Sunday, April 30, 2006


11:2-10 The Chain of Command

I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you. 3Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. 6If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. 7A man ought not to cover his head,[b] since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.

First, the teaching about relationships, then the practical teaching of head coverings or veils during worship.

At the top is our Heavenly Father. He is the head of Christ.
-Jesus existed and worked with the Father in eternity past (John 1:1-3)
-the Father sent the Son (John 3:16;4:34;5:37;6:29)
-Jesus obeyed the Father (John 5:19-30;6:38)
- Jesus was equal to the Father, but humbled himself, to be exalted again (Philippians 2:6-8); Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30)

Christ is the head of the man (he is head of all things)
-He is head of all things (Hebrews 2:6-8)
-Christ is head of the church (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18)
-The church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:24), so the man also submits to Christ
-the man is the image and glory of God (verse 7)

The man is head of his wife
-the wife should submit to the husband as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:24; Titus 2:4-5)
-woman is the glory of man and came from man (verse 7); (a wife of noble character is her husband’s crown in Proverbs 12:4)
-woman was created for man (verse 9); a helper (Genesis 2:26)

What does it mean to be the head?
-it means to have authority over, as shown by verse 10, and to lead
-those below the head should submit to it (Ephesians 5:22-24)
-it means to sacrifice for those below you (Ephesians 5:25-33)
-to provide for and to protect

What does it mean to submit? It means to obey and respect (recognize the authority). It means to obey (Romans 13:1-5). It means to respect (Ephesians 5:33).

So, the instruction that the woman’s head should be covered comes from the concept of authority and the chain of command from God the Father through to the woman. So, the question is, should women today cover their heads when they worship?

Curtis Vaughn pointed out that the wearing of a veil in Paul’s time was a symbol of authority, but the wearing of a hat or other covering today is not. Therefore, this is not a matter of Biblical mandate. The answer might be different in a Muslim country, however, where the practice still remains.

11:11-16 Our Dependence On Each Other

11In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. 13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.

Although there is a chain of command, there is a dependence on each other, men and women. Each has their role, and there is a line of authority, but there is also dependence and equality.

There is equality in salvation (Galatians 3:26-29). Yet, equality and authority must co-exist. Even among men in the congregation, although there is equality before the Lord, there is authority, as the pastor, elder and deacon have God given authority in certain areas.

11:17-22 It’s Not About The Food

In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval. 20When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, 21for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!

The next problem that Paul points to in the worship of the Corinthian church is their observance of the Lord’s Supper.

Just as a refresher, let’s look briefly at how we received the Lord’s Supper. The gospels record that Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with the disciples and gave the observance to them at the end of the meal. In Leviticus 23:6, the Lord had said on the fifteenth day of the first month of the Jewish calendar, the Jews were to celebrate the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus’ observance is recorded in Matthew 26:17-30, where it says on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked where he wanted them to prepare to eat the Passover. During the meal, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, saying take and eat, this is my body. Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying “drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. It is also recorded in Mark 14:12-26 and Luke 22:20. Luke adds this instruction from Jesus: do this in remembrance of me. Luke is the only one of the 4 gospel writers who records this command. (John records the Passover meal but not the Lord’s Supper in John 13.) Remember, though, that 1 Corinthians may well have been written before any of the Gospels, so our present passage might be the first written record of the Lord’s Supper.

The church observed the Lord’s Supper from the beginning. The reference in Acts 2:42 to “the breaking of bread” is thought by many to be a reference to the Lord’s Supper. The common way to celebrate it at that time was in the context of a meal. It may have been called a Love Feast, as mentioned in Jude 12. That is what the Corinthians were doing. Paul said they were coming together as a church, they were having a meal, and they were celebrating the Lord’s Supper as part of it.

But there were problems and Paul wanted to correct them. The first problem was divisions. He said they were coming together as a church, which means they should have been in unity, but they were not. There were groups that kept together, maybe even by social class or wealth. The second problem was the free for all that took place at the meals. Whoever got there first went ahead and ate the food, so the late arrivers might go hungry. Some got drunk. (Thus we know that they used real wine in the observance.) Paul says this shows they despise the church and humiliates the poor members, who were counting on being fed at the meal. In effect, their bad behavior meant to Paul that they were not celebrating the Lords’ Supper at all.

11:23-26 Explaining the Observance

In these verses, Paul reiterates his teaching on the observance. He said he received it from the Lord, which seems to be a claim of direct revelation from Christ. He made this same claim with regard to the gospel in Galatians 1:12.

Jesus said the bread represented his body and the cup represented the new covenant in his blood. Notice that none of the scriptures says Jesus’ body was broken for us. This is only from the KJV and they spilt over into some songs. The Bible, in John 19:33, records that they did not break Jesus’ legs since he was already dead. Paul says Jesus’ body was given for us. One thing we miss in the way we celebrate is the sense of unity that comes from taking from one loaf.

