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Thursday, December 31, 2009

What questions are we asking?

Thought this was interesting. What questions are we asking? What questions are we neglecting?

The Gospel Provides the Questions : Kingdom People

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Are blogs booming or busting?

Justin Taylor posted a summary of Trevin Wax's idea of the current state of the "blogosphere." You can read Justin's summary here. You can read Trevin's post here. Some of his thoughts are right on.

The new waves of technology and the fast access we have to information on the internet can be overwhelming, but at the end of the day an individual remains limited by his or her capacity for intake regardless of what browsers or social platforms they use. I for one can be a glutton for information so I must be intentional to push my "information plate" away when I am full.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Preparing to Prepare (for the New Year)

The New Year isn't here just yet, but I am preparing for it.  I'm downstairs in my office cleaning out old files; reorganizing boxes of things I want to keep; updating my mac to Snow Leopard; ongoing reflection of the past year as I think forward to the upcoming one. 

(Also playing a little Super Nintendo; that's right-I am playing Super Mario World, which I haven't played in over 10 years.  It is amazing how much you remember as if it was yesterday.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Incarnation Day (part 3)

The following are some excerpts from the first two chapters of On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius.

Creation and the Fall (some excerpts)

"Now in dealing with these matters it is necessary first to recall what has already been said. You must understand why it is that the Word of the Father, so great and so high, has been made manifest in bodily form. He has not assumed a body as proper to His own nature, far from it, for as the Word He is without body. He has been manifested in a human body for this reason only, out of the love and goodness of His Father, for the salvation of us men. We will begin, then, with the creation of the world and with God its Maker, for the first fact that you must grasp is this: the renewal of creation has been wrought by the Self-same Word Who made it in the beginning. There is thus no inconsistency between creation and salvation for the One Father has employed the same Agent for both works, effecting the salvation of the world through the same Word Who made it in the beginning."

"You may be wondering why we are discussing the origin of men when we set out to talk about the Word’s becoming Man. The former subject is relevant to the latter for this reason: it was our sorry case that caused the Word to come down, our transgression that called out His love for us, so that He made haste to help us and to appear among us. It is we who were the cause of His taking human form, and for our salvation that in His great love He was both born and manifested in a human body. For God had made man thus (that is, as an embodied spirit), and had willed that he should remain in incorruption. But men, having turned from the contemplation of God to evil of their own devising, had come inevitably under the law of death. Instead of remaining in the state in which God had created them, they were in process of becoming corrupted entirely, and death had them completely under its dominion. For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again."

The Divine Dilemma and its Solution in the Incarnation (some excerpts)

"As, then, the creatures whom He had created reasonable, like the Word, were in fact perishing, and such noble works were on the road to ruin, what then was God, being Good, to do? Was He to let corruption and death have their way with them? In that case, what was the use of having made them in the beginning? Surely it would have been better never to have been created at all than, having been created, to be neglected and perish; and, besides that, such indifference to the ruin of His own work before His very eyes would argue not goodness in God but limitation, and that far more than if He had never created men at all. It was impossible, therefore, that God should leave man to be carried off by corruption, because it would be unfitting and unworthy of Himself."

"For naturally, since the Word of God was above all, when He offered His own temple and bodily instrument as a substitute for the life of all, He fulfilled in death all that was required. Naturally also, through this union of the immortal Son of God with our human nature, all men were clothed with incorruption in the promise of the resurrection. For the solidarity of mankind is such that, by virtue of the Word’s indwelling in a single human body, the corruption which goes with death has lost its power over all."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Incarnation Day (part 2)

Happy Incarnation Day (part 2)

This week I have been reading On the Incarnation of Christ by Athanasius.  It is public domain so I recommend that you read it, skim it, meditate on his meditations, and wonder in the fact that Christmas celebrates Jesus' incarnation!  At least look at the first five chapters, which are as follows:

Chapter 1: Creation and the Fall
Chapter 2: The Divine Dilemma and its Solution in the Incarnation
Chapter 3: The Divine Dilemma and its Solution in the Incarnation contin.
Chapter 4: The Death of Christ
Chapter 5: The Resurrection

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Incarnation Day!

