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

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A brief history of the Christmas tree

"Let them over whom the fires of hell are imminent affix to their posts laurels doomed presently to burn: to them the testimonies of darkness and the omens of their penalties are suitable. You are a light of the world, and a tree ever green. If you have renounced temples, make not your own gate a temple." - Tertullian

apparently Tertullian was no fan of "converting" pagan rituals. With many, mostly ignorant, claims that Christianity is nothing more then an adaptation of paganism I think he may have been right. Either way go to the following link for a very nice brief history of the Christmas tree

Monday, November 27, 2006


I visited another church, and found my Scofield Bible had much more piercing spiritual insight than the pastor. Others may know Peter thrice is asked "Do you love me?" by Christ after the resurrection. Scofield points out the first two times Christ asks if Peter "agape"'s Him. Agape is "that love which the law demands". Peter replies he "phileis"'s Christ. Christ asks if we love God with perfect divine love, and Peter replies he loves Christ passionately as his friend, but not perfectly as the Law calls for as he did before he denied Christ three times. When Peter replied he did not twice, the third time, Christ asks Peter if he phileis's Him and Peter replies “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love (phileis) You.” This was not Peter's frustration at being asked three times (as some have interpreted), but Christ condecending to our abilities, giving us grace as we cannot fullfil the command to love God perfectly and Peter being accepted by grace in his imperfect love. We are not accepted by Loving as the Law demands, but by our personal relationship with Christ as our Savior, as he stoops to conquer.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Iran and the Anti-Christ?

I know I am being way too contemporary for a blog named "Dead Theologians." But current events reminds me of just after 9/11 when Jon Stewart said he was using the book of Revelation as a checklist...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

In God We Trust

In God We Trust

in God we trust
and the government is on His shoulders
in God we trust
through democracy and tyranny alike
in God we trust
He uses both good and evil men

in God we trust
so we fight for peace and He fights for us
in God we trust
even when He fights us for someone else
in God we trust
even when He looks like the enemy

in God we trust
even though our hearts are bankrupt
in God we trust
for more than just the value of our dollar bills
in God we trust
but there’s no gold behind these notes of reserve

in God we trust
even through our great presumption
in God we trust
even though He favors no nation-state
in God we trust
even when the blessing is a curse

Friday, November 03, 2006

Deja Vu

If Protestant Church Structure has a major flaw, it is that it is too dependant on individual leaders in churches. Ever since he was named one of the most powerful Evangelicals by Time, I have not been a fan of Ted Haggard. Not to kick him while he's down, but early on he actually reminded me of Jimmy Swaggard: an emotional, theologically-light, health and wealth preacher. Now the similarity seems to be more clear. Though I hope it is not true.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


If you were to ask me who my favorite Senator is, I would be quick to answer: Rick Santorum. I have already begun my pre-mourning of his impending loss in Pennsylvania. The loss is great. He was one of the few Senators that wrote a book that actually made you think. The intellectual heft of “It Takes a Family” is daunting compared to Obama, Hillary, and Edwards’ books. Anyone who has read and actually understands and cites Russell Kirk, Alexis de Tocqueville, Immanuel Kant and Allan Bloom deserves a moment of silence while fading from Public Office.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Should I have faith in my faith?

No I should have faith in Christ. Packer (who is just old not dead) put it well when he wrote;

One of the unhealthiest features of protestant theology today is its preoccupation with faith, that is, viewed man centeredly as a state of existential commitment. Inevitably, this preoccupation diverts thought away from faith’s object… Though the Reformers said much about faith…their interest was not of the modern kind. It was not subject centered, but object centered, not psychological but theological, not anthropocentric, but christocentric

J.I. Packer, “Sole Fide: The Reformed Doctrine of Justification, in Soli Deo Gloria, (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1976) 20.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dawkin’s Arguments against God.

I’m only about on page 140, but I thought I would give you Dawkin’s four main arguments against God as best I can make out:

1. Argument from Superiority.

a. I am really smart
b. I don’t believe in God
c. Therefore, God does not exist.
[Dawkins has other smart friends and people who call him smart whom he loves to quote who will attest to this]

2. Argument from name-calling [Logically, this should be a part of Argument one, but he spends so much time doing it, it deserves a unique category]

a. What are you, stupid?
b. Therefore, God does not exist.
c. Seriously, if you think God exists you are ignorant and prejudiced (pg. 66), no smarter than a gardener (56), full of hate speech (23), not rational (11), awed in ignorance (117) uneducated and unintelligent (102), laughable (99), disreputable (97) and unsophisticated (94).

