Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Wooden Jesus

So my girlfriend tells me that my blog is really boring and I never say anything good. Here’s something you’ll really like. I moved this big wooden Jesus across campus. He was really heavy. I wonder what God thinks about us carving wooden images of him? Does it bother him that most everyone on campus refers to it as ‘Jesus’ and people give him high fives, smack him on the butt and say stuff like, “Good game, Jesus” because honestly, to me, I would be ready to throw down the fireballs. Sure it’s a statue, but I’m still not sure why we need one and why everyone feels free to make fun of it, absolutely it’s not really God, but to act out scenes where God, who doesn’t react, is the joke… Somewhere I either missed the boat (it wouldn’t hurt that I’m an Engineer) or it just isn’t funny.


One of my buddies at school is studying Calvin. It's interesting stuff, here's an email he just sent me. Note: I'm trying to seperate Calvin from the Calvinism that came after him, if there is a difference.

Thought you might find this interesting. I was reading in the institutes were it spoke of God's attributes pre-existing before creation. So parts of the Institute seem to point for election coming out of God's foreknowledge. BUT I found where Calvin says the exact oposite out of his commentary on Malachi.
"As we have said, there is no real difference among men, except in their hidden election. Some theologians would make foreknowledge the mother of election, and that very foolishly and childishly. They say that some men are chosen and others rejected by God, because God, from whom nothing is hidden, foresees of what sort each man will be. But I ask, Whence comes virtue to one and vice to the other? If they say, " From free will," surely creation was before free will. This is one point. Besides, we know that all men were created alike in the person of Adam. . . . And what does this mean except that the condition of all who come from the one root is the same?"
Anyhow obviously this seems to be counter to what I said last night. I don't know man. Calvin is confusing. He says one thing then goes right around and says the exact opposite. Then again he did change alot. Each edition of the institutes is vastly different from the previous. Heck he was branded twice with 2 version of the institutes got him the label as an Arian. Go figure. But hey he does take the subordination view of the trinity. I am going to keep working this thing out. But honestly man Calvin is so flip floppy it is so hard to tell where he stands. Especially since his theologies changes in almost everything he writes.
What seems to be the jist so far is that in Calvin, God may or may not have known whom he would elect but apparently he foreknew that he would preordain individuals at creation (the issue here is then is it at the moment of their birth or is it at the moment of actual creation).
Here are some quotes from Calvin that are interesting:
"We say, then, that Scripture clearly proves this much, that God by his eternal and immutable counsel determined once for all those whom it was his pleasure one day to admit to salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, it was his pleasure to doom to destruction. We maintain that this counsel, as regards the elect, is founded on his free mercy, without any respect to human worth, while those whom he dooms to destruction are excluded from access to life by a just and blameless, but at the same time incomprehensible judgment." (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 21, Section 7)
"distinguishes among men according as he foresees what the merits of each will be"(Inst. III, 22, 1)
"by thus covering election with a veil of foreknowledge, they not only obscure it but feign that it has its origin elsewhere"(Inst. III, 22, 1).

Monday, April 18, 2005


Woo hoo! Membership!

Back in November, I started the process to become a member of my church after visiting the other seminary I highly respect, Beeson Divinity School. They convicted me that if I was so excited about my church, I should stop hesitating and start the process to become a member. So I did. Early in January I was invited to my pastor's house. I turned in my application, and then later was interviewed. This past Sunday they officially welcomed me into the church as a member! I'm amped.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Women in Ministry: A Quest

Well, after almost a full six months, I'm back at it again. I'm going to study the Egalitarian and Complementarian views. Gross. Obviously I have an opinion, we all do, but I'm going to look at the differing sides again. It's a hard thing to be objective about, but I do want to listen carefully and understand both sides. It seems to merit a lot of my time, but that's ok, we are talking about one of the most heated debates among Christians today. Besides, if I'm wrong, I'm hurting a lot of my sisters and quenching the Spirit of God, simultaneously!

Thankfully, I have a much better grip on the Greek now, and have encountered enough non-objective professors, in person! I desire to listen well to what God is saying to me, I hope I do it well. I ask for your prayers.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

a collector

I am a collector. I’ve been one since I was little. I’ve collected everything under the sun from baseball cards to old shoes, from awards to old batteries. As I get older, I am realizing the things I collected don’t satisfy. These ‘things’ that I have held onto are mere objects, zapped of their magic I’ve tried to capture. Some symbolize my childhood. They make me think of times gone past… so bittersweet.

I must confess, I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately, mostly, because I’m being reminded of it through some events God has orchestrated. It’s awe inspiring to think of dying, to realize I’m going to die. To, for a moment grasp the significance of life. It causes me to realize the value of ‘things’, objects, to contemplate their worthless. It makes me realize how useless most knowledge is. Even relationships come into full view.

I am realizing that I am a relationship collector. All this time, I thought I was finally free of my addiction to collecting. Don’t misunderstand me. I love relationships. People are so interesting when you start to know them. To catch a glimpse of what the Creator made, is awe inspiring.

I think the problem with collecting, besides the mismanagement of resources, is that the collector collects with the intention of enjoying, but finds themselves rather addicted to hording instead of the enjoying. There is greed that seeps in and it drains the enjoying out, replacing it with a sludge that we drink deeply, without remorse. And then, when it sits in our bellies we ache, and ache.

I’m tried of collecting. I wish I could tell you that I won’t be collecting anymore, that I will be enjoying what I have instead. I am asking God to help me remember my priorities. If I enjoy God, that will be enough. My desire will be drown in a river of fresh water, water that will not be like the sludge I drink so daily. If I enjoy God, I will enjoy people. I will enjoy relationships. I will enjoy love. I will enjoy peace. I will enjoy patience. I will enjoy joy! I will enjoy kindness! I will enjoy faithfulness! I will enjoy gentleness! I will enjoy self-control.

Oh God, help me to live in you, to enjoy what my soul has always desired.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


I retired my secret blog, bringing over two posts I enjoyed and leaving the rest lost in cyberspace. I'm going to change up the content a bit, it will probably slide over to more church related issues in general and continue stupid stories I remember about life on occasion.


Are we as American Christians being the salt we’re called to be? It’s a hard question to answer, I know. Every time I return to the suburbs where my family lives I find myself facing the reality of middle-class Christianity. Should every family be on ‘the mission field’ and what defines what a ‘mission field’ is? What level of income is necessary for us to live at? What do we ‘need’ and what constitutes wants? Is this is different from person to person, based on what God requires of us or should we all be living less comfortably than we live? Do I need a new computer? Do I need a nice guitar, a tv, video games, a large house? What is a large house? Do I need the latest fashions? Should I support missionaries whose work is here in America, or should I use the money to feed people in other countries, or should I support missionaries overseas? Should I support American missionaries overseas or should I support natives who need support? Does God want me to give to Para church organizations or to work through my church despite its deficiencies in hopes that if everyone gave to their church, the church would reform how it uses its money? Should I consider car-pooling when I travel? What about buying products at Wal-Mart that have been made by child-labor even if it means that I have less money to give to Christian organizations? Can we take vacations? What is a sufficient amount for churches to spend on their building, decoration, staff, location, advertising? Should we buy Christian music or should we share it freely? Should Christians make profit on books? Should more Christians go overseas and help in needy areas?


I talked with a MK (missionary's kid) and learned about his life at a missionary boarding school. He told me about his friends and how they turned out. It wasn't uplifting. They weren't really able to spend time with their parents in large quantities. His friends all at best were nominal Christians who are utterly disenfranchised with Christiandom. In reality they show no fruits of Christianity by their lifestyles, now. He prays for them. He’s struggling too. I do fear that many who come to seminary are struggling. I don’t mean having battles where we make war on our sin. I mean flat out questioning everything about being a Christian. I know we are quick to point fingers. These MKs came from across the denominational lines, from Baptist to Methodist. I know even the church I attend requires boarding school for their MKs, and probably a similar fate.What kind of witness is it to the world when our kids are being destroyed, when we tell others about Christ love and love on them, but keep our loved ones at a distance? It’s time for a change. I don’t have all the solutions but why do we always feel that we have to send Christians into a hard country as “Lone Rangers” as it were. Why not send communities of say ten families to a country and start a local schooling program? Invite the native children of the area to come too. It seems that for too long we’ve become sterilized. We’ve separated ministry with outsiders from our ministry to our families. It is quite ridiculous. I’m guessing a reason they don’t allow children to stay with their parents is due to security risks. Are we really counting the cost? I would rather raise a family in a persecuted area as a family then send my children away as though they are not mine. Then again I’m not a parent. I can’t help but see the negative consequences as real nonetheless.