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Archive for December, 2015

Below are reviews and Christian reflection of comics that has the theme of Darwinism.  I’ve organized it from the subtle to the more explicit.

Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Book 1

Ultimate X-Men Ultimate Collection, Book 1

Mark Miller. Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Book 1.  New York, NY: Marvel Publishing Incorporated, April 26th, 2006. 336 pp.

This year I started doing something new as an adult: read comics and graphic novels.  I picked this up because the X-Men were characters that I enjoyed as a kid.  I thought if I were to read about the X-Men, I pick up volume one to read as the starting point.  Overall it was good to see the origin of the X-Men as retold in this series.  In terms of storytelling it was okay—not too bad and not too corny.

Purchase:Amazon

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This is a Sunday Series on the Bearing with One Another in the Church.bear with one another veritas domain series

1 Timothy 5:1-2

Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, 2 the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.

1 Timothy would be an appropriate passage to study on this topic because:

The purpose of the apostle Paul writing this book is stated in 1 Timothy 3:14-15 that shows why it is helpful: “I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but [k]in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how [l]one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”à That is, 1 Timothy explains how to conduct oneself within the church!

The well known passage 1 Timothy 4:12 indicate issue of age gap as well: “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example [e]of those who believe.

Paul was aware Tim was a young pastor and had older people to shepherd.

Paul’s church situation was messy just like ours and he had to deal with various groups s within the church from widows (v.3-16) and slaves (6:1-2).

While our two verses group people by gender groups (men in verse 1, women in verse 2) for the purpose of our instruction we look at this matter by how you treat those by their generation.

 

  1. Treat older church members as parents
    1. Point: We must show respect and honor with those who are older than us within the church.
    2. Passage:Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father… 2 the older women as mothers….
    3. Proof
      1. What Paul did not want so he stated as a prohibition: “Do not sharply rebuke an older man,” (v.1a)
        1. The verb translated “sharply rebuke” is a compound verb of επι (“upon”) and πληξης (“strike”) and literally means to inflict blows but also metaphorical of rebuking someone sharply (Kitchen, 195).
        2. The tense indicate this has not taken place, nor should it take place (Kitchen, 195-96).
        3. In the Greek this verb is second person singular and not second person plural (“you all”) and the significance of this is that Paul even wants Timothy himself, the younger pastor, to not be ungodly in his correction and approach to those who are older that Timothy had a responsibility to correct. If the Pastor is not suppose to rebuke in a hurtful fashion even though his job does include correcting and admonishing, how much more so does it mean everyone else must not do this too!
        4. While it is true we must not sharply rebuke anyone, Paul’s emphasis in this verse is focused on not doing this to an “Older man” is nuance, since in the Greek it appears before the verb for attention.
      2. What Paul wanted instead: “but rather appeal to him as a father” (v.1b)
        1. ““but” in the Greek is Αλλαà A Strong contrastive.
        2. Paul wants Timothy to “appeal to him
          1. This verb is a compound verb with the word “beside” and “to call” and thus “call alongside of” (Kitchen, 196).
          2. The Greek verb’s present tense imperative suggest something to be done continuously; that is, it’s not enough as an excuse to say you have done this before, or a few times, but to continuously do this!
        3. What does this practically look like? Paul then invoke imagery of family motif given in terms of generational differences: “as a father
      3. This is true in regards to how we ought to treat older women in the church too: “2 the older women as mothers….” (v.2)
      4. Ultimately its about honoring those who are older in the church.
        1. Remember Paul taught we are to honor our parents when he quoted the Ten Commandments in Ephesians 6:2: “HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise)
        2. Paul explicitly call for us to honor those within the church who are older too:
          1. Remember earlier our point that “Older man” is nuance, since in the Greek it appears before the verb for attention.
        3. Paul in verse 3 even explicitly call our attention to a certain subset of older women: “Honor widows who are widows indeed
  1. Picture: <I use to go to church as a young guy with blinds like a horse; I was focus on going to those who were my age but never even noticed or greeted the older congregation members that I walked passed; wicked man that I am!>
  2. Practice:
    1. Begin with greeting older members; don’t wait for them to greet you, greet them since you are younger and need to honor them!
    2. Seek wisdom from older members! Remember: “A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness” (Proverbs 16:31)
    3. Show care for the elderly! Remember that within 1 Timothy 5 is a long discussion about taking care of widows!
    4. Go to funerals! There is something I learned about older saints that made me wished I knew them before passing which stir me to know more the elderly who are still living!
    5. Great way to appreciate older members of the church: Ask them their church and spiritual life; you will discover they were just like you at one time, and maybe did things you never have done in commitment to the Lord!

