Friday, May 31, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Greg at Anglican Pastor helps us think deeply concerning "Sustainable Worship"

Can Believers Bind Satan?

Here are answers to the question you've always been asking: "Jonathan Edwards: Why Read Him?"

Whether you are in seminary or want to continue growing as a life-long learner, Discerning Reader provides suggested reading lists from six prominent Christian leaders.

CIU student to swim around Key West--again

Instead of going from one air-conditioned, fluorescent-lighted box (work), to another (the gym), why not take your workout outside--to the playground!

"6 Kettle-bell Workout Routines" with a link for video instruction on using Kettle-bells.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer, Samuel Barber and Gregory Chaucer

I was 15 when I heard Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” for the very first time. My orchestra teacher mixed me a couple of cassette tapes of her favorite music for my listening pleasure over the summer. There, nestled among Dvorak and Elgar’s Cello Concertos, Smetna’s “Moldau” and Gershwin’s Greatest Hits lay this musical tour of pure emotion, from deepest despair to highest ecstasy. Just what a 15 year-old needs to hear.

I put on my headphones and clicked “play” on the walkman. Into hiss of the lead came what sounded to me like what the first breath of Adam must have sounded like. I could imagine the sound of dying at the end. All of life is lived in the middle, the highest point of ecstasy and fullness.

Samuel Barber’s famous piece is not that old (1936) and is probably one of the most recognizable pieces today by any audience. His masterwork has appeared in more than 30 film or TV scores (The Elephant Man and Platoon, to name a couple--the perfect choice for the first film and a horrible choice for the second) and has long surpassed “overplay.”

For me the piece is best enjoyed late on a hot summer night, lights out, earphones in. Then I am able to breathe . . . and feel.

I got to thinking about all this after reading a short article on Chaucer, of the tales-within-tale fame of Canterbury. The connection between these specific pieces of music and literature is made in the same year, at nearly the same time.

I’ve always been a reader and when I acquired a copy of Canterbury Tales in Old English (along with other books) the same 15-year-old summer, after flipping through the pages I found a book that had to be read. Now, my age (then) and the roller-coaster of emotion had nothing to do with the tales themselves--racy as they are; rather, the intrigue lay in the melodic reading, the sound of Old English, out loud. It was (and still is) beautiful in sound.

Perhaps these two pieces help describe who I am: a lover of beauty and sound. I appreciate light and color, but ask me not to cover a canvas! I will personally insult the artist there--but give me paper, pen--a book and an instrument.

And Summer.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Review: "The Lost Sutras of Jesus"

Reigert, R. and Moore, T.
The Lost Sutras of Jesus: Unlocking the Ancient Wisdom of the Xian Monks.  Berkeley: Seastone, 2003.

I read this short book sporadically then had a conversation with colleague, whose comments in context with his personal background caused me to go back and read the book again. When describing this book to him, this wise man spoke of challenges faced by Chinese Christians to this day; that is, the assimilation of Buddhism with teachings of Christianity. This book described the source of the challenge that, in effect, is centuries old.

Moore and Reigery present the history, teachings and suggested meanings of a set of ancient Chinese scrolls containing spiritual teachings, a section of which is presently referred to as “The Jesus Sutras.” While this book would make it good “coffee table” read, some key elements are lost by it’s conciseness. For example, “sutra” is never defined so a good reader would be well served to find the Buddhistic application of the term. We get one hint: the weaving of Eastern truth into Christian parables (p. xi). The editors (self-admitting ecumenical students of world religion and “a lapsed Christian with a passion for biblical history”) simply propose to explain appealing set of writings.

The book divides its 140 pages into three sections: “Wisdom from a Cave” suggests the source of the scrolls, their influence, circumstance and discovery in five smaller chapters with an epilogue. “The Jesus Sutras” contain twelve chapters of selections from the scrolls, some of which are clearly identifiable the teaching of Jesus as if it were from the Gospels. “The Soul of the Scrolls” suggests wisdom for daily living in three chapters.

