Saturday, October 31, 2009

Important Views

It is no secret I'm an enormous fan of N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham. But I also am very aware of many of the controversies regarding his views on Justification. This week the Euangelion website had Michael Horton's review of Wright's book on Justification. It is very, very good. I encourage you to read it.

It is also Reformation Day, the 492nd anniversary of the posting of Martin Luther's 95 thesis. I've said in the past that this is a sad day as it is a day that began all the church splits we've seen since then. But, it is also a day when one man, followed by others, had the guts to stand up against the sins and evils practiced by the Roman church at that time and say "ENOUGH!" Luther didn't want to split from Rome but truth was more important than error. Some stayed with Rome and began the Counter Reformation which continues today with marvelous Catholics who strive for truth. But today, we remember the man who stood in the face of error and, for all his own personal faults, can be considered a saint to remember Sunday on All Saints Day. Thank you Martin.
Listen to a marvelous presentation of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God sung by Steve Green at The Gospel Driven Church website. It will send chills up and down your spine.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Final List 95 Theses

Here are all five lists of the 95 Thesis For the American Church that Jared Wilson has posted this week. I hope you enjoy them.





N.T. Wright Invites The Pope To Durham

I am thrilled that N.T. (Tom) Wright Bishop of Durham has invited the Pope to visit the Durham Cathedral. It's no secret my prayer is for unity with the Catholic Church with Protestants. Tom Wright is one of the world's leading Bishops in the Anglican Church and has a profound respect with Catholic and Protestants alike. His books are some of my favorites. I pray the Pope will accept the invitation and that much will come from this event, should it happen. See the news at Jeffrey Steele's blog de cura animarum.

The Rest of the 95 Thesis

Today, I finally refer you to the last of Jared Wilson's 95 Thesis for the American Church - Part V. Tomorrow I will repost all the links given this week so that you can copy them all together. This is an excellent list which will bring much discussion and reflection. You may disagree with some of them, but I found them very thought provoking. Enjoy.

That's it for today. Short and sweet.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Continuing the Blitz....

Today, I continue linking you to Jared Wilson's The Gospel Driven Church. His 95 Thesis today speaks to the role of the pastorate and will create some waves. I find myself agreeing with him. Enjoy and be challenged.

It's Halloween this weekend. For those of you in the Los Angeles area, The 1920's flick, The Golem will be shown at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theatre. So for a classical fun and scary evening go and enjoy a great movie.

Growing babies from test tubes with no mommy or daddy? If this is article is true, I see some major ethical issues. Read No men OR women needed: Scientists create sperm and eggs from stem cells

Well, that's all for now...short, quick and sweet.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

95 Thesis Part III (and others)

I'm continuing to point you to Jared Wilson's website this week as he continues his 95 Thesis For the American Church Part III. Here are 19 more on the Evangelical Church and its congregations. Enjoy...again

Once again I turn you to Michael Spenser and his Internet Monk website. Today he tackles the big problem we have in many of our churches as well as in society. Men who abuse women are on the rise everywhere. It's all too often seen in our churches, especially those who misinterpret the scriptures that talk about the husband being the head of the wife. This article is hard hitting and to the point. Men, if your are belittling your wives...stop it. Stop it and get help. There is no excuse for a woman/wife/child abuser. Read When Bad People Need A Crutch. It's good.

Can Protestants learn anything from Catholics? You bet! Read this article and listen to Mark Brumley on the Ignatius website. Mark discusses The Handbook of Catholic Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli. I have an earlier edition of this book and it is good. Enjoy.

Finally, a bit of non-religious techy stuff. I own a 24" IMac at home and absolutely love it. Now Apple has gone one step better and come out with a well priced 27" inch model that makes mine look like an antique. Well, not really, but with the new LED screen it "looks" really, really good. Read about it, especially if you want a great trouble free computer. Go to the Mac Daily News link here and read about it, if you haven't already.

That's it for today. Until tomorrow where I'll contine bringing you the 95 Thesis list.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

95 Thesis Continued

Yesterday, I linked to Jared Wilson's blog The Gospel Driven Church where he began his article, 95 Thesis For the American Church Part I. Today, He continues with Part II. I encourage you to pick up on where he left off. He has some good things to say.

For some years now, I have questioned the young earth theory promoted by many evangelical creation research folks. For many, it has become a measure of your faith. I've heard comments saying our Christianity should be held in question if we believe in evolution or an old earth theory. Well, I'm not a scientist so won't make scientific claims, but the young earth theory just doesn't make sense to me. I'm one of those who believes the Bible is wasn't meant to be a scientific text book but rather, a book revealing God and his encounter with us to restore us to himself. I don't believe the Bible and science conflict with each other when read correctly, and I believe they complement each other. I am firm in my belief that God created the universe. He spoke it into being. The process or how things developed is up for question. Again, this is my personal opinion.
Today, Scot McKnight reviews a book on this subject which you I find intrigueing. The title of Scot's blog today is Evolution and Evangelicals...What Are The Barriers? I encourage you to read this most interesting blog as he reviews a survey done by Bruce Watke, an Old Testament scholar. I hope you enjoy it.

