Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Top Ten Christian Books for 2010

Not all of these books were published in 2010










Monday, December 20, 2010

Top Ten Non-Fiction for 2010











Next Post: My Top Ten Christian Books of 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

85 Prophicies Fulfilled by Christ

1 Genesis 3:15    seed of a woman    Galatians 4:4

2 Genesis 12:3    descendant of Abraham     Matthew 1:1, Acts 3:25

3 Genesis 17:19, 21:12    descendant of Isaac    Luke 3:34, Luke 3:23-24

4 Gen 28:14, Num 24:17    descendant of Jacob    Matthew 1:2

5 Gen 49:10    from the tribe of Judah     Luke 3:23-24

6 Isaiah 9:6, 11:1-5, Jer 23:5-6    descendant of David     Matt 1:1

7 Isaiah 11:1    descendant of Jesse     Luke 3:23-24

8 Ezekiel 37:24    will shepherd His people     Matthew 2:6

9 Isaiah 9:7    heir to the throne of David     Luke 1:32-33

10 Micah 5:2    His pre-existence     Colossians 1:17

11 Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:1    eternal existence    John 8:58, 11, 14, Eph 1:3-14

12 Psalm 45:6-7, 102:25-27    anointed and eternal    Hebrews 1:8-12

13 Psalm 110:1    called Lord     Matthew 22:43-45

14 Isaiah 33:22    judge     John 5:30

15 Psalm 2:6    king     Matthew 27:37

16 Micah 5:2   born in Bethlehem     Matt 2:1, Luke 2:4-5, 7

17 Daniel 9:25    time for His birth     Matt 2:1, 16, 19, Luke 2:1-2

18 Isaiah 7:14    born of a virgin     Matthew 1:18, 24, 25, Luke 1:26-27, 30-31

19 Psalm 72:9    worshipped by shepherds     Luke 2:8-15

20 Psalm 72:10    honored by great kings     Matthew 2:1-11

21 Jeremiah 31:15    slaughter of children    Matthew 2:16-18

22 Hosea 11:1    flight to Egypt    Matthew 2:14-15

23 Isaiah 40:3-5   the way prepared     Matthew 3:1,2, Luke 3:3-6

24 Malachi 3:1    preceded by a forerunner     Luke 7:24, 27

25 Malachi 4:5-6    preceded by Elijah     Matthew 11:13-14

26 Psalm 2:7   declared the Son of God     Matthew 3:17, Luke 1:32

27 Isaiah 9:5-6, Jer 23:5-6   God's name applied to Him   Rom 10:9, Phil 2:9-11

28 Isaiah 11:2, 61:1, Psalm 45:8   anointment of Holy Spirit Mat 3:16, 17, John 3:34

29 Isaiah 9:1-2   Galilean ministry    Matthew 4:13-16

30 Psalm 78:2-4   speaks in parables   Matthew 13:34-35

31 Isaiah 56:7, Jer 7:11  temple becomes a house of merchandise instead of prayer Mat 21:13

32 Psalm 69:9   zeal of Jews for the temple instead of God    John 2:17

33 Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 a prophet     Matthew 21:11, Acts 3:20, 22

34 Isaiah 29:18, Isaiah 35:5-6   blind, deaf, and lame are healed by the Messiah
Luke 7:22, Matthew 9:35, 11:3-5


35 Isaiah 40:11, 42:2-3, Isaiah 53:7  Messiah will be meek and mild
Matthew 12:18-20, Matthew 11:29, Hebrews 4:15

36 Isaiah 53:9   Be sinless and without guile   1 Peter 2:22

37 Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 49:1  will minister to Gentiles   Matthew 12:18-21Luke 2:32

38 Isaiah 61:1-2  to bind up the brokenhearted   Luke 4:18-19

39 Isaiah 53:12, 59:16  to intercede for the people     Rom 8:34, Heb 7:25

40 Isaiah 53:3, 8:14, 28:16, 63:3, Psalms 69:6, 118:22
rejected by His own people, the Jews
John 1:11, 7:5,48, Luke 23:18, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:6-8


