Friday, July 31, 2009

In Honor of our President and Majority Congress

That's a beard anybody in the proletariat could be proud of.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Assaulting Christoplatonism

Western Xians are Christoplatonists, meaning they tend toward dualism. They bifurcate life between things physical and spiritual...material and immaterial, and like Plato exalt the immaterial. Xians shouldn't be dualists. It's a non-biblical worldview that fragments life and denies Christ's Lordship of all creation. This dualism impacts so many areas, but one important area of theology it has wreaked havoc on is the doctrine of the bodily resurrection (both of Jesus and his followers). 

One way to think about the Platonic influence is many Christians would say our souls are just occupying these bodies for a short time, and like a snake shedding its skin will be rid of them one day. And so most Xians look forward to being disembodied. They even say at the death of a loved one…”that’s not really him lying there.” Which is slightly true, but it also slightly un-true. 

If you looked back to the Creation account in Genesis 2. Adam was not a human being until Adam became what the Hebrew calls nephesh…until God joined his body (dust) and spirit (breath) together. Which is to say Adam was not alive until he had both materiel and immaterial components. Your body is a very real part of the real you…and it will join you, more alive than it’s ever been at the final resurrection. (which would be at the coming of the new heavens and new earth, following the millennial reign of Christ on the earth…if your keeping a timetable). So what I am saying is when we die, it isn’t that our real self goes to the intermediate Heaven and our fake self goes to the grave; it’s that part of us goes to the intermediate Heaven and part goes to the grave to await our bodily resurrection at the consummation of all things.

So what's your view of eternal life? Some whispy, ethereal, spirit world existence where you get to be a wraith and float through eternity? Or is it physical? Eternal, physical life on a new redeemed planet earth? 

Isn't the physical so much more exciting to think about? That's because it's true.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I was going to read ND Wilson's new book on vacation. The problem is I started reading it three days before we left. I opened it one evening just to get started, and then I couldn't stop reading. I finished late the next much for that idea.

It's a unique book. Delightfully written. Funny (I laughed out loud at least a dozen times, and found my self reading most of its pages with a big grin on my face). But it's also smart. I read a lot of reviews trying to compare Notes to Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. There might be some similarities, but Wilson is much more intelligent, and his book also has some measure of cohesion, which Miller's book did not. I should say I didn't dislike Blue Like Jazz. I just liked Notes much, much more. It suited me.

The book is a walk through the wonder of the world by walking through the seasons of a year, starting is Winter and ending with Fall. Further, he takes on the idea of God being the master storyteller, artist, playwright, etc... This is not a new tact, but Wilson really focuses on the ex nihilo creation as accomplished by God's word. In Wilson's view, as long as the world is turning (like a carnival ride) God is ever speaking. In addition to Creation there is much thought given to philosophy, Hell, the problem of evil and the resurrection. I told you he was smarter than Miller.

Wilson's writing style is borderline stream of consciousness, which can be annoying, but I think he pulls it off with a measure of charm. The language is a bit looser than most Christian books, which is, for some reason, refreshing. Overall, Wilson was able to take his subject matter (the earth and everything in it) and return the reader to looking at Creation and Redemption with a bit more wide eyed wonder. For this reason I would highly recommend this book. Particularly to those who get a little bored with the types of books Xian pusblishers normally churn out. I leave with this:

"If the world is fundamentally an accident, if in the beginning, there was no eternal personality, no eternal living being, merely super-hot, hyper-dense I AM matter (with no space and no universe outside of itself), and if, wandering those hyper dense, super tiny corridors of the Forever Matter, attending to its normal routine, there happened to be one little chemical that caught its toe and flopped into another very different chemical, and both of them said, "Oh, crap," in tiny voices and went deaf in the explosion, then when did the accident start making sense and why the hell do we have the Special Olympics?" (NFTTAW, p. 127)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I wordled my sermon transcript from Sunday:


1 Corinthians 15:16-19
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who  have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope  in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Ladies and Gentleman,


Thursday, July 23, 2009


So I have failed in implementing my agenda for a post every weekday. It was supposed to happen this week...looks like next week will be more realistic. Here's why:

We returned from vacation Sunday evening. Monday was spent settling back into real life. This week I've been catching up on all the things that slip away from you during time away. I also had to prepare and teach our adults on Wednesday night, I'm preaching on Sunday (20 plus hours of prep for that), I have to be at wedding rehearsal tonight (thursday) for a wedding I am doing tomorrow night (friday). I lost my car keys (or a child has eaten them) sometime on Tuesday. I realized Wednesday the foundation of my house needs repair. I'm debating with my health insurance provider over some reimbursements. A couple of other projects that require some immediate attention are looming. Today is my birthday, and I am officially in my mid-thirties (34).

But life is generally very, very good, and I'm doing better than I deserve. I just suck at blogging.

(UPDATE: I found my car keys, and yes one of my children was to blame, which means I'm not losing it.)

Friday, July 10, 2009


So posting has not come as easily as I had hoped, but I haven't had a real clear plan for this blog and its 4 readers. Therefore, beginning the week of the 19th (next week I am on vacation chasing my kids and trying to read so we'll start the 20th) this blog will have a weekly breakdown. I think it will look something like this:

Monday Musings - Monday's will be for thinking out loud...sermon thoughts from Sunday, personal reflections, etc...

Tuesdays are for Text - Just a bible passage. No more, no less.

Wildcard Wednesday - all bets are off for Wednesday: sports, music, religion, politics...whatever needs to be said, posted, linked to, etc...

Theology Thursday - I'll be interacting with an area of theology or a theological idea on Thursdays.

Fridays are for Facial Hair - You know the drill here. And speaking honor of his 500th birthday, which is today, I give you a man who knew how to grow a fine beard: John Calvin.

Friday, July 3, 2009


It's a holiday weekend so rather than post something substantive we'll just start a new Friday tradition. From this point forward Friday's will be a tribute to facial hair. Most men shave, and this is a good thing. But some men allow their facial follicles to grow amok, which gives us the masculine phenomenon that is facial hair. Some might grow a simple mustache. Others, a full on beard. The goatee is very popular, as are extended sideburns. The redneck favors the fu-man-chu, while the hipster emerging church pastor will sport the little soul patch below his bottom lip. Whatever the case may be we men love our facial hair. It's an expression of our masculine creativity. If it makes one statement to those around you that statement is, "I like to grow hair on my face." 

I give you Charles Bronson: