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Archive for June, 2009

I have to say, there is something that strikes me about the Social networking site of Facebook that gives me a bittersweet emotion

Being on facebook, you are once again connected to people from the past…and several things never ceases to suprise me even though I should know better…

1.) It makes me realize time has gone by so fast, and our life is shorter than I thought it can be…when the little girl you taught in VBS suddenly is old enough to have a facebook and requested you to be her friend, when you see pictures of the seven and eight year old boys you use to tutor and help with their homework are now high school graduates, when what was once a troubling young boy has been in the Marines for some time now…my, time is flying and I know it when I’m suprised at people growing up! Then there are other ways you know that time has been ticking away quickly…pictures of people you know, and they have changed physically…the wrinkles kicking in, the weight gained on their tummy and waist, the bald spot, the once young stud now unshaven and beaten down…the motherly stern expression of what was once a young smiling face…and I can’t help but to stop looking at the laptop for a little bit, go outside and help my dad bring in the cans he collected from work because his leg is ailing and I notice the incredible amount of white hair my once strong dad now has…the change is occuring in reality not just online and it’s sobering.  So I can’t help but to grieve and realize that it’s about people’s salvation which is the MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT MANNER…

2.)As I said, facebook also makes me realize so little in life really matter in the long run…or even within the lapse of a few year’s run.  There are some people in high school who was so above you, they were so cool, and now they requested you to be their friend…what happened all those years, I thought I didn’t exist in their book (but not for their facebook apparently)?  Suddenly you get a message of how r u doing? “Dude, your pics of you with the Marines are cool!” Since when did they find a Jesus Freak that they themselves were too cool for, now cool?  You find on facebook, the ones who were living the fast life in the World are now burned out…no more crisp clothes for the club, no more “Too Fast, Too Furious” status…burned out by the world.  You go on facebook and you chuckle at the pictures of guys fronting like their tough.  Some people never grow up.  Yet, where am I in life?  I also need to grow up in the LORD and in my character and living life as a GODLY MAN…

3.) Then facebook breaks your heart.  You learn that people has changed.  The info page now reveals the girl who use to go to your Christian club is now “Very Liberal”.  Apostasy.  He’s now an atheist.  She’s divorce, but the husband is still in Iraq. What happened, he was planning to go to the ministry and she seem like such a supporting wife??? Then there is the guy who become of all things, a Catholic and an OPUS DEI one.  The couple who you thought was going to marry…are no longer together.  Oh, and why is that other guy getting drunk? I’m sure readers can identify with the thoughts going through my head at times, “What was that status all about?”, or “Dude, this guy need to chill with the cussing on my friend’s page, what happen to him?”  And the things that really get to me is when you see people in a relationship that’s not healthy, right or godly…and those pictures needed to deleted…and the people who’s sin goes before them and you ended up having to remove them from facebook.  And I mean guy’s profiles too.

4.) Then there are those amazing facebook moments…the guy from WAY, WAY BACK is now your friend after so many years…people that have a hard time returning your calls, well, they respond faster now on facebook…then there’s the incredible unimaginable joy of encountering those guys you went to Iraq with…or the Marine whom you went through Boot Camp, Marine Combat Training and Radio School with…you wondered what happened to him, whether he’s dead or alive and how many times he might have went to Iraq and when was he in Iraq???  The joy of seeing some of those you use to interact with on Xanga…but now it’s no longer the same as on the heyday of Xanga…the kid whom you have invested in at one time or another, you get to know where they are at in life…the brother in Christ who grew up reading your xanga and is now in the military serving our country and determined to live out the FAITH and see you as a role model…some long lost youngster who use to go to your church, message you apologetics question…seeing the one whom you use to worry about subtle hostility against the faith, is now growing in Christ and concern for things biblical…the message from someone who should know better of how they ought to live, asking you for prayer…seeing young people excited about theology and growing in Christ…

Facebook has a way of reminding you that when people leave your life, that doesn’t mean they no longer exist…they continue on living…continue on walking and talking, tweeting, status updatting and commenting…either on the Wide Road of Destruction or the narrow Road that leads to eternal life…a glimpse of their precious life on the Wide Road of the World Wide Web…

You realize how little you know somebody when they present a front in your presence, or act shy…and you realize that people’s fruit is sometimes shockenly revealed so openly…on facebook.

And you realize that you have no control over it, but you wish for a change, for it to be different and you realize even more what having a Sovereign God means…that you ought to Pray, to the one who can change people’s heart and mind…and you have to live for Jesus,

Even on Facebook.

It surely has made me more compassionate, more loving, more kind to people…even the guy you purchase water from…and perhaps share the GOSPEL WITH…

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In light of all the sexual immorality and high profile infedility, Randy Alcorn shares with us his list that counts the cost of Sexual immorality.

As Christians, this is a timely reminder.