41 Psalm 118:22   Be rejected by the Jewish leadership    Matthew 21:42, John 7:48

42 Psalm 2:1-2  plotted against by Jews and Gentiles alike    Acts 4:27

43 Psalm 110:4    priest after the order of Melchizedek    Hebrews 5:5-6

44 Zechariah 9:9   enter Jerusalem on donkey   Mark 11:7, 9, 11, Luke 19:35-37

45 Haggai 2:7-9, Malachi 3:1  entered the temple with authority  Mat 21:12, Luke 2:27-38

46 Psalm 8:2   adored by infants    Matthew 21:15-16

47 Isaiah 53:1    not believed      John 12:37-38

48 Zechariah 13:7   sheep of the Shepherd scattered   Matthew 26:31, Mark 14:50

49 Psalm 41:9, 55:13-15    betrayed by a close friend Matthew 10:4, Luke 22:47-48

50 Zechariah 11:12    betrayed for thirty pieces of silver Matthew 26:14-15

51 Zechariah 11:13   betrayal money used to buy Potter's field Matthew 27:6-7

52 Psalm 35:11    accused by false witnesses Mark 14:57-58

53 Isaiah 53:7    silent to accusations Matthew 27:12, Mark 15:4-5

54 Isaiah 50:6   spat on Matthew 26:67, 27:30

55 Isaiah 50:6     beaten Matthew 26:67, 27:26, 30

56 Micah 4:14    struck on cheek Matthew 27:30

57 Isaiah 49:7, Psalm 35:19, Psalm 69:4    hated without reason John 7:48, 15:24-25

58 Isaiah 53:5     wounded and bruised Matthew 27:26

59 Isaiah 53:5     vicarious sacrifice John 1:29, , 3:16, Romans 5:6, 8

60 Daniel 9:24-26      cut off, but not for Himself Matthew 2:1, Luke 3:1, 23

61 Isaiah 53:12      crucified with malefactors Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27-28

62 Zechariah 12:10, Psalm 22:16    pierced through hands and feet Luke 23:33, John 20:25-27

63 Psalm 22:7-8     sneered and mocked Matthew 27:31, Luke 23:35

64 Psalm 109:24, 25     fell under the cross Luke 23:26

65 Psalm 69:9     was reproached Romans 15:3

66 Psalm 38:11    friends stood afar off Luke 23:49

67 Psalm 109:25    people shook their heads Matthew 27:39

68 Psalm 22:17     stared upon Luke 23:35

69 Psalm 22:16, 69:21    given vinegar for His thirst Matthew 27:34, John 19:28-29

70 Psalm 109:4, Isaiah 53:12     prayer for His enemies Luke 23:34

71 Psalm 22:17-18    soldiers gambled for His clothing Matthew 27:35-36, John 19:23, 24

72 Psalm 22:1     forsaken by God Matthew 27:46

73 Psalm 31:5    committed Himself to God Luke 23:46

74 Exodus 12:46, Psalm 34:20     no bones broken John 19:32, 33, 36

75 Psalm 22:14     heart broken John 19:34

76 Zechariah 12:10     His side pierced John 19:34

77 Amos 8:9     darkness over the land Matthew 27:45

78 Isaiah 53:9     buried with the rich Matthew 27:57-60

79 Psalm 3:5, 16:10, 49:15     to be resurrected Mark 16:6-7, Acts 2:31

80 Isaiah 44:3, Joel 2:28     sent the Holy Spirit John 20:22, Acts 2:16-17

81 Isaiah 55:3-4, Jeremiah 31:31   establishes a new covenant
Matthew 26:28, Luke 22:20, Hebrews 8:6-10


82 Psalm 68:18, Psalm 110:1
His ascension to God's right hand
Mark 16:19, Acts 1:9, 1 Corinthians 15:4, Ephesians 4:8, Hebrews 1:3

83 Psalm 29:11, Micah 4:3    peace proclaimed by disciples Luke 2:14, John 14:27, Acts 10:36

84 Isaiah 60:3   "Light" to Gentiles Acts 13:47,48

85 Isaiah 11:10, 42:1, 49:1-12   the Gentiles will seek the Messiah Romans 11:25, 15:10

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Health and Wealth over 200 years

This is Fascinating
it tracks the health and wealth of the world since 1810
HT: http://www.challies.com/

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Powerful Testimony


You MUST watch this!

"Nearly everyone who attended the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, last month agreed that the testimony of the young North Korean woman was one of the emotional high points of the gathering.


Her story of sacrifice, anger, salvation, and courage must be seen by every church leader. Not only is she inspiring, but her story reveals the undeniable fact that Jesus Christ is building his church even in the most repressive and hostile places on earth."

http://www.12cities12conversations.com/2010/11/17/truth-testimony-from-north-korea/

From Out of Ur blog
http://www.outofur.com/

Friday, November 12, 2010

Squanto and Thanksgiving

Eric Metaxes wrote a book for kids called Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving, here he is on CNN talking about it

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Four Core Elements to Agape Love

From Sunday's Sermon: The 4 Core Elements of Agape Love
I John 4:9-10 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1. Agape Love Always seeks the Highest Good in Another
God the Father did not withhold His most precious possession: His Son
"He sent His One and Only Son"

2. Agape Love Always commits itself First
"He loved us"

3. Agape Love Always is a Giving Love
"He sent His Son"

4. Agape Love Always Sacrifices
"Atoning sacrifice for our sins"

Colson's Conversion

Check Chuck Colson's testimnoy
If you want to read more pick up his excellent book, "Born Again"
http://www.slate.com/BLOGS/blogs/thewrongstuff/archive/2010/10/20/from-the-white-house-to-the-jailhouse-to-the-pulpit-chuck-colson-on-being-wrong.aspx

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Great Hymns

I really enjoy the music of Page CXVI, they sing some of the best, most powerful hymns
Give them a listen





Friday, October 15, 2010

What is Masculinity?

Notes from Chapter One of "Future Men"  by Doug Wilson


What is masculinity? Wilson writes: "the collection of all those characteristics which flow from delighting in and sacrificing bodily strength for goodness." He defines masculinity by 5 terms: Lords, Husbandmen, Saviors, Sages, and Glory-Bearers.


1. Lords: "man was created to exercise dominion in the earth. The charge which God gave in this regard is frequently called the Cultural Mandate." (Gen 1:26-28). "In boys we may call this the 'tree fort' impetus. Boys want to conquer and subdue, and if the terrain before them is the backyard, then that is what they want to conquer and subdue." (p.14)


2. Husbandmen: "Man was created not only to discover and conquer new worlds, but also to make those worlds flourish." (p.15)


3. Saviors: "Men also have a deep desire to deliver or save." (15) The great example of a Savior is of course Jesus Christ. The ancient serpent, the dragon, was the tempter who brought the occasion of sin before Adam and Eve. Men who follow Jesus Christ, the dragon slayer, must themselves become lesser dragon-slayers. And this is why it is absolutely essential for boys to play with wooden swords and plastic guns. Boys have a deep need to have something to defend, something to represent in battle. And to beat the spears into pruning hooks prematurely, before the war is over, will leave you fighting the dragon with a pruning hook. The Christian faith is in no way pacifistic. The peace that will be ushered in by our great Prince will be a peace purchased with blood. As our Lord sacrificed Himself in this war, so must His followers learn to do. Boys must learn that they are growing up to fight in a great war, and they must consequently learn, as boys, to be strong, sacrificial, courageous and good. (16)


4. Sage: "We must teach our boys the masculinity of study, of learning, of books, of intellectual discussion."


5. Glory-bearers: Men are the glory of God (I Cor 11:7) Boys must be instructed on how to grow up into glory and how to fulfill their responsibility to be representative, responsible, and holy. (18)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Don't Buy Stuff you Can't Afford!

2 Chilean miners accept Christ while trapped underground

This is really cool
from: http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=33842

SANTIAGO, Chile (BP)--José Henríquez leads a small group of men in prayer every evening in northern Chile -- 2,300 feet below the surface of the earth.

For more than two months, 33 Chilean miners have been trapped beneath the desert floor in a chamber the size of a living room. A partial collapse blocked the mine exit Aug. 5.

Chilean Mining Minister Laurence Golborne confirmed Oct. 11 that a trial run of a rescue capsule was successful. The miners' rescue is scheduled to begin at midnight, Oct. 12.

When the mine collapsed, three of the miners -- including Henríquez -- were Christians. Since then, two more of them have made professions of faith.

"It was José who made the request that an evangelical pastor come to minister to the miners and their families," said Bryan Wolf, an International Mission Board (IMB) missionary serving in Vallenar, Chile.

Rescue engineer Igor Bravo, a member of First Baptist Church of Santiago, was one of the first to hear of Henríquez's request for a pastor and contacted the Chilean Baptist Union.

