Saturday, August 30, 2008

the Bible was not written to you but for you

I was reading through one of John Walton's Genesis commentaries the other day. In it he laid some good hermeneutical foundations. I thought you'd like to read over them. Always good to keep in mind, especially since we generally make the Bible about us and our puny little problems.
  1. We must allow the text to pursue its own agenda, not force it to pursue ours.
  2. We must be committed to the intention of the author rather than getting whatever mileage we can out of the words he used.
  3. We must resist over-interpreting the text in order to derive the angle we are seeking.
  4. We must be willing to have our minds changed by the text - that it is at least part of the definition of submitting ourselves to the authority of the text.
  5. We must be willing to accept the inevitable disappointment if the text does not address or solve the questions we would like answers to.

this guy just moved in down the street from me. oh happy day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Charles and John Wesley were brothers. They wrote dozens of amazing songs. You probably know and sing more of them than you realize. They founded one of the biggest denominations in North America - the Methodists. They started it all at Oxford with about 25 guys. These guys called themselves "the Holy Club." They were hugely influential in the Great Awakening in the mid-1700s.


An Anglican priest has just decoded Charles Wesley's diary. Charles left out vowels, punctuation, and included other quirky shorthands. The 270-year mystery reveals huge struggles he had with his brother John during their ministry. It says that Charles even attempted to sabotage John's wedding. These dark revelations are astounding.

Read more

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I hate, I despise, I loathe masked piety. I detest the jerk in the mirror every morning. The venemous viper of pride seems to always lurk in God's garden of my soul. Why can't other people see?! Are they blind?! Why don't they think?! Am I the only one who knows what's going on here?!?! He resists the Jim, oops, I mean the proud; He gives grace to the humble. I can't be counted among that number - the humble!

Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! He has done it all! He found me in my sin. He is my substitute. He has given me of His Spirit. He bought me with a price. I am His and He is mine. His mercy is new every morning. I cannot cause the reservoir of "grace upon grace" to every be emptied of the smallest drop. I have died with Jesus. I have risen with Jesus.

Herein lies my humility.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Well, I've got 1 week down and 35 to go. No biggie. The first week was good. The kids are good. There's a little over 6 trillion 10th graders [at least this is what it feels like]. I've actually got the names down for probably over 100 of my 135 students. That makes me feel good. One thing that irks me though is this:

The kids that you want in your classes, that eat up what you say - they're quiet and well behaved. But the kids that want to talk and gab and carry class discussion because it means that get to flap their yapper - nobody is praying for a class full of them. Anywho. It's just a fun tension to deal with and of course, an over-generalization.

Aside from these things, Lord - please give me more grace. I'm way humbled that my job is the Bible. I get paid for this. How absurd, yet glorious!


I love reading the Scriptures. It's fun, convicting, hope-giving, puzzling, and enlightening. I specifically love reading the Scriptures when Southern Baptist sermon outlines jump off the page at me. Here's the one that leaped out of Matthew 10 this morning [read the passage here].

Jesus was teaching his disciples about discipleship and about what they would face as they went out. He said that if they "called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign" you [10.25]? But then he commanded them not to fear [10.26]. Those who hate you [10.22] can only kill the body, but God can cast both body and soul into hell [10.28].


But then, immediately following his shuttering statement about God throwing people's bodies and souls into hell, he mentions cute little birdies [10.29]. He says that one of them never dies apart from the Father. Then, if his previous transition from hell to cute little birdies wasn't odd enough, he goes from cute little birdies to the Father's precision in counting each hair on your head [10.30]. Finally, he returns to the little birdies by saying, "So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows" [10.31].

The primary thing Jesus is saying to his disciples in 10.24-31 is simple - "Do not fear!" But why the mention of birds and stuff?

[here is where the mighty SBC sermon outline kicks in]

Jesus is etching in the brains of his followers that his Father is sovereign and wise over SOULS, SPARROWS, and SCALPS. He is the one who can throw bodies
and souls into hell. He is the one watches over every sparrow. He is the one who know the 740 hairs on your uncle's head and the 20,740 on yours.

So, if the Father is wields His good providence over all things and you are out to make Him known - "Do not fear! He's in control of souls, sparrows, and scalps."

Friday, August 22, 2008

good sources to read on determinism, the problem of evil, etc

This is classic Al Mohler, always providing some sort of culturally nuanced analysis of whatever topic. Excellent read.

This entry has a great PDF that should be downloaded. It's section entitled "What does a biblical approach to the problem of evil include?" is really good.

Here, John Frame gives good insights in an interview. Here are some questions he is asked:
  • People often think that the logical problem of evil is a problem primarily for theists. Would you say that it is at least equally problematic for atheists? Why?
  • It is not uncommon for people to assert, "God does not cause evil; he only permits it." Why do you disagree with that? What verbs do you prefer to use to explain God’s relationship to evil?
  • What advice would you give to Christians who are wrestling with the emotional problem of evil?

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Ezekiel was in exile with stubborn, rebellious, obstinate Israel. At least that's what God called them [2.3-4]. They didn't want to hear what Zeke had to say. I wouldn't either.

Ezekiel was telling them that they were whores who, spiritually speaking, "spread your legs to every passer-by to multiply your harlotry" [16.25]. He even told Israel that they were so okay with prostituting YHWH's covenant love that they quit charging for their whoredom and gave gifts to their lovers instead [16.33-34]. These are powerful words. If they are offensive it is because you don't understand the gravity of your disposition before apart from His kindness. I'm in this boat. But still, this is a metaphor.

The thing that Ezekiel says that really gets me is not a metaphor or word picture, but a bare reality. Maybe that is why it stings so sharply. It could also be so because it is aimed right at leaders and preachers. Israel's "priests have made no distinction between the holy and profane" [22.26] and her prophets see "false visions and divining lies, saying 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' when the Lord has not spoken" [22.28]. This is why YHWH pours out His indignation and anger. They have long deserved it!


He will remember His covenant [16.60]. And He will be king over Israel [20.33]. YHWH will purge rebellion and transgression from His people [20.38]. He will send His servant shepherd David [34.23] to give new hearts of flesh where hearts of stone once were [36.22-27]. Dry bones will live again [37.3-14].

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

funny [i read this on my bro's blog quotes]

"I don't have a gambling problem. I'm winning. I've got a winning problem, and that's like saying Def Leppard has an awesomeness problem. So ya'll can just pour some sugar on that."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

my catholic priest uncle-in-law takes a jab at fellowship/community churches. hehe.


first day of school blues

Well, tomorrow I become a teacher. Gee, am I terrified. I get to teach Redemptive History and Systematic Theology to 10th and 11th grade. Should be fun.

God has blessed me with a good education. If you asked me to on the spot talk about post-Reformation ecclesiology for an hour, I wouldn't sweat a drop. But the administrative insanities will definitely stretch me.

One thing that is likely on your mind, if you know me at all, is - what in the heck is that kid going to wear [dear Art, I know you thought this]? What about my dad's old v-neck t-shirt that he used to check the oil with, my stellar cut-off jeans shorts, showerless trendy bed-head, and of course... no zapatos? Actually, I've been shopping. Fear not. Goodwill has purty clothes too.

Anywho, my excitement equals my horror. So, you're more than welcome to pray for me as I take this next vocational step. Shalom.

Sunday, August 3, 2008