After describing the bread and the cup, he adds that in observing the supper, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. When we take the bread and the cup, we declare our belief in his death for us, and witness to it for others.

Paul said we do it until the Lord comes. I usually think of the Lord’s Supper as looking back at the sacrifice of Christ, but it is also looking forward to his return. When he returns, we will trade the Lord’s Supper for the Wedding Banquet.

11:27-34 Judgment

Paul says there is judgment for those who abuse the observance. Whoever takes part in an unworthy manner sins against the body and blood of the Lord. He even say some of the have become sick and some have died. Paul said we should examine ourselves before we partake. He suggested that we judge ourselves so the Lord will not do it. I agree with that approach.

Since we do not usually combine the Lord’s Supper with a meal, we do not have the problem described here in verse 21. But we can still participate in an unworthy fashion if we are distracted and not remembering Christ with the observance, or if we are living in a sinful state, we dishonor him. A sense of reverence and faith is necessary.

Paul also says we cannot partake without recognizing the body of the Lord. Given the problems he addressed, this seems to mean the church as Christ’s body. Those who were greedy or drunk did not understand their corporate unity in Christ. Many of us have taken the Lord’s Supper without recognizing this corporate unity, thinking only of ourselves.

Here is a map of where Baptists live.

I am a little embarrassed.

Al Mohler citing Glen Reynolds of the famous instapundit blog (the grand daddy of bloggers).

P.S. - for any Muslims that might read this blog, the title is symbolic only and not intended as a representation of the Prophet, only a reference to a common American saying and no way intended as disrespect. When I do that,you will know it.

P.P.S. - for cult lovers of the Da Vinci Code and who cannot tell fact from fiction, the "P.S." above does not stand for Priory of Sion, has nothing to do with the sacred feminine or the supposed conspiracy of the Catholic Church, but rather stands only for "post script". Yes, this comment is intended as disrespect.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


I couldn't blog about it before, because I had to keep a secret, but the College Daughter is ENGAGED! The Little Woman and I went down to College Station Thursday and hosted an engagement lunch for them.

I need to think of a name for the young man. He is from Dallas. His parents have the noblest of professions, they own a bookstore!

Congratulations guys. I am happy for you both.

Monday, April 24, 2006


June 6 will, numerically speaking, be 6-6-06, or 666 if you will. I'm sure the TV preachers will have a heyday.

I had a good day Sunday. I got up early for the Quiet Time and review of Bible Study notes. Yes, I am a little obsessive about teaching the Sunday School Class.

In class, we worked through the passage in 1 Corinthians 11 about women covering their heads. It is more about lines of authority, stating that Christ is head of the man, man the head of the woman. We had a good discussion and everyone took it seriously. What more could the teacher ask?

The worship service was good, too. We sang a big version of the hymn "All Hail The Power of Jesus Name". The congregation, the choir and the orchestra really let it out. My deacon spot is now way up in the balcony behind the sound board. It is a truly awful spot. But, no one is in front of me and so I can sing as loud as I want. I like making a joyful noise. And I did on the hymn.

We also got to sing along with the chorus of "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name", which was great.

The pastor worked on the Da Vinci Code, as he will next week, which is a good thing considering the movie is coming out and some people are a bit rattled by it. I have been reading it also, but more about that later.

After church, we called the Baby, who was in town for her birthday, and went to a Mexican restaurant of the chain variety, and ate lunch with the Baby, the Jones's and their baby, Grace, and our good friend Jill. That was fun.

Then the Baby went back to college, which wasn't fun, but necessary. The Little Stinker has a shot at a 4.0 this her second semester.

At night we went to see our friends the Shoemakers, where we drank coffee ("Fort Worth Delight") and talked.

All in all, a good day.

Howard Dean, that's Dr. Howard Dean to you, the Democratic National Chairman, has a position on immigration. Now, any of you that know me or read this blog know what I think of Howard Dean, so I don't need to repeat it. I don't need to, but I'm going to, because it makes me feel better.

Howard Dean is an idiot, a raving lunatic.

That said (and, you know, it really did make me feel better), Dean has finally taken a position that makes sense for the Democrats. Dean wants tight controls on immigration.

You see, the Democrats need the support of organized labor. They tell their people how to vote, rather than letting them think for themselves, which makes them good Democrats, and they move illegal money very efficiently. Immigration creates cheap labor. That hurts the laborer. Ergo, labor should oppose illegal immigration and, for that matter, any immigration. The fewer the workers, the higher the wage. It is the old supply and demand thing.

So, way to go Howard. You finally got one right.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

In Demand pay television will show a seance to reach John Lennon in the afterlife. It will cost you $9.95 to find out what Lennon has to say. As you might expect, I don't care what Lennon has to say at $9.95 or any other price, including their paying me $9.95 to listen.

A previous show by the same people featured a seance to reach Princess Diana. Evidently Princess Di had other plans; they did not contact her. Since she was sick of being hounded by the press in life, why would she want to talk to them in death? Nonetheless, the show earned about $8 million.

