Month: January 2008

Rexburg Idaho Temple, Part 7

So how many temple marriages have been postponed that were scheduled in this first full week of February?  At least a couple dozen?

Ladies, can you imagine having to postpone all your plans, communicate to all your guests, share with all your friends and family that already have plane tickets?

I am a pastor.  And I am thinking tonight of all these soon-to-be brides in the midst of their circumstances.

Brian McLaren despises my Christianity

He despises my Christianity and then calls it names. 

 

I recently rifled through Brian’s book, Everything Must Change (Thomas Nelson, 2007). 

He writes:  

But as much as I disliked controversy, I knew that I couldn’t be intimidated to return to their fold of modern, Western, hyperconfident, no-second thoughts, industrial-strength religion (44).

Oh really?  He doesn’t like controversy?  Well, he is systematically seeking to destroy everything I hold dearly about the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in this book.

 

I can hardly recognize his Christianity.  And he hates the historic fundamentals of my Christianity.  Scorns it, practically.  It is clear in this book.

 

I doubt he would listen to me, labelling me as one of those reactionary, angry fundamentalists.

But maybe, friends will take a moment to listen to Tim over here.  I agree with what he is saying.

 

Thinking of heart issues . . .

Todd Wood Meets Todd Wood

Today, I have been studying Isaiah 43 and the Hebrew words in relation to God as the sovereign Creator.  My study on scriptural origins has led me to a curious pursuit of a whole variety of contemporary book conversations (both popular and academic).

 

I owe Hanna Rosin on this one.  She wrote a book, God’s Harvard (Harcourt, 2007).  And this book introduced me to Todd Wood!  I can’t believe this!  A Todd Wood much smarter than me.  But who also actually believes in the glorious Creator!  And I would assume that Todd also believes in the omnipotent God who creates ex nihilo.  This has made my day!

This is taken from chapter eight of Hanna’s book: (more…)

Gordon B. Hinckley

Blogs are much more personal than the newsroom.

Reading all these . . .

Steff. Cellista. Ama49. LDSpad. Andrew’sMiracleDrug. Tonya. Summer. Swint. Louis. Canasian. Mark. Robin. Edain. Nylan. Wendy. Tanyaross. John F. David G. Seth. Sam. BCC Admin. Russell. Nate. Janet. Jared. Matt B. Guy. Jeff L. Hollywood. David H. Eric. Chloe. Mike P. Belladonna. Joe. Jana. Bookslinger. J. Max. M&M. Alison. Kim. Emily. David and Ariel. Keryn. Jared. The Monk. Sustainability. Bruce. Mike. R. Gary. Jeff. Sariah. Mary. Christopher. Hanner. Alea. NoSurfGirl. Naiah. Brian. Andrew. Ted. Dan. David. Dan. An Ordinary Mom.

I am just listening tonight.

The Deliberate Church, Sharp Gospel Focus, Part 1

Pick up the book, The Deliberate Church (Crossway Books, 2005) by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander.  Brothers and sisters among two dozen families in our church have started their reading of this book for discussion in 2008.  I have read the foreword and introduction.  Here are my top eight quotes so far.

Paul instructs Timothy to devote himself to preaching the Word (2 Tim. 4:2) precisely because that Word makes the man of God “adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17).  Timothy didn’t need the latest rhetorical techniques, business practices, or creative ministry models based on captivating metaphors (21).

But no one comes to the Christ unless the Father draws him, and no one obeys the Gospel unless the Spirit gives him the gifts of understanding, repentance, and belief—and only God makes things grow (23). 

A church is not a Fortune 500 company.  It’s not simply another nonprofit organization, nor is it a social club.  In fact, a healthy church is unlike any organization that man has ever devised, because man didn’t devise it (25).   

Fundamentally, God intends the local church to be a corporate display of His glory and wisdom, both to unbelievers and to unseen spiritual powers (John 13:34-35; Eph. 3:10-11) (26).

The uniqueness of the church is her message—the Gospel. . . . That Gospel is visualized in the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, both instituted by Christ.  The distinguishing marks of the church, then, are the right preaching of this Gospel and the right administration of the biblical ordinances that dramatize it (26).

Ours is a ministry of magnification—making God’s glory appear to eyes of the world as big as it really is by bringing it into closer view and sharper focus in the form of the local church. . . . We are building a corporate, organic structure that will accurately magnify God’s glory and faithfully communicate His Gospel (26). 

The Word builds the Church (27).

This Gospel, then, is that God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge.  He created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever, but we have all sinned, both in Adam as our representative head, and in our individual actions (Rom. 5:12; 3:23).  We therefore deserve death—spiritual separation from God in hell (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:3)—and are in fact already spiritually stillborn, helpless in our sins (Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:6-8; Eph. 2:1) and in need of God to impart spiritual life to us (Ezek. 37:1-4; John 3:3).  But God sent His Son Jesus Christ, fully God and full man (Phil. 2:5-11), to die the death that we deserved, and He raised Him up for our justification, proving that He was God’s Son (Rom. 5:1; 1:4).  If we would have Christ’s perfect righteousness credited to us, and the penalty for our sins accounted to Him, we must repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ for salvation (2 Cor. 5:21; Mark 1:14-15).

 What do you think? 

And for the sake of controversy and debate, I don’t dwell heavily on the historic Christian creeds and confessions (20).  I get accused too often that I am a creedal Christian.  My desire is that our church family in the I-15 corridor looks to the Word afresh and through the convicting power of the Spirit and formulates “doctrinal certainties grounded in scriptural truth” (20).  Propositional truth direct from heaven is most precious.

LDS Reverence for the Bible

In this latest newsflash from the LDS newsroom, I have some questions. And yes, I admit to you my LDS friends that I have been perturbed all day by the pious marketing title as I prepare for the Lord’s Day, tomorrow.  Hey, I am just an average, dumb, impressionable spud living in Southeastern Idaho.  But does the LDS newsroom expect me to stomach this?  This is exasperating.  How many times do I have to hear it in my lifetime?

If the Bible is correct only as far as it is translated correctly, why in the world has no group of LDS apostles since Joseph Smith attempted to correct it?  This is ridiculous.  I would think that passion and love and reverence for scriptures would motivate the authorities to roll up their sleeves and make what they think is a more accurate English take for the Greek and Hebrew texts.  We are talking about a length of time spanning almost two centuries in order to make a better translation?  So what’s up?  Their sly agenda toward the scriptures is inexcusable. (more…)