Monday, January 30, 2006

Forty-two percent of Americans described themselves as Evangelical Christians in a Gallup poll in April.

When Gallup defined three measures that were required to qualify as an Evangelical Christian, 22 percent said they met all three measures in a Gallup survey in May.

The National Association of Evangelicals says about 25 percent of adult Americans are evangelicals.

It kind of reminds you of the parable of the Sower,doesn't it?
The Mad Dog is in trouble. Democrat leaders, including Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel are upset about Howard Dean’s management of the Democratic National Committee. Dean appears to have spent most of the committee’s cash, leaving little to support election efforts for the mid-term elections.

The DNC has just $5.5 million banked to spend in the elections. The Republican National Committee, in contrast, has $34 million.

Hey, he's a Liberal; he's supposed to spend money!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Church membership either turns you into a servant, or proves to you that you’re not one. Mark Dever
Dr. Mohler, if you're out there, I suggest you lead with this:

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." Jesus - John 6:44
Mark it down! June 12 is the day. Mohler and Patterson discuss election. The 2006 Southern Baptist Pastor's Conference will have this as the first break out session:

Monday Morning, June 12 - Breakout sessions at the convention hotel (Sheraton Four Seasons). We will have three one-hour blocks of breakout sessions, with several options offered during each block:

Reaching Today's World Through Differing Views of Election: Al Mohler, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Paige Patterson, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Whoop - there it is!
This conference sounds really great. It is called "Together For The Gospel". It will be in Louisville, Kentucky, in April. Speakers will be Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, C. J. Mahaney, John MacArthur, John Piper, and R.C. Sproul.

What a line up. It should be powerful. Maybe the will do a live video feed on Dr. Mohler's blog.
Dr. Mohler has a good post today tracking the history of Arafat, terrorism and the Palestinians.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hamas has won a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council by taking 76 of the 132 seats, a clear majority. Palestinians have rejected the ten year rule of the Fatah Party, known for its corruption and inability to bring stable government to Palestine. Fatah took 43 seats. Ahmed Qureia, the Prime Minister, has already resigned.

Voter turnout was 77 percent.

Now the game begins. Will Hamas remain the terrorist organization determined to destroy Israel, or will they govern the country in peace? Hamas has traditionally not recognized Israel as a legitimate country and Israel has refused to enter into talks with them as long as they maintain that stance. I’m not sure how you are able to not recognize the country that surrounds most of yours, but Hamas does not. However, the Palestinian Authority has to liaise Israeli officials to deal with issues such as water and power supplies.

The Palestinian Authority is the government of the area in which the Palestinians live and was created by the Oslo Accords, an international agreement, which states that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians should be resolved by peaceful means only.

President George W. Bush has fired the opening salvo by saying the U.S. will not deal with Hamas unless it rescinds its commitment to the destruction of Israel.

The vote is being touted as a reaction to the corruption of Fatah. President Bush said ``Obviously people were not happy with the status quo,'' and that Palestinians wanted ``honest government'' along with improvements in education, health care and other public services. Senator Joseph Biden, who has been in Ramallah, said "My impression is that those who are voting for Hamas are doing so because of the corruption and inefficiency of the PA and not as a vote against the peace process."

That may all be true, but Hamas has imposed Taliban like rule in the areas in which it operates. Things may well have taken a turn for the worse in the Middle East.
From Joshua Ritchie, the first penny pressed in America, in 1893, bore the image of the Ten Commandments.
A Catholic priest in Waco, Texas, is blessing the opening a a local Hooters Restaurant. I know my first question was: why on earth would you do that? Well, the reporter asked thim that also and he said it was a fun place and it would be good to bless it and the people who come there.

I can think of better things for a priest to do.

It does remind me of the time the Baby asked me why they called it Hooters and I told her it was because they made lots of noise in there hooting and hollering. I just couldn't bring myself to tell her the real reason. I'm sorry, Baby, I just couldn't do it.
None other Lamb, none other Name,
None other Hope in heaven or earth or sea,
None other Hiding-place from guilt and shame,
None beside Thee.