Bernardino Morales, director of the Baptist union's Social Testimony Network, searched for a pastor who lived near the mine in Copiapó but no one was available. Two weeks ago he called Marcelo Leiva, pastor of Vallenar Baptist Church in Vallenar, Chile, located about two hours away.

"Pastor," Morales said to Leiva, "it's either you, or it's you."
Leiva's response: "Amen."

The miners had been on the pastor's heart before Bernardino called. He said Bravo contacting the Chilean Baptist Union was the "channel of blessing" that brought him to Camp Esperanza (Hope), where the miners' families are staying.

When Leiva arrived at the camp, he didn't know anyone. But Henríquez's family quickly connected him with other families.

"That [connection] allowed a lot of other people to hear the Word," Leiva says, "and to know that in the midst of this catastrophe, God is in control, and it is the Lord who has kept their family members alive."

The wife of one of the miners who became a Christian since being trapped in the mine met with Leiva over the past two weeks and also accepted Christ.

Miners' families have been staying at Camp Hope for weeks in what Leiva describes as rudimentary conditions. They receive three meals a day and sleep on mats inside government-provided military tents. Despite the simple accommodations, being close to their loved ones brings them comfort.

After the frenzy of activity during the day subsides, Leiva finds the families are more available to talk with him in the evenings. He has noticed the difference between the families who know Christ and the families who do not.

"This has been a testimony to what the Lord can do in a person's life," Leiva said. "Those that are the children of the Lord have been those that have shown, even in the midst of the storm, a testimony of peace, tranquility and trust in the Lord."

At Henríquez's request, Leiva was recently given 10 minutes to speak through a telephone that connects the trapped miners with the rescue crew. Leiva used that time to pray for Henríquez and encourage him.

Henríquez sent a letter to Leiva on behalf of the trapped miners, calling him a blessing and thanking him for being there with their families. Leiva also has been sending down letters of encouragement to the trapped miners.

Besides Leiva, a Pentecostal pastor is the only other evangelical preacher allowed in the camp. The two have been working together when they can and have made a "good team," Leiva said.

Leiva has had the opportunity to witness to family members, Chilean policemen and foreign press -- including a Japanese reporter, Wolfe said. Leiva also wrote down a Scripture portion from Psalms and gave it to Mining Minister Laurence Golborne.

As the rescue draws near, the families in Camp Hope are anxious. Leiva realizes that this unique opportunity to share the Gospel is a fleeting one.

"Let's do our job and fulfill the purpose for which God brought us here," Leiva said. "Not to just have a protagonist role without sharing the Gospel. Because this camp, in a few more days, is going to close and the people will return home.

"Pray that we, the children of God, will do our job," Leiva said.

Tristan Taylor is an International Mission Board writer in the Americas
http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=33842

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Screwtape Letters on Broadway

I finally got around to seeing Max McLean's Screwtape Letters last Friday night with Tammy and it was thoroughly enjoyable and powerful.  I have read Lewis' Screwtape letters several times and liked it but not nearly as much as his other writings like: The Great Divorce, or Mere Christianity. Sort of on the level of his space trilogies.  But seeing and hearing it spoken and performed by McLean was powerful.  Listening to Wormwood was much more engaging than reading.  It is amazing the insight Lewis had on temptation and the words he put into Wormwood's mouth.  It is telling that the Playbill describes it as 'wickedly funny' and i kept hearing people laughing but to me it was profoundly serious and moving. I would recommend seeing it and tickets are very reasonable.

One section of Wormwood's dialog still has me thinking:

"Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy's ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made all the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Raising your boys in Unbelief or Faith?

I really enjoyed Doug Wilson's book "Future Men" on raising boys.  It is one of the best parenting books i have ever read and recommend it highly.  From the intro:



"The faith exhibited by wise parents of boys is the faith of a farmer, or a sculptor, or anyone else engaged in the work of shaping unfolding possibilities. It is not the faith of someone waiting around for lightening to strike; it is the faith of someone who looks at the present and sees what it will become- through grace and good works.


Countless examples may be multiplied from any given day in the life of a small boy. Say a boy breaks a chair because he was jumping on it from the bunk bed. Unbelief sees the cost of replacing the chair. Faith sees aggressiveness and courage, both of which obviously need to be directed and disciplined. Suppose a boy gets into a fight protecting his sister. Unbelief sees the lack of wisdom that created a situation that could have been easily avoided; faith sees an immature masculinity that is starting to assume the burden of manhood.


Unbelief squashes; faith teaches. Faith takes a boy aside, and tells him that this part of what he did was good, while that other part of what he did got in the way. "And this is how to do it better next time."


This issue of fighting provides a good example of how necessary such distinctions are. Of course parents do not want to encourage fighting in their sons. Neither do they want to encourage abdication and cowardice. There are times when men have to fight. (page 10)"

I thought this was pretty good

They mention Tim Keller as being a good example going forward in Evangelical circles
We are studying one of his books in our Men's Study Wednesday nights


Thursday, September 30, 2010

This is Awesome

Atheists know more than Protestants and Catholics about Religion

A new Study Released yesterday
 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39397251/ns/us_news-life/

A new survey of Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons outperformed Protestants and Roman Catholics in answering questions about major religions, while many respondents could not correctly give the most basic tenets of their own faiths.


Forty-five percent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn't know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ.

More than half of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the person who inspired the Protestant Reformation. And about four in 10 Jews did not know that Maimonides, one of the greatest rabbis and intellectuals in history, was Jewish.

The survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life aimed to test a broad range of religious knowledge, including understanding of the Bible, core teachings of different faiths and major figures in religious history. The U.S. is one of the most religious countries in the developed world, especially compared to largely secular Western Europe, but faith leaders and educators have long lamented that Americans still know relatively little about religion.

Respondents to the survey were asked 32 questions with a range of difficulty, including whether they could name the Islamic holy book and the first book of the Bible, or say what century the Mormon religion was founded. On average, participants in the survey answered correctly overall for half of the survey questions.

Atheists and agnostics scored highest, with an average of 21 correct answers, while Jews and Mormons followed with about 20 accurate responses. Protestants overall averaged 16 correct answers, while Catholics followed with a score of about 15.

Not surprisingly, those who said they attended worship at least once a week and considered religion important in their lives often performed better on the overall survey. However, level of education was the best predictor of religious knowledge. The top-performing groups on the survey still came out ahead even when controlling for how much schooling they had completed.

