Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day Service

This morning I had the honor of being invited to participate in the Memorial Day Service. I was enlisted in the Air Force many moons ago, therfore I was considered the civilian in military garb. Nevertheless, I was able to quickly learn how to handle a rifle. You see in the Air Force, we don't bother with M-16s. We shoot Nukes. Atleast we did where I was stationed.

This was the first time I have served as a part of the "Color Guard". I don't think my children will soon forget. Firing three rounds and then playing Taps should move just about anyone. Even our local New York Times Editorialist. (I think the guy next to me was aiming a little low. Perhaps he saw him in the crowd?)

Perhaps God will bless the next generation with a sense of Patriotism. By teaching our children where they come from, they will certainly know where they are going. Even Aden, my nephew, who did not particularly like the loud "bangs".

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Remembering Aunt Ella

I almost missed it. One of my favorite holidays almost went by without my getting the chance to preach at my kids. Yes, we went to the cemetery as we do every Memorial Day.

Rachel set flowers on Aunt Ella's freshly filled-in grave. I took the opportunity as I do every year to proclaim the message of the resurrection in order to instill a sense of hope and a healthy sense of the "fear of the Lord".

I will be curious to hear many years from now what this holiday has meant to my children. Did I make the most of such teachable moments such as today's?

We recently buried Aunt Ella. Her memory is fresh in their minds. I pray that the Lord above will use her to speak in ways that I cannot.

We miss Aunt Ella. She will be missed for many Memorial Days to come. Perhaps my children will be blessed not only by her life, but also by her death as well.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Questions On Assurance

Growing in assurance is something Christians are to do. The New Testament is filled with passages that speak to how one is justified. It also speaks to the Christian life. It speaks to "knowledge" and growing in holiness.

Yet so many evangelicals are told to never question their faith. We are simply told to say a prayer and if we meant it, we are guaranteed eternal life. So close your eyes and dive for the Altar. Never mind with dealing with texts that speak about false faiths that deceive men. Never mind that there may be false teachers leading men astray. Never mind that my sin and sinfulness may cause me to deceive myself.

On the other hand, isn't salvation by faith alone? Or should we be doing good works in order to remain in God's favor?

A caller on the Dividing Line asked a question that is often asked but rarely addressed with "balance". Although the subject has been answered before and perhaps in a better way, it is always good to hear it again.

I was also told by Richard Barcellos (editor of the RBTR) yesterday that Sam Waldron's book on the issue of justification, obedience and faith is coming out today. He did tell me it was readable for the Layman.

Hopefully more works on these topics will be coming out and aiding the local church.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Steven

In probably less than two months, Lord Willing, I will see the birth of my second son, Jacob. Today however I must set aside my enthusiam that forester describes only so well on his Blog. For today is Steven's birthday.

Eleven years ago, I first met my son in Dover, NH. The first thing I did was read to him the Scriptures. I can see this boy is beginning to turn into a man right before my very eyes. I had the honor of baptizing him when he saw the need to repent and be baptized and to follow our Lord.

I have often said to him that there is nothing I long for more than to live with my family in the age to come. Although many do not believe in the Coming Judgment, my son will be able to stand before Christ dressed perfectly in Christ's Righteousness by faith alone.

I do not live in a dream world. I know full well my son will struggle through his teenage years. I am simply glad to be able to guide such a fine young man.

Again, I truly am the Blessed Man of Romans 4 in every way.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Scooby Doo

Perhaps it was those text books in school that taught me evolution, perhaps it was my science teacher who told me everything has a natural explanation, perhaps it was simply the culture I was raised in, perhaps it was Scooby Doo that led me to be a naturalist.

Yes, I was once a naturalist. I used to mock Christians and their inability to defend their belief in the Bible. No, I was not a philosopher, but I was most certainly influenced by the modernist view.

What troubles me about the arrogance of the modernist and even post-modernist view is the claim to being open-minded, while the Christian by definition cannot be. Much like the characters on the famous cartoon, they seem to be open-minded about allowing the "clues" to lead them to their conclusion. Christians, however, are biased and unintellectual as opposed to those great detectives.