One point should be very clear: the Jesus of these teachings is not the Jesus of time, space or of faith. The author of these scrolls is said to believe that, “Mary was the mother of Jesus the man, not the god. They were captivated by the historical Jesus and treated his teachings like those of a sage” (p 13). The editors are clear that “something happened that transformed the monks and led them to ‘translate’ the documents . . . into a collection of ‘sutras’ that melded the teachings of Jesus with the beliefs of Buddha and Lao Tzu” (p. 14). The editors admit, “Jesus . . . becomes more a teacher of wisdom than the focus of rigid beliefs that centuries of arguments have made of him . . . a teacher of wisdom and compassion rather than a preacher concerned with sin and redemption” (p. 125). This Jesus of the Sutras has never existed except on paper and in mind.

The issues Chinese Christians face is very much our own and can be found at this point: what makes a person “Christian”? If being Christian means to accept a set of teachings, then Christ is not necessary thus removing the “Spirit” of spirituality and religion becomes self-serving (in all it’s selflessness) with no God in mind who can be pleased. The Jesus of the Sutras offers an empty solution: “We are always seeking and acting and because of this we create movement and desire, which cause unhappiness and make it difficult to attain Peace and Joy. Therefore I say we should live without desire and action” (p. 125). If one lives without desire, then how can one say he is happy or unhappy?

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Faerieland of Economics

I have been accused of being a dreamer with my head in the clouds, a lover of fantasy and fiction, not at all attached to reality. While it is true that I fit not easy into any one particular box (save, my own) when I watch the news or click through channels or pick up a newspaper or magazine, I feel most the other way ‘round. I can’t understand the world as it has been invaded by the economist. I am glad to be in my own box. 

Thomas Carlyle has been quoted as saying that economics is “the dismal science.” If by “science” one means “knowledge,” or “study,” then I find no interest to the faery-land of knowledge that leads to men tossing themselves from upper-story windows because of the reading of a numerical set. Might as well be tea-leaves. The realm of economics is “faery” and less a reality than a good story, particularly that one story that must be believed because it is true. But that's another topic.

Economics as the picture of the real world? Hardly. One might recall how the politician once consulted the oracle in ancient days now consults the economist regarding the future--and all the economist does is venture a guess. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Faerie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold . . . wide and deep and high and filled with many things . . . . In that realm man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveller who would report them.” ("On Fairy Stories") Such is the world created by the economist only by contrast, the economic world contains no supernatural for there is nothing “natural” about it.

The economist speaks a language not of this world, for his world exists on the basis of what he does: analysis. Additionally, because his thoughts are not of this world he must speak other than the native vernacular; that glossolalia of rare and like-minded creatures who lurk in their shadowy marshes. He must describe the world as he sees it. The economist must therefore describe the elements of his world as “commodities” that are “produced” and “consumed”, ceteris paribus. These characters battle “externalities” like barbarians, who sweeping down from the north to be held at bay in defense of their kingdoms. The battle of “free market” vs “planned economy” rages according to the four laws of supply and demand. The god of maximum profit must be appeased! Simply abide by the revelation of “revealed preference” and contribute--value added!

Tolkien continues: “The human mind is capable of forming mental images of things not actually present. The faculty of conceiving images is (or was) naturally called Imagination . . . the perception of the image, the grasp of its implications, and the control . . . may vary in vividness and strength: but this is a difference of degree of Imagination, not a difference in kind.”  

Applying Tolkien’s principle of Faery: this primary world has been redescribed and reconfigured by the economist into a secondary world, a world easier to manipulate. One might venture this enchantment is an elvish craft, a work of magic. 

Economics is a worldview of wealth where humanity is an externality, a kingdom of the world with no concern for the eternal, the supernatural, that place of accountability. This is a fantasy land that keeps person from touching person.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Take the time to discover "How To Recognize a Real Church" by John MacArthur.

Hurlbut is thought-provoking in "St. Francis, Christian Love and the Biotechnological Future."

What if Celebrities were painted by famous classical artists (Honey Boo-boo's mom doesn't count as "celebrity" but her's is probably the best)?

Nat Geo shares some stunning "Visions of Earth." The Jewish wedding is amazing.

Twins are NOT identical people. Take THAT clone-study!

God displays His handwork in Centipedes.

This creative timeline traces nuclear experimentation from 1945-1998. The countries involved are assigned musical and color tones. Sit back and watch one scary show . . .

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Ascension and Reconciliation

Have you ever thought of the ascension of Christ as a doctrine? One often thinks of the physical return of Christ as an event--but a doctrine? A teaching with a principle to be believed--really? Yes. As an event, His return would remain what it is just as when I get in the car and drive away; but His ascension is more than event. Without the ascension, we are alone and no different than any other religion of the world. His ascension changes the way the followers of Christ live in and view the world.

