The Temple

NOTW

You’ve seen the bumper stickers and window decals. NOTW. Not of this world.

Here are some reason to take those things off of your vehicle.

  1. No one cares. If you are telling unbelievers something, all they are doing is shrugging their shoulders, or worse, feeling your condescending message. Most Christian bumper stickers are translated by the unbelieving world as: I am better than you.
  2. When you are driving a luxury vehicle that cost 3-10 times more than the average house in the world, your claim to be not of this world is specious.
  3. When you drive like an idiot and then flip people off, your testimony really goes out the window, don’t you think?

True story. Driving down the freeway in Southern California and a SUV with NOTW emblazoned across the back window cuts off my friend and his two children coming down the mountain after a day of skiing. Speeding up to get alongside the individual, my friend raises his hands and shoulders in the universal “questioning” manner. If he could have spoken to him, it would have been a “what’s up?” He was greeted with an angry middle finger gesture. Maybe the car was loaned out to a friend, or stolen??? My guess is…unfortunately, probably not.

Let’s live our Christianity, not claim it on a bumper sticker.

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January 31, 2007 Posted by | Christian Living | 41 Comments

Isaiah 52:1-12

Isaiah 52:1 Awake, awake, Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; For the uncircumcised and the unclean Will no longer come into you.

Awake, awake…

The pattern seen in this section:
51:9: Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord.
51:17: Rouse yourself, rouse yourself (same word as 51:9, 52:1)…Jerusalem
52:1: Awake, awake…Zion
52:11: Depart, depart… Continue reading

January 31, 2007 Posted by | Bible | Leave a comment

Tom’s Shoes

Check it out: http://www.tomsshoes.com

ht:thanks Levi

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January 31, 2007 Posted by | Christian Living | Leave a comment

Some Interesting Watching

Check out Mark Lowry and Tony Campolo on a program they do called Saturdays with Mark and Tony.

ht:Virgil Vaduva

Also check out Virgil Vaduva and his blog: Unfinished Christianity and website: Planet Preterist.

Beware though, this may not be what you are used to if you are a conservative “Evangelical”. Virgil has some radical ideas about conservation (wow), politics and eschatology. You should visit because looking for stuff that simply affirms your already confirmed notions and beliefs as opposed to challenging your notions and beliefs is not a healthy intellectual practice.

January 30, 2007 Posted by | Christianity | Leave a comment

Children See, Children Do

Here is a great message for all of us…especially parents.

ht:Unfinished Christianity

January 30, 2007 Posted by | Christian Living | Leave a comment

A Good Episcopalian?

The San Joaquin Diocese of the Episcopal church under the leadership of Bishop John David Schofield is contemplating leaving the US Anglican church to join either the South American or African Anglican church. Read the aricle in the LA Times.

One of the primary issues is a high view of Scripture. Bishop Schofield has a high view of Scripture and a low tolerance for liberalism. Imagine that, in the Episcopal church.

It is the arrogance of recent Protestantism to view mainstream Protestantism with disdain. Non-denominational churches and recent movements often use the rational that they need to start new churches because of the rampant liberalism of the mainstream denominations. So they spring up like weeds, with no restraint or controls (both a good and bad thing) and very little connection to historic roots.

Now, I was raised in a Baptist church (Russian Baptist). I started ministry in a non-denominational church in Santa Barbara. I was first licensed in the Evangelical Free Church and now am ordained in the Missionary Church. So I probably fit more into the recent Protestant category. None of these groups have a history that is more than 100 years old.

Which brings me to a corollary reason for this post. Heard on the radio today: “I see nothing good in church history, we certainly have not lived up to the early church in Acts which “turned the world upside down.” (Not an exact quote, but close, maybe even nicer than it was said). How ignorant can we be? Christianity has changed the world, and has been the most dominant influence in history since Christ. Christianity has exploded around the world, with Christian movements in almost every part of the world. Christian history is filled with many positive and powerful events and figures and only the ignorant focus on one side of Christian history.

There was a movement in our generation that believed that we needed to get back to our roots, meaning the early church. It was (is) commonly held that the early church of the first century was the purist form of the church, and we needed to do things just as they did. Our “new” Protestantism jumped all over this new idea, since it fell in line with our rejection of mainstream Protestantism. We could criticize and justify our existence as the movement to return to pure, early Christianity.

This assumption has rarely been challenged, but it needs to be. The early church was saddled with many problems and battled many early heresies. It struggled to extricate itself from its Jewish moorings. It struggled for lack of direction, and a finalized canon. Many of the churches were not “mature”: Corinth; the churches in Galatia; the seven churches of Revelation.

Maybe, like individuals, the church has matured over time. It still has room to grow, but it could be said that we are far and away more settled than the early church. I would postulate a different view: The church needs to continue to mature and grow, and that moving backwards may not be the best strategy for world evangelization and kingdom building. Certainly, there is a purity to the Word, and we need to understand it and have it as our foundation, but that does not necessitate a movement back to the structures of the early church.

Another assumption underlying the attitude of criticism with regards to Mainstream Protestantism and church history is an underlying pessimism among newer Protestantism. It is linked closely with the popular eschatological view of our day, Premillennialism. This view sees everything as getting worse, the world, people, the church…and it has to according to fulfill this view’s desire to be the generation that sees the rapture. Since there is a built in need to have things worsen, this crowd constantly affirms this pessimism. Evidence to the contrary, this group sees a downward trend in every aspect of human life.

I know that I have rambled a bit here and don’t get me wrong. I am not running out to change my affiliation to Anglican. But I was encouraged to see that there still is a strong root in that group, even if it doesn’t exist in the USA. What makes us think that we have something over these historic Christian entities?

There are 80 million Anglicans worldwide. CS Lewis was an Anglican. Maybe our generations best pastor-theologian is an Anglican: John Stott.

Quote for the week: “Arrogance makes you stupid.”

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January 29, 2007 Posted by | Christianity | Leave a comment

What is an Evangelical anyway?

The Stand to Reason blog (Greg Koukl and others) posted an article entitled “E is for Evangelical” where Melinda (the author of this post) calls for the retirement of the title “evangelical.” One of the points that she makes is that since the rise of the Moral Majority, Evangelical has come to identify a political position as opposed to a theological one. Great point. I have thought that we have gotten into bed with the Republican party as Christians, and we need to get out. Being a Christian has little to do with political persuasion – as it has nothing to do with national affiliation. The church’s methodology and strategy is not political persuasion.

I simply want to be known as a follower of Christ.

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January 27, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Politics and Religion | Leave a comment

Augustine quote – prayer

“O God, command what Thou wouldst,

And grant what Thou dost command.”

January 27, 2007 Posted by | Quotes | Leave a comment

Very Funny

My sister directed me to this video from Nacho Libre (Jack Black) which she saw on the Irish Calvinist Blog. If you are easily offended don’t watch it…she is my older sister, all complaints should be directed to her…

January 26, 2007 Posted by | Silly Stuff | Leave a comment

The Importance of Reading

Just yesterday I encouraged a young person to change their language about reading. She said: “I suck at reading” as an excuse as to why she couldn’t take my advice to begin to read a book I thought would help her and my encouragement to read the Bible. I told her that we needed to change that, and proceeded to give her a reading assignment.

Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has written an article on the importance of reading that is worth taking a look at: Defining Literacy Down — Do Your Kids Read Books?

ht: Between Two Worlds 

January 25, 2007 Posted by | Christian Living | Leave a comment