Monday, December 24, 2007

Exchanging Kindness for Rudeness

A great Christmas Story from the NY Times. If you don't understand why it is a great Christmas story, you don't understand Christmas.

Do You Love The Bible?

Then I suggest considering supporting this ministry

Saturday, December 1, 2007

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

A very fine sermon Kaleo Church, based on John 13: 34-35 and John 17:23

John 13:34-35: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

John 17:23: "I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me."

H/T to Fide-o

Saturday, November 24, 2007

For You Have Heard it Said...

Mathew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’and ‘hate your enemy.’ 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 5:45 so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? 5:47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? 5:48 So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Net Bible)

A good study on these verses is found here.

The author, Chip Bell, concludes with this:

The evangelical church longs to reveal God’s justice

by hating those who oppose him.

But God longs for the church to reveal his love

for even those who oppose him.

You’re an evangelical. How do you treat the people in this world who hate God, who reject his truth and live by their own behavioral standards?

Do you love them?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Who is My Neighbor?

Via Fide-O, a post on Luke 10:25-37, from the Nine Marks

Luke 10:25-37 Now an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?” The expert answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” (NET Bible)

The article's conclusion:

So while evangelism needs to be primary, caring for the poor is an evident outpouring of the gospel message. The fact that the gospel alone brings sinners to repentance does not negate our need to care for a fallen world and for those made in God’s image.

A better conclusion (or better application, perhaps)comes from Bob Deffinbaugh

That is what the truth of God’s Word is for, it is to be rightly understood and then rightly lived. God does not want us to give Him a textbook definition of loving our neighbor; He wants us to demonstrate love for our neighbor in the real world, by showing compassion to one in need, as did the Good Samaritan. Let us beware of intellectualizing the truth. Let us beware of keeping the Word of God in the classroom. And let us live out the grace of God that we have experienced it, if indeed we have experienced it.

3 Gallons Superheated Oil, 1 Jet Engine - the perfect Turkey

From last year - You have to love 3 gallons of oil superheated to the point of spontaneous combustion on top of a 35,000 BTU propane burner. Add one 22lb Turkey, cook for 66 minutes - perfection. I hope your Turkey tasted as good as mine - but I doubt it. Of course, babysitting the bird in 20 degree weather was not so much fun.....

Monday, November 19, 2007

Worth Reading

Thanks to Frank, I just added Tyler Bennicke to my list of Blogs I visit. He doesnt seem to post much, but he does seem to have worthwhile things to say.

The Greatest Commandment

For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” (NET Bible, Galations 5:14)

I have always found this to be one of the most interesting statements in the Bible. Interesting because as far as I am aware, it is the only time it is not paired with "Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,and with all your mind.’ (Mathew 22:37, NET Bible)

Just what makes this the greatest commandment?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

How Shall We Live ? Sola Amare

Sola Amare - By Love Alone

This has been an idea running around my head for a while now.

The Five Solas - all true, all fundamental, in the end, are not enough - not enough because they do not tell us how to live as Christians. Yet, so often, it is all the reformed focus on. They have lasered in on the five solas, and missed the big picture - they see the tree, but not the forest.

The Big Picture - how shall we live as Christians? We shall live by love.

22:34 Now when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they assembled together. 22:35 And one of them, an expert in religious law, asked him a question to test him: 22:36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 22:37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,and with all your mind.’ 22:38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 22:39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 22:40 All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Mathew 22:34-40, NET Bible)

Over and over - the commandment is two fold - Love God, and Love your Neighbor.

Sola Amare

Friday, November 16, 2007

Augustine of Hippo - Quote of the Day

Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord. For the one seeks glory from men; but the greatest glory of the other is God, the witness of conscience. The one lifts up its head in its own glory; the other says to its God, "Thou art my glory, and the lifter up of mine head." In the one, the princes and the nations it subdues are ruled by the love of ruling; in the other, the princes and the subjects serve one another in love, the latter obeying, while the former take thought for all. The one delights in its own strength, represented in the persons of its rulers; the other says to its God, "I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength."

The City of God
Book XIV Chap. 28
Of The Nature Of The Two Cities, The Earthly And The Heavenly

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Initial Thoughts - Church History - An Essential Guide, by Justo Gonzalez

Justo Gonzalez is church history kind of guy, having written a number of texts used in universities and seminaries around the world.

Abingodon Press has a series of Essential Guides – with this one of them.

The intent of the book is to provide students “gain a quick and basic grasp of the main periods and issues in the history of Christianity”. As such, it is no way designed to be a complete or in-depth study. This is both a strength, and a weakness.

It is certainly a broad brush, which fits the intent of the book. Each chapter is short, concise and straightforward. It is written at a college level, so a smart high school student could likely handle it, but he uses lots of big words and concepts, with few (no) definitions. In fact, there is intentionally no glossary. He does have suggested readings at the end of each chapter. Chapters are typically about 10 pages, so you can get through each in one short sitting.

I also kept wishing for either a timeline or some basic maps. While his descriptions are good, a simple map showing just how far the moors got into Europe would add depth without complexity. Sometimes more detail makes the work simpler for the reader to understand.

To me, this book cries out for a companion web site, or perhaps for this book to be completely web driven. He expects much of the reader, and explains little, so that if you would like more information, you are out of luck. For example, he discusses the Apostles Creed – but does not include the creed. A hot link to the creed, and perhaps additional discussion at that link would be great. This is repeated consistently through the text. Yes, intentionally so, but nonetheless, frustrating. If this were web based, like the NEXT Bible, you could have the brevity, but also have the detail to follow up on some or all of the information.

I like this book. For being constrained to book format, it is worth having. But if it were on the net, or computer based, it could of both met his goal of a providing a broad overview while yet providing resources for those who wish to dig deeper. And certainly a few graphics would also greatly enhance the work.

A Dangerous Idea

Well, isn't this a fine start