December 25, 2012
- “IT hasn’t been a good year for evangelicals. I should know. I’m one of them.” (HT Becky Garrison and Owen Strachan)
- “You see, that’s exactly what happens when you dismiss the terrifying texts of the Bible as non-literal myths. YOU SILENCE THE VICTIMS!“
- “There is a surfeit of historical importance to Jesus that cannot be overcome by hypothetical speculations.“
- “Why does religion survive — thrive in fact — when it is persistently attacked and ridiculed by naturalism and has been predicted to disappear since the Enlightenment?“
- “Hopefully the Queen James Bible will generate some useful discussion of these passages. But on the whole, from what I’ve heard about it, I am unhappy.“
- “I continue to be befuddled by the neo-Calvinist claim that Scripture speaks to all of life“
- “But Israeli archaeologists now say there is strong evidence that Christ was born in a different Bethlehem, a small village in the Galilee.“
- “When we preach that violence and power and control are an inherent part of our gospel, and an inherent part of the identity of men – as people like Mark Driscoll do – we cause great harm to the body of Christ.“
- “The new Hobbit movie has only confirmed the feeling I got from the Lord of the Rings films. Peter Jackson doesn’t understand — or more likely, doesn’t care much — about the moral and religious scaffolding upon which J.R.R. Tolkien built his stories.“
- “In the field of (fictional) DIY mayhem, the leading brand is clearly the company where Wile E. Coyote shops for gear to catch the Road Runner….Wile E. Coyote ordered and received 126 different items from the corporation and Loukotka has made a poster that includes them all.“
- “…two lawyers called James Daily and Ryan Davidson do a magnificent job overview of the US legal system that manages to be extremely informative and incredibly entertaining, because, as the title implies, they tour the legal system as it would apply to comic-book superheroes.“
nice list of links thanks
As for number 7. The “new” Bethlehem. In scriptures it clearly says, “in the city of David.” That would imply the Bethlehem of Judea , wouldn’t it?
I am really looking forward to seeing Les Miserables. If you want to see a film that has a Christian message (I am hoping they stay true to the original script), then this is the one. Grace vs. the Law. And GRACE wins!! Grace transforms and the Law condemns and ultimately destroys. It is a beautiful piece of theatre, and I am hoping the film lives up to the material it is portraying.
Great links today, thanks BrianD!
1. This guy sounds pretty level, and I agree with his conclusions, for the most part. I would be glad to skip any Christian group as a voting block, but I know others disagree.
2. I don’t really like Tony Jones, but this article is dead on. I didn’t read the blog he was responding to, and the comments seem to indicate he was unfair in his treatment, but just based on this link…I like it.
4. Well said.
5. I understand the reasoning behind wanting to do a bible like this…BUT!!!, is it not obvious that interpreting a bible with an agenda is extremely dangerous, and wrong. Let’s take the bible for it what it actually says, then discuss the hard parts. Don’t try to remake it to our tastes. Couldn’t everybody remake a bible – Racists, Cults, Pedophiles, whatever – and leave out the parts they don’t like? No. Those parts have to be left in a dealt with, even if we come away disagreeing about God’s intention for those passages. It would be dishonest to do it any other way.
7. My guess would be that the archaeologists are, once again, wrong. But they’ll sale whatever it is they are trying to sale, and then they’ll move on to the next AMAZING discovery.
8. This was well written, and I agree with much of what she is saying. Not all of her conclusions, but that’s OK. Something weird is going on, and I think it has to do with pastors playing on the insecurity of men.
9. Confession: I can’t read Tolkien. His style kills me. I know he’s brilliant. I know his stories are amazing…I just find it too much of a chore to actually read. Whereas guys like C.S. Lewis, Mark Twain, and Eugene Peterson can take a phone book and make it sound interesting, Tolkien takes a fantastic story and makes it not worth the effort. To me anyway. That said, I like the first three LOTR movies, because I was able to get a glimpse of the story that so many people loved. I fully expect with any book made into a movie that the film maker will have to interpret the book in a way to make a good 2-hour movie. This always upsets fans of the book, but for guys like me, I enjoy the artistic rendering as much as the book.
