Posts Tagged ‘Connecting’

Pondering deep Christian thoughts, to be sure…

Maile and I currently have four kids. Calvin is coming up on 8, Anuhea 6, Anselm 4, and Ambrose 2. Needless to say, I’m interested in education. Being a Christian, I’m interested in Christian education. Being a Christian, I’m also interested in excellence. Put it together and I’m interested in excellent Christian education. So far, so good.

We’ve been homeschooling, of course, from the beginning. However, when it came down to moving beyond simple reading and arithmetic, we found it challenging to make sure that things were getting covered. By contrast, one thing a good school has going for it is that all areas of importance have been brought together and the scope and sequence of each have been planned out. It was the whole making-sure-everything’s-covered-and-covered-well thing that seemed to Maile and me to be a bit of a bugger.

There are various ways for homeschool parents to address this issue. The way we have found has been glorious. Classical Conversations is group that is engineered to empower and help homeschool parents by forming local communities committed to classical and Christian education. Calvin and Sissy took advantage of their stellar Foundations program this past academic year. Next year, we’ll add Anselm into the mix. That ought to be interesting: yeah, he’s pretty loud.

‘Round these parts, in Columbia County, Oregon, we have a wonderful little (and growing!), committed community. Please take a look at it. It you’re interested in talking about this wonderful aid to your homeschool labors (even if you’re just curious), please contact me. The CC website is quite informative, so be sure to check it out.

CC’s been a great blessing to us this year. We’d like to see it grow, thrive and become a greater blessing to more families. Come join us.

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I am delighted to see that my pastor from the Olympia Bible Presbyterian Church, Tito Lyro, has begun to post on his blog. He has a pithy little ditty on Aaron Rodgers, Tim Tebow, and Francis of Assisi. Go give that a look-see.

Crazy Preacher Man

Having read Pastor Tito’s post, it occurred to me that Jesus, too, used words to preach the gospel. Mark 1:14-5 says, “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.'” Mark says that Jesus was “proclaiming” the gospel. This means that he preached, and to do so, he must have used words. In fact, Mark summarizes his words: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Do note that Jesus didn’t come groovin’ up slowly into Galilee and put out the gospel vibe. He didn’t just stand around and exude the good news. He spoke it, preached it, proclaimed and heralded it.

If it can be said of anyone that they lived righteously before men, it can be said of Jesus. He, after all, was (and is!) without sin (2 Cor 5:21). Yet even the perfect life of Jesus Christ is not enough to “preach the gospel,” for preaching the gospel takes words. God gave you a mouth… use it.

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Don't be a hater...

For the past 14 years I’ve been engaged in theological discussion. I’ve grown a tremendous amount through these discussions, and I owe my eschatology and ethics (for starters) to brothers in Christ who took the time to *argue* with me.  Now, when I say *argue*, I don’t mean be a jerk or call nasty names. What it means that brothers were willing to listen to my ideas with understanding and engage with them. They were willing to love me enough to challenge my false notions. This is what brothers are for… well, at least one thing they’re for.

Most of my theological discussions have taken place face-to-face (or, more accurately, side-to-side). My deep preference is to sit down with a brother, light up a cigar (more…)

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Heidelberg Catechism #42

Q: Since Christ has died for us, why do we still have to die?

A: Our death does not pay the debt of our sins. Rather, it puts an end to our sinning and is our entrance into eternal life.

Theological: Christians still die… why? First thing is that Christ has transformed EVERYTHING for Christians. Death is something. Ergo, Christ has transformed death for Christians. Death, for the Christian, might be unknown, and, to that degree, might be scary. Death is not, however, a punishment for the Christian. Death IS a punishment for those outside of Christ. One gets the impression that death for the Christian (that is, when it actually happens) is actually a pleasure. Without doubt, it’s certainly a portal to eternal pleasure. After all, at Yahweh’s right hand are pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11).  Death is an entrance into those pleasures. The saint will live in those pleasures until the resurrection, when those pleasures will be perfected. Similarly (or maybe conversely), for those outside of Christ, death is punishment and an entrance into eternal punishment, which will be perfected at the resurrection. Christ has removed the sting of death (1 Cor 15), but not its use as a major point of transition.

Practical: You know, everyone’s gotta die… at least for the most part. There will be one generation that doesn’t have to, but, aside from them, we all face death. Steve Job’s comments about death are interesting, but seem flat when compared with eternal joys or punishment. You can see Steve’s full speech here. People outside of Christ should be horrified by death. Typically they are. Sometimes, however, they are act as if they don’t care, or that it doesn’t bother them. These folks are either simply lying (to themselves and/or to others) or are deluded. Death, therefore, is an evangelistic tool… use it. Preach it. Speak about it. If folks accuse you of being morbid, tell them you only speak of death in order to draw attention to the eternal life found only in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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I wrote a little ditty a while back on how I fancy myself a Protestant who’s self-consciously both catholic and orthodox. That post provoked some good and interesting discussions. In the midst of those discussions, an Eastern Orthodox brother mentioned something along the lines that Roman Catholics would think of themselves as orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox think of themselves as catholic, but that neither think of themselves as Protestants. That had me thinking. What I’ve come up with is that Christianity is, from its origins, inherently and inescapably protestant every bit as much as it catholic and orthodox. Let me see if I can’t sort this out.

First thing is that you’ll want to pay attention to my use of CAPITAL LETTERS (for those of you educated in the state University system [like me], you’ll know these as “upper case” or simply “the big letters”). (more…)

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After the post on Michael Glatze, I’ve been engaged in some very interesting conversations on the topic of homosexuality. Some of the most interesting discussions have been with Christians who hold that being gay is quite permissible for the Christian. One brother in particular has been quite engaging and has come back with responses to my comments. I thought it might be better to publish a response here on the blog rather than on Facebook.

As a preliminary remark, one thoughtful commenter here on the blog has helped me in distinguishing between 1) homosexual desire, 2) homosexual sex, and 3) homosexual identity. These are useful distinctions and I will try to keep them in mind from now on. My thinking on the subject of homosexuality is largely informed by the Bible and by conservative Christian culture, so I don’t pretend to be an authority on the subject. That said, I do know the Bible, which is the standard. Let’s look at it.

Let’s start this discussion in the Old Testament, as that’s where God started it. (more…)

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Heidelberg Catechism #44

Q. Why does the Creed add, “He descended to Hell”?

A.  To assure me in times of personal crisis and temptation that Christ my Lord, by suffering unspeakable anguish, pain, and terror of soul, especially on the cross but also earlier, has delivered me from the anguish and torment of hell.

Theological: Our theological instructors (Ursinus & Olevianus), in their pastoral wisdom, skipped over the controversy surrounding this passage; so will I. (more…)

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