The original link is at http://randyalcorn.blogspot.com/2009/06/counting-cost-of-sexual-immorality.html

Here is the excerpt:

Personalized List of Anticipated Consequences of Immorality

  • Grieving my Lord; displeasing the One whose opinion most matters.
  • Dragging into the mud Christ’s sacred reputation.
  • Loss of reward and commendation from God.
  • Having to one day look Jesus in the face at the judgment seat and give an account of why I did it. Forcing God to discipline me in various ways.
  • Following in the footsteps of men I know of whose immorality forfeited their ministry and caused me to shudder. List of these names:
  • Suffering of innocent people around me who would get hit by my shrapnel (a la Achan).
  • Untold hurt to Nanci, my best friend and loyal wife.
  • Loss of Nanci’s respect and trust.
  • Hurt to and loss of credibility with my beloved daughters, Karina and Angela. (“Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?”)
  • If my blindness should continue or my family be unable to forgive, I could lose my wife and my children forever.
  • Shame to my family. (The cruel comments of others who would invariably find out.)
  • Shame to my church family.
  • Shame and hurt to my fellow pastors and elders. List of names:
  • Shame and hurt to my friends, and especially those I’ve led to Christ and discipled. List of names:
  • Guilt awfully hard to shake—even though God would forgive me, would I forgive myself?
  • Plaguing memories and flashbacks that could taint future intimacy with my wife.
  • Disqualifying myself after having preached to others.
  • Surrender of the things I am called to and love to do—teach and preach and write and minister to others. Forfeiting forever certain opportunities to serve God. Years of training and experience in ministry wasted for a long period of time, maybe permanently.
  • Being haunted by my sin as I look in the eyes of others, and having it all dredged up again wherever I go and whatever I do.
  • Undermining the hard work and prayers of others by saying to our community “this is a hypocrite—who can take seriously anything he and his church have said and done?”
  • Laughter, rejoicing and blasphemous smugness by those who disrespect God and the church (2 Samuel 12:14).
  • Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the Enemy of God.
  • Heaping judgment and endless problems on the person I would have committed adultery with.
  • Possible diseases (pain, constant reminder to me and my wife, possible infection of Nanci, or in the case of AIDS, even causing her death, as well as mine.)
  • Possible pregnancy, with its personal and financial implications.
  • Loss of self-respect, discrediting my own name, and invoking shame and lifelong embarrassment upon myself.

I’m older now, turned 55 a few days ago. My daughters are grown, with children of their own. But the list of consequences of immorality is larger than ever. I have two sons-in-law and four grandsons. Many people have read my books, so the circle of people I would be letting down has grown. (For resources on this subject, see my book The Purity Principle, and my booklet Sexual Temptation: How Christian Workers Can Win the Battle.)

It would still break my heart to let down my Lord Jesus and my wonderful wife. That’s why I’m more careful than ever to avoid the little compromises and indulgences that could lead to moral disaster.

If we would rehearse in advance the ugly and overwhelming consequences of immorality, we would be far more prone to avoid it.

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A brother in Christ emailed me this, and I found it helpful in regards to definitions concerning contextualization.

I really hesitate writing anything on “contextualization” because it’s such a buzz-word that is defined in so many different ways.   BUT, I feel frustrated with how patently “contextualization” is written off.  Thus, I propose a new term to distinguish between “good contextualization” and “bad contextualization”.

Good contextualization= confrontational contextualization- it understands the culture enough to speak to how it is wrong Biblically

Bad contextualization= compromising contextualization- it seeks to be as much like the culture in order to get the message across.

Is this distinction helpful to anyone else?

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The Works of Cornelius Van Til, translated to Hungarian, accessible here:

http://www.refkossuthter.hu/konyvek.php?rnd=25351

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Obama is like God?

As I posted yesterday, Obama invoke Jesus name more than Bush did

You wouldn’t find that out from the mainstream media

Speaking of mainstream media, here’s an interesting video clip of a journalist saying Obama is like God, and Chris Matthews agreeing with a “Yeah”

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Interesting observation, from Politico

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23510.html

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Whether one agree or disagree with him, Reformed Apologist Cornelius Van Til has made his contribution in the greater landscape of Christian Apologetic with his formulation of Presuppositional Apologetics.  No man is perfect, and a criticism often quoted against him comes from his own words where he stated,

“The lack of detailed scriptural exegesis is a lack in all of my writings.  I have no excuse for this”, and “I wish I could have given better exegetical justification for this position that I have.” (found in Geehan ed., Jerusalem and Athens, 203-204).

Though Van Til was Covenantal in his theology, from the quaters of Dispensationalism, some have appreciated his insight and contributed exegetical justification for Presuppositional Apologetics.

I’ve recently discovered and scanned through two dissertations in this regard.  These works are more technical in their exegetical defense with interaction of the original language and grammatical/syntactical structure of their passages than for the general readership. I hope to get around finish reading them eventually:

George J. Zemek, Jr., Exegetical and Theological Bases for A Consistently Presuppositional Approach to Apologetics, Thd. Dissertation, Grace Theological Seminary, 1982.

R. Brian Rickett, The Implications of Psalms 19 for Presuppositional Apologetics, ThM. Dissertation, The Master’s Seminary, 2003.

NOTES:

Zemek stated that the purpose of his dissertation was to show “the validity of presuppositional apologetics rests solidly upon exegetical and theological bases which premeate the totality of Divine revelation” (Zemek, 3).  The thesis focused heavily on the finite limitation of human minds, and the effect of sin on the mind.  It is interesting to note that Zemek’s advisor included Dr. John C. Whitcomb, which John Frame identified as a Dispensational Van Tillian.

Rickett’s thesis offer syntactical, contextual, lexical and literary analyses of Psalm 19.  He argues from these basis for the conceptual framework of Presuppositional apologetic.  An important aspect of Van Til’s apologetics is the role of general and special revelation, which is discussed as well in light of Psalm 19.  Dr. William Barrick is the advisor, whom I myself have personally benefited from his insight of Psalm 19.  He also devotes a chapter responding to Bruce DeMarest criticism of Van Til.

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