Some of Lennon's friends think this is a tasteless effort to profit from his death, which was 25 years ago. Gee, you think? But, then again, what has Yoko Ono been doing for the last quarter century.

I think the only thing interesting Lennon might have to say is that the words to Imagine were wrong: there is a hell.
Al Mohler has a good article about the pastor as theologian.
A new pay TV show will conduct a seance to reach and communicate with John Lennon, former Beatle. It will cost you $9.95 to find out what the peace-loving Beatle has to say. I, of course, do not care what Lennon has to say for $9.95 or any other price, including them paying me $9.95 to listen to it.

In Demand previously carried an unsuccessful attempt to contact Princess Diana. They still made about $8 million, thus proving how stupid people really are.

Some of Lennon's friends say this is a tasteless effort to profit from his violent death 25 years ago. Gee, you think? But then again, what else has Yoko Ono being doing for the last quarter century?

If you could reach Lennon, and I don't think you can, the only thing I think he would say is that the words to "Imagine" are wrong. There really is a hell.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Purgatorio shows that dramatic calls to repent still exist. Go there and scroll down to the third picture. My favorite part is that "prosperity preachers" come right after fornicators on the list of those the guy calls to repent.

Hemant Mehta, Atheist: I enjoy watching Joel [Osteen] for the same reason many Christians don’t watch him– it’s Christian-lite!
Warning: Don’t Worship Idols

10:1-5 Remember the Israelites

I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Paul continued here with the theme he began in 9:24, which is “be careful when you think you are standing firm, so that you will not fall.” He goes on in this chapter to talk about the example of the Israelites in the Old Testament and the impossibility of participating both in the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

Paul tells us that the Old Testament Israelites had great demonstrations of God’s power and his grace in providing for them by miraculous means, yet they did not please God and they were punished for it.

They were led by the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire as they left Egypt. See Exodus 13:21-22. They experienced the visible manifestation of the presence of God among them. (They were “baptized” into Moses, by acknowledging his leadership and qualification as the representative of the Father.)

They passed through the Red Sea, according to Exodus 14:21-22, experiencing miraculous deliverance.

They ate manna that fell from heaven and they only had to gather it. See Exodus 16:4.

They drank water from a rock. See Exodus 17:5-6. That water was provided by Christ.

Despite these miracles, the Israelites sinned. They rebelled against God, they broke his commandments and they worshipped idols. So, many of them died in the wilderness. We know from Exodus 32 that, even while Moses was on the mountain receiving the commandments, the people built an idol in the shape of a golden calf. Despite their mighty deliverance, they told Aaron “Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” (Exodus 32:22-23). The result was the 3,000 men were killed by the Levites.

Ultimately, all but 2 of the men of that generation died in the wilderness. Those men were Joshua and Caleb. Only those 2 were obedient and faithful.

10:6-11 Learning From Their Mistakes

6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ [2] to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Paul said these events took place as examples for us. They are to instruct us not to desire evil as the Israelites did.

The Israelites constantly grumbled and complained during their exodus. When they saw the Egyptians coming at them at the Red Sea, they said “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?” (Exodus 14:11). When they encountered bitter water at Marah, they grumbled against Moses, according to Exodus 15:24.

When they were hungry, and God was about to provide manna, they grumbled against Moses and Aaron and said “would tha we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:2-3).

When the Israelites came to Rephidim, they did not trust the Lord for water, but quarreled with Moses, according to Exodus 17:2. They said “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” Moses finally said to God “what shall I do with this people?”

In Numbers 11, the people began to complain as they left Sinai for the Promised Land of Canaan. Fire from the Lord broke out and killed some of them, because the Lord was angry.

Over and over they complained in the face of the great works of God and were punished for it.

So, this passage tells us not to:
1. set our hearts on evil things;
2. not to be idolaters;
3. not to commit sexual immorality;
4. not to test the Lord;
5. and not to grumble or complain.

Many people read these Old Testament stories and criticize the Israelites for their actions, assuming they would not act that way. What we should do is realize we have the same sinful heart in us that they had in them, and we are perfectly capable of the same sins and rebellions they did. That should warn us to examine ourselves and use their example to avoid sin, not to react in a sort of righteous indignation and presumption that we are better.

Paul said that not only did these things happen as an example for us, but they were written down for our instruction. We are supposed to learn from them. Some say we are to dismiss the Old Testament, but Paul said to learn from it. Learn all you can from their example and avoid making the same mistakes yourself.

10:12-13 A Warning About Temptation

12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

The biggest problem of the Corinthians was pride. They thought they could handle anything because they were so smart and sophisticated. Paul said be careful. If you are convinced you can stand against anything in your own strength, you may well fall.

