Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My new iPhone

So, I was finally able to pick it up yesterday. After anxiously awaiting the July 11th release, and then having to order it and wait two weeks to get's finally in my hands. I'm pretty excited at all the new possiblities that lie ahead in my productivity and entertainment with this little device. I spent most of the day yesterday setting everything thing up (which is a ton of fun for me) and getting everything I want on there.

Amidst all the excitement, I also understand some of the dangers ahead. With constant access to the internet, my email, calendar, and other random entertaining things, I can easily let it control my life. And sure enough, this morning I read a great article concerning this very idea by Tim Challies. Here are some of his thoughts:
"It seems to me that, as society continues to move in its current direction, and as we become ever more “wired,” Christians will have to be focused and deliberate about moderating and perhaps removing some of this ever-present background noise. If we are to be thinking people, people who think deeply and deliberately about spiritual matters, we simply cannot allow our lives to be overshadowed by the noise of technology.

Truthfully, I cannot think of anything that distracts us so fully and completely and consistently as technology. For too many of us, technology is a master and not a servant. It is our owner, not our possession. We let it run and rule our lives. We allow technology to determine the course of our lives, taking us where it leads. We determine our schedules with TV Guide in one hand, an iPhone calendar in the other. We invest countless hours in online friendships, many of which are shallow and insignificant, while ignoring people in our local churches and communities. Perhaps while ignoring even our own families.

Technology is a great servant but an evil master. Technology is proof of the greatness of God and something we ought to be thankful for. After all, He is the One who has endowed humans with the ingenuity that makes it all possible..."

Read the whole thing

Monday, July 28, 2008

Devotional Theology

Ray Ortlund posts:

"For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await others. I believe that many who find that 'nothing happens' when they sit down or kneel down to a book of devotion would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand."

C. S. Lewis, quoted in Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper, C. S. Lewis: A Biography, page 115.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On the Spot Obedience

I've been reading The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard. It's really good stuff so far. He's addressed some things recently that I have been thinking about. It's an idea similar to what he talks about in Divine Conspiracy, thought put in a slightly different way. It's basically that idea that we sometimes seek Christlikeness by asking the question "What Would Jesus Do?" in this particular situation. Willard says that there is a flaw in this thinking. He says:
"the idea conveyed is an absolutely fatal one--that to follow [Christ] simply means to try to behave as He did when He was 'on the spot,' under pressure or persecution or in the spotlight. There is a realization that what He did is such cases was...the natural outflow of the life he lived when not on the spot."
And he says a couple of paragraphs earlier:
"We cannot behave 'on the spot' as He did and taught if in the rest of our time we live as everybody else does...Jesus never expected us simply to turn the other cheek, go the second mile, bless those who persecute us, give unto them that ask, and so forth. These responses, generally and rightly understood to be characteristic of Christlikeness, were set forth by Him as illustrative of what might be expected of a new kind of person."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Radiohead video...without using cameras

Radiohead's "House of Cards" music video using lasers. Very cool.

And here is how it was made

(HT:Looking Closer)

Calvinists vs. the Judaizers

Ray Ortlund has a great post on not letting your Reformed theology turn into an addition to Jesus and a division among people you come in contact with. Here's a sample:
I believe in the sovereignty of God, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Solas of the Reformation, I believe that grace precedes faith in regeneration. Theologically, I am Reformed. Sociologically, I am simply a Christian – or at least I want to be. The tricky thing about our hearts is that they can turn even a good thing into an engine of oppression. It happens when our theological distinctives make us aloof from other Christians. That’s when, functionally, we relocate ourselves outside the gospel and inside Galatianism.

The Judaizers in Galatia did not see their distinctive – the rite of circumcision – as problematic. They could claim biblical authority for it in Genesis 17 and the Abrahamic covenant. But their distinctive functioned as an addition to the all-sufficiency of Jesus himself. Today the flash point is not circumcision. It can be Reformed theology. But no matter how well argued our position is biblically, if it functions in our hearts as an addition to Jesus, it ends up as a form of legalistic divisiveness.


My Reformed friend, can you move among other Christian groups and really enjoy them? Do you admire them? Even if you disagree with them in some ways, do you learn from them? What is the emotional tilt of your heart – toward them or away from them? If your Reformed theology has morphed functionally into Galatian sociology, the remedy is not to abandon your Reformed theology. The remedy is to take your Reformed theology to a deeper level. Let it reduce you to Jesus only. Let it humble you. Let this gracious doctrine make you a fun person to be around. The proof that we are Reformed will be all the wonderful Christians we discover around us who are not Reformed. Amazing people. Heroic people. Blood-bought people. People with whom we are eternally one – in Christ alone.

Monday, July 14, 2008

One reason I'm enjoying reading through the Message

It makes some verses really come to life. For instance, this prayer of David's (Psalm 119:175) has stuck with me lately:
"Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A creative and funny blog

Thanks to Julia, I have a new and pretty funny blog to read. It's called "Stuff Christians Like" and it makes fun of a lot of weird stuff that happens in the Christian subculture. And it's written by a guy that goes to Northpoint. Check it out.

Here are a few of my favorites posts:

Background Music for Prayer
Christian Break-ups
Worship Leaders
The Judgement Olympics
The Metrosexual Worship Leader