Friday, December 31, 2004

New Years

I have been journaling for years. The past year this activity has turned into blogging instead of journaling. (I am still a secret journal writer just because I like to write. I write in notebooks and on the computer. I even got a palm just to journal on. Okay, I justified it as a schedule mechanism but in reality, it is a tool for journal writing.) This is the time of year that I write about goals and visions. I really is not about resolutions for me, more like brainstorming and reveiwing what I want to acheive. This next year is a new year and what do I want to accomplish?

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Guest Blog

This is a guest blog by the Pruitt Communications daughter #1:

I just got back from college here recently and it has been interesting being at home again. When I had just got back from finals week, my dad was still working on his translation project for semenary. It got me thinking that even after I get my bachalors I still want to take classes, even when I get to be my dad's age or older. Some of my proffesors at school still take classes that are unrelated to their area of expertese, just because they like taking classes. Most of the people in my life that I respect are life-long learners and that is something that I hope that I can emulate. Not all of them take college classes, but they are always learning new things through reading or talking with people. Keeping a broad range of subjects that one can talk about intelligently and being able to bring ideas from other displines into one's area of expertese makes a truly educated person.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

What Do You Mean, Lost

What Do You Mean, Lost

Check out Dr. Bud Powell's parable about lost sheep. Some days I think evangelism is a side issue. I think it has to do with wanting to be successful at things I do. Time to tell the old, old story again to those who have never heard.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

My Dominant Intelligence is Intrapersonal Intelligence





Your Dominant Intelligence is Intrapersonal Intelligence



Reflective and thoughtful, you enjoy spending time alone.
You are good at analyzing yourself - and knowing your true feelings.
Totally self aware, you are in tune with your dreams and desires.
A spiritual and philopsophical person, your inner calmness inspires and helps others.

You would make a great philosopher, researcher, or theorist.



What Kind of Intelligence Do You Have?



Hat Tip: Reverend Mike's House Of Homiletic Hash
By the way, check out Mike's interesting and informative blog.

Singing Praise To Our King

We have a holiday upon us. Music has been a big part of Christmas for me. As a teen I was in the marching band, concert band, and jazz band. The Christmas concert practices always got me in the mood for Christmas before it actually happened. One of my big favorites all time was Russian Christmas Carol. It was an arrangement of a lot of Christmas music from Russia. It has a sort of somber feel to it. I also remember singing various years parts of the Handel's Messiah. You have to love it. Then of course there is the singing of Christmas carols, both in church and on the annual Caroling to the sick and shut-ins.

My pastor mentioned in his sermon last night that the original Greek text of Luke does not specifiy singing done by the angels. He is right, it is 'lego', to say. But lego is the word used often when singing is meant. How do we know the difference?
1.) Does the passage sing?
2.) Is it poetic?

Friday, December 24, 2004

bigred5: Elf-Snow Ball Fight

bigred5: Elf-Snow Ball Fight Check out my wife's recommendation for holiday madness.

Technology Review - Article on Wikipedia and Epistemology

Welcome to Technology Review I think I've blogged about the virtues of Wikipedia before so I'll save it for later. But Technology Review has a good article on Larry Sanger who is a philosopher who started Wikipedia. I would like to read Parableman's take on the philosophical issues raised in the article. (Hey, instead of "Blog This" we need a "Blog That" feature to blogs.) I would like to see a wiki-Bible commentary started, and wiki-Bible encyclopedia and a wiki-community exegesis (analysis of a community for church planting) and other sites to help encourage the church. Doctrinal issues would have to be handled some way. One could require adherance to a creed, work off generally agreed upon evangelical faith statements or something else perhaps.

Since I'm brainstorming I would like to hear other's reactions and ideas.

Archeology Dig Associated With Cana of Galilee

Yahoo! News I'm recommending this video clip regarding pottery shards found by archeologiests. There is no large break through in Biblical archeology, but you do get to see the pottery shards and the landscape of the area. It is worth the couple of minutes to see.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

La Shawn Barber's Corner � Kwanzaa Is for Pagans

La Shawn Barber's Corner � Kwanzaa Is for Pagans this is an posting worthy of reading. La Shawn Barber explains her views on Kwanzaa. Before reading this article I thought the holiday to be benign.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

180 on Buildings

I think I wrote a blog some time ago on my change of heart on church architecture. I followed the idea a few years back that the church was the people so buildings were unimportant. Meeting in schools, theaters and other commercial property was just fine in my mind. From experince, I now know that being in someone else's property taxes your volunteer force. It also affects the asthetics of the worship service.

They are putting up a new church building near my house. I don't know the denomination or even the name of the church. They are replacing a commerical metal frame with a wooden frame. I wonder if that is really all that much of an improvement asthetically and functionally.

