Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Spurgeon barely lived 58 years, suffered from bouts with depression, was a workaholic who also cared for an invalid wife but he was also God's chosen instrument to build the first modern megachurch and influence pastors for generations to come as the "Prince of Preachers."
If you don't know anything about Spurgeon then I would recommend clicking over to Desiring God (link to the left) and looking for Piper's 1995 biographical lecture (Piper delivers an hour long bio on a different Christian thinker every year at the Desiring God conference and they are all well worth reviewing). The fine bloggers at Pyromaniacs (link also found to the left) deliver a "Weekly Dose of Spurgeon" and definitely check out The Spurgeon Archive at www.spurgeon.org
One of my favorite Spurgeon sayings was during a sermon when he essentially said "I preach the Gospel. I preach Calvinism but I repeat myself." Awesome!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Matt Chandler is the teaching pastor of The Village in Dallas, Texas. Matt has become one of the most downloaded speakers at iTunes Religion & Spirituality podcast section and was God's chosen instrument to take the Village from 168 attendees to more than 5000 in less than 5 years.
Matt was interviewed by Mark Driscoll before the former spoke at The Resurgence Text & Context Conference in March. The video and audio are available at theresurgence.com. I highly recommend it.
As an aside, I discovered that Matt and I overlapped time in Abilene, Texas. I was starting seminary at Abilene Christian University while he was finishing his Bible degree at Hardin Simmons across town. Moreover, my profs used to complain about a Thursday night ecumenical service off campus ("too conservative", "too Calvinisit", "too charismatic"). Turns out that Matt Chandler was the one who founded and led the service. Small world.
Monday, May 26, 2008
I grew up in the '80's when Patriotism was in, Ronald Reagan was President & had the Russkies on the run and a wonderfully awesome thing called hair metal ruled the Billboard charts! As I was sitting here on this Memorial Day thinking about the brave men and women who have defended this great nation, I listened intently to the tools over Sirius Radio countdown their pathetic attempt at the 100 Greatest Hair Metal Songs. It took me back to the days when I donned two earrings, ripped jeans and black tee shirts while my stereo pumped out the awesomeness of GNR, L.A. Guns, KISS, Dokken, etc.
As patriotic images echoed throughout my noggin to the sounds of RATT and Whitesnake on my satellite radio, it reminded me that many courageous men and women are still missing in action and that many rad hair bands have been too easily forgotten.
Oh, sure, most Americans have heard of Bon Jovi, Van Halen and even Twisted Sister but how many of you have ever rocked out to Black 'N Blue? Some of you may remember Quiet Riot's gnarly cover of Slade's "Cum' on Feel the Noize" but how many of you ever cranked your cassette player to "The Wild & The Young" from the forgotten album QRIII?
Such a tragedy demands a response or, to quote one of my favorite films, "I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part" and I'm just the guy to do it!
So, over at my Myspace blog (myspace.com/mrrrawlings) , I will soon begin the A-Z of friggin' awesome but forgotten hair metal videos. Enjoy and God bless America!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
I worked in electoral politics for more than 5 years and sometimes you can feel the wind blowing one way or the other and this year's breeze feels like a Democrat storm.
Dems have already won special elections this year in heavily Republican congressional districts in Illinois and Mississippi. They are leading in several Senate races that pundits predicted should have been safe = Democrat Tsunami.
Dems could win another 20 House seats and 5 or more Senate seats. Obama also obviously starts with a huge monetary advantage over McCain.
My only problem with any of this is that we are only one Supreme Court Justice away from overturning Roe v. Wade, which would return the decision to the individual states and would stop abortions in at least a dozen states which would save thousands, if not tens of thousands of lives. Constitutionally, it would return the issue to the states where the Founders left it at the beginning of the Republic (yes, they knew about abortion).
Before you vote this year, do yourself a favor and rent the documentary Unborn in the USA, an even handed look at the abortion debate. If you have a subscription to Netflix (and I recommend that as well) then you can watch it instantly on-line.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
By John Piper September 10, 1984
Masturbation is the experience of sexual orgasm produced by self-stimulation. Virtually every man and almost as many women have tried it. It is a regular practice of most single men.
One of the major forces preventing young people from obeying the call of God into vocational Christian service is defeat in the area of lust. A teenager hears a challenging call to throw himself into the cause of world evangelization. He feels the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He tastes the thrill of following the King of kings into battle. But he does not obey because he is masturbating regularly. He feels guilty. He can hardly imagine witnessing to a pretty girl about the eternal plight of her soul, because he has so habitually looked at girls naked in his imagination. So he feels unworthy and unable to obey the call of God. Masturbation becomes the enemy of missions.
Is masturbation wrong? Let me address the issue mainly for men. I cannot imagine sexual orgasm in the loins without sexual image in the mind. I know there are nocturnal emissions, which I regard as innocent and helpful, but I doubt that they are ever orgasmic apart from a sexual dream that supplies the necessary image in the mind. Evidently God has constituted the connection between sexual orgasm and sexual thought in such a way that the force and pleasure of orgasm is dependent on the thought or images in our minds.