10. That poster is awesome. ACME is awesome.
BrianD, i intend to spend the day immersed in the links here – thank you – i thot it would be a quiet, restful immersion, but another realtor has asked to show my house … i think my agent’s ad makes it look like a palatial bargain or something, i’ve had so many showings since last August that i’m thinking of charging admission to be on the tour … the feedback says that my driveway is too steep and there’s no yard … well, wouldn’t you think that would be obvious? i am clearly perched on a hill, after all
going to make a quick tour opening blinds etc and get a cup of coffee and settle in here to enjoy the fruit of Brian’s labors
Is “Acme” the in concept now? at our Christmas dinner – i don’t remember the conversation – my 11 year old granddaughter spoke up and said, with a grin, “or you could just order it from Acme”…
#1 – “I believe the cultural backlash against evangelical Christianity has less to do with our views — … — and more to do with our posture. The Scripture calls us “aliens and exiles” (1 Peter 2:11), …. The proper response to our sexualized and hedonistic culture is not to chastise, but to “conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12).”
he wants “us” to do it the hard way? amen …
IMX – admittedly limited – Christians have a reputation in the business world as conducting themselves dishonestly … interestingly, our Mormon neighbors (pray for their enlightenment and conviction) have a reputation for honesty, but i have found that hooligan is a better description, if you don’t kowtow to their turf claims to the highground
Acme is where Wilie E. Coyote always buys the tools he uses to try to catch The Roadrunner.
which I would have known was the whole point of the link if I’d stop reading from the bottom up! 😳
London, yep, i knew that … my son and his dad were regular Saturday morning viewers of Roadrunner waay back in ancient times – glad folks still get it 🙂 altho, … i wonder whether the world sees Christians as the coyote or the bird …
Thanks for the list BrianD!
10. That ACME list is cool, but not 30 bucks cool.
9. Peter Jackson has a different way of interpreting Tolkien than I would if I had the chance. LOTR was good, but not as good as the books. The Hobbit looks like it will be changed to make it three movies in length. Of course I will go see it soon, and that will probably neccessitate needing to read The Hobbit again.
Hey, if the movies causes people to read the books and discuss the themes in them, then I’m all for it. But 3 more movies??!?! C’mon Pete and New Line……
i may be a bit of a nuisance here today 🙂 … my daughter sent me this link and i’m reading BrianD’s links to this restful, worshipful music
#2 – i find it weird to read this as i have been thinking the same thing
… how can anyone with ears to hear this phenomena called music and be an atheist? it is a miraculous product of natural evolution? say what?… that’s question i’m pondering this week
shouldn’t comment when i’m distracted, my #13 comment on music has nothing to do with BrianD’s link #2 – sorry
#3 – “….. then you think that God can do whatever God wants. That is, God is not bound by human conventions like empires and trade routes. If God had wanted the Messiah to come another time, that would have worked, too. In fact, if God had wanted to offer salvation to humankind through a mechanism other than the crucifixion of a God-man, then God could have done that as well……”
i have to disagree with this, IMO platitudinous, statement as i believe that God is perfect in all He does and therefore, there was no other way and … since He is in control of history, there was no other time
#4 – some wonderful advances in technical equipment to measure the brain show there is a definable area in our grey matter (our God-given processor) where they’ve located responses to spiritual input … i have found it an interesting discovery – like all our voluntary responses, this area can be maximized – seeking Him or used to self gratify with the fig leaves of self righteousness … or even shut down – deadened
just pondering … not pontificating on this
okay, enough presumption on Michael’s blog and BrianD’s links for today …
since i mentioned that my house was being shown again today, i will relate that the house-hunters were a retired evangelical (as am i) pastor (or missionary) for 35 years in Spain and he had a “word” for me to not be concerned about the sale of my house as the Lord’s return was upon us any day now … i offended him a little by not gasping in amazement, i guess … nice old widow and widower who’ve found each other for the last mile and they intend to work for Him until they’re called home … God bless and keep them … IMO this house does not suit itself to minister Christ out of (too little parking)
Back in the day this would remind me of a standard bible study. Actually he makes more sense, which is scary. I am serious people lived their lives based on these magic incantations. Of course most of the people developed a more responsive bs filter. Some did not and they still live in this world, scared all the time. I a sort of in both worlds to be honest.