 

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The Private Eye Cloudburst Edition by Brian K. Vaughan

Brian K. Vaughan. The Private Eye.  Berkeley, CA: Image Comics, December 17th, 2015. 300 pp.

Warning: Spoiler alert.  This is a clever story about the issue of freedom, privacy, the government, technology and the internet.  The story takes place in a futuristic Los Angeles after the electronic “cloudburst” in which everyone’s online activity such as internet searches has somehow become public for all to know and see.  The world after “cloudburst” has become hyper-vigilant about privacy, where internet has ceased to exist and people walk around in masks and disguises called “nyms” (etymologically related to “anonymous?”) and people use fake names and nicknames in public.  This alternative world also give rise to the “Private Eye,” which is now an illegal occupation but the black market for them continues to exist since people still want to find out information about others.  It’s in this world that we have our protagonist, a Private Eye who was asked by a client to search up dirt on herself but then was mysteriously murdered.  While reluctant to be involved with the investigation after the client’s death, he is pressured by the client’s sister and also by his paid getaway driver (whom later we find out is just a high school student) but also as the story unfolds because of the parallel to his own mother’s death.  They soon discover that the dead client was involved with something far more complex: a conspiracy to resurrect the internet with the leader being someone who is very powerful and affluent.

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gary demar

In the past I have enjoyed Gary DeMar’s article on Comics and worldview published at American Vision.  I don’t necessarily agree with all their theology but I find them useful with apologetics.  Some of them were dated to 2009 but I’ve read them in the past in their worldview magazine much earlier than that.  I hope you guys enjoyed these articles:

1.) Popular Culture as a Worldview Wedge

2.) The Lost History of Superman

3.) Politically Correct Comics and the Homosexual Agenda

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Comics

Since the 2000s we have seen many superheroes move from the panels of comicbooks unto the big screen in Hollywood.  Some of them have become very popular and profitable for the movie industries.  Think of the X-Men, the Avengers and Batman.  With the release of movie trailers in the fall of 2015 Hollywood is promising that more is to come.  A list on IMDB reveals that among the top ten “Most Popular TV Series Released In 2015” at least three of the shows involve superheroes that first originated in the world of comics.  Superheroes are here to stay.

So why should Christians pay attention to this phenomenon?

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This year was the first time I started to read comics.  It is also the first year that I started to read Batman.  What follows below is my review and Christian reflections of my favorite works on Batman.

Batman: Year One

Batman year one frank miller

Frank Miller. Batman: Year One. New York, NY: DC Comics, January 10th, 2012. 136 pp.

First published in 1987, the author and illustrator wanted to retell the story of Batman with more realism; which is a refreshing contrast to the silliness of Batman in some of the older comics I’ve read and which is characteristics of the 60s TV show.  From what I understand from reading other people’s review before reading this book, Batman: Year One is now accepted as the “canon” of Batman’s origins and beginning.  I enjoyed the plot.  I also enjoyed a Batman that didn’t know it all and was trying to figure things out, unlike the TV version of Batman played by Adam West.  I suppose that is why I like Batman more than any superhero because he’s a man and not someone with superpower.  This is a Batman volume that I finished through in one sitting.

