Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Macs are like ... Calvinism

I think its like arminianism and calvinism. In one sense people find arminianism easier because it has complicated rules of do this and do that and you'll get there, whereas calvinism puts people off because it's already all taken care of.Obviously PCs are arminians and make you do lots of stuff before you get anything and Macs are calvinists - it's all done for you.And the reality is it takes a long time for arminians to shake off their heritage and fully embrace calvinism.

courtesy of an anonymous response to Ruth the Beloved

men, oh, men, LEAD

Carolyn McCulley recording Josh Harris' last session at the New Attitude Conference here in the 'Ville.

"Men, oh, men, LEAD. Lead in godly conversation and fellowship," he said. "You don't need somebody to come along and give you a title like Family Group leader for you to lead...You know what? You are going to do a bad job. That's okay, just keep practicing. Ladies, encourage them. Be patient to them, be a sister to them. Root them on. Look at your brothers not as what they are. [Laughter] Look at them at what they can by the grace of God and support them. [Applause.] I am so grateful that my wife does not look at me as what I am!"

i wish they all could be Califor ... Modest ... girls

As the weather gets warmer, the clothing seems to fly off.

What are your thoughts on the attire of Christian women during the hot days of summer?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

tonight's activity

I remember being scared of rabbits for a while after I watched this movie for the first time.

Monday, May 29, 2006

the Mormon version

Pride and Prejudice: a Latter-Day Comedy

Yet another adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice ... however, this one is different. This P&P is like ... um ... what My Big Fat Greek Wedding was. It's chalk full of sub-culture.

Yes indeed, Jack Wickam is a polygamist.


Oh ... and Collins is just back from his 2 year mission and looking for a wife to multiply and replenish the earth with.

The girls? A bunch of Brigham Young University roommates. Jane is from Argentina.

Ah ... and Darcy ... he wouldn't be Darcy without the make-any-girl-weak-in-the-knees British accent.

If anything, watch it because *my goodness* it's a freakin' Mormon Pride and Prejudice.

Visit the official website here. Be sure to watch the trailer.

annandale anglicans

I've been invited to join a group of Aussie bloggers. I suppose that makes me an honorary Aussie. They're a fun bunch. It would do some of us good to know how God is at work on the under side of the world.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

the meltdown

Just got back from seeing Ice Age 2 at the cheap theatre ... with a friend. What can I say ... We won't see each other for 2 months. It didn't seem right to go alone.

Ice Age 2 is outrageous! Dawn and I laughed ridiculously through the entire flick.

I couldn't handle it when the vultures went all Rodger and Hammerstein.

Sid: Maybe we could rapidly evolve into water creatures.
Diego: That's genius Sid.
Sid: Call me, Squid.

Traffic Vulture: Parents: Please do not leave your children unattended. All unattended children will be eaten.

Ellie: [to Manny] You ain't repopulatin' the species TONIGHT, or any OTHER night!

Chris Thile performing a song he wrote "Set Me Up With One Of Your Friends"

You might be a Christine if ...

"So, what did you do today, Sweetie?"

"I went to Macaroni Grill for lunch."

"Who did you go with?"

"No one. I just sat at the bar."

"Okay, Christine!"

No, this was not my mother's conversation with me ... but rather another mother's conversation with her daughter. So yeah ... I go to restaurants and movies by myself ... why not!

Last night I met a fellow blogger.

"You must like green."

"Ha, I do. It sort of helps me feel content. Unlike pink ... you'd better watch out if you ever see me around wearing pink! Those are days when I don't feel like a good little girl. Those are days when I'm just oozing with sarcasm and am very short on patience. I also got deathly sick one day when I was wearing an excess of pink."

I'm not sure what else mothers have characterized me as ... but so far girls, you might be a Christine if ...

Friday, May 26, 2006

remember Marriable?

Remember the book Marriable and the Singles Awareness Day event back in February? Well, my friends the DiMarcos have been hard at work to create some follow-up books, thus creating a Marriable series.

The Art of the First Date: Because Dating’s Not a Science—it’s an Art

The Art of Rejection: Because Dating’s Not a Science—it’s an Art

Check out their other books at Hungry Planet.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


My friend Laura and I with some "random" graduate in the background. Okay, we actually knew him.

open thread

song by Josh Groban

just plain ol' open conversation ...

How did you find "I'd Rather Laugh Than Cry"?

What would you like for me to write about?

Australia 101 - lesson 2a

Simpson Desert was named after a man who manufactures washing machines.

Bill Bryson says that it's difficult to determine exactly where the Australian outback begins. "To Australians anything vaguely rural is "the bush." At some indeterminate point "the bush" becomes "the outback." Push on for another two thousand miles or so and eventually you come to bush again, and then a city, and then the sea. And that's Australia."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

1st favorite

2nd favorite

Australia 101 - lesson 1b

lesson 1b from textbook In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

What if tickets for those flying from North America to Australia contained some warning that states, "Pasengers are advised that on some crossings twentyfour-hour loss of existence may occur"? Shouldn't there be such a warning?

On return flights, however, it *is* possible to arrive in LA before you even left Sydney. I'd say that's a pretty neat trick.

B.B. says, "Let me say right here that I love Australia--adore it immeasurably--and am smitten anew each time I see it. One of the effects of paying so little attention to Australia is that it is always such a pleasant surprise to find it there. Every cultural instinct and previous experience tells you that when you travel this far you should find, at the very least, people on camels. There should be unrecognizable lettering on the signs, and swarthy men in robes drinking coffee from thimble-sized cups and puffing on hookahs, and rattletrap buses and potholes in the road and a real possibility of disease on everything you touch--but no, it's not like that at all. This is comfortable and clean and familiar. Apart from a tendency among men of a certain age to wear knee-high socks with shorts [I wonder if Ruth's father engages in this costumed tradition on his off days], these people are just like you and me. This is wonderful. This is exhilerating. This is why I love to come to Australia."

Bryson's previous trips to Australia had been limited to rides in a cab through the Sydney districts of Ultimo and Annandale [hmm, that sounds familiar ... where have I heard of that place before?], on his way to book-signings.

Are the locals really called, "Sydneysiders"?

During this particular trip, a colleague from the Syndey Morning Herald decided to take him boogie boarding at Freshwater Beach, near Manly, one afternoon.

"If you're caught in rip," his guide told him, "the trick is not to panic."

"You're telling me to drown calmly?"

Bryson recounts a story in which a group of fisherman captured a 14ft. shark in 1935 near where he was presently wading in the water. It was taken to a public aquarium where it swam about happily for public viewing. After a few days, it regurgitated a HUMAN ARM! No doubt it had been some young man swept away by a rip tide attempting to hale the lifeguard for assistance.

He continues by saying that three years later four freak waves, each 20ft. high, hit a nearby beach, sweeping 200 people out to sea. Good News? There were fifty lifeguards on duty that day that were able to save all but six.

Are Australians, in general, big gamblers. I read something about "clubs".

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

tiny turtle

My friend Missy took this picture while working in her garden.

Australia 101

When a large number of your readers come from the same geographic location, it is a writer's responsibility to learn what she can about her readers' common background. Thus begins a new series on this blog titled "Australia 101". The textbook for this course is Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country. Bryson is an American travel writer (what a job!) who views his surroundings in the light of humor. He represents millions of the earth's inhabitants who know virtually nothing about our friends, the Aussies. The following are notes taken from the textbook. Follow-up research has not been attempted (I'm too lazy). That's what the Aussies are for ... set the world right! Tell us about your Uber-cool country! Oh ... and I hope the folks from OZ get a kick out of what an ignorant outsider thinks about their country.