No, I don't mean the Jack Black song from Nacho Libre.  I am on vacation in Georgia and loving it!  The next couple of days I will have several posts on reflections leading up to Christmas Day.

We went to my wife's home church this past Sunday.  The morning sermon was about Simeon from from Luke 2.  The pastor incorporated an interesting technique, one I have learned is common for him during Christmas.  He talked from Simeon's perspective in the first person.  It was semi-speculative narrative (for effect) that was rooted in what was described in the text.  It was engaging and was thought-provoking.  If only I can have an ounce of anticipation that Simeon had for the coming Messiah!

The Sunday evening surface was from John 1.  The sermon's main point: desperation.  In light of this advent season and as Christmas approaches I was convicted because I often lack both forward anticipation and my present desperation.  May I know my desperate need and look forward in hopeful anticipation for his salvation!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fail Proof Plan

Tonight I was reminded of two things.  The first is a bottom-up, fail proof plan to end world hunger (joking, but slightly serious).  The second is a personal reflection.

  1. Strategically planned pot-luck dinners.  My wife and I went to a dinner at our church tonight.  It culminated the fall season's small groups and was the children's Christmas program.  By each person/family bringing one dish that can feed 10-12 people, close to 250 people had their fill of some good eats.  Pot-lucks meals feed large groups of people quickly, efficiently, and effectively.  There should be no reason why people go hungry.  It invites people into the community to be embraced and loved on; it encourages individual responsibility and contribution to the whole.
  2. On a personal note–cold fried chicken straight out of the refrigerator tastes so good (breakfast, lunch, or dinner)!
[picture was taken from internet]

    Friday, December 11, 2009


    New Poll: should I use twitter?

    Gotta love 80's music!

    I woke up this morning with this song in my was released in 1989 (I was 8 yrs old).

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    Counseling Situations......and Marriage

    This article posted by JT highlights an email written by D.A. Carson to a young church planter. The church planter contacted Dr. Carson asking for advice on some pastoral concerns in his church: situations in which couples were living together/some had kids prior to conversion, and then one or both have since become Christians. Read the article here.

    The article is insightful and a wonderful case study for pastoral ministry. Reading it made me think of a couple of questions to throw out to you. Think about a comment......maybe we can get a discussion going.

    Saturday, December 5, 2009

    Mark Driscoll interviews R.C. Sproul

    This is really interesting. I have had several conversations with a pastor who draws the line of heresy at "christology," not "soteriology." One can be in error (though not necessarily heresy) with wrong, ill-informed soteriology; however, it is grave heresy if one is wrong about the person and work of Jesus Christ. It makes me think of 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 12:1-2; and the Nicene Creed. Click the link below to see the video.

    Sproul: What Is the Biggest Upcoming Theological Battle?: "Before you click through to hear his answer, it’d be worth pausing to offer your own answer. Here is Sproul’s:" [link and quote comes from JT's blog @ gospelcoalition]

    Any thoughts from you?

    Reading together

    We should read out loud more.
    We should read with other people out loud more.
    We should listen to people read out loud more.

    A couple of recommendations:
    1. read large chunks of Scripture together. I have not read this yet, but it is on my mental wish list for the year. I have heard some good things about it: Unleashing the Word
    2. read other books together. Lately, my wife and I have read Dr. Seuss' Fox on Socks. It is a wonderful tongue twister. The video below is the whole story; we do not read it this fast nor this well.

    Read something about "reading"

    Reading is something most of America takes for granted everyday. But, we should not automatically assume people 1) know how to read; 2) know how to read well; and/or 3) actually read.

    Tim Challie has a couple of posts about reading. Check them out!
    "How to Read and Why"
    "Rapid Reading"
    "Misconceptions About Reading"