Remember when the announcement came that some of the
proposed appearances for the Superbowl were too scandalous for viewers
and were cancelled a few
weeks back? Well unless you have been living on another planet- you
know some of it slipped by.
I for one still have a some problems with Superbowl
parties at churches and after thousands in churches experienced P. Diddy,
gaseous donkeys and Janet's striptease, maybe more churches will think
twice before engaging the culture in this particular fashion.
Complain Over 'Scandalous' Super Bowl Show -Charisma News Service
Tens of thousands of viewers, many of them Christians, reportedly have
contacted CBS, MTV, the NFL and the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC), complaining about last Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show -- described
by one pro-family group as "an outrageous display of soft-core pornography."
Nearly 90 million viewers saw singer Justin Timberlake disrobe pop star
Janet Jackson, exposing her breast briefly during CBS' telecast of the
MTV-produced halftime program. Sunday's "scandalous Super Bowl halftime
show has awakened millions of Americans to the pernicious influence of
MTV," Focus on the Family (FotF) chairman James Dobson said in a statement.
Dobson added that the backlash over the show is an encouraging sign of
"how fed up parents are with the baseness and immorality of popular culture."
FotF and other Christian organizations have urged supporters to contact
CBS, MTV, FCC and the NFL. CBS faces a FCC investigation to determine
whether the Super Bowl show violated decency laws, with potential fines
of up to $27,500. "It is even more encouraging to see moms and dads rise
up in defense of their sons and daughters to say, 'Enough is enough,'"
Dobson said. "That reaction, more than any government agency's action,
has the greatest potential to clean up what passes for popular entertainment
5, 2004 Da Vinci Code and the ability to Disconnect
I was one of the naysayers that thought the Da
Vinci Code would be a flash in the pan like so many other pseudo religious
fictional works have been. I have been taken off guard with the (dis)ability
of so many readers to disconnect and be unable to reality from fantasy
that this fictional work has actually become more influential that even
its 32 weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller List would indicate.
| It inspired a one-hour ABC News special.
Along the way, it has sparked debates about the legitimacy of Western
and Christian history. Dan Brown's novel claims that "almost
everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false."
The scene was set for the release of the book.
We live in a day where very few who came the name of Christ have a legitimately
Christian world view. M any modern Christians have caved into the skeptical
predilection to contest everything, especially the facts. It is not ususual
to hear heresies winked at or even entertained as if Nicea, Chalcedon,
Constantinople, and Ephesus never occurred, and to hear the assertions
as evidences like this from a
by no means am I a "feminist", yet there are many
passages in the Bible that describe God in feminine termsmost notablyWisdom
is described as female. So it is beginning to look to me that the patriarchal
culture we live in and the Church supports may actually be out of balance...There
are a lot of heretical theories going around these days, of which I do
not support, yet there is this little voice
I wonder if the early,
early folks got it right
There were a variety of Christologies prior to Niceaidea of
all sorts. Let's be honest about that. This article gives the impression
that there was total agreement on the divinity and that Nicea simply blessed
thatnot trueNicea was forcing a Greek concept onto Hebrew
history and it was in a political situation. Sincere and well-educated
people throughout history have died over the Trinity issue and many people
today can still argue with credibility that there is no biblical basis
for the idea of the Trinity at all.
(The fact that God chose to use the Greek milieu to
give operational viability to the New Covenant seems to be lost here.
||These kinds of simplistic notions support
the idea that contends that everything you know is wrong
and reveals a redactionistic bent among the so called faithful, as
if God was powerless to guide and inform his church through the workings
The milieu we find outselves in attests to the
Biblical and historical illiteracy that reigns in postmodern Christendom.
Also to the ability to disconnect from discerning fact and fiction. The
postmodern propensity to be able to hold two mutually exclusive precepts
in either had and not see the problem is astounding. The church is exercising
and abhorrence what is wa classically known as the law of non contradiction.
this concept was not a product of enlightenment minds it is as old as
Greek thought. Thank God we can read the same Bible that the church Fathers
grappled with and guided the early church with by the empowering of the
The Church Fathers- Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen,
and others- gained that distinction not by politcal or popular appeal.
They distinguished themselves by their bibliocentric process of discernment
that played itself out in the church's first centuries.
Here is a quote from Chris Armstrongs essay
Irenaeus, Origen, and the rest studied the Hebrew Bible (though
usually in Greek translation), along with the apostles' documents that
would become the New Testament, with an almost physical thirst for God
and his truth. They read them in settings marked by worship and the pursuit
of holiness. And they believed that as they read and submitted their lives
to the Word and their thoughts to Christ, the Holy Spirit was at work
to open the eyes of their hearts and to build his church so "the
gates of hell will not overcome it" (Matt. 16:18, NIV).
That is what I want to passionately pursue in my quest to build disciples
who share that hunger for truth. The creation of settings that are marked
by worship and the pursuit of holiness is a daunting challenge but
every believer has the privilege to read and submit themselves to the
authority invested in the Word of God. To do less is to live beneath our
4, 2004 Google-ization
link to the Julia Fractals sites (mentioned below) brought down at least
one site due to the heavy traffic it generated. Google giveth and Google
taketh away it seems. Which makes one wonder- should Google need to get
permission before inundating a site with traffic?
Amazon: "...according to Joseph
Pine and James Gilmore, the bar of economic offerings is being
raised again. In The Experience Economy, the authors argue that the
service economy is about to be superseded with something that critics
will find even more ephemeral (and controversial) than services ever
were: experiences. In part because of technology and the increasing
expectations of consumers, services today are starting to look like
commodities. The authors write that "Those businesses that relegate
themselves to the diminishing world of goods and services will be
rendered irrelevant. To avoid this fate, you must learn to stage a
rich, compelling experience."
interview with James Gilmore, author of The
Experience Economy. Gilmore offers up some insight on what drives
consumer audiences in the digital culture. The interview itself is sort
of a dramatic retelling of the experience of the interview not unlike
a threaded chat. His book is not only applicable to experiential marketing
which seeks to replace the" benefits and features" approach
to marketing but it also has something to say to how many churches are
using this approach to attempt to reach the culture it finds itself immersed
in today. But can we stage worship experiences?
||Gilmore says emphatically at one pont in the interview:"
No. Christians can use the principles in the book to succeed in the
marketplace, but the organized church itself should never try to stage
a God experience...
"Increasingly you find people talking about the
worship experience rather than the worship service. That reflects what's
happening in the outside world. I'm dismayed to see churches abandon the
means of grace that God ordains simply to conform to the patterns of the
CT:"So what happens in church? Are people getting
a service, because they're helped to do something they couldn't do on
their own, that is, get closer to God? Or are they getting an experience,
the encounter with God through worship?"
Gilmore: "The word getting is, I think, the problem
with contemporary Christianity. God is the audience of worship. What you
get is, quite frankly, irrelevant as a starting point."
3, 2004 --It's Gaston Julia's Burthday
In 1919 Gaston Julia theorized what Benoit Mandelbrot
As a soldier in the First World War, Julia had
been severely wounded in an attack on the French front designed to celebrate
the Kaiser's birthday.
|Many on both sides were wounded including
Julia who lost his nose and had to wear a leather strap across his
face for the rest of his life. Between several painful operations
he carried on his mathematical research in the hospital.
Here's a link to a page
of info and today's Google logo search
that turned up lots of beauty...
Sent by an actual (not purported) friend.....
These are purported to be actual 2003 newspaper headlines:
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
Prostitutes Appeal to Pope
Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
War Dims Hope for Peace
If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Enfield(London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
And the winner is....
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
The Bible Sexist?- God's High Calling for Women
to Donald Bloesch's Is
the Bible Sexist for a more in depth treatment of what follows...
Note: Most of the scripture cited herein fall into the category of "hard
sayings". As Peter referred to- "difficult to understand".
They are among the most debated sections of scripture as to their meaning
and application. It was once said to me that when you run across a "hard
saying" in the Bible- mark it and go back to study it- if you do
not like what it says, it is probably saying something especially to you.
We are to break ourselves on their hardness, as Jesus is the "rock
of offense". Let us approach these sayings accordingly...
1. The world's view of the sexes- cultural ideologies- most people
adhere to an inconsistent mixture of these various world views, sort of
like picking what seems right from the cafeteria line.
Patriarchalism (Tradition rules!)
1. It is woman's role to make the man successful.
2. Headship means that men are to command and women are to follow
3. Subordination equals inferiority
Feminism (Not just the radical brand)
1. It is woman's prerogative to realize autonomy,
independence, and self fulfillment
2. Woman's role in life should in no way be contingent upon men
3. Subordination equals inferiority
Androgynism (the unisex approach)
1. All humans are a mixture of both male and female elements
and everyone must try to integrate these in their own way
2. The social sciences demand that democracy be the rule in any relationship
3. Subordination equals inferiority
2. The Biblical alternative- cannot be harmonized with the above,
even though all the above mix some truth with much error.
1. Emphasizes Christ centered service, not self fulfillment
2. Emphasizes finding your life by losing it in service to others.
3. Identifies with some of the worthy goals of the above related to
dignity and justice
Men and Women before God- Equal in worth, but distinct in roles, gifts,abilities
1. True community occurs when men and women are united in Christ-
the mediator through which all relationships occur.
2. Headship and authority are exercised in self sacrifice for the
sake of building up others in a covenant relationship
3. God reveals a functional subordination which in no way infers superiority
In the Beginning- God's design before the fall wrecked everything.
1. Man is the foundation of human creation, woman its culmination,
completion- even in the garden man was not self sufficient.
2. Both men and women are told to fill and subdue the earth- together
3. Fellowship equals partnership- order and distinctiveness must be
observed. Man was given prerogative to name the woman.
Three major mistakes
(logical fallacies) commonly found in literature pertaining to the role
of women in the church
Mistake 1. Submission equals inferiority. The argument goes something
a. Galatians 3:28 upholds equality "There is no male or female IN
b. 1 Timothy 2:12 upholds submission of women to men
c. Therefore one of these verses cannot be true.
Then they say that Galatians is right and 1 Timothy is wrong, or that
Paul changed his mind by the time he wrote 1 Timothy. However, Galatians
was written years before 1 Timothy.
|Does submission equal
inferiority? If it does, then Luke 2:51 is also a serious mistake-
It says Jesus submitted to his parents. Does this make Him inferior
to them? Of course not- the answer to the seeming dilemma is that
today's connotations of "submission" in fact bears no resemblance
to the Biblical idea of submission.
A working order does not
make a person of less value than another. Jesus is submissive to the Father,
yet is co equal with Him at the same time. Obedience is a different greek
word than submission.
||Key word- Hupotasso
(hupo= under, tasso= to line up, to get in order, to arrange)to subordinate
(1 Corinthians 16:16, 1 Peter 2:13, 1Peter 5:5, Hebrews 13:17, Ephesians
Philippians 2:4-8 the perfect example of this.
This is the principle of authority and submission-
**present in the Godhead- 1 Cor. 11:3, Mt.28:18
**present in government- Romans 13:1, 1 Peter 2:13-18
God has ordained by His
own nature that distinctives are to be maintained between men and women-
and everyone is to submit one to another. The clinging to absolute equality
is exactly what Christ did not do in Philippians 2.
** present in relationships- Authority in Christ is the opposite of domination,
for a tyrant abdicates his role as a spiritual leader. But the idea of
Co-dominion is likewise turned on its ear, and becomes more like co-submission
IN CHRIST -Ephesians 5:21. Women stand before the throne responsible moral
agents who God does not expect to submit when required to do something
that violates His nature in woman.
More about the concept of submission to headship will follow.
Mistake 2- Role definition involves the denial of significance.
This argument goes-
a. 1 Corinthians 14 and 1 Timothy 2 deny women a particular kind of public
ministry in principle.
b. Public ministry is significant ministry.
c. Therefore the Bible is denying women significant ministry.
d. Therefore the Bible is wrong because we know that women are significant
and do accomplish significant things.
|The answer- Not all
significant ministry is public ministry. In fact, a case can be made
that the unseen, unnoticed ministry that goes on daily is held in
higher regard because this kind of ministry produces true humility
if done in the Spirit.
The paradoxes of "the
last shall be first" and "lose your life to gain it" are
exemplified in this unseen ministry. Power is found in selfless service,
ambition in sacrifice. In the light of this everything the world knows
is wrong. We must throw off the spirit of the age and appeal to "the
more sure word". Hebrews 13:17 says we are all (men AND women ) are
under authority. It is only true that the hand that rocks the cradle is
the hand that rules the world if that hand is that of one of the meek
that shall inherit the earth.
Mistake 3- The instructions given by Paul in 1 Timothy 2 were specific
to Ephesus because it conflicts with what he had said earlier in his instructions
which allowed prophesying by women.
The argument goes-
1. Teaching in the assembly is denied women in 1 Timothy 2
2. Teaching involves prophecy, evangelism, etc.
3. We can see women involved in prophecy and commended for it in other
places (1 Cor. 11), therefore 1 Timothy 2 contains no universal command
answer- it cannot be assumed that prophecy and teaching are the same-
in Galatians 1 prophets are the mouthpieces of God. There may be prophets
who are teachers or vice versa, but these are distinct things. Didasko-
teaching- cannot be defined in a way that demands that you dismiss this
passage (1 Tim 2).
Key concept- "Assembly" as the setting. A fact that is
often ignored completely in the discussion of this passage is that the
assembly is the setting for the admonitions in 1 Timothy 2:7 and 1 Corinthians
14:26-40. It does not refer to casual interchanges between men and women.
||Paul knew nothing
of our church buildings, where one person delivered a "sermon".
The dominant setting was the home (a couple of exceptions were the
use of Solomon's Portico and Paul's use of the school of Tyrannus).
Believers met daily in Mark's mother's home.
A background study of 1
Corinthians 16:19 shows that Priscilla and Aquila hosted a homechurch
in Ephesus. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians there, and it may be the church Timothy
became pastor of. This passage could be speaking of situations like this-
it is reasonable that Paul would forbid a wife teaching her husband in
their own home in an assembly of believers. This is just one other aspect
of the ongoing debate over 1 Timothy 2. It has probably been the most
debated "hard saying" in scripture in this century.
More thoughts about "headship" and
1 Corinthians 11:3 (in the context of vv.2-13) "head" (greek
kephale) Most think this means "man gets the final word" when
in fact God always does.Today we read "head" as ruler, leader,
chief, boss, connoting "authority over"- this raises several
problems if this is a good translation.
1. In the relationship between Christ and God- if God occupies a superior
rank to Christ (and He does NOT), this would challenge the classical doctrine
of the Trinity. Also the Luke 2:51 problem noted above.
2. If men are under Christ's authority and then women under men we have
a situation where women stand only in indirect relation to Christ- this
conflicts with the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Some people
teach that even a woman's authority over her children is derived from
and is on behalf of her husband. The priesthood of all believers does
not conflict with a functional order set in creation.
More to come... Am I wrong?
Let me know what you think- but reason from scripture...