...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

October 30, 2006-We led worship at Gracepointe this week again and did a more blended lineup. the church is leveraging the Nativity movie for community outreach, and it's time for Operation: Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse.

  • Welcome
    As the Deer, Blessed Be Your Name- Praise Band, Worship Team
  • Greet and Meet
    Holy Holy Holy/shine Jesus Shine-Praise Band, Worship Team
  • Cry Out to Jesus- Anthony-Offering
  • Sermon- The Blessing God by Dr. Bruce Hardy
  • Benediction-The Potter's Hand-Praise Band, Worship Team

Signs of the Times

Saw this sign and finally made it back to take a picture.

Context is everything- it's a Dentist's office...

The Roar

We are yearning
Our hearts are burning
And the world keeps turning day by day.
We are aching
Hearts are breaking
And it’s taking all we can do to say
Lord help us obey, Lord we pray
Show us your way.

We pray that you’ll restore
Make a way, open the door
We ask and seek and knock
And we enter in once more.
And once we enter in
Let us be done with sin
In your presence there is glory in our core
Replace our cries with the overcomer’s roar!

Forgive our trespasses and heal our diseases
A wayward heart does as it pleases
We are on a path
Where we’ll either seek your love
Or see your wrath
Purify us with your fire
And make us new
Provide us with the faith that you require
So we may do what we must do.

We are not merely sinners
We are indwelt by God’s Son
We are more than we seem to be
By His blood we overcome
And though we’re meek and lowly
We have glory at our core
For we are the new creation
Hear the overcomers roar!

Anthony Foster
October 29, 2006

Happy Reformation Day!

I was in the Lifeway bookstore the other day and the guy at the counter was talking about their "raffle" for the Martin Luther bobble-head doll. One of his co-workers QUICKLY jumped in and corrected him: "It's not a raffle!"

Ha! Not in a Baptist bookstore anyway. Hope everybody had a good Reformation Day with or without a bobble-head...

Speaking of bobble-heads...

Night of the Crash Test Dummy

No, this is not my Halloween costume, it's just how I have been feeling lately. Just the other day I had a prof say something about my church having an "impactual role" in my family's life and this is what sprang to mind. Everything is new new new lately and it makes me wonder whether the God-sent tests are benefitting me... then I heard this message today by John MacArthur, who spoke at SBTS on Reformation Day, and all the silliness and me-ness came into perspective... listen to the message.

Web science represents "a pretty big next step in the evolution of information," said Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, who is a computer scientist. This kind of research, Schmidt said, is "likely to have a lot of influence on the next generation of researchers, scientists and, most importantly, the next generation of entrepreneurs who will build new companies from this."

Among my Borders movie specials,

8 Women, 12 Monkeys, The Slaughterhouse Five and Fahrenheit 451.Where oh where be the Partridge in a Pear Tree?

The Nexus of Psychology and Christianity

Following from my presupposition that all truth is God's Truth, I am cautious but open to the possibility of integration. However, there are points at which I define Psychology and Christianity as on parallel tracks and therefore not readily integrated. There are points at which Psychology presumes to take on a redemptive character wherein I believe danger lies. "Without the blood there is no remission of Sin"; this is a hinge-point for any discussion of integration. I am opposed to the trends that psychologize the faith and the pop psychology that seeks to supplant the Word of God, especially in regard to the reticence to speak of repentance and redemption in so many pulpits.

I see value in integrating "working tools" into our quest to understand human behavior in more than a reductionistic way. The complexity of human suffering demands this I think, but we must never forget the ultimate source of the suffering. I am cautious in the sense that I am not able to keep abreast of the advances in the science of Psychology in any satisfactory way, and therefore ascertaining the inherent presuppositional problems becomes a full time job. I am especially interested in empirical research and the ways in which advances in understanding DSM III disorders have yielded means by which to treat organic maladies and chemical imbalances which at one point in history would have been relegated to the madhouse or the exorcist. (Not to say that I do not believe in demon possesion). I see in the various models of "Christian Psychology" some promise, but see no unified theory as yet.

I would surmise that theology is an umbrella construct that touches all of life wherein psychology intersects at various points, especially in the areas of of anthropology and hamartology. When psychology is invested with redemptive constructs, the waters are muddied. I ask, "How does psychology operate and what truth does it presume to uncover?"

When addressing the complexity of human suffering, treatment of psychological symptoms my be the entry into a conversation about spiritual problems of sin. I think it is important to take leads in regard to a high view of Scripture from the models of Biblical psychologies(Adams, Powlinson, et. al) and Christian integrationists (Collins, et. al.), but the fact that so many in the Nouthetic /Biblical camp have a near absolute aversion to science is problematic for me, given the presupposition I led with. Thankfully that view has matured and is less strident today.

One must filter any attempt at integration through the presupposition of the inerrancy of Scripture, but one must not ignore the possibility of integration. Let's filter psychology through theology as a paradigm and, in some cases, for purposes of instruction and honesty, I think our perceptions of the Scriptures may be filtered through psychology to test whether, by comparison, we are psychologizing the scriptures, or applying biblical truth in a self-serving way. Do our beliefs stand such scrutiny?

On a sidebar, (I only get 4 paragraphs) I must say that I think that personality theory in particular is more fraught with problems as (from my exposure to it) it is typically Jungian in nature, and the (mis)-use of personality indicators is one of my pet peeves. First, they are indicators, not tests, and should not be accorded such status. This is common practice in popular Christian circles and is more than problematic in my view- it can be dangerous. Personality theory has other issues attached that I am sure we will address this semester, and I am looking forward to finding coherence in what I have been exposed to in the six or seven psychology courses I have taken in various contexts.

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From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/