Lesson 1a

Who is the Prime Minister?

Um ... I don't think I ever knew ... does anyone know?

Supposedly the Prime Minister in 1967, Harrold Holt went swimming and never came back. What?! As B.B. points out, this fact is astounding. I mean, Australia lost a prime minister. C'mon! Plus, did anyone cover this? Where was Fox News?!! ... oh, right ...

Population - just over 18 million (the same amount that China's population increases each year)

Place in World Economy - equivalent to Illinois

Most watched TV show worldwide - Skippy (Skippy ... Skippy ... Skippy the Bush Kangaroo ...)

Geography - world's 6th largest country. It's also an island which is also a continent which is also a country.

Zoology - the world's ten most deadliest snakes call Australia home.

Potential causes of death - funnel web spiders, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, paralysis tick, stonefish, fluffy caterpillars, sharks, crocodiles, rip tides, or an empty gas tank in the middle of no where leaving you to walk through the Australian wilderness to find the nearest petrol station.

History - most histories begin with Captain James Cook discovering the "island" in 1770 ... but, um, he wasn't a captain yet. Just ignore the indiginous Aboriginies who had made the continent their home prior to the arrival of the English-speaking folk. It's not as interesting.

What the newcomers found:
upside-down and unknown constellations
creatures that bounced across the landscape like bouncing balls
flying "foxes"
man-sized crustaceans

Why is it that we know virtually nothing about these cousins of ours?

B.B.'s research of Australia in the news (New York Times)
1997 - 20 articles, 100 less than Peru, 130 less than Albania and Cambodia. However, similar number of articles as Belarus and Burundi.
1996 and 1998 combined - 15 articles

According to B.B, "In January of [1997], accordiing to a report written in America by a Times reporter, scientists were seriously investigating the possibility that a mysterious seismic disturbance in the remote Australian outback almost four years earlier had been a nuclear explosion set off by members of the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo."

"This is a country that loses a prime minister and that is so vast and empty that a band of amateur enthusiasts could conceivably set off the world's first non-governmental atomic bomb on its mainland and almost four years could pass before anyone noticed. Clearly this is a place worth getting to know."

Monday, May 22, 2006

the end

'Tis a sad day. The Three Musketeers have parted ways. One to become a minister. The other to seek further education. And me ... to seek my destiny.

the fellowship of women

The number of newly wed women who think that their husbands are their bestfriends and they do not need anyone else concerns me. I have seen many beautiful buds of beauty, wilt away without the nourishment of fellowship with females. Even in the realm of Singles ... be sure to cultivate friendships with other women, even if you are dating.

Friday, May 19, 2006

ahead of schedule

We have THIS before we have TRANSPORTERS?!! Well, I guess. I mean, they used this sort of thing in 2050 when Tom Cruise will be busting "murderers" before they commit the crime.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Christian terminology

holyoffice has a brilliant list of summaries defining key terms in Christianity. Consider, for example, this definition:

The Protestant Reformation

This is the name historians give to a major labor dispute that erupted in Germany in 1517 when a group of monks hammered a proposed union contract to the door of the pope's house, requesting a 95 percent pay raise. The pope refused to negotiate with the monks union until it agreed to pay to have the door fixed, and the result was the world's longest-running strike. For nearly 500 years, a huge portion of Christians have been on strike from being Catholic, saying they are "justified" in their work stoppage because the pope won't expand the number of indulgences they get per year. Currently, the matter is in arbitration.

thanks, J.D.

one of the cutest movie dance scenes

First Baptist Church of Dance

My friend Bryant just opened up a dance ministry that he hopes will grow into a church plant. The title of this post is a joke that we have. Imagine the irony!

notes from Moore's The Kingdom and the Future lecture

Dr. Russell D. Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, lectures on the Kingdom of God.

Listen to The Kingdom and the Future

Micah 5:1-9

5:1 Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops;
siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel
on the cheek.
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5 And he shall be their peace.

When the Assyrian comes into our land
and treads in our palaces,
then we will raise against him seven shepherds
and eight princes of men;
6 they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
and the land of Nimrod at its entrances;
and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian
when he comes into our land
and treads within our border.

A Remnant Shall Be Delivered

7 Then the remnant of Jacob shall be
in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
like showers on the grass,
which delay not for a man
nor wait for the children of man.
8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations,
in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,
which, when it goes through, treads down
and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver.
9 Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries,
and all your enemies shall be cut off.

A common theme in our culture of a great conspiracy.

Idea that there is this vast ancient conspiracy that someone is hiding some crucial piece of information that makes sense of the world.

The DaVinci Code
Left Behind Novels
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Deep within us we know that something like that is true… Some mystery out there that makes sense of it. If only we knew what it was.

Consummate with Scripture
Old Testament – the message of a great kingdom that is going to come; a great kingdome that will smash every other kingdom; unrivaled; defeat all the enemies of God; defeat the powers behind the powers

New Testament – Jesus preaching the Kingdom of God

Matthew 12:28
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

The mystery of all of the ages has been revealed. (Eph. 3)

This is where we tend to become confused.

Many believe that the kingdom is out there somewhere on a prophecy chart. And that is why many of us are not concerned about the Kingdom of Christ.


They believe that the kingdom is just another program.

Eph. 1:8-10
8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

That is the purpose of God in terms of the kingdom.

Disputes rest on the fact that we try to abstract the kingdom from Christ.

We think it is first and foremost about a timetable … rather than a person.

Mickail Gorbechev – must be anti-Christ; man of peace; marking on his head; not a very successful anti-Christ

Supermarket scanners – must be the mark of the beast

Obsession with eschatological details or a ridiculing of the kingdom itself.

The kingdom is of crucial and significant importance because it has to do with Christ.

Covenant theology v. Dispensationalism

Both are wrong in their classical forms.

Both try to abstract the kingdom from Christ

D – all promises apply to Israel; preaching of the OT applies to someone else

C – promises of OT apply to the Church; Church has replaced Israel; spiritual blessings; forgiveness of sins; heavenly gifts

What they both are missing is that the focal point of the mystery is fulfilled in a man, Jesus of Nazereth. If you try to apply the promises of the OT without mediating them through Christ you have comepletely missed the point of the Gospel and of the Kingdom.

3 parts
1. Christ as man/Adam
a. Jesus is the goal of where God is going in History

b. Philippians 2:8 – And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

c. the purpose of God in history is the exaltation of this man, Jesus of Nazereth

d. Romans 8:29 - For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that *he might be the firstborn among many brothers. *

e. God’s reasons for doing everything is Jesus Christ

f. Colossians 1:16 - For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—*all things were created through him and for him. *

g. he is the reason everything exists

h. it is to all be an inheritance for him

i. God’s goal is to give him a kingdom that is unrivaled

Intelligent Design movement – falls short
Doing excellent work in confronting Darwinism

i. on your own terms you cannot explain how al of these things came about through natural selection

ii. ID by itself cannot answer all the questions

iii. What kind of God do you serve?
a. “Well-designed” bloody nature, red in tooth and claw – appears to be designed by a “Sadist”

b. if all we have is general revelation, we cannot answer that question

c. Unless we have a Scripture that tells us about a Fall which brought a cosmic curse over all of humanity, we are not able to understand why we live in a world of tsunamis, hurricanes, mud slides, and snake bites.

Adam has the responsibility to subdue the entire created order.

Psalm 8:6 - You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,

All goes ary when Adam bows the knee, refuses to accept the authority of his great high King, and instead surrenders the kingship to the serpent.

Adam becomes a Satanist.

All of creation comes under bondage.

The reign of death consumes. The wildest of nature continues. There is no one to set it back.

Until, you come to a man, Jesus of Nazereth.

Jesus is on a boat when you have the waters, pictured in the OT as the wrath of God, nature is threatening to kill humanity.

That is not normal in a Biblical worldview that the king of nature can be wiped out by nature.

Jesus speaks, Peace, Be still, and nature obeys him.

Who is this that even the winds and waves obey him?

Hebrews 2:8
8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.

Jesus as the human king, Messaih, deliverer executes dominion over nature. He is not under the authority of the curse. Death has no dominion over him. The accusations of serpent have no dominion over him. He exercises dominion over the created order. He is the true Son of God.

NT and Sexual Morality
Ephesians 5:22-32

How married couples are to relate
Not marriage tips

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

Paul is quoting from Genesis 2
Genesis 2:24
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

God creates man as male and female.


God creates sexuality.

The purpose of sexuality: a model of something he already has in mind.
Male and female who come together in a one flesh union, separate but equal, separate yet the same … to point you to Christ and the Church.

Sexuality has to do with Christology.

Simply saying you shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage, does not stem back to a mystery that drives human beings to sexual relationships.

Explain the purpose of sexuality. Fornication, not just immoral, is picturing a Christ and a Church outside of covenant relationship. It is blasphemous. Of the spirit of Anti-Christ.

Adultery is not just wrong because it hurts a marriage, wrong because it pictures a Christ who abandons his church because of something else. Speaks blasphemy against Jesus Christ.

a. Skewed view of the Shepherd

b. Ez. 34:5 - 5 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. 6 My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.

c. 11 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.
i. Luke 15:4 - 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?

d. 17 “As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats.
i. Matthew 25:32,33 - Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

e. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.

f. When Jesus speaks of himself as a Shepherd, he speaks of himself as a King. The shepherd fights the wild beasts for his flock, he is a warrior King. A bloodied, violent Jesus who is taking on the principalities and powers for the world of humanity.
g. He will bear the anointing, the Holy Spirit.

h. If we are to understand the role of the Holy Spirit in the church, we are to understand Christ.

i. The Spirit in the OT and NT is an act of warfare.

j. David goes and slaughters the Philistine giant.
i. Son of David goes out to the wilderness and takes on the enemy of God and slaughters him.

ii. The Spirit is the anointing of Christ.

iii. Not a mascot.

iv. HS is terrifying

v. At Pentecost Peter talk about the HS
1. You see this HS? This HS is poured out by Jesus of Nazareth. And if Jesus has the HS, God has anointed Him as King. If God has anointed him as king, that means he’s the Son of David. That means you’re in trouble. Because this Jesus whom you crucified, has been given a kingdom that has been promised to him forever and ever.

2. He is David. He is the Kingdom. If you try to abstract the kingdom from Christ, if you try to abstract the Spirit from Christ, you don’t understand the Gospel.

k. Suppose there is a man on a desert island who has never heard the Gospel, who has never come in contact with another human being, he’s dying tomorrow, what happens to him?
i. People in congregations think that he’ll be alright

ii. Theologians and pastors think the Spirit can work apart from the proclamation of Christ. People are able to come to the faith apart even though they don’t know the name of Jesus
iii. Evangelicals don’t have a kingdom understanding of Christ.

iv. God’s ultimate goal in history is
1. Romans 14:11 - for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

v. If you don’t understand that purpose, you’re not going to understand the kingdom. If you don’t understand the kingdom, you’re not going to understand the Gospel. If you don’t understand the Gospel, you don’t understand the Great Commission.

vi. Trend on the Mission field to move through a Roman Road in the Koran
1. Pray to Allah to take you to paradise through the blood of Yesah

2. Not through the authority of Scriptures

3. View of the HS that the HS works through the words of a demon rather than the words of Christ

a. Why the Jews Rejected Jesus by David Klinghoffer
i. Has some very denigrating things to say about Jesus

ii. Quotes old Talmudic texts
1. Jesus went to hell where he is burning in human excrement

2. Jesus was a lustful adulterer

3. Jesus was an idolater seeking to lead the people of God astray.

iii. the NT misunderstands and misinterprets the OT
1. Matthew 2:14-15 - 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

2. Hosea 11:1 - When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

3. Hosea is talking about a PAST event when Israel, God’s first born son is called out of slavery in Egypt

4. The NT interprets the passage in a way that the OT was not meant to be interpreted

5. Isaiah 53 – Christians want to say it has to do with Jesus of Nazareth. If you look at the context, it’s talking about Israel

iv. every time he sees a failed reference to Christ in the OT, it is a reference to Israel.


b. The Old Dispensationalists and the Old Covenant Theologians
i. Israel IS the nation that comes into existence in 1948.

ii. Israel IS a spiritual body, the church

The apostles held the view that Israel of God is one man, Jesus Christ

Isaiah 5 - 5:1 Let me sing for my beloved
my love song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
2 He dug it and cleared it of stones,
and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
and hewed out a wine vat in it;
and he looked for it to yield grapes,
but it yielded wild grapes.

3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
and men of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard.
4 What more was there to do for my vineyard,
that I have not done in it?
When I looked for it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?

5 And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
6 I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and briers and thorns shall grow up;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.

7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah
are his pleasant planting;

Vineyard imagery in the OT is speaking of the people of Israel. A promise that is coming in the NT that Israel will be dead.

Ezekiel 37:11-14
11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

In the 1st Century, the Israel of God was surrounded by pagan armies, was indicted, was crucified, drowned in his own blood, and was placed in a tomb under a curse, and all of the people around said, “Where is your God?” as prophesied. You cry out to him and he will not save you. In the last day, Israel will walk out of the grave through the power of the Spirit.

Micah 7:10
Then my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will look upon her; now she will be trampled down like the mire of the streets.

Habbakuk 1:2
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?

It happened, and one man walked out.

Covenant theologians are wrong when they tell you that the Church has replaced Israel.

The older Dispensationalists are wrong when they tell you that the promises of God are waiting the conversion of a future group of Jews.

The promises of God find all of their “yes” all of their “amen” in Jesus of Nazareth. Which means that all of these promises are here. Which is why the NT spends so much time talking about circumcision.

Every other page deals with cirucumcision. Because God’s promise to Abraham only to the circumcised, everlasting promise. Only those who are circumcised will receive the promise.

Genesis 17:13
13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.

NT does not say that circumcision has been replaced.

Colossians 2:11
In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,

You are in Christ, so that whatever is true of Jesus is true of you. That is why Paul gets so angry when people try to circumcise Gentiles. Because you are saying that there is something in Christ that is deficient.

Galatians 3:26
for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

Sons and *Daughters *in faith? No.
Here he is making a radical point that male and female, Jew and Greek, slave and free find their identity in Christ. They cry out “Abba, Father!” and they receive an inheritance.

Christ has the inheritance. Christ has the relationship with God. You stand before God *in * Christ.

He is the righteous one who receives these things, and you only receive it in Him.

If Christ is the key to understanding the kingdom, you and I need to understand that we cannot do evangelism appropriately and correctly without the Gospel story.

We must bring persons to Christ by showing them this big picture of what God is doing with the world, and where they fit into this.

We need to bring people to repentance, not simply for their own personal sin but in every aspect of their lives, including the way they see the world.

Understand the “already, and not yet” in Christ.

Focus on Christ.

Our problem with the health and wealth prosperity teachers is that they do not have enough health and wealth.

Yes, you will suffer in this present time because you are in Christ, and Christ suffered because the principalities and powers that came against him will come against you consistently until every enemy is under his feet.

We need to change the way we do Bible teaching. It needs to focus on Christ.

We train our children to think that Christ is the hoop that one jumps through at the beginning of the Christian life and then you never think of him again until you see him at judgment, except to remind yourself that I once met him somewhere back there at Vacation Bible School and now he’s given me these rules to live by.

Rather than saying, all of the Bible is pointing you to who you are in Jesus. And if you are to be transformed into the image of Christ, this is what it looks like and this is why.

Cultural engagement
Christ crucified is jarring. If you stand up in this culture and you proclaim a kingdom to a group of people who have never seen a king, and you tell them there is a Sovereign who has been given all authority everywhere, for all time, and you must submit to him. And this Sovereign bore in his own body the curse of God for the sins of every man, woman, and child ever born … you will find people offended by that.

But unless you jar them with the scandal of the message of the kingdom you will never get them to understand the story and how it makes sense.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

on a lighter note ...

Today I went to pick up some groceries. As I was meandering across some of the aisles, a group of kids, ages 10-13, passed me.

"Ask her. Ask her," I overheard one whisper.

A thirteen year old boy backtracked and began to follow me. "Um, excuse me. Could you say that you're our mom so that we can get a free cookie from the backery?"

I looked at the kid and noticed the mischievous twinkle in his eye.

"Look at me, kid. Do I look old enough to be your mother?"

"I never said you did!" and he scampered off to catch up with his waiting friends.

Crazy kids.

Later, as I was standing in line to pay, the kids came down one of the aisles near me.

"Hey, it's our mom!" shouted the ring leader.

Never one to pass up a bit of fun, I returned the greeting and waved. "Hey, kids."

One of the girls shyly waved back.

"She's more like our aunt," said another one of the girls.

The ringleader walked right up to me.

"I love you."

"Really, that's not what you said when I sent you to bed early last night. If I remember correctly, your language was anything but loving!"

His eyes got big, "I didn't mean it ..."

"Don't come following me around the grocery store, Junior, acting like all of a sudden you claim me as your mother!"

With that the kids all left the store laughing.

I bowed my head to keep from laughing myself, while those in line around me stared.

in response, part 3

Were my examples of ancient documentation of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ not sufficient? I get the feeling you did not even read my response.

Is this document of rotting fish sauce that you mention from the city of Jerusalem, Bethany, or Capernaum during the 3rd decade of the 1st Century A.D?

As for Muslims and Christians starving in Sudan and Ethiopia ... I believe the information you have received on the matter to be either ill-informed or false. I have a close friend who is in the region right now ministering. She is not there officially under the name of a Christian ministry because such aids of mercy are not permitted by the regional governments. Many have tried, only to be turned away. Years ago prominent Christian Aid ministries attempted to deliver food and shelter and medical supplies to the tribes you mentioned, only to have the food confiscated by the government and given to their armies. Thank God, for brave men and women, like my friend.

It's funny, but as I read your thoughts, Anonymous, I find myself nodding my head, thinking to myself, "I know! Isn't that horrible! How could people do such horrid acts in the 'name of Christ'?"

I believe a problem in our discussion is that you are equating medieval cultural Christianity with true, Scriptural Christianity.

It is appalling what popes and kings and misguided people have done in the name of the "church" and "Jesus". These were not Christian acts.

And you, as a student of history, ought to recognize that "religion" has often been used as a pawn in political gain. Men who in their everyday life could care less about spiritual things ... all of a sudden claimed "religion" as the source of motivation to go to war or manipulate the people. Politicians, today, even claim church membership to get a few extra votes.

Do I hear the name "hypocrite" echoing through the halls?

Indeed. Christ had a few choice words for those who hold tight to their religion to keep the upper hand, "brood of vipers" being one name that comes to mind.

And that's what I say of those who have claimed Christianity but have done evil deeds in the name of Christ. I believe that if Christ had come today, rather than 2000 years ago, popes, bishops, TV evangelists, and religious leaders would have picked up stones to stone Christ, as well. And why not, the Jews of the Old Testament killed the Prophets, messengers of their God.

Who does Christ say the father of hypocrites is?

John 8:39-47
39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing what Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing what your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

As for the wars between Protestants and Catholics ... political and at times a matter of self-defense.

Anonymous, I fear our future conversations may be fruitless if we keep discussing "cultural" religion.

My faith is rooted in true Scriptual spirituality ... not the names and actions of kings and popes in the past. If they have done evil, they are not of the faith and I have no association with them.

If you wish to further discuss my beliefs, I ask that you keep it to questions about Scriptural faith and not religion.

Many of your questions about true Christianity might be answered by reading the Scriptures for yourself. I'd recommend beginning with Mark. After that if you're up for an intellectual challenge, Romans or James.

I'd like to discuss these more with you.

in response, part 2


I’ll attempt to answer all of your questions now. If I’ve forgotten to address one of them, feel free to remind me.

Ha, I’d like to address your question about women “shepherding.” I hope and pray that more godly women would step up, immerse themselves in the study of the Scriptures, and lead the women in their congregations to more godly living and learning. Titus 2,

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled

For more on my view of women in ministry, take a look at my post, “The Do’s … Not Don’ts.”

As for Roman documentation, archeologists have only JUST found evidence of the reigns of Pilate and Herod in Palestine. You think they’re going to be so quick to find a few parchments, if they even exist anymore, regarding “The King of the Jews”?

There are, however, other documents verifying the existence of Christ.

Tacitus, a Roman historian wrote of Nero and the destruction of Rome:

Nero fastened the guilt . . . on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of . . . Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome. . . .

Pliny the Younger writes about Christians:

“They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food--but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”

Pliny understood that Christians were worshipping an actual historical person as God! Of course, this agrees perfectly with the New Testament doctrine that Jesus was both God and man.

Evidence from Josephus:

This segment is taken from the Arabic translation of Jewish Antiquities:

"At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. His conduct was good and (he) was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders."

Evidence from the Babylonian Talmud

The Talmud is not very kind in its description of the Jew’s Messiah. Is it any wonder?! They religious leaders *hated * him!.

On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald . . . cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy."

Sorcery? Hmph. The Gospels relate the moment when the Pharisees accused Christ of sorcery.

Matthew 12:24
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.

Apparently Christ’s enemies had witnessed the many miracles of Jesus so that the miracles themselves couldn’t be denied. Instead, they sought to slander him by attributing the power of the Holy Spirit to the “prince of demons.”

Evidence from Lucian:

Lucian of Samosata was a second century Greek satirist. In one of his works, he wrote of the early Christians as follows:

The Christians . . . worship a man to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.

What did Jesus teach to arouse such wrath? According to Lucian, he taught that all men are brothers from the moment of their conversion. That's harmless enough. But what did this conversion involve? It involved denying the Greek gods, worshipping Jesus, and living according to His teachings.

From the evidence, ancient writers recognized that Christ was wise, powerful, an honored teacher, performed miracles, crucified under the authority of Pontius Pilate, he was arrested on the day before Passover. There is even reference to the belief that Christ rose from the dead on the 3rd day. His followers believed he was the Christ, and worshipped him as God.

I am curious, as well, Anon. How is it that you came to understand that God had purposed not to interfere in the world after He had created it? I understand that this is the belief of Deists, but these are mere imaginings of their own hearts and not founded in what God has revealed about Himself in Scripture.

[UPDATE} Ah yes, I just looked back through your comments. Medieval Jewish Rabbis and would I give up on my faith.

As for studying the writings of men who have rejected their Messiah, how is this fruitful? Again, why flirt with lies?

You wrote:

"Would anything shatter your faith? Not the scenes of the Holocaust, the Serbian Death Camps, the starving Children in Sudan and Ethipioa? Are these the work of the Devil? Then why were they done in the name of your Christ?"

Ah, anonymous, if my faith were mere "fire insurance", a means of getting me out of hell when I die, I'd say that there would be an extreme likelihood that I would deny my God to save my neck. However, my faith is NOT fire insurance. I have been called out and I claim the promises of Scripture. My purpose on earth is to bring God glory. If that is to be accomplished through death or torture. So be it. But it will only be a little while, for when life is over, I will be with him, experiencing and living in the glory of His presence for eternity.

1 Peter 5:8-11
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The scenes of the Holocaust, the Serbian Death Camps ... I was not aware that these atrocities were committed in Christ's name. If that is the case, they were evil, wicked men using the holy name of Christ for their poitical *games*. Ethiopia and Sudan ... it is my understanding that it is the Christians who are being starved by muslim warlords.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

in response

You bring up your view of the issues and I in turn articulate mine. How is this not listening and engaging in an intelligent conversation? Should I sit demurely and merely nod my head and thank you for your thoughts?

You ask me questions about Christianity and I answer you with the foundation of our faith and history. How else should i answer? My faith is not a philosophy. It's not a system of works. It's not a result of my blood line. It's not a means of climbing the social latter.

It is life.

You ask me questions about Christianity and I give you answers from the "one source" the Bible, the only truly authoritative work on the subject. God's own words. Would my arguments be better aided by including quotes from Confucious or Nelson Mandela? That's not giving an answer about my faith. They have nothing to do with it. I quote Scripture so that you know that these are not my own "made-up" philosophies. There are too many out there who make their own "god" in their mind. Thinking, "this is what *I* think God is like ..." Rubbish. We know *exactly* what God is like because He has revealed it to us through Scripture.

In addition I have, myself, engaged in the conversation citing moments and people of history.

I would appreciate the same from your own arguments. Please include sources outside of your own opinion to back up your line of thinking.

"to say Secularism and Materialism are one in the same is to say Religion and Spirtuality are also the same."

who said that?

I'm not quite understanding your thoughts on material goods. Are we not to be good stewards of the things in life God has blessed us with? No one here is promoting Monastic Poverty.

"you're simply a hypocrit who will make a Generalization that all Secularism is Materialistic in nature."

again, who has said this? I do not appreciate your coming into the conversation with these preconceived ideas of how I think. Your idea of Christianity has obviously been marred by the sinful acts of those who claim to hold to the *religion* of the Christian faith.

Have you seen me throw personal stereotypes in your face?

And … Yes, humans by nature are sinful. Can you deny this?

"Oh, and you should try making an effort to travel and be exposed to other cultures. I can say that meeting the Dali Lhama was interesting and enlightening." ~ ehem ... thanks for the tip. I am widely travelled. I have friends who live in all four corners of the earth. I am by no means narrow-minded. I love culture and engaging different cultures. But when one has found Truth, why flirt with lies?

*In God’s creation of man, He gave special priority to creating man and woman as can be seen in chapters 1 and 2 in Genesis. It was after he created mankind that the Lord ”looked at all that he had made, and behold, it was very good," (Gen. 1:31).

We owe everything to God as our Creator. Our design as created beings is not a product of chance. No, the Lord shaped Adam from the dust of the earth and molded Eve from Adam’s rib. Our depend upon him entirely to sustain our very being. We owe him everything. Our obedience. Our loyalty. And our worship. He created us. He has claims of ownership over us.

Man was created good, body and soul. Our sexuality, our bodies, as well as our souls are created by God and are good and are meant to be used for the purposes that God intended in creating us.

Humanity is invested with moral freedom and responsibility. To none of the rest of creation does God give a moral commandment as He does to the man in the garden when He says to him, "Of all the trees you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not eat of it, for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die," (Gen. 2:15-17). It sets up right at the very beginning the moral imperative that humanity must realize that they are required by God to obey, but they are given a kind of freedom in which they may obey or not, and so they must use this gift of moral freedom in a way that would bring God glory and themselves blessing rather than to bring harm and destruction to themselves. The whole history of the human race shows how these two tracks are followed, either of obedience or disobedience as our moral freedom is expressed.

Man’s constitution, or his makeup, is that of a physical body and a spiritual soul. Tertullian’s Treatise on the Soul, written in the 2nd or 3rd century, says as much. Scripture supports this claim in Luke 23:43, "Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise." Certainly, this means, among other things, that the body of that thief on the cross, while it will go to a grave; the soul, the thief himself, as it were, the inner person, the thief on the cross will go to be with Christ in paradise.

Naturally the material part of our bodies comes about through the biological reproduction of our parents. How does one, then, have a soul? The traducian view holds that the soul as well as the body are carried over or brought forward from the human parents. In other words, this view holds that as God developed the reproductive process to work, He intended for human parents through sexual reproduction to conceive not just human bodies but whole human persons. Human beings produce human beings, that is, the whole human is reproduced in the reproductive process that God has designed. It is noted in Genesis 1 that both man and woman are created in the image of God, then when they have a child, that child is created in the image of the man. If you look in Genesis 5:3 we read, "Adam lived 130 years and he became the father of a son in his own likeness," this is referring to Seth, "and according to his image, and he named him Seth." Isn't that interesting that man and woman are created in the image of God but here Seth is created or is born, as it were, in the image of Adam who was the image of God? So, it looks as though your and my image of God status has come down a long line of parents, grandparents, great grandparents; you would back it all the way up to the original pair, Adam and Eve, and you realize image of God is passed on through this.

Everybody agrees that image of God in Genesis 1:26-27 is significant. The text changes all together when you come to that point. "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image according to our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, over the cattle in all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' And God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Clearly, image of God is meant by the author of Genesis to indicate something significant. Several people throughout history have defined in different ways.

Irenaeus (2nd Century) - argued that the image of God is our reason and volition but the likeness of God was something different, that is our holiness. As a result, the likeness of God is lost in the fall and regained in redemption but we all have the image of God because of our capacity of reason and volition.

Augustine understood the image of God as the reflection of the Triune persons of God mirrored in the distinct yet unified intellectual capacities of memory, intellect, and will.

Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century locates the image of God in man's reason by which we have the capacity to know and love God.

There have been these various proposals that something structurally accounts for our being the image of God. It makes us different from the animals. It makes us more like God because of that structural feature or features.

Karl Barth (20th Century) - it is relationality that constitutes the image of God. It’s not marriage that constitutes image of God, but human relationships taken more generally. Our dependence and need for one another is what constitutes this imaging.