Have you ever wondered what Pope Benedict is all about? What is he really like and what does he really believe? Carl Olson, a reviewer and apologist for St. Ignatius Press highlights the introduction to the book Christ Our Joy, The Theological Vision of Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict is one of the leading theologians of our day who has received a lot of negative press, but continues to have tremendous influence. He is making enormous strides toward bringing the church back together as seen in recent moves with Anglicans. Read and enjoy.

Then, there is one of my favorite writers Michael Spenser. He always challenges me, entertains me and when he has me laughing sticks in the pin to bring me back to reality. Today, he highlights Three Push-Button Words that get him going. Enjoy the Internet Monk. He's worth listening to on a daily basis. Download his Imonk broadcast on Itunes and get a Kentucky accented dialog on what is happening in today's world. Read his blog today and get all the links needed.

Finally, maybe, I don't like Reformation Sunday. Rather than being a triumphant celebration we Protestants celebrate on our separation from the errors of the Catholic Church, I see it as a prime example of failure. We failed to maintain unity in the gospel of peace. And we have been dividing ever since, fighting amongst ourselves over our personal denominational "traditions". Stanley Hauerwas, the Gilbert T. Rowe professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School speaks to the failure of the Reformation. His message on the tragedy of the Reformation is highlighted on the Call to Communion blog. Before you crow about being a reformed Christian read this article. It may make you angry, but it ought to make us all, Catholic and Protestant, hang our heads in shame for the splintering that has occurred as a result of the reformation. God have mercy on us for our constant fighting amongst our selves. We need to repent and seek unity with Rome where we are all one with Christ, with the liberty given us in Christ. Read...for God sake...read this one.

Monday, October 26, 2009

One More On Celebacy

Celebacy. Why in the world does the Catholic church insist on celebacy? Jeff Penyan tackles this subject today on his blog, The Cross Reference. While I don't think celebacy is necessary, Jeff presents us with an explanation that makes helps us understand the reasoning behind the this seemingly sexist rule. Remember, you cannot equate the Protestant pastor with a priest in the Catholic church. They are completely different roles. Jeff brings all this out in his article The Church and Priestly Celebacy. Read slowly and try to understand. You still may disagree with his conclusions, as I still do, but you'll have a better understand.

Three Different Sites To Enjoy

Some links I found interesting today.

1. Jared Wilson gives those of us in the American Church something to think about on his site The Gospel Driven Church today. He reposts his 95 Thesis for the American Church, Part I. It's worth reading.

2. Why would an Anglican Priest want to convert to Catholicism? Jeffrey Steel provides that answer in his interesting article on his blog De Cura Animarum. So if you wonder what drives a man to leave what he loved, read Jeff's reason which is probably multiplied by hundreds of Anglicans now contemplating leaving their church for Catholicism.

3. The next link is one that links to a pair of sermons heard on the Ancient Faith Radio programs heard on the internet. Fr. Stephen, an Orthodox priest refers to a pair of sermons (homilies) by Fr. Thomas Hopko, one of the leading Orthodox scholars and priest of our day. Fr. Hopko presents a fascinating discussion in two sermons on the Wrath of God. Listen to these sermons and be challenged to a viewpoint few of us ever hear. Go to Fr. Stephen's blog Glory to God For All Things and follow the links there.

That's it for now. That should keep you busy.

Enjoy until next time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Look and Listen

I am listening to a marvelous message by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt from the New Reformation Press. This is a message on the challenges to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America entitled How the ILCA Got Off The Track. Dr. Rosenbladt is a leader in the efforts for a new Reformation, especially in the Lutheran Church. This is a message that speaks to all Protestants as we face enormous challenges today. I have found much to agree with in this recording. I'll bet you will too or you will react against it. Listen closely and ask yourself if any of this applies to your parish or congregation.

Secondly, I've just finished another book, Beyond Smells and Bells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy by Mark Galli, Senior Editor of the Christianity Today Magazine. This powerful little 142 page book is filled with explanations and examples of the history and foundation of the liturgy of the church. It traces the origins and reasons for the liturgy and why it is making a comeback today in both mainline churches and many of the new Emerging churches. If you are tired of mindless worship services in your church, take a look at this book. It is easy to read and will fill you with wonder at the majesty of real God focused worship. I think Galli hit a home run on this book. It is a way of worship the many youth are embracing and finding that it pays to leave the common noise of the world to enter a sanctuary apart from daily living that give stability.
Enjoy.
That's it for now.
God Bless

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Blog

Occasionally, I love to tweak the noses of my fellow Protestant brothers and sisters by highlighting Catholic and Orthodox blogs. I know some feel I'm too Catholic friendly by that's O.K. One of my personal missions in life is to bridge the gap between my Catholic friends and Protestants to develop a positive dialogue and foster (here's the nasty word) ecumenical understanding. The latest First Things magazine has a great article highlighting this effort to find common ground on the subject of Mary, the mother of our Lord. Read it, it is quite good.

