. I do not wish to simply offer people religion.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pope Watch

Well I am back after vacation. Not much time to get plugged back into stuff much yet but this story did catch my eye. I continue to hope and pray that Turkey will be able to improve things for their Christian minority. The Orthodox church has been persecuted there for centuries, and continues to be to this day.

Friday, September 09, 2005

please, let's not call them "acts of God"

Here is a story I found recently by a Niall Ferguson.

So the upshot is that life is meaningless. Akin to what Homer Simpson once said about cartoons "Cartoons don't mean anything, they're just a bunch of stupid stuff that happens." Happily the sovereign creator of the universe is not Homer Simpson or Niall Ferguson.

There are a few things I think I would like to add to Mr. Ferguson's discussion here. First he does not show a deep understanding of Christian theology. I sense here that he sees pious Christians wanting to blame others sin for natural disasters. While that certainly does occur (very openly in Islam as well) it is not a well balance Biblical stance to take. Wesley was correct to say this is the result of the curse due to the sin of Adam. Genesis 3:17 But where many get into trouble is to assume they are better then those whom disasters happen to. As Christ said about a disaster that occurred in his day, "... and those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:4-5 (NKJV). How God uses these acts differently between his children and those who are not is well describe by C.H.S. in my prior post. But He is the judge and the sovereign of the universe.

We are simply called to recognize that the worlds is not as it should be. It is full of sin and cursed. But if we realize this and repent before God admitting our need of him, we are given new hope for a future world where Christ will reign.

Mr. Ferguson seems frustrated that people turn to God in these circumstances such as Katrina. He would rather they turn to what? Believe in random acts of nature? The reason many refuse to see it his way is because there is no hope there. People find hope when they turn to God. Mr. Ferguson does mention in passing at the end a desire for human unity. While this makes some sense there is still little hope to be found in one another. Our power to save is, to put it lightly, limited. Our ability to love deeply corrupt. Do we have eyes to see our blindness Mr. Ferguson? Given the depth of all of our sin it shows the amazing Mercy of God that we are not all swallowed up right now like some were in the OT.

John Piper address the passage of Luke 13:1-5 very well here.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Barley-Field on Fire

One of the oldest theological questions is Why Do Bad Things Happen?
Here C.H. Spurgeon, who was no stranger to trials, explains how God disciplines his own. He does so out of love and with mercy. We ought to find great comfort in God's sovereignty over the affairs of men.

"As for their number, if God appoints that you have ten trials then there can never be eleven. As for the weight of your troubles, he who weighs the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance is careful to measure your troubles, and you will not have an ounce more than his infinite wisdom sees fit. It may seem that the devil has been turned loose on you, but remember he is always a chained enemy. There is a tether to every trouble, and it can never stray beyond that tether."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Now here is something nice to see.

May God's light also shine on this city.

Give Thanks

As usual Christianity Today's Weblog is doing a great job covering what is going on spiritually with the Katrina aftermath. Give thanks in everything, and remember who is truly in control. No one can be certain of the future, and yet we plot and plan and count on things as if we could be.

Not only does God have a plan, but God, not humans, is in control, said one parishioner. '[The hurricane] was an awesome force of nature," said Paul Caporusso, 56, who lives in nearby Kenner and rode out the storm with a friend in the French Quarter. ''And it shows that if anyone had any delusions that we're in control in this life, they should just be slapped silly."

The Problem of Pain

The classic by C.S. Lewis is a great place to start for those who wish to explore the meaning of pain from a Christian perspective. Of course there is also the book of Job, and as I pointed out before John Piper has some great free resources in his web site. In the wake of Katrina let's turn to the right place to seek meaning.

"Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina means pure

I was reluctant to post this one at first. But it is a good story, and for the most part it is the people of New Orleans making these observations. I think they are pretty gracious and trying to find the blessing in this catastrophe.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Evacuees ask God questions

Here is a link to a good story about evacuees who are trying to seek where God is in this. One of the first I have found on the subject.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Piper's take.

John Piper has many good free resources for those who wish to explore where God is in time of natural tragedy like Katrina or the Tsunami. We must have compassion for our neighbor and humanity, while keep our place in proper perspective to God. Check out his web site. Here is a great link to get you started.


Is the Reformation Over?

I read an excerpt of this book in "Books and Culture". Noll and Nystrom navigate the current issues surrounding Evangelicals and Catholics quite well. The subject matter is certainly worth their attention. While they try to remain somewhat Un-bias in their review I must offer up my opinion. If the Reformation is over it ought not be! There is still much work to be done!
Read a review.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

What I am reading

This classic book is powerful. As I read it I can not help but contemplate the evil in this world. Including the mob action currently going on in New Orleans.

Where not to go...

...while thinking through the issues surrounding natural disasters. We would be wiser to look in the book of Job as Goldberg suggest. This is an excellent thought provoking article by Jonah Goldberg on how so many miss the point. A must read!

Katrina Aid

Great link to check out ways to help. Good charities to give to. Remember to pray as well!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

PJPII 1920-2005

Speaking as a Reformed Protestant I must say as far as Popes go this one was excellent! I will miss him. He almost made me think the office of Pope should exist.... Almost. Pope John Paul, thank you for your fight for life, liberty and Christian unity.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Evangelicals and Catholics Together: A Distinctive People

Evangelicals and Catholics Together documents are often problematic. Especially "The gift of salvation". I have to say at first glance I like this one for the most part. I think the reference to "cheap grace" is sloppy. The term is best not used. Since Christ paid the price it is not cheap! What can we add? However over all Christians must strive to be "A Distinctive People".

Lewis Quote for March 3

Evil comes from the abuse of free will.
The Problem of Pain
C.S. Lewis

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Job 8:8-10

"Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow. Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?"

More on France

This story from Christianity Today gives some positive news on the Church in France.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Cyprian, KGB and Russian Orthodox Church

What can I say? Godless communism dies hard I guess.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Wednesday, January 05, 2005