3. Argument against Scripture

a. I have a couple of examples of Scripture being contradictory or unhistorical which a first year theological student can defend against. (pg 92-95)
b. Therefore, God does not exist.

4. Argument from the Design of the Designer

a. Who made God?
b. Therefore, God does not exist.
c. Don’t cite supernatural or beyond or above nature stuff, that’s not fair, just trust me, Nature is all there is.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dawkins God

I decided I needed to investigate the other side a little more. I have weighed many arguments dealing with evolution. The best being Kenneth Miller's "Finding Darwin's God". Miller comes from a semi-Open theist position. The value of his book is not, however, in his conclusions, but is in challenging many of my assumptions. I am more amazed at the Providence of God when he is not the "God of the Gaps" that many evangelicals squeeze Him into.

But I have not read full tome from an atheistic perspective. I am starting to read Dawkins new book "The God Delusion" (his Summa Theologica, so to speak). He also has a mini-series entitled "the root of all evil," about religion. You can grasp his subtle position. We'll have to see what this anti-theistic guy Dawkins has to say. I need to be challenged...

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Story of Homecoming

Return of the Prodigal Son

I have finished this fine book by Nouwen called "The Return of the Prodigal Son". I give it my recommendation even though the author is not dead. First my criticisms.

I part company at least somewhat with the author that we are all sons of God and inherently good. As a protestant that should not be a surprising difference for me to have with a Catholic. I think his insights are still good however because as Christians we are given the spirit of adoption and thus given a new family and a new reputation to live up to. So if one were to view the prodigal son story as story of fellowship with our father (as opposed to just a simple gospel / conversion story) then I think his insights only need minor qualifications.
The art observations are very cool. As someone who is not very artsy it does wear old. The observations from scripture hold my attention better, but I find very little fault with his using art as an illustrative tool. All in all that is a welcome portion of the book.

Ok what is just plain good about the book? The comments on the elder son hit me in a way I needed. I felt liberated to live and serve freely in my fathers house with joy and without resentment. Also the call to love like the father loves is certainly a high goal worth setting. This book is short and easy to read, but it is deep rich and packed with spiritual insights that are very refreshing to the soul!! It will help you to identify well with each character of perhaps Jesus' most famous parable.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Reformed comeback

Well I do hope there are more exciting things then this going on in the church today. But the upswing in Calvinism is something that I think is exciting and pretty cool. As they say sound living flows from sound doctrine. I know Piper was very helpful to me to understand the Glory of God and the importance of making God my treasure and source of Joy. While I have problems with Reformed theology on some levels it is so much better then most of what else is out there. It is deep, rich and God centered. I hope that the end of this story is correct. My take is that Reformed theology often does try to hard to fit scripture into it's system at times. It seem to me it does not simply let the Bible speak, most notably on God's promises to Israel. But that being said, I LOVE CALVINISM!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Pope must die

Still I do not understand the "hurt" if the Pope was simply saying stop trying to kill us so we can talk. But this is encouraging to read in a story about a group calling for the Pope's death. Has it come to this? That I think wow he is a great guy for saying the Pope should not die?

Larger Islamic groups in Britain said they accepted the Pope's apology. Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain said: "The Vatican has moved quickly to deal with the hurt and we accept that.

"It was something that should never have happened - words of that nature were always likely to cause dismay - and we believe some of the Pope's advisers may have been at fault over his speech."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pope in Effigy

This is getting to predictable. Will these Islamo fascists types every get it? If you are angry that someone suggested your religion is violent should one respond by burning the person in effigy in protest?? hmmmm... This will prove them wrong!

I am not even convinced that the Pope was saying what they think he was saying, it appears to me he was just discussing history of thought around the subject. I am again reminded too of how different religions really are. As John Piper pointed out a few months back being mocked really is the essence of Christ's work, not Mohammad’s. Which would explain why I think Sarah Silverman is right when she says (paraphased) we all know it is safe to make fun of certain groups. Christians are not going to hunt you down and kill you. But others would respond in a manner that makes it hard to have a rational discussion.

I am eager to see what the Pope does next in response to calls for an apology. I can see it now "After seeing myself burned in effigy I see the serious error in my comments that suggested that Mohammad has only brought violence to the world. I deeply regret my foolish words."