Christina Rossetti

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

“Palestinian elections” has moved from oxymoron to reality. You may not like their choices, but at least they are voting and not killing.

This is their first parliamentary election in a decade. The two main parties are the ruling party, Fatah, with their leader, Mahmoud Abbas. He advocates peace talks with Israel. The other party is the militant Islamic group, Hamas. There are 132 parliament seats in contest and the vote is likely to be very close.

The rest of the world is uneasy about the success of Hamas. Even it does not win a majority, it will likely win many seats and become a legitimate political force as well as a paramilitary force. No can predict the outcome of that, good or bad. Hamas has carried out many suicide bombings in Israel and threatened all kinds of attacks. Abbas believes that including Hamas in the political system will change them from a terrorist group into a political party. They have not carried out any attacks since the cease-fire, a period of about a year. But, that might be just a tactic to increase their viability in the election.

Adding credence to this view is that fact that Hamas’ top parliamentary candidate, Ismail Haniyeh, claims they do not intend to “lay down their arms” after the election, even though this is what Abbas expects (or claims to expect). Mahmoud Zahar, also a candidate, said Hamas "not going to change a single word" in its call for Israel's destruction.

If Hamas gains control of the Palestinian government, our own government will have tough choices to make. The U.S. currently lists Hamas as a terrorist organization. We have no direct dealings with them. But, if they become the government, we might not be able to continue that approach. The world expects the U.S. to take part in negotiations for peace between Israel and Palestine, acknowledging our close relationship with Israel. Our refusal would complicate matters greatly and also greatly annoy all Arab countries. Israel refuses to deal with Hamas as long as it is armed and engaged in terrorism. Our refusal to deal with a Hamas dominated government in Palestine would appear to be a clear statement of siding with Israel over Palestine and its Arab supporters. I do not think our government is ready to take that hard of a stand.

I am not sure Fatah is really much better. It began as a terrorist organization and I always felt Arafat was a terrorist at heart. Abbas has taken a more peaceful stance, but has not been successful in governing the Palestinians. The party has long been tainted by corruption in its 12 years in power. Arafat is accused of siphoning off millions of dollars. The debacle of the Palestinian take over of Gaza and the anarchy that ensued gave Fatah the appearance of complete impotence.

Our best hope is that the experience of democracy will encourage them to devote their energy to building up their country rather than existing to tear down Israel.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kim Riddlebarger has a new blog. He is my favorite amillenialist. You can see the blog here.
I thought it was time to try a new template. Hope you like it. I have not had much time to learn how to do a lot of things to the blog. For example, I want to have a blogroll, where you link to other blogs, but cannot seem to get it working.

Then there is RSS and stuff like that, but when you work as many hours as I do it is hard to get these things done and learn about them.

Speaking of work, the major project is finished and I am praying that means a little respite.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Read Michelle Malkin about a little girl who appears to have come out of her persistent vegitative state before the government could kill her as they did Terri Schiavo.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Here is the best description I have read in a long time, from a column by Anna Quindlen: "living on the edge so unrelentingly that they must have a permanent groove in their behinds"
"You that preach Christ in the streets, go on preaching Him. I saw a man preaching the other day with no creature but one dog to listen to him, and I really thought that he might as well have gone home. But I met with a story yesterday, which I know to be true, and it showed me that I was making a mistake. There was a woman who for years had been in such dreadful despair that she would not even hear the gospel. She came to be very ill, and she said to one that called upon her, "You sent a man to preach under my window three months ago, and I got a blessing." "No," the friend said, "I never sent anybody to preach under your window." "Oh," she said, "I think you did, for he came and preached, and my maid said that there was nobody listening to him. I did not want to hear him; and I lay down in bed; but the man shouted so that I was obliged to hear him; and I thank God I did, for I heard the gospel, and I found Christ. Did you not send him?" "No," said the good man, "I did not." "Well," she said, "then God did. There was nobody in the street listening to him; but I heard the gospel, and I got out of my despair, and I found the Savior, and I am prepared to die."