The apostle Paul writes, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). I first read this verse while in Junior High School. I remember this distinctly because I did not know what “reconciliation” meant so I packed up all my questions and went looking for answers. The result? I recall the urgency that came over me, that everyone needed to hear this, so I taught what was perhaps my first Bible study to other boys my age. I distinctly remember thinking, “do you get it? Do you get it?” and I prayed they did. I still think that, by the way, every time I teach. You just gotta get this “reconciliation” thing.

Reconciliation is to be restored, brought back together again. One. Literally, "at one." Our "at one-ment" is possible because of His "Atonement." Now, it is finished and He sits at the right hand of the Father.

God is often pictured as a watchmaker who loves us to death. What that means is that He is viewed as the one who designed everything, wound it up and now sits back to watch it all run down. Few people love the watchmaker but He is so far removed that live or die, we are just part of the clockwork--He loves the machine, not the parts. This is not the truth. The truth is that He designed and built all things and He holds all things together; moreover, He repairs the relationship that we broke in the finished work of Christ. He does not love us to our death, but in the death of His Son because He is not willing that any perish but that all come to repentance.

What does that mean for us? 

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,” (Ephesians 1:4-5) 

Here’s what’s astounding: the watchmaker (if you will) gives Himself as the repair in order to make the crown of His creation like Himself. He does not merely bring us back. He is working through the promised Comforter to teach, guide and empower His children. His ascension connects what happens in every tick of the clock to His eternal purpose.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Art, As It Is

The word “art” comes out of the 13th century, referring to a skill acquired after much practice. A “work of art” is the result of the skill-in-practice. This is perhaps why I have such a difficulty with different artistic styles. Beginning with myself, I am not a painter nor am I am illustrator so I just leave such expression well enough alone. Despite my efforts and best practice, I cannot “see” a pleasurable result in what I put on canvas or paper. I rather enjoy the skill of others in this manner.

This leads to a question: What is “abstract?”

  • As an adjective, that is which is abstract exists in thought, an idea. No tangibility or existence. 
  • As a noun, we refer to the theoretical or that which is something else.
So what is “abstract art?” Abstract art should defy definition; however, some may identify it as an expression autonomous of any reference; that is, independent in and of itself. So is “abstract art” possible? No. Art and skill go together, producing a coherent result. “Abstract” is without skill, for the moment it is, then it crosses the boundaries into perception.

I once dropped a 200 ounce bale of silver wire that exploded in such a mess that I threatened to call airports around the country to offer my new work of art for sale at the cost of millions of dollars. What’s the difference between Jackson Pollock and anything I can produce on the garage floor (other than the fact that I am not a basket case)? It’s not fair.

The problem is not new. Giotto (an artist in the late middle ages) recognized that picture art moved away from reality. Nothing was believable in what was being displayed. Scenes were flat, unnatural, even separated from the viewer. Giotto brought back depth and action and natural movement, focusing his attention on the greatest scenes imaginable for inspiration: biblical narrative.

His artwork is not super or grand as others--most folks have never heard of Giotto-- but his art stands out by making skillful statements both theologically and philosophically. Nature is natural, not unnatural. There is only the natural expression that identifies nature as it is. Also, man is a created being, not a symbol and very much like his Creator, creative.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review: "Living On the Edge: Dare To Experience True Spirituality" by Chip Ingram

Ingram, Chip. “Living On The Edge: Dare To Experience True Spirituality.” New York: Howard Books, 2009.

Spirituality is not as open-ended as many imagine and the reason is found around the one around whom spirituality is centered. Spirituality and discipleship are inseparable, flowing out of a relationship with the living truth. Relationship leaves no room for religion and true spirituality is the practice of those who follow with transformed minds.

Ingram’s 268 page book is divided into five “How To” sections with five accompanying chapters, by topic and subtopic, taking the reader by the hand through ground-level explanation of the Christian life through Romans 12. The sections follow through the teaching of Romans, verse by verse though unlike a commentary, the teaching is simple:
  • “How to Give God What He Wants the Most (Romans 12:1)”: Surrendering to God
  • “How to Get God’s Best For Your Life (Romans 12:2)”: Separate from the world
  • “How To Come to Grips with the Real You (Romans 12:3-8)”: Sober self-assessment
  • “How to Experience Authentic Community (Romans 12:9-13)”: Serve in love
  • ”How to Overcome the Evil Aimed At You (Romans 12:14-21)”: Supernatural response to evil
Each chapter will present a challenge that meets readers on their various personal levels, concluding with an application through series of “T.R.U.S.T. M.E.” questions. 