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Pope and ID

A honest debate on intelligent design is something I would love to see. I love that the Pope is considering this. I love science and all it has to offer, no doubt. But it seems so many in science have such an narrow view. Do I really have to only think thoughts that are empirical? Should I (or can I) really live on science alone? My soul cries out for something more, but not less. So let's debate and explore the origins of the universe on scientific and philosophic and whatever grounds we can find to search out the questions of life. Peter Kreeft has some good arguments here that while I do not buy into all of them are certainly worth exploring.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Spurgeon quote for the day.

"The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them." -C.H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


While watching The Question of God - Sigmund Freud & C.S. Lewis the other night I was struck by C.S. Lewis' take on Joy as a desire. Or even as desire for a desire. If Luther (Commentary on Peter & Jude) and the majority of commentators that I have read about 1 Peter are correct, then 1 Peter is about what Luther termed "Future Joy". Putting that with Lewis' definition of joy then it is a interesting concept that the joy we look forward to in heaven is a desire, certainly a desire for God and the things of God. We can only get a taste of it here, mingled with the death and heartache of Earth. But when Christ comes the joy His people feel does seem to be something beyond what can be put into words. We will both have the desire, and the object of our desire.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Table Talk for the Day

News came from Torgau that the Turks had led out into the great square at Constantinople twenty-three Christian prisoners, who, on their refusing to apostatize, were beheaded. Dr. Luther said: Their blood will cry up to heaven against the Turks, as that of John Huss did against the papists. `Tis certain, tyranny and persecution will not avail to stifle the Word of Jesus Christ. It flourishes and grows in blood. Where one Christian is slaughtered, a host of others arise. `Tis not on our walls or our arquebusses I rely for resisting the Turk, but upon the Pater Noster. `Tis that will triumph. The Decalogue is not, of itself, sufficient. I said to the engineers at Wittenberg: Why strengthen your walls - they are trash; the walls with which a Christian should fortify himself are made, not of stone and mortar, but of prayer and faith.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Buchanan encourages good to do nothing in the face of evil

This is hardly the theme of Buchanan's "they didn't attack us" response to evil:

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

1 Peter Study

We are now in the second half of Chapter 1.
Thought for the theme from John Calvin (my commentator of choice): "The main point of this epistle is to raise us above the world, in order that we may be prepared and encouraged to sustain the spiritual contests of our warefare."
In other words: 1 Peter fosters joy in hope of 'future grace.' (to steal John Piper's phrase)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Superman vs. Gibson's Christ

Ok I have seen "The Passion" and while it has many problems, I liked it a lot. I have not made it to Superman yet so I do not have much to comment on this story. But I am looking forward to seeing the new Superman movie! Looks like it could be fun. As for getting the Gospel message out to the masses through a mainstream movie... I am to tired of the thought to even yawn at it anymore. I just don't think that God has plans for a big revival centered around a Hollywood production. Even so it is still beneficial to discern truth and beauty in any art whether it claims to be "Christian" or not. In that spirit I submit this story for your reading enjoyment.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Chesterton Quote for June

"Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it." - Autobiography, 1937

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Local Church is the Hope of the World 2

Stories of the growth of home churches continue to pop up here and there. Like this story entitled "Going to Church by Staying at Home" While I see the necessity of it in many places like China or India. I stand by my position that it is mostly a negative thing in the U.S. While I can totally sympathize with not wanting to be part of a "megachurch" and the overhead of American "Churches" is part of what is wrong with our culture. We often seem to think we need to have the best building, state of the art nursery etc. No we don't! I also think that small groups in peoples homes is needed. Even if they are hard to get along with sometimes. Having conceded that and other points, I do think we need to be plugged into the larger community and not be doing our Christianity "Freelance" with no educated leaders. I continue to hold that more is needed then just a "Bible and a believer" to get truth right... Let's humble ourselves and get to church on Sunday.

Monday, June 05, 2006

1 Peter

This summer we will be tackling 1 Peter with the help of our Dead Theologian friends. Aaron has already called Luther for his commentary and I tenatively call Calvin. Sounds like Eric is weighing his options and maybe we can talk Old Man Nelson to join us too (though Jim Elliott and C.S. Lewis didn't write any commentaries so I don't know who Dad would like to pick).