Fire away, brethren! You do not know where your shot will strike, but "there's a billet for every bullet." -- Spurgeon

Thursday, January 19, 2006

You may think that scientists know all there is to know about the animal kingdom, but consider this. Scientists conducting a three year study of caves in Kings Canyon Park in California discovered 27 previously unknown species, including spiders, centipedes and Psuedo-scorpions. Evidently, many of these species live only in caves. Some only live in one particular cave.

Who knows what else is out there? God's creation is huge, complex and varied.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

If you do not think CBF (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) churches are different, read this account.
A cowgirl, who was visiting Texas from Arkansas, walked into a bar and
ordered three mugs of beer. She sat in the back of the bar, drinking a
sip out of each one in turn.

When the cowgirl finished the three mugs, she came back to the bar and ordered three more. The bartender approached and said: "You know, a beer goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time."

The cowgirl replied, "Well, you see, I have two sisters. One is in Australia , the other is in Dublin . When we all left our home in Arkansas , we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one
beer for each of my sisters and one for myself."

The bartender admitted that this was a nice custom, and went on about his business. The cowgirl became a regular customer, and always drank the same way.

Then one day, she came in and only ordered two beers. All the regulars noticed and fell silent. When she came back to the bar for the second round, the bartender said, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss."

The cowgirl looked puzzled for a moment, then a light dawned in her eyes and she laughed. "Oh, no, everybody's just fine," she sais. " It's just that my husband and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking.

"Hasn't affected my sisters though."
Here is good news for all you fans of the Reformation and the Reformers. IVP is publishing "The Reformation Commentary on Scripture". It is a 27 volume set. It will present comments on every verse of the Bible by the Protestant Reformers.

The General Editor is Dr. Timothy George.

The bad news is we will have to wait until 2009 for the first volume. After that, they says they will publish two or three volumes per year.
Good news for Cowtown locals. The Plaza Hotel is changing hands and is slated for renovation. In Fort Worth, nothing loses its original name, so locals call this the "Old Hilton by the convention center". It was built in 1974 and was nice. It is also huge. It has two 12 story towers, plus multiple restaurant space.

The hotel has been owned since 1991 by Puson Gch. of Indonesia, who bought it out of foreclosure. It has declined ever since IMHO.

Since the hotel sits right across from the Water Gardens and a couple of blocks from the convention center and law school, it will be prime property if renovated nicely. It will also remove yet another eyesore from our beautiful downtown area.

Let's hope it gets done soon.

Monday, January 16, 2006

It is Martin Luther King day. Reverend King was a preacher. His most famous words were his "I Have A Dream" speech. Here are the famous lines from 1963.

"I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."

"...that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood."

"I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

There just isn't anything you can add to that.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Iranians are now threatening to stop cooperating with the U.N. nuclear inspection team. What have they done to cooperate? Do you call threatening to nuke Israel, refusing to stop manufacturing plutonium and hiding your development program cooperating? What is it with the Middle East?

You know that, if the European Union is even mad, you have really failed to cooperate. Who will cut you more slack than those guys?

It is a shame you cannot somehow excise the Iranian government from Iran and let the people there live in peace.
Laura Bush supports Condolezza Rice for president. The only problem is, Ms. Rice says she is not running. Democrats are already saying she cannot win because she is a Black woman. I think they are scared to death of her. She is a woman, she is black and she is smart and powerful. Althought the Democrats try to bill themselves as the party of inclusion, they would not try this, but Republicans would. What can we do to change her mind?

Run Condi run!
Do you ever wonder if people really are in the market for serious Bible teaching? John McArthur is on 1000 radio stations in English and 1000 radio stations in Spanish.
It is thought like this that makes me love John Piper. "I believe the entire universe exists to display the greatness of the glory of God's grace. And that grace shines most brightly in the suffering of God's son," said Dr. John Piper, addressing over 18,000 students attending the Passion '06 event. "God's design from the beginning was to display maximally his grace," Piper said, as thousands of students responded by saying "Amen" or clapping. "Everything is made to display the glory of the grace of God."