Emil Brunner, Barth’s close friend, was the main proponent of this. He says it’s not the dual gender but the fact that we have a spiritual relationship with God. It is a relational understanding but only spiritual. We relate to him. We have a need for him.

The functional view essentially says that image of God has to do primarily, not with our structure or relationship, but as our structure and our relationship are put to work, as it were, that is, as we are called to do what God has commanded us to do.

Advocates of this view, Leonard Verduin and D. J. A. Clines have argued that the double-reference in Genesis 1:26, 28 of man ruling over the fish of the sea (notice that is mentioned twice in this image of God passage in Genesis 1) ruling over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and so on cannot be accidental. What God intends by this is for His image of God people to represent Him in ruling the earth that He has made. In other words, they become, as it were, vice-regents for God. Yes, He is King, but notice in Genesis 2 God takes Adam who is image of God and tells Adam, "You cultivate the garden Adam. Now it is my garden, I made it," God says, "but you are responsible to take care of it. You become caretaker of My creation." Notice the animals. How significant this is that He says, "Adam, you name them." Granted, they are God's animals, God has the right to name them. To name something is to indicate your authority over, your ownership of, even. So, God in giving the right of naming the animals to Adam is indicating you have rulership over these creatures that I have made. Yes, I made them but you act as vice-regent and rule over the animals.

Now if we’re going to discuss Ancient Near Eastern culture and history, let’s do so here.

One very helpful thing, I think, in trying to make sense of the image of God and what happens to it in the Fall and what happens to it in our restoration in Christ is the ancient near eastern background that D. J. A. Clines has made us aware of. Clines, a number of years ago, asked this very simple question. Why is it that the writer of Genesis, Moses, did not define for us what "image of God" is? Obviously, it is important; everybody agrees with that. But why didn't he tell us what he meant by it.

Clines suspected the reason that he didn't is because it was already understood; it was a commonly understood term or phrase. He went to work and looked in the ancient near eastern background to this and discovered that, sure enough, "image of God" is there and used prominently in the ancient near eastern context.

What it refers to most prominently as it refers to human beings, because image can also refer to inanimate objects as well, but when it refers to a human being it is of a king who has rulership responsibilities that he carries out on behalf of one of the gods. It looks as though this does give preference to the functional notion of image of God. This is important because many times, the kings are referred to as gods. Not because they were thought to actually be god but rather because they took on this role of acting in his image.

Three characteristics that Clines noted when it had to do with human beings:

1) the image of God took place when some kind of divine fluid or breath (or some substance) was imparted to the person who became the image of God. Could have been something he drank or ate, or simply breathed into him.

2) This substance, being given to this person, enabled the person to have god-like characteristics and function in the place of the god.

3) It happens only to a select few people. A king or a few royalty.

Applying Clines’ work to Genesis, looking specifically at verse 7 and God breathing into Adam the breath of life, then by taking a rib from the man. The whole human existence comes from Adam. Thus, the first characteristic is expressed in Genesis (breathing into the head of the race). The second of course, is shown in Adam’s naming ceremony and ruling of the garden. God has thus equipped Adam with what is necessary to rule and govern the land. When we come to the third, this is where Cline says Barth missed it! The point is that BOTH are created in the image of God, not that the image of God is both. The Old Testament teaching goes beyond the ANE understanding and thus we have it’s primary significance. It’s not just some representative king, but to all human kind.

My professor, Dr. Bruce Ware attempts then to bring together the structural, relational, and functional aspects of this, functional understanding being primary or at the core (especially when you interpret this in light of the doctrine of the person of Christ). But functions cannot take place without ontology and structure. You can’t have isolate functions that are not the functions of something. Image of God, though it’s not centrally the structure that we’ve been given by God, structure makes a difference and is quite necessary. If God calls us to have this mandate to have this ruling on his behalf, then he builds us in such a way that he grants to us a makeup that is consistent with this calling. That would include reason but not only reason. We have to have minds that can think God’s thoughts…etc. This is all necessary for us to carry out God’s mandate. But what about relationship? We jointly, subduing the earth, together as a body, make an impact and rule. Each of us needs each other and together we carry forth the purposes of God. This male female relation is indicative of the larger social framework which God intends us to be part of in living out this God given mandate. This might be called functional holism.

Ware’s definition, one that I mostly agree with, can be found in his article "Male and Female Complementarity in the Image of God" in the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 7/1 Spring 2002 issue. The definition reads as follows:

"The image of God in man as functional holism means that God made human beings, both male and female, to be created and finite representations (images of God) of God's own nature, that in relationship with him and each other, they might be his representatives (imaging God) in carrying out the responsibilities he has given to them. In this sense, we are images of God in order to image God and his purposes in the ordering of our lives and carrying out of our God-given responsibilities."

I think this notion of functional that conveys the notion that we are made a certain way to do a certain thing. Yes, the structure is important; the relationship is important; but all of that is there to serve the purpose of the function that God has given to us.

Another book you might want to look at on this that is very helpful is Anthony Hoekema's Created in God's Image. He has a very helpful discussion and basically argues along the same lines as I am presenting here.

If you change the function, you change the structure. We have depraved minds. We do not think right. We do not act right.

If image of God is fundamentally functioning in a way that carries out God's purposes you can see where the Fall just really distorted that. Even though we still retain reason, will, a spiritual nature in the rest, all of that is oriented now against God. So we are not acting as God's vice-regents, rather, we are in rebellion against Him and guilty of treason against the King. So what has to happen in Christ is we have to be restored in a place where we once again live the way Christ lived. How did Christ live?

Christ said, "I came to do the will of the Father who sent me. I don't speak on my own initiative; I speak as the Father taught me." We need to be images of God the way Christ was the Image of God par excellence who lived his life to carry out the will of the Father and the restoration of us involves the restoration of our substance, surely our structure, as our minds and wills are reshaped to be Christ-like, but then that has the function or the outcome of enabling us to do what we were called to do. In that sense we become like Christ and so are remade the image of God as we are remade the image of Christ.

God has created us to experience and express what God is like. God, first and foremost, has in mind who we are in order to ground and support what we do. To be people who receive from God something of the fullness that is God’s infinitely and eternally. He shares it with us.

Our reason for being here is not to help God out! He doesn’t need us! We are here to be filled, not to fill up him. His strength replaces our weakness. His knowledge replaces our ignorance. We receive from God what he possesses and we lack. We become finite recipients of the fullness of God. We are here to experience God at work in our lives. He creates us to experience and express what he is like. So we live out of those natures that have been filled with the love of God and the mind of Christ.

We note then the irony in living absolutely bound to Christ and the freedom that accompanies. A life of freedom is at one in the same time a life of freedom. The only truly liberating life there is a life in bondage to the will and the ways of God (Romans 5). Analogy: a train made/designed to run on tracks. That’s where it is freest. A train can be all that it can be when it is allowed to run on tracks. But if the train begins thinking that it is being restricted, it wants to go cross-country, it finds its life of freedom violates its created design and thus brings bondage that kills it. Or we could think of a fish deciding to jump up on shore to experience the real, free, land-life. A bondage that kills soon comes. There is bondage one of two ways. One liberates and one kills. It is the nature of the fish to swim in water or the train to run on tracks. Such leads to life. God has called us to a life of liberty and joy but that is only found in our fulfillment of our created design.

* Notes taken from Dr. Ware’s Systematic Theology II course.

Monday, May 15, 2006

neither Jew nor Greek

Acts 28:28
Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

Romans 3:29
Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,

Romans 9:24
even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

Romans 15:8-13
8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
and sing to your name.”