American V

I can hardly contain my excitement. There has been talk of this for a long time but I had given up hope on it being released. But on July 4 we will finally be able to listen to American V. Perfect release date for Johnny Cash’s last album.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Equality would be boring...

The discourse turning among the great differences amongst the learned, Luther said: God has very finely distributed his gifts, so that the learned serve the unlearned, and the unlearned humble themselves before the learned, in what is needful for them. If all people were equal, the world could not go on; nobody would serve another, and there would be no peace. The peacock complained because he had not the nightingale's voice. God, with apparent inequality, has instituted the greatest equality; one man, who has greater gifts than another, is proud and haughty, and seeks to rule and domineer over others, and condemns them. God finely illustrates human society in the members of the body, and shows that one member must assist the other, and that none can be without the other.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Evangelism and Joy

My thesis: Evangelism is motivated by joy. Why? Evangelism is a form of praise, and praise is sharing our joy with others. Thus we share Christ with others as a privilege of delight and joy. The command is for us to have joy in God, to delight in God, not to merely share with or without that joy.

(1 Peter 3:15-16)

15…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

An answer requires hope

Romans 15:13:
13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

What is Praise?: Joy, Delight, Happiness - results in Praise.

C.S. Lewis -“ all enjoyment spontaneously flows into praise”

Praise and Joy linked to sharing in the Bible:
Psalm 9:1-2
1[a] I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
2I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name,
O Most High.

Psalm 50:8-15

Not of duties, but of thanksgiving:
[God Speaking:]
8Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
10For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12"If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.

13Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,[b]
and perform your vows to the Most High,

15and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."

We are told to “go into the world and preach the gospel” (Mk. 16:15). Gospel is good news. It is good news because it brings us joy. Joy naturally results in praise. And by praise we preach the gospel.

God does not accept our sacrifices of duty (Ps. 50:8,12). He may work through them, but he does not need them and we do Him no favor by doing them (v12). Our sacrifice is of thanksgiving (v13). The command is delighting in God (Ps. 37:4), praise is the result. Evangelism is others hearing our praise.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Hope of Salvation

Everything that is done in the world is done by hope. No husbandman would sow one grain of corn, if he hoped not it would grow up and become seed; no bachelor would marry a wife, if he hope not to have children; no merchant or tradesman would set himself to work, if he did not hope to reap benefit thereby, etc. How much more, then, does hope urge us on to everlasting life and salvation? - Martin Luther

Monday, April 24, 2006

Does Regeneration precede faith? Are these two distinct events, or simultaneous?

John 1:13 (King James Version)
"Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

John Calvin appears to have no problem with the mystery his later followers feel they must deny.
John Calvin on John 1:13
"The will of the flesh and the will of man appear to me to mean the same thing; for I see no reason why flesh should be supposed to signify woman, as Augustine and many others explain it. On the contrary, the Evangelist repeats the same thing in a variety of words, in order to explain it more fully, and impress it more deeply on the minds of men. Though he refers directly to the Jews, who gloried in the flesh, yet from this passage a general doctrine may be obtained: that our being reckoned the sons of God does not belong to our nature, and does not proceed from us, but because God begat us willingly, (James 1:18,) that is, from undeserved love. Hence it follows, first, that faith does not proceed from ourselves, but is the fruit of spiritual regeneration; for the Evangelist affirms that no man can believe, unless he be begotten of God; and therefore faith is a heavenly gift. It follows, secondly, that faith is not bare or cold knowledge, since no man can believe who has not been renewed by the Spirit of God.

It may be thought that the Evangelist reverses the natural order by making regeneration to precede faith, whereas, on the contrary, it is an effect of faith, and therefore ought to be placed later. I reply, that both statements perfectly agree; because by faith we receive the incorruptible seed, (1 Peter 1:23,) by which we are born again to a new and divine life. And yet faith itself is a work of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in none but the children of God. So then, in various respects, faith is a part of our regeneration, and an entrance into the kingdom of God, that he may reckon us among his children. The illumination of our minds by the Holy Spirit belongs to our renewal, and thus faith flows from regeneration as from its source; but since it is by the same faith that we receive Christ, who sanctifies us by his Spirit, on that account it is said to be the beginning of our adoption.

