Sunday, October 30, 2005

Student punished for blog entry -

First I have to say that anyone is subhuman, regardless of the moral behavior, either genuinely fails to understand what a human is, or it is insulting. I wonder what the school sanctioned means of talking the issue actually is? Perhaps they should publish guideline for taking a controversal position. (End of sarcasm)

Student punished for blog entry - "Ryan Miner says he's willing to risk expulsion rather than write a 10-page essay as ordered by Duquesne University.

The essay on the pros and cons of homosexuality is not homework. It's punishment for his derogatory comments about gays and lesbians -- he called them 'subhuman' in a blog -- and the sanctions have divided Duquesne's campus.

'I believe as a student that my First Amendment rights in the Constitution were subverted and attacked,' said Miner, 19, a sophomore from Hagerstown, Md.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Theology of Asthetics: Emotional Response To Truth

I am sort of a person of intense emotions, but I am driven by my thoughts. I am amazed how many people do not take me seriously when I look at a situation and I feel strongly about it. I am amazed that people count raw facts without emotion attached as more true than facts with emotion attached. In a sense, whether someone feels that Auschwitz was terrible or not does not really make a difference as to whether it actually was terrible. But the fact that Auschwitz was terrible must be felt if it is known. Truth and the emotional response to that truth can not really be separated.

At the same time, some truths are not allowed to be perceived if we have a emotional state that does not allow the perception of a truth. For instance, I had a friend who years ago was involved in a church planting effort. He was working hard and doing as much as he could to make it all work. His church planting effort was not working out though he was trying his best. But he being a harding working, keep your chin up, do right kind of a guy, did not want to give up or even think negatively. One day he caught the flu. As he was sick he started feeling bad emotionally. He started to look at the facts that the church planting effort was not successful. After he got better from his illness, he looked back at the emotional low point as a good thing because he was able to realize what the actual facts were. He moved to another established church and is doing well. His optimistic, keep your chin up attitude hindered his evaluation of his ministry.

There is not a lot of explicit theology of emotions in the Scriptures. However, emotions are expressed in a wide variety of situations. I would say that is because emotions are seen as a response to truth. However in our post-modern world, we see emotions as a result of biochemical processes. We see the most important factor in a person's emotional state as his or her biochemical processes, we hold to a world view of view of biochemical determinism. We see emotions as the result of sleep habit, food and drink consumed, and stress. When we see emotions as merely the result of chemical issues, that means the problem of negative emotions is a chemical solution. But I digress. Then when we approach the Scriptures and the emotions as expressed therein, we see it through the glasses of our modern biochemical deterministic world view. In other words, the emotions expressed in Scripture is disassociated with the truth expressed in Scripture. So when we approach how psalmist felt about his exile to Babylon, we already have a theology that the psalmist was depressed which affected his message. It can't be that the psalmist was dealing with a gloomy subject that required someone to mourn. (Of course we don't mourn, we experience depression instead. There is an object of loss with mourning, depression is treated as a disease.)

I would propose that a theology of emotions requires us to see our emotional states as responses to truths. There is a time to mourn and a time to rejoice.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Tally Times: Frances Schaeffer's Effect on Modern Society

Wondering what the deal is with Franscis Schaffer? Who reads him anyway? Check out my daughters post on the good Dr.

Tally Times: Frances Schaeffer's Effect on Modern Society: "Frances Schaeffer's Effect on Modern Society

Francis Schaeffer has affected society with his theology through his books, his friendships, his films, his preaching, his children, and his retreat home for learning: L'Abri."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Reformation Day Approaching

Luther's Thesis 37 "Any true Christian, living or dead, partakes of all the benefits of Christ and the Church, which is the gift of God, even without letters of pardon."

I was amazed to read in a history of the printing press that while the press was used to print theological tracts, it was also used to print letters of indulgence, here in Luther's 37th called letters of pardon. It makes me think that blogging and other communications technologies can be used to strengthen the church or lead her astray. I think of Televangelists who made the medium of TV one of money raising. It seems we could do the same with the Internet, blogging, etc...