10 And again it is said,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”

11 And again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples extol him.”

12 And again Isaiah says,

“The root of Jesse will come,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 3:9-31
9 What then? Are we Jews [1] any better off? [2] No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being [3] will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
The Righteousness of God Through Faith

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one. He will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Galatians 3:27-29
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Saturday, May 13, 2006

the kingdom of God

Dr. Russell D. Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, lectures on the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom and the Future
The Kingdom and the Gospel
The Kingdom and the Church

the do's ... not don'ts

In a recent conversation with a fellow woman student, we expressed our concern over the debate regarding where women belong in Christian ministry. Debates addressing the issues of women in leadership in the Christian community are rampant in evangelical circles. A heavy line divides liberal feminists who seek to categorize Paul’s statements concerning women in the church as cultural and not valid for today’s Christian and staunch conservatives who hold tightly to the words of Paul as ageless words inspired by God, Himself. Sadly, each side often concentrates only on what women are not permitted to do in Christian gatherings. Let women instead revel in the joy of serving Christ in the ways that Scripture encourages women to serve.

Women throughout the past four decades have sought to liberate themselves from the bondage of submission to the world of men under the banner of feminism. How sad it is to have such an outlook on life and one’s calling to be a woman! However, this is not a movement that has only just now erupted. Woman’s desire to rule over man has driven women to sin ever since the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3:16b, the Lord said to the woman, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Paul’s admonition to the female saints of the early church was not cultural. His appeal to the women to keep silent, to dress modestly, to submit themselves to the headship of their husbands (1 Corinthians 11:3, 8-9, 11; 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:9-15; Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19; and Peter in 1 Peter 3:1-7) is argued in light of the created order: “For Adam was formed first, and then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:13). This order places an immense amount of responsibility upon the shoulders of men, a responsibility that women should rest in and find comfort in, rather than fight.

Paul compares women submitting to their husbands as the church submitting to Christ. “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands” (Ephesians 5:24). Christ’s headship over the church is not that of a tyrant forcing his people into a submission akin to slavery. The opposite is true. Instead of being a tyrant, Christ is our Savior. The language of Ephesians 5 is full of love, self-sacrifice, care, and respect. Lucy Mabery-Foster in Women and the Church (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999) states, “the wife’s submission is not to be an unthinking obedience to her husband’s harsh rule but rather a grateful acceptance of his care” [emphasis hers].

Submission is not a punishment to be endured. When Paul urges the women in 1 Timothy 2:11 to “learn in quietness and full submission,” this is for the benefit of the church as a whole. When women step outside of their roles to fill those intended for men by God, chaos ensues. Women who deny the commands of Scripture and take positions as head pastors, church elders, instructors of theology to men all contribute to the confusion. Men become mere pew-warmers allowing the women to run the church. In the end there is a leadership vacuum. Men do not lead. Women attempt to fill those roles. Men leave the church. Sons are raised in churches run almost entirely by women. Finally, boys grow up not having pure examples of biblical manhood. The cycle continues to spiral down until the church struggles on the brink of death, and the women wonder why the men do nothing. Rather, women submitting themselves to the instruction and leadership of men in the church should rest in men’s pastoral care, praying for their growth in the Lord, and supporting and encouraging them in their walks with God. It is not a matter of ability, rather it is a matter of order.

So, instead of giving into the temptation of Eve, whose “desire was for her husband” (meaning, she sought to usurp his authority), what is a godly woman to do? We are blessed, in Scripture, with so many marvelous examples of godly women who served during Christ’s ministry. Mary, the humble young woman chosen by God to birth the Savior of the world, was not only Jesus’ mother but she was also his faithful disciple. Elizabeth, an older relative of Mary’s, miraculously conceived John the Baptist and testified to the Great King within Mary’s womb. Anna, a prophetess in the temple, prayed earnestly for the coming Messiah and was blessed by the sight of the Savior as an infant brought by his parents to be circumcised. Mary Magdalene had been a slave to darkness and her encounter with Christ made her a willing bondservant to the Messiah. She remained with him during his ministry even to the cross and proclaimed the resurrected Christ to the apostles. The sisters, Mary and Martha, stand out as excellent examples of discipleship and servanthood. The Samaritan woman, though broken and sinful, evangelized her village, boldly proclaiming a new life in Christ.

In the early years of the church, several women stood out as ministers of the Gospel. Dorcas, the only woman to be specifically titled a disciple in Scripture, selflessly gave of herself to the poor in her community; so much so, that when she died those she had ministered to pleaded with Peter to pray for her resurrection. Her body was wonderfully resurrected and her ministry continued. Priscilla, alongside her husband, Aquila, invited the orator Apollos into their home and instructed him further in the true knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul commends her for the use of her gifts in hospitality, service, leadership, teaching, and mercy. Paul further commends several specific women of the church in Rome for their service to the church in hospitality and hard work, and cautioned them to live holy lives in wisdom. Lydia, a prominent businesswoman in Philippi, opened her home to missionaries and the local body of Christ. Eunice, another follower of “the Way”, raised her son Timothy to be a young man “well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium” (Acts 16:2) despite her mixed marriage.

These women served their Lord and Savior in their homes, among their families, in the communities, within the local churches, and beyond. Some women today assert that Paul’s refusal to allow women to teach men was either cultural or a command bound only within the context of the local church. Thus it would be admissible for women today to serve in authoritative/instructive roles in Christian organizations outside the local church. However, para-church organizations did not exist during Paul’s lifetime. Christian life revolved around the church, whether local or universal. Christian activity was the church. It is this author’s understanding that the exhortation for women to learn in submission and not exercise authority over men refers to all Christendom. Why is it the desire of so many women to neglect their calling of service to women within the body? Why do they long to also have authority over men? Is a ministry, exclusive to women only, in any way inferior to those ministry positions Scripture reserves for men? God forbid!

Women in the New Testament served Christ in many ways. Modern disciples of Christ who seek to be leaders in the church and of women’s ministries ought to look to these examples and implement them within their own ministries. In the Gospels alone, women were found anointing Jesus, following him, waiting on him, believing in the resurrection of the Messiah, being filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesying, fasting and praying, contributing financially to ministry, sitting at the feet of Christ and learning, being admonished to take up their own crosses to follow Christ and to count the costs of discipleship. In the early church, women prayed in the gathering of other believers. They were full of good works and mercy. Many women opened their homes to the church. They were faithful mothers and wives. They even corrected male leaders privately, so as not to shame them or call into question God’s ordained order of creation. In the Epistles, women ministered as servants of the church (deaconesses), helping many, being fellow workers of the Gospel, hard workers, outstanding among the church leadership, using their spiritual gifts, coheirs of the promise in Christ, sharing the struggle of the Gospel, teaching women, and training younger women, exemplifying what it is to be godly wives and mothers.