On questions about Christianity, Mormons scored the highest, with an average of about eight correct answers out of 12, followed by white evangelicals, with an average of just over seven correct answers. Jews, along with atheists and agnostics, knew the most about other faiths, such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. Less than half of Americans know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist, and less than four in 10 know that Vishnu and Shiva are part of Hinduism.

The study also found that many Americans don't understand constitutional restrictions on religion in public schools. While a majority know that public school teachers cannot lead classes in prayer, less than a quarter know that the U.S. Supreme Court has clearly stated that teachers can read from the Bible as an example of literature.

"Many Americans think the constitutional restrictions on religion in public schools are tighter than they really are," Pew researchers wrote.

The survey of 3,412 people, conducted between May and June of this year, had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, while the margins of error for individual religious groups was higher.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

position before practice

Martyn Lloyd Jones writes: (Life in Christ p.283-4)


I do feel that this is perhaps the greatest weakness of all in the Christian Church, that we fail to realize what we are, or who we are….. Or let me put it to you like this: is it not the honest truth that most of the unhappiness that we experience in this life is due to our failure to realize this truth? …all of our unhappiness is ultimately to be traced back to this: that we are looking at things that are happening to us, instead of looking at this vision that is held there before us. It is because we do not see ourselves as the children of God and going through this life and world in the way that this test indicates … In the same way we must realize, I think, that most of our failure to live the Christian life as we should live it is also due to the same cause. If only we realized who we are, then the problem of conduct would almost automatically be solved. This is how parents often deal with this problem in instructing their children. They say to them ' Now remember who you are.' In other words it is our failure to realize who we are that causes us to stumble on this whole question of moral conduct and behavior… If once we saw ourselves as we are depicted here, there would be no need to persuade us to live the Christian life… the more I read the NT, the more I am impressed by the fact that every appeal for conduct and good living and behavior is always made in terms of our position. The Bible never asks us to do anything w/o reminding us first of all who we are."

Friday, September 3, 2010

What to Mormons believe?

I've had several conversations about Mormons lately - not sure exactly why - maybe has something to do with the popularity of Glenn Beck and his Mormonism - he seems to think that he is a Christian - Mormonism IS NOT CHRISTIANITY - Justin Taylor on his blog had this helpful explaination
(http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/08/30/an-faq-on-the-difference-between-mormonism-and-biblical-christianity/)

An FAQ on the Difference between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity

The following is adapted from the section on Mormonism (or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) in the ESV Study Bible article on religious cults. The attempt is to be concise yet still accurate. I’ve added questions in bold to break it up a bit.

What do Mormons believe about apostasy and restoration?
Mormons claim that “total” apostasy overcame the church following apostolic times, and that the Mormon Church (founded in 1830) is the “restored church.”

What’s the problem with this understanding?
If the Mormon Church were truly a “restored church,” one would expect to find first-century historical evidence for Mormon doctrines like the plurality of gods and God the Father having once been a man. Such evidence is completely lacking. Besides, the Bible disallows a total apostasy of the church (e.g., Matt. 16:18; 28:20; Eph. 3:21; 4:11–16), warning instead of partial apostasy (1 Tim. 4:1).

What do Mormons believe about God?
Mormons claim that God the Father was once a man and that he then progressed to godhood (that is, he is a now-exalted, immortal man with a flesh-and-bone body).

What does the Bible teach about the nature of God?
Based on the Bible, God is not and has never been a man (Num. 23:19; Hos. 11:9). He is a spirit (John 4:24), and a spirit does not have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). Furthermore, God is eternal (Ps. 90:2; 102:27; Isa. 57:15; 1 Tim. 1:17) and immutable (or unchangeable in his being and perfections; see Ps. 102:25–27; Mal. 3:6). He did not “progress” toward godhood, but has always been God.

What do Mormons believe about the Trinity and polytheism?
Mormons believe that the Trinity consists not of three persons in one God but rather of three distinct gods. According to Mormonism, there are potentially many thousands of gods besides these.

What does the Bible teach about the Triune God?
Trusting in or worshiping more than one god is explicitly condemned throughout the Bible (e.g., Ex. 20:3). There is only one true God (Deut. 4:35, 39; 6:4; Isa. 43:10; 44:6, 8; 45:18; 46:9; 1 Cor. 8:4; James 2:19), who exists eternally in three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14).

What do Mormons believe about human exaltation?
Mormons believe that humans, like God the Father, can go through a process of exaltation to godhood.

What does the Bible teach about humanity?
The Bible teaches that the yearning to be godlike led to the fall of mankind (Gen. 3:4ff.). God does not look kindly on humans who pretend to attain to deity (Acts 12:21–23; contrast Acts 14:11–15). God desires humans to humbly recognize that they are his creatures (Gen. 2:7; 5:2; Ps. 95:6–7; 100:3). The state of the redeemed in eternity will be one of glorious immortality, but they will forever remain God’s creatures, adopted as his children (Rom. 8:14–30; 1 Cor. 15:42–57; Rev. 21:3–7). Believers will never become gods.

What do Mormons believe about Jesus?
Mormons believe that Jesus Christ was the firstborn spirit-child of the heavenly Father and a heavenly Mother. Jesus then progressed to deity in the spirit world. He was later physically conceived in Mary’s womb, as the literal “only begotten” Son of God the Father in the flesh (though many present-day Mormons remain somewhat vague as to how this occurred).

What does the Bible teach about Jesus?
Biblically, the description of Jesus as the “only begotten” refers to his being the Father’s unique, one-of-a-kind Son for all eternity, with the same divine nature as the Father (see note on John 1:14; cf. John 1:18; 3:16, 18; see also John 5:18; 10:30). Moreover, he is eternal deity (John 1:1; 8:58) and is immutable (Heb. 1:10–12; 13:8), meaning he did not progress to deity but has always been God. And Mary’s conception of Jesus in his humanity was through a miracle of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20).

What do Mormons believe about our eternal destiny?
Mormons believe that most people will end up in one of three kingdoms of glory, depending on one’s level of faithfulness. Belief in Christ, or even in God, is not necessary to obtain immortality in one of these three kingdoms, and therefore only the most spiritually perverse will go to hell.

What does the Bible teach about our eternal destiny ?
The Bible teaches that people have just two possibilities for their eternal futures: the saved will enjoy eternal life with God in the new heavens and new earth (Phil. 3:20; Rev. 21:1–4; 22:1–5), while the unsaved will spend eternity in hell (Matt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 20:13–15).

