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Happy New Year! 

Wow, 2008 went by fast with a lot of dramatic events. I pray this year is productive for the church in ministering the Gospel to a dying world, that the Lord would continue to prod us all toward holiness and, that by His grace, we would find the final freedom and acceptance in the promises of the Gospel that would make us productive for His glory. Have a great year!

For everyone's information, I am currently in the process of converting over this current blog to a new blogging platform that will make writing on here much more versatile and simplistic. This is going to take some time as I have some design considerations to mull over and I have to convert over 682 entries (164 of which are already done). All that to say, I may not write anything for a little while until I get that done and get the new site up and running.
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A Honest Criticism of My Own Life 

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After reading this article by Keller, and reading more in The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges, I feel like too many times, what I write on here fits the mold of what Keller and Bridges describe, and this is deeply convicting to me. After reading Keller's article, I feel like for a second I had an outside perspective of the way others may be perceiving how I come across as well as the way I truly am sometimes.

As I posted recently on here, my blog compromises only a small fraction of my life. But regardless, how I come across may be exactly how some people view me all the time: arrogant, frustrated, self-righteous, etc. I don't feel like this most of the time, but in all honesty before people reading this, I am that sometimes. This is sin and I deeply need the grace and mercy of Christ provided in His cross and resurrection to cleanse me. Read More...
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Driven By Purposes or Promises? - Michael Horton 

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Babylon the Great and Our Souls' Final Satisfaction 

"And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls. 'The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your delicacies and your splendors are lost to you, never to be found again!'" - Revelation 18:11-14

This is the culmination of judgment that will come upon the earth at the end of time. The Lord strikes the economic prosperity of the world, bringing it into utter devastation for its idolatry and extreme extravagance that is served as a god through exchanging the glory of God for junk. (Lest you think I will be correlating this to our modern day economic situation, think otherwise).

Of particular interest is the verse that says, "The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your delicacies and your splendors are lost to you, never to be found again!" If your god is stuff, this is a frightening prospect because you find (or attempt to find) your ultimate satisfaction in possessions and if this gets taken from you to this degree, you will want to die, or the ever so great "weep and mourn."

But this passage also got me to thinking about John Piper's book God is the Gospel in which he asks a simple question to Christians and non-Christians alike concerning heaven: Read More...
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How Fascinating - Unintended Pragmatic Results 

"Most Americans who have an opinion about Warren like him and his best-selling self-help tome, 'The Purpose Driven Life.'" - Fred R. Conrad

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Who do you think this quote came from? A uber-critical, dry, boring, non-evangelistic Reformed guy, criticizing Warren's work as self-help? Or maybe it's a 'fundeementaleest' who views everything through the grid of his own backwoods traditions (KJVO, alcohol is sin, etc)? Nope, this is coming from a educated, city-dwelling, far-left liberal secularist. I find it absolutely fascinating he would label Warren's book self-help. And I don't disagree really. Self-help Christianity about sums it up. The message of the book is find your purpose in life, God's way. You initiate, you are the starting point for all that is in your life. If that is how the world takes it, could that be considered a gospel, when confronted with their own powerlessness, failures in sin, everyday, and the catastrophe it leaves in its wake? "Here are some helpful steps on HOW TO do ____," just doesn't help any one, especially as it relates to Christianity who has the true answer: we're helpless and need Christ to redeem us.

I am critical of Warren's strategy and book, but try to be generous and point out positives at times for the amount of good I have seen, which I do affirm some good has come out of it. The Lord works in ways that are unknown to us many times, even when we see something is flawed and potentially poisonous. The Lord used TBN in my life to hit me with the reality of God's grace through Scriptures they were presenting on the screen one summer night in '96. So many times, what we think is foolish is what God can use to bring people to faith. And yet at the same time, we also have 2000 years of church history showing things we can do better by learning from our mistakes and the tragedy left behind.

So in light of this quote, the world, the very people the book has been geared toward, assign Warren's book the category of self-help. People in our culture, many of them who are antagonistic to Christianity, view Warren's book not even as a "verion" of another good news story (a gospel) amongst the plethora that are out there convincing people of their supposed truth. But they view it as self-help. Interesting. Read More...
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A Beautiful Picture of Justification 

"Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, 'The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?' Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, 'Remove the filthy garments from him.' And to him he said, 'Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.' And I said, 'Let them put a clean turban on his head.' So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments." - Zechariah 3:1-5

I came across this passage recently in my reading plan. This is such a wonderful illustration and picture of what being justified in God's presence looks like. Notice Satan is there to accuse Joshua. By all means, Joshua was guilty of his own sins, being displayed in this passage by the filthy garments he was wearing. And then the angel of the Lord removes his dirty garments and puts clean garments on him instead, garments that he himself had not made clean by any effort of his own. It was all an external work on his behalf, given to him as a gracious gift. Read More...
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The Downside to Blogging 

One thing I have increasingly observed and noticed among people who comment or send me messages is that they perceive my blog to be my entire summed up thinking. In all reality, this site is like 1/10 (perhaps an even higher ratio, like 1/15) of my total summed up spiritual life. That is to say, my blog is simply a sounding board for whatever the subject is I happen to be thinking through at the moment. I could honestly care less if anyone reads it, it's just more of a public diary of thoughts. Yet this does not mean this is the only thing I'm thinking about concerning my life in Christ. I'm just writing on whatever the particular subject is I happen to find important. It seems some people perceive bloggers as sitting behind a keyboard, brows furroughed, gritting their teeth, sweating in angst. Many are, but I don't think I'm one of them. I'm supremely happy in Christ and joyful in the Lord and what He's accomplished for me. It's what drives the things I do. Do I struggle with anger, my own misery? Surely.

But people perceive me as being supremely negative, especially as it pertains to apologetics posts, when of nencessity, apologetics is logically denouncing another view as false from Scripture or reason. Some relativistic secularists seem to think that's just too negative though and we need to be more positive and uplifting. Tell that to Jesus when reading the Gospels and He's speaking parables. We talk all well and good about being like Jesus and yet ignore the fact that part of that is speaking into the world that it's views are just wrong. Jesus was a very serious person in His earthly ministry. It's not arrogant to say that something is wrong based on Scriptural evidence because it's true. Read More...
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One of My Favorite Songs From Boards of Canada 

Boards of Canada - Poppy Seed (Remix of song by Slag Boom Van Loon)

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I like this song because of the emotional sense of seriousness and urgency it conveys. And I just think it grooves.

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What Is Christmas About? - The Good News of An Objective Salvation 

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