The good news is, God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can stand, and he will always provide a way out. All of these temptations have happened to people before you; you are not unique in this. If you will look back at times you sinned, you will often see that there was a way out before you sinned, you just didn’t take it. Look at the example of Joseph and the example of David with regard to sexual sin.

In Genesis 39, Potiphar’s wife tried day after day to seduce Joseph while her husband was away. Joseph would not give in. When she finally grabbed him, he left his garment behind and fled the house to avoid sin.

In contrast, David stayed home from battle and went walking on his roof. He saw Bathsheba bathing and liked what he saw, so he sent for her and had sex with her. This ultimately led to the murder of her husband, a loyal soldier, and the death of the baby born of David and Bathsheba. This is recorded in 2 Samuel 11-12. David could have gone to war when he was supposed to, he could have been busy rather than wandering about on his roof in the afternoon, he could have turned away after he discovered Bathsheba, he could have seen he but not followed through in sending for her. He had many chances to avoid sinning, but he refused them because he desired evil.

We need to be conscious to avoid sin. When you find yourself tempted, look for the way out and take it. Don’t play with it or assume you are strong enough to resist it.

We must also seek a balance. We do not need to live in fear of the devil or of temptation, for God has provided for us. He will provide the way of escape. 2 Peter 1:3 says “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…” Yet, we need to avoid pride and confidence in our own flesh. Our confidence is in the Lord. Our humility allows us to know our own hearts and rely on him to avoid sin and obtain holiness.

You want to avoid the fall, the moral collapse, the life changing mistake. It is hard to recover from. Psalm 51 records David’s suffering from his sin and his repentance.

10:14-22 Avoid Idolatry

14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: [3] are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

Paul cautioned the Corinthians to avoid idolatry, to flee from it. It seems as if they thought they could take part in pagan ceremonies for the sake of the party or the food, without succumbing to idol worship. Paul tells them to flee from it, just as Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife. Sometimes young people ask me how far they can go and not sin. I tell them they have asked the wrong question. The question is how far will you go to avoid sinning?

He is back to food offered as sacrifices to idols. He acknowledged, in verse 19, that neither the food nor the idol is anything. But he warns them that the sacrifices are to demons and they cannot participate in this. You cannot be part of the Lord and part of demons. So, though all these passages, we see that Paul teaches that, although there is nothing intrinsically wrong with food offered to idols, they should refrain out of concern for weaker Christians and so they themselves will not be tempted into idol worship, especially for feasts that were actually held in the pagan temple.

Would you go to a satanic ritual? Would you go to a Wiccan ceremony?

How about a more practical example. Most of you are probably unlikely to fall into the worship of pagan gods or idols. You’re not likely to put a statue of Baal or Zeus in your living room. We cannot totally dismiss the thought, as paganism is certainly on the rise. But, what about this. Colossians 3:5 and Ephesians 5:5 tells us that greed, or covetousness in the ESV, is idolatry.

What is greed or covetousness? It is the desire for more than you need or the inordinate desire to acquire possessions. Jesus addressed it in Luke 12:13-21. H refused to intercede in a dispute between brothers over their inheritance. Instead, he said be on our guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist of an abundance of possessions. Then he told a story about a rich man tearing down his barns and building bigger ones, only to discover he would die and his possessions would be useless. Jesus said so it is for the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.

So, how would you flee from the idolatry of greed or covetousness?

A. Deriving the character of God by faith.
B. God's character involves contentment. God lacks nothing, wants nothing.
Lk. 3:14 - "be content with your wages"
Phil. 4:11 - "content in whatever circumstances I am"
I Tim. 6:6 - "godliness is means of gain, accompanied by contentment"
I Tim. 6:8 - "food and covering, with these we shall be content"
Heb. 13:5 - "content with what you have"
C. We are to be fulfilled and satisfied in the abundance of Christ's life -
John 10:10 - "life more abundantly"

Other idols in our day might be success, good looks or popularity.

You see here references to the Lord’s supper, drinking the cup that is participation in the blood of Christ, and eating bread that is participation in the body of Christ.

10:23-33 Living For the Glory of God

23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else's conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

Paul set out some rules for the eating of food sacrificed to idols. You can go to a pagan’s house and eat whatever is put in front of you without asking any questions because all food is given by the Lord and acceptable, as he has discussed. But, if it is said that it is part of a sacrifice, you should not eat it for the sake of the conscience of the person who brought the subject up.

The greater act is to avoid bringing offense to another person or the church, in order that you may be a good witness and bring people to salvation. The ultimate test is, whatever you do, you do it not to indulge yourself or exercise your freedoms, but to glorify God.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Here are some additional points about the "Gospel of Judas".

1. There is no original Greek text available. The only translation is from the Coptic translation. None of the theologians pushing this book read Coptic. They are relying on the translation of non-theologians and working from that English text. That standard would never pass scrutiny in Biblical theology.