” as the Lord’s return was upon us any day now …”
So why is he looking for a new house – Jesus will be back before he can close escrow. 🙂
I think there may be a good chance that The Third Eagle is a satire on modern day pre mil dispensationalists. They all do the same think – base their predictions / prophecies on modern daily culture and Third Eagle is mocking them – rightly so..
Third Eagle goes further using Psi, license plates and the yellow guy as a fulfillment of end times events.
5. Well, “Queen James” just tells me all I need to know. Itching ears and all that…
7. What part of Bethlehem of Judea is so hard to understand, and Nonnie is on target “city of David” is pretty self explanatory. I really get tired of junk like that.
9. I have loved Tolkien’s works since I first picked up The Hobbit and LOTR when I was 10 and devoured them. Josh, I can understand though, Tolkien isn’t for everyone. And as for if Jackson understands, I don’t really care, because he does a good job of putting them on screen IMHO.
Recommend The Children of Hurin.
My wife and I are going to go and see the Hobbit and Les Mis next weekend.
Warning on “The Children of Hurin” and a spoiler alert!
If you don’t care for tragedies, don’t read this one. It doesn’t end well.
When I was 10 I was reading The Hardy Boys – and haven’t advanced much further – I read James Patterson and John Grisham.
When are they going to make a blockbuster Hardy Boys movie????
McGuffey readers made all the difference. Those readers originated in the 19th Century and taught phonics. I really think they advanced me in reading comprehension quickly and are superior to anything used today.
My Mom and Dad are both voracious readers and that added to it, they both encouraged me to get into the adult section of the library early.
As for the Hardy Boys, I read my Dad’s copies when I was 8. They were published in the 30’s and 40’s.
Grisham is good, I used to live in the county above where he lived in Oxford, MS. Actually haven’t read any Patterson.
That is one bad thing about growing up, less time to read.
On the Hardy Boys, I was meaning to say that i read my Dad’s copies from the 30’s and 40’s which when I read some of the same ones published in the late 70’s when i was 8 they were different story lines sometimes. They changed them for the times.
The funny thing is that while I was great in reading….my math skills sucked and still suck. I still use fingers sometimes.
I would appreciate prayer for this next year, I lost most of my family and extended family over the last two years. I tried with all my might to not have this effect me in the least. It is one of the strongest Christian convictions I have is to not have this kind of issues effect me. Please pray God helps me that I stop being so weak.
To my eternal shame I cant be like this, trust me I have prayed God would allow me to be like this. If I took that kind of cash in, I could fund the program I work with, group homes etc. I live in a mobile home myself and I am very grateful for this gift. But if I had a house I would have a group home. I know I failed God, if you cant rake in the cash you are a failure, I get that in spades. I actually self funded my “ministry” for almost three decades, which goes to show what a degenerate piece of human trash I am. I often got physically ill asking people for money so I just took on another job to fund some other calling. When I got the left foot of fellowship out of ministry I saw my true failing. I admire this guys gall. Even after he got busted back, he is still on the circuit and is staying in the game. And it is a game, nothing more. I guess I found that the saddest thing I learned about the industry. Want to hear something really pathetic, I still want to cling to Jesus. Just goes to show I cant even be an apostate right.
Nope no good news here.
It should have been there, there is lots of good news among you kind folks. Thanks for putting up with me, I need you all.
Brian, re your number 27. If losing family members doesn’t affect us, then we are not human. Your weakness can be God’s strength. I pray you are finding needed peace and comfort in the grace of God.
“Brian, re your number 27. If losing family members doesn’t affect us, then we are not human” Exactly we should never be human ever no matter what. I am thankful you gathered that view, we should never, ever be human, seek hope and other such nonsense. An honest question people actually show grief and actually hope. I have always counted that way to non conventional. I have actually repented of showing grief at the funerals of lost loved ones. It really is a rather strange religion it really is.