But the blog I'm highlighting today is a new one to me. It is called The Catholic Key Blog. It is often filled with ensightful stuff and worth looking at from time to time. This blog is one of the voices in the Kansas City/St. Louis diocese which is noted for its conservatism and faithfulness to God and the church. Folks, there are some fantastic born again brothers and sisters in the Catholic church and they deserve our ears. So enjoy the blog and let them know your thoughts.

And, just leave a note here to let me know you have read my little blatherings. That's what the button is for.

Time for me to move on....God bless!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Help

I need your help in some research. Recently I finished an interesting book by the home group guru, Frank Viola called From Eternity to Here. It is a book that is challenging and contains many wonderful ideas and thoughts. Frank has also co-written an earlier book with George Barna called Pagan Christianity. I have found this book quite disturbing as it seems to attack and undermine all, and I mean all, branches of Christianity except his own brand which is small group house churches. He is devastating toward the Roman Catholics and the Reformation maintaining that all of our worship in the church today is based upon pagan resources rather than the New Testament. I've only done a cursory reading of it, but it is filled with so many footnotes, it would take a month of Sundays just to research them. My initial observation is that he has taken a portion of facts and built an entire thesis around partial truths. I may be wrong and will be the first to admit it if I am.
His followup book, called Reimagining Church is his view of what the real church looks like, or so he thinks.
I wonder if anyone of you have read the book by Viola and Barna and have any other background stuff that critiques his works.
Thanks for your help.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why Study Philosophy and Theology?

I urge you to read this article by Peter Kreeft, one of America's leading Christian Philosophers of our day. Peter is a Professor of Philosophy at Boston College and is popular amongst Protestants and Catholics alike. He's a profound thinker and well worth reading. This article, Why Study Philosophy and Theology?, is thought provoking and challenging. Take time to read it, absorb it and think about where your son or daughter may be attending a school of higher learning.
Find a school that emphasizes the kind of teaching Dr. Kreeft is talking about. You won't regret it. I wish I had paid more attention to my philosophy professor when I was in college. I'd probably be farther along than I am.
Enjoy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Adding To My Wish List

I have a pile of books to read, not counting the free ebooks I've downloaded from the web. I love to read. It's a source of relaxation and recreation for me. I also have a wish list. These are a list of books I hope to read someday, but since I don't have direct access to the gold at Fort Knox (I don't know if there is any of that left there or not), I must put the purchases on hold. Plus, I think my floor and wall are already under tremendous strain from the weight of all my books already. Time to cull the chaff and keep the kernals.

My latest additions to the wish list are two books on the book of Revelation. If you know me well, you know I have little patience with the mythology and fantasy of the "Left Behind" series. I'm definitely not a "pretribber". Go look it up if you don't know what I'm talking about.

The two books I've added to my wish list are intriging books. The first is The Theology of the Book of Revelation by Richard Bauckham. Bauckham delves deep into history to give a fresh study of this very difficult book.
The second book is Revelation And The End of All Things by Craig R. Koester. Koester is a professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He weaves both current thoughts on Revelation and current events into his historical study without the excesses of so many of the books we have today in the prophetic arena.

I look forward to adding these books to my library. They appear to really avoid the wild speculations you see in so many of today's books on Revelation and prophecy. I'll let you know down the road someday if I really enjoyed them or not and whether they are relative to anything.

Until my next...irregular post....God Bless

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Lesson For All Jesus Followers

Frank Viola has written a great blog today so I urge you to go to it and read Reimaging Church. It's too good to pass up.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wrestle Some With This

I'd love some of my Protestant brethern and sisters to wrestle with this blog and come back with some good rebuttals, if any. This brother is a Lutheran who has recently become Catholic. Visit his blog and read it. It's interesting. Visit Beatus Vir and then dialog with this gentleman.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Taking A Rest

Well folks. I'm taking a bit of a break. I'll be around and will post little items now and then, but for now, I need to do some serious reading. I don't spend much on time online and with the books I'm reading, I want to spend some more time reading than generating ideas. Plus, I want to study up on how to add readership to my blog. This is still a new science for me and so need to read up on how to be more effective. Plus, I have a lot of sites on my blog that I haven't been able to read lately. I want to communicate with my friends on those blogs too so that I can know them better and they me. So, for now, my entries will be short and not as often.
Take care and for those few who have written...like Pennyyak and Howard, I'll be on your blogs little more...hopefully. One of the things I promised my wife is I'd never allow my computer to take time away from her. So...need to make sure my priorities are straight.

God bless....

Thursday, October 1, 2009