Sunday, April 29, 2007

You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!

You won't beleive it unless you see it for yourself:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Violence in America

Joel Belz, writing in the April 28th issue of World Magazine, speaks with wisdom and discernment about the increasing violence in American culture. The verbal violence of Don Imus in weeks past and the horrific events of Blacksburg, VA in recent days are only evidence of the increased acceptance of violence. Belz writes:

On the sunday between those two weeks, editorialists and commentators were quietly congradulating the nation that Don Imus' kind of violence had been deatl with. A few days later, I sense, they weren't quite so sure.

read the whole thing:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Times Like These

Ocassionally our culture is smacked in the face with the reality of sin in such dramatic ways that it cannot be ignored. 9/11 was such an instance. Perhpas the Don Imus episode earlier this month will have the impact, but I doubt it. Undoubtedly, however, for the next month the nation at large will be shook by the events which transpired on the campus of Virginia Tech this week. 30 people have been murdered, and many more have been left scarred and terrified. Our prayers and thoughts must go out to those students and families affected by the trajedy at Virginia Tech. Many of us will never know this kind of suffering, but we must do our best to be sympathetic and, as Scripture says, weep with those who weep. What a trajedy, what a loss, what a terrible thing to happen.

It is in moments like these that I am smacked in the face with the reality of my own sin. No, I am not a murderer who has gunned down innocent victims at my university, but I have hated and belittled men. I have judged others wrongly, and I have thought ill of individuals. The truth is that we are all wretched sinners, and any one of us is capable of something just as vile and sick as this killer from VA Tech. But regardless of how far we go with our sin we will all have to answer for it. God, as judge of the universe, must deal with sin. And He has set up two ways in which He does: (1) He punishes sinners in a real, literal, and everlasting hell; and (2) He punished Jesus on their behalf.

It is moments like these when I am smacked in the face with the grandness of grace. O, how I deserve hell, and yet, because of Jesus' death on the cross I receive grace. I deserve the scorn of the nation, and the world, and God. But Jesus came into this world, lived a perfect, sinless life, and died on the cross bearing the punishment that I deserve. And friends, this grace, this redemption, is free to all who confess they are sinners and deserve God's wrath, and who put their faith in Jesus's finished work on the cross for their salvation.

It is times like these when I weep, and when I thank God for mercy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Investigating Open Theism: Where to Begin

In conversation with Steve Wellum recently he recommended that the best place for us to begin the study of Open Theism (after Scripture, of course) is with Dr. Bruce Ware's two short introductions to the subject: "Their God is Too Small" and "God's Lesser Glory." Each are brief, though not shallow, and they are written primarily for those outside of the academic communities. Those of you in churches facing these issues right now would do yourself and your church a great service by reading these two books.

After these works have been chewed on you may want to progress your study. I suggest John Frame's "No Other God: A Response to Open Theism," and then for those really interested in getting to the underlying issues at the heart of this subject I recommend the collection of essays John Piper and Justing Taylor edited, "Beyond the Bounds."

And remember to always read with Scripture close by. The God of the Bible is not the same as that of Open Theism, but sometimes the language used by authors can be misleading (intentionally or not) and this truth can be obscured. Check and double check all things by Scripture.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Resources on Open Theism

Open Theism is sweeping through evangelicalism and even local churches are now encountering this perversion of the doctrine of the knowledge of God. I thought it would be helpful here to list a few resources for pastors and lay church members to think through this subject and the impact it is having in our seminaries, churches, and on evangelical theology at large. (Open Theism and Divine Foreknowledge by John Frame) (Open Theism's Attack on the Atonement by John F. MacArthur Jr. ) (The Openess of God Controversy by J. Ligon Duncan III) (Does God Make Mistakes by John Piper) (Answering Greg Boyd's Openess of God Texts by John Piper) (The "Openess of God" and the Future of Evangelical Theology by Al Mohler) (Hermeneutics of "Open Theism" by Robert L. Thomas) (Pastoral Implications of "Open Theism" by Tom Ascol) (The Impossibility of the "God of the Possible" by Richard L. Mayhue) (Defining Boundaries Theologically: Is Open Theism Evangelical? by Bruce Ware) (Challenges to the Church: Open Theism by Tim Challies) (Select Bibliography on Open Theism by Justin Taylor) (Openess and Inerrancy: Are they Compatible? by Jason Nicholls)