Saturday, May 04, 2013


Comic Art

 Aleski Bridot
 David Yardin
 Gabriele Dell'Otto
 Mitch Breitweiser
Salvador Larroca
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Friday, May 03, 2013


What If We Removed The Word "Theologian?"

Justin Taylor quotes Carl Trueman extensively, an excerpt of the excerpting:
At the heart of this new theology was the notion that God reveals himself under his opposite; or, to express this another way, God achieves his intended purposes by doing the exact opposite of that which humans might expect. The supreme example of this is the cross itself: God triumphs over sin and evil by allowing sin and evil to triumph (apparently) over him. His real strength is demonstrated through apparent weakness. This was the way a theologian of the cross thought about God.

The opposite to this was the theologian of glory. In simple terms, the theologian of glory assumed that there was basic continuity between the way the world is and the way God is: if strength is demonstrated through raw power on earth, then God’s strength must be the same, only extended to infinity. To such a theologian, the cross is simply foolishness, a piece of nonsense.
OK, there is a good point here, it emphasizes humility and grace over power and glory - that is indeed the way of Christ. But why the talk of "theologians?"

There are craftsmen and then there are engineers. Let me use an example from woodworking. Let's say you have to do a compound cut of a piece of moulding. An engineering is going to sit down and calculate, using complex geometrical theorems, the angles with a protractor and compass and set up the saw accordingly. And the piece is not likely to fit with precision because of small variations and imperfections. A craftsman is going to use a tool simple in design that acts as a mirror of what is truly there and lets him set up the saw accordingly. The fit will be precise. The craftsman will not know a geometrical theorem from balancing his checkbook.

Ideas matter in the shaping of institutions and in guiding leaders, but we do not need theologians in the pews - we need craftsmen. We do not need people that understand God's humility and grace so much as we need people that mirror it.

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Friday Humor

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Thursday, May 02, 2013


These things should not compete

A Place for the God Hungry writes:
The Penn State scandal has underscored a fundamental issue that is present in far too many of us:
Some of us are more concerned about the image we project than the kind of person we really are.
They go on to cite examples and discuss this psychologically, but I have to ask how in the world we could have gotten into such a circumstance? There are two underlying facts to such a picture that I find really troubling.

For one, it means that we now view life as we view media. That means we spend a bit too much time with media.

Secondly, it means that people feel they cannot really change. I cannot help but feel that such is in some part a result of a focus on "self-image." If we "feel good about ourselves" we do not need to change anything substantial - just the image we project.

This is really scary stuff to me and it needs a lot of prayer.

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Illuminated Scripture

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Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Aiding Function

Mark Roberts:
...far too many churches are still mostly audiences for professional “ministers” rather than well-trained teams of ministering laity. Pastors can be threatened by the idea of an empowered laity, while busy lay people are happy to let the “pros” handle their job. As a result, churches are dysfunctional bodies that limp along rather than sprinting forward with divine power.

I know it can be challenging for lay people to find their place in the body of Christ. I’ve faced this very challenge recently as I’ve sought my role in my local church, one where I am not a member of the staff. It took about a year of praying and waiting on God before I discovered how he wanted to use me in my church. Now I’m doing my part to help St. Mark Presbyterian Church be a fully-functional body, just as God intends it to be.
Mission and resource, how many times have I heard the refrain - we must tailor the mission to the available resources. And yet, with God at our back we have infinite resources which means there is no end to the mission. But how do we break the cycle that Mark Roberts so adequately describes? How do we build a congregation of people that aid the function of the church?

Two brief thoughts. Firstly we need to work on building people, not programs. Secondly we need to set those people free, not try to shove them into slots.

We are not on a hunt for volunteers, we are in the business of making disciples. It is less about forming people to the churches needs, or perceived needs, and more about more about learning who God is making them into, aiding God in that process and then helping them do what they are called to do. Of course we will have the occasional crazy "called" to stand on their head and grow a handlebar mustache for Jesus, but keeping a lid on such things is a small price to pay for the creativity, energy and effectiveness that such an approach will bring.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013



Justin Taylor quotes JI Packer, CS Lewis and scripture on the importance of God knowing us. Lewis:
I read in a periodical the other day that the fundamental thing is how we think of God. By God Himself, it is not! How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance....
I am struck yet again at how a life with God is about God, not us.

I love that line, "how we think of Him is of no importance," yet how much time do we spend trying to understand God. How many internecine wars have we fought over "how we think of God" when we should be resting in His presence. How much effort do we we put into getting it right when in the end we never can.

Furthermore, how often do we demand God's attention instead of plead for it? You know, it is not our right - it is His gift.

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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, April 29, 2013


To Measure is to Control

Charles Stanley writes on "Measuring our Spiritual Growth":
Eight indicators reveal the quality of our Christian journey.
Only eight, huh? Why do I get a mental image of a body builder that worked on his arms and not his legs? It's not a pretty picture!

But snarky comments aside, the real problem I have with such measurements is that measurement is a means of control. Scientists and engineers measure things that they wish to understand well enough to guide and direct. If you want to build a dam, the first thing you di is figure out how much water comes down the river how fast and what the dimensions of the river valley are. In other words, to control a river, you have to measure it.

There is a big difference in being purposeful in our relationship with God, and trying to control it. We must be intent on God but we should never attempt to control what God is doing in our lives. When we measure spiritual growth we are in a fashion deciding where God is going to take us. But God is driving the bus and we are kind of clueless about where we are headed. All we can do is focus, intently, on Him, and hang on.

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