Therefore in order to masturbate, it is necessary to get vivid and exciting thoughts or images into the mind. This can be done by pure imagination or by pictures or movies or stories or real persons. These images always involve women as sexual objects. I use the word “object” because in order for a women to be a true sexual “subject” in our imagination she must in reality be one with whom we are experiencing what we are imagining. This is not the case with masturbation.
So I vote no on masturbation. There may be other reasons why it is wrong. For now I rest my vote on the inevitable sexual images which accompany masturbation and which turn women into sexual objects. The sexual thoughts that enable masturbation do not help any man to treat women with greater respect. Therefore masturbation produces real and legitimate guilt and stands in the way of obedience.
Three encouragements to single men:
You are not alone in the battle.
Periodic failure in this area no more disqualifies you from ministry than periodic failures of impatience (which is also a sin).
Pursue the expulsive power of a new affection. I walked by a whole section of “photography” books at the Walker Art Center last Thursday empowered by the better pleasure of feeling Christ conquer the temptation to look.
For the sake of your power,
Saturday, May 17, 2008
The left and the media have gone bonkers over the last few days skewering President Bush's comparison of the liberal push (adopted by Obama) to open diplomatic talks with terrorist groups like Hamas and nations that sponsor them like Iran and Syria with the failed attempt to appease Hitler in the build-up to World War II.
They've called Bush "divisive" and labeled his remarks "inappropriate" but who, if any, in the mainstream media have asked the question, "is Bush right?"
Neville Chamberlin and his fellow liberals truly believed that they could reason Hitler away from his sick dream of conquering Europe and eradicating Jews, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. Obama and his followers also seem to truly believe that they can construe some heretofore undiscovered nugget of logic that will persuade Iran to love the Israelis, Hamas to give up power and hug a Jew and the North Koreans to lay down their arms...and they make fun of Bush????
Does anybody with half a brain really believe that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will stop denying the holocaust, recognize Israel's right to exist, halt a quest for nuclear weapons and cease funding terrorist groups because he and Barack become peeps? If you do believe it then do yourself a favor and throw out your bong.
The only thing that anti-Semitic, half-crazed, inbred tard will ever possibly do is to become the first mass murdering fascist to make business casual all the rage. I mean honestly what's with the rumpled clothes from J.C. Penny? Doesn't he look like a creepy high school math teacher who gets flipped off a lot behind his back? And is that a Member's Only Jacket? What is he, the last member?
Well, hey, there is a great chance that Obama will get elected and get the chance to sit down and rap with the clear headed, rational dictators of foreign nations publicly dedicated to eradicating Israel and killing all of us. Barack will then follow in the footsteps of great diplomats like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton who also promised to talk their way into a lasting peace in the middle east--that worked so well, didn't it?
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
For years, the substance of the sermon series has actually been the curriculum for the church's new member class.
While information is not the same as transformation, it is a necessary component to continuing growth as a soldier for our King and a integral weapon in the fight to expand His Kingdom. Subscribe at iTunes or check out the link to Mars Hill to the left.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I sat there watching people watching me and praying that God wouldn't let me die just yet when it struck me--I had been praying for some time to be nothing more than a humble servant and often humility demands humiliation.
The romantic pictures of the cross do not paint an accurate portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus (read the book Crucifixion by Martin Hengel) for the one whom all creation was made would have been stripped naked and nailed to a piece of wood that was blood stained from having been used several times before. Moreover, Jesus, like all men, would have lost control of his bodily functions before or at the time of his death. The King of all creation would have been naked, beaten and stained in blood, urine and feces.
We cannot serve without humility and humility often demands humiliation.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Now the Republican Party has finally nominated a person who is pro-life but also believes in global warming, openly challenged the Bush Administration on their Iraq War policy (while still humanely maintaining that any sudden pullout, like the one advocated by Obama, would result in a bloody ethnic civil war) and has pushed hard to cut government spending to accompany any reductions in taxes. Moreover, McCain is no "chicken hawk" but a true American hero.
So why are so many evangelicals, especially younger ones, running to Obama? Because of well written speeches about "hope" and "change" without any real substance to them? Because of his personality? Now those reasons would obviously be too shallow to move such deep thinkers (note sarcasm).
Well, maybe its because they want a true centrist? But Obama has one of the most extreme voting records in the senate while McCain does have a true moderate record. Well, perhaps its because Obama works with others so well and we desperately need bipartisanship? Yet, in interviews Obama has yet to point to a single instance where he has crossed party lines to work on bipartisan legislation.
Long live the cult of personality I guess!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Moreover, Brian McLaren writes "many of us don't know what to think of homosexuality" and proposed a moratorium on any determination about the issue until scholars and pastors had time to dialogue about it but then Brian turns around and begins baptizing openly gay people alongside Jay Baker in Arkansas.
Tony Jones, McLaren and others have said on the one hand that they have never denied penal substitutionary atonement but then they make fun of evangelicals for adhering to the doctrine.