The church I visited in Hawaii had a very plain sanctuary with a fantastic circular window behind the pulpit through which the congregation could see the beautiful landscape as the pastor exposited the Word of God.

What is the proper balance between artistic design and proper focus kept on the Word of God?

Who is the right person to design such a balanced building? Where are the Christian architects?

Can existing buildings really be adequately transformed? If so, how?

Normal functional areas of a church are
1. Worship Sanctuary
2. Sunday School Rooms
3. Food and Fellowship Areas
4. Recreation Areas
5. Office and Administration Areas


How much do you need of each? Is only the worship and Sunday School areas the only necessary areas?

Responses welcome!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Deuteronomy 6

When the Lord talks to the children of Israel about teaching his Word to their children, he tells them to talk about it all the time. When the sit in their house, when they travel, when they get up and go to bed. That is all your free time. I see that all our waking moments are to be filled with scripture. But today is the first time I noticed that in the Hebrew the word of God is to posted between our eyes. Deuteronomy 6:8. Talk about putting it right there all the time. :-)

Friday, December 17, 2004

Covenant Books and Coffee

I mentioned yesterday that Barb and I visited the Bookshop and Coffee shop while in Honolulu. The bookshop sells Reformed books. I wish it was not Christmas time so I could spend lots on books. Some of you are probably saying why did you not just buy stuff there for friends and family. Well, gifts are supposed to be for others.

The ministry idea is great, create a place where people can linger and look at great Christian books. The inexpensive but tastie food made it a place to linger even for those not interested in the books. I saw more than one person picking up food as carry out. Here in my own community I don't think the same concept would work since we have a fine bookstore. But the books at Covenant were Reformed and not your usual Christian bookstore mass market. They were definately historic, deep and hard to find titles. I was looking at a Baxter book I thought....

Well, back to reality here. You might find some interesting stuff on their website even if you can't visit in the brick and mortar facility.

Superman


Which member of the JLA are you?

Superman

Rocketed to earth by his parents to escape thier doomed planet Krypton. Kal-El(Clark Kent)'s contact with the Earth's yellow sun gives him amazing abilities that he uses to fight for truth, justice, and the American way. He fills the role of leader in the JLA.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Visiting A Church While Away From Home

When Barbara and I got married we married on a Saturday. Of course the next day was Sunday and so we visited a church though we were on the road. The pastor preached a sermon on going to church while on vacation. I thought, "Man, what perfect timing." Do we really expect all our congregation to visit other congregations while they are on vacation? Barb and I have had both positive and negative experiences visiting a church while on vacation or traveling for work. Once we visited a Presbyterian church while in southern Viginia where they spent most of the worship service time on a business report of some sort. I thought, "Wow, lousy timing on my part". If you are traveling with family or co-workers who don’t share your persuasion, it makes it quadruple the trouble to find and go to church. Then there is the issue of taking kids into a new environment. I’m comfortable going somewhere that is not exactly what I believe, but then are the kids going to have a positive experience? Exactly how do you pick a church while traveling?

Do you select one based on your denomination? You probably will be comfortable theologically and quite possibly regarding worship style but not very adventure some.

Do you visit a large well-known church that is nationally or historically known? You might get to experience something new but you might not really be there enough to connect with what is going on there. I have visited nationally known churches both lead-bleeding edge and historic.

Do you visit a church based on how good their yellow page ad is? Well, this is exactly what I did this past week in Hawaii. I went to the church in Honolulu that advertised itself as “Reformed”, Honolulu Bible Church. They don’t have a website but they do have a great church. So I am writing a review on the worship experience.

Honolulu Bible Church Review -
808-737-0204
1844 PALOLO AVENUE, HONOLULU HI 96816


Order of Worship


The church is a modest size congregation but very much a live in its worship. One unusual aspect of their order of worship was that they did not have any special music. They did instrumentals for the prelude and offertory, but it was just one of the hymns that was sang by the congregation. When the men were finished taking an offering, the instrumentalists were done playing. This sort of sped up the service and kept it moving. They read a couple of the questions and answers from the Heidelberg Catechism. They also sang Psalms. They used the Trinity Hymnal and another book of metrical Psalms. The tunes used were from the Trinity Hymnal and so the tunes were familiar. The order of worship was efficient but did not lack any spiritual depth.

Music

They music style was eclectic. They had a bass guitar and a steel guitar that gave it an modern beat, but violin, piano and organ gave a classical-traditional feel. While the pastor led the music as we sang hymns together, a group of about seven women made up the vocalists. While we sang only hymns and metrical psalms, the music worked. I’m not sure everyone could pull it off like they did. The music was distinctive, interesting and encouraging.

