Friday, December 31, 2004
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
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
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
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
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
Since I'm brainstorming I would like to hear other's reactions and ideas.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
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?
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Friday, December 17, 2004
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.
| Which member of the JLA are you?|
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.
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Thursday, December 16, 2004
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 -
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.
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.
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.
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
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Friday, December 03, 2004
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
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
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
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.
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days.
And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
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.