Friday, July 11, 2008

2009 Gospel Coalition Conference

Uhhh, Todd, if this is not a reason for a road trip, I don't know what is.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's Going On

Now that I am starting to feel a little more comfortable in my new postion at MEBC I feel like I can get back into blogging more. This is a catch up post.

I have been reading a lot less since moving but I did read Persuasion a few weeks ago and right now I am reading Christ and Culture Revisited by D.A. Carson and Harry Potter and the Cahmber of Secrets.

I have been listening to a variety of music lately. I love the new Coldplay album even though I have never enjoyed their previous albums much. A few weeks ago I discovered a new band, Seabird that is very, very good. Their new album is solid. And just this week I have been introduced to Hillsong. I can't get the song 'Mighty to Save' out of my head! And I consider that a good thing. Cue killer video...

Do you like "period pieces"? Are you a junkie for any movie set in 19th century England? My wife and I are and we loved the series, Cranford. The acting was phenomenal, it was laugh out loud funny and had some of the most profound and beautiful scenes I have ever watched on screen. It is available through Netflix.

Happy 499th Birthday!!!

John Calvin was born 499 years today!

Hat Tip: Desiring God Blog

Sunday, July 06, 2008

From PCA to SBC: Part 2

OK, so where was I...when we last left the story I had come to some conclusions about the Sabbath. To be honest I was not too concerned about these convictions though they certainly veered from the Westminster Confession of Faith. As a matter of fact I knew that I would be taking an exception to the teaching of the WCF but I had no idea of the controversial stand I was taking in my Presbytery. You see, every PCA church is part of a Presbytery. A Presbytery is a regional group of churches. Every Presbytery has things that make them a little different from the others. Some are little more lenient on issues such as the Sabbath, creation, etc. For instance I am told on good authority a Presbytery one state away from where I was actually expects and encourages my convictions regarding the Sabbath. However, the Presbytery I was a part of actually wants no pastor to take any exceptions whatsoever.

I did not know this when I took to the floor of my oral examinations with my convictions in hand to defend. The following is what I remember happening...

1. A continuous hot flash running down the back of my neck.

2. A finger being pointed at me and an elderly gentleman telling me I was an Antinomian.

3. A few people standing up to defend me.

4. Lots of angry looks.

5. A recommendation to read the worst book on the Sabbath ever.

6. My embarrassment and confusion when I was on the losing end of a vote to indefinitely postpone the vote for my ordination so I could study the matter more fully.

7. My own anger and frustration.

I applaud the men who stood by their convictions on this matter. I really do. I never lost one night of sleep over that vote. It was a bitter pill to swallow. But I was not mad at these men for what had happened.

What frustrated me was their attitude of condescension towards me during while being grilled and afterward in emails and phone calls.

I was bringing up arguments that had biblical and historical precedence within the Reformed community and no one was willing to do any dialogue with those arguments. What I found instead was many had done little study on the matter at all and they were willing to simply sign off on a debatable theological point. And what surprised me the most was how many men were willing to concede my point and admit they agreed with me but were not willing to go public with such a conviction. In other words, the inconvenience of going public with an unpopular position outweighed any other consideration of honesty and integrity. Granted, almost to a man who confronted me I could find no one who without equivocation would say they lived out the WCF's teaching on the Sabbath...they would all defer to a belief of individual conviction on the matter.

What frustrated me the most and certainly had the most long term effect on me was the fact that no one really cared how I lived on the Presbytery only wanted me to sign off and say the WCF was right on the matter. In other words, I must sign off on the theological argument with no concern to the way I actually live. No violence was to be done to the theological system. This was my greatest sin...I challenged the theological system. My convictions on the Sabbath did not fit into the system of the WCF. And so that is what got me thinking over a year later about baptism...

Reasons Why I Love My New Church

I love being a part of MEBC. The following are only some of the reasons why...

1. The gospel of grace is preached with intensity and conviction and excellence.

2. The gospel of grace is believed.

3. The gospel of grace is exhibited.

4. I am part of an amazing Pastoral Staff and we have amazing support staff who alos love MEBC.

5. I have an amazing Student Ministries Staff.

6. The sovereignty of God is preached fearlessly.

7. The music on Sunday morning is perfect.

8. I get to be a part of the discipleship of dozens upon dozens of Junior High and High School students and college students.

9. The parents of my students are unreal encouraging.

10. There is a palpable affection for the lost among the people of Metro East Baptist Church.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Reflections on Juno

Last night My wife and I watched Juno for the first time. Only one person actually told me to not watch, a number of believers actually told me how great it was.

Wow, was I disappointed. It was terrible. Not because the acting was bad, the acting was fine I suppose. It was just terrible...the following are my observations are my reasons for thinking so.

1. It used big issue (s) to entertain us with quirkiness.

2. It was ridiculously crass and gross. And should be a reason in and of itself for saying "no" to it and rejecting it outright. The crass and gross humor was not peripheral but central.

3. I am sure the desire for reality was at the forefront of the reason for all the crass and gross dialogue. But if reality is the goal then why create a character like Juno who talks like a sitcom character full of obscure pop-culture references in every line? Not only does no person converse like that but certainly no teenager.

4. We live in a world of small thoughts and small dreams and small visions and small affections. Juno is the textbook example of that. It sprinkles in enough seriousness to justify a world of silliness and triviality and quirkiness.

5. Light-hearted, random quirkiness is the order of the day. Its prevalence and acceptance by believers everywhere of every age is out of proportion to blood-earnest seriousness of the mission of God's people to display his greatness and glory.

6. Funny is a terrible and God-dishonoring single litmus test for whether a movie is good. Should there not be something more? It is so small.

7. I felt like I needed a bath.

8. I should have listened to Murry Adams.