D.A. Carson states that a "prominent member of the emergent movement" (most likely Rob Bell) wrote a 10+ page email to Carson challenging him in regard to his book "Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church." Carson responded with a 15 page email documenting everything he wrote in the book about this person and asked him (again, probably Bell) to point out where he was wrong. Probably Bell's terse response was "I guess we don't have anything to talk about." Well now, there's "authenticity" for you!
Everyone knows that Brian McLaren believes you can be openly gay and be a Christian. Everyone knows that Tony Jones doesn't believe in penal substitutionary atonement and Probably Bell knows that Carson quoted him correctly. When they admit it...then they can claim to be "authentic."
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
In the meantime, check out Christianity Today online for the continuing dialogue between Emergent Village Director Tony Jones and Colin Hansen, CT Editor & author of the new book "Young, Restless and Reformed" over the two respective movements.
Also shoot over to my Myspace page blog for a Nightline clip featuring N.T. Wright speaking about life after life after death. Links can be found to the left.
Check back for more on what I am calling "Project Mayhem."
Monday, May 5, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
1:13-15 Pertinent facts
1:16-17 Thesis statement
1:18-15:13 Supporting argument
1:18-32 Immoral people are guilty before God
2:1-16 Moral people are guilty too
2:17-3:8 Even religious people are guilty
3:9-20 The whole world is guilty before God
3:21-31 We are made right with God only by our belief in-, trust in- and loyalty to King Jesus.
4:1-25 Belief in-, trust in- and loyalty to God has always been the way we are made right with God e.g., Abraham.
5:1-21 Adam infected the world with sin but Jesus came to reverse that effect.
6:1-23 Our King has set us free from the oppressive regime of sin.
7:1-25 We continue to struggle with sin and we cannot rescue ourselves.
8:1-17 Yet, thanks to our King's actions we are set free
8:18-39 and our King has promised us a great future BUT in the meantime we are called to suffer with him.
9:1-29 But how can we count on God if He turned His back on Israel? God is faithful but He has the right to elect who He wants to for it is all His.
9:30-10:21 Besides, God did not turn His back on them, they turned their back on Him.
11:1-36 Moreover, birth does not make one a member of God's covenant community--faith does. There was (and is) a remnant of Jews and Gentiles who are loyal to God and they are the true "Israel."
12:1-21 What a person made right with God should act like.
13:1-14:1-23 What a transformed community of God looks like.
15:1-13 For always keep the example of Jesus in mind.
15:14-33 Paul's ministry (and theirs and ours) is to reach out to all people everywhere.
16:1-27 Final remarks.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Narratio (facts) 1:13-15
Propositio (thesis) 1:16-17
Probatio (argument) 1:18-15:13
Peroratio (conclusion) 15:14-16:23
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Here is my translation of Chapter 16:
I send to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. Welcome her in the name of our King as one who is worthy of respect among God's chosen people. Help her in anyway she needs for she has been of great assistance to many, especially to me!
Give my best to Priscilla and Aquilla, my fellow soldiers of King Jesus. In fact, they once risked their lives for me! I am grateful for them and so are the churches among the nations. Also give my best to the church that meets in their home.
Welcome my close friend Epenetus, he was the first person from the area of Asia to pledge loyalty to the King. Say hello to Mary for me. She has worked so hard for your sake.
Also say hello to Andronicus and Junia, my fellow countrymen, who were in prison with me. They shine among the Apostles! They fought for King before I did!
Welcome Ampliatus, my close friend and fellow soldier. Great Urbanus, another soldier for our King, and my buddy Stachys.
Say hello to Apelles, a good person who our King approves and give my best to the believers from the family of Aristobulus. Give my best to Herodian my fellow countryman. Warmly welcome the King's followers from the family of Narcissus. Give my best to Tryphena and Tryphosa, the King's loyal soldiers and to my friend Persis who has struggled for the King.
Welcome Rufus whom the King chose to be his very own and also to his dear mother who has been like a mother to me.
Say hello to Asyncrtius, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and their families. Also, send my best to Philogus, Julia, Nereus and his sister and to Olympas and all the believers who meet with them.
Greet each other warmly. All the gatherings of our King across the known world send you their best.
And now I must make one more request, my family. Watch out for those who cause trouble and shake people's belief in- and trust in our King by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them! These people are not serving King Jesus; they are serving their own selfish desires. They preach polished sermons filled with cute stories which seduce the naive.
Everyone, however, knows that YOU are obedient to the King and this makes me happy. I just want you to be wise, do what is right and avoid evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your boots. May you dwell in the divine favor of King Jesus.
Timothy, my fellow soldier, sends you his best as does Lucius, Jason and Sosipater my fellow countrymen.
I, Tertius, the one writing down Paul's words for you send my best too as a soldier of King Jesus.
Gaius says hello to you. He is our host and also hosts the entire church here. Erastus, the city treasurer, sends you his best and so does our brother Quartus.
Now, all honor and worship to God who is able to make you strong, just as the Good News says. This message about King Jesus has revealed His plan for you among the nations, a plan kept secret from the very beginning of time but now, as the prophets foretold just as eternal God commanded them, this message is made know to all the nations across the world, so that they too might believe and obey the King.
All honor and worship to the only wise God through King Jesus forever, Amen!