Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Identity Problem

Ray Ortlund posted a great quote that I wanted to pass on. I feel like this so much of the time.
"We are trying to be several selves at once, without all our selves being organized by a single, mastering Life within us. Each of us tends to be, not a single self, but a whole committee of selves. There is the civic self, the parental self, the financial self, the religious self, the society self, the professional self, the literary self. And each of our selves is in turn a rank individualist, not cooperative but shouting out his vote loudly for himself when the voting time comes. . . . We are not integrated. We are distraught. We feel honestly the pull of many obligations and try to fulfill them all. And we are unhappy, uneasy, strained, oppressed, and fearful we shall be shallow. For over the margins of life comes a whisper, a faint call, a premonition of richer living which we know we are passing by."

Thomas R. Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, pages 114-115.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This looks cool

The Dumbing of America

This seems to be pretty accurate.
"'The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself.' Ralph Waldo Emerson offered that observation in 1837, but his words echo with painful prescience in today's very different United States. Americans are in serious intellectual trouble -- in danger of losing our hard-won cultural capital to a virulent mixture of anti-intellectualism, anti-rationalism and low expectations."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

No End in Sight

Minutes ago I finished watching this documentary,No End in Sight. You can watch it for free via that link. It's up for best documentary and is likely to win Sunday at the Oscars. It's basically about the situation in Iraq over the last 5 years, mainly centered on 2003. It is a very gripping account of some bad decisions that were made on the part of the US involving the reconstruction of Iraq. I highly recommend watching it for possibly a fresh perspective on what has really happened over there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Review of Nooma Videos

The NOOMA videos have been a great success for the last several years. They are created by Rob Bell, pastor of a fast growing megachurch in Michigan. Rob is a leader in the emergent church movement, and for this, has not been without criticism. His videos are very well done, short productions that are widely popular among youth groups and young adults across the country.

This review by Greg Gilbert is an great in depth look at these videos. Are they harmless? Do they point people to Truth? Read to find out.

Here is Greg's conclusion:
I realize that Rob Bell is trying to communicate with people who have never given the time of day to spiritual things. He’s trying to present Jesus to them in a way that will be accessible to them. I think that’s a noble goal, and I don’t think it’s a futile one. But I also think that the way Bell has gone about it—with particular reference to these NOOMA videos—is something far smaller than and far short of biblical Christianity.

Having watched so many of these videos, it strikes me just now how seldom Bell uses the traditional Christian language to name Jesus. He doesn’t call him Savior, or Redeemer, or Son of God, and only very occasionally does he call him Lord. Instead, he very much seems to prefer calling Jesus "teacher" or "rabbi." I’m sure part of that is that he wants to be fresh and edgy. But I think it also points to just how far these videos lower the meaning of Christianity.

The fact is, the NOOMA videos retell the story of Jesus in a pretty radical way. Though Jesus is certainly respected and honored, the point of the story no longer involves the divine Christ who died on the cross as a substitute for his people, rose from the dead, and is now enthroned in heaven, but rather Jesus the Nazarene who teaches people how to live and how to find God. Jesus shows the way, rather than being the Way. He is respected, honored, and heeded, rather than worshipped. He is "Rabbi," rather than "Savior." This is, as Darrell Bock and Daniel Wallace described it recently, the replacement of "Christianity" with "Jesusanity."

Bell would never use this word, but I believe what he’s presented in NOOMA is really just another religion that’s not so much different from any other religion in the world. For the gospel of NOOMA isn’t finally about the Son of God who lovingly dies in his people’s place to redeem them from sin and save them from God’s righteous judgment. It’s about the really great teacher who says, "Change your life. Live this way."

(HT:Justin Taylor)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

To be able to say "Woe is me!"

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple.  Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"  Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for."
                                                    - Isaiah 6:1-7
"[Isaiah] was considered by his contemporaries as the most righteous man in the nation. He was respected as a paragon of virtue. Then he caught one sudden glimpse of a Holy God. In that single moment all of his self-esteem was shattered. In a brief second he was exposed, made naked beneath the gaze of the absolute standard of holiness. As long as Isaiah could compare himself to other mortals, he was able to sustain a lofty opinion of his own character. The instant he measured himself by the ultimate standard, he was destroyed--morally and spiritually annihilated."
                     - The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul pg. 44

Oh, how I need to see myself as God sees me, not man.  I can always get cleaned up before man, but never before God.  I want desperately to be free from the fear of man, and instead to fear God.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The New Atheism and Al Mohler

Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist seminary in Lexington, recently did a speaking series on the "new atheism" at Dallas Theological Seminary. They are incredibly helpful at summarizing what exactly this movement is all about.

1. The New Atheism and The Endgame of Secularism = An introduction into the movement
2. The New Atheism and The Assault on Theism = Mohler talks about Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins
3. The New Atheism and The Defense of Theism = Mohler talks about Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens
4. The New Atheism and The Future of Christianity = A great conclusion summarizing the other 3 messages

Here were some interesting sound bites:
"We live among people who believe in belief" which most new atheists would say is one step closer to their side.

"Agnostics are failed believers and liberal Christians are failed unbelievers"

The new atheists would say that, concerning worldviews, "there is really only atheism and biblical theism, nothing in between."

Also, for a blogger who will allow you good insight into this world of atheism, check out Friendly Atheist

Friday, February 15, 2008


Well, I'm back from Steamboat Springs, CO. We had a great time skiing, well I guess a few of us did. Roy didn't much like it. My mom had the flu all week. And my dad got sick toward the end, so he only skied two days. So I guess a couple of us had a good time skiing. My buddy Zach and his friend Rob were able to come out and ski with us one day, which was cool. Check out this video for one of his crazy stunts.

Some interesting facts about Steamboat while we were there.:
1) Steamboat, up until our first day of skiing, had not seen the sun since December 1st.
2) It had already received 300 inches of snow, which is what it usually gets for the entire season

This means we had some incredible powder to ski on!

Alright, now on to some pictures.

Here's Kara and I in the Gondola square area right outside of our condo.


I'm about to ski on some of the best snow ever...and I'm about to eat it

And check out all of them here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Freud on death

I don't like most things Sigmund Freud has to say, but I thought the following quote was dead on. I found it as I finished up with my latest Ravi book, Can Man Live Without God?. By the way, it's an incredible book. Here's the quote:

" bottom nobody believes in his own death...every one of us is convinced of his immortality. We regularly emphasize the accidental cause of death, the mishap, the disease, the infection, the advanced age, and thus betray our eagerness to demote death from a necessity to a mere accident. Toward the deceased himself we behave in a special way, almost as if we were full of admiration for someone who has accomplished something very difficult. We suspend criticism of him, forgive him any injustice, pronounce the motto, de mortuis nil nisi bene, and consider it justified that in the funeral sermon and on the gravestone the most advantageous things are said about him. Consideration for the dead, who no longer needs it, we place higher than truth."