Naturalists do allow for clues to help guide them in forming their conclusions. I seriously think no one disputes that. What I have been disputing with Limejelly (an atheist on forester's Blog) is that there are presuppositions that do govern and control the outcome just as much as the Christian has.

Naturalists do have presuppositions that guide their thinking. So all the while they give the arrogant appearance of being open-minded, they in fact preclude possible explanations of evidence by their own worldview. They refuse to see their own presuppositions as being under fire and run from the conversation as quickly as possible. Sometimes I wonder if they even realize they have any.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Movie Review

Dr. White Blogged a DaVinci Code movie review at I think his conclusions are something that many evangelicals need to hear today.

"One thing is for certain: just as the book is designed to inculcate doubt about the veracity of the Bible and the entire Christian faith, the film moves that idea out of the printed page and presents it with compelling images on the screen. And given that our culture is made up primarily now of those who are visually oriented, used to "sound-bites" instead of lengthy periods of concentrated thought, and who are trained to disbelieve and think in the most muddied fashion, The Da Vinci Code will once again highlight the reality that the evangelistic task today must be apologetic from the start. We are seeking not only to proclaim the facts of the gospel anymore. No, now we must deal with the very existence of truth itself! Those who refuse to see that this is part and parcel of what it means to proclaim the good news in Western culture today are simply ignoring the reality all around them."

My own denomination is seeking to do exactly what we don't need. We don't need to become an entertainment industry. We need to turn men from their error and sin to the truth in the person of Christ. We must do this by calling men everywhere to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Apart from a sound Gospel call, men will only be converted till the next fad comes along.

Painful Red Sox Memories With Comedy

For those of you who are Red Sox fans, this video clip will bring some humor to your painful memories of the 1986 World Series. I realize that the win against the Yankees and then St. Louis two years ago eclipses those memories. Nevertheless, people like myself are still haunted.

Video Link

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Recent Discussion

I recently had a conversation with an atheist on seedlings Blog. I thought some of you who have wondered about presuppositional apologetics as opposed to mere evidential apologetics could see the difference in how one proclaims the Gospel.

I truly believe atheism loves to attack Christianity but hates the fact that someone may question atheism. It takes such pride in reason that it simply cannot believe anyone would be dumb enough to question its primacy. It seems their presuppositions should just be assumed, not demonstrated. I will let the reader decide who answers the questions in this discussion and who just makes assertions and assumptions and refuses to answer direct questions.

So I'd like some feedback. Was the conversation an actual conversation? Did I speak in a godly manner? Did I remain consistent in my thinking? Where did I go wrong? What would the Apostles have done differently if they were here today?

This link is to the actual Blog.

I have also uploaded a slightly edited version where I cut out everyone else's posts to make it more readable. Click here. It is a Word document.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Da Vinci Code Refuted Again

The Da Vinci Code may make for a great entertaining movie, but it makes for lousy history. In fact there is no reality whatsoever. I suppose that is why every church historian I talk about this with keeps laughing about how ridiculous it is. Yet, they are deeply saddened that so many people would believe such nonsense.

I keep forgetting to put up a link of a tract produced by Stan Reeves on the Da Vinci Code. Stan Reeves is a moderator of an e-mail list of Reformed Baptists and a generally smart guy. It is located on CCW's (Jim Elliff's) website. You can read it and print it from here.

Dr. White has also produced a lengthy and more in-depth Blog series on the same subject. Click here.

Two Hot Chicks on the News

I now have Anya's news clips. I am sorry about the delay, but I would like to elect Joel as partly to blame. Then again, I would not have these clips at all if it were not for Joel and his really cool software. Every time I see people like him I think about just how computer illiterate I have become.

Anyway, Joel managed to take both the 6 O'clock and 11 O'clock news clips and make them into 7Megs and 4 Megs MPEG4 video respectively. The 6 O'clock has my wife and Anya standing together, and Anya does an incredible job. She is as the newscaster said, "A natural".

