Saturday, December 18, 2010


Comic Art

Heroes and Artists - The Human Torch

Michael Turner

Steve Epting

Bryan Hitch

Alan Davis

Alex Ross

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Friday, December 17, 2010


Why Church?

Mark Roberts:
More than anything else, the Tabernacle was God’s dwelling place among his people. Of course, God did not literally live there as people live in their houses. God cannot be contained in any building, however grand. But the Tabernacle signified the presence of God in Israel. It said in physical form, “I am with you.” Thus the Tabernacle, and later the Temple, were crucial to the Israelites because they signified God’s presence.
Mark then goes on to opine that under the new covenant Christ dwells in us, not in the structure - fair enough. But does that repurpose the structures we build? And if so to what?

Nowadays we tend to think of the church as a place of evangelical outreach. It's the place we try and draw people to. I; however, have a slightly different view - it's the cavalry outpost, a fort on the frontier if you will.

The primary thing the old cavalry did was send out patrols to make sure the passage of American was safe as they moved through the frontier. Migrants may have stopped at the fort for a rest or provision, but it was not a place of settlement, simply a place of safety.

The "real action" happened out on the trail when the soldiers left the fort and worked the area to make sure the Indians and bandits were nowhere to be seen and to control them when necessary. So the fort was also a place of rest and comfort and safety for the soldier - in fact primarily so.

I wonder what the church would look like, if we viewed ourselves as cavalry soldiers and went out from it, not called into it? I think if would be very different and I think it would be better.

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Friday Humor

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Thursday, December 16, 2010


A Word to the Wise

Mark Daniels links to his daily devotional:
We’re often told to stop and think before we speak. But I think we should take it much further and live a life where we’re always listening for God’s wisdom.

Lord, grant that we may hear You speak;
For truth within our hearts we seek;
For unto Christ we would be true
And know what He Himself would do. —D. De Haan

Listen to God before you speak for God.

Good advice, often not heeded. How often do you listen?

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Illuminated Scripture

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Why Does This Strike A Chord?

Things are often funny, or at least amusing, becasue they touch on some uncomfortable chord in reality. This video is one of those. I have bee in way too many planning meetings where the discussion was "What do people want out there?" - good question for Wal-Mart - maybe even a good question for a church that wants to grow its attendance figures. But is it a good question for a church that wants to produce growth in its membership and community.

Recently Spengler looked at modern Jewish denominationalism:
There still is a lot of wishful thinking out there. Today’s Jewish Ideas Daily leads with a defense of non-denominational Judaism, under the rubric, “Who Needs Denominations?” Author Yehudah Mirsky wonders whether the Reform and Conservative denominational structure makes sense in today’s world:
If one feature of modern life is the ascendance of reason and science as sources of knowledge and authority, another is expressiveness, the conviction that the truth is to be found in one’s own subjectivity and in the recesses of one’s own experience and passions. This impulse, helped along by new technologies and forms of organization that make for more diffuse structures of authority and belief, and by currents like feminism that link the expressive ideal with the demand for equality, has powerfully reworked all of contemporary religion. In Western societies today, even the most stringent form of traditionalism is chosen; if it does not find an echo in the subjective experience of the individual, it will not long endure.
In short, Rabbi Mirsky thinks that in the modern world every Jew will make up her or her own Judaism to suit “the subjective experience of the individual,” in a free-form sort of organization that allows for such things.
The point of the post ends up being that Protestant evangelicalism is the problem - it sets the tone for American Jewish expression and that in Israel - Orthodoxy is the fastest growing denomination. That's not a good thing from my perspective.

But back to the video for a minute. As I write, I am in the process of deciding what new smart phone to get. They keep trying to sell me crap I don't want. I do not need an 18th place to watch a movie - I DO need a device that enhances my communication abilities and helps me organize my activity. In this day and age, the genuine functionality of the device is buried so deep in its guts that the sales people often do not know where to find it.

