The Temple

Herb Meyer on Global Issues

My Father in law sent me this essay by Herb Meyer. I know nothing about the man but found the essay fascinating, and it seems to make sense. So I am passing it along for your reading enjoyment and enlightenment.

FYI about the author.

Herb Meyer served during the Reagan administration as special assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. In these positions, he managed production of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates and other top-secret projections for the President and his national security advisers.

Meyer is widely credited with being the first senior U.S. Government official to forecast the Soviet Union’s collapse, for which he later was awarded the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Intelligence community’s highest honor. Formerly an associate editor of FORTUNE, he is also the author of several books.




Currently, there are four major transformations that are shaping political, economic and world events. These transformations have profound implications for American business owners, our culture and our way of life.

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May 30, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Culture - Values, Politics and Religion | 5 Comments

Your Impression of Your Church

Michael Spencer writes a provocative and personal piece about church titled “On Going Back to a SBC Church.” I have been having discussions with different people about their impressions of their churches and their disappointments and joys. I would be interested in your views…leave a comment.

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May 17, 2007 Posted by | Christian Living, Christianity, Church | 3 Comments

Kenosis Theory

Maybe you have heard of it.

The Kenosis Theory has to do with the nature of Jesus. Orthodox Christian doctrine states that Jesus was and is fully God and fully man. Kenosis theory states that in his incarnation, Jesus gave up some of his divine attributes, typically his omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience. The theory was popular around the turn of the twentieth century, finding it’s beginnings at the beginning of the 19th century. This doctrine diminishes the deity of Christ and has been dismissed amongst Christians. Not everyone has gotten the memo.

Typically this issue is raised with passages like Mark 13:32: “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Often the answer given is the Kenosis theory. Basically the Kenosis theory answer goes like this: Jesus laid aside his omniscience when he took on humanity and this is why he “doesn’t know.”

Now the word kenosis comes from the Greek word kenoo, which means “to empty.” It is used in Philippians 2 and based upon a bad interpretation of this passage, people have concluded that Paul is referring to the nature of Christ in this passage. He is not.

Now, I have heard one popular pastor/radio personality consistently and regularly use Kenosis Theory to answer this particular question. I have written two letters to him in the past (and received no reply), and will write him another with regard to this particular instance. But since he is so prominent (especially in my region of the country) and is on the radio here (one of the few options for Christian radio in our region) I am going public in this blog in pointing out that Chuck Smith (Calvary Chapel) holds to the Kenosis theory. Some have called kenosis theory a heresy. In fact in an unfortunate juxtoposition of questions and answers, Chuck Smith referred his listeners to Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) to get information about Christadelphians in one call, then referred to Kenosis Theory in the next. CARM categorizes Kenosis Theory as a heresy and a dangerous doctrine (Click here for article on Kenosis at CARM).

I don’t know who Chuck listens to, obviously it isn’t me – but it needs to be pointed out to him. This is not a small error, it has to do with the nature of Christ. Years ago, Benny Hinn described God has being three trinities. Each person of the trinity is himself a trinity, there are nine of them.

Who disciplines these guys when they speak and teach things contrary to Christian doctrine? That is an important discussion that needs to happen in the church.

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May 14, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Church, Theological | 13 Comments

I Love God More Than My Mother

This Week’s Sermon…

My mother had power in my life. I am sure that your mother had power in your life. That power came in many ways, in many forms, with many patterns, strategies and results. Nonetheless, a case could be made for everyone in this room that your mother was and is the most powerful person in your life. You might be here this morning simply because your mother wanted you to be here – no one else could get you here, not even God himself, but your mother did.

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May 13, 2007 Posted by | Christian Living, Culture - Values, Devotional, Sermons | 1 Comment

Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort on Nightline

Last night on Nightline Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort “debated” two atheists from (Brian Sapient and Kelly) from Rational Response. You can watch the videos here.

If you are like me you will be embarrassed by their effort. Many are giving them credit for trying. I don’t. People should know and recognize their limits. Kirk Cameron should not be arguing science and philosophy as a representative of Christianity. You wouldn’t. You would decline because you recognize your limits. That is what these two should have done and declined the appearance on Nightline. Not all television appearance opportunities are good opportunities. Any “educated” Pastor could have done better. There are thousands of Seminary professors and college professors who are more than qualified to come on a national TV show and represent our position for all of us. Kirk Cameron is a good guy and apparently a fairly competent Christian lay-person. Ray Comfort also seems like a great guy and a good communicator at a particular level, he is a popular preacher, but not an academic or intellectual. This discussion required an academic, a scholar who could speak at these issues appropriately. What we got instead was a personal appeal to personal faith, not a presentation of theism and foundational belief in God. They should have made an effort to use their media contacts to place a more appropriate representative on that stage.

Evolution vs. Creationism has nothing to do with the argument for the existence of God. Evolution does not preclude belief in God. Disproving Evolution does not prove the existence of God. All the discussion with regards to evolution moved the discussion away from the discussion about God’s existence. This is a common mistake made in debates about God’s existence. The fallacious assumption is that if I prove Evolution I have disproved God, or vice versa. Many theists hold to evolutionary theory. They are not mutually exclusive positions.

The end result of this program was the sharing of a lot of emotion (could Kelly have been any angrier?) and attempted sound bites.

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May 10, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, God's Existence, Philosophy | 31 Comments

ETS Statement Re: Beckwith Resignation

Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) posted this response to the resignation of Francis Beckwith.

