Total Pageviews

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Gnu bellows!

I was a guest on the Parker J Cole Show on WLUV in Detroit. I was asked to speak on the topic of truth. Listen to hear me recommend what I called the "Mulder and Scully" view of truth (It's really out there).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Such Were Some of You ...

~ I hope to see this video in its entirety eventually. The times demand that we be apprised of such. 

The verse in the title comes from:

 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Here is a link for the source ~~> Such Were Some of You

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Hard Providence and Trusting God ~ Sermon by Douglas Wilson

~ The following is a really good sermon:  Hard Providence and Trusting God by Douglas Wilson. Read it. It will certainly improve your prayer life.    

~ Here is an excerpt:

"We have to learn how to argue our case with God, as the psalmist frequently does. We must avoid, at all costs, murmuring in our tents, the way the children of Israel did in their tents in the wilderness. We may press our case with God, but we may never forget that His infinite and holy character is the only possible foundation for any sane argument. If that foundation is missing, then we have no argument, we have no complaint, and nothing is wrong with what is happening to us. You may appeal to God, and you may do so with loud cries. Jesus did that (Heb. 5:7). You may argue with God. Many holy men and women did that. You may not accuse God. You may not try to become a devil to God. You may not adopt into the premises of your argument anything other than the promises of God, grounded as they are in the character and attributes of the immutable and holy One. In short, whenever you argue with God, both of your feet must be firmly placed on the covenant of grace."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why are you so afraid of subjective moral reasoning? (Do you lock your d...

This video is not too long - just 4:57 seconds... It is well worth the watch.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Douglas Wilson On Presuppositionalism - Quick Note

The following is a blurb that I am picking up from an interview of Douglas Wilson at The title of the interview is Ten Questions With Douglas Wilson

*Note: That is Douglas Wilson on the left.

Dayton: Pastor Wilson, for those who do not know, how would you describe presuppositional apologetics?

Doug Wilson: There are two basic ways to approach this. You can either try to come alongside the unbeliever and reason to the Bible, or you can approach the unbeliever and reason from the Bible. The former is an evidential approach, and the latter is the presuppositional approach. The two approaches are commonly assumed to be mutually exclusive, but I don’t think that is necessary at all.

One other thing I want to point out is how Doug Wilson got into Presuppositionalism. 

Dayton: Was there any particular author or professor that sparked your interest in presuppositional apologetics?

Doug Wilson: One of the first books I ever published was a book of practical apologetics entitled Persuasions. It was picked up by a Christian book catalog company, which I appreciated, and when the catalog arrived I found my book in it. Someone else had written the blurb for it, and it said that this was fine little introduction to Van Tilian apologetics. I thought, “It is?” Yikes. I had better read some Van Til. So I got his The Defense of the Faith, and enjoyed it very much. But since I had not gotten my presuppositionalism from Van Til, where had I gotten it? Surprisingly, the answer is C.S. Lewis — particularly the early chapters of his book Miracles. Lewis was presuppositional or evidential, depending on the circumstances. But I initially learned this kind of argumentation from him.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Alter Call of Cthulhu

I just saw a film version of HP Lovecraft's classic tale.  HP Lovecraft's vision of Horror as a feature of the human predicament in the cosmos is a combination of Edgar Allen Poe, Herbert Spencer, and Soren Kierkegaard.

This tale is simply the secularization narrative of the Enlightenment but with special attention given to humanity's denial of death. The only mercy for Lovecraft is the limits to science that allow us to avoid for awhile putting the various sciences together to yield the conclusion that the laws of the universe will eventually wipe away all of humanity and it's achievements. The Demi-Alien Cthulhu represents the ad hoc ness of mankind in natural history and it's meaninglessness. 

But Lovecraft is no Russell facing despair in a pretense of virtue, he sees this fact as intolerable to humans drawing them either to reverse the successes of science or using it without sanity, proving that there is no successful coping mechanism for final death. This made his approach to capturing cosmic and existential horror - a worldview of horror and an eschatological kingdom of horror - utterly fascinating compared to other horror takes. Lovecraft is preaching through parables. 

Ernest Becker considered this feature - the denial of death (in a study with that as a title) - to be the fundamental psychoanalytic dynamic. Neurotic functioning developed principally in the individual's degree of success in avoiding reflecting on the significance of his own death. His complement to Christianity was that it's Gospel made recognition of death a necessary condition for obtaining true happiness. 

The Christian worldview does so by agreeing with Lovecraft as much as it disagrees with him. The world does display causes of wonder that seem to transcend mere concatenations of particles that serve as signposts to the divine, humans in particular. But these divine features are at the mercy of the regular mechanisms of the machine of nature which produces storm and quake showing neither malice or pity. Pascal captures this by saying that man, though but a reed crushed by the universe, is still greater than the universe that crushes it because man is a reed which thinks. 