The one thing that could get me to move to Minneapolis would be the opportunity to hear John Piper preach every week. He has such a high view of God. It is inspiring. It is also something desparately needed by Southern Baptists, whose theology has become increasingly man centered and self help driven. Man centered theology cannot sustain itself, for only a high view of God and his glory can make you want to worhsip. You may appreciate a self help guru, but you do not worship him. You do worship the Sovereign God whose glory is displayed in the universe and who seeks worshippers in spirit and truth.

I also agree with Piper's take on the sacrifice of Christ. It displays both God's righteousness and grace.
Pat Robertson has now issued an apology for his comments after Israeli Prime Minister Sharon suffered a stroke. The day after Sharon suffered the stroke, Robertson said Sharon was being punished for letting the Palestinians have the Gaza Strip last summer.

Just to refresh your memory, Pat said "God considers this land to be his. You read the Bible and he says 'This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, 'No, this is mine."

Pat and many of his fellow Dispensationalists do not think God is quite big enough to take care of the prophecy angles on his own. Other evangelical groups also saw Sharon’s actions as a violation of their view of biblical prophecy of Jewish sovereignty over the area, they were just smart enough to keep their comments to themselves, something Pat has lost the ability to do.

Some might say “then don’t take your theology from the newspaper”, but that is another discussion. Robertson, Lindsey and others spend more time in the newspaper than in the Bible determining the flow of prophecy.

It is also clear that the secular Israeli government does not share Robertson's dispensationalists views.

Robertson has been criticized by almost everyone, and not just those who read this blog. Christian leaders, Jewish leaders and various non-leaders criticized him. He got canceled as part of an event to begin construction of a Christian tourist center in northern Israel. Rami Levi, director of marketing for Israel's tourism ministry, said the government is still "outraged" by Robertson's remarks.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Young Ben Shapiro on the Academy Awards and why he won't watch them:

Every year since I was old enough to stay up late, I've watched the Academy Awards. This year, however, I have absolutely zero desire to watch the Oscars. In recent years, lack of quality from Hollywood has turned the Academy Awards into a special-interest-group get-together. If you're crazy, gay, have a disability or are a member of a minority race, you'll likely be nominated for an Oscar; if your film tackles a "deep social issue" (normally an issue dear to the hearts of Hollywood's liberal glitterati), you'll have an excellent shot at grabbing a gold statuette.

You can read the whole article here.
You never know when you get an email forward if it really true or if it was really daid by the person to whom it is attributed, but I received this and it is supposed to be by George Carlin. Even if it is not, it is good.

George Carlin's Views on Aging:

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

"How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life .... you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!" May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay "them "

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets,keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable,improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9 Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

And if you don't send this to at least 8 people - who cares? But do share this with someone. We all need to live life to its fullest each day!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Is the Southern Baptist Convention finally turning away from the "seeker friendly" movement? Read this.

Monday, January 09, 2006

John Calvin: if therefore we inquire, how it happens that the earth is fruitful…no other cause will be found, but that God has spoken, that is, has issued his eternal decree; and that the earth, and all things proceeding from it, yield obedience to the command of God.”

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Reverend Pat Robertson says Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's massive stroke could be God's punishment for giving up Israeli territory. This is so inappropriate. At a time of national crisis for Israel and great anxiety for all who have loved or revered this great leader, why could he not have simply expressed his sympathy or offered his prayers. Instead, his rabid Dispensationalism and desire for the limelight has again brought reproach on the Name.

Coming on the heels of Robertson's call for the assasination of the president of Venezuela, this comment shows that Robertson's judgment is impaired and his board of directors should consider forcing him into retirement. It is time for this snarling dog to be muzzled.
Calvinist Gadfly has bowed out of the blogosphere.
John Piper has prostate cancer. He has published a letter about it on his website

He asks for prayer as follows: All things considered, Noël and I believe that I should pursue the treatment called radical prostatectomy, which means the surgical removal of the prostate. We would ask you to pray that the surgery be completely successful in the removal of all cancer and freedom from possible side effects.