Brian, I honestly don’t understand your reply, other than you have been hurt by ” religion. “. I fear you may have misunderstood me. Nevertheless, I am praying for you my friend.
brian – at some point you have to come to grips with life. It’s hard and it’s painful. But that has nothing to do with “church” or “religion”
People who have never been exposed to “church” or “religion” go through the exact same things as you.
You can’t keep blaming the hardships of life on the fact that at one point in history you got the “left foot of fellowship” from people you trusted – big deal, move on and don’t let their misdeeds freeze you out of life.
About Robert Tilton – the news program made the case that he is not a Christian and not even a religious generalist – he is a charlatan – but again, don’t let him be a roadblock to your life. I know many oil company executives who are charlatans – but I still buy their products.
Hate to pile on Brian…but maybe you should just find a God, religion, that you like and then follow it. Or no religion at all. Seems that whatever it is you have followed, or are presently following is making you miserable. You don’t have to be miserable 🙂
brian is a law unto himself IMV – doing the work that wears and tears the soul – Mother Teresa’s end of life evidently left her faith tattered … God knows and will make allowances, i think … i love the poem that says something to the effect, ‘God knows how long the road has been, how weary you have grown, He understands and so He says be still and know that I am God …’ – that’s needed by all of us, but it is so hard to engage a quiet mind when assaulted by the incessant, unrelenting demands of caregiving, no matter how dedicated one is … being sick and tired of cr*p is bound to come out somewhere, some way, i believe 😐
MLD, meant to amen and 🙂 your true observation @#19
Holidays are tough right after the loss of a parent. I’m sorry that it’s a rough go right now. (hugs)
As for the $ thing…yeah, I get that. I think there’s just some folks that don’t give a rats ass about asking for others to funding their dreams or projects. There’s not less passion, but I think some folks are just born salesmen (women) and are better able to draw money put of people. Dunno, maybe trying to partner up with one of them is the way to get your house funded.
Hell, i don’t know…
Brian: my heart grieves for you. You can replace the I’s in post #28 and you’ve got my story.
The current state of “church” or even the current state of most people’s hearts is enough to turn any man away from “religion”.
As trite as it may sound, I’m still going to cling to Jesus. I have to cling to the promises of the Bible. It’s all I got! It’s like the life preserver in a ocean of depression. It’s the only thing that keeps us afloat. I cling to it, hoping that the waves will cease, the shoreline will appear, the rescue team shows up. The rescue team may never show up, but I keep holding on. If that isn’t “faith” I don’t know what is.
Church (ministry, pleasing people, getting invited to parties) became a god. Pleasing people (mainly family, thus throwing myself into chasing the almight dollar) became a god. Sometimes we have to see their failings to see that they aren’t Jesus. It’s not bad of me to serve these people, or want to please my family but I think God wanted me to take a step back, to re-direct my life, see things for what they are.
I’m not saying it’s the same thing God is saying to you, but that’s my story. I hope it helps.
As for funding, I’m torn about this. Maybe a site full of Pastors and career-Christians can help me out?
I think it’s more admirable to take on another part-time job to fund your ministry, that way people can say that you’re doing it for funding, but they look at your hard work and sacrifice, and be ashamed.
I think “funding” is the big problem with churches today (or has it always been, I don’t know). Churches are huge moneymakers, we all know that, and the product is relatively free. If a church just become about funding (ahem, Calvary Chapel, cough, cough) then it becomes a vicious cycle, they’re always chasing the almighty dollar and compromising along the way. I think if it’s possible, it’s more honorable to not chase after funding, then you don’t have to be accountable to anyone but God.
but then again, never been full-time ministry, what do I know?
Sorry, I missed Brian’s # 27 about losing family members. Very sorry to hear that Brian. Your, grief, frustration, despair, and doubt are warranted, and God cares. My #34 was vert insensitive because of missing the earlier post. I sincerely apologize.
RE: #39 Fly – I don’t know. I think there is a middle ground. A better way. I’ve worked at LEAST two jobs for the past 15 years, exactly because of what you’ve said. I have a wife and two kids, and I’m also working on my Master’s degree. I’m tired, ya know?
I think a minister should submit himself to a simple and modest lifestyle. Period. However, I’m starting to think if a church offered me enough to pay the bills along with insurance, I’d take it.