But Christianity explains this by saying that while the world is both beautiful and terrible, this is because the world is not mankind's normal home. The abnormality of man's relation to the world is further said to be accidental based on events in the archaic past, and reversible, based on events that take place in an eschatological new age. But the plausibility of these inaccessible events are groined in the accessible historical experiences of the original Israel which came into existence by prophetic revelation and miraculous intervention, and which recapitulated the same conditions that led to the distortion of all humanity. 

From her history we learn of an original covenant made with the original couple in a privileged place made for them, but which they broke and thus were condemned to this natural world. But also from the specific grants given to the families and rulers of Israel, we learn that God had promised humanity from the beginning that there would be hope based on God's future provision and thus to live by faith until then. This was also accomplished in accessible history in the ministry, life, death, and resurrection of one Jesus Christ according to the promises made to Israel and attested by eyewitnesses. Because all are invited to join with God in his free promises of mercy in a new covenant we may look forward to a day when the oddness of humanities cosmic location will be overcome. 

All this comes to the world like a signal from space from an alien race, but a much different one than the Thule Mythos, announcing the news that redemption is there if you want it. Good news is strange to a Lovecraft-like world. But that may not necessarily make it incredible. After all, even the point of Lovecraft's fiction is still a surmise but Christianity is reconstructable news from its sources. Even if we must be skeptics about whether Lovecraft or the historic church is right, we may still be confronted with meaningful option to believe and hope in the offered Christ. 

In this way, we understand how Christianity makes facing the existential threat a condition of happiness. Christ makes science with sanity possible in a Lovecraftian universe and Cthulhu turns out to be an accidental evangelist. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Well Worth Reading... The Reform of First Baptist Church of Durham

The following consists of some excerpts from the article, The Reform of First Baptist Church of Durham. It is from the 9Marks website and is totally worth reading...

"On Sunday morning, August 19, 2001, I began corporate worship at First Baptist Church (FBC) Durham by calling on the members of the church to repent. The church had just elected a woman deacon for the first time in its history, and deacons in our church’s polity were treated as spiritual leaders with shepherding responsibility for the flock. I had been teaching the congregation that Scripture reserves spiritual leadership to men, and I had made private efforts to forestall this result. Still, the church voted in a woman as an authoritative spiritual leader.

So I began worship by calling on all the people of FBC to repent—including myself. In the spirit of Daniel 9, I felt that all of us must take responsibility for violating God’s clear guidance.

My call was an object of horror to many of the members of the church. They were outraged. In their minds, repentance was something you do at the beginning of the Christian life and then never need to do again. For them, it was as if I were saying, “Because you voted for a woman as a deacon, you are not Christians.”

But I didn’t believe that at all. Rather ..."

... CUT ...

"This arrangement was especially poisonous for a new young pastor like me because the cabal of older, powerful businessmen who ran the deacons saw it as their responsibility to keep the pastor and the church staff under their thumb, partly by making sure that no pastor stayed at FBC too long. They regarded the senior pastor as a hired employee, and they were his bosses. They saw themselves as forming a needed “check and balance” to the undue exercise of pastoral authority. They had been playing the game for decades before I got there, and knew how to run things to their advantage."

~ The article is by Dr. Andrew Davis who is the Senior Pastor/Elder of First Baptist Church, Durham, N.C. Dr. Davis is a pretty sharp guy. He got a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and then later an Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He also has a Ph.D. Church History from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary out in Louisville, Kentucky.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Internet is like the Ocean

The Ocean of the Internet

One thing about the history of mankind. Men have always been fascinated with the sea. They have dared to put their small skiffs only to see them capsized by a wave. They have learned to build bigger sturdier ships travel and fish on the ocean. And now ships can take passengers who don't know how to sail themselves. The ocean calls out to our sense of adventure. 

But while the sea is wonderful, it is also terrible. When you set out to sea, you are surrounded by the ocean and land seems far away. For awhile, it seems like the sea is our whole world. The ocean is choppy with waves coming from all directions and crash into each other as well as into you. Storms can suddenly appear, forcing you to batten down the hatches. Or you can become becalmed and slowly eat up your resources not knowing when the winds and waves will help you again. 

The sea is beautiful but also dangerous. One can find delicious fish to eat or use for perfume. But you could also run into a great shark or a giant squid and get thrown over and attacked. The sea is not useful generally for survival. You can't even drink the water. If you are thrown over or sinking, there's no one else to help you.  You can even become mystified by the compelling power of the ocean, even though you know better, and begin to act as if the whole world was covered by the sea since that is all you see and despair of ever finding land and home again. 

Not many of us get to sail the sea but today we have a way for everyone to have access to the experience of feeling like you're at sea - and that's called the internet. Moreover, in our society, everyone will be forced into the internet to meet basic needs for education and career. But kids will naturally and spontaneously seek out the internet. We might say kids today are born into the internet like fish, just as we were born into the world of television and telephones. 

But the internet is an immersive experience, flooding you with more data than you process. A recent figure I read said that the average kid's daily intake of information from the internet was equal to more than 8,100 song lyrics. But further this data is an incoherent mass of diverse opinions from all over the world without any principled arbitration. If someone had come up with a machine to download data directly into a young mind so that it is irresistibly led to skepticism and relativism, it's hard to imagine one that could be more effective than the internet. Also, the internet is wild. There is no regulation of it. You will be exposed to dangerous images and ideas and addictive pastimes sooner rather than later. The internet is like the sea. 

But one cannot simply forbid the attempt to explore the sea. But if you do, there are some things to keep in mind. 

(1) The most important skills for surviving and succeeding on the sea are learned on land. These include nautical skills but the also include deeper habits such as compassion, courage, and especially faith and hope. The sea is lawless and that is why it is especially attractive to people who are lawless. But in lawless places where we cannot appeal to an external law enforcer we can still be the dirt if people whose lives embody the law in our virtue and character. But character must be acquired in the laboratories of character - the home, the neighborhood, the church. Once those graces become second nature, they will serve you well in the great "out there". 

(2) While at sea, no one is guided by the sea. They know there is nothing solid about the sea. Instead, they look to the stars. The stars are fixed in their courses and provide a fixed map such that a sailor steer their course aright. When in the world of the internet, it is also important to have fixed reference points that are other than the internet. Such reference points are the great traditions and thinkers that have proven their reliability over time by already having faced and survived harsh experiences and questions. Many ideas have already proven themselves by this point and can serve to help you navigate the internet and sort the wheat from the chaff. 

Just as the sun is supreme among the stars, so is Scripture among the traditions. The Bible was not born yesterday and has survived and thrived even more severe tests than others, and over several fresh rounds, including the present moment, in its claim to be God's own Word. And even now, it is still speaking afresh into the present as anyone who will look may see. And the situation created by the internet reminds us yet again why there must be a norm of norms. The Bible is the sun around which all the other stars find their orbits. It will be a sure guide on the internet sea. 

(3) Finally, when things go wrong on the sea, the sea cannot repair them. Remember, if your boat springs a leak - and it will - the only things that will help you fix the leak are the things you bring on the boat with you. If that fails you can always fix the leak by removing and using another piece of the boat. Thus, your boat can stay afloat by repairing itself with itself. By the same token, if your beliefs are shaken by something on the internet, you can introduce a temporary ad hoc explanation that will serve until you can bring yourself back to shore for a substantial repair. The alternative is to be lost at sea. But as long as your beliefs were originally well founded (and the policy of "innocent until proven guilty" is appropriate here) then to be obstinate in belief in the face of apparent difficulties is a virtue rather than a fault. On the other hand, the policy of abandoning ship at the first sign of leaks is not prudent. This obstinacy is better understood as a mode of humility rather than pride. 

And so the internet is like the sea.  Don't forget to pray for those who become lost at sea, more and more every day. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Joe Boot & Dan Barker Debate

~ The following is a fantastic debate between Joe Boot of the Ezra Institute and Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Barker is an ex-minster. The debate took place on March 7th, 2013 at the University of Windsor up in Windsor, Canada. I think its worth watching. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

You Can Change: True Salvation by Tope Koleoso

The following is a sermon by Tope Koleoso. In it he talks about issues like "religion" false conversion and so on. I think a sermon like this has been long overdue. It is one that needs to be heard. What follows below the video are some comments that I have taken from Adrian Warnock's blog. I do this to give you an idea of what is covered in the sermon.

True Salvation from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

- Salvation is when we make a clear firm decision to give my life to The Lord. Not perfect but I am saved
- People say they are born again but there has been no change.
- It’s not just about becoming moral. Much more than that.
- You can have an experience of God, encounter or miracle and not be saved.
- If seed never progresses into salvation. Becomes empty religion.
- Once met an atheist who goes to church because he likes the songs
- Observers. Some come and go through the motions. Get on right side of God by doing things. No zeal or zest for God and no fruit.
- Last thing any pastor wants is a member to think they are on their way to heaven but actually on the way to hell.
- There is such a thing as false salvation.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Whose that Beest?