The 'I Am Second' Campaign - A Review 

(Original): http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent ... db4dd.html
(Archived): http://www.westerfunk.net/archives/chri ... %20Second/

Being an evangelical Christian in our culture and at the same time being bombarded with these techniques of the evangelical church of which I am apart, in the name of witnessing on our freeways, makes it very hard not to say things that concern me. For the record, I do believe some positive can come out of this whole "I am second" campaign. I would not even presume to know what God is up to. But there are factors which are concerning about this strategy, factors of which are indicative about our own movements beliefs.

I posted recently that I myself need to be careful about my own personal criticism of the church at large, and I still hold to that. What I'm warning myself and others about is the tendency toward uber-criticism, that is, a critical spirit. My criticism can quickly turn to bitterness, anger, and frustration at what I'm seeing and it can consume me, much in the same way any other sin can. A legitimate concern (something good in itself) becoming an idol or obsession: this is sin. And boy are we sinners good at taking something good and corrupting it! I must watch over my own heart and it's quick slide into arrogance, as we all do in whatever our pet sins are. The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things, who can understand it? I surely don't.

Yet at the same time I must be honest and truthful with what is going on in the world around me (particularly as it concerns my own Christian grouping of which I consider myself apart) while not letting those things turn into uber-frustration at the expense of the glory of God and His sovereignty in all of it (my own personal holiness and sinfulness). Please understand that this is more of a call to first clearly understand the Gospel ourselves (continuing to do this our whole lives in studying Scripture) and then clearly proclaim that Gospel message to the world around us, unhindered. Read More...
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A Great Summation of the Entire Bible and Particularly the Gospel 

I found this on the front page of theopedia.org:

"The message of Christianity is that the God who created the heavens and the earth identified himself with the people of Israel and related to them in a way that pointed to the needed coming of the Messiah. This Messiah would atone for our transgressions, conquer the power of sin and death, empower us by the Spirit to obey from the heart, and gather his people unto everlasting joy. The Messiah came, was born of a virgin, lived and talked and worked in a way that identified him as the Only Begotten Son of God, and died on a cross. After three days Jesus triumphantly resurrected from the dead. He appeared to the apostles and over 500 other disciples. All who will turn in their hearts from sin and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in him for forgiveness and eternal life, will be saved from hell and enjoy personal fellowship with God and his people."
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A Call To Move Forward - The Practical Results of Seeker-Sensitivity 

As Carl Trueman on Reformation21.org and Al Mohler on almohler.com have pointed out recently, something is so fascinating with the recent wave of criticism by the left of Obama asking Rick Warren to perform the invocation at his inauguration (which I must give Obama credit on being a consistent relativist as opposed to others on the far-left): no matter how friendly, or nice, or palatable or seeker-friendly you make your message concerning what Scripture says about God's Law or the Gospel itself, those who are unbelieving and God-hating, those who are adamantly opposed to what is said still view you as a crazy, fanatical nut.

Warren even goes so far as to be a middle-of-the-road kind of guy politically speaking, I'm guessing with the hope with bridging a cultural divide. Yet it seems to not matter to those who hate Scripture. Now Obama is receiving a backlash of criticism from the far-left gay rights community for asking Warren to do the prayer, as well as those who simply believe in the normalcy of homosexuality, because Warren believes it to be sin according to Scripture. And in doing so, they believe Warren to be a "fundeemeentaleest," even though he has gone to great lengths to make his message more acceptable to a hostile, post-Christian (quickly becoming anti-Christian) culture. Read More...
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Illustrating Total Depravity 

News as entertainment dominates our culture. It has for quite a while. This can be clearly seen in the recent Caylee Anthony story, the little girl who was allegedly killed by her own mother. Of course this is an unbelievably sad story and the pain caused by such a tragic act is tremendous for all parties involved. It should break our own hearts that this kind of wickedness happens, because it breaks the Lord's heart. I do not intend to minimize any of this with my comments. But I do intend to attack the obsession our culture has on this story and how as Christians we need to watch our own hearts that we not fall into such wicked fixation, intending to puff ourselves up in our own supposed righteousness that we are somehow better than Caylee's mother.

For the past year or so, ever since it broke, there has been an incessant fixation of the media upon this story. In particular, Nancy Grace has "Breaking News!" every night on her program concerning this case. I can't think of a time I haven't flipped past CNN that she hasn't been ranting on and on about this story. It's just sickening to me. We make celebrities out of murderers and every shred of "new" information that comes out of this story is somehow the greatest and biggest show-stopper in our lives, like it's a living and breathing soap opera that we are somehow attached to through TV viewing. Read More...
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CNN Meteorologist: Manmade Global Warming Theory 'Arrogant' 

Right on.



Maybe we should try working on actual problems that exist in our world instead of spending possibly trillions of dollars on a phantom. Lack of fresh water concerns me a lot more than nonsense elitist scientific "orthodoxy".

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The Great Divine Conundrum 

"O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem..." - Daniel 9:16

In light of God's justice and righteousness in the Old Testament, how he poured out his wrath on the nations surrounding Israel and even on Israel herself, this verse is such a radical, seemingly contradictory statement. If you simply do a surface-level study of what justice and righteousness actually means in theological terms, and particularly what it means for us sinners, it is goosebump-frightening to consider its reality. It should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Seriously.

