Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Generous Orthodoxy points out that Rick Warren has now appeared on the Charlie Rose show. My,he is getting around of late, isn't he?



Last year was a record year for hurricanes and tropical storms, eclipsing the prior record year of 1993. This yhear, however, is a different story. There have been fewer than normal storms, despite some early predictions. There were 9 named storms by this time last year, only 3 this year. Part of the reason for this is that the surface temperature for the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics is actually cooler than normal. Last year the surface temperature was above normal.

Not only is the tropical Atlantic cooler, scientist show that between 2003 and 2005, globally averaged temperatures in the upper ocean were substantially cooler, and, in effect, erased 20% of the warming that occurred over the previous 48 years.

This could be a set back for the global warming folks. What will Al Gore have left to talk about? Oh, right, this won't keep him from talking about it.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The heart of God opens itself to us in God's word. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Phil Johnson has observations on Graham and N. T. Wright. Who ever thought we'd discuss those two in one sentence! But, they are both dodging the gospel bullet in public.


Getting some play on the Internet this week in an inteview given by evangelist Billy Graham to Jon Meacham of Newsweek. Here is the money quote.

"When asked whether he believes heaven will be closed to good Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or secular people, though, Graham says: "Those are decisions only the Lord will make. It would be foolish for me to speculate on who will be there and who won't ... I don't want to speculate about all that. I believe the love of God is absolute. He said he gave his son for the whole world, and I think he loves everybody regardless of what label they have."

There was a time when Graham would have been glad to say who is going to heaven and who is not, and he would not have called it speculation. To imply, after a lifetime of Christian evangelism, that Jews, Muslims, Buddists or any other non-believers in Christ may go to heaven is a repudiation of his own ministry.

In John 3:3, Jesus said "unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." He went on in verse 16 to say that "whoever believes in him (Jesus) should not perish but have eternal life." In verse 18, he said "whoever does not believe is condemned already." Jesus was pretty clear, wasn't he? Those who believe in him will be saved and end up in heaven, those who don't, won't. Would that be too hard for Graham to say?

If John 3 is not enough for you, you might try Romans 1-2. For example, 2:12 says for all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law".

It is a shame that well known preachers end up on tv and then abort the gospel message. Joel Osteen got a lot of criticism for doing that recently. Now, Billy Graham of all people gives credence to a sort of universalism rather than the gospel. Please give me back the old Billy.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

We are back from a quick trip to Louisville, Kentucky. We moved the Seminary Daughter's stuff to Louiville and put it in storage. Then she and her fiance found an apartment and signed a lease for it. They will move there after their wedding and honeymoon.

Louisville is a pretty city. It is very green, with large trees and lush plants everywhere. It has lots of traffic, but not the haze that DFW has.

The seminary is also beautiful, with red brick colonial buildings, huge trees and green lawns. I'm a little envious that she is going.

You shouldn't drive to Louisville from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It is too far, the traffic is too heavy and there are way, way too many trucks. I never saw so many trucks in my life. I feel like I have been beaten with a stick after driving it both ways within a few days. Just say "no" and fly. I don't like to fly anymore because it has become such a hassle, but I'm going to have to do it for the greater good.
David Heddle of "He Lives" has posted the opening salvo in the debate of cessationsism vs. continuationism, or, do the spiritual gifts continue past the apostles. I always say that Southern Baptists claim the gifts exist but live as if they don't.

I can't wait for future posts, as I am really interested in the topic, and the professor always does a thorough job.

You should read it.


In light of previous posts about church as a comedy club, look at the sign posted on the Founders blog about "clown led" worship.

I know what you're thinking, but don't say it outloud, please.
James White posts on problems the Roman Catholic Church is having with priests in Africa incorporating elements of the native worship into their practice. His point is that it should not be unexpected, given the unbiblical elements of Roman Catholic worship.

It struck me, though, that Protestants are not immune from this disease, especially in America. Here the native gods are primarily materialism and individualism. The Protestant church, especially the Evangelical church, are throughly infected with both ideas on a non-Biblical level. It is not just the Word\Faith preachers, either. The majority of Evangelical preaching today is self help oriented. The focal thought is that Jesus can give you a better life today, more money, better marriage and happiness. Instead, the New Testament stresses worship, sacrifice of self and humility.

It looks like both Catholics and Protestants could use some major repentence and reformation.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The New Testament speaks of days when people will preach what will tickle men's ears and disdain sound doctrine. The London Telegraph On Line is reporting it live.

In a story written by Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent, the LT tells us about
The Rev Ian Gregory, a retired Congregationalist minister whose new project is "Christianity without religion". No, don't confuse this with those preachers who say Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship.

Mr Gregory is starting a laughter room, believing that laughter is as important as prayer. That is why Jesus had the Lord's laugh of the day right after the Lord's prayer. And why the New Testament is full of jokes. Remember the comedy routine on the Mount? I'm afraid it's Gregory that's laughable, at least until you consider the possible tragedy that someone will believe him and be lead astray.

Gregory also says "I now advise people who are bored with church not to go." I'm sure the Lord will take boredom as an excuse to forgo worship.

Instead of the worship service, however. Gregory will offer "coffee and laughter", including videos of classic comedy films. This will surely teach them they are lost and need salvation, and lead them to worship as God commanded.

Of course, there will be a session on self-image and confidence, because what is more important than the self? That is Gregory's basic problem. He has forgotten that Christianity is not about the self, it is about God, and the true worship of him as he desires.

My only comforting thought is that the project is almost certainly doomed to failure. People whose self image and happiness appear intact to themselves won't come. They don't need a boost of self image or cheesy comedy shows.

Those who really are looking for God won't find him there, and will move on under the compulsion of the Holy Spirit who won't be there either.

Denny Burk has a post critical of Chick tracts. No, not Chick Lit, but the flambouyant gospel cartoon tracts of Jack Chick. He uses them as examples of how not to witness.

Speaking of how not to witness, I went to a Ranger baseball game last night. One of my buddies from church got 4 free tickets and off we went. As we approached the stadium, a young man in a white shirt and tie, despite it being 100 degrees, turned around and started to preach. He had a huge, brand new Bible. People peeled off around him like he had the plague, including the associate pastor who was part of our group.

That being said, I have to admit to being a little nervous about criticizing street preachers. They remind me a bit of the Old Testament prophets. Never popular guys, they were often killed or abused. Sometimes, God made them do odd things. Read the book of Ezekiel, and see Ezekiel cut and burn his hair, lay around naked, and preach in public.

Chick has always been hard to take, as he works at being offensive. He is a KJV only guy and strongly anti-Catholic. His tracts are full of pictures of guys burning in hell and other graphic depictions. Your normal middle class person would not respond to them, Christian or non-Christian. Maybe somebody does.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Semi-Pelagian Catechism
1. Q: What is the chief end of each individual Christian?
A: Each individual Christian's chief end is to get saved. This is the first and great commandment.

2. Q: And what is the second great commandment?
A: The second, which is like unto it, is to get as many others saved
as he can.

3. Q: What one work is required of thee for thy salvation?
A: It is required of me for my salvation that I make a Decision for Christ, which meaneth to accept Him into my heart to be my personal lord'n'saviour.

4. Q: At what time must thou perform this work?
A: I must perform this work at such time as I have reached the Age of Accountability.

5. Q: At what time wilt thou have reached this Age?
A: That is a trick question. In order to determine this time, my mind must needs be sharper than any two-edged sword, able to pierce even
to the division of bone and marrow; for, alas, the Age of Accountability is different for each individual, and is thus unknowable.

6. Q: By what means is a Decision for Christ made?
A: A Decision for Christ is made, not according to His own purpose
and grace which was given to me in Christ Jesus before the world began,
but according to the exercise of my own Free Will in saying the Sinner's Prayer in my own words.

7. Q: If it be true then that man is responsible for this Decision,
how then can God be sovereign?
A: He cannot be. God sovereignly chose not to be sovereign, and is therefore dependent upon me to come to Him for salvation. He standeth outside the door of my heart, forlornly knocking, until such time as I decide to let Him in.

8. Q: How then can we make such a Decision, seeing that the Scripture saith, we are dead in our trespasses and sins?
A: By this the Scripture meaneth, not that we are dead, but only that we are sick or injured in them.

9. Q: What is the assurance of thy salvation?
A: The assurance of thy salvation is, that I know the date on which I prayed the Sinner's Prayer, and have duly written this date on an official Decision card.

10. Q: What is thy story? What is thy song?
A: Praising my Savior all the day long.

11. Q: You ask me how I know he lives?
A: He lives within my heart.

12. Q: And what else hast thou got in thine heart?
A: I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.

13. Q: Where??
A: Down in my heart!

14. Q: Where???
A: Down in my heart!!

15. Q: What witness aid hath been given us as a technique by which we may win souls?
A: The tract known commonly as the Four Spiritual Laws, is the chief aid whereby we may win souls.