Feminists who cry out in fury, claiming that those who will not permit them to pastor churches, preach, or lead congregations because they are "inferior" are themselves stating that the office of ministry to women is an inferior position. Women have a high calling when it comes to ministry. Not only does the Spirit gift women with the same gifts as men, but they have also been given the privilege to serve Christ as ministers to their husbands, to their families, to the church, to their communities, and to each other.


the words we never said
and the looks we never held
the silence that we kept so long
it was easier left unsaid
but there's no denying

standing at your door
and listening to our words
honesty i've never heard
and i'd stay for hours more
but with you i can't ignore
what's best and all i've learned

but there's no denying
there's no one denying

and i know it sounds crazy
but i feel so much
and i don't know what to do with myself
but i like being where you are
and i feel so certain about who i am in your eyes,
and how come with you my time flies
but i will let that time go by

and all i've ever known
is not what i know now
when i look at you
and i'm scared of being wrong
but not scared of you somehow
but there's no denying
there's no one denying

and i know it sounds crazy
but i feel so much
and i don't know what to do with myself
but i like being where you are
and i feel so certain about who i am in your eyes,
and how come with you my time flies
but i will let that time go by

but there's no denying
there's no one denying

and i know it sounds crazy
but i feel so much
and i don't know what to do with myself
but i like being where you are
and i feel so certain about who i am in your eyes,
and how come with you my time flies
but i will let that time go by

cuz there's no denying

"crazy" from Looking For Flowers Again
by Late Tuesday

Friday, May 12, 2006

i'm no liberal feminist, but ...

Last night ... or was it early this morning? ... a couple of us over at Craig's blog were scoffing at an article written by a fundamentalist preacher who was getting blue in the face about women wearing pants. According to him, a woman who wears pants


click here to read it for yourself.

It started when a couple of us read Team Pyro's excellent article on women and modesty in the church. The ladies at Girl Talk give a biblical perspective for women on dressing to glorify God.

Here's a quote from another fellow about women. I'll let you mull over your own thoughts on this one.

As I've said, women should get married and have children before going to university. (University, especially the Arts, will poison their minds with Feminist dogma.) They should marry older guys who are beginning their careers.

Women and the Church

Mabery-Foster, Lucy. Women and the Church. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999.

In Women and the Church, Lucy Mabery-Foster provides a much needed resource for local churches and para-church organizations. She recognizes the need for leaders in churches across America to minister to the needs of women, who make up a majority of their congregations. In the pages of this book, Mabery-Foster covers the topics ranging from challenges involved in women’s ministries, biblical perspectives of the role of women in the church and society, feminism and its affects on modern Christianity, the unique needs of women in the church and how to meet them, and the establishment and building of women’s ministries.

Mabery-Foster begins by convincing the reader of the need to address women’s issues in the church. Whether one is a pastor, lay-leader, or concerned Christian, one can only benefit from a better understanding of caring for the unique needs of women, particularly as times and ideologies change. She then shifts into introducing arguments concerning views of biblical womanhood, examining different interpretations of hierarchy and roles within the church, and asking the question of whether or not feminism is biblical. Once believers truly know where they stand on these issues, they can effectively minister to the needs of women in the church. These unique needs must be met by helping women take responsibility for their actions and emotions by placing them under the lordship of Christ and counseling women who are hurting. Mabery-Foster further details how one might meet the needs of single women, married women, working women, and ethnic women. Taking all of the above into consideration, it becomes obvious for the necessity of establishing a women’s ministry in the local church. The author lays out an outline of how to develop a discipleship program for women, followed by tips on how to raise up leaders for the ministry using Old Testament examples of and New Testament guidelines for godly leadership. Leaders in women’s ministries, Mabery-Foster concludes, must develop a philosophy of ministry that ministers to the whole woman: providing fellowship, discipleship, and growth in the women of the local church.

Throughout the book Mabery-Foster addresses issues involving women’s ministry that were not prevalent twenty years ago. Divorce has become the norm. More women are working outside the home. America’s transient society has displaced many women away from their families once they are on their own. Such issues cannot be ignored when working with women in the church. Rather than alienating women who do not fit the traditional mold of what evangelicals once thought Christian women ought to be, Mabery-Foster asserts that these are the very women that need to feel a part of that ministry. While the traditional family ideal appears to be crumbling, the church must provide the fellowship, encouragement, counsel, and growth that women need within the family of God.

Many modern women are confused about their roles in the home, society, and the church. Feminism has swept through our society and has permeated the church. The consequences of Eve’s sin have affected all generations following her. It does not appear, however, that Eve’s “desire” for her husband has affected society at large to such an extent as it has the past thirty years. In response to feminism, Mabery-Foster does not deny woman’s responsibility in the Fall of mankind. She masterfully works through the Scriptures to reveal God’s design in the creation order and the joy found in submitting to the authority found therein. Yet, feminists seem bent on seeing Christian faith through the lenses of their assumption that men and women are equal in all respect. Mabery-Foster points out that as a result of their presuppositions, feminists deny the doctrine of Scripture, the doctrine of God, and the doctrine of humanity. Even “evangelical feminists”, in order to maintain their position, must make such statements as “Paul was wrong.”

Below are listed three particularly relevant quotes from the book to women’s ministry:

• “[T]he wife’s submission is not to be an unthinking obedience to her husband’s harsh rule but rather a grateful acceptance of his care.” (47)

• “We must teach our women to embrace their singleness, developing themselves to the fullest of their potential in Christ, believing that God’s highest goal for them is to glorify Him—while waiting on His timing to place them in relationships of His choosing.” (165)

• “Another problem is that young couples today try to draw all their emotional support from each other, since the extended families are so far removed, and this puts more stress on their relationship. No two people can supply everything that each other needs. People need people—people whom they can depend on for maturing them in their faith, for encouragement, for advice, for support, and for accountability.” (206)

Lucy Mabery-Foster’s study in chapter five regarding the role of women according to the New Testament is stellar. While most feminists and many evangelicals tend to place a negative connotation on the term submit, Mabery-Foster shows that Paul and Peter were not demeaning women, but rather, the Apostles affirmed women as created in God’s image, co-heirs with Christ, equal in receiving the gift of salvation and spiritual gifts, and complimentary to men in their roles as women in the home and church. Women do not submit to men as one would to a tyrant. Instead, Men are commanded to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Husbands have authority over their wives, just as Christ has authority over the church … not as tyrant, but as Savior (Ephesians 5:23). Mabery-Foster asserts Christ’s headship is not characterized by his lordship, but rather by his “saviorhood.”(46) Such love! Such sacrifice! Who would not desire to submit oneself under the headship of such a One? Thus a woman submits to her husband out of “grateful acceptance of his care”(47), not out of blind, unwilling obedience to tyranny.

Throughout the text Mabery-Foster rebukes feminists for reading Scripture through the lens of how they want to perceive Scripture in light of their own views. They twist Scripture to fit their views or reject its teachings entirely when they do not match their beliefs. What is truth in Scripture? Or is it all relative? Mabery-Foster stands for the Bible in all areas, except when it comes to her own situation, it seems. A professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, as well as, a speaker at pastor conferences and seminars, Mabery-Foster justifies her having authority over men in matters of teaching the Bible by stating that Paul’s commands do not extend to organizations outside the local church.(62-63) Such an argument seems faulty when considering that at the time of Paul’s writing there were no para-church ministries. Surely, anything involving the ministry of preaching and teaching God’s Word then pertained to his exhortation regarding women’s roles not to excercise the authority of teaching Scripture to men.

Despite that one inconsistency, Mabery-Foster writes a very fine book that ought to be on the required reading list for all seminary students, on the shelves of all pastors, and in the hands of all women who desire to be leaders in their churches’ women’s ministry. Because women make up the majority of church congregations, not to mention 55% of the nation’s population, ministers of the gospel must understand the special needs women have. Women and the Church is not written with a female audience in mind but for all who desire to effectively minister to the entire body of Christ.