This acronym breaks the application down into seven workable sections.

Even the most seasoned follower of Christ will be cultivated to further growth in these exercises.

This book is accompanied by a 6-part DVD series with study guide and is strongly recommended for new Christians. One may also consider using the series to start a new small group. Our group observed a singular phenomenon: when in discussion, one was amazed to hear someone mention a passage of Ingram’s teaching of personal significance only to discover that others already shared the same response on the very same passage!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Review: "INsourcing" by Randy Pope

Randy Pope states the focus of his book is to share lessons learned that changed the ministry of his church (Introduction, page 16). Pope spends the twelve chapters and four appendices (with notes) introducing and developing a hybrid-model of church that addresses the individual, providing context and elements for necessary equipping and maturity to express and apply the gospel globally. 

Pope communicates a person-centered approach to being and doing church with no discussion or explanation of what constitutes the foundation of the church (for example 1 Corinthians 3:10 is offered with no explanation or teaching) nor does he point to the head of the church, who is Christ. The purpose of the church is mentioned only in passing in preference for assuming a different purpose, which becomes an elusive target to be discovered the developed by experience. Once identified, business and marketing strategy integrated with theology becomes the modus operandi.

While it is clear this book is for a Christian audience, one can easily misunderstand and subsequently misapply the minimized doctrine, which leads to misdirection and misrepresentation.

Book Review: "Breakthrough Prayer" by Jim Cymbala

[I read old books because they are there.]

Cymbala, Jim. "Breakthrough Prayer: The Secret of Receiving What You Need From God.” Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

This twelve chapter book is an excellent follow-up to Cymbala’s book, “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire.” Cymbala begins by establishing God’s blessing as a reflection of his love for all creation, mankind especially. God’s blessing is to be pursued, requested fervently and is apprehended in direct connection with diligent study of the Bible. Once we understand what God’s Word says, then we can be practice obedient faith. Since God is present and at work, His answer to prayer involves our participation with God to accomplish His purposes and this often means we must come to the end of ourselves. There is an attitude of desperation that drives us to call on Him but the subsequent blessing of His answer.

Fear or danger drives us to pray, so the principle is that God shows mercy in answer to any prayer. The battles we face should cause us to carefully consider our motive to pray, even when the battle is over. Does danger cause us to pray in order to “get off the hook”, or to pursue our relationship with Him deeper? The answer is seen once danger is passed.

We understand the way God operates based on His promises and the past fulfillment of them. Prayers is possible only because Christ opened the way, so we must believe God will keep His promises from a clear conscience and a pure heart that He acts according to His will for His glory by the power of the Holy Spirit.

What if the difficulties are too great? Cymbala helps us understand nothing is beyond the scope of prayer. Isaiah 40 reveals that the God who answers prayer considers the whole universe a small thing, so what is accomplished when we give up other than the admission that our conception of God is too small?

Having received God’s gift of grace through Christ Jesus, we must grow. “Sadly, much of the church today has lost its emphasis on spiritual growth and has instead become preoccupied with mere churchgoing and mental affirmations of doctrinal truths . . . How sad it is that when asked about their spiritual life, many have nothing more to say than, I’m a Baptist’ or ‘I’m a Catholic’ or ‘I’m Charismatic.’ How unrelated this all is to God’s description of what is truly vital: ‘the righteous flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; . . . they will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.’ (Psalm 92:12, 14).” (p. 112-113). Cymbala correctly states, “A lack of spiritual fruit, therefore, is a serious matter to the Lord.”

Prayer is powerful when connected to the source, God and His unchanging Word. Answers to prayer comes as the result of faith responding to the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Cymbala teaches are there three “words”: first, there is the “truth of Holy Scripture” (the Bible); second, “the message of Christ or the gospel”; finally, “a ‘word’ from God through the Holy Spirit.” (p. 128-129). Cymbala explains this last point with much clarity.