Another solution, still more plain and easy, may be offered; for when the Lord breathes faith into us, he regenerates us by some method that is hidden and unknown to us; but after we have received faith, we perceive, by a lively feeling of conscience, not only the grace of adoption, but also newness of life and the other gifts of the Holy Spirit. For since faith, as we have said, receives Christ, it puts us in possession, so to speak, of all his blessings. Thus so far as respects our sense, it is only after having believed -- that we begin to be the sons of God. But if the inheritance of eternal life is the fruit of adoption, we see how the Evangelist ascribes the whole of our salvation to the grace of Christ alone; and, indeed, how closely soever men examine themselves, they will find nothing that is worthy of the children of God, except what Christ has bestowed on them."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Why Is Modern Culture Bored?

Update: Sorry, I had tried to post from my mobile phone and that didn't work too well.

I was going to put up an Augustine quote:
"Those who fail to discover what they are looking for suffer from hunger, whereas those who do not look, because they have it in front of them, often die of boredom." -Augustine "On Christian Teaching"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Da Vinci Opportunities

It was hard for me. I saw this phenomenon going on; everyone at work was talking about the book. Some even taking the conspiracy theories found in it seriously! It was so hard to not be condescending. It was also hard to read the book. Not HARD hard. It is a very easy read. I just could not believe I was reading a book that contained an albino assassin monk. It is pulp fiction to the core, full of cheesy dialog, unbelievable characters on every page. But I got through it, and was able to notice the creativity in the puzzles and acknowledge that there was some talent in there. It opened the dialog at work with people in great ways! I could add what I liked about the book, what I did not like, and why the history in it is pure drivel and should only be enjoyed as fiction. I hope the movie will open up more windows to discuss the truth. I agree with the sentiment of this story whole heartedly!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

John 20:1-9 (NKJV)
The Empty Tomb
1 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

In the Tomb

"When Adam lived, that is, when he sinned, death devoured life; when Christ died, that is, was justified, then life, which is Christ, swallowed up and devoured death; therefore God be praised, that Christ died, and has got the victory."

-Martin Luther “Table Talk

Matthew 12:39-41 (New King James Version)
39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Have an Atonement Centered Good Friday

"God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 2:1-2 KJV

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Transfiguration of Harold Maines

I have finally secured a copy of The Transfiguration of Harold Maines by director Jared W. Johnson. It is well done and very funny! Hard to believe much of it was adlibbed. Kudos to the actors for being so funny and believable. Director Jared Johnson's bizarre sense of humor is at its best in this piece of fiction made to look like a documentary. The idea of a documentary about a man who may have turned into a horse is an idea only he would cook up. If you want to see something truly original then I recommend this short movie.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Gospel” of Judas sheds light on Gnosticism. Not Christianity.

Those pesky Gnostics keep finding their way into pop culture even after almost 2000 years. Perhaps this will give Dan Brown material for another wonderful work of artistic fiction full of albino assassin monks who want to stop the spread of feminism. We can only hope…

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Borders will not carry magazine

Not because it's pornographic [they still carry Playboy], or advocates illegal activity [They still carry High Times], but because it has the cartoon making fun of Islam's Prophet. Free speech for everything but political speech...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Chesterton Quote

"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God." - Christendom in Dublin, 1933

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fascism and V

In the west is has been true that totalitarian regimes try to kill God so that the government can become the god. It seems to be fairly effective. We do see some examples however of Islam being used as a tool of totalitarian regimes. So while I would argue that Islam is better suited for that end, it is not beyond imagination that Christianity could be twisted in that direction as well.
One reason I am excited about Goldberg's upcoming book
Liberal Fascism : The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton is because the record needs to be setstraight on fascism. It was not made up of evangelical Christians bent on ruling the world!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

V for Very Verbose Vapor

The most touching moment in 1984, to me, was when the poet in prison explains that he just couldn't find any other word for his poem except "God." V for Vendetta on the other hand seems to be 1984 for liberals. The religious dimension just didn't make sense. 'Faith is Unity' is the new 'Love is Hate' or 'War is Peace' for an anti-Truth government. But if there was a God over government, there must be truth. God is truth, the unappeallable Judge. If government really wanted to destroy Truth, it must become the God. So philosophically, I just have to say 1984 seems more real than V for Vendetta. That is, unless you really do think we have more to fear from the pre-WWII threat of fascism than the post-modern threat of relativism/subjectivism and the intolerance of intolerance.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

St. (Beef) Patty

Isn't that nice. Catholics have permission to eat meat tomorrow. Enjoy!!

