Saturday, July 19, 2014


Comic Art

So Bad, They're Good

Best looking baddie n a long, long time. Feast your eyes on HARVEST.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Yes - They Think Of Us This Way

Ken Conner asks:
Is Christian Education an Oxymoron?
Yep, a lot of people think so. They think that simply because we believe in God we are somehow less educated and more stupid than most. Conner points out the origin of the rational study of creation:
Western civilization's earliest scholars embarked upon the pursuit of knowledge believing that there was a Divine Intelligence behind all of creation and a divine "natural order" that governs it. "In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was God, and the Word was with God" (John 1:1, NIV). Because God is the Creator, Creation is infused with order and meaning. Because Creation is intentional, it is intelligible. Even pre-Christian thinkers such as Heraclitus and Socrates observed this fact, and their philosophical projects reflected the conviction that the pursuit of knowledge was not a futile endeavor. Theology was once deemed the "Queen of all Sciences," with philosophy as her handmaiden.
While cosmology and order are compelling, what I find most disturbing in non-Christian thought is the ideas about human behavior. They utterly fail to see sin in its many manifestations.

On the most personal of levels I ache for what that means for their souls. ON a societal level it means that many people suffer deeply at the hands of those that we simply do not believe can be that bad.

Monsters are not the exception, they are the rule and only by the grace of God do we avoid letting our monster out.

But I must also confess that it is nearly criminal that we have Christians have behaved in such a stupid manner that opinions like this could be formed.


Friday Humor

Thursday, July 17, 2014



John Piper writes about speculation in bible study. He says it may be interesting, but unhelpful:
My point is that people need solid food, not possible food. They need a sure word from God, not a guess from man. They need a biblical “Thus says the Lord,” not a “Maybe God said.”

A fascinating five-minute homiletic detour into what might have been going in Corinth behind this or that text is a waste of precious time. And I think it trains our people to expect interludes of historical entertainment, and to mistake it for deep insight and spiritual food.

What is really there in the text of Scripture is bottomless, and staggeringly interesting, and provocative. Speculation is not necessary to hold people’s attention. If a pastor finds what might have been more interesting than what is really there in the text, he needs better powers of observation, not better powers of speculation. He needs a better feel for the wonder of what is, than a greater fancy for what might have been.
And I think it depends on the audience. The pastor, for example, needed to do the historical research and speculation to help him interpret the scripture in proper context. But the pastors roles is to develop others that can do the same thing, so it may not always be appropriate to not mention ones reasoning.

For example, when you teach physics in high school you make the students memorize equations and use them. When you teach physics is college, you teach the students how you arrived at the equations to begin with. In high school they do not know calculus, in college they do. That's the difference. Thusly, in a worship service you may not want to take the historical detour, but you may indeed want to do so in a Sunday School class.

But does anybody think about Sunday School anymore?


Illuminated Scripture

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Christian Education

Out of Ur published comments on seminary degrees. Just one example:
When I did my M.Div., it provided me with a strong theological foundation but it didn't teach me the realities of pastoral life. Things like how to plug in a wireless microphone or how to run a business meeting or how to raise money for a building fund were not taught. These practical activities are realities in the global church.
Most of the comments are in that vein. They reflect a reality not just of seminary education, but higher education generally - there is a difference between education and job training. Seminary does the former, but not the latter. What I do not want are well trained but uneducated pastors. What I do want are well educated and well trained pastors. I don't think the problem is seminary, I think the problem is what comes after, and to a large extent the students.

It used to be that students came out of seminary and severed in lower staff positions as a form of apprenticeship. Nowadays we load them up with responsibility and the senior pastor doe not see such developmental work as part of his duty. This is in part because students are impatient for responsibility.

But it is also true that education is never about job tr5aining. Education, particularly at grad school levels, is about developing the individual and their mind.

My opinion - undergrad ministry training programs for people that want to do professional ministry and graduate school (seminary) for those so inclined.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Necessary and Sufficient Conditions

Mark Daniels:
Through the years, one of the most common things I’ve heard Christians say--or caught myself thinking--is this: “I wish I had more faith.” Many times, this is the expression of a real Christian desire.

But, other times, let’s be honest, those words are an excuse.

“I would forgive X, if I had more faith.”

“I would do more for the poor, if I had more faith.”

“I would love others as God has loved me, if I had more faith.”

“I would share the good news of new life for all who turn from sin and believe in Jesus, if I had more faith.”

People who otherwise proudly assert their maturity and competence to live grown-up lives, claim that their faith is too small and too immature to do what God calls every believer in Jesus Christ to do, to live as His disciples.

The unspoken conclusion of our “I wish I had more faith” statements is often really, “And since my faith is too small, I’m going to just ignore God’s will for my life.”

One of the biggest reasons that the Church is not fulfilling the only mission Jesus Christ has given to it--to make disciples--is that we in the Church, who are quick to turn to God when we get into scrapes, in our sinful hearts, don’t want to do what our Lord has commanded us.
Amen and Amen!

Read the whole thing.


Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, July 14, 2014



John Piper the old and trite question "Does 'Mere Christianity' Mean Eliminate Denominations?" Then he basically just requotes Lewis' own declamation that it does not. I guess if you are prone to reading John Piper and not Lewis, there is a point to the post, but generally it is a waste of electrons.

But that said, I thought Pipers introductory paragraphs worthy of comment:
For many years my conviction has been that Christian unity and Christian truth are served best not by removing fences, but by loving across them and having welcoming gates. I don’t claim to do it well. I want to do it better.

The point is that minimizing truth, or filing down its clear edges, or blending it all into one indistinguishable mass, or focusing on prayer, service, and mission, rather than truth — none of these produces unity that honors truth, creates robust communities, or endures for generations.
Is "truth" really our ultimate goal as a church? Is that even really what divides us?

I would answer both questions in the negative. For one truth is but a means to an end - the end being our recreation in to the image of God in which we were originally created. While Christ is the only path to that goal, our understanding of Christ may vary on that path. We will disagree, but we must be most retrospect in dividing over those disagreements. In some cases, in fact in many cases, it is not a matter of truth - but perspective. I freely admit it is possible to take what I am saying too far, but I think too far may be farther down the road that John Piper pictures it.

But secondly I do not think it is theological differences that truly divide us - it is political ones. By that I mean it is questions of who is in charge, what it means to be in charge and who gets to decide who is in charge that really divide us. Its polity not theology.

Think about it - every church - EVERY CHURCH - has corrupted at some point. Every church has strayed from the truth. Why then have we divided? We have divided because the politics demanded it.

In the end that is a failure of humility, not truth seeking.

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