28:03:03 PDL discussion

Third purpose- to be conformed to the likeness of the son of God. Had a good discussion time last nite with the PDL class. One question threw some for a loop though- "Is there a distinction to be made between Salvation and confessing Christ as Lord?"

The Lordship salvation debate has always been a curious thing to me. I think the confusion comes in as the distinctions between justification and sanctification blur. We are justified by Faith alone but by a faith that is not alone. Faith without works is dead according to James. If you make an issue over Lordship there is likely to be some kind of self justification involved and that smells ike smoke and belongs in the pit of hell.

Confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord is, as Romans 10:9-10 seems to say the "if" of the if-then statement presented there. Faith is not our work-" the work of God is for us to trust in the One who declares us just"(I made a poem-AF). You cannot biblically believe in Christ unless you are regenerate. The initial declaration of agreement with God over this is a response to the Holy Spirit's prompting. If justification takes place then sanctification will necessarily yield the fruit of realization and incarnation of His Lordship in the life of the believer- some way somehow sooner or later. Progressive sanctification is evidence that justification has occurred. The trick is the timing and nature of how sanctification is manifested in different individual lives. Without that evidence, I don't see how anyone can have assurance of that justification. But only God knows the difference- Paul speaks to christians at Corinth when he declares them to be carnal.

Why would anyone want to live in the state of a question mark when the Lordship of Christ is the most desireable thing in the universe? Because men love sin more than Christ. Faith in a "declaration of faith" is not the same as trusting in, adhereing to and relying on the living God of the Universe. No fruit, no faith. So the no brainer part for me is- just be who you are or don't claim to be something you are not.

I meet too many people who declare themselves to be "christian" but who are living in a perverted lifestyle of sin that denies the assertation, and claiming that God "understands". My feelings say to shake the dust off my feet and walk away from beating my head against the wall with a few of them. What would Jesus do?

28:03:03 On the Headphones

Soundtrack to Gods and Generals I received for my birthday. Thanks J&P! See the review at Hollywood Jesus...

Adaptation and The Pianist just didn't make it to the Illinois side of the River and had a limited run in St. Louis. This place is Philistia. Now that the Oscars are over maybe some threatre will pick it up. Sometimes I miss the Arts scene in Dallas terribly...and Elliott's Hardware (best hardware store I've been in IMHO) and Half Price Books.

And oh yes my buddies- of course. :-)

27:03:03 Luis' Beach Blanket Bash

Evangelist Luis Palau preached to about 300,000 people last weekend (March 22-23), breaking U.S. records for his ministry, during Beachfest, a two-day evangelistic spring break gathering in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. As I recall Luis once considered Northwest Bible Church in Dallas his home church when we were there. I am not sure how much spiritual formation is involved at an event like this. What do you think?

See the article in the Sun-Sentinel

I was a supervisor for the counselors at the Billy Graham Crusade when it came to St. Louis. I have thought on the effectiveness of the whole venture and my struggle with the model. Of all the people I had contact with and followed up with, none are in a church as far as I know. The very reason they went to the crusade it seems was that it afforded a comfortable amount of anonymity and provided an easy "decision" that could be construed as doing business with God. So I will go back to the preferred model- one heart at a time in ever deepening koinonia at the feet of Jesus. Making your way through the sea of souls in an auditorium to speak with a "counselor" that was hawking a contrived presentation of the gospel is no substitute. But God uses weak vessels, no doubt. But then I knew that didn't I? I have to be aware that it takes all kinds to make a kingdom as this witness proves... Wasn't it Wesley who said to speak the gospel in as many ways and at as many times as possible? Still the economics/stewardship of mass evangelism doesn't make sense to me.

Those who have sudden conversions also have extremely low retention rates within the religion. A study of those who were ³saved² at a Billy Graham crusade found that 87% reverted to their original beliefs within six months. Argyle, M (1959) Religious Behavior, Free Press.

27:03:03 Responde s'il vous plait?

I'm not going to be pedantic about this (yet) but I also question the rightness of offering an invitation at the end of a sermon. My reasoning? the metaphor carries an inherent difficulty. An invitation is a concept in most people's minds that offers the one who receives it a choice to make- that much is right. However to refuse an invitation in our society carries with it no moral consequence. Refusing Jesus's "invitation" to follow him has eternal moral consequences- check out the rich young ruler- Christ commands us to come to Him- no one else has the Words of Life.