Ok, lame post but I thought I should get one in before the month is over.

What happened to books?

A friend sent me this story. I suppose he found it provocative or something. All I could write was:

"How times have changed. Once "great authors" and "important people" wrote of current events in the medium of a book (i.e. Burke vs the French Revolution). But alas all the great men of this age can muster is a ramble at the Academy Awards or a cliche filled Editorial to the Tribune. When Keillor fills up 2 pages in Bartlett's with his Current Affairs wisdom, perhaps I will turn my head:

http://www.bartleby.com/100/276.html "

UPDATE: I guess I should try and establish Burke as a theologian to justify writing about him here so here's a random Burke thought on Religion: "Religion is essentially the art and the theory of the remaking of man. Man is not a finished creation."

Monday, March 06, 2006


It seems this is what "4-point Calvinism" can be called. Amyraldism prefers to define a universal atonement, but particular election. It does seem dangerous, however, to get away from Christ's substitutionary work on the cross. Christ died for our sins. And in the context of Romans 5:8b-9: "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." It seems those whom Christ died for are assured salvation. Then Christ died just for the elect, no?

Also interesting from the article:

"Amyraldism can be found among various evangelical groups, perhaps most notably among dispensationalists in independent Bible churches and independant Baptist churches."

Friday, March 03, 2006

Limited Atonement: Power or Possibility?

I'm less and less offended by the "L" in TULIP. As R.C. Sproul Jr pointed out, everyone limits the atonement: Calvinists limit its scope or membership, Arminians limit its power. A blogger posted this by John Owen (the puritan theologian):

by John Owen

The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:

1. All the sins of all men;
2. All the sins of some men, or;
3. Some of the sins of all men.

In which case it may be said:

1. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so, none are saved;
2. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth;
3. But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?

You answer, "Because of unbelief.

"I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!"

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Walk the Line is out Today!

It is finally out on DVD. Reviewed here.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

More Argument From Desire

More from Peter Kreeft
1. Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.
2. But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.
3. Therefore there must exist something more than time, earth and creatures, which can satisfy this desire.
4. This something is what people call "God" and "life with God forever."

...Now there are differences between these two kinds of desires. We do not, for example, for the most part, recognize corresponding states of deprivation for the second, the artificial, desires, as we do for the first. There is no word like "Ozlessness" parallel to "sleeplessness." But more importantly, the natural desires come from within, from our nature, while the artificial ones come from without, from society, advertising or fiction. This second difference is the reason for a third difference: the natural desires are found in all of us, but the artificial ones vary from person to person.
The existence of the artificial desires does not necessarily mean that the desired objects exist. Some do; some don't. Sports cars do; Oz does not. But the existence of natural desires does, in every discoverable case, mean that the objects desired exist. No one has ever found one case of an innate desire for a nonexistent object.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

What jobs do Americans want to do?

Anybody remember The Time Machine? Basically, a lower class of citizens (Morlocks) have been subjugated so long that they are no longer seen as human (in fact they devolved). As Americans get snootier about the jobs they take, are we setting ourselves up for such a dichotomy? Do we see Latinos as our Morlocks, doing the jobs we no longer want? Doing jobs that they are expendable on (like the Chinese and Irish on the railroad)? I’m not a Marxist, but maybe there is some validity in being disturbed by class and race differences.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Gay Bishop in rehab

The commentary is obvious. The result of the worship of created things (sex, alcohol) above the Creator. May our prayer be that this man someday find the Creator more pleasurable than homosexuality and alcohol.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Being Mocked: The Essence of Christ’s Work, Not Muhammad’s

Piper updates. First today was his surgery and as far as we know it went well.

Then there is this from his fresh words on his web site. The worlds religions really are so VERY different. Most who say they are all the same have not really looked into the matter earnestly.

"That's the most basic difference between Christ and Muhammad and between a Muslim and a follower of Christ. For Christ, enduring the mockery of the cross was the essence of his mission. And for a true follower of Christ enduring suffering patiently for the glory of Christ is the essence of obedience. "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account" (Matthew 5:11). During his life on earth Jesus was called a bastard (John 8:41), a drunkard (Matthew 11:19), a blasphemer (Matthew 26:65), a devil (Matthew 10:25); and he promised his followers the same: "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household" (Matthew 10:25)."

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Narnia available for pre-order.

The 2-disk collectors edition.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?

