August 13, 2003- Here comes the Future

Presbyterian Youth Want to Talk About Sex, Just Not All the Time Kevin Eckstrom, Religion News Service

More than 500 high school students met in Louisville July 28-Aug. 3 for the Presbyterian Youth Connection Assembly. The delegates defeated a resolution that called on the larger church to "postpone the issue of the ordination of homosexuals."

The youth also voted to "affirm the call of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgendered persons to all areas of ministry.""We seek to discern God's will throughout continued discussion." said A. J. Piccone of the Hudson River Presbytery in New York. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's youth organization voted overwhelmingly to welcome members of all sexual orientations and to be listed as a "Reconciling in Christ" organization that is gay-friendly.

Some leaders comment on the Future of Truth from Moody Magazine

The Digital Worship Experience

Here is an article -food for thought- from Next Wave

Making Digital Age Music by Len Wilson and Jason Moore Ch. 6 reprinted from Digital Storytellers . More articles from Technologies for Worship.

The current apparatus of "contemporary worship" is clunky right now because it is only partially fitted to the needs of digital culture: "Transmitting freely from one to another is really where the field of multimedia is headed."...Frequently we hear that "contemporary worship" is such a production! There are multiple reasons that lead people to make such an assertion, including confusion between faith and culture. The primary reason for the complaint is that people have somehow become aware of the production aspect, or interface of worship, and the work is interfering with their ability to experience God.

August 12, 2003 Bruce Banned in Borneo

Malaysian theaters not showing Bruce Almighty. The Malaysian government minister for religious affairs is calling for the recent Jim Carrey comedy, Bruce Almighty, to be banned because it's message is offensive to Muslims.

But you can check out the red apes for entertainment instead...

And more news on what the roaches are doing...I want to know how you get the title of Expert Domino Layer anyways...

ADL calls gospel account anti-Semitic- again...

Link to the ink via

After finally viewing Mel Gibson's The Passion, the account of the last hours in the life of Jesus Christ, the Anti-Defamation League has renewed its criticism of the project, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

The ADL issued a new statement Monday, warning that in its present form, the film "will fuel hatred, bigotry and anti-Semitism." Responded Alan Nierob, Gibson's press representative: "No one associated with this film has any interest in fueling hatred, bigotry and anti-Semitism. In fact, Mel's interest is just the opposite as he has stated previously that this film is about love, hope, faith and forgiveness." That, however, is not the view of ADL national director Abraham Foxman, who said: "The film unambiguously portrays Jewish authorities and the Jewish mob as the ones responsible for the decision to crucify Jesus. We are deeply concerned that the film, if released in its present form, will fuel the hatred, bigotry and anti-Semitism that many responsible churches have worked hard to repudiate" ...

The word genius gets used a lot, I think...

Here's a link to an online version of the interview with Tom Albin on Wesley's small group techniques for discipleship...
August 12, 2003 Beauty


God makes all things beautiful in its time. (Ecc. 3:11)

Appreciation for aesthetic beauty is a theme that arises consitently in the Bible. The scriptures reveal a full-orbed doctrine of beauty. Beauty has a purpose in God’s economy. Scripture presents an implicit theology of beauty as a concomitant of divine creativity.

The Old Testament Scriptures are particularly appreciative of the beauty of God’s creation. God announced that creation was good (Gen. 1). The trees in the garden of Eden were said to be beautiful, even the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. The psalms reveal an appreciation for God's handiwork (Psalm 8; 19:1; 29; 104).

God is a God of glory, and his Shekinah glory is ever present among his people (Exod 16:7; 24:16; 40:34; Lev 9:6; Num 14:10; Deut 5:24). Beauty is similar, if not synonymous, with God's glory. We see this in the way the King James translates what later translations call “splendor”.

While the Old Testament has many words for beauty, the Greek New Testament text offers one - horaios - denoting that which is flourishing and beautiful and appropriate- something that is at it’s lovliest and best, produced at the right time.

In the present period, believers are exhorted to live in a manner that will make the teaching of the Lord beautiful and attractive before unbelievers (Tit 2:10). Those who preach the gospel can be described as beautiful (Rom 10:15) a quote from Isaiah 52:7.
Beauty plays an important role in the Bible's eschatological drama. The Lord's favor is beautiful and his hopeful promises offer "beauty for ashes" for his people (Psalm 90:17; Isa 61:3). God is a diadem of beauty for the faithful remnant (Isa 28:5).

The promised Messiah was prophesied to be a beautiful king (Isa 33:17). Yet the prophet also said that the suffering Messiah would have "no beauty or majesty to attract us to him" (Isa 53:2). Indeed Isaiah says of the suffering servant was said to have no beauty.

Perhaps this implies that Messianic beauty is reserved for the second coming or is of an internal nature since the Jews were looking on the outside for a glorious ruler.

In the Book of Revelation God is described in undeniable splendor. This concept of beauty thus is more significant than simple attractiveness. The one who sits on the throne of the universe "had the appearance of jasper … and a rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne" (Rev 4:3). The Holy City, the final estate prepared for God's people, is gloriously adorned as is a bride for her husband (Rev 21:2).

Here are the transliterated words translated as beauty in the NASB:

Howd- splendor, majesty, vigor.

This speaks of grandeur and imposing form and appearance. It is an uniquely Hebrew word and is used in juxtaposition with hadar-(see below) majesty or honor in Psalm 21:6, 45:3, 96:6, 104:11, 111:3, and Job 40:10. It is preponderately connected with God.

And in Psalm 8:2 and Isaiah 30:30 can even be heard!

God gives it to man in Psalm 21:6, 1 Chronicles 29:25 and to Messiah in Zechariah 6:13. In Isaiah 2:10, 19-21 this beauty or glory of God’s majesty has a parallel connection to the fear of the Lord.

Yophiy- To be fair, beautiful or handsome.

This is beauty as in regard to outward appearance. The prophet’s ministry is described in theis way in Ezekiel 33:32. Messianic passages like Psalm 45:2 and the Song of Solomon apply these to the coming King’s beauty.

In Zechariah 9:16-17 it is applied to the ransomed people of God.In Psalm 45:11 the King is enthralled by the beauty of His Bride. In Psalm 50: 2 Zion is perfect in beauty and God shines forth from there.
Na’em- to be pleasant, be beautiful, be sweet, be delightful, be lovely.
This speaks of the suitableness and befittingness of appearance and seems to be a synonym for some of the other words. It describes the feet of the messenger of the Gospel in Isaiah 52:7
No’am- Kindness, pleasantness, delightfulness, beauty, favour
a. delightfulness
b. symbolic name of one of two staves
c. pleasantness
This speaks of agreeableness, delight, charm and lovliness of what it applies to, such as Issachar’s portion (Joshua 19). (which by the way contained the valley of Jezreel, of eschatological import) We are called to gaze on the beauty of the Lord in Psalm 27:4.

Tsebiy- beauty, glory, honour, decoration.

The best in regard to splendor and honor is referred to as beautiful or glorious. We see this with the descriptions of the promised land ( Ez. 20:6, 15, Dan 8 and 11:16) and the Temple Mount (Daniel 11: 45) Most of all we see it as a descriptor of God Himself- He will be a crown of beauty to His people (Isaiah 28:4) and in regard to the Kingdom, His reign is described as beautiful (Is. 4:2, 24:16). The Branch (Messiah) will be beautiful Isaiah 4:2. Jeremiah 3:19 says our inheritance is beautiful.

Notably, He destroys in judgment all beauty that has its own source or is corrupted in Isaiah 23 and 28.
Tipharah- beauty, splendour, glory
a. beauty, finery (of garments, jewels)
b. glory
1. of rank, renown
2. as attribute of God
c. honour (or nation Israel)
d. glorying, boasting (of individual)
This means to beautify or glorify – it is received by God’s children in Isaiah 55:5 and Psalm 149:4. It is said of the sanctuary in Ezekiel 7:27 and Isaiah 60:7, 13. In 1Chronicles 29 :13 and Isaiah 63:14 it refers to God's Name. It is used 29 times in the OT- 16 times in the Psalms alone. It is applied to garments, the holy mountain or holy array but most often to the King or to God Himself.
Hadar- ornament, splendour, honor and majesty- is translated beauty in the KJ in several places.

Howd is used in juxtaposition to this word (howd we hadar, in that order) in Psalm 21:6, 45:3, 96:6, 104:11, 111:3 and in 1 Chronicles 16:26, and Job 40:10 and is translated variously majesty and glory and honor.

A word related to hadar is hadarah, which means holy adornment (of public worship), or glory (of the king).

This is translated splendor in the NAS and is the word that describes the “beauty of holiness” 4 times in the King James.

August 11, 2003 This Blog is Back

After a relaxing time in the mountains and on the Bluegrass, we have returned. Back to blogging now though I must say I didn't miss the technology at all.

Saw I Two Step Too at the Kentucky Horse Park, a favorite stop when we are home. Seems like there is something new every trip. We also saw the excellent show of equine art " All the Queen's Horses" while there.

I Two Step Too was featured in the Seabiscuit festivities at the Louisville premiere of the movie on July 19 as one of the horses that played Seabisquit in the movie. Here's an article from

Earnie was glad to attend Precept's International Women's Convention in Chattanooga. I went to pick her up one day and I must have been the only male in a crowd of 10,000 Christian women in attendance. That would have intimidated some, I am told. What do you think? It's a good thing us guys stayed away 'cause they had commandeered all the restrooms, even the last one designated for the guys.

At a bookstore where I was perusing a first edition F. F. Bruce commentary on Ephesians -the bookstore owner said "Thousands of right wing Christian women have taken over downtown". He went on to say he could've done a year's business selling the kind of things they would buy but he didn't want to propagate "that kind of thing". But he was glad to sell me the commentary...


From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @