Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Giving Liberal Christians their props

Hauerwas continues:
Americans do not have to believe in God, because they believe that it is a good thing simply to believe: all they need is a general belief in belief. That is why we have never been able to produce interesting atheists in the US. The god most Americans say they believe in is not interesting enough to deny, because it is only the god that has given them a country that ensures that they have the right to choose to believe in the god of their choosing. Accordingly, the only kind of atheism that counts in the US is that which calls into question the proposition that everyone has a right to life, liberty, and happiness.

This is from Al Mohler's blog.  Just as my previous post is looking at this phenomenon, people want God to be different or their own god and so at least he has the guts to admit it.  I appreciate that.  We should want people to know God and then confront our ideas about God while lovingly displaying the gospel of grace.

Your boasting friend,


HT: Al Mohler

Pastor's Corner (part 1)

I received this about a month ago from a paper in our local neighborhood and wanted to see how you would respond to it, it is called Pastor's Corner: (pg. 2, bottom right)

(look at the link and read the article if you want to, I'll be commentating through it all so it might help.)

He starts with someone who asked a question, presumably to him and then basically goes onto commentate regarding that question.  The gist of the question has to do with God's punishment v. God's love.

In the second paragraph he starts off with a "straw man" - Even a Methodist minister said to me recently, "God is not always good.  God is not always loving.  God can be angry and destructive."  This is obviously a straw man because it is an argument that is used all the time, especially by unbelievers, to make a case.  Instead of having meaningful interaction with this and talking about the nuances of how God's goodness and love is shown, even in those things that we cannot explain, we excuse God.  In fact, we have a whole movement, Red letter Christians, that take only the words of Jesus and make that their Christianity.  Again, God needs to be excused. 

He doesn't seem to need that from how I read the Old Testament. (Isa. 45:7; Psalm 115:3), God is God even in those times.  Why did Isaiah say to the children of Israel in Isa. 55:7-9, "My thoughts are not your thoughts", about this God?  So can God in His infinitely wise character determine to send Joseph into slavery, betrayed by brothers, betrayed by his bosses wife, betrayed by prisoners, but why?  See Gen. 50:20, his family and their descendants are saved from destruction, because something seemingly bad happened to Joseph and God cause it to be used for the good.  

Some things are by his Sovereign decretive will and  others by his preceptive will, decretive will is that which he brings about whatever he commands and the preceptive will is that which we have the power to break his laws and commands but do not have the right to do so. (RC Sproul, The Will of God)  God is in control over all things, we have no right to go against his law.  So do bad things happen and God still be in control?  Yes, He can, God is God and we are not.  I'm not sure why we feel the need to explain away the Bible instead of confront our own deluded thoughts of love and bow to Him.  God's love isn't something that you can bring down to an instantaneous instant, nor can you disprove God's love in an instantaneous instant. 

You can be sitting there and saying, "yes, but you don't know what I've been through", all I can say is yes, I cannot imagine but God in his wisdom has allowed that thing, whatever it is, to show you Himself.  We call Jesus the greatest gift that has ever been given to the world, what did it take to get that gift?  It took Him taking the wrath that we deserved, so that we don't get what we do deserve.

I'll interact with more of it later.

Your boasting friend,


Monday, October 25, 2010

Gospel in kid's lives

I'm never one to be braggadocios regarding my kids, in fact, usually when you say the first word about your kids it's going to doom you.  

Our children are not the result of some mad parenting skills that I or my wife care to share with you.  When someone comes up and asks us how or tells us how Justin or Sarah did this or that, we always come back with words like "it's by God's grace" or "praise God" or "we're just praying that we're not screwing them up." :)

I'm not taking away from the grace of God or the actions that our kids display but sometimes it is hard for me to receive compliments.  They are great kids and they struggle in the day to day just like any of us would.  I don't want them to feel like they need to live up to compliments or feel disparaged when they don't get the compliment.  Can you imagine trying to live like that in this world? So, we try to compassionately point them to the cross, where the gospel is displayed in compliments or concerns. 

Now, I know the Gospel is the real reason why we even like our kids or want them to succeed.  So I was trying to think of a way to express something that I find sometimes inexpressible when someone approaches us.  We do read the Bible, we pray, these are huge and I would always recommend those things, get into a good Bible reading plan and let your kids see you reading and read it to them.  Reading to your children is a gift that will keep giving even when they get to the ages our kids are now. 

We haven't read any parenting books deeply or even gone to classes that promote good parenting.  Not that any of those would've been bad mind you, it is just that we never have put that as a priority.  So God gave me a sentence that revealed to me, in our weakness and for His glory, what our parenting plan is and I think it encapsulates the gospel...

"Treat them like God's gift to you, not God's gift to the world."

There was only one child born that was God's gift to the world and His name is Jesus Christ, the center of the gospel.  When we put our kids in that place we are not honoring the one Name that is given among men whereby we can and must be saved.  Children are a blessing from the Lord, they are designed for your family, be kind, gracious, loving, compassionate, forgiving - just as God is to you.  Share in the brokenness of your own sin it will be a grace to them that will help this focus, ask for forgiveness, when you've done wrong, and love one another deeply.

Still praying for our kids to have that goal, we're not there by a long stretch but only by God's grace will we be.

Your boasting friend,


Friday, October 22, 2010

You say it best?

Great thoughts from Kevin DeYoung's blog.

Here is an excerpt: (from Ed Welch)

"Here is a basic rule of thumb. The more people are hurting – the more intense their emotions whatever the emotion might be (fear, shame, anger, despair) – the less they will be able to hear. I might think that I am offering words of life, and the words might actually be good and true words, but by the time I get to the seventh word, most people are hearing “blah, blah, blah.” Yes, there are some outstanding teachers of Scripture who can bring truth to hurting and stuck people in such a way that hearers are on the edge of their seats for . . . minutes at a time. Rapt. But none of us should assume that we are one of those people. This is why I have to say, at least once a week, “ugh, I’m sorry, I have been talking too much. Now I am going to try to just be quiet and listen.” Or, even better, to limit the word count – “I’m talking too much; your turn.” Six words."

(HT: Kevin DeYoung)

Boast in the Gospel, use important words, woven together with love and mercy,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

John Piper quote from the DG conference

Speaking about the knowledge of God...

"Don't become romantic about the benefits of ignorance."

Still thinking on that one, guess the conference was a success and I didn't even go to it. :)

Your boasting friend,


Monday, October 11, 2010

Thought provoking message...

Application (given at the end of the message):

1)Constantly avail ourselves of the Word of God.
2)We must avail ourselves constantly of the life of the local church.
3)We must depend constantly on the corrective of the Holy Spirit.

Your boasting friend,


(HT: Desiring God)

Friday, October 8, 2010

What do you do when you don't preach the Gospel?

So, anyone for a "pet blessing" service?

Only in America.

Captions for this picture are welcome...the turtle could be saying, "hmmm I didn't know that they had that species of pastor...":)  Or, a good Nacho quote, "I've got dead guy dooty, turtle dooty..."  Leave your favorite caption.

Your boasting friend,