Archive for June, 2006

Christians believe that the Bible is the final authority for faith and practice. We know that there certainly are other authorities, but none of them are the final court of appeal – like the Bible.

When we talk about the authority of the Bible, we need to make an important contrast – the Bible is either a book by man about God or it’s a book written by God (through men) about Himself. Those are the only two options.

If the Bible is nothing more than a book by men about God, then it’s no different than any other book and holds no more or less authority than any other book. If the Bible is a book written by God (through men), then it has authority because it’s God’s revelation of Himself to us.

That’s something to think about as we consider the Bible and its authority.

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If God is dead, as Nietzsche proclaimed, then someone or something has to take His place. Nature abhors a vacuum, especially in spiritual matters. We all will worship and serve something or someone – it’s how we’re wired.

Pleasure, money, power, sex, success, intelligence, science and a host of other things rush in to fill the void. Probably the most popular substitute for God is ourselves. When God is removed from His throne, so to speak, we’re quick to take His place.

The absence of the true and living God doesn’t mean nothing remains, it means something (or someone) does that is decidely not-God.

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Superman’s Back

After a 20-year absence, Superman Returns. The movie opened today (don’t thye usually open on Fridays?) with a lot of fanfare. But some of the most interesting buzz, as far as I’m concerned, is coming from fellow-Christians almost giddy about the biblical themes and allusions they say are everywhere present in the movie. Here are some of the articels from the Associated Press and the Dallas Morning News. What do you think?

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Just A Crutch?

Here’s a transcript of Greg Koukl’s podcast of several days ago (I don’t remember the exact date). Greg is the founder of Stand To Reason, an organization I heartily recommend. It’s one of my links, so I must like it, right? Of course! Without further ado:

“Some say Christianity is just a crutch. But let’s turn the question on its edge for a monent. Is atheism an emotional crutch, wishful thinking? The ax cuts both ways. Perhaps atheists are rejecting God because they’ve had a bad relationship with their father. Instead of inventing God, have atheists invented non-God? Have they invented atheism to escape some of the frightening implications of God’s existence? Think about it.”

We should think about that and so should atheists! so, the next time you hear the “Christianity is just a crutch” statement, you’ll know how to answer. One of the best things we can do as we interact with people who may not be followers of Christ is to “turn the tables” on an argument and see what happens.

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Christian Cryder has a thought-provoking post on is blog (many of the are interesting, but this one caught my attention more than the others). It’s called “Creating an Inviting Environment,” and it’s worth your attention. The basic question is “do we love the lost as much as we claim to love the truth?” Good question and good discussion.

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A report published in the American Sociological Review revealed something most of us probably already know – our social circles are getting smaller. In other words, we have fewer close friends than we did twenty years ago. One-quarter of all Americans say they have nobody (think about that – no one) they can discuss problems with or confide in. That’s more than double the percentage in 1985. On average, most Americans have just over two close friends, as opposed to just under three in 1985.

We’re going in the wrong direction. We were created by God to be in community with others – to have relationships – with the ultimate and primary relationship being with Him. After Adam was created, God said that it was not good for him to be alone. Obviously that meant marriage in the first place, but it means relationships in general, too. We weren’t meant to go it alone. Spouses, families, churches, voluntary associations, communities, cities, and nations all help fill that need.

But what am I doing while I’m surmising on the need for real community? Sitting in front of a computer, typing on a keyboard, publishing my thoughts in something called a “weblog” which is meant by many to be a “virtual” community – a substitute, if you will. It’s ironic, but that’s part of the problem. Something to think about, but I don’t think I’ll be giving up blogging anytime soon!

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Terry Mattingly of the GetReligion website has posted some of his thoughts on recent developments in the American Episcopalian church (and by extension the Presbyterian Church USA). In the course of his post, he says he can determine whether or not someone is a theological liberal or a theological conservative. Here they are:

  1. Are the biblical accounts of the resurrection of Jesus accurate? In other words, did it really happen?
  2. Is salvation found in Jesus Christ alone? Did Jesus mean what He said in John 14:6 – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me”?
  3. Is sex outside of marriage sin? The key word is “sin.”

Mattingly says he gets some strange responses when those questions are asked. Some answer very willingly, while others refuse to answer at all.

My answer to all three questions is yes (so you in which category I fit), but that’s not true of many Episcopalians (especially the clergy and leadership). Interesting idea, Terry. I’ll have to try it!

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Pastor’s need this kind of fellowship and support! I’ll take a sugar-free hazelnut iced latte, with whipped cream – venti, please.

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ESPN has an article on Tony Dungy that is quite good. Dungy is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League, a role model, and a man of God. The article is timely because it’s near Father’s Day and last year during the playoffs, Dungy’s son committed suicide. ESPN also did a good job of portraying Dungy’s faith (which doesn’t always happen). Dungy is an example of a man who lives out his commitment to Jesus Christ, in my opinion.

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Quote to Consider

David Brainerd, missionary to the American Indians of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey wrote the following:

“When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of Him the more insatiable, and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable…Oh, for holiness! Oh, for more of God in my soul! Oh, this pleasing pain! It makes my soul press after God…Oh, that I might not loiter on my heavenly journey!”

Amen! Amen! Amen! If you’re not familiar with Brainerd’s life an ministry, it would benefit you tremendously to become better acquainted with it (and him). He lived to be only 29 years old (from 1718 to 1747), but filled it with a passion for God and for people. Possibly the only reason we know anything about him at all is because he kept a journal. Thank God for that!

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