What do Mormons believe about sin and atonement?
Mormons believe that Adam’s transgression was a noble act that made it possible for humans to become mortal, a necessary step on the path to exaltation to godhood. They think that Christ’s atonement secures immortality for virtually all people, whether they repent and believe or not.

What does the Bible teach about sin and atonement?
Biblically, there was nothing noble about Adam’s sin, which was not a stepping-stone to godhood but rather brought nothing but sin, misery, and death to mankind (Gen. 3:16–19; Rom. 5:12–14). Jesus atoned for the sins of all who would trust him for salvation (Isa. 53:6; John 1:29; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

What do Mormons believe about salvation?
Mormons believe that God gives to (virtually) everyone a general salvation to immortal life in one of the heavenly kingdoms, which is how they understand salvation by grace. Belief in Christ is necessary only to obtain passage to the highest, celestial kingdom—for which not only faith but participation in Mormon temple rituals and obedience to its “laws of the gospel” are also prerequisites.

What does the Bible teach about salvation?
Biblically, salvation by grace must be received through faith in Christ (John 3:15–16; 11:25; 12:46; Acts 16:31; Rom. 3:22–24; Eph. 2:8–9), and all true believers are promised eternal life in God’s presence (Matt. 5:3–8; John 14:1–3; Rev. 21:3–7).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"moralistic therapeutic deism"

From: http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/08/27/almost.christian/index.html

(CNN) -- If you're the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning:


Your child is following a "mutant" form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.

Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." Translation: It's a watered-down faith that portrays God as a "divine therapist" whose chief goal is to boost people's self-esteem.

Dean is a minister, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of "Almost Christian," a new book that argues that many parents and pastors are unwittingly passing on this self-serving strain of Christianity.

She says this "imposter'' faith is one reason teenagers abandon churches.

"If this is the God they're seeing in church, they are right to leave us in the dust," Dean says. "Churches don't give them enough to be passionate about."

What traits passionate teens share

Dean drew her conclusions from what she calls one of the most depressing summers of her life. She interviewed teens about their faith after helping conduct research for a controversial study called the National Study of Youth and Religion.

They have a lot to say. They can talk about money, sex and their family relationships with nuance.

The study, which included in-depth interviews with at least 3,300 American teenagers between 13 and 17, found that most American teens who called themselves Christian were indifferent and inarticulate about their faith.

The study included Christians of all stripes -- from Catholics to Protestants of both conservative and liberal denominations. Though three out of four American teenagers claim to be Christian, fewer than half practice their faith, only half deem it important, and most can't talk coherently about their beliefs, the study found.

Many teenagers thought that God simply wanted them to feel good and do good -- what the study's researchers called "moralistic therapeutic deism."

Some critics told Dean that most teenagers can't talk coherently about any deep subject, but Dean says abundant research shows that's not true.

"They have a lot to say," Dean says. "They can talk about money, sex and their family relationships with nuance. Most people who work with teenagers know that they are not naturally inarticulate."

In "Almost Christian," Dean talks to the teens who are articulate about their faith. Most come from Mormon and evangelical churches, which tend to do a better job of instilling religious passion in teens, she says.

No matter their background, Dean says committed Christian teens share four traits: They have a personal story about God they can share, a deep connection to a faith community, a sense of purpose and a sense of hope about their future.

"There are countless studies that show that religious teenagers do better in school, have better relationships with their parents and engage in less high-risk behavior," she says. "They do a lot of things that parents pray for."

Dean, a United Methodist Church minister who says parents are the most important influence on their children's faith, places the ultimate blame for teens' religious apathy on adults.

Some adults don't expect much from youth pastors. They simply want them to keep their children off drugs and away from premarital sex.

Others practice a "gospel of niceness," where faith is simply doing good and not ruffling feathers. The Christian call to take risks, witness and sacrifice for others is muted, she says.

"If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation," wrote Dean, a professor of youth and church culture at Princeton Theological Seminary.

More teens may be drifting away from conventional Christianity. But their desire to help others has not diminished, another author says.

Barbara A. Lewis, author of "The Teen Guide to Global Action," says Dean is right -- more teens are embracing a nebulous belief in God.

Yet there's been an "explosion" in youth service since 1995 that Lewis attributes to more schools emphasizing community service.

Teens that are less religious aren't automatically less compassionate, she says.

"I see an increase in youth passion to make the world a better place," she says. "I see young people reaching out to solve problems. They're not waiting for adults."

What religious teens say about their peers

We think that they want cake, but they actually want steak and potatoes, and we keep giving them cake.

Elizabeth Corrie meets some of these idealistic teens every summer. She has taken on the book's central challenge: instilling religious passion in teens.

Corrie, who once taught high school religion, now directs a program called YTI -- the Youth Theological Initiative at Emory University in Georgia.

YTI operates like a theological boot camp for teens. At least 36 rising high school juniors and seniors from across the country gather for three weeks of Christian training. They worship together, take pilgrimages to varying religious communities and participate in community projects.

Corrie says she sees no shortage of teenagers who want to be inspired and make the world better. But the Christianity some are taught doesn't inspire them "to change anything that's broken in the world."

Teens want to be challenged; they want their tough questions taken on, she says.

"We think that they want cake, but they actually want steak and potatoes, and we keep giving them cake," Corrie says.

David Wheaton, an Atlanta high school senior, says many of his peers aren't excited about Christianity because they don't see the payoff.

"If they can't see benefits immediately, they stay away from it," Wheaton says. "They don't want to make sacrifices."

How 'radical' parents instill religious passion in their children

Churches, not just parents, share some of the blame for teens' religious apathy as well, says Corrie, the Emory professor.

She says pastors often preach a safe message that can bring in the largest number of congregants. The result: more people and yawning in the pews.

"If your church can't survive without a certain number of members pledging, you might not want to preach a message that might make people mad," Corrie says. "We can all agree that we should all be good and that God rewards those who are nice."

Corrie, echoing the author of "Almost Christian," says the gospel of niceness can't teach teens how to confront tragedy.

"It can't bear the weight of deeper questions: Why are my parents getting a divorce? Why did my best friend commit suicide? Why, in this economy, can't I get the good job I was promised if I was a good kid?"

What can a parent do then?

Get "radical," Dean says.

She says parents who perform one act of radical faith in front of their children convey more than a multitude of sermons and mission trips.

A parent's radical act of faith could involve something as simple as spending a summer in Bolivia working on an agricultural renewal project or turning down a more lucrative job offer to stay at a struggling church, Dean says.