His own prayer is: So I am praying: “Lord, for your great glory, 1) don’t let me miss any of the sanctifying blessings that you have for me in this experience; 2) don’t let the people of Bethlehem miss any of the sanctifying blessings that you have for us in this; 3) grant that the surgery be successful in removing cancer and sparing important nerves; 4) grant that this light and momentary trial would work to spread a passion for you supremacy for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ; 5) may Noël and all close to me be given great peace—and all of this through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.” I hope God will lead you to pray in a similar way.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

This couple will not get nominated for parents of the year. Fox News reported that a couple from San Ramon, a town east of San Francisco, went to Las Vegas for several days and left their little boys home alone. The oldest boy was 9 and they told him to look after the youngest, who is only 5. As if that was not bad enough, the youngest is also autistic.

The couple did care enough about their new puppies to get someone to keep them while they were gone. The 9 year old said he thought the parents loved the puppies more than they loved him and his brother. That hurts. The mother of the children died in 2003. This couple is the father and the step mother.

The children spent one night alone. Their grandmother suspected they were alone and called police. She called the kids “helpless”. They managed to eat cereal for breakfast and cook frozen dinners in the microwave for dinner, so they did pretty well. Police found them asleep with the gas fireplace on, but nothing amiss. Police began calling the father on his cell phone on Saturday, but he did not return a call until Tuesday.

Police arrested the parents, Jacob Calero, 39, and Michelle De La Vega, 32, as they arrived home on a flight to Oakland. They are held on suspicion of two felony counts of child endangerment, with bail set at $200,000.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006



Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Here is an interesting quote from Michael Horton in Modern Reformation, November-December issue, in an article entitled "The Promise Driven Life".

"Faith does not create; it receives. It does not make the invisible visible or the future present or hope reality. It receives that which is already given. Grace precedes faith. It is not finally accepting the goodness of the world, or my own goodness, but receiving God’s goodness toward me in spite of the way things really are with me and with the world."
Jim Rutz, writing for, sets out the top 10 “lost” stories of 2005. Here are the ones that interested me the most.

1. World evangelization.
There are 64 million more Christians now than a year ago.

2. War.
Combat deaths dropped below 20,000, the lowest number since World War II. The number of ongoing wars is down to 18 from 33 in 1990, and most are civil wars rather than wars between nations.

3. U.S. debt.
We have a $333 billion expected deficit for this fiscal year. I'm not sure I agree this was a lost story, but the number is pretty impressive, so I took note.

4. The church.
India had 50,000 new house churches in 2005. China now has a total of almost 120 million Christians, mostly meeting in house churches.

5. Islam.
Islam is losing Africa. In addition, Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation, is now 30 percent Christian. In Bangladesh, 522,000 Muslims have converted.

You can read the whole article here.
Amid the evolution related debates and statements that have been made lately, I have been puzzled to find the Roman Catholic Church issuing pro-evolution statements. They often say that evolution is compatible with the concept of God as long as the evolutionary theory does not leave God out.

I do not think you will find many evolutionists that believe evolution leaves God in. There are some, I know, but not many.

For example, take Olivia Judson, a biologist in London. She wrote an op ed piece for the New York Times called “Why I’m Happy I Evolved”. I lifted this quote from Al Mohler’s blog.

"Some people want to think of humans as the product of a special creation, separate from other living things. I am not among them; I am glad it is not so. I am proud to be part of the riot of nature, to know that the same forces that produced me also produced bees, giant ferns and microbes that live at the bottom of the sea.

For me, the knowledge that we evolved is a source of solace and hope. I find it a relief that plagues and cancers and wasp larvae that eat caterpillars alive are the result of the impartial - and comprehensible - forces of evolution rather than the caprices of a deity.

