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Showing posts from January, 2009

40 Years: Congrats and Thanks!

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In case you hadn't heard, tomorrow Grace Community Church celebrates its 40th year with John MacArthur as senior pastor.  All the rest off us can do is stand up and say thanks to MacArthur for his faithfulness and to God for His provision in Johnny Mac.  It is not reaching to say that MacArthur's ministry at GCC sparked the worldwide blessing we've come to know as "Grace to You," as well as the 175+ books (!) that enrich millions of Christians.

Iain Murray (prolific author and co-founder of Banner of Truth Trust) is delivering the Sunday message from the GCC pulpit.  I heard tale that, when asked what he would talk about, he said he would be preaching from God's Word... not talking about a man.  To that, John MacArthur would surely amen.

To hear the live stream tomorrow, click here.  Of course, those of you on Pacific Standard Church Time should be in your own congregation during that hour, but I guess a few could benefit from this link. :)

Of Kooky Conspiracies

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Some of you were very disappointed with the results of the presidential election, but buck up: things could have been much worse. The elections could have been canceled by the Jews, or the Catholics, or both, right after Bush lead a bombing invasion of Iran, leaving us in a state of emergency to live under martial law.

That's right. I'm not sure how both the Jews and Catholics are involved. I do know this: Bush wasn't intelligent enough to mastermind his plot to stop the United States elections and give himself absolute power. His police state would have plunged our nation into fascism, but he was just the puppet.

I bet you now feel, as I do, that suddenly, an Obama presidency doesn't sound that bad.

Are you shaking your head right now, wondering who would believe such nonsense? Believe it or not, my MySpace bulletin board was filled by such conspiracy theories (but don't you dare call them theories!) by the self-styled Prophetic One. Here are a couple of bullet…

Fox Picks up Narnia

Have no fear: Voyage of the Dawn Treader will be in theaters.  NarniaFans reports "The movie companies are looking to make the film for about $140 million. Michael Apted, who made 'Amazing Grace' and the 1999 Bond flick 'The World Is Not Enough,' is still on board to direct."

I think there was a strong Christian theme presented in "Amazing Grace" (no, that was not a foregone conclusion), so I have hopes for "Dawn Treader."

The post continues: "The goal is to get back to the magical aspects present in the first 'Narnia' pic but mostly absent from 'Prince Caspian.'"

That is what we want to hear. :)

Christians and the Holocaust (Part 2)

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In observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, this is Part Two of a two-part blog addressing Christianity and the Holocaust. (Read Part One.)

ar from being supportive, most Christians were appalled by Hitler's activities, even if some were first fooled by his charisma when he came to power. Yet, life was not easy as theological disagreements became treasonous, and some dissenting pastors found themselves in the very concentration camps they decried. Two prominent figures of the era standing against Hitler's false Christian claims were the Swiss Karl Barth[3] and Bruce Bonhoeffer.[4] There were many other Protestant Christians under Hitler's regime who took a stand against his heresies, not giving into his intimidation[5]. Even Pope Pius XII would oppose Hitler, condemning the murder of the Jews[6].
The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority was established in 1953 under the name Yad Vashem, which means “a monument and a name,” taken f…

Christians and the Holocaust (Part 1)

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Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a time we set aside to reflect upon the horrendous slaughter the Jewish people had to endure. Since this blog is obviously Christian in perspective, I wanted to post a paper I wrote in college for partial fulfillment of the History of Modern Israel class. I've changed it a bit for this blog.

ne fact we must face as Christians is the shameful ways some of us have dealt with the Jewish people. Those actions, among other things, serve as stumbling blocks to reaching people with the message of the Messiah. They have clouded and confused the Gospel with condemnation, hatred, and malice, and many Jewish people fail to the proper connection we have with the sacred Tanakh.

Christianity, of course, began deep in the roots of the Jewish faith. Early Christians were all Jewish, spreading their message of hope for salvation in Yeshua (“Jesus,” whose Hebrew name, appropriately enough, means “God saves”). They discovered a unique …

Newborns Cause Us to Praise Our Wonderful Designer

Someone sent me a message asking a couple of questions I want to share.  The answers, interestingly, are something I had already been pondering throughout the day as I have had a chance to hold our and study baby girl!  Here was the message:
What is that white powdery substance that was all over the baby.

Umbilical cords make me gag a little...but, I feel compelled to ask- what in the world is inside them?!?!?
Here was my reply:
The white stuff is called vermix. It is a secretion made by the baby in the uterus and serves as a protective from dehydration and possibly the prune effect (like when you've been in the bath or swimming pool too long). It is a natural moisturizer for the baby's skin. Obviously, we clean the excess off after delivery, but it is largely reabsorbed into the skin. God's neat, isn't He?

As for the cord, I agree. The translucent appearance of the tube reminds me of fly larva. But, it too is an incredible design, being an all natural pipeline to servic…

Review: Concerns About "Red Letter Christians" by Tony Campolo

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Tony Campolo's Red Letter Christians (hereafter, RLC) has been out a bit over a year now, and the recent election results leave little doubt that it helped make waves. Not written to be a hefty theological lesson, RLC focuses on the role Christians should play in politics, citing several texts to support its admonitions. With a steady flow of thought, simple but fairly precise and amiable language, Campolo produces a fine work to champion his position.

That said, I have a few concerns about how this book answers the question of whether politics should become an extension of the church's mission. Primarily, my concerns come down to how RLC interprets Scripture and presents the red letters of the Bible in order to answer this question. These concerns appear below.

First, readers concerned about how politically involved Christians have become should also be concerned about this book.
Asking students at an Ivy League university to define Evangelicals, Campolo received no "in…

Is the way closed to Narnia?

Why did Disney drop "Narnia?" The LA Times fills in the background information.

Among the reasons listed in the article is marketing, to which I would add they needed much more thought to what Narnia fans wanted to see. One commenter called it "Lord of the Rings Lite," as the movie was certainly more of a romance/epic than a parable of faith, redemption, and forgiveness. We expected changes to make the movie adaptable to the silver screen, but the producers and director should have considered what we see in Prince Caspian the book.

Fox, Sony, and Warners have expressed interest in the next "Narnia" installment, and hopefully this is a large consideration for them as the weigh the implicit Christian messages of Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Imagine... No Rob Bell

An interesting video has popped up on YouTube:



My first impressions are that the video is clever and the singer, a pretty good impressionist. I'm not sure people would dance around in tie-die shirts waving peace signs, resurrecting the spirits of the (dead) Beatles in the process, but a decent video all the same.

Yet, this "Imagine" scenario describes only one point in the future: the Kingdom Age. For this time, these people are needed for the health of the church. How do I know? Because God is a sovereign God, and these men and their heresies continue to deceive.

Now, I don't know the complete answer to the why question, of course. Are they a judgment because of where the church is today, spiritually? Maybe.

Are they the simply natural byproduct of the poor theological emphasis and training of our churches? Perhaps.

But I think Martin Luther said something like, "God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick." These are here for a reason, and we…