31 October 2011

Two Views of October 31- One Thoughtful, One Fun

Today is both Reformation Day and Halloween.  In honor of the former, and in retrospect of the latter, here are two YouTube videos.

John Piper on Halloween.

Piper is introspective and balanced...well worth hearing in you have radicals on either side of the issue screaming at you.

Manic Monday Luther.

This one is just fun, but it is very much historically accurate.

HT: Dan Phillips, DG Blog

27 October 2011

Another Reason to Abandon the NIV 2011

Jim Hamilton (Southern Seminary) has this short article on one more reason why the NIV 2011 is just not the same animal as it's predecessor, the NIV 1984.  Here's the gist of his argument-

"...you could adopt the NIV 2011 as your Bible and it will lessen those 
unpleasant confrontations with things you don’t recognize from 
your own culture. After all, your culture is determinative, right?"

By the way, here's Dr. Hamilton's book.  I'm making my way through it slowly.  It's not a fast read, but it's a keeper.

21 October 2011


If I recall, the world (according to Harold Camping) was supposed to end today, for the second time this year.  (One blogger called this the end of Camping's Reign of Error).  I guess it isn't midnight yet, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

The surprising part isn't, of course, the fact that we're all still here, the surprising part is how much the Christian blogosphere has completely ignored the day.  Maybe they are on eggshells and it will be all over the place tomorrow.  But I doubt it.  Kinda squirrely.

I think this is the thud heard round the blogosphere.  Or not.


Here's real loyalty- this is my 12-y-o daughter, Callie, being loyal to her Cardinals, amidst all the Rangers fans here in Texas.

HT: Coach Land for the photo!

19 October 2011

Free Book! World Tilting Gospel Giveaway

I have a free copy of Dan Phillips' book The World Tilting Gospel for a lucky reader.  This is the first time I've tried a giveaway on this blog, so hopefully all goes well.  Since I don't exactly have a giant audience yet, you have a pretty decent chance of winning!

I'll leave this open for a week or so, so get your entry in soon.

17 October 2011

NIV 2011 and Women

I've commented here in the past about the new NIV bible (NIV 2011) and why I don't like it.  Here is an interesting article by Mary Kassian.  It gives ten reasons, from a woman's perspective, of why the NIV 2011 is bad for women.

Here's a quote:  "Poor little girls. The translators need to change the words of the Bible so our feelings don't get hurt. Boo hoo. Women are so easily offended.  Sorry, . . . but changing the words of the Bible because you think some women might be offended by its language is downright patronizing."

16 October 2011

How 'Bout Them Cards!!

It's going to be a tough world series.  My family is all Cardinals fans, but we live in big-time Rangers country.  My youngest was only three when we left St. Louis, so he's the only one who's ambivalent about for which team to root; we'll see how it shakes out.

The Cardinals gear comes out this week.  We'll be unpopular down here, but some loyalties last forever!


11 October 2011

Bounded Sets

This past Sunday, my SS class started chapter 2 of Galatians.  In the first section, we saw how important it is for us to confront changes to the gospel, while not being confrontational people over non-essential issues.

The Housewife Theologian posted a blog article today that explains very clearly this concept, along with a logical reason why it is both true and important.  She cites a lecture by Don Carson on how we should view fellow believers with whom we don't fully agree on all issues regarding our church practices.  Carson uses a 'sets' illustration from mathematics to create an image of orthodoxy. It was immensely helpful to me; I wish I'd seen it before the lesson last weekend.

Here's her post.

I highly recommend this blog.  You should be reading it regularly.  If you only have time for one blog, dump mine and read hers instead.  I bet she won't put scary math equations up, there.

10 October 2011

Not Creative, But Faithful

I love this paragraph from Michael Horton's The Gospel Commission:

We must never take Christ's work for granted. The gospel is not merely something we take to unbelievers; it is the Word that created and continues to sustain the whole church in its earthly pilgrimage. In addition, we must never confuse Christ's work with our own. There is a lot of loose talk these days about our "living the gospel" or even "being the gospel," as if our lives were the Good News. We even hear it said that the church is an extension of Christ's incarnation and redeeming work, as if Jesus came to provide the moral example or template and we are called to complete his work. But there is one Savior and one head of the church. To him alone all authority is given in heaven and on earth. There is only one incarnation of God in history, and he finished the work of fulfilling all righteousness, bearing the curse, and triumphing over sin and death.

