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Showing posts from 2010

Bad Preaching

"The preacher, instead of looking out upon the world, looks out upon public opinion, trying to find out what the public would like to hear. Then he tries his best to duplicate that, and bring his finished product into a marketplace in which others are trying to do the same. The public, turning to our church culture to find out about the world, discovers there is nothing but its own reflection." (Os Guinness, Dining with the Devil, 59)

A Short Stop in Princeton University

On our way to VA, we stopped off in Princeton, NJ and got a chance to walk around the University for awhile. Actually it was incidental, I was sleeping as Jess drove for awhile.  When I woke up we were in downtown Princeton, and we had to stop and take a look around.

Out of our country's earliest major universities (Harvard, Yale, and Princeton), Princeton was the last to go liberal. Men like Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, B B Warfield, and Machen held off the tide of Enlightenment philosophy against Biblical authority for an extra few generations.

I have to say the architecture at Princeton was absolutely stunning! Far exceeding anything I've seen at Harvard (haven't been to Yale yet). Jess and I's first impression walking around campus was that there were two types of students there: rich privileged kids enjoying themselves and scholarship kids scared to death of failing!

Though I think it is probably too late to hope that Princeton Theological Seminary wil…

C S Lewis on Humility

I've always been challenged by Lewis description of Humility. A humble person is someone who constantly focuses on others rather than him/herself. It is also someone who willingly admits that pride is everlurking in his/her heart. He writes in Mere Christianity:

"Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody.

Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.

If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.

If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever…

Courage

Tasting Life: An argument against anti-depressants as a first option

First let me say, for many medication (anti-anxiety, anti-depressants, etc.) is the only responsible option. Hear me say this before you read the rest of this post: Medication may be what you should be doing. But I have a sneaking suspicion that many of us are medicating life, not disorders.

Are you afraid of depression? Are you afraid of anxiety? Are you afraid of fear? If you are, do you know what that makes you? human. I am not being facetious. Perhaps it is better to speak personally. I look back on my life and can remember with pain the difficult times. A time of depression during my freshman year of college. Fears over major life decisions. Intense pain and emotional hurt. And yet all of these things have made me into who I am. What if I didn’t have them? What if instead of dealing with them, instead of seeking the face of God through them, I simply numbed myself towards them? It would have been to my loss not gain.

There is something else. Life is short. We li…

The Devil doesn't play fair

I've been a Christian for 18 years now, over half my life. I've learned a few things about living the Christian life, like how to study the Bible, how to pray, how to worship. I've also learned a few things about how to resist sin. Sin is fleeting, sin is always deceptive, sin is destructive. But, even now I am confronted with aspects of sin that still surprise me. Sin is ingenious and the devil is witty. They conspire to create seemingly irresistible temptations for us. If you expect sin to be easy to overcome, think again.

The devil does not play fair. What looks so 'good' is often evil. What looks so 'right' is often wrong. What looks so 'satisfying' is often an empty trap. Sin comes to us like a delicious fruit, not like rotten meat. It comes to us with a smiling face, not with a look of disgust. It seems so desirable until we taste it and feel its bitterness slowly making its way down our throats.

But remember there is always a way …

7 Questions an Atheist Cannot Answer

#1 Why is something right or wrong?

Atheists may believe something is right or wrong, they may even live very moral lives, but they cannot give you a reason to do what is right as opposed to what is wrong. If there is no God, then there is no objective standard of right and wrong. If there is no Law-giver, there is no transcendent Law. Steal, kill, and lie...or don't, whatever you choose.

#2 Why is human life valuable?

An atheist may tell you that human beings are high-up on the food chain, even that they are complex and intelligent. But they cannot offer a reason why human life is more valuable than any other animal, insect, or even plant life. Then again, what makes living beings more valuable than non-living objects, like a rock? Or non-living objects more valuable than nothing at all? In fact, the idea of anything having 'value' must be ousted from an atheist perspective (You can say something is valuable for survival, but not inherently valuable, as survival is n…

Trip to Providence, Rhode Island

More historic New England day trips. Recently we took a family trip to Providence, RI. What a clean, historic, and beautiful town. It was yet another New England gem that I never visited (at least that I can remember) until now. The kids loved it, although as you can see Isaac is not a big fan of taking pictures.
Providence was founded by Roger Williams, an early Baptist minister who founded the town based on religious freedom in the early part of the 17th century. The first two pictures are at the Roger Williams memorial, the second two at the First Baptist Church in America (the oldest Baptist church in America, that as far as I know has sadly gone liberal). We also took a trip over to Brown University and walked through their bookstore...and fed my insatiable love for books.
What an important reminder that the gospel can never be forced upon people. The gospel must be received, personally and willfully by the individual, as God first works in us. As much as I love Calvin, L…

With sincere respect...our Hope is elsewhere

Politics are important. And, there is nothing wrong with hoping for a better nation and more competent leaders. We should pray diligently for those entrusted with decision making for our nation. But Christians should remember where our hope ultimately rests. Not in ANY politician...but in a King.