Preaching

The preaching was a sermon on Acts 2. The sermon was basically on tongues and how the modern tongues phenomenon is not actual languages as it was in the book of Acts. The preaching was gracious towards those to whom the pastor would disagree and he ensured that the congregation understood that they should NOT be contentious with their brethren who are in charismatic churches. His sermon was clear and used the scripture well. I believe he connected well with his audience. Solid preaching, I enjoyed it.

Community

The church was a diverse group situated in a suburban neighborhood. I believe some were native Hawaiian. There were people from various Asian backgrounds. Others seemed to be military stationed in Hawaii, and some from the international community working in Hawaii. We had a fifteen year old girl greeted us after the service and ensure we were welcome. One Australian grad student spent time sharing a little of his time with us and invited us to visit the church associated coffee house and bookstore, Covenant Bookstore and Coffee House. In intend to blog about that tomorrow. The church has some other outreach activities; they sponsor R.C. Sproul on the AM 750 radio and they had an Art Club. I'm imagining that the art club is a Francis Schafferish type engagement ministry. The church has a plurality of pastors. I’m not sure if this is a doctrinal issue or an issue of just practicality. But the pastors were friendly too. All in all, it is a friendly church.

I highly recommend visiting Honolulu Bible Church if you are in Hawaii.

I hid the comments because I really don't want negative comments about any congregation stirring up strife. Check out my most called "Traffic Up: Issue Driven"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

ABC TV Show LOST - Found Some Sets

I have spent the past couple of weeks in Hawaii. While there I found in the newspaper several story on my favorite TV Show LOST. I was surprised to find that many of the sets used to produce the show were places I was familar with. The Iraqi camp set was at a park/military facility in Diamondhead crater. The airport scene that supposedly happens in Australia is the Hawaii convention center. The set where some of the show is shot is on Nimitz Highway, the old Xerox building. It's address is 1200 N. Nimitz Highway, Honolulu, HI. I wanted to find the beach where those scenes are shot but no luck there.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Addicted To The Internet

Here I am in the Internet Cafe, and a taxi driver announces, so your addicted to the Internet. I ask him if he was talking to me. Perhaps he was.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Open Office

I was talking to someone the other day who had a problem because their home computer was not equiped with Microsoft Office. In particular, they did not have Microsoft Excel, which by the way is an excellent program. (As a side bar, has a great deal of power to make nicely formated documents.) When I mentioned that they might try Open Office they made a comment about Linux and its future. Aside from the question about Linux, I think there is a mis-perception that the free software movement is all about Linux. Fact: you can download OpenOffice for Windows. I have mostly used Star Office and Open Office outside the Windows. More specifically, I have used Star Office on a Sun workstation and on Mandrake Linux. I have used Open Office on a SUSE Linux machine. While I have not had great success with transfering PowerPoint slides to StarOffice and back to PowerPoint, the Word and Excel documents have pretty much the same formating and functions. The PowerPoint/StarOffice problem is that the functions are the same but the formating is not quite right.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Best Internet Cafe

The idea of the Internet Cafe that sort of came, had a lot of flurry of possibilities and then changed all of a sudden to Wi-Fi hotspots. Don't get me wrong, hotspots are cool but I don't have a laptop. Wi-Fi is cool, but I just have not gone that way. So when I travel I'm always looking for Internet access. I have visited Internet Cafes in various places I've traveled. Most are not reasonable with what they charge or the ease of getting on. I want to tell you about the world's best Internet cafe. It's not far from Wikikie. I think the kicker is their fees are calculated by an application that is always tracking it for you.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Top 10 Words of 2004

...according to searches of Merriam-Webster Web sites. Wouldn't you know what number one would be?

blog

incumbent
electoral
insurgent
hurricane
cicada
peloton
partisan
sovereignty
defenestration

I heard this talked about on a news program, I think CNN. The announcer asked what were people reading that had the word "defenestration" in it, which means thrown out the window, he did not explain that. I looked it up. There are a couple of websites out there using the word. One of them is a swap shop type of website. What are you throwing out your window, others can have it.

Hat Tip: Rebeccah Writes

Lost TV Show on ABC Episode 10 - Raised by Another

So Claire has been to a soothsayer. I was not really comfortable with that. I really don't like the occult but as a plot devise, it is something is really interesting. If you know enough details about cause and effect, you basically have a lot of power. Given that you know an infinate amount of knowledge about what causes what, you can manipulate a lot. Of course if you don't have power, then the knowledge of the future becomes a curse. The psychic's powers are not infinate, but the manipulation he brings to the Claire's future brings an interesting thoughts about the future. I studied futurology for a while. That is not a religious topic, but some academic types look at trends and predict the future based on the logical conclusions to those trends. A famous futurologiest is Alvin Toffler. (By the way, I heard him speak a few years back. I really enjoyed hearing him.) The problem with futurology is that trends don't always continue. Sometimes people don't take it to the next step.

What kind of knowledge does God have of the future? Is it a mystical future? Is it trend analysis? Is it deduced from logic? I beleive he has already experinced the future.