2. This manuscript dates only to 300 A. D. It is still removed a good distance from the events it attempts to portray.

3. Gnostics emerged in the middle of the 2nd century. There is no 1st century evidence of them. So, it is not evidence that Christianity was pluralistic.

4. There is no proof this document is the same as the one referred to by Iraneus in 180 A. D.

5. Judas did not write it, the writer just used his name.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Deuteronomy 6:4

Though we may not understand completely how God is three in person and one in essence, we do know the simple truth that He is. Rev. Burk Parsons, “A Simple Mystery”, Tabletalk, volume 30, number 4, April 2006.

I'm a little behind in blogging due to work and family concerns. I think, however, I should note the resignation of Bob Reccord from the NAMB since I blogged earlier that he should resign.

Interestingly, the one older pastor I spoke to about it defended Reccord and said the problem was disgruntled former employees. I guess they held him down and made him rent the private jet.

The younger pastors I spoke to said he should go.

The conflicts of interest and expediture for personal luxury are not in place in a mission organization. While missionaries struggle to make ends meet and the organization struggles to fund them, taking a private jet to England to watch a movie is a sin.

I guess the next plane ride will be to go back home.

In an article in the Telegraph (London), Elizabeth Day wrote that the Archbishop of Canterbury went on the attack today against The Da Vinci Code and the world’s obsession with it and similar books. It is good to see Dr. Rowan Williams defending the faith.

Dr. Williams used his Easter sermon at Canterbury Cathedral to express his criticism both to the attacks on the reliability of scripture and the obsession with mystery and conspiracy theory. Dr. Williams joins the chorus of preachers, priests and popes who are condemning the book and its theories at Easter and just before the release of the movie. The Pope and his personal priest, Raniero Cantalamessa, also used Easter sermons to criticise The Da Vinci Code.

The Archbishop also added the Gospel of Judas to his criticisms. He said "Anything that looks like the official version is automatically suspect."

Each year the Tax Foundation calculates how many days it takes the average American to pay his or her taxes and start working for him\herself. The date for 2006 is April 26. You have to work from January 1 until April 26 just to pay your taxes. About one-third of your salary will go to the government instead of yourself and your family.

"Despite all the tax cuts that the federal government has passed recently,” says Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge, "Americans will still spend more on taxes than they spend on food, clothing and housing combined."

So, while your congressman is funding the Jake Pickle highway and the Alaskan bridge to nowhere, you are working to pay for it. Those pork projects that will not benefit you at all, but will help someone get reelected somewhere you don't live, will take away from your standard of living, your kid's education and your retirement.

This from Jeremy Weart:

I was reading one of Lewis' final interviews before he died and I came
Across an interesting section whereby I think Lewis was a Calvinist for
A short time:

Wirt: In your book Surprised by Joy you remark that you were brought
into the faith kicking and struggling and resentful, with eyes darting
in every direction looking for an escape. You suggest that you were
pelled, as it were, to become a Christian. Do you feel that you made a
decision at the time of your conversion?

Lewis: "I would not put it that way. What I wrote in Surprised by Joy
was that 'before God closed in on me, I was offered what now appears a
moment of wholly free choice.' But I feel my decision was not so
important. I was the object rather than the subject in this affair. I
was decided upon. I was glad afterwards at the way it came out, but at
the moment what I heard was God saying, 'Put down your gun and we'll

Wirt: That sounds to me as if you came to a very definite point of

Lewis: "Well, I would say that the most deeply compelled action is also
the freest action. By that I mean, no part of you is outside the

It is a paradox. I expressed it in Surprised by Joy by saying that I
chose, yet it really did not seem possible to do the opposite."

Out of pocket spending on medical care increased 35% between 1996 and 2002 according to the Commonwealth Fund.

In 2002, nearly one in four families faced medical costs equal to 10% or more of their income.

This does not include insurance premiums.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Matthew Slick weighs in on the "Gospel of Judas".

Vice-President Dick Cheney an his wife, Lynne, had an adjusted gross income of about $8.82 million last year, mostly from stock options and royalties from Mrs. Cheney's book. But, get this. The Cheneys donated abouit $6.87 million to charity. That is what I call Compassionate Conservatism.

Friday, April 14, 2006


For information on the so called Gospel of Judas.

First, an ancient source. "Others again declare that Cain derived his being from the Power above, and acknowledge that Esau, Korah, the Sodomites, and all such persons, are related to themselves. On this account, they add, they have been assailed by the Creator, yet no one of them has suffered injury. For Sophia was in the habit of carrying off that which belonged to her from them to herself. They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas." Irenaeus adv. Haer 180 A.D.

For a more contemporary discussion, try Albert Mohler. He has a good discussion. He points out that the origins of the manuscript are a little shady. Yale Divinity School refused to buy it.

I think National Geographic bought it and has used it to capitalize on the fame of the Da Vinci Code to piggyback its way into the attention of the media. The release right before Easter also seems calculated.

Winds of Change has a succinct article.

Christianity Today also.