16. Q: What doth this tract principally teach?
A: The Four Spiritual Laws principally teach, that God's entire plan for history and the universe centereth on me, and that I am powerful enough to thwart His divine purpose if I refuse to let Him pursue His Wonderful Plan for my life.

17. Q: What supplementary technique is given by which we may win souls?
A: The technique of giving our own Personal Testimony, in the which we must always be ready to give an answer concerning the years we spent in vanity and pride, and the wretched vices in which we wallowed all our lives until the day we got saved.

18. Q: I'm so happy, what's the reason why?
A: Jesus took my burden all away!

19. Q: What are the means given whereby we may save large crowds of souls in a spectacular manner?
A: Such a spectacle is accomplished by means of well-publicized Crusades and Revivals which (in order that none may be loath to attend) are best conducted anywhere else but in a Church.

20. Q: Am I a soldier of the Cross?
A: I am a soldier of the Cross if I join Campus Crusade, Boys' Brigade, the Salvation Army, or the Wheaton Crusaders; of if I put on the helmet of Dispensationalism, the breastplate of Pietism, the shield of Tribulationism, and the sword of Zionism, having my feet shod with the gospel of Arminianism.

21. Q: Who is your boss?
A: My boss is a Jewish carpenter.

22. Q: Hath God predestined vessels of wrath to Hell?
A: God hath never performed such an omnipotent act, for any such thing would not reflect His primary attribute, which is Niceness.

23. Q: What is sanctification?
A: Sanctification is the work of my free Will, whereby I am renewed by having my Daily Quiet Time.

24. Q: What rule hath God for our direction in prayer?
A: The rule that we must bow our hands, close our heads, and fold our eyes.

25. Q: What doth the Lord's Prayer teach us?
A: The Lord's Prayer teacheth us that we must never memorize a prayer, or use one that hath been written down.

26. Q: What's the book for thee?
A: The B-I-B-L-E.

27. Q: Which are among the first books which a Christian should read to his soul's health?
A: Among the first books which a Christian should read are the books of Daniel and Revelation, and The Late Great Planet Earth.

28. Q: Who is on the Lord's side?
A: He who doth support whatsoever is done by the nation of Israel,
and > who doth renounce the world, the flesh, and the Catholic Church.

29. Q: What are the seven deadly sins?
A: The seven deadly sins are smoking, drinking, dancing, card-playing, movie-going, baptizing babies, and having any creed but Christ.

30. Q: What is a sacrament?
A: A sacrament is an insidious invention devised by the Catholic Church whereby men are drawn into idolatry.

31. Q: What is the Lord's Supper?
A: The Lord's Supper is a dispensing of saltines and grape juice, in the which we remember Christ's command to pretend that they are His > body and blood.

32. Q: What is baptism?
A: Baptism is the act whereby, by the performance of something that
seems quite silly in front of everyone, I prove that I really, really
mean it.

33. Q: What is the Church?
A: The Church is the tiny minority of individuals living at this time
who have Jesus in their hearts, and who come together once a week for
a sermon, fellowship and donuts.

34. Q: What is the office of the keys?
A: The office of the keys is that office held by the custodian.

35. Q: What meaneth "The Priesthood Of All Believers"?
A: The Priesthood Of All Believers meaneth that there exists no
authority in the Church, as that falsely thought to be held by
elders,presbyters, deacons, and bishops, but that each individual Christian
acts as his own authority in all matters pertaining to the faith.

36. Q: Who is the Holy Spirit?
A: The Holy Spirit is a gentleman Who would never barge in.

37. Q: How long hath the Holy Spirit been at work?
A: The Holy Spirit hath been at work for more than a century:
expressly, since the nineteenth-century Revitalization brought about
by traveling Evangelists carrying tents across America.

38. Q: When will be the "Last Days" of which the Bible speaketh?
A: The "Last Days" are these days in which we are now living, in
which the Antichrist, the Beast, and the Thief in the Night shall most
certainly appear.

