Showing posts from July, 2011

What is the real problem with youth ministry?

"Divided," a film raising interesting points and claiming to have solutions, might not provide all it advertises.  Lyndon Unger provides us with a fitting critique of it as well as his thoughts as to the real problem: youth pastors.

Video: What do animals teach us about God?

(You may need to download a plug-in to view the video on this page.)

Chris W. Ashcraft, MS., M.Ed.
Seattle Creation Conference, October 2009 Download this video: Lower quality 13MB Med. quality 111MB Hi. Quality 245MB Purchase DVD PowerPoint: View PPT file Download 41MB ZIP of PPT & Video 413MB

About the video:

FF: Chuck Norris Bible


Is Norway Shooter Anders Behring Breivik a Christian?

In a word, no.  Slimjim points out that the shooter was possibly an agnostic or atheist (without a doubt a Darwinist) who touted "cultural Christianity" as opposed to a religious one.  Note this quote from the manifesto:
A majority of so called agnostics and atheists in Europe are cultural conservative Christians without even knowing it. So what is the difference between cultural Christians and religious Christians? If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian. (Page 1307)
The media identifies this tragedy as Norway's worst since WWII.  Indeed, and here's the sad reality: this blond-haired assailant, with some nuance, demonstrated the same thinking that precipitated and fueled those horrors.

What does it mean for children to obey their parents?

We know we should teach obedience, but in what ways does this apply?  What does Scripture say about our obedience to our parents?
Scripture repeatedly underscores and expands the Fifth Commandment principle, teaching us that honoring our parents involves obeying them (Deuteronomy 21:18-21; Ephesians 6:1); honoring them with our words (Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9; Proverbs 20:20; 30:11); showing them respect in every way (Leviticus 19:3), even with our facial expressions (Proverbs 30:17); hearkening to their council (Proverbs 23:22-25); and not treating them lightly in any sense (Deuteronomy 27:16; Ezekiel 22:7).  A child's duty to honor parents does not cease even when the child becomes an adult.  The inviolability of this law was affirmed by Jesus Himself, who condemned the Pharisees for inventing a way for grownups to circumvent the Fifth Commandment ... (Mark 7:9-13).(John MacArthur, What the Bible Says About Parenting, pp. 108-109)

Story: "Don't Waste Your Cancer"

John Piper's battle with prostate cancer birthed a stirring blog post and booklet entitled "Don't Waste Your Cancer."  Written on the eve of surgery, his main points were these:  You will waste your cancer if... do not believe it is designed for you by believe it is a curse and not a seek comfort from your odds rather than from refuse to think about think that “beating” cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest grieve as those who have no treat sin as casually as fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ. I encourage you to read Piper's post, which David Prowlison from CCEF augmented with his own biblical reflections after receiving his cancer diagnosis. 

FF: So, the Dali Lama walks into the Today Show, and says...

When jokes go awry:

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Genetic Variability by Design

Chris Ashcraft, "Genetic Variability by Design" Journal of Creation 18(2) 2004 (Read technical review) Download this video: Lower quality 22MB Med. quality 142MB Audio PowerPoint: View PPT file

About the video:

New alleles are accumulating rapidly in living populations and cellular mechanisms have not been adequately sought to explain the intentional production of these changes. Homologous DNA recombination occurs in all organisms and is at the heart of genetics. Since its discovery during meiosis, these reactions were assumed to occur randomly along the length of chromosomes, and only involved with gene crossovers. It is now well known that meiotic recombination is not the random process it was originally assumed to be, and controlled by highly organized regulatory systems. In addition, a form of homologous recombination has been discovered which is responsible for creating diversity in variable genes, and was recently linked to single base-pair substitutions in immunoglobulins. Ne…

Finding a good passage to preach

Words belong to sentences, and sentences usually belong to paragraphs, scenes, stropes, or larger units within the grammar of a genre. This is why I urge that a good expositional sermon never take less than a full paragraph, or its literary equivalent (e.g., a scene, a strope, or the like), as a basis. The reason is clear: Only the full paragraph, or its equivalent, contains one full idea or concept of that text. To split off some of its parts is to play with the text as if it could be bent in any fashion in order to accomplish what we think is best (p. 54).Kaiser, Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament

"Gay" Marriage

(Repost from Nov. 2008)

James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries posted a five part debate between himself and sociologist professor Michael Schutz on the topic of gay marriage. Schutz, taking the "pro" side of the debate, claims to be a Christian himself, though it is interesting to see what he appeals to as his authority.

If anything, the debate is worth watching just for James White's opening remarks on the value of marriage. Enjoy!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

PSA: "I am going to have a great year this year with this!!"

Spam message made it past my filter; approach with caution.
Hey Shaun how have you been? I want to let you in on this , I am going to have a great year this year with this!! Read this and see what you think it's on google One mustn't let technique be the consciously important thing. It should be at the service of expressing the form. -- Henry Moore
I noticed this same message on other sites... different quotations seem to be the only differences.