But it's not enough to be radical -- parents must explain "this is how Christians live," she says.

"If you don't say you're doing it because of your faith, kids are going to say my parents are really nice people," Dean says. "It doesn't register that faith is supposed to make you live differently unless parents help their kids connect the dots."

'They called when all the cards stopped'

Anne Havard, an Atlanta teenager, might be considered radical. She's a teen whose faith appears to be on fire.

Havard, who participated in the Emory program, bubbles over with energy when she talks about possibly teaching theology in the future and quotes heavy-duty scholars such as theologian Karl Barth.

She's so fired up about her faith that after one question, Havard goes on a five-minute tear before stopping and chuckling: "Sorry, I just talked a long time."

Havard says her faith has been nurtured by what Dean, the "Almost Christian" author, would call a significant faith community.

In 2006, Havard lost her father to a rare form of cancer. Then she lost one of her best friends -- a young woman in the prime of life -- to cancer as well. Her church and her pastor stepped in, she says.

"They called when all the cards stopped," she says.

When asked how her faith held up after losing her father and friend, Havard didn't fumble for words like some of the teens in "Almost Christian."

She says God spoke the most to her when she felt alone -- as Jesus must have felt on the cross.

"When Jesus was on the cross crying out, 'My God, why have you forsaken me?' Jesus was part of God,'' she says. "Then God knows what it means to doubt.

"It's OK to be in a storm, to be in a doubt," she says, "because God was there, too."

We need better men.... we need better Pastors

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Cool" Christianity

This is from last week's Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111704575355311122648100.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

By BRETT MCCRACKEN

'How can we stop the oil gusher?" may have been the question of the summer for most Americans. Yet for many evangelical pastors and leaders, the leaking well is nothing compared to the threat posed by an ongoing gusher of a different sort: Young people pouring out of their churches, never to return.

As a 27-year-old evangelical myself, I understand the concern. My peers, many of whom grew up in the church, are losing interest in the Christian establishment.

Recent statistics have shown an increasing exodus of young people from churches, especially after they leave home and live on their own. In a 2007 study, Lifeway Research determined that 70% of young Protestant adults between 18-22 stop attending church regularly.

Statistics like these have created something of a mania in recent years, as baby-boomer evangelical leaders frantically assess what they have done wrong (why didn't megachurches work to attract youth in the long term?) and scramble to figure out a plan to keep young members engaged in the life of the church.

Increasingly, the "plan" has taken the form of a total image overhaul, where efforts are made to rebrand Christianity as hip, countercultural, relevant. As a result, in the early 2000s, we got something called "the emerging church"—a sort of postmodern stab at an evangelical reform movement. Perhaps because it was too "let's rethink everything" radical, it fizzled quickly. But the impulse behind it—to rehabilitate Christianity's image and make it "cool"—remains.

There are various ways that churches attempt to be cool. For some, it means trying to seem more culturally savvy. The pastor quotes Stephen Colbert or references Lady Gaga during his sermon, or a church sponsors a screening of the R-rated "No Country For Old Men." For others, the emphasis is on looking cool, perhaps by giving the pastor a metrosexual makeover, with skinny jeans and an $80 haircut, or by insisting on trendy eco-friendly paper and helvetica-only fonts on all printed materials. Then there is the option of holding a worship service in a bar or nightclub (as is the case for L.A.'s Mosaic church, whose downtown location meets at a nightspot called Club Mayan).

"Wannabe cool" Christianity also manifests itself as an obsession with being on the technological cutting edge. Churches like Central Christian in Las Vegas and Liquid Church in New Brunswick, N.J., for example, have online church services where people can have a worship experience at an "iCampus." Many other churches now encourage texting, Twitter and iPhone interaction with the pastor during their services.

But one of the most popular—and arguably most unseemly—methods of making Christianity hip is to make it shocking. What better way to appeal to younger generations than to push the envelope and go where no fundamentalist has gone before?

Sex is a popular shock tactic. Evangelical-authored books like "Sex God" (by Rob Bell) and "Real Sex" (by Lauren Winner) are par for the course these days. At the same time, many churches are finding creative ways to use sex-themed marketing gimmicks to lure people into church.

Oak Leaf Church in Cartersville, Georgia, created a website called yourgreatsexlife.com to pique the interest of young seekers. Flamingo Road Church in Florida created an online, anonymous confessional (IveScrewedUp.com), and had a web series called MyNakedPastor.com, which featured a 24/7 webcam showing five weeks in the life of the pastor, Troy Gramling. Then there is Mark Driscoll at Seattle's Mars Hill Church—who posts Q&A videos online, from services where he answers questions from people in church, on topics such as "Biblical Oral Sex" and "Pleasuring Your Spouse."

But are these gimmicks really going to bring young people back to church? Is this what people really come to church for? Maybe sex sermons and indie- rock worship music do help in getting people in the door, and maybe even in winning new converts. But what sort of Christianity are they being converted to?

In his book, "The Courage to Be Protestant," David Wells writes:"The born-again, marketing church has calculated that unless it makes deep, serious cultural adaptations, it will go out of business, especially with the younger generations. What it has not considered carefully enough is that it may well be putting itself out of business with God.

"And the further irony," he adds, "is that the younger generations who are less impressed by whiz-bang technology, who often see through what is slick and glitzy, and who have been on the receiving end of enough marketing to nauseate them, are as likely to walk away from these oh-so-relevant churches as to walk into them."

If the evangelical Christian leadership thinks that "cool Christianity" is a sustainable path forward, they are severely mistaken. As a twentysomething, I can say with confidence that when it comes to church, we don't want cool as much as we want real.

If we are interested in Christianity in any sort of serious way, it is not because it's easy or trendy or popular. It's because Jesus himself is appealing, and what he says rings true. It's because the world we inhabit is utterly phony, ephemeral, narcissistic, image-obsessed and sex-drenched—and we want an alternative. It's not because we want more of the same.

Powerful Stuff



HT: Challies

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Supertones Strike back!