Sean Michael Lucas in his post on the top ten theological books of all time:

• Augustine, On the Trinity
• Anselm, Why God Became Man
• Aquinas, Summa Theologica
• Luther, Bondage of the Will
• Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
• Edwards, Religious Affections
• Schleiermacher, Christian Life
• Hodge, Systematic Theology
• Machen, Christianity and Liberalism
• Barth, Church Dogmatics

Michael Haykin would add Basil of Ceasarea’s On the Holy Spirit and John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.

Reformation Theology offers this list:

Augustine, Confessions, Anti-Pelagian Writings, On the Trinity
Anselm, Why God Became Man
Bonar, Horatius, The Everlasting Righteousness
Brown, John (of Edinburgh, 1784-1858) Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 3 volume
Charnock, Stephen. The Existence And Attributes Of God
Fairbairn, Patrick Typology of Scripture
Lloyd-Jones, Martyn, The Sermon on the Mount

Luther, Bondage of the Will
Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
Edwards, Treatise on Religious Affections, Freedom of the Will
Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, What Is Faith?
Owen, John, Sin & Temptation, The Holy Spirit, Glory of Christ, Death of Death, Biblical Theology
Sibbes, Richard, The Bruised Reed
Spurgeon, Charles, Lectures to My Students
Turretin, Francis Institutes of Elenctic Theology 3 vol. set
Warfield, B.B, The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield
Watson, Body of Divinity
Westminster Confession of Faith

Read it all!


You can go here to calculate the date of Easter in any given year (in case you want to plan ahead).

This from the House Rabbit society:

"Contrary to Eastertime hype, rabbits and small children aren't a good match. The exuberance of even the gentlest toddler is stressful for the sensitive rabbit."


You can go here to learn how to celebrate Easter in Finland. We decided to do that this year in the Thompson household, since the wife and I are basically from Irish stock.

This way, at least you get Finnished.

I do want to dedicate this post to my good friend Rock Shoemaker. Rock loves Easter and all church holidays with a passion that dwarfs my own. To him I dedicate this post.

Rock, this one's for you, buddy. Go here to hear the Easter Bunny do a hip hop song.

It is the essence of Easter.

I am off today for Good Friday. I don't really do anything to observe Good Friday except take off work if they let me. I think most of our employees think it is Good Friday because it is good to be off work on Good Friday.

I have decided to use Good Friday to get in the mood for Easter. Those of you who know me know I have a little trouble getting into the holiday spirit for, well, every holiday.

The first thing I did is to think what I did for Easter when I was a child. Unfortunately, I could not really remember anything terribly fun or meaningful. I'm sure we did the Easter bunny thing, but I don't remember it. It could be that I blocked it out in embarrassment.

I do remember a couple of things about Easter as a teenager. The first memory is getting a new green blazer to wear. Easter had a lot to do with clothes as I remember. It was the first Sunday that girls and women brought out their spring or summer clothes. There were also lots of hats when I was younger, and sometimes gloves. I miss gloves. Only the white ones. I thought Jackie Kennedy was really stylish because she wore white gloves a lot.

The other thing I remember is being tortured. It seems some one put together one of those massive Easter pageants in Eastland County, and performed it on a farm at dawn on Easter morning.

They had trumpet players, and one year one of them wised up and quit. I somehow got drafted to take his place. There were 3 of us. We had to go out there and stay for hours in the dark for rehearsal. There were about 100 scenes in this play. You sat in a tent and waited for your scene. Someone would call them out. Then you would go to the stage and do your thing.

As trumpeters, we were some kind of heralds. I think we were in scene 1, 47, 83 and 100. As a horn player, and given that it was cold enough to make you think it was a pagan holiday, we would start blowing into our horns a few scenes in advance to warm them up. We could not play them, because the audience would hear the noise. Then we went out to the stage and went "ta da ta DAAAAAAA" really loud.

Then we went back to the tent and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Why do people do these things?

Now, my church has a massive Easter pageant. It has about 100 scenes.

I am not in it.

You know you are a popular blogger when you get 14 comments to saying you have a cold and you aren't going to blog today.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Good article on unconditional election as a facet of God's justice here.

Monday, April 10, 2006


The official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia reveal that global average temperature did not increase for the years 1998-2005.

David Heddle, my favorite Reformed physicist, writes on some of the many errors of Carl "Billions and Billions" Sagan.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


They are all around me and they don't even know they're dumb.

On September 17, 1994, Alabama's Heather Whitestone was selected as Miss America 1995. She was asked this question: If you could live forever, would you and why?
She answered: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."

Singers should probably stick to singing and refrain from talking, at least in public. For example, Mariah Carey had this to say to show her empathy with starving children: "Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."

Actors should only talk when they have a script to follow: "Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life," said Yale graduate
Brooke Shields in an interview to become spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign. I don't think she got the part.

