Sunday, August 30, 2009

On Old Testament Restoration And, Perhaps, Regeneration?

The Prophet Isaiah reminds us that this is the Word of God:
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners..."
Then he reminds Israel of their hopeful redemption as a nation of priests. He ends with praise. And why rejoice? I will let the text speak for itself:
"I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, bridegroom as decks himself with a a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things own in it to spring up, so the LORD GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations."
- Isaiah 63:1; 63:10f

Friday, August 28, 2009

On Cosmetic Surgery in Light of Aging

John Piper argues that American culture is dominated by an infatuation for youth. Everything hip and cool is related to youth. And, the ideal for body image is youth -old age is highly under valued. "It is good to grow old with God." He ends stating:
"So I am not inclined to think that I would counsel anybody to spend a lot of God's precious money on their looks instead of missions. OK?
- John Piper, "Is it OK for a Christian to Have Cosmetic Surgery to Counteract Some Aspects of Aging?" from (August 28, 2009).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

On Corporate Repentance

"Almighty God, we are unworthy to come into Your presence, because of our many sins. We do not deserve any grace or mercy from You, if You dealt with us as we deserve. We have sinned against You, O Lord, and we have offended You. And yet, O Lord, as we acknowledge our sins and offenses, so also do we acknowledge You to be a merciful God, a loving and favorable Father, to all who turn to You. And so we humbly ask You, for the sake of Christ Your Son, to show mercy to us, and forgive us all our offenses. Forgive the sins of our youth, and the sins of our old age. By Your Spirit, O God, take possession of our hearts, so that, not only the actions of our lives, but also the words of our mouths, and the smallest thought of our minds, may be guided and governed by You. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen."
- Corporate Prayer of Repentance at Christ The King, August 23, 2009.

On Convocations and Economic Stratification

"You guys have it real easy. I never had it like this where I grew up. But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country -Rushmore. Now for some of you it doesn't matter: You were born rich, and you're going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the cross hairs and take them down. Just remember: they can buy anything, but they can't buy backbone -don't let them forget that. Thank you."
- Herman Blume, Rushmore (1998)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

On The Trinity And Creeds

"[We believe in] one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a Virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His future manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father 'to Gather all things in one,' and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, 'every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess' to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all..."
- Irenaeus of Lyon (115-190), Against Heresies X.I

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On Synoptic Connections of the Gospel of John

D. Moody Smith has an interesting article concerning the gospel of John in relation to the Synoptics. He provides an interesting side note concerning John's gospel in relation to Mark's:
"It may be worthwhile now to look again at [James] Robinson's comments on Mark to take stock of any parallel between his work [The Problem of the History in Mark] and Martyn's [History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel] on John. As a side note, I might mention that, in a small seminar on Mark at the University of Zurich in the academic year of 1963-1964, Professor Eduard Schweizer, in discussing some feature of Mark, would sometimes ask what it is reminiscent of, and the answer would usually be 'das Johannesevangelium.'"
- D. Moody Smith, "The Problem of the History of John," in What We Have Heard From The Beginning: The Past, Present, and Future of Johannine Studies ed. Tom Thatcher, 311-320 (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2007), 319.

Monday, August 10, 2009

On Prolegomena

During an interview today, when asked about why I want to teach my subject, I replied:
"Like any good teacher says, 'Of course I think my subject is the most important...'"
I then proceeded to explain why.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

On The Love Of God

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul!
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.
- Alexander Means, "What Wondrous Love Is This?"

Friday, August 7, 2009

On Discipline, Death, And God's Love

"The Lord has disciplined me severely, but He has not given me over to death."
- Psalm 119:18 (NASB)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On Obama's Health Plan

Simply put, Obama's health plan is a bad choice and needs to be rejected. Aside from costing over 1 trillion dollars over the next ten years, there are other factors that should relegate such a careless, reckless and imprudent plan to the trash can. Feldstein (professor of economics at Harvard) offers a fair critique along with other averse side effects:
"For the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, the Obama health plan is bad news. It means higher taxes, less health care, and no protection if they lose their current insurance because of unemployment or retirement."
- Martin Feldstien, "Obama's Plan Isn't the Answer," in The Washington Post July 28, 2009 [on-line]. Available from

Monday, August 3, 2009

On War And Worship

Experience has a way of refining (not defining) theology. To experience suffering has a way of reascending the reality that theology is far more than an assortment of theory. And, that faith is no mere, mental ascent. It is one thing to understand, beleive and agree the Jesus' words:
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it."

- Luke 9:23ff
Yet, it is another thing all together to have faith that leads to trust and obedience in times of trial and tribulation. I may agree with Jesus, for the sake of Him being God (and therefore He is infinitely true, good, beautiful, holy and loving), yet I may wince during times where I must literally deny myself. My flesh is weak. It is selfish and it struggles to deny Jesus of my devotion. My flesh seeks my comfort; it cheapens His suffering on the cross. To only be the inner, spiritual man. How much humility and mercy did the Jesus Christ my Lord live and die in the flesh. Sadhu Sundar Singh's anthem encourages me to press on:
The world behind me, the cross before me
The world behind me, the cross before me
The world behind me, the cross before me
No turning back, no turning back.