I am so psyched that my favorite Christian SKA band is reuniting to play at RevGen this year
The OC Supertones
I can't wait

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Anne Rice leaves 'Christianity'

Anne Rice has decided to leave the church and Christianity
but still loves God

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-02/anne-rices-christianity-crisis/?cid=hp:mainpromo5

Why Excercise won't make you thin

I've been saying this for years and no one ever believes me!
Now i have proof
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857-1,00.html

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some great New Music

Two really great songs: First is from one of my favirite Christians artist Andrew Peterson called "Fool with a Fancy Guitar" and the second is "communion Hymn" from Stuart Townend.  ENJOY!
(HT:http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/)



Randy Alcorn's Testimony

Why Does Bestselling Author Randy Alcorn Make Minimum Wage?
Check out this powerful interview clip on Randy Alcorn's testimony

http://theresurgence.com/1-why-does-randy-alcorn-make-minimum-wage

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Forgiveness and Facebook

A couple of quotes caught my eye this week
The first is about Ted Haggard

"And when they are finally caught, they always ask for forgiveness. Because the endless supply of forgiveness they feel entitled to as men of the church is why they feel at liberty to do what they do in the first place."


"Telling people that being part of the local church is optional for the health of the Christian, is like telling a married couple they can replace living together with being friends on Facebook to grow closer and become One as God intends."

- Carlos Griego (HT: vitaminZ)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Glimpses of Grace on ESPN

Make sure you watch past the 9:30 mark
HT: Mockingbird

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Nothing Box!

I saw Mark Gunger last week at Creation Festival and he was excellent!
Check out his talk on Men's & Woman's Brains

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wild at heart

From: http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/rnstext/violent_mexican_gang_hijacks_us_authors_book/
NEWS STORY

Violent Mexican gang hijacks U.S. evangelical’s book
By Alfredo Garcia

(RNS) In one Mexican drug cartel, mandatory reading now includes an American evangelical’s best-seller.

Drawing from an unlikely source, La Familia Michoacana (the Michoacan Family) bases part of its ideology on the book “Wild at Heart,” by John Eldredge of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Ransomed Heart Ministries.

Ironically, Eldredge sees the violent gang’s use of his book in a positive light.

“At first, I was really mad that they hijacked my book for their purposes,” he said. “But on second thought ... maybe it will touch the hearts of the people who use (it).”

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, known in Mexico as “El Mas Loco” (The Craziest One), runs La Familia with rigid discipline and pseudo-evangelical spirit. Doubling as both a political and social force, La Familia is known in Mexico, a nation that has been plagued with drug-related bloodshed, for its extreme violence.

According to Time magazine, while Moreno Gonzalez ferried cocaine to the U.S. in the 1990s, he was influenced by Latino evangelicals and images of the mafia in “The Godfather” films. Later, he returned to Mexico with a sense of religious justification—and Eldredge’s book.

The book has become central to La Familia’s recruitment strategy and group mentality.

For new recruits, the cartel turns to addicts in drug rehabilitation clinics, helping them overcome addiction before forcing them to join the group. Family values and religion are emphasized during the recruitment process, which includes daily group prayer sessions and mandatory readings.

Included in the readings is Eldredge’s book, Spanish translations of which have been found in police raids of La Familia strongholds.

Eldredge’s theology is based on a “muscular” view of Christianity, one that emphasizes an “authentic masculinity” that has been lost, he said, in modern Christian theology.
He said it is meant to “champion an understanding of masculinity that is not passive.”

“‘Wild at Heart’ is a call for men to engage as husbands, fathers, members of their community. So there is this call to be a hero, to live a life that matters, to make a difference.”

The book contains language, however, that has been misappropriated by La Familia in their mission of “divine justice.”

Central to “Wild at Heart” is an image of man as warrior, willing and able to fight the battle, rescue the beauty, and live the adventure.

“If we can reawaken that fierce quality in a man (the desire to fight), hook it up to a higher purpose, release the warrior within, then the boy can grow up and become truly masculine,” Eldredge wrote. “A man must have a battle to fight, a great mission to his life that involves and yet transcends even home and family.”

Eldredge did not find the misuse of his text to be entirely extraordinary, saying that this has “been true of ideas, language, books and movements all throughout history.”

People have always attempted to “shroud and try to cloak or distort their practices by draping it in religious language,” he said.

Eldredge says he has had mixed feelings about the group’s use of his book. “You know, at first I was shocked and angry,” he said, initially calling the mishandling of his book “pernicious.”

“But after I had thought about it, I thought that I’m delighted that `Wild at Heart’ has found itself into their cult because hopefully it will bring change.”

Eldredge’s book is coupled with Familia leader Moreno Gonzalez’s self-published bible, “Pensamientos” (Thoughts), a collection of personal aphorisms, evangelical-style self-help sayings, and insurrectionary mottos.
“Pensamientos” reveals a man who sees himself as the leader of a group of warriors on a divine mission, a theme that arises in Eldredge’s book.

“Hello friends, fellow Christians. We are beginning an arduous, but very interesting, task: the building of consciousness,” Moreno Gonzalez wrote. “Today, we need to prepare to defend our ideals so that our struggle will bear fruit (and) organize so as to go down the best path, perhaps not the easiest, but the one that can offer the best results.”

Eldredge emphasized, however, that the danger is not his book, but rather the improper exploitation of it, saying “a knife in the hand of the surgeon can save your life. A knife in the hand of a violent criminal can end it.”

“The evil is not `Wild at Heart,’” Eldredge said. “The evil is the distortion of it.”

also see: http://www.getreligion.org/ & http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2010/06/john_eldredge_s.html

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hit a little too close to home?

"The ultimate concern of most church members is not the worship and service of Christ in evangelistic mission and social compassion, but rather survival and success in their secular vocation ."
(Dynamics of Spiritual Life p. 204)

Its all about the punctuation

HT: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/

Dad Life

This is pretty funny. 
HT: Larry Martin


Dad Life from Church on the Move on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What is sin?

"The Bible presents sin by way of major concepts, principally lawlessness and faithlessness, expressed in an array of images: sin is the missing of a target, a wandering from the path, a straying from the fold. Sin is a hard heart and a stiff neck. Sin is blindness and deafness. It is both the overstepping of a line and the failure to reach it - both transgression and shortcoming. Sin is a beast crouching at the door. In sin, people attack or evade or neglect their divine calling. These and other images suggest deviance: even when it is familiar, sin is never normal. Sin is disruption of created harmony and the resistance to divine restoration of that harmony. Above all, sin disrupts and resists the vital human relation to God, and it does all this disrupting and resisting in a number of intertwined ways."