Did the Spirit lead you to do that?

Twice the Bible uses the phrase "led by the Spirit."  Cripplegate points out a startling fact about those instances: they both refer to the mortification of sin (killing sin in our lives).  With this comes a warning: don't use this phrase as a way to validate and deputize your gut-feeling... Scripture is our sole authority.

FF: How to use chopsticks


Relevance without relevance

We do not preach only passages we believe will be relevant, but the whole council of God.  He is the authority we seek, not our own ideas.  Similarly, we do not change the meaning of the text to fit particular niches.

Yet, in avoiding the trend of relevancy in preaching, we do not want to give the impression that the text is irrelevant.  What is in the text but, "The Spirit says," present-tense?  Kaiser, in Toward an Exegetical Theology, points out one way preachers do this without knowing it.
The main pitfall to avoid in formulating these main points of the message is that of using dated statements. The tendency is to merely transfer from the text all proper names, places, incidents, and descriptions. This of course immediately makes more difficult a modern audience’s efforts to hear God’s “new” word to their generation from an admittedly old text. Therefore, the teacher or preacher will be well advised to delete all proper names from his main points (except for God’s na…

How Much Did The Golden Plates Weigh?


FF: Dislike traditional small group Bible studies?

Well, here's a new model to consider:

Montoya: The cry of the pastor

From Alex Montoya's Preaching with Passion:
Preaching is not merely an exercise in speech or oratory. Preaching is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end, and that being the helping of another human being. Preaching is one soul pleading to another, “Be reconciled to God!” (2 Cor. 5:20). Some men become preachers because they love the task, the accompanying glory, and the feeling of power. But such will never preach with passion. It is the burden for others that creates passion in our preaching. “Others” becomes our pastoral cry! (55).

Two must-read posts on parenting

Every way we try to make our kids good that isn’t rooted in the good news of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ is damnable, crushing, despair-breeding, Pharisee-producing law....

Good manners have been elevated to the level of Christian righteousness.

Both of these posts are from Elyse Fitzpatrick at The Resurgence:
Do You Teach Your Kids the Gospel or Law?The Danger of Moralistic Parenting

Reaching Millennials

The free book download this month over at Christian Audio is The Millennials.

Here is the book description and video teaser:

At more than 78 million strong, the Millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000—have surpassed the Boomers as the larger and more influential generation in America. Now, as its members begin to reach adulthood, where the traits of a generation really take shape, best-selling research author Thom Rainer (Simple Church) and his son Jess (a Millennial born in 1985) present the first major investigative work on Millennials from a Christian worldview perspective.Sure to interest even the secularists who study this group, The Millennials is based on 1200 interviews with its namesakes that aim to better understand them personally, professionally, and spiritually. Chapters report intriguing how-and-why findings on family matters (they are closer-knit than previous generations), their desire for diversity (consider the wave of mixed race and ethnic adoptions), Millennial…

Interview with Mormon Fundamentalist

Extra info provided by Aaron:
Conversation between Aaron Shafovaloff of Mormonism Research Ministry and Jared of "The Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" / CORRECTION
There were multiple leaders named Joseph Fielding Smith in Mormonism, and they are known as Joseph F. Smith (1838 - 1918) and Joseph Fielding Smith (1876 - 1971). Both opposed the Adam-God idea. The first, Joseph F. Smith, was the one who signed off on the 1916 First Presidency Statement promoting the new Elohim/Jehovah naming convention. Heber J. Grant succeeded Joseph F. Smith.RELEVANT LEADER PROFILES: TERMINOLOGY:
"Adam-God doctrine"
"Curse of Cain"

An example of what still makes this a good nation

For your Independence Day edification:

Like most stories, we probably won't know the details such as motivations and the like.  I prefer to take it at face value, with the hopes that this was a kind, Christian gesture.

A Poem: The Undamaged Bell

May the celebrations of this great day The family, the freedom of our play Remind us of the blood formerly shed The sacrifices that are still now made Free from a king Let freedom ring!
Without cracks, pure Freedom can ring in souls Through The One we need only to behold The King, crowned with our sin around His head Rebels surrender and find their debt paid Free for The King Let Freedom ring!

SchoolHouse Rock - America Rock

Here are a view cartoons for your kids (admit it, it's for you!) this 4th:

No More Kings


Shot Heard 'Round the World




Elbow Room




FF: Our forefathers rocked!

I'm not sure if this is a repost, because I remember typing this sometime in the distant past.  Oh well.  This well-done video is by education group Soomo Publishing and was done as a spoof of Timbaland's "Apologize". Don't let images of Weird Al or Mark Lowry dance in your head with that statement, as I'm undecided as to whether the satire is better than the original.

For past Independence Day humor, revisit Sam the Eagle's patriotic greeting.