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May 8, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Theological | Leave a comment

Is Christianity Good for the World

Christianity Today is hosting an online (written) debate/dialog between atheist Christopher Hitchens and theologian Douglas Wilson. This is interesting in light of the goings on the last few months here at the Temple. Also, tomorrow night on ABC there will be a televised debate between Ray Comfort and a leading Atheist. The debate will be broadcast in part on Nightline Wednesday night, or the full broadcast can be seen on their website, starting at 1pm ET.

I hope he doesn’t pull out a banana…

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May 8, 2007 Posted by | God's Existence | Leave a comment

Herod’s Grave Found

27 years ago I visited the Herodium, located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem and was amazed at the site. Ehud Netzer has been excavating and researching the Herodium since 1972. He has discovered the site of Herod’s tomb. Amazing. Read the story here: Haaretz.

ht: Between Two Worlds

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May 7, 2007 Posted by | Archeology | Leave a comment

Francis Beckwith and ETS

Francis Beckwith was the President of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). He has recently left his current church membership to return the the church of his youth and upbringing, The Roman Catholic Church. You can read about his decision in Right Reason.

A few comments.

Francis Beckwith can belong to any church he wants to belong to. Here is the first paragraph of his explanation:

During the last week of March 2007, after much prayer, counsel and consideration, my wife and I decided to seek full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. My wife, a baptized Presbyterian, is going through the process of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). This will culminate with her receiving the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation. For me, because I had received the sacraments of Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation all before the age of 14, I need only go to confession, request forgiveness for my sins, ask to be received back into the Church, and receive absolution.

I can only guess that one of the sins that he would need to be forgiven of would be the sin of leaving the church, and corresponding to that the sin of belonging to a non-Roman Catholic church. Just a guess, and I am desirous of correction, but isn’t that the underlying presumption. Had Beckwith left whatever church he had been attending and come to our denomination, he wouldn’t have to repent of his association with that particular church. It is interesting to me that a church would demand that a man of Mr. Beckwith’s obvious spiritual stature. Would he not already have asked for forgiveness, and received it without a visit to the local confessional? But I am offended that his association with us would be considered something needing repentance.

I have never been a member of ETS, and have no standing or voice in that group – but it is interesting to me that they would have still allowed Beckwith to be a member in that organization. Their doctrinal statement is:

“The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.”

That’s it.

So back in the 80’s they kicked one of my favorite human beings out of their society for his views on the use of redaction in the New Testament. He still held to inerrancy. He still held a trinitarian position. But ETS is not a fan of redaction criticism so he was asked to leave. In recent years, Open Theists have been allowed to remain. And now, it would be OK to be a Roman Catholic and remain in ETS. I am sure there will be many discussions about this in their next meeting in November in San Diego. Maybe I will go.

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May 7, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Theological | 4 Comments

Roger Clemens Should be Ashamed of Himself

I am a baseball nut. Dodger brand. Still playing at 47 (old man’s version). Volunteer to umpire 7-8 year olds (Pinto in PONY Baseball). And my opinion is that Roger Clemens should be ashamed of himself ; the Yankees and George Steinbrenner should be ashamed of themselves.

I pay to play (our team is NCC, short for Nuevo Community Church)…and I would never play for “In His Image” or “Lighthouse” or any other team we compete against. Never. End of story. And we play for t-shirts. What is up with players who when they move on, move on to the rival? When Giambi jumped ship after coming so close to beating the dreaded Yankees, I wanted to puke! I still have a hard time when I see Jeff Kent in a Dodger’s uniform.

The problem with major league baseball, and pro sports in general is summed up in Roger Clemen’s form of extreme “free agency.” It should be against the rules to have a player “retire” just to sit out the first few months of the season and pick and choose where he will play. It isn’t good for baseball. It is a horrible precedent and doesn’t bode well for the future if it is allowed to continue. All that talk of Pettitte and Clemens going back to Houston to lead them to the pennant is an obnoxious memory. “Just do it,” or give back the cleats!! Don’t blame the run support, lots of teams have won without run support. Especially teams with “pitching.” Now they are both playing for the dark side. I am amending a funny bumper sticker for the occasion. “Frodo failed, Steinbrenner has the ring.”

Here is a plea for more players like Tony Gwynn possibly our era’s best hitter who played for the San Diego Padre’s his entire career. MLB needs more players like Cal Ripken, who didn’t have to chose which hat to wear upon entry to the Hall of Fame. Just so you don’t think I am picking on the Yankees – Jeter, Williams Posada and a list of others have been faithful to the Yankees; throw up your hands in protest. You don’t need Roger!!!

It is inevitable that players will change teams, either by trade or free agency – but that is not what is happening with Roger Clemens. He is selling out, for a cheap ring. At least work in Spring Training for your ring. He has more than enough money to buy a ring at Robbins Bros. And travel with your team. What happened to being a part of the team. This is a blog called the Temple so I will refrain from cliches about people who think they are too good for others.

Now the talking heads are justifying the move with statements like: “Roger’s a businessman.” What a crock. Roger is a thief. The fan’s deserve better than this. The fans of Houston deserve better. The fans of Boston and Toronto. The fans in New York. How is this baseball? He is making more money than the entire Tampa Bay Devil Rays roster, combined. Maybe I don’t understand the “business” end of baseball, but I do understand the game. This is not the game, so…

  • Here’s to a sore elbow and shoulder.
  • Here’s to Tampa Bay knocking him out in the second inning.
  • Here’s to a 6.50 era.
  • Here’s to Oakland beating the Yankees in the playoffs.
  • Here’s to Steinbrenner spending all his money and the Yankees coming in second place.
  • Here’s to the Yankees missing the wild card spot by 1 game to Minnesota.

I might even send up an imprecatory prayer or two, maybe God is a baseball fan.

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May 7, 2007 Posted by | Baseball, Culture - Values | 4 Comments