In our human experince, how do we predict the future? Is it by trend analysis? Is it by feeling?

Query you're thoughts!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Book of Galatians Introductory Questions

Book of Galatians Introductory Questions

a. Authorship Who wrote it? (Author) When and Where did he write it? (Date and Place of Origin)

Paul introduces himself as the author of Galatians in chapter one, verse one. The style and content bring no doubt on the authenticity of Pauline authorship. The location from which and the time period in which the book was written is more debatable. These questions are dependent upon the assumption of whom exactly is the audience of the letter. (See section b.) The most likely audience is the churches of the southern Galatia area. Given this assumption, one would conclude that the period the letter was written was before the Jerusalem council mentioned in Acts 15. Looking at the content of Galatians 211-15 and Acts 15 one might conclude that they are separate accounts of the same event. This is problematic because Paul explains his contact with the Apostles and James, the half brother of Jesus, in Galatians. His account is meant to show a balance of respect for other church leaders but also show his true source for authority being the call of God on his life. It would not make sense to detail the number of contacts he had with the Jerusalem leadership and leave out one of the contacts. The most natural way to correlate Acts and Galatians accounts of Paul's first and second visits to Jerusalem are as follows

First Visit

Acts 9:26
And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.

Galatians 1:18
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days.


Second Visit

Acts 11:30
And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

Galatians 2:1
Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me.

This second visit was one that is not detailed in Acts but is explained at length in Galatians. This second visit proceeded the Jerusalem council and probably prepared them to deal with these issues later. The Jerusalem council of Acts 15 has been placed at about A.D. 48 and the letter of Galatians just shortly before the council in A.D. 48. Perhaps Paul was in Antioch when he wrote the letter (Acts 1426).

b. Audience To whom did he write it? (Destination, Readers) Characteristics
Non-Christian or Christian; Jewish or Gentile (if mixed, which predominates?)

The term Galatian initially referred to the Gaul tribes living in the north central part of what is now the Turkish peninsula. They settled this region in the third century B.C. The Galatian kingdom was expanded south in the first century B.C. The Romans took over the kingdom and made it a province. So under the Romans, the province included ethnic Galatians in the north and a mix of peoples in the south. This southern area also included Jews of the Diaspora. Later, after the third century, the Romans changed the Galatian border by moving it north so the southern cities were excluded from the provience. Traditionally the church has thought of the term Galatian to mean the northern area, thinking in terms of the later Roman provience. This may be because subsequent generations of Christians assumed that Paul meant the same thing they did when he used the term Galatian. Some what analogous, we do not mean the same area as Lewis and Clark did when we say Louisiana.
The substantive arguments for a southern Galatian audeince are linguistic and geographic. Of linguistic arguments, we have already alluded to the fact that it is not enough to merely assert that Galatian means Gaul. Place names and ethnic groups are dynamic and change with time and usage. Paul often used Roman imperial names which would included the southern part of Galatia. According to F.F. Bruce, the best meaning of Òthe region of Phrygia and GalatiaÓ in Acts 166 and its parallel passages is as follows

"the territory through which Paul and his friends passed after leaving Lystra, the territory in which Iconium and Pisidian Antioch were situated."

From a perspective of geography, the challenges of travel in ancient times make it likely that Paul, who was suffering from a malady, would stick to well established routes. The northern route does not seem to be a well traveled route and was rural in nature. Paul tended to stick to cities, at least in evangelizing. Additionally, the Jewish Diaspora was not well settling in northern Galatia. The emphasis on circumcision is more likely to come out of a community which was at least familiar with this Jewish practice. The audience is definitely Gentile who were being asked to take on Jewish covenant sign of circumcision.

c. Composition Why did he write it? (Occasion and Purpose/Theme)

Paul is up front with his intention for writing; the Galatians were abandoning the Gospel for another. There were those who promoted circumcision and thwarted the freedom of the Gospel. Given the questions of authority addressed by Paul, these promoters of circumcision may have been asserting their own authority. They may have been Jewish or Gentile but they claimed legitimacy based on their circumcision (Gal 512) and the Jewish law. Not only does Paul counter their claims by explaining the freedom of the new covenant, he addresses issues of a moral life. Possibly he addresses this to clarify that Christian freedom is not freedom to do evil. In this way he would preempt any opposition which would say Paul was promoting immorality. Again PaulÕs main concern is that the Gospel of Christ not be replaced by a system of merit based on Jewish law.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Repetition As A Teaching Technique

After reading David Dorsey on the Old Testament I see the stories in the Pentatuch differently. I have always loved Genesis and Exodus, basically the narratives. But Deuteronomy and other books of the law I endured. But after reading Dorsey, I see the repetition as a teaching technique. I am enjoying the books of the Law more.