More than that, I find that in viewing ourselves as one species out of hundreds of millions, we become more remarkable, not less so. No other animal that I have heard of can live so peaceably in such close quarters with so many individuals that are unrelated. No other animal routinely bothers to help the sick and the dying, or tries to save those hurt in an earthquake or flood.

Which is not to say that we are all we might wish to be. But in putting ourselves into our place in nature, in comparing ourselves with other species, we have a real hope of reaching a better understanding, and appreciation, of ourselves."

I think the telling line is that she finds it a relief that bad things are the result of impartial and comprehensible forces of evolution rather than the caprices of a deity. It is a relief because there is no one to serve or satisfy. You are what you are because you are. Things are what they are because something caused it to be so. God did not make it occur.

In this relief, she is joined by many Christians. They also want to believe that bad things happen because of impersonal forces, not because God made them to be. You could see this after “The Tsunami”. Theologians rushed to say that God did not cause the Tsunami, it just happened and we know not why. Or, that it happened due to physical causes not related to God. Some would venture to say God did not cause it, but allowed it, as if that makes you beel better about it. I created a little stir on this blog by taking the opposite view, that God indeed is in charge of all things and, therefore, did cause the Tsunami (although I agree we know not why). Interestingly, when bad things happen, many of those same people ask God to intervene and save them from the bad thing.

Regardless, there is no credit to creation or to God here. There is only the natural forces of evolution at work. This is the mainstream view of evolution. It does not account for God.

The Times also published a column by Verly Kinkenborg. Here is the money quote:

"The essential, but often well-disguised, purpose of intelligent design, is to preserve the myth of a separate, divine creation for humans in the belief that only that can explain who we are. But there is a destructive hubris, a fearful arrogance, in that myth. It sets us apart from nature, except to dominate it. It misses both the grace and the moral depth of knowing that humans have only the same stake, the same right, in the Earth as every other creature that has ever lived here. There is a righteousness - a responsibility - in the deep, ancestral origins we share with all of life."

Kinkenborg, you can see, is not neutral, but rather opposes the idea of God. In fact, that is what is behind the blitz of criticism for Intelligent Design theory. It allows for a Designer. Christians jumped on the theory as proof of creation and equated the Designer with God. That killed it. Evolutionists have been hammering away hysterically ever since. Why have they done this? Because Evolutionists do not believe in God and believe evolution excludes Him (regardless of what the Pope says).

In contrast, the Bible clearly attributes all creation to God. Not just in Genesis, but all through the Bible. Write this on your forehead and on your hand: no creation, no God.
Hal Lindsey has quit the Trinity Broadcasting Network, saying that he has been “muzzled” in this criticism of Islam and Arab terrorism. Lindsey’s program is called the International Intelligence Briefing. He is not a trained intelligence officer. He is a religious writer and theologian. His main tact is to take events from the headlines and claim they are related to Bible prophecy.

This seemed to start when Jan Crouch suspended the show. Jan and Paul are TBN. Jan is the one with the outrageous wigs, heavy makeup and frequent tears. My favorite wig is the pink one. Anyway, I digress. Jan evidently felt that Hal’s constant criticism of Islam hampered their work in the Middle East. Their official statement is the show cast Arabs in a negative light. I don’t think I even need to add anything to that statement to get at least a smirk from you.

Ultimately, though, TBN is the Crouch's station and they can run it as they see fit. If their goal is to reach Arabs, having a show that criticizes them is indeed a hindrance.

Lindsey does not want to be censored, so he quit. He probably does not need the money. He sold 32 million copies of The Late Great Planet Earth back in the ‘70s.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

This might set you back a bit if you are one of those who think the key to survival of the church is the institution of contemporary Christian music. Monsignor Valenti Miserachs Grau Monsignor Miserachs is the president of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music. He is a composer, having more than 2,000 pieces to his credit. He is also the canonical chapel director of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. What do you think his opinion on church music is? It isn't contemporary, I can tell you. He believes Gregorian chant has been unjustly abandoned and should be recovered. He made this statement at a recent encounter organized by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments at the Vatican. Don't look for this at your local evangelical church.

