Showing posts from October, 2008

When Catholic is not Catholic

oman Catholicism asserts that it is the same church founded by the apostles. They have to assert this, for their very claim to power is an unbroken apostolic succession. Protestant historians disagree, stating that there was development in their theology that brings them to where they are today.

Interestingly, however, many Protestants (non-Catholic Christians in general) seem to accept the claim that the Roman Catholic Church has always existed. In this short two-part series in remembrance of Reformation Day, we will look at a brief outline of the historical developments of Catholic doctrine.

There are so many things we can (and probably should) look at, from a historical analysis of the so-called "unbroken succession" of popes to the sale of indulgences that helped spark the Reformation. However, for this short series, there are only five categories we’ll review: Mary, Monasticism, Papal Authority and Tradition, Views on Salvation, and Transubstantiation.

These points h…

The Difference Between a Legalist and an Evangelical Christian

John Fonville posted an excellent quote to help us distinguish between legalists and Gospel-believers. The only thing I would change is the phrase "evangelical"---I've known many people who are both evangelical and legalistic.

Ralph Erskine on the difference between a legalist and an evangelical (”gospel-believing”) Christian:(1.) They differ in their complaints. The legalist will complain more for want of holiness than for want of Christ; seeing he hath taken up with self-righteousness, it is his all, it is his happiness, it is his husband, it is his God. But the language of the evangelical Christian, who is dead to the law, is, O for Christ! O for a day of power! O to be wrapt up in the covenant of grace! to get an omnipotent power, determining me to comply with the gospel-offer.(2.) They differ as to their comforts, - the legalist finds comfort in law-works, even in all his extremities. In the prospect of trouble, who comforts him? Even this, that he hath done many go…

A quick reminder on Netiquette---ALL CAPS

If you are new to the internet or electronic age in general, one of the basic rules of communication is to keep your "caps lock" key in the off position. Use "mixed case" when writing---the style you learned in elementary school (using a capital letter only to start a sentence or to mark a proper noun). Avoid use of all capital letters (or all lowercase, for that matter).

Why care about this rule? Some people are in a hurry, so why not use all capital letters to blog, comment, send emails, or the like?

First, it is more difficult to read something written in all capital letters. There is a reason the Greeks switched from all caps (uncials) to a mixture of case (minuscules): to make what is written easier to read. Wikipedia has this piece of insight:
However, the shapes of words set in lowercase provide a valuable cue to readers that helps speed the process of reading; type in all caps forms a rectangular shape for every word, which makes distinguishing words hard…

The Word That Was from the Beginning (from Sunday, 10/26/08)

(For those just joining us, every we I post the notes from our Sunday School lessons with the youth group.Click “youth studies” to view past entries or to catch up with the current series.)
oday was a shorter day due to a longer announcement time in the service.While we did not get as far as I hoped, the discussion went well on the first topic, providing the same foundation for the rest of our study that the Apostle John intended.Is John really saying Jesus is God?
Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that verse 1 should be translated “…and the Word was a god” (in contrast to simply “God”).The difference, [as Matt so astutely pointed out in class] is between the presence of a definite article (like our “the”) in the Greek and the lack of one, the latter case causing us to wonder if we need to translate the phrase using our indefinite article.In this case, there is no definite article in the Greek at the end of the verse, making us wonder if the Jehovah’s Witnesses have it right.Don’t worry—I won’…

Parental Rights Continuing to be Usurped

Sadly, these stories will probably only become more frequent.
Pastor charged with felony for spanking son "The documents show the boy's doctor does not believe he was abused, and he called the event a 'social services fiasco.'"School holds surprise 'Gay' Day for kindergartners Who teaches a five-year-old about sex, let alone begins indoctrination for accepting the homosexual lifestyle?!?

Vote to Protect Marriage

This is not an issue over rights, for those who choose to live a homosexual lifestyle still have the freedom to do anything other Americans are allowed.

Marriage, though, in the most secular sense, is a man and woman coming together in a union that has the expectation for procreation. We cannot speak of the rights of homosexual unions that are deemed "marriage," as there is not a working definition of marriage that could apply to homosexuals.