Think back to, or look up, Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1 and John's response in Revelation to see what the reaction to God's justice and holiness looks like. Or read this Jonathan Edwards sermon. It was one of His most famous. In it, Edwards expounds upon the awful wrath and fury of God we all deserve for our sin and how Christ is the only protector and shield from its horrors.

God is infinitely righteous, holy and perfect and can let no sin go unpunished. None. But, as is said in this verse in Daniel, according to your righteous acts, turn away your wrath? Shouldn't it be, "According to Your righteous acts let your wrath fall? For you let no sin go unpunished?" This is what Jonah seemed to think should have happened to Nineveh. Yet God spared them in great mercy. But how is it this passage in Daniel can ask of God to "be merciful in light of your righteousness"? This seems like asking God the impossible, and asking Him in light of this very justice and righteousness that should be our eternal dismay! Read More...
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Plaid - E.M.R. 

Not sure if this is an official music video by the band, but this is one of my favorite songs from Plaid. The video has some decent ideas for video effects and whatnot, but then it gets kind of lame toward the end. Anyway, anyone who knows me knows that I love some good IDM. Plaid is one of my favorites. Excellent arrangement of odd time signatures and layered rhythmic patterns in this song. By the way, I have no idea what E.M.R. stands for.

Plaid - E.M.R

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A Perfect Example of a Postmodern Religious Perspective 

Original: The Gospel of Will Smith - Newsweek.com
Archived: The Gospel of Will Smith - Westerfunk.net

I love Will Smith. I think he's such an awesome actor. But we part ways on issues concerning Jesus. We do not worship or speak of the same Jesus together. Al Mohler pointed this article out on his radio program the other day.

Of particular interest, Will Smith says,
"I love the nature of humanity's search for meaning. For me I'm certain about my relationship with the model of perfection of human life that's laid out with the life of Jesus Christ. I'm certain of that. So I'm at home and not fearful when I sit in a mosque or a synagogue or a Buddhist temple, the same way that I'm home in the Church of Scientology. I like anywhere people are searching for the truth, and I respect their path and I'm intrigued by their path. I think when you are certain in and of what you believe in, you can open your mind to seeing the ways of others. I'm not bothered when someone says "Allah" because they're talking about Godówe are talking about the same person. I was in India recently and my hotel was near the Taj Mahal. Five times a day there would be a call for prayer, and it was the most beautiful thing. I was lying in my bed thinking, no matter what your religion is, it would be great to have that reminder five times a day to remember your Lord and savior."

Can you point out the presuppositions to his religious worldview? Emphatic doctrines he speaks? Here are a few. Read More...
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Something I Have to be Careful About - Cynicism Toward Evangelicalism 

http://www.christreformed.org/telling-p ... uth-in-lo/ - Dr. Kim Riddlebarger

Some things in this article really spoke to me about my own sinful tendency toward cynicism concerning evangelicalism. I'm very discouraged with the movement and where things are headed. I made that clear in my recent post concerning Rick Warren. This discouragement isn't bad in itself because it is rooted in a desire to have the Gospel be the thing for which we are known. It is what my heart does with that discouragement that is wrong. It can easily turn into bitterness.

Some people have totally left the evangelical movement, as the author of the article has, in favor of a confessionally Reformed church movement. At this point, I still consider myself an evangelical, and my desire is to stay within evangelicalisms' circles in hopes the Lord will use any influence I might have (because of Him, not me) to help point people toward the Gospel, away from the pervasive self-helpism of our culture, and find their all in Christ alone, for both justification and sanctification. If anything I do is successful, this is to the Lord's credit. If anything I do fails, this is my own wrong doing.

Regardless, I wanted to share a particular section of the above article because it really spoke to my heart about my own errors and tendencies toward error. It reminded me that maybe I need to spend a lot less time criticizing the evangelical movement and simply speak the truth in love, both on my blog and toward people. Read More...
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True Change or Politics as Usual? 

As I was watching CNN this morning before work, they came on with the story about the Illinois Governor and possible ties with people inside Obama's transition team and those inside his newly minted cabinet. The CNN headline read, "True Change? Or Politics as Usual?"

I have to ask myself, where were stories like this during the campaign, you know the whole "no bias, no bull" thing that CNN pushed every night on cable news? Is Obama bringing any true political change? Or is he just bringing politicians in from one of the most politically corrupt states in recent history? And therefore, is this a negative "change" to even more corrupt politics, moreso than we have seen yet (I can hear the Bush-haters now)?

I realize Obama has not been implicated in all of this, and honestly I'm not even really questioning his integrity in all of it (though one has to wonder with all of his connections to Illinois and his own very quick rise to power within a few short years). I'm simply asking the question that if Obama promised to bring true political change and integrity to the office of the President, why is it he chose people who are now directly tied to this quite scandalous investigation? What else does he know? What other "machine politics" might he be connected with from Chicago? What does this say about his decision making as the Commander in Chief? And what does it say about a country where a majority of the people elected him to office if he is just politics as usual? Was he elected simply because he became a brand name that stood for a dream that in reality was a phantom ("Change we can believe in"), or because he would actually and effectually change things? Read More...
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