Sometimes I think one of the biggest problems of evangelicalism in our culture is our own emphasis on individuality that leads us to all kinds of creative ways of expressing what we think the Bible teaches.  The problem with this is, we are fallen creatures and what we think the Bible teaches is more often than not flawed.  If we ignore the faithful witness of church history (and who even cares about church history anymore...we can't even respect a hymn if it was written more than sixty days ago!), we are not only prone, but defaulted, to err in our creativity.

We, as witnesses to Christ's kingdom, are not called to be creative, but faithful.  We absolutely cannot be faithful unless we are saturated in the Word (scripture) and diligent in the study of our history of thought.  Those who ignore their theological history are doomed to (heretically) repeat it.

09 October 2011

Finally, A Reformed Theolgian Speaks in the Panhandle

I had what I consider the privilege to hear Dr. Carl Trueman give four lectures on Martin Luther this weekend in Amarillo.  Dr. Trueman is the Academic Dean and Professor of History and Historical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

Dr. Trueman is a gifted story-teller and fascinating speaker. We rarely get this caliber of reformed speaker here.  The Texas Panhandle is the heart of arminian theology (hey, TX is the state that produced Joel Osteen...to our shame).  There aren't any reformed seminaries in this area, and the only ones I know of down-state are extensions of bigger seminaries.  So it is a rare treat to have someone of Dr. Trueman's ability here.

Funny anecdote:  I gave Dr. Trueman one of my Wayland pens I had printed up with Luther's slogan, simul iustus et peccator.  He seemed to like it and told me it would end up on his, 'Luther artifacts' shelf in his office.  I find that funny, in a good sort  of way.

He has all the skills necessary to become a 'celebrity pastor'.  I don't think he'll be pursuing that pedigree, though.

07 October 2011

Wanna Have Nightmares?

Halloween draws nigh.  If you want to have really messed-up sleep for the next few weeks, watch this video clip.

(HT: Biblical Christianity blog)

06 October 2011

A Funny Feeling

Why do I get the funny feeling that the level and depth of theology in this book-

is no different than what's found in this video, which may or may not be of similar title by coincidence?

He Opened His Mouth

Sometimes adversaries are clever; one has to do his homework before he can find evidence of wrongdoing.  On the other hand, there's Joel Osteen.  It appears that no one need do any digging at all; in fact, all that needs to happen for there to be empirical evidence that Osteen has no clue what the gospel is, is for him to open his mouth.

I'm not looking for a fight here, but there's a serious problem when the pastor of the largest church in America is teaching something other than the gospel.  My Sunday School class is going through the book of Galatians right now, and we are just starting chapter 2.  We've seen something important in chapter 1, particularly with regard to getting the gospel right.

If you look at the combination of Paul's writings and information found in the gospels, it is easy to conclude that we are much better off preaching the right gospel with the wrong motives than we are preaching the wrong gospel with the right motives.  On the one hand, when the gospel is preached by those seeking gain, the apostles praised God, saying, "The gospel is preached!"  On the other, the purveyors of the wrong gospel are clearly in danger of condemnation to hell.

Here's more, if you need it:  Al Mohler's Blog

Barack Obama is not nearly the threat to the church in this country as is Joel Osteen.

03 October 2011

Living in West Texas

I found this short video on YouTube while doing some random searches.  It is an aerial view of parts of Amarillo along with some similar shots of the Palo Duro Canyon.  Most people think Amarillo is completely flat, and the city itself is.  But as soon as you leave to the north, you drive through the Canadian River breaks for an hour (all the way to Dumas) before you hit the high plains again.

The Palo Duro Canyon itself is the second largest canyon in the US (according to the State Park folks here).  It is about 20 miles southeast of Amarillo, and only 8 miles east of my house.

Of course, no post on this topic would be complete without a link to Jason Aldean's song, Amarillo Sky.  So here you go.