Cymbala summarizes that “serious prayer is born out of a sense of need, out of the knowledge that we must ask God to intervene. The Spirit of God moves us toward prayer by using scripture to show us two things: our human need and the Lord’s promise of provision. Breakthrough prayer isn’t born out of an ‘I should pray today’ attitude but, instead, out of an ‘I must have God’s help’ frame of mind.”  (p. 143) The example of Hannah underscores that prayer is answered not merely for the blessings we receive, but to God’s glory.

Crying out to God means that things are messy and require cleaning--this leads to holiness. That “all is not well” gives hope to what God will be seen doing when we call on Him, starting with ourselves. Walking in fantasy is not walking in faith so we must be spiritually renewed--our spiritual immune system is weak. This why we require the fellowship of believers: to be spiritually strengthened and encouraged through corporate prayer and worship. The spiritual blessing that follows is correct perspective to understand His timing in answering prayer (never, always, at certain times, not now) and the joy of spiritual health.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


My wife (at Timeless Treasures) wrote of "A Mother's Love," a blog post for Compassion Child Survival Program.

Three buttons on your suit jacket

Wonderful tribute to Mel Blanc, starting with the day Bugs Bunny saved his life--literally.

Here is an Animated Visualization of Every Observed Meteorite that has hit Earth since 861 A.D.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Photoblog: Bible

"Ephesians" (in case you are interested)

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Ascension and the Theory of Everything

Today marks the 40th day of Easter, Ascension Day. Eye witnesses recorded the bodily return of Jesus into Heaven. “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11, NKJV)

The ascension reminds us that while Jesus walked this earth in time and space, He continues His work on earth while at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. When the world turns to confront its problems, it misses the remedy offered by the death, burial, resurrection and bodily ascension of the Savior. I spoke with a woman recently who admitted she was struggling with sin and was confused, yet while she acknowledged Jesus she would not humble herself and let Jesus deal with her sin and guide her life as Lord. She admitted He reigns, but she would not submit. Perhaps part of the difficulty is we like the idea of Jesus, but don’t upset the happiness of my misery. We don’t want to connect His rulership with our personal world.

Scientists attempt to find faith in a “theory for everything” yet dismisses Him who made all things, in whom all things hold together; but, science has a way of eventually coming around to confirm what scripture has already said. Scientific laws do exist, but they are only right when they line up with what God has already said in his unchanging Word. A few examples that come to mind include the Bible stating the round earth hangs on nothing; that life is in the blood; that stars are innumerable. Science once said the earth was flat and sat on the back of giant animal; people should be bled; the stars are a fixed number (in the thousands). Science has come a long way, so we can wait. Once science catches on, then everything will make sense; but we will wait. 

While we wait, consider how the Psalmist saw a scientific connection between God’s unchanging Word and His rule. Psalm 147:12-18 speak of giving praise to the LORD, “your God” and here are the scientific reasons: the peace He brings and the abundance He gives are the result of His command just as the snow, frost and hail are given then are melted away by His command. “Who can stand before His cold?” reminds me how small I am to presume God should be doing things another way.

Jesus stood in a boat, and commanded the wind and the waves; yet when He entered His own city was said to blaspheme for forgiving sins (Matthew 8-9).Can we blame Peter for wanting to walk with Jesus on the water after seeing what He did with the wind and the waves? If He could do that and forgive men of their sins, then . . . I wish I could speak to that woman again.

Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin, then rose again three days later. That same glorified Christ now sits in Heaven at the Father’s right hand, upholding everything by the Word of His Power. String theory proposes that at the center of everything is a sound . . . I can’t wait for science to catch up. The wisdom of God is amazing.

Thursday, May 09, 2013


"Is Proselytizing Outlawed in the U.S. Military?"

Timely advice for this time of year: "How To Survive a Tornado."

Lessons learned after staying off the internet.

Random book quote:

"'Do you know what a poem is, Esther?'
'No, what?' I would say.
A piece of dust."  (Sylvia Plath, "The Bell Jar")

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Photoblog: Negative Wood

Looking differently at the world from time to time . . .

Monday, May 06, 2013

The Devil, our Enemy

Part of my journey in re-reading the life of Christ has taken me on a side trail that wound all the way back to the start, with Creation itself. The life of Christ does not really start in the gospels, but with Creation--actually before Creation; however, this is not the subject. Our understanding of Christ begins with Creation because, in effect, this is our beginning. He is our Creator.