That;s why the video is amusing - the reality is our sales people are selling everything BUT the gospel.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Passionate Thought

John Mark Reynolds:
When praying for Pentecost, sometimes we receive it and nothing is like it. Power comes to us not through any labor we have done, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have wept under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and laughed with great joy in the Lord.

We are tempted to demand that God always give us His grace in this same way.


I have also done hard intellectual work that ended in a vision of God. Sometimes at the end of working through a hard passage of Plato, I have felt a rush of God’s glory. I have, by His grace, reasoned and felt His pleasure at the end of the process. In the joy of this moment, the temptation appears to do it again . . . to seek God in reasoning.

Reason is a great good, but the good of it cannot come to us at our command.

I have learned to trust no man who does not admit that both reason and revelation are necessary in the life of any sane person. Our Father delights to give us good gifts (revelation), and also delights to see us act in His image (reason). When we use our noetic capacities we glorify Him; when we accept His revelation we glorify Him.


Euripides was right: we need both the god of passion and the god of reason in the City. The good news of the Gospel is that logic became flesh and dwelt among us and that we beheld His glory and His truth.
And yet it seems as if there is war between those that "experience" God and those the think about Him. I have said many times I have little trust for Pentecostalism as a movement - too much revelation, not enough reason. Legalism is, I think, a form of over-thinking things. IT results som often from people that read scripture, even believe it, but have not experienced the actual grace of Christ in a supernatural sense.

My personality is such that I want to come at things thoughtfully, but thoughts without passion - a passion that can only be born of a direct experience of the Holy Spirit are brittle, crackly things. They lie there lifeless. A passion born of the Holy Spirit fills them with life - a life that means we have to transmit them - we have to share them - we have to offer others encouragement concerning them. They become the stuff of life.

Do your thoughts sit on the tablet lifeless, or are you filled with a passion that gives them life?

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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, December 13, 2010


How Awesome Is A Small God?

Guest blogger Daniel Jepsen @ iMonk:
For I am not talking about the God of the scriptures, but the god that is worshipped in much of modern American evangelicalism.

This god is good, but small and not very powerful. This god is not able to use the foolish, weak and lowly things of this world to shame and nullify the wise, strong, and powerful ((see I Corinthians 1:26-31). That is why those who lead this god’s churches must attempt to change the foolish things into things wise in the ways of this world, and must change the lowly and despised things into things this world likes and respects.

This god and his message must be made appealing to the world, much like Mary Poppins made the medicine more palatable by a spoon full of sugar. The sweeteners of coolness, relevance and freshness coat the message of this god, while those doing the coating tell us it doesn’t change the fundamental recipe. Perhaps not, but the very fact that the sweeteners are added betray a lack of faith in the inherent power of the message, and the power of the god who gives it.
[emphasis added]
That last emphasized phrase is extraordinary indeed. We rely on this things of this world instead of the power of the Holy Spirit. We do not think that the message we bring is winsome enough.

Two thoughts come to mind -
Luke 21:12 - "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake.
There is little question that the world finds much of our message unpalatable, and I think it is supposed to be that way. For centuries, Christianity has dominated the Western World, and we have grown fat, dumb, and happy in that setting. But that has changed - so our response is to follow the world instead of remember that we were and always will be somewhere, a persecuted church.

The second thought I have is shame on us. One of the original and largest evangelical megachurches has gone belly-up. I am not surprised. It was one of the first to be built, and it is, I predict one of the first to fall, but far from the last. Jesus said something else:
Luke 6:45-49 - "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil {man} out of the evil {treasure} brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. "And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? "Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. "But the one who has heard, and has not acted {accordingly,} is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."
The "sweeteners" to which Jepsen refers represent building on the wrong foundation and, like the Crystal Cathedral, at some point the whole facade will come crashing down.

When I think of God, I think of eons. Much of what passes for church planning today thinks in terms of weeks. Pretty small thinking.

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