Thursday, June 28, 2007

Summer Reading List

Did you make a summer reading list? I've decided to read more over this summer so I bought a bunch of books to help give me the incentive to read. Before I started blogging, I would read a lot over the summer but with the blogs, I have less time to read. Now I'm going to discipline myself to take the time to read. I've already read one of the books on the list and have started two of the others so I'm off to a pretty good start. I think you'll find the list a little eclectic, certainly a range of genres.

Death Match by Lincoln Child -- I just finished this one and will be posting a review for it soon (I hope). It was pretty good even though I figured it out almost immediately.
The Birth of the Church and A Public Faith by Ivor J. Davidson -- as I mentioned here, these are texts for my Ancient Church class that I plan to read over the summer.
The Spirit of Early Christian Thought by Robert Louis Wilken -- also a textbook.
Emergence of the Catholic Tradition: 100-600 by Jaroslav Pelikan -- as is this one.
The Gospel and Revelation by Graeme Goldsworthy -- I plan to work on Revelation over the summer because I actually do intend to post my study online eventually.
Reasons for Faith: Philosophy in the Service of Theology by Scott Oliphint -- I love Oliphint, he's pretty brilliant. I'm trying to review my apologetics class over the summer, I thought the book would help.
Sign of the Cross by Chris Kuzneski
The Serial Killers Club by Jeff Povey -- This book looked pretty weird, it's the story of a serial killer killing other serial killers.
The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer -- I'm reading this now and it's pretty good so far. It pulls you into the story quickly and is fast paced (clinched but true).
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson -- I haven't read Gibson in years and I thought I would give his latest a try.
Gospel Truths by J. G. Sandom
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

I will try to post a review of each of book if I actually read them over the summer :-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Christianity and Politics

Am I looking for a political savior? Heck no! Why would anyone think the government is capable of salvation? They can't even get passports to people in time for their trip. I blog about this more (a lot more) over at Reformed Chicks.

BTW, here is a link to a seminar by Dr. G. K. Beale on Revelation (via).

Saturday, June 23, 2007

This blog is G-Rated

Feel free to let the kids read it :-)

Online Dating

(via)

Unfortunately, they can't read Reformed Chicks because that got a NC-17!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Kirk Cameron's Message to Pastors at the SBC Annual Meeting

Yes, it's important to proclaim the gospel each Sunday to both believers and unbelievers:

Can I speak to you from my heart for a moment? I realize that, theologically, I’m not worthy to wash your socks. But imagine this scenario with me, if you will: Imagine I’m a “seeker”- I’m a non-Christian, sitting in your church week after week after week listening to you. Am I ever going to hear the message that will save my soul from Hell? Will you ever tell me the truth clearly enough so that I realize that my sin has made me an enemy of God: that I am currently on the path that leads to destruction, with the wrath of God dwelling upon me, and that unless I repent and put my faith in the Savior, I will perish? Or have you decided that it’s better to simply entertain me, and on Sundays I can come to have my “felt needs” met with good music and good advice? Pastor, while I would appreciate that, it’s the ultimate betrayal of my trust in you if you don’t tell me the truth. Will I ever hear the words “repent,” “surrender,” “turn to the Savior,” “be born again”? If you don’t tell me those things, how will I ever know to do it?Please don’t leave it up to the Wednesday night small-group leader. They’re taking their cues from you. You’re leading the flock.

And now I speak to you as a Christian. If you and I fail to teach the whole counsel of God, and we don’t warn sinners to flee from the wrath to come, and run to the love of Christ on the Cross to save their soul, we make a terrible mistake. It doesn’t matter how happy a person is- how much a sinner is enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season- without the righteousness of Christ, he’ll perish on the Day of Judgment. The Bible says, “Riches profit not on the Day of Wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” You see, that’s how Kirk Cameron realized he needed a Savior. I had riches, but I knew that it was the righteousness of God that I needed in order to be saved from my sin.
Unfortunately, we've shrunk the gospel to the point that it's just about the individual sinner's need for salvation but the gospel message should go beyond the individual nature of our salvation (obviously, it's an important element) to include the corporate nature of salvation as well. Christ died, not just for you but for the church:
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
This aspect of our salvation has been ignored to the point where the message of the gospel is what Christ did on the cross for me. This individualistic focus leads to self-help Christianity (sanctification in 5 easy steps), prosperity gospel (God not only saves you but wants to bless you as well) and people looking for entertainment (what? you don't have a gym and a fitness ministry?).