The 11 O'clock clip also has Anya. I managed to sneak in the far background. Just look for the guy with a monkey...I mean a Rachel on his back. I hope this isn't a part of my fifteen minutes of fame.

The clips can be viewed in QuickTime or Realplayer.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Caners Seek To Deceive Christian Audience At Debate

On Saturday night I was in channel with Dr.White. He was pulling the hair out of his bald head trying to get the thesis of the debate with the Caners settled. The Caners are using tactics that Muslims usually use. Obfuscate, obfuscate and obfuscate.

I repeated to Dr. White again that I firmly believe the Caners simply do not want this debate. It will be revealed that they have been exalted to a position that "they did not earn". Therefore they will use every tactic in the book to deceive the audience that they know what they are talking about, when in fact they do not.

For those of you who like these Muslim converts and simply think I am being a mean Calvinist, I would invite you to read a long post on AOMin's Blog. It is the e-mail exchange between Dr. White and Dr. Caner. If you want the truth, go to the source and see for yourself that the Caner brothers simply are out of their league.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

ABCUSA Leadership Seem To Not See Themselves

It is interesting how in one situation you will find two or more completely different viewpoints expressed by different people. Last night I watched Hoodwinked with my family. There were four different accounts of one event. As each person told their perspective the truth began to shine, but the stories individually were only met with confusion.

Some time ago I posted about the American Baptist Pacific SouthWest's intention to withdraw from the ABCUSA. Here is an announcement of their decision. Now read the WorldWide Faith News' perspective. Aside from the claim that just over 50% of churches were voting by ABCUSA verses 78% by ABCPSW, I have a problem with claims of unity. Note a portion of the article:

The Rev. Arlee Griffin, Jr., Ph.D., president of ABCUSA, added, "We regret the actions of some [Some churches????, I thought atleast 50% to 78% according to the articles they wrote.] of the churches in ABCPSW in breaking the unity of our denominational family. We consider it unfortunate that, at a time when secular society is merging and coming together [Is this guy reading anything in the news today??? Where is this happening?], there are those in our Christian family who seek to divide [Couldn't be you causing that division...right?] even in light of our Lord's request to remain one in unity. [This could only be said by a generation of people when words have no meaning.]

I would like to ask Dr. Griffin some simple questions. "Why?" Why would Jesus be upset? Is Jesus not upset when Christians unify on unBiblical grounds? Is Jesus upset when we do not follow secular society? Is Jesus not upset with the Elders of the church for embracing error and heresy? Why is it assumed that everyone who calls himself a Christian must be a Christian?

American Baptists who are liberal in their theology need to get a grip. Laying blame on conservatives for separation is to do exactly what liberals are claiming we should never do. That is judging others without looking at ourselves.

It is very clear that the ABCPSW spent many years attempting to call liberals back to sound doctrine. They spent many years trying to work through the difficult issues. It is liberal theologians that are following the patterns of this present evil age. Why should conservatives follow suit?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

More Entertainment To Confuse

As if my son was not confused enough about the Second Coming of Christ and the "rapture", now Tim LaHaye's site is promoting a Left Behind video game. It is said by LaHaye that the game will "communicate ideas like salvation".

In an interview Greg Bauman states:
In one cataclysmic moment, millions of people disappear, throwing the world into instant chaos. The Rapture has arrived, and those who have been saved are swept into Heaven. Our real-time strategy game takes place shortly after the disappearances as the Anti-Christ's forces are waging war on the remaining forces of good.
If everyone that is saved goes to heaven, who are these forces of good? Oh that's right, people get saved outside of the preaching of the gospel and the work of the church. Never mind.

I like video games. I even enjoyed Lucas Arts' Republic Commando. Running around and wasting time shooting lizards and blowing up robots can be fun for a gamer. Though, I simply do not see how sniping at an anti-Christ with a ray-gun leads men to Christ.

The Second Coming has often been complicated by some of the most complex systems. Dispensationalism's pretribulational theories not withstanding. Christians like my son are often left confused about "missing" the rapture, and God saving another people outside of the church during some Great Tribulation.