39. Q: What is the name of the event by which Christians will escape
these dreadful entities?
A: The event commonly known as the Rapture, in the which it is our
Blessed Hope that all cars driven by Christians will suddenly have no

40. Q: When is Jesus coming again?
A: Maybe morning, maybe noon, maybe evening, and maybe soon.

41. Q: When the roll, roll, roll, is called up yonder, where will you
A: There.

42. Q: Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah!
A: Praise ye the Lord!

43. Q: Praise ye the Lord!
A: Hallelujah!

44. Q: Where will we meet again?
A: Here, there, or in the air.

45. Q: Can I hear an Ay-men?
A: Ay-men.

An item on the cafeteria menu today was: “Grench Style Green Beans .65”. I didn’t get them because I wasn’t sure how the Grench likes his green beans.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I saw an ad for the world's largest women's conference and I wondered, is there a minimum size to get in?

Three Blondes were all applying for the last available position on the Texas Highway Patrol.The detective conducting the interview looked at the three and said, "So y'all want to be cops, huh?"

The blondes all nodded. The detective got up, opened a file drawer and pulled out a folder. Sitting back down, he opened it and pulled out a picture and said, "To be a detective, you have to be able to detect facts. You must be able to notice things such as distinguishing features and oddities such as scars and so forth."

So saying, he stuck the photo in the face of the first blonde and
withdrew it after about two seconds. "Now," he said, "did you notice any distinguishing features about this man?"

The blonde immediately said, "Yes, I did. He has only one eye!"

The detective shook his head and said, "Of course he has only one eye in this picture! It's a profile of his face! You're dismissed!"

The first blonde hung her head and walked out of the office.

The detective then turned to the second blonde, stuck the photo in her face for two seconds, pulled it back and said, "What about you? Notice anything unusual or outstanding about this man?"

"Yes! He only has one ear!"

The detective put his head in his hands and exclaimed, "Didn't you hear what I just told the other lady? This is a profile of the man's face! Of course you can only see one ear!! You're excused too!"

The second blonde sheepishly walked out of the office.

The detective turned his attention to the third and last blonde and said, "This is probably a waste of time, but .. " He flashed the photo in her face for a couple of seconds and withdrew it, saying, "All right, did you notice anything distinguishing or unusual about this man?"

The blonde said, "I sure did. This man wears contact lenses."

The detective frowned, took another look at the picture and began looking at some of the papers in the folder. He looked up at the blonde with a puzzled expression and said, "You're absolutely right! His bio says he wears contacts! How in the world could you tell that by looking at his picture?"

The blonde rolled her eyes and said, "Well, Helloooo! With only one eye and one ear, he certainly can't wear glasses."

I get lots of information from the government. Much of it is incomprehensible. You English majors will like the one I received this week:

Interim final rule.

I guess we'll have to wait for the final final rule, which will come out after the almost final rule.


Here's some Aviation History everyone should probably know:

You may remember that on July 8, 1947, witnesses claim an unidentified
object with five aliens aboard crashed on a sheep- cattle ranch just
outside Roswell, New Mexico. This is a well known incident that many
say... has been profusely covered up by the Air Force and the US

However....... what you may NOT well know is that on March 31,
1948, exactly nine months after that historic day, Al Gore was born.

That piece of information now has cleared up a lot of things.

You're not a kid anymore WHEN...

You enjoy watching the News.
The phone rings and you hope it's not for you.
The only reason! you're still awake at 4am is indigestion.
People ask what color your hair USED to be.
You're proud of your lawnmower.
Your best friend is dating someone half their age AND isn't breaking
You start singing along with the elevator music.
You really do want a new washing machine for your birthday.
Your car has four doors.
You routinely check the oil in your car.
You've owned clothes so long that they've come back into style--TWICE.
You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.
You consider coffee one of the most important things in life.
8 AM is your idea of "sleeping in".
You write Thank You notes without being told.
Neighbors borrow your tools.
Others ask for your recipes.
You start Christmas shopping in August.
You don't like to drive after dark.
You say the words "Do they think thats Music?"
You point out what buildings used to be where.
You know all the warning signs of a heart attack.
You rake the yard without being told to.
You can't remember the last time you laid on the floor to watch
You can live without sex, but not without your glasses!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I'm just thinking out loud here. Frank Page, the new president of the SBC, has disavowed his doctoral dissertation. He said the theology of it was wrong. But, Page was awarded his Ph.D. based on it. If it was manifestly and theologically wrong, should he forfeit the doctorate based on it? It seems a little weird that you could be awarded a doctorate on the basis of bad theology, but still be called doctor.

Prestonwood Baptist Church has a food court.

I wonder if they have money changers?