It also ignores the covenantal aspect of our salvation, that Christ did not come just to save the individual but his people:
Matthew 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
That it was to fulfill the promise made to Abraham:
Galatians 3:7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed."
And the promise he made to the prophets:
Hebrews 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. 8 For he finds fault with them when he says: "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." 13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Luke 24:25 And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures
Sadly, many pastors focus on moralistic messages that ignore the content of the gospel which is proclaimed in both the Old and New Testaments. Pastors do their congregations a disservice when they ignore the promises made to Israel in the Old Testament that God has fulfilled in Christ.
Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
Focusing on one aspect of salvation (the individual's salvation) impoverishes the church and makes it ripe for all kinds of error.

BTW, it's also important to proclaim the gospel for the growth (in maturity) of the church, reminding us each week that we aren't working for our salvation or because we think God would be mad at us (Romans 8:1) but because we are dead to sin and alive to righteousness (Romans 6).

(link sort of via James White -- who doesn't actually link to the post)

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!!

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Sliver Surfer

So, we saw the new Fantastic Four movie last and it was great, much better than the first. A lot more action and special effects. This time we went as a family (last time Doug and I saw it without our daughters) and I was a little worried that it would be too intense for my eleven year old, Samantha. But it was OK. There was some suggestive dialogue and swearing but it wasn't too much (about what you would get on TV). Everyone but Doug loved the movie, he thought the acting was too low key.

I know that the movie has been panned by the critics and others but if you enjoyed the trailers, you'll probably enjoy the rest of movie. If you go to a movie like this expecting academy award winning acting and dialogue, then you deserve to be disappointed. But if you like a movie that is action packed and fast moving with some pretty silly dialogue, then you will probably like this movie.

The only part of the movie that I didn't like was an implied torture scene. I thought that it wasn't necessary and was probably politically motivated. Too much for a movie aimed at families and was out of step with the lighthearted comic book feel of the rest of the movie.

BTW, for you Stan Lee fans, he makes brief appearance in the film as himself.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

PCA General Assembly Videos

Watch the live proceedings here (registration required) and the recorded proceedings here. It's a hight quality video and it's really nice!

(via)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thanks to those of you who shopped at Westminster Bookstore using my link

I've been meaning to say thank you for awhile but kept forgetting to do it. I finally qualified for a gift certificate that I'm going to put to good use toward the books I need for seminary in the fall.

I'm taking Ancient Church History and The General Epistles and Revelation. My reading list isn't too bad since the courses are each two credits. I thought I would buy some of the church history books early and read them over the summer and I'm thinking about digesting them (maybe). I'll be buying these:

I also have to read Confessions by Augustine but I have a copy of that already.

Not only did I get a gift certificate from the bookstore but they sent me two free books. Wasn't that nice of them?



Once I read them, I'll write a review for the blog. Check them out in the mean time. Both books have study questions at the end of each chapter that might be useful for a Bible study group. Drew's book looks like a response to a purpose driven life:

“Charles Drew has given us a great book to give away--especially to those who want a purpose-driven life and want to dig more deeply into the mysteries of that purpose. It is at once clear, personal, culturally up-to-date, and theologically rich-- a perfect combination. Drew takes us a step beyond the literature that is presently available on the subject. Highly recommended.” - Dr. Timothy Keller, Senior Minister, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Some pictures that Sarah took at Disney World

After I posted about our trip to Disney World, I looked as Sarah's pictures and thought that she has some really nice shots. Here are some of her better shots:




I think she has a very good eye.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Debate Between Dr. Mark Roberts and Christopher Hitchens on Hugh Hewitt

I listened to the debate (listen to the program or read the transcript) and was disappointed by it. I thought a great opportunity was missed and would have been interested in a positive presentation of what Christians believe and a clear challenge to the views of Hitchens. The listener got neither. I blog about it on Reformed Chicks.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Christ died for an opportunity?