"Two people who love each other" doesn't cut it as a new definition. If we depart from the traditional understanding of marriage, there is no reason why it can't be "three people who love each other," "a group of people who love one another," or "a man and his horse who love each other." I suppose a few progressives out there find nothing wrong with such marriages, but anyone with a modicum of study in societal and historical trends know this leads to the inevitable breakdown of order in a…

Intro: The Gospel According to John (from Sunday, 10/19/08)

(For those just joining us, every we I post the notes from our Sunday School lessons with the youth group.  Click “youth studies” to view past entries or to catch up with the current series.) 

e have been away from the Word for several weeks, for the sake of  understanding key aspects of the Gospel: what it is, and why people reject it.  As such, we have looked at the way we should think about the Gospel in our world.  Last week, we looked at the way we should hear and do the Word.  As such, our experience with the Gospel is not just one of hearing, but also one of doing.

So, what of the Gospel of John?  We will be starting the Gospel next Sunday, but today, we will get a bird’s-eye view of the Gospel.  That is, we will look at a summary of the book as well as taking time to introduce John himself.

There are Four Gospels!
You’ve noticed there are four Gospels kicking off the New Testament.  Why is this?  First, we should notice that no Gospel is written to be a biography.  A biography g…

"Every Little Thing" Fun

(HT: Dan da man)

Getting Ready in the Mornings

I'd like to say this is not a familiar sight, but hopefully no one watching this would be satisfied with this kind of thing.

[Edit:]James 3:10:

"From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so."

Cover for "The Darkness and the Glory"

I mentioned this book a few posts back, and wanted to let you know that the final cover has been finalized:

Remember, Darkness in December. Grab a copy.

Watch Out for Sylar's New Power - The Pinch


*pheh*—Study. (from Sunday, 10/12/08)

(For those just joining us, every we I post the notes from our Sunday School lessons with the youth group.Click “youth studies” to view past entries or to catch up with the current series.)
e have not been studying the Bible that much over the last couple of months, primarily because there were some topical issues to cover.However, I said from the start that the discussion we’ve had on the Gospel was going to lead into our study in the Gospel of John.
So, if you like studying the Bible, you are going to love the next eighteen months or so.If you don’t like studying the Bible, well… I hope you’ll stick around anyway, mainly because of some reasons I will be sharing today.
To begin today off, I would like to recap our time since August.After that, I want to whet your appetite for our upcoming Bible study in this class.Then, next Sunday, I want to introduce you to the meal – the prime cut of beef – you’ll be consuming for the year-and-a-half.
God, the Good News
We looked at this quote before…

Internet Down; Conference Saturday

Sorry that I haven't been online in a while. Our internet has been down for the week, and that means our phones are down, as well (we have a VoIP service). So, I can only correspond with our ISP while I am at school, where I can send and receive emails.

BTW: If you've been trying to send me a message to any of our "" accounts, you should know that I haven't been able to get into them, even at school. It seems to be a Time Warner Cable issue.

Saturday, I'll be attending the 2008 Calvary Chapel Men's Conference down in Anaheim. If you are in Castaic or Santa Clarita and you want to join our carpool, let me know.

"If we would be like our Master"

The product of Gospel-living is Christ-likeness.  Yet, let us not emphasize one of Jesus' attributes over another.  Let us, instead, be like Him in fullness.

Here's one of those Grace Gem emails (from 10/7/08):
(J. R. Miller, "Living Without Worry")

"Whoever claims to live in Him--must walk as Jesus did." 1 John 2:6

Every true Christian should desire to be Christlike in character. It is not enough to be honest, and upright, and true, and just. Christ had these strong qualities--but He was also gentle, and kind, and loving, and patient. If we would be like our Master--we must have these traits of character also in us. When we pray that the beauty of the Lord may be upon us, we must
ask for these finer features of His beauty--as well as for the more rugged ones. We need His strength and truth and faithfulness and justice--but we need His love and tenderness as well. "Leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21


The "Sorted by Labels" listing on the right side of the page is growing to large to keep it there. So, I'm putting all the blog tags/labels/categories (whatever) here.