"The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them." -C.H. Spurgeon

So much of the shallowness of the current evangelical movement could be addressed by listening to Spurgeon's warning. Fluff will only draw people in temporarily. When their soles are not fed they are no better off then when they walked in the door. They may even be worse off.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Equally deplorable?

So the Vatican says here that one, the government should have censored the cartoon that has started the recent riots, and that the cartoon and the riots are EQUALLY DEPLORABLE. I am speechless... which I guess would be ok with them since they don't seem to mind having authoritarianism silence free speech.

"3. However, it must be said immediately that the offenses caused by an individual or an organ of the press cannot be imputed to the public institutions of the corresponding country, whose authorities might and should intervene eventually according to the principles of national legislation. Therefore, violent actions of protest are equally deplorable. Reaction in the face of offense cannot fail the true spirit of all religion. Real or verbal intolerance, no matter where it comes from, as action or reaction, is always a serious threat to peace."

The Transfiguration of Harold Maines

No review. I just know the DVD is now available. An old friend of mine, and an independent film maker, Jared W. Johnson's "The Transfiguration of Harold Maines".

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Argument From Desire

Probably my favorite argument for the existence of God would have to be the argument from desire. While facts about design, morality and intellect are useful, we all really want a God who will speak to our soul's desires. As Lewis put it in his essay "The Weight of Glory";

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C.S. Lewis

Peter Kreeft does a good job making the argument in brief here.

Chesterton Quote of the Day

"My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday." - New York Times Magazine, 2/11/23

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Iraq Churches

While the outcome does not necessarily mean it was not just to go to war, one thing that appears to be true is that life for Christians does not seem to be easier in Iraq. However what man intends for evil God can use for good. There is still much hope for the future.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Terrorists control a State

Isn't this what everyone was afraid of if Palestine was a separate country? Hamas will have access to better weapons, funding and an aire of legitamacy. What else could be a more clearly defined "Terrorist State"? If this is really how the Palestinians would govern themselves...maybe they shouldn't. Perhaps Democracy is just rule by the mob. Or maybe I’m just a reactionary.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Alito Headed for Confirmation...

Too bad they didn't stop Souter...
now just babies die.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

No Brokeback

Drudge is reporting that Bush has not seen Brokeback mountain. No shocker there. But I bet the President ends up seeing Walk the Line!

Tory win in Canada

Narnia April 4

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mao vs Bush

Always interesting to know what the President is reading. (and suprises Democrats that he can read)

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Again with the theme. The author here seems pretty dead on with his diagnosis of the traps we face in our American culture today. We could use a healthy fear of failure. Is the safety net to big?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Judas getting better PR?

Now I really find this story to be bizarre. Just coming from a secular media source ok. But the idea of God using someone's evil actions to some good end is a pretty basic thing for the Vatican to send confused signals on. Perhaps the meaning was lost in translation somewhere between the Vatican official and the secular news sources.

Monday, January 16, 2006

U.N. is no friend to democracy.

The U.N. thanked Bolton for bring the issue to their attention. Right! Who was on this committee anyway?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Man of the Hour

Schumer was grilling Alito on his view that precident is not supreme. Schumer was clearly disturbed by this view. That is until Alito pointed out with common sense: "Thank God it isn't or Plessy v. Ferguson would never have been overturned."

John Piper Diagnosed with Cancer

Friday, January 06, 2006

Raise our Ebenezer.

Ok it is just a kick I am on that probably few others care about. But I am very into the question of how we ought to "do" church lately. For example here is a story from Christianity today on what to do with those old hymns and all that language no one understands. To this author's conclusion I give a hardy "Amen!".

"Our faith is filled with names and terms that were unfamiliar to us when we joined the family - atonement, propitiation, Sabbath, Passover, Melchizedek. What are we to do with such terms? We teach!"

Pat Robertson says God is punishing Sharon

Luke 13:2-5

2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Monday, January 02, 2006

Buy his music

Because who else sings truths like:
"my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man.
my first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
it's to a king and a kingdom"


"i'll say the words that rattle your nerves
words like sin and faith alone"


"no one is good enough to save himself
awake my soul tonight to boast nothing else"


"So could you love this bastard child
Though I don’t trust you to provide
With one hand in a pot of gold
and with the other in your side

I am so easily satisfied
by the call of lovers so less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood "

Sunday, January 01, 2006