Spotted this bumper sticker at James White's:

Give Jesus a Chance....He Died to Have the Opportunity
Where is that in the Bible?

Ewww!

A "googler" came here looking for "pretty Christian women in swimsuits." Yeck! I don't want to know why.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Modest Swimsuits

After I published this post on modest clothes for teenagers, it received a number of hits from googlers searching for modest swimsuits. So, I'm pleased to be able to link to a site that sells modest swimwear. They produce "retro-inspired women's bathing suits" meant to flatter the figure but not be too revealing. The swimsuits are attractive and aren't archaic looking even though they are modest. They even have bikinis.

Here is one of their more popular items:

Isn't is cute? It doesn't even look like your typical swimsuit. It's fashionable without being slutty.

And here is another popular item, a bikini with a skirt:


Here is my favorite:


I like the fact that you can remove the straps and that it's not cut too high in the thigh. I hate the way the suits are cut today. I also love the colors, nice contrast and takes the eye away from the middle (which is usually a good idea :-)

Go check out the rest of the line because she has some other interesting items for sale.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Paul Tripp's Blog

If you don't know who Paul Tripp is, go to his blog and find out what a great writer he is. You might also want to buy this book if you are going through middle age and this one if you have teenagers. He also has many other books, so go check them out.

The Carnival of the Blogging Chicks #40



Is up!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Women Teaching Men

Recently I was asked the following question:

I take it you believe in the universal application of 1 Tim 2? Assuming so, I note your hope to publish Bible studies - how would you expect these to be received by males?
I do hold to the conservative interpretation of this passage.
1 Timothy 2:11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
I believe that women aren't called to teach or have authority over men and I believe this passage is a clear mandate against ordaining women.

I write my Bible studies for women so that they my grow in their love of God and his word and that the growth will manifest itself in obedience to the will of God as it is revealed in his word. I write the studies for someone like me. After I become a Christian I wanted to study the word of God and understand it but I didn't have anyone to teach me and it seemed so foreign to me. Most of the Bible studies on the market were meant for group study and didn't have the answers, they only had questions. My studies ask questions but also provide commentary -- things I've learned as I've studied the text at seminary and using commentaries. I hope that I can be a guide to Christian women who want to understand the Bible. A guide who points to things that they might have missed in reading the text on their own.

Now, I know when I've handed out my study material some of the women gave it to their husbands and I know that there are guys reading this blog and the studies that I publish here, so I'm aware that guys will probably read a study that I publish. I'm not going to turn someone away who wants to find out what I've learned in the study of God's word. But I'm not trying to teach them at all -- they are not in my thoughts when I write.

I believe in the mandate not to teach guys and I have no intention of doing so, but I believe that we've stretched that mandate to include not even talking about God's word or theology at all, least we violate God's command (in what I've come to think of as a pharisaical way). I have no authority over anyone either on the Internet or the women I teach at my church. The teaching authority is my pastor and I have no intention of usurping his authority. All I want to do is share what I've learned with others and I would value a discussion about what I've written whether it comes from men or women. The Internet is not the church, so I don't think that what Paul is saying would mean that I couldn't publish my thoughts on the word of God here on my blog.

Each of us will be held accountable to God for what we do in the body and it's up to each of us not violate our conscience. I would find it more egregious to keep to myself all the wonderful things I've learned at seminary out of fear that some guy will read my stuff and learn something than to publish the material here and be aware that guys will read it and maybe obtain some insight into God's word. Those men who believe it's wrong to learn anything from a woman will avoid reading my blog (and thus will not violate their conscience) while others may see my studies for what they are: my opinion about what I believe the Bible says and will be willing to engage me in dialog about it.

I think that I stand on solid biblical ground for my opinion:
Acts 18:24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

Acts 2:14 "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17 "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
Clearly you have women speaking out about what they know whether it's to a man or not and this is the huge difference between Israel and the kingdom of God manifested in the church: women were excluded from service in the temple but now we are not. We are part of the priesthood and we are now allowed to handle the holy instruments (God's word). Thanks be to God that he has set women free to serve him in this temple (the body -- the church) and that we are viewed by him in the same way that men are and that we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28).

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