Athletes sometimes suffer from foot and mouth disease. Winston Bennett,University of Kentucky basketball player, has trouble with body parts in general: "I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body."

Joe Theisman agrees with my assessment of athletes. He said "The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

Politicians seem to have problems with perspective. Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington D.C., who was arrested on cocaine related charges seems to have suffered from the effects. He said "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the
lowest crime rates in the country." He is definitely a "half full" man.

"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president." Hillary Clinton, who obviously believes the Biblical statement that husband and wife become one flesh.

Hillary's husband was a realist. He said "If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."

Sometimes a guy just speaks the truth, even if he did not mean to. A congressional candidate in Texas said: "That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it."

Now that Yogi Berra is not around, Philadephia Phillies manager Danny Ozark has decided to carry on Yogi's work. He said "Half this game is ninety percent mental."

Al Gore, one of my favorite blow hards, said "It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." And Al has been breathing too much of it. Lee Iacocca, however, doesn't seem to be much of an environmentalist. He said "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?" Al is not caught off guard, however. He expressed his personal motto of preparedness when he said "We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur." That's what I call prepared.

But to be fair, here is Republican Dan Quayle: "I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."

Even the military gets into the act, as evidence by this: "We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people." Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instrutor.

The problem has unfortunately spread to other countries, as evidenced by Keppel Enderbery, who said "Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas."

Fortunately for us, the Government is stepping to help us. See this notice: "If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record." Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman

But, for some, there is bad news. Consider this notice:

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective
March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."
--Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina
A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and was for distribution of all wealth. She felt deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican which she expressed openly.

One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and more welfare programs. In the middle of her heartfelt diatribe based upon the lecture she had from her far left professors at her school, he stopped her and asked her point blank, how she was doing in school.
She answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain. That she had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party like other people she knew. She did not even have time for a boyfriend and did not really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying. Furthermore, that she was taking a more difficult curriculum.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your friend Mary."

She replied, "Mary is barely getting by," she continued, "all she has is barely a 2.0 GPA" adding, "and all she takes are easy classes and she never studies." But to explain further she continued emotionally, "But Mary is so very popular on campus, college for her is a blast, she goes to all the parties all the time and very often does not even show up for classes because she is too hung over. "

Her father then asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your 4.0 GPA and give it to your friend who only had a 2.0." He continued, "That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair equal distribution of GPA."

The daughter visibly shocked by the father's suggestion angrily fired back, "That would not be fair! I worked really hard for mine, I did without and Mary has done little or nothing, she played while I worked real hard!"

The father slowly smile and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."
Alstair Begg makes a good point about all the books and talks countering Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. Why is it that so many church members are shaken by this piece of fiction that replays heresies from centuries past and other tales?

My answer is that we do not preach and teach doctrine enough. So, we are always in the mode of reacting to things, rather than having people firm enough in their faith and understanding to know the truth and reject error.

There is a duty imposed on the preacher and teacher. Colossians 1:28 says "We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ." It does not matter if the congregation does not want to hear doctrine and prefers inspiration. It must be admonished and taught in order that we may present everyone as perfect,or complete, or mature, in Christ.

There is also a duty imposed on the individual believer and the congregation of believers. Colossians 2:8 says "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosphy, which depnes on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

So, read and study. Learn and teach. Stand firm.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD
and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances
in Israel." Ezra 7:10

Go Thou and do likewise.

A Zogby poll shows 69 percent of Americans surveyed believe public school teachers should teach the evidence for and against Darwinian evolution. Only 21 percent of Americans surveyed believe biology teachers should teach solely Darwin's theory of evolution.

Even among those who have heard it most, a balanced approach was favored. Almost
88 percent of those in the 18-29 age bracket supported the dual approach.

African-Americans came in at 69 percent, 35-54 year-olds at 70 percent and even Democrats at 60 percent. You Evolutionist Fundamentalists are in serious trouble.

Even more problematic, more than 500 scientists with doctoral degrees signed a statement expressing skepticism about Darwin's theory of evolution.

Life really is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
19 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."*

5. Put ! Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For Smuggling Diamonds"

7. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With The Prophecy."*

8. Don't use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.*

11 Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes out of the ATM, Scream "! I Won!, I Won!"

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The parking lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."

1. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ...The finance committee refuses to provide funds for the purchase of a chandelier because none of the members knows how to play one.

2. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... people ask, when they learn that Jesus fed the 5000, whether the two fish were bass or catfish, and what bait was used to catch 'em.

3. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... when the pastor says, "I'd like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering," five guys and two women stand up.

4. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... opening day of deer season is recognized as an official church holiday.

5. You know you're in a Redneck Church if... a member of the church requests to be buried in his 4-wheel-drive truck because "It ain't never been in a hole it couldn't get out of"

6. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... the choir is known as the "OK Chorale".

7. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... in a congregation of 500 members, there are only seven last names in the church directory.

8. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... people think "rapture" is what you get when you lift something too heavy.

9. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... the baptismal pool is a #2 galvanized "Wheeling" washtub.

10. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... the choir robes were donated by (and embroidered with the logo from) Billy Bob's Barbecue.

11. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... the collection plates are really hubcaps from a'56 Chevy.

12. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... instead of a bell you are called to service by a duck call.

13. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... the minister and his wife drive matching pickup trucks.

14. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... the communion wine is Boone's Farm "Tickled Pink".

15. You know You're in a Redneck Church if... "Thou shall not covet" applies to huntin' dogs, too.

16. You know you're in a Redneck Church if ... the final words of the benediction are, "Y'all come back now, Ya hear".

My friend who is an investigator sent me this.

In Florida, an atheist became incensed over the preparation for Easter and Passover holidays and decided to contact the local ACLU about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while the atheists had no holiday to celebrate.

The ACLU jumped on the opportunity to once again pick up the cause of the godless and assigned their sharpest attorneys to the case.

The case was brought before a wise judge who after listening to the long, passionate presentation of the ACLU lawyers, promptly banged his gavel and declared, "Case dismissed!"

The lead ACLU lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, "Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? Surely the Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances.

And the Jews--why in addition to Passover they have Yom Kippur and Hanukkah ...and yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!"

The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said "Obviously your client is too confused to know about, or for that matter, even celebrate the atheists' holiday!"

The ACLU lawyer pompously said "We are aware of no such holiday for atheists, just when might that be, your honor?"

The judge said "Well it comes every year on exactly the same date---

April 1st!"

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." - Psalm 14:1, Psalm 53:1
The Teacher Retirement System of Texas Board of Trustees is putting morality over money. The Board is divesting its portfolio of companies that receive ten percent or more of their income from pornography. You might be horrified to know retirement systems and others would invest in such companies, but they are profitable. The first guy to show some ethical responsibility was Conroe Caney Creek High School Principal Greg Poole, who imposed the ban this year. Way to go Greg and the rest of the board. I’m proud of you.

Monday, April 03, 2006

From Reformation Theology:
"... all the saving events and all the saving blessings of the gospel are means of getting obstacles out of the way so that we might know and enjoy God most fully. Propitiation, redemption, forgiveness, imputation, sanctification, liberation, healing, heaven - none of these is good news except for one reason: they bring us to God for our everlasting enjoyment of him.... And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God." - John Piper, God Is The Gospel
From Pyromaniac: "On Wednesday, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06. That has never happened in your lifetime and won't happen again until after you're dead."
Here is an interesting blog by a former Mormon studying at Southern Seminary.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Really disturbing articles have been written about the SBC North American Mission Board by the Christian Index of Georgia. The agency, successor of the Home Mission Board and others, appears to be in trouble.The president of the agency is Bob Reccord. Reccord has been shown to have some interesting expenditures over the last year or so. One is spending $142,000 over the last year for the use of a private corporate jet through a company named InovaOne, which is owned by a friend of Reccord’s. Remember that name.

Another interesting expense is the amount of $3,771, which Reccord spent to go on a four-day trip to England and see The Chronicles of Narnia on premier night. That sounds a lot more like some spoiled actor than the head of our mission board.
Knowing that resources have been increasingly tight for missionaries, it is pretty hard to believe Reccord is flying around in a private jet rather than suffer through commercial air travel like the rest of us, or that he is traveling to England on the tithes and offerings of working Baptists so he can rub shoulders with the cool people at a movie premier.

While this is going on, how is the ministry going, the business of the NAMB? The Index also published some interesting facts about that. Last year the denomination was supposed to show 2,500 new congregations and 1 million new believers. It came in with 1,636 church starts and 390,000 baptisms. That performance would get you fired where I work.

One step in the right direction is that the board has finally quit trying to run off one of its own members and has set some guidelines the president must live with and be accountable for. More on that later. Still, I do not think this is how the churches and members across the country expect the president of the NAMB to conduct himself.

He should seriously think about resigning.
You can read an interesting article on Southern Baptists confronting the culture, but a professor at Southern Seminary, here.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST. Tim Challies has retired from blogging. He said it was because it paid the bills. I guess that is a good thing about blogging for self expression. I never expect it to pay the bills. Actually, I never expect anything from blogging except self expressions. I guess that is why I also do not feel a great deal of pressure to wrote. I write when I feel like it and when I have time. Time has been a precious commodity lately, so I know blogging has been lighter than in the past. There isn't anything I can do about that, except quit working, but, as Challies says, that doesn't pay the bills.

The nice thing about blogging for self expression, rather than money, however, is that you can write what you want and express what you think and how you feel and no one can pull the plug because it offends their company goals. They only thing that happens is that people quit reading your blog. Remember Publius, who used to comment here all the time, but quit when he got offended by my support for the President? But the good thing is, it doesn't change anything.

So, blog on guys and girls. Get a real job to pay the bills and say what you want in the blog and quit worrying so much.