Reading Genesis, one is able to suspect that most minds run on “fast-forward,” along with the text. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, rest. Then we have the details concerning the creation of man and the fall, then we have the rest of the Bible. What happened between the Creation of man and the fall of humanity into sin and death by sin? Man walked with God, man was tempted and was deceived. Was it over that quickly? I get the sense of the text that God and man enjoyed walking together for a long, long time. I will even venture that the length of time man spent in unbroken relationship was so long it would SEEM like an eternity.

Then there was the temptation. Did it happen in one fell swoop, or over the course of time? Given the outcome, I will suggest that it didn't take long.

Where I’m dwelling right now is the fact that our Savior-to-be knew of an enemy and of all he was capable. When Satan appeared in the garden, he appeared the same way Jesus would describe him later, as one who is “a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth” (John 8:44). Interestingly, there is no universal law of duality that is over Jesus or Satan that demands that one cannot exist without the other. The existence of God does not depend on the existence of the devil and most importantly, God will continue to exist long after the devil is finally put away in everlasting punishment. Satan is a created being.

This may beg the question, “well, if God created Satan then God is the author of sin. Sin is His fault.” No, sin is God’s moral law broken. God does not break His own laws, and neither does He tempt anyone. This is why The Savior is so important. His death, burial and resurrection sets the repentant free from the power of sin and into an eternity free from the presence of sin. God in Christ Jesus is the destroyer of sin.

Nothing about the devil has changed. He is still a murderer and a liar. God our Creator is the life-giver through Jesus Christ, in whom everything holds together, the Truth. Jesus makes the repentant enemy of God His children. Satan will never repent.

Here’s the bottom line:
Satan believes in God.
Satan believes in Jesus.
Satan believes Jesus died and rose again.
What makes you different than the devil?

Friday, May 03, 2013

"The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was not homosexuality"

The argument suggests that Sodom and Gomorrah was not destroyed because of homosexuality, but because of gang rape and lack of hospitality including failure to provide help to the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:48-49).

Actually, homosexuality IS the major issue of Genesis 19 and Ezekiel 16.

First, consider Genesis 19:5 when the people of the city demand Lot’s visiting men in order that they may “know” them. If homosexuality was not the issue then why would Lot say, “don’t do this evil, here are my daughters” (19:7). No rape has yet occurred, but the implication is clear that 1) inhospitality is not the issue; and 2) giving the daughters seems to be a solution to the evil. Certainly gang rape is another difficulty that can be addressed, but don’t let this escape notice: Lot’s attempt to thwart the crowd from “knowing” the men inside is that they would instead “know” his daughters.

Second, what exactly are the “haughty and detestable things” (abominations) being judged in Ezekiel 16:50? We may certainly include arrogance as well as failure to help the poor and needy, but is that all God calls “detestable?” What is called “detestable/abomination” in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13? The word in Hebrew here refers to an offense to ritual as well as moral order and since God is the author of morality, He is offended.

Finally, consider the response of the crowd to Lot’s solution: “they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door” (19:9). They were making very specific and intentional bodily contact with Lot, literally pressing their bodies against him.

Homosexuality is included among the other sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the crowd admits and rejects the moral judgment of Lot (19:9).

(notes from a seminar discussion)

Thursday, May 02, 2013


"Is It Un-spiritual To Be Discouraged?"

Dr. Don Hamilton's Final Charge: "Christ-centered Christianity"

Dr. William Larkin's Final Charge: "Essential 'Hows' of CIU's Mission and Yours" (part 2 of Dr. Hamilton's topic)

Neil deGrasse Tyson's "8 (Free) Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read."

After all these years and with an isolated vocal track, I still can't understand what Cobain is singing:

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The Perfect Life

What is a perfect life? How woefully short I come because when I try to process living the perfect life, I find myself considering how I would live my life unlike the way you live yours.

When we look to scripture, we find two aspects of the perfect life. The first is found in the life of the perfect God-man Jesus who lived in time and space, keeping every command of God. Boggles the mind, but He lived the perfect life.

The second description of the perfect life begins with our Creator who is our Savior. “You said that already.” No, I said, “begins.”

There is one God, the Father, of whom are all things and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” (1 Corinthians 8:6).

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4-5)

The perfect life is His, shared.

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