Like I said- I'm not going to get all bent out of shape over this, I'm just trying to generate some healthy discussion and question why we do things the way we do them. At least in our church the invitation is in most cases a point of departure- for counseling and discernment as to where the respondant is spiritually.

In Jesus's day when someone stood at your door and knocked there was a moral imperative to answer the door and not refuse hospitality. Kindness to strangers goes back to the Mosaic law. We miss this in a day where we have peepholes installed on our doors or even security cameras to allow us to screen for unwelcome visitors...

Check out this sermon on "invitation"

27:03:03 Matrix Moments

So which is more illusory- the seen or the unseen? Be careful what you see in the unseen-Special revelation is the only way to know it. Without special revelation from God you can end up with a system like Zen Buddhism- which some in the emerging church are embracing in "doses" (in contrast to an "overdose"). Zending promotes "Zenlike" monism to counter the dualism of mondern thought. Surely there is a better and more ancient way. Since when did mixing error with truth make for anything other than syncretism? Check out this Probe article.

27:03:03 This makes sense to me- the God diet.

Faith-based diet plans are all the rage. And believers insist they work, saying the focus is not on food, but rather God. The key? Listen to God--and then find the strength to resist.

27:03:03 Leonard Sweet quote of the day:

"I hate the Veggie Tales. The music is awful. The characters are frivolous. Every time I see Bob the Tomato, I want to stomp that sucker flat. I want to wring Jr. Asparagus' neck".

Leonard wants to wring Jr's neck.
Run, Bob, run!

Now read it in context at Dialogue with Leonard Sweet

27:03:03 86 the Crystal Ball: Organizing Your View of the Future by Watts Wacker Resident futurist at the Stanford Research Institute. Here are a few highlights of what Watts has termed "The Dream Society"

The Onion is covering the War too...

27:03:03 Quote of the day

It's by John Newton: "I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world. But still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am."

27:03:03 Am I a warmonger?

I use the word FOR advisedly. I am not for war. But I am for standing up against evil and in this case, the more I read and hear (and NOT just CNN) the more I am convinced of the justice of this intervention. My main issue has always been whether to trust the powers that be- and that I helped elect - to act prudently in the face of facts unbeknownst to me.

This was in CT : As Christian scholar Darrell Cole writes, "The Christian who fails to use force to aid his neighbor when prudence dictates that force is the best way to render that aid is an uncharitable Christian. Hence Christians who willingly and knowingly refuse to engage in a just warŠfail to show love towards their neighbor as well as towards God."

Here is an interesting look at the situation from someone closer to the problem than I. It's worth visiting the link. Saw this ref originally of Andrew Careaga's blog.

"It is immoral to ignore Saddam's crimes and it violates every humanitarian principle in Islamic jurisprudence, Christian theology and international law to accept or condone Saddam's crimes against the Muslim and Christian populations in Iraq. ... Anyone truly interested in the welfare of the Iraqi people must not only oppose war but also call for the freeing of the Iraqi people from Saddam's brutal rule, and hold him accountable for his crimes."

How the heck do you do one without the other? Calling for the end of Saddam's rule is what we've been doing for nigh on 20 years.

27:03:03 Quote from those thrilling days of yesteryear

"There is no milk without some manure."

26:03:03 Jedi Religion

See Census Returns of the Jedi here.

AnthonyWan from Tuesday night's Photoshop class/demo for CBIL.
PS. it's a joke, son. I'm just changing out those cheap fluorescents in my office...

26:03:03 Who Would Jesus Bomb?

Here's a site that caused a little controversy at Google recently. Hey by the way what's with all these blogs that are antiwar but aren't really saying anything about Saddam's atrocities? Aren't some things worth fighting for? Comments?

26:03:03 One anotherness

One thing I hope to correct in Thursday's PDL study is that when speaking of one- anotherness the last meeting I neglected corporate aspects of this in lieu of speaking of intimacy with one another. It is just as important for us to develop a passion for the persecuted brothers worldwide by prayer and supplication for them, to suffer for them in intercession as it is for us to be intimately related here in our back yard. This is one aspect of allelon and koinonia the Western church misses outright. Am I correct?

Click here for Voice of the Martyrs.

26:03:03 Meditation on the Divine Will Washington, D.C. September, 1862

saw this at Abraham Lincoln Online

This fragment was found and preserved by John Hay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, who said it was "not written to be seen of men." Some of the thoughts expressed here, written after discouraging days of personal sorrow and military defeats, also appear in Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address of 1865.

The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party; and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect his purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true; that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere great power on the minds of the now contestants, he could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And, having begun, he could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.

26:03:03 David Letterman's Top 10 Signs You Have No Friends

10. All your phone calls start with "900."

9. You're still drinking from the same keg you bought on New Year's Eve 1985

8. James Taylor sings the first bars of "You've Got a Friend," notices you in the audience and stops. .

7. Having a Super Bowl party means dressing up your dogs and tying them to the furniture.

6. At your funeral, the entire eulogy is, "Yep, he's dead."

5. Your initials are G.S., and you own a Major League baseball team in the Bronx.

4. You are one of the five best solitaire players in the world.

3. You send birthday cards to members of "The McLaughlin Group."

2. You go to a video store and say out loud to yourself, "Well, what do you want to rent tonight?"  

1. No calls from salespeople pushing MCI's "Friends and Family" plan.

Late Show With David Letterman," CBS, Reader's Digest, January 1996, p. 82.

26:03:03 Power Dressing for the Christian

Here is supplemental lesson four to accompany the PDL study on Becoming Like Christ, our topic for this Thursday night. I have been remiss in getting the other handouts online. For those who would like to access them, here are the links.

Handout one- two - three

25:03:03 Didn't he invent the Mac?

CUPERTINO, California‹March 19, 2003‹Apple® today announced that Albert Gore Jr., the former Vice President of the United States, has joined the Company's Board of Directors. Mr. Gore was elected at Apple's board meeting today. see story

Selling your soul on ebay from the Atlantic Monthly.

Gary Lee McMurray, 30, was arrested in February for grand larceny in Jonesville, Tenn. Police said McMurray telephoned Debra Letourneau of Long Hollow while she was at the home of another man, told her he had her upper plate of false teeth, and told her that if she did not pay him a ransom (amount not reported), he would stomp on them. [Kingsport Times News, 2-26-03] from News of the Weird 789

25:03:03 Quotable Quotes

"You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, The Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the US of arrogance, and Germany doesn't want to go to war." from Sandhill Trek

25:03:03 On the Headphones today

Michael Card's latest- A Fragile Stone

...darn those keyboarding skills of mine...

25:03:03 Life as Diversion-

Haven't blogged online due to flu, but I'll transfer some stuff that made its way into/out of my analog journals this weekend...

25:03:03 Reasons for unanswered prayer

Caveat 1: First let it be said that God delights to answer the prayers of His people, we are to believe He will answer, having faith and not doubting (James 1:5-6, and Matt. 7:11-will not your heavenly father give you good gifts?) Yet as a loving father, it pleases Him to withhold answers on occasion when it is for His greater glory to do so. God is not one to wink at sin and we meet Him in the woodshed from time to time.

Caveat 2: On the reduction of Biblical Truth to lists. These references from last week's teaching are not intended to form a prescription but might rather be thought of as an early warning checklist to aid you in examining your lives. As I have contended before, adoration and confession avail much when addressed before supplication.

This list from my friend Larry...

1. Non Believer- John 15:7

2. Believers

a. Evil doer -1 Peter 3:12, Ezekiel 39:24, John 9:31
b. Regarding iniquity in my heart- Ps.66:18, Isaiah 59:2, Isaiah 1:15
c. Not forgiving others- Mt. 6:15, 12, Mark 11:25-26
c2. Brother has something against you -Mt. 5:23-24
d. Doubting- Mark 11:23-24, James 5:15, James 1:6
e. Praying to be seen by men- Mt. 6:5-8
f1. Not abiding in Jesus- John 15:7
f2. His word not abiding in you -John 15:7
g. Not praying for or within God's will- Luke 22:42, Mt. 6:10, Romans 1:12, 2-Cor12:8-9, 1 John 5:14-15, James 4:13-16
h. Presumption (attitude of the heart) -James 4:3, 13-16
i. Taking advantage of God's grace (act)- James 4:3
j. Not desiring God's glory- John 14:13
k. Vain repetitions -Mt 6:7
l. Disobedience- Deuteronomy 28:15, 23
m. Treating wife incorrectly- 1 Peter 3:7
n. Not asking "in His name"...as His representative- John 14:13-14
o. Hating God's knowledge - Proverbs 1:28,29

God doesn't hear some prayers: 1 Peter 3:12, Psalm 66:18, Isaiah 1:15, Isaiah 59:1-2, Micah 3:4, 1 John 5:14-15, Ezekiel 8:18, Lamentations 3:44

And much more could be said....



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