1:1-2 The Summons

The Israelites had enjoyed a time of rest from war. We are not given a specific amount of elapsed time, just that it was a long time.

Joshua was old and about to die.

He summoned all the leaders of Israel to give a farewell speech of instructions. God did not select a successor to Joshua, as he did when Moses died. Joshua 24:31 seems to indicate that elders provided leadership after his death. Then, God raised up judges to lead them.

The true spiritual leader wants his labor to have lasting effect. It is not about pride, hoping no one is good enough to follow your footsteps. Rather, he wants the people to continue in the Lord. Moses gave such a speech in Deuteronomy, Jesus gave instructions both before and after his death, and Peter gave a message in anticipation of death in 2 Peter 1:12-15.

1:3-5 The Lord Provided The Land For Israel

Joshua first recounts what God has done for Israel. This is the same method God used in Genesis 19, when he made the covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai. He first recounted how he had brought them out of Egypt, then told them they would be his treasured possession if they kept his covenant. It is also the prologue to the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. He said “I am the Lord our God who brought you out of Egypt” before he gave the commandments.

Here Joshua reminds them that God fought for them as he promised, gave them an inheritance in the land, and drove out the nations that were there. God is the initiator of relationship.

1:6-11 Keep The Covenant

After reminding them of what God has done for them, Joshua admonishes them on several points.

First, he said to be strong to obey the law and to obey it completely. This is the same thing the Lord told Joshua to do when he took over for Moses. See Joshua 1:7. They were supposed to obey the law completely and walk the straight and narrow, not turning to the right or the left. This is the same instruction Moses gave in Deuteronomy 5:32.

They were not to mix with the Canaanites or have anything to do with the Canaanite gods. Rather, they were to cling to the Lord. They were to love the Lord. These are strong words and a demand for full commitment. The Lord wanted all their devotion and dependence.

1:12-16 The Consequence of Breaking the Covenant

Although the Lord had done great things for them and had called them into covenant, he also set before them the consequences of breaking his covenant. They would breach the covenant by having relations with the Canaanites, including inter-marriage.

This, to me, gives a big emphasis to 2 Corinthians 6:14, which says “do not be yoked to unbelievers”. This is a continuation of the same principle. God knows that relationships can pull us away from him, whether it is a business partner, spouse, date, or friend. He is telling us here that our relationship to him has to be more important than those relationships in that our intimate relationships must help us cling to God, not detract us from it.

So, the Lord tells them to avoid conflicting relationships with these other nations. If they do, he will drive them out and protect Israel. If, however, Israel itself breaches this part of the covenant and develops relationships with the other nations, God will not drive those nations out. The result will be that the nations will become a problem for them. They will lead Israel astray and destroy it. They will actually be driven from the land and the Lord will not prevent it. Possession of the land was conditioned on obedience to the covenant. Israel could cling to God or cling to its pagan neighbors.

The Book of Judges, chapter 1, shows us that the tribes did not drive out the Canaanites from their allotments. The generation after Joshua did not cling to the Lord, worshipped idols, and God gave them over in defeat to the Mesopotamians. It is a little like Romans 1:24-25, where it says God gave them over to their sinful desires as the worshipped created things rather than the creator.

This is summarized in Psalm 106:34-41. Read it.

We also know, from our study of Isaiah, that God later gave them over to the Babylonians. He also let them be conquered by the Romans in 70 A.D.

So, we see that the covenant of the land was conditioned on obedience. We have a better covenant as New Testament believers. Jeremiah conveyed the promise of a better covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34. He said “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 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, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying ‘know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Hebrews 7:22 spells out the superiority of the new covenant. “This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. Read chapters 7 through 9 to get a full explanation of this concept.

We have only one more chapter of Joshua left to study. Then we will take up a New Testament book.
See Concerned Women of America's list of Evangelical Women of the Year 2005 here.