LaHayeism often tells us that there are no prophecies left to be fulfilled. Jesus could come back at any moment. Never mind the several prophecies that are yet to be accomplished. Never mind that the Gospel must be preached in every nation and every language (Rev 14:6).

So what is the meaning of this post? What does eschatology have to do with video games? Nothing really and so this post is meaningless. Then again, so are video games, which is why I like to play them.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Soccer Ends

My brother tells me I need to do more personal stuff on this Blog. Since today was the last day of soccer I thought I'd put up a couple of pictures.

I have been coaching Steven's soccer team since he started playing a few years ago. It is definitely a difficult thing to coach your own kid. In this picture, he seems to have an attitude.

Rachel just loves to play even when she's just sitting on the side line. She has become a little sneak in her patience. She waits just in the right place and gets the ball.

The Scripture says that children are an inheritance from God. I agree.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Anya Melts Into Pot

They came from far away lands. From Mexico (yes, some do come here legally), to Ecuador and Peru, from Gambia in West Africa to Iraq, from China and Vietnam, they lined up to receive citizenship. A total of 194 people from 39 nine countries were represented. It was simply an honor to participate in a ceremony for citizenship, which most Americans take for granted.

My wife's cousin, Joel, married Anya from the Ukraine. After spending a year in getting paperwork to come to the U.S., Anya then spent the next year seeking her citizenship. It was a proud moment in our family to say the Pledge of Allegiance with her for the first time as an American Citizen.

America is still the greatest and freest land in the world. People seeking freedom from religious and economic persecution still make their way here. I have grown to appreciate this great land more and more. I have attempted to instill that love of country in my children. Watching Steven sit on the edge of his seat was a moment I hope not to forget.

I must tell you the words of the 90 year old Federal Judge in his closing remarks. He said (my summary) that "America gives men and women the freedom to seek truth. The truth shall set you free."

AMEN to the words of that Judge!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Apologetic Method Important?

The White Horse Inn recently did a questionnaire at a "Pastor's Conference". The clip I have linked to asks different pastors and their wives about the best way to proclaim the Gospel.

The Gospel is now become a morally good way to live your life. This is obviously reflected in much preaching today (if it can be called that). Joel Osteen is a prime example. Osteen almost always preaches about some kind of twelve-step program to improve your life. Hence, most pastors in the clip speak about proclaiming the Gospel as simply living your life. We just need to build relationships.

Arguing is however out of the question. It is often said that men are never argued into the Kingdom. I beg to differ. I once had an atheist argue with me that the bible was not trust-worthy. He was always telling me to "prove it". By the end of the conversation, he simply had no leg to stand on. Did I convert him? No. Did I bring him to a place that his objections against the Gospel were a "moral problem" within himself? Yes.

If the man had converted to Christ through feelings, then that man will become unconverted through feelings in time as well. The mind must be able to comprehend the Gospel in some fashion, for it is a faculty of the soul.

He may have not been converted instantly, but he at least had no intellectual objections. Although I am sure he has come up with new ones. So why keep proclaiming a Gospel through arguments, because the Apostles did.

How often did Paul say to Christians, evangelize by living your godly life? How often did Paul say, let's just relate them into the Kingdom? Although these things may be important, Paul rarely went into a synagogue and said, "OK, I am a Christian, now watch my life." Instead Paul and all the other Apostles went and proclaimed a risen Messiah. They demonstrated the Gospel in the power of the Spirit through sound historical arguments and fulfilled Biblical prophecy and propositional Scriptural teaching.

Osteen can give moralistic sermons. Saying, "I know Jesus lives because He lives in me", may be great for Mormons and their burning bosom. Personal experience may be great for the post-modern mind. But they all are sub-Biblical and un-Biblical ways to evangelize.

Christians need to understand the apologetic method of the Apostles. It was the God ordained means of evangelizing men in the first century. Men's needs are the same now as they were then. Therefore whether we are friends or not, whether they "feel" God or not, Christians must be consistent in following the prescribed method that the Apostles gave us.