Plantinga "The Way its not supposed to be" p. 5

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Redemption

I remember watching Manute Bol play for the Washington Bullets as a kid, i remember hearing that he was from Sudan and did relief work there.  What i did not know until today, fr4om this article in WSJ, was that he was a committed Christian.  Ive read at least three other obituaries on Bol this week and none have said anything about his faith.  Just another example of how the Christian faith is left out or marginalized by the media.  This article is refreshing. 

By JON A. SHIELDS



As any churchgoer who tuned in to watch the recent NBA finals contest between the Lakers and Celtics already knows, the term redemption is probably now heard more often in NBA sports broadcasts than in homilies. A Google search under "redemption" and "NBA" generates approximately 2 million hits—more hits than "redemption" and "Christianity." The term can also be found in more than 2,600 stories on ESPN.com.

What does redemption mean in the world of professional basketball and sports more broadly? It involves making up for—or, yes, "atoning"—for a poor performance. When the Lakers beat Boston, for instance, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times called the victory "redemption for the Celtics' 2008 Finals beating."


More often, though, sports journalists use the term to praise the individual performances of NBA superstars. Thus, the Associated Press reported that Kobe Bryant "found redemption" after he won a title in 2009 without the aid of his nemesis and former teammate Shaquille O'Neal.


Manute Bol, who died last week at the age of 47, is one player who never achieved redemption in the eyes of sports journalists. His life embodied an older, Christian conception of redemption that has been badly obscured by its current usage.


Bol, a Christian Sudanese immigrant, believed his life was a gift from God to be used in the service of others. As he put it to Sports Illustrated in 2004: "God guided me to America and gave me a good job. But he also gave me a heart so I would look back."


He was not blessed, however, with great athletic gifts. As a center for the Washington Bullets, Bol was more spectacle than superstar. At 7 feet, 7 inches tall and 225 pounds, he was both the tallest and thinnest player in the league. He averaged a mere 2.6 points per game over the course of his career, though he was a successful shot blocker given that he towered over most NBA players.


Bol reportedly gave most of his fortune, estimated at $6 million, to aid Sudanese refugees. As one twitter feed aptly put it: "Most NBA cats go broke on cars, jewelry & groupies. Manute Bol went broke building hospitals."


When his fortune dried up, Bol raised more money for charity by doing what most athletes would find humiliating: He turned himself into a humorous spectacle. Bol was hired, for example, as a horse jockey, hockey player and celebrity boxer. Some Americans simply found amusement in the absurdity of him on a horse or skates. And who could deny the comic potential of Bol boxing William "the Refrigerator" Perry, the 335-pound former defensive linemen of the Chicago Bears?


Bol agreed to be a clown. But he was not willing to be mocked for his own personal gain as so many reality-television stars are. Bol let himself be ridiculed on behalf of suffering strangers in the Sudan; he was a fool for Christ.


During his final years, Bol suffered more than mere mockery in the service of others. While he was doing relief work in the Sudan, he contracted a painful skin disease that ultimately contributed to his death.


Bol's life and death throws into sharp relief the trivialized manner in which sports journalists employ the concept of redemption. In the world of sports media players are redeemed when they overcome some prior "humiliation" by playing well. Redemption then is deeply connected to personal gain and celebrity. It leads to fatter contracts, shoe endorsements, and adoring women.


Yet as Bol reminds us, the Christian understanding of redemption has always involved lowering and humbling oneself. It leads to suffering and even death.


It is of little surprise, then, that the sort of radical Christianity exemplified by Bol is rarely understood by sports journalists. For all its interest in the intimate details of players' lives, the media has long been tone deaf to the way devout Christianity profoundly shapes some of them.


Obituary titles for Bol, for example, described him as a humanitarian rather than a Christian. The remarkable charity and personal character of other NBA players, including David Robinson, A. C. Green and Dwight Howard, are almost never explicitly connected to their own intense Christian faith. They are simply good guys.


Christian basketball players hope that their "little lights" shine in a league marked by rapacious consumption and marital infidelity. They could shine even brighter if sports journalists acknowledged that such players seek atonement and redemption in a far more profound way than mere athletic success.


Jon A. Shields is assistant professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Toy Story 3

For Father's Day we all went out to see the new Pixar movie "Toy Story 3" As a huge fan of all of the Pixar movies I knew we were in for a treat but I was surprised by not only how funny & charming Toy Story 3 was but by how emotionally moving it was. The last 20 minutes of the movie I could hear several parents sniffing and see them wiping away some tears. I have to admit my eyes were a little wet as well. You must go out immediately and see this movie!



The remarkable thing is that every movie Pixar has done has been excellent. And this got me thinking of my favorite Pixar movies. So here is my list of my favorites in order from most to least. Tell me what you think:

1. Monster's Inc
2. Wall e
3. Toy Story 3
4. Incredibles
5. Toy Story 1
6. Ratatouille
7. Finding Nemo
8. Toy Story 2
9. Up
10. Bug's Life
                                                       11. Cars

Freedom from Porn

Something amazing is happing at Apple - Steve Jobs has made it clear that the iphone and ipad will not support any pornography applications! Some of his quotes in an e-mail exchange with an irate customer that turned out to be a reporter

" Ryan Tate, a writer for the Gawker website, sniped at Jobs about suppressing his customers’ “freedom,” prompting Jobs to respond, “Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom.”
When Tate replied that he didn’t want “freedom from porn,” Jobs answered, “You might care more about porn when you have kids.” In a correspondence with a consumer, Jobs went even further, speaking of his company’s “moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.”

Check out the original article here:

http://gawker.com/5539717/steve-jobs-offers-world-freedom-from-porn

http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/14594

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/06/21/steve-jobs-bans-iphone-and-ipad-porn-becomes-christian-right-he/

Monday, June 21, 2010

Evil speaks with a British accent?

This week I was reading "Minority Report" a book by Carl Trueman who is a professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary. It is a collection of his writings and essays over the years and is very informative and entertaining. On his chapter on "The Banality of Evil" he makes this point about evil people in the movies always speaking with a British accent (btw Trueman is British). I couldn't help but laugh as I was watching the BP CEO Hayward get racked over the coals by Congress.

"….there are subtle ways in which this fascination with the sophistication of evil manifests itself. For example, American movies and television programs contain a highly disproportionate number of screen villains who have English accents. Indeed in any whodunit where one of the characters is English, it is relatively easy to guess who committed the murder from the moment the character opens his or her mouth. In a recent series of 24, even the Russian villain spoke with an impeccable English Accent. The accent betrays the moral depravity, the sophisticated moral depravity, that lurks beneath the superficially polite façade."