Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Justin Taylor's Primer on all Things Emerging and Emergent

I strongly recommend reading Justin Taylor's An Emerging Church Primer. He has a way of cutting through the fog. If you have read or are planning to read dome Donald Miller or Brian McLaren, I recommend this article. And read it slowly and often.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Thanks to Mitch McGinnis for the embed help!!!

A Must Read for...Well, Anyone

I have read a good bit on the abortion issue for about 10 years now and I have not read anything as well-written and as driven by logic and truth as this defining work by Ramesh Ponnuru. There is probably no other book that will have the impact this book has on ending the tragedy we foolishly call Abortion.

Do not let the dark title, The Party of Death, fool you. This book is full of light. It dispels darkness by calling it what it is. Those who would argue for giving peace a chance have no qualms about sticking a fork in a fetus' head and sucking the brains out. The title is good and right and just.

Hans Rookmaaker and Art

While I was at Jr. High RYM I picked up Art And the Christian Mind: The Life And Work of H. R. Rookmaaker Laurel Gasque. A thoroughly good read, it opened a new world of reflections on art by a scholar of not only art but the Bible...not to mention Jazz. The book is an excellent tribute to a man who is only rivalled by Schaeffer in his understanding of how artistic expression is a reflection of the artist's view of reality.

After reading the above biography on Rookmaaker I was hungry for anything else I could find. So I ordered, from Modern Art and the Death of a Culture. All I can say is I have never really read anything like it. If you like it when Schaeffer waxes eloguent on all things Art. This will give you the fix you have probably been longing for. Here is a taste worth the wait for...

"Christian art is nothing special. It is sound, healthy, good art. It is art that is line with the God-given structures of art, one which has a loving and free view on reality, one which is good and true. In a way there is no specifically Christian art. One can distinguish only good and bad art, art which is sound and good from art which is false and weird in its insight into reality. This is so whether it is painting or drama or music. Christians, however full of faith they may be, can still make bad art. They may be sinful and weak, or they might not have much talent. On the other hand a non-Christian can make a thing a beauty, a joy for ever - provided that he remains within the scope of the norms for art, provided that he works out of the fullness of his humanity, and does not glory in the depraved or in iniquity or glorify the devil.

So a work of art is not good when we know that the artist was a Christian: it is good when we perceive it to be good. Nor is a work bad if we know the artist was a hater of God." (p. 228)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

William Joseph Wik: Husband

Not many were able to bury their loved ones who died at the WTC on 9/11. William Wik's wife was one of the few. Considering the circumstances, you cannot blame her for feeling as if she received a gift when she buried her beloved husband and the father of their three children.

Before his funeral she said her goodbyes to him and reached out to touch a tatoo he kept hidden under long-sleeve shirts. What was once a youthful indiscretion has now become an icon for his wife, Kathleen. Whether she has done so or not I am unsure but she at one time planned on getting a similar tatoo as a reminder.

"Kathy, I have a lot of people to deal with here."

William saw the first plane hit the the north tower while in a meeting on the 92nd floor of the south tower. When he called his wife, he was emphatically told to get out. Hi response was, "I have a lot of people to deal with here." Katleen says she was not surprised.

In a world shot through with selfishness and comfort-seeking hollow men I am refreshed to hear the story of William Wik. Would I get out immediately? Would I seek after my own comfort? Would I want to stay and help? Would I risk anything at the price of my own skin?

I hope so.

Courage is a rare thing. Sure we plenty of strength, born of hours at the gym. But is strength born of courage something men, young and old aspire to?

More to come...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Excellent response to Maken's Response

Andreas Kostenberger responds to Debbie Maken's response to his writing, The Gift of Singleness. Mrs. Maken wrote Getting Serious About Getting Married: Rethinking the Gift of Singleness. My thoughts on her book are in the post below.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

2,996: A Tribute to 9/11 Victims

Name: William J. Wik
Age: 44
Killed at: World Trade Center
From country: USA
From city: Crestwood
From state: N.Y.

Mr. Wik is the victim of 9/11 that I have the privilege to commemorate in the lead up to the 5 year anniversary. May I do him justice and not show any disrespect to his family or his memory.

I will every couple days write some reflection on this tragic event and Mr. Wik.

I just do not want to forget that day.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Summer From Hell in the Mississippi Delta

Right now, the temp outside is 102, so I am guessing a heat index as high as 108. Now that is rough enough. But Mywife just arrived at the church with kids in tow because our AC has quit blowing cold air. Let's hope and pray that we only need some freon...otherwise we are spending the night at the church.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My New Favorite Website

I have enjoyed youtube for awhile now. But until last night I had never thought of putting videos of my kids on the site so the grandparents can enjoy them. It really is a fascinating thing to be able to do what seemed impossible just a few years ago.

Now if I could just learn how to embed in my blog...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Impassioned Orthodoxy

I have linked to my church's homepage where you will find a great sermon by my pastor and friend, McKay Caston. It was an outstanding, passionate and fearless sermon.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I Had No Idea...

The foollowing article by yours truly was published in the Greenwood Commonwealth on Friday

Is God Dead?

It was in 1882 when Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher first made the shocking statement, "Gott ist tot." God is dead. And as a confessing and believing Christian, teacher and leader, I must confess that I agree. Allow me to explain.

God is not dead in any objective sense. He lives and reigns in the heavens. He upholds the Universe by the power of his hand. And in the person of Jesus, He intercedes continually for those of us who believe the Gospel. God is not dead in the way a person is physically dead. This is not what I mean or what Nietzsche meant.

So what did he mean?

Well, simply put, he meant God was now irrelevant and belief in him served no real purpose except as a polite fiction. A philosopher or theologian would say that God serves no “teleological” function (telos, end or purpose). He has no purpose. Nietzsche’s purpose in saying “God is dead” was to point out the absurdity of an absolute moral code without a belief in God. He foresaw the twentieth-century’s global rejection of a transcendent moral order and the resulting bloodshed with clarity.

What do I mean though?

Actually, when I say “God is dead,” I mean something a little different. Again, he is not physically dead. But for so many people in this town and ten thousand more throughout the Bible Belt and beyond, God is believed in and even called a Savior and yet is irrelevant. He plays second fiddle (at best) to wealth, beauty, sex, Sports – our kid’s sports, jobs and every other thing under the sun. Education is only a way to get more money and support your family and never a way to know more of the reality God created. He is patronized with a visit to church on Sunday and Monday he is ignored. We buy and sell and consume and give not a thought of whether any of it will betray to the watching world that God reigns…or even exists. For so many God is dead. And he is dead for those who will cancel life with all its demands and then move heaven and earth to remove a blemish from their face or watch a game. But they will treat the pursuit of “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” like a hobby.

The good news is that God does have a purpose and it may not be what you think it is. God exists for God. The chief end of God, according to John Piper (and the Bible) is the glorification of God, himself. If God had affections for anything higher than himself he would be an idolater. He alone must be, for all eternity, riveted upon the exaltation of himself. And this should not surprise us. Consider 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God…” In other words, God the Father sent God the Son to die in our place so that we might get God. God did not send Jesus so God would get us. God sent Jesus so that we would be able to glorify God for his mercy (Romans 15:9).

Perhaps, for those whose lives betray a belief in a virtually lifeless God, they have assumed that God was fixated on their value and not his own value. They have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. And so placing themselves at the center of all reality, they think very little about the Sovereign God of the Universe. He might as well be dead.But God, treated as dead beckons, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” he says Come and see “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God” (Isaiah 55:1,2; 2 Cor. 4: