...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

November 01, 2004 Halloweenies at BBC

We worked the Fish pond at the church Kingdom celebration alternative to Halloween last night. We gave out 300 or so packs of candy, and everyone had a great time. We took back a holy day (All Hallow's Eve) for the Kingdom!

November 01, 2004 Notions of Aslan

My new alter-ego-Mr. Bluspels

Just finished reading The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis- And I am pondering how Shasta and the horses Hwin and Bree saw their ideas of Aslan change throughout the story. This book evokes the book of Ephesians for me- the theme of discovering one's true identity "in Christ".

That is where I experienced my version of what the horses and Shasta did in the book. While there is a progressive side to the journey, (indeed the encounter would not have come apart from the journey through valor to humility ) for Shasta there is a scene of theophanic proportions when Aslan is encountered and apprehended. Shasta is like Lewis- the meeting was one not sought- rather Shasta is hunted down by the Lion.

When Aslan declares himself thrice-myself, myself, myself (I am, I am, I am) Shasta encounters perfect terror and beauty, an apt description of apprehending the glory of God. I trembled.

Bree is caught in the midst of denying the true lion-ness of Aslan when all the while swearing by his attributes. Sounds familiar. Aslan shows up as the True Beast and Hwin says- "I'd rather be eaten by you than fed by anyone else." Powerful. There is an all consuming change when one encounters the Real. All our feeble notions are replaced in an instant, and who we are in the light of this becomes clear.

What I've learned about self-sufficiency. No man is an island.Doh.

When a person comes across as self sufficient, the issue is likely to be pride. When self sufficiency is projected several maladies may attain:

1. Some will invariably see you as arrogant. 2. Some will be intimidated by the presence you project. 3. Non one will venture to give advice- a great loss. 4. Almost no one will think to try to encourage you. 5. You will be told by those you need most that they do not worry about you- this is meant to build your confidence, but it has the opposite effect. 6. Conversely, some will see it as their mission in life to tear you down. 7. When self sufficiency is replaced by God-sufficiency, a corrollary humilty is evident. 8. You may be misunderstood in your bold confidence, but you are clean.

C. S. Lewis and the charge of Universalism

There are certainly those who try to convict Lewis of universalism based on some of his writings- especially the interchange between , but I don't think the evidence is very compelling. Two things attain here- first the aspect of prevenient grace, wherein God uses circumstances and common graces available to all as ways of tilling the soul's soil to make it receptive to the gospel. (I don't want to get overly technical with the theology here). Secondly, Lewis is moving towards a logical termination point here and in the Space Trilogy about the scenario- what about other worlds- if there are any- do they not also need a redeemer and would that redeemer necessarily come in the form of the God/Man-the first century Jew named Jesus of Nazareth? Kosmos (the world) in John 3:16 is a pretty big word. It is easy when speculating upon such mind bending concepts to dance near the pale of orthodoxy- I contend Lewis never crossed the line... While these are thinks (oops-misspelled but Ithink I like this word better than "things" so I will leave it :-)) we really cannot know the answer to, I am a proponent of stretching the mind to engage them in any case...

When one reads Lewis is a broader context the mists seem to dissipate.

When one contends with the "Hell" chapter of Problem of Pain or the whole of Great Divorce, one will find that he is not vulnerable to the charge of universalism.

These words form the instructor for the course, Bruce Edwards "In fact, this is a red herring. In some ways, the charge could be particularism--if anything, Lewis is guilty of believing God will save some of those who thought they were following someone else--and not saving some of those (Susan?) who thought they were (Jesus's comments in Matthew, "Not every one who says unto me, Lord, Lord . . .") At any rate, to me Emeth is a Cornelius (Acts 9-11) figure;"

"please note that Emeth CHOOSES to follow Aslan after he encounters him. Aslan EXPLAINS why he (Emeth) was drawn to him--echoing, in effect, his earlier statements to thePevesies, "you would not be calling to me if I were no first calling to you." Emeth is drawn to Aslan because He belongs to Aslan in the same way that Nikabrik was not, because he did no belong to Aslan. In the end, the emphasis is still on the fact that He is NOT A TAME LION, and will seek and save whom he will. "

And from Robin, who has elucidated issues in a way that is most helpful to me personally.

"the key to understanding Aslan's reception and honoring of Emeth's worship and service of Tash comes at the moment Emeth sees Aslan for the first time. Having previously hated the idea of him, Emeth falls to his knees utterly undone, but recognizing and worshipping Aslan at first sight. He declares he would rather have this moment of knowing all his years of wrongness than any other treasure. He did not previously have access to the truth of who Aslan was, and when he did his response was instantaneous, a moment of conversion. Aslan explains that Emeth's desire had been for him all along and that is why he "sought so long and truly.""

Nov 2, 2004 Didja Vote yet? consider the following- then just do it.

Biblical Ethics- A Statement from Crosswalk.com

The following statement excerpts are from a larger statement recently prepared and endorsed by more than 80 Christian leaders - is presented for the thoughtful consideration of all who are interested in how the Bible might speak to ethical issues in the current political contests.

A full list of those endorsing this message can be found here: http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1290875.html

"1. Supreme Court justices: People may not consider the appointment of Supreme Court Justices to be an ethical issue, but it clearly is now because several of the Court's decisions have imposed on our nation new policies with significant ethical and religious ramifications."

"A slim majority of our current Supreme Court -- and lower courts which follow their example -- have gone beyond their Constitutionally-defined task of interpreting laws passed by Congress and state legislatures, and have in effect created new "laws" that have never been passed by any elected body...

Democratically-elected members of Congress and state legislatures are helpless to change those Court-mandated policies unless the makeup of the Court is changed."

"2. Defense against terrorists: A fundamental responsibility of government is to "punish those who do evil" (1 Pet. 2:14) and thus to protect its citizens. We now face a unique challenge, because terrorists who will sacrifice their own lives in killing others cannot be deterred by the usual threat of punishing a criminal after he commits a crime... The Bible instructs that governments are responsible to "bear the sword" (Rom. 13:4) and use force to oppose violent evil. We believe the ethical choice is support for a candidate who will pursue terrorists and, when necessary, use force to stop them before they strike us; not for a candidate who only promises to respond if we are attacked again."
"3. Abortion: The Bible views the unborn child as a human person who should be protected... We believe the ethical choice is for candidates who believe government should give protection to the lives of unborn children, and not for those who assert that people have a right to murder their unborn children."
"4. Homosexual marriage: The Bible views marriage as between one man and one woman... Because our courts have shown a troubling tendency to overturn the laws that have already been passed concerning marriage, we believe the ethical choice is for candidates who support a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman."
"5. Embryonic stem cell research: Creating more human embryos for the purpose of harvesting their stem cells is contrary to the command, "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13). ...We believe the ethical choice is for a candidate who has decided he will not allow government funds to be spent to create more human embryos just to take their stem cells."
"6. Natural resources: God put human beings on the earth to "subdue it" and to "have dominion" over the animals (Gen. 1:28). We value the beauty of the natural world which God created, and we believe that we are called to be responsible stewards who protect God's creation while we use it wisely and also seek to safeguard its usefulness for future generations. The Bible does not view "untouched nature" as the ideal state of the earth, but expects human beings to develop and use the earth's resources wisely for mankind's needs (Gen. 1:28; 2:15; 9:3; 1 Tim. 4:4). "

Preserving nature

"7. Should Christians speak out and try to influence our nation on these issues? God's people in the Bible often addressed ethical issues with their governmental rulers... In addition to the issues already mentioned, the Bible also teaches us about the types of laws and regulations governments should pursue and enforce."

"The laws of a nation have a significant influence on that nation's moral climate, for good or for ill. ... We also encourage Christians to consider doing even more for the good of our nation, such as giving time or money, or talking to friends and neighbors, or even serving in office themselves. Such influence for good on the direction of our country is one important way of fulfilling Jesus command, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 22:19)."

The complete statement has been affirmed and endorsed by more than 80 Christian leaders. Go check it out! A full list can be found here:  http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1290875.html

November 2, 2004-Polling Place Peccadillos Duely Noted

The most interesting (and funny to me) incident of the morning was when the big lady with the big ring was handing me my "I Voted" sticker. It wasn't immediately apparent what she was doing and I couldn't help myself- I asked "So am I supposed to kiss your ring before I vote?"

She didn't think it was funny.

She sez, " Don't ____ with me, I'm not the Pope".

When will I ever learn?

Al Mohler on the election stakes

Click here for the commentary.

"Christians must be careful to maintain biblical sanity in the midst of political confusion. Guided by a biblical perspective, we may well be the last people on earth who know that the political process is genuinely important, but not ultimate. "

Buying into the Postmodern Epistemology

Duane Litfin comments on Brian Maclaren's take on the Emergent church. Litfin was my former pastor and now is president of Wheaton College.

"If one has been captured by a constructivist epistemology, a position that repudiates anyone's right even to make a truth claim, and which considers truth instead to be utterly situated," Litfin said, "then any truth-claim dimensions of the gospel will be dramatically muted."


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