In this thesis there seems to be a disconnect between the organizational church and the life of the Christian. Rather than the organizational church affirming the work of the Spirit, it had a seperation way of salvation, namely through indulgences. The church as an organization should always remember her power and authority are derived from her Head, Christ Jesus.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

Number One

When Luther nailed his 95 thesis the door of the Wittenburg church he had a lot of topics to cover. The first thesis for debate is this:

"Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, in saying 'Repent ye,etc.' meant the whole life of the faithful to be an act of repentance."

As we come to this Reformation day, let us think about what it means to live our lives as expressions of repentance. Repentance is not merely walking down to alter and saying the sinners prayer. Every day should become an expression of repentance.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Leading Up to The Reformation: The Scriptures Alone

The Emerging Church is a movement which defies definition. One aspect of this Christian movement has been the casting off the bonds of tradition. More importantly, Christ in the Scriptures directs us away from the traditions of men to follow the living God when he said, “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." Mark 7:8 (NIV) This generation may feel that it is the first to challenge authority. However, it could be argued that casting off tradition is the hallmark of the Protestant tradition. John Wycliffe is called “Morning Star of the Reformation” for his teachings against the traditions of men found in the Roman Catholic Church. Wycliffe taught the proper place of ecclesiastical authority, against transubstantiation, and the authority of the Scriptures.
John Wycliffe was born of Saxon extraction around the year A.D. 1324 in Wycliffe Manor in Yorkshire, England. He was both an academic at Oxford University and a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. He held several posts to include warden at Cantebury Hall (1365). Archbishop Simon Langham removed Wycliffe from his position at Cantebury Hall in order to give it to another. Wycliffe appealed the matter to the Pope Urban V. After nine years of considering the matter, another Pope, Gregory XI denied his appeal. His critics thought Wycliffe's reforms were motivated by these injustices. Wycliffe was appointed by the king to the church of Lutterworth (1374), a position he held the rest of his life.
John Wycliffe was enlisted in service to the King as chaplain to the court. On the official documents, he is listed as the second delegate to negotiate at Bruges against payment of tribute to the papacy. At Bruges Wycliffe began a long term association with John of Gaunt, who would later protect Wycliffe. He was not included in the second set of talks, presumably because of staunch positions.
Upon the return from Bruges, he began his career as a reformer. A central theme to many of his ideas revolve around the topic of authority. His position regarding ecclesiastical authority was that it was not an absolute power but derived from God as long as it was faithful to teaching of the Scriptures. This was in direct conflict with how the papacy exercised powers over the civil governments at the time. Not only did he attack the civil authority of the papacy, he chipped away at one of the papacy's sources of power, the sacraments, when he denied transubstantiation. This doctrine stated that the Eucharist became the actual body and blood of Christ. Wycliffe taught that the presence of Christ came as the members of the church believed in faith.
Wycliffe was not attempting merely to deride the authority of ecclesiastical structures. Wycliffe taught that Scripture was the only source of authority and it should be given to the common Christian. To put his beliefs into practice, he developed two innovations. First, he developed band of poor preachers to take the Scriptures to the common people. The poor preachers ministered to the poor whom Wycliffe considered to be neglected by the Friars. His band of preachers also took tracts developed by Wycliffe with them on their iterate preaching missions. Secondly, Wycliffe translated the Scriptures from the Latin Vulgate version into English. It was a word for word translation which stuck to the Latin word order even when normal English would not call for the same. He probably did this so that his translation would not be accused of failing to be faithful. His translation became of part of the English Christian heritage. He set in motion reforms not only in his home country but also in Bohemia when his student returned with the their notes and Wycliffe's radical ideas. Wycliffe is important for articulating that the Scriptures are the final authority instead of ecclesiastical structures.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ashley Langford: Can The Lost Be Found?

Reprint of a Lost Quiz: This quiz is heavy on the Lost trivia and light on cute assessments of your personality. Check it out.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Common Census: I live in the Baltimore-Washington Area

I just took the CommonCensus poll featured in Wired News.

The CommonCensus Map Project is redrawing the map of the United States based on Internet users' voting, to show how the country is organized culturally, as opposed to traditional political boundaries. It shows how the country is divided into 'spheres of influence' between different cities at the national, regional, and local levels.

This information will finally settle the question over where disputed cultural boundaries lie (like between New York City and Upstate New York), contribute to the national debate over Congressional redistricting, and educate people everywhere as to the true layout of the American people that they've never seen on any map before.

Participation takes just 12 clicks.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Venezuela to Expel New Tribes Mission - Christianity Today Magazine

I'm saddened to hear this report. I really don't think the CIA wants to hire missionaries. It just would not be their style.

Venezuela to Expel New Tribes Mission - Christianity Today Magazine: "In what appears to be the latest consequence of broadcaster Pat Robertson's August call for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's assassination, Chavez announced plans to expel from the country New Tribes Mission, a church-planting and Bible-translating mission agency.

Describing New Tribes Mission (NTM) as a 'true imperialist infiltration that makes me ashamed,' Chavez declared he was fed up with 'colonialism' and accused the mission group of links to the CIA, spying on Venezuela, and exploiting indigenous people. 'We don't want New Tribes here,' he said."

Wired News: What Would Jesus Blog?

GodBlogCon God Blog Convention

I am a frequent reader of Wired. At one time they had a lot of interesting things to say about religion and the Internet. (i.e. "God" at one time was one of the most commonly search items on the Internet. What exactly are they finding when they searched for him there.) Lately most of their articles on religion are tongue in cheek or derogetory. This one is a little tongue in cheek but not too bad. I'm glad to see they did cover the God Blog event.

Wired News: What Would Jesus Blog?: "What would Jesus blog? That and other pressing questions drew 135 Christians to Southern California this weekend for a national conference billed as the first-ever for 'God bloggers,' a growing community of online writers who exchange information and analyze current events from a Christian perspective." Follow the link to get the rest...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Mars Hill Audio Journal

I have just discovered the Mars Hill Audio Journal. I have to say I am impressed and a subscription is going on my Christmas list. If you are not familiar with their material they have some free mp3s to check out which they dub as "Bonus Selections".

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - Politics - Bloggers Seek to Mix Faith and the Internet

I wish I were going to this convention. Oh, yeah... - Politics - Bloggers Seek to Mix Faith and the Internet: "Bloggers Seek to Mix Faith and the Internet
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
By Greg Simmon
WASHINGTON — When Johann Gutenberg's printing press began churning out Bibles in the 15th century, the new theology helped usher in a new era of religion in Europe.

Nearly 600 years later, some think that increasingly popular Web logs — the Internet's version of personal journals, pamphleteering and issue forums all wrapped in one — combined with traditional religious beliefs could once again take people on a new, uncharted course.

Click the link to read the rest...
" - Irratating. Interupted. Chaotic. Exasperating.

Growing up in the Mid-West, Christianity Today magazine was on the library shelves. I read it often and it helped develop my concern for the poor. It also introduced me to J.I. Packer. In short I love the magazine.

However, I do not frequently visit their website because it is way too busy. Christianity Today has several magazines, Leadership, Christian History and the list goes on. Instead of having a webportal that takes you to these various venues, they have placed the whole of their publishing empire on the top site. I am guessing this why the font is way to small for us with over 40 eyes.

As a student of preaching, I always want to be Word centric. However, I think they could use much more graphics and less text.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Jungle Pop

Please visit Jungle Pop. According to, A popsicle is a trademark used for a colored, flavored ice confection with one or two flat sticks for a handle.

The coolest thing about Jungle Pop is the cool popsicle icon in my URL bar. Blog on brother...

Jungle Pop: "*thunk thunk* (Is This Thing On?)

Greetings, and welcome (back)! Most of you are here because you've been a reader of my Former Blog and want to continue abusing me here. :^) The rest of you are here because you've heard so much about this hot new blog Jungle Pop and want to see it for yourselves. Heh."

Luis Palau and Jack Yoest

Interesting post by Jack Yoest.

Jack Yoest at "Your Business Blogger met Luis Palau as he was giving a talk on the DC Festival coming up this weekend in the Nation's Capital on October 8 & 9. The expected attendance is 100,000.

'What was the biggest logistical challenge of having the Festival here in Washington, DC?' I asked Dr. Palau."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Politics Test

At the goading of the Gadfly I took the Politics Test. I think some people would be surprised find out I'm a Social Liberal.

You are a

Social Liberal
(61% permissive)

and an...

Economic Moderate
(56% permissive)

You are best described as a: Centrist

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

loc: (43, 24)
modscore: (34, 37)
raw: (3234)