Friday, July 27, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Emerging Audio

Although this expands a comment I made on this Pyro post, I actually started writing my post last week. Curse my slowness!

The Al Mohler radio program had a first-hand example of the Emerging Church mentality about "truth." Guest host Dr. Russell Moore had Tony Jones on there, and they had a little "conversation."

I'll let you listen for yourself and form an opinion, but here are a couple of impressions.

1) A half-hour broadcast isn't the best forum to tease out what an Emerging person believes.

This isn't intended to be a slam, just a fact. You don't want to ask me to pray at mealtime if you want a quick prayer, and you won't get a quick, straightforward answer from an Emerging person.

2) On a related note, there was a point where I felt like Dr. Moore was trying a bit too hard to create fireworks. In retrospect, that may just be his trying to pin Mr. Jones down, but there was a moment where I felt more like I was listening to conservative talk radio than Al Mohler. I don't like it when someone tap dances around a question (or in this case tap dances and then calls it an answer), but I'm equally annoyed when the interviewer puts words in the interviewee's mouth simply to make his point.

In retrospect, as I said, the time factor was working against him, and I think he was just trying to cut to the heart of the issue, but at times it seemed like he pushed a bit.

3) I was suprised at how quick Tony Jones was to distance himself from Mark Driscoll. It was as if he was saying that Pastor Driscoll's Reformed understanding of the Scripture was incompatible with the movement.

4) The notion of "local truth" I confess left me scratching my head. The whole idea of "it's true for me" makes my skin crawl anyway; the problem I see with the Emergent "truth seekers" is that they can't seem to distinguish between things that are cultural and things that are universal truth. That, and I get the feeling they would question any well-accepted truth simply because it was well-accepted. When he was talking about the Council of Nicaea and his notion of "Platonic truth," I couldn't help but think about an extensive, nuanced discussion between Emergent folks about whether 1 + 1 = 2.

In the end, I find myself (not suprisingly) agreeing with many others who have given this thumbnail sketch of Emerging: their diagnosis of the Evangelical Church is right on, but their prescription is horribly flawed. If there was any doubt about whether liberalism and post-modernism could co-exist, I think it has been put to rest.

I hope to revisit this discussion as I progress further in reading The Truth War.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Custom PDF Calendars

My first "Works for me Wednesday" post

This site is kinda handy. Lets you print a custom calendar with up to 12 weeks on a page. Lots of customization options.

I've found it helpful for creating assignment overview calendars--6 weeks on landscape have done the trick.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Why God Isn't A Risk Taker

Here's a great quote from Risk and the Cause of God, by John Piper, which explains the concept of risk, and why God can't take them.

The whole thing is worth reading.

Why is there such a thing as risk? The reason there is such a thing as risk is that there is such a thing as ignorance. If there were no ignorance, there would be no risk. Risk is possible because we don't know how things will turn out.

This means that God can take no risks. He knows the outcome of all his choices before they happen. And since he knows the outcome of all his actions before they happen, he plans accordingly. His omniscience rules out the very possibility of taking risks.

Friday, July 06, 2007

True Freedom

I was working on a big long discourse about the meaning of true freedom for the recent holiday past. But then I read this, and I thought,"Why not quote someone who speaks from experience?" As believers, we should all speak from this experience, though I know in my own life the passion and vitality I should have as a result of being set free is sadly lacking.

In any case, I'll let an inspired expert speak on the subject.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-2, ESV)