May 22, 2006 Take time to Take time away...

We went offline, turned off the cellphones and vacated to the Kentucky Horse Park. After a day of walking, we are tired but our spirits are refreshed.

We were able to take in the beauty of the park and also got to see a equestrian jumping competition while we were there.
More pix to come, as Iused the SLR today, but checkout the firefall in the sky to close out the day!
The view is over Settler's Gap, aka Gap-in-Knob, on the final leg of the wilderness trail... this is the view out our front door...
As the evening progressed, the colors got even more intense.

The rest of the evening was spent locating books. I moved 137 banker's boxes, but I found most of the ones I was looking for. Now if they will tell us the last three, I can get them ordered...

Da Vinci Code redux

As you may have noticed, no blogging here on the DaVinci Code movie. After hearing Ian McKellan declare in an interview that the Bible needs to have a disclaimer declaring it fiction, I decided not to put any money in their coffers. With the critics panning it, I suspect it will still make money. IMHO, it would be great if it was a tremendous flop.

Apart from it being a bad movie and apart from our fallen nature, interest will continue to rise in the Da Vinci code for two reasons, I predict. First, the world wants Jesus to be like them. There is something compelling about removing Jesus from his sanitized context that was so well-informed by the counter reformation depictions of the Christ. The idea of Jesus and Mary of Magdala hooking up and having a royal family that the church continues to persecute sounds about right to many people. Problem is, it is not just a fiction, it is a lie that smells like smoke and is from the pit of hell. Our culture would rather believe a National Enquirer-type fiction that is titillating than a compelling true story, especially if it discounts the Bible’s claim to define the supernatural.

Secondly, a conspiracy theory mindset associated with most notions of authority reigns as well. Authority is suspect because it is perceived to destroy autonomy. Therefore a fiction that impugns an established authority, especially one that claims exclusive authority, will be the stage for many battles yet to come. The world’s version of authenticity may ring true to ears conditioned to be tuned to the cacaphony of our culture.

 Against the raging tide of cultural relativism, the Church must stand as a Biblical literati against the gnostic illuminati,  prepared to give the reason for the hope within us. We’d better be sure of that hope in the days ahead.

Not so Special revelation 

I had a milestone epiphany early in my marriage, which I owe to my dear wife. The path to hell is paved with good intentions. The fact that this is a proverb or maxim tells me two things: there is probably some truth in it, and I am not the first prideful man to have it break upon his psyche.

I have been thinking about authenticity in a fallen world. I see anomalies everywhere and  I am troubled.  I am not just talking about watching the pastor take of his coat for the so called “contemporary” service and show up at the next service with a coat and tie, though that qualifies as a bit irksome. I don’t think Paul’s contention that he was  “all things to all men” really had much to do with apparel for worship.

We have been visiting churches and have discerned a lot of “good intentions” but not hearing much of substance. I am convinced that most evangelical churches have followed the lead of the charismatics, who have changed their serviced to a celebratory service rather than a learning/edification environment and have seen great increases in attendance.

 To me authenticity has to do with being true to what God says is true, and we only know that through study of the scriptures. It has less to do with expressing our feelings.

 But with Biblical illiteracy abounding in the land, I want to become part of the solution. Here is how I see it. The best churches I have been in over the past twenty years or so are churches that  have preserved the primacy of the Word in worship. These were mostly expository-preaching based, where a passage of scripture is broken down and observed, interpreted and applied to life. In the past ten years I have increasingly seen the dissipation of that modus operandi. And the churches have been getting broader and broader but not deeper.

Yet the thing we have observed in the lives of believers and in our own lives is that it is a steady diet of the Word of God, not just reading devotionally, but seeing it as the source of life and feeding upon it- is what changes and transforms lives.

Topical sermons can be used as organizers for exposition of the word, but more often the primacy of the word is  given a wink and a nod and  the stories, anecdotes, illustrations and alliterative three points take the helm. Scripture memorization has been relegated to something you do in children’s Sunday School. It is very difficult to find a Southern Baptist church that has expository preaching these days. I think the seminaries and Bible colleges mayneed to step up the training  based on the quality of the handling of the Word from the pulpits we have recently sat under.

Is Tech Hurting the kids?

And what is the physical cost (beyond lack of exercise) of constantly operating computers and video games?

Online Predators

Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.--is intended to keep online predators from contacting children through social networking web sites. Fitzpatrick reportedly conceived of the bill after receiving complaints from parents and educators concerned about the use of social networking sites by online predators to lure children.

Spammers win...

Updike takes on the technoratii

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