View blog top tags

The Darkness and the Glory

Greg Harris, author of The Cup and the Glory (a book I highly recommend for all believers) has finished the next installment in the glory series: The Darkness and the Glory

I encourage you to read these books.  As the author himself says in Chapter 1 of the new book, "Come: let us observe—even as children, and from a distance—the cup which the Father had given to the Son."

Here is an except from the Forward by John MacArthur:
By examining the cross from Christ’s perspective, The Darkness and the Glory provides a compelling behind-the-scenes look at the profound spiritual and theological realities of Calvary—realities that transcend the physical, as the wrath of man was surpassed by both the wrath of Satan and ultimately the wrath of God. With theological acumen and pastoral insight, Greg Harris invites readers to join him on a journey to the cross they will never forget. Doctrinally sound yet warmly devotional, this Christ-centered book is highly recommended to all who desi…

"Obama & Friends - A History Of Radicalism"

HT: -- Thanks for posting these.

Part 1:
Including Sean Hannity of Hannity's America Special Report Entitled "Obama & Friends - A History Of Radicalism" Including Black Panthers, Bill Ayers, Muslim, and Saudi, Khalid Monsour Connections

Part 2:
Including... Community Organizer, Louis Farrakhan, Harvard, Bill Ayers, New York, Chicago, Kenwood, Hugo Chavez, Cuba, Fidel Castro, Connections.

Part 3:
Including... John Murtaugh, Larry Grathwohl, Bernardine Dohrn, FBI, Weathermen Bomb, Connections.

Part 4:
Including... Pastor, Reverend, Radical, Jeremiah Wright, James Cone, Black Liberation Theology, Marxist, Separatist, NAACP, Detroit, National Press Club, Otis Moss, Father Michael Pfeldger, Nation of Islam, Connections.

Part 5:
Including... Rashid Khalidi, Jewish, Irsrael, Palestinian Liberations Army, PLO, Terrorist, Columbia, Mahoud Ahmadenejad, West Bank, Woods Fund, Arab American Action Network, Hamas, Ahmed Yousef, Iran, Connections

Part 6:
Including... Association…

New Roundups

I have been thinking about the format of the New Roundups, mainly because of the amount of time it takes me to compile the stories vs. the amount of attention they garner.  At Blogger, only one has gained any web attention, and at MySpace, they are the least-commented posts.

Long-time MySpace readers have seen the Roundups stop for a while, and these last few weeks have been a trial.

Given that it takes a two-three hours a week to make the Roundups, I'm thinking that I could better invest that time.

I'll continue to post news stories I believe are important, but I think the ol' roundups are going to retire.


A Couple of Quotes from Brian McLaren/ Emerging/ Postmodern/ Post-Evangelical

I've been holding onto these quotes, but I might as well just post them for your amusement.

McLaren tells us that he could only see this kingdom vision of Jesus when he came to a "place of cynically doubting much of what I had been told about Jesus." To use the words of fellow emergent thinker Peter Rollins, the Northern Irish philosopher at Ikon community, McLaren experienced the "fidelity of betrayal." He had to betray the Jesus and the gospel and the church that nurtured him to become faithful to the Jesus of this kingdom vision.
(Scot McKnight, “McLaren Emerging.” Christianity Today, September, 2008.  p. 3.  Posted on 26 September, 2008. . Page accessed 26 September, 2008.)
Evangelical thinkers such as D. A. Carson, R. Scott Smith, John MacArthur, and Kevin DeYoung and Ted Cluck (authors of Why We're Not Emergent) warn of the dangers of emergents' theological drift and draw lines in the sand. The emergents I know are numb to both the warnings and the l…

I think this sums up my blog...

Now I'm (de)motivated! (HT: Ray Fowler)

Bible Study Links

Post last updated on 15 Aug, 2011.I do not endorse the theology of everything linked below.The links are helps and nothing more.

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