Christian Reflection:

Sometimes some comic books and TV show can paint the hero in unrealistic light where they have it all together.  Here was see a young Bruce Wayne who didn’t have it all together, and one who could be hurt and injured.  Batman after all, is still a man.  And as a man he is not perfect nor does it mean that victory will always be easy.  This book also is honest about the darkness of the world in city life.  I also enjoyed the story of police officer Gordon who was just starting out with the Gotham police force and Gordon facing police corruption and incompetence.  It lead me to appreciate the authority that God has place in civil magistrate according to Romans 13 who does make a stand for justice and who does not bear weapons for nothing.

Purchase:Amazon

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batman man

Beginning tomorrow I plan on doing a short series on comics, superheroes and worldviews.  I’ve done something like this earlier this year but I want to focus more on the hero aspect.  Given how much our culture talks about superheroes and comics today, I think it is worthwhile to think about it from a biblical worldview.

 

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12309655_10153767085218390_4668654150924407253_o

Here are the links gathered from the Internet between December 8th-14th, 2015 concerning the topic of Presuppositional apologetics.

1.) Truth Requires God

2.) Worldview: Atheistic Dualism

3.) In Memory of, Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen. Twenty Years Ago Today by his son

4.) Van Til Quote: Now he stands on his feet

5.) Greg L. Bahnsen — December 11, 1995

6.) I just go one marriage further

7.) SOME NOTES ON SCRIPTURAL EPISTEMOLOGY PT.1

8.) Worldview: Materialism

 

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Sovereignty of God Arthur Pink

Arthur W. Pink. The Sovereignty of God.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, April 1st, 2013. 270 pp.

I was blessed reading through this book which served as a theological devotional while I was working on my church’s series through the Sovereignty of God.  Pink shares many Bible verses to make his case that God is sovereign and in control of all things over several chapters such as “The Sovereignty of God in Creation,” “The Sovereignty of God in Administration,” etc.  In the forward of the book Pink acknowledges that the most controversial part of the book for many would be the chapter on the sovereignty of God n reprobation but I think Pink’s position is biblical however unpopular it may be.  I was really amazed at how well Pink dealt with the subject of God’s sovereignty and the human will.  There were things Pink said that I thought were newer insights of contemporary Calvinists who are more philosophically attuned that Pink said in less philosophical in jargon.  I was impressed and I supposed I learned from this that there is nothing new under the sun.

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bear with one another veritas domain series

The church is important.  Beginning next Sunday we will start an outline series on “Bear with one another” since some church problems deals with the practical issue of bearing with one another.

I hope God’s people will be blessed.

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This video was somehow very encouraging for me tonight.

One thing I am looking forward to in heaven is to see the fruit of God’s work in our evangelism.

There is so much we don’t see.  We witness the Gospel out of our faithfulness to the Lord.  We love people like Paul did in Romans 9.

Yet so little we see.

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rapture funny

How do you explain the doctrines of Sovereign Grace to those who are well versed with the End Times?

Calvinism is not Awill; It is the belief that God’s saving grace is Prewill in contrast to Semi-Pelagian’s Post-Will.

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For those looking for a Christmas gift book this is one I recommend.

Inconspicuous Providence Bryan Gregory

Bryan R. Gregory. Inconspicuous Providence: The Gospel According to Esther.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, December 12th 2014. 208 pp.

This was an amazing commentary on the book of Esther.  I learned a lot about Esther as a result of reading it.  It is one of those rare commentaries that is great for devotionals and the expositor as I explain below.

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Man Walking Deserted HIghway in Utah
Some word on Christian and politics.  Most Christians have the intuition that when it comes to political views we shouldn’t choose a position or support someone that’s extreme for extremists sake but I think we also should not be moderate for moderate sake alone either; sometimes moderates mean those who continually compromise on good principles so as to look middle of the road.  More harmful policies has been caused by so called “moderate policies.”  Picking a position merely because it’s in the middle of everything isn’t wise in other instances of life as the pictures demonstrate above so why do we do it when it comes to politics?  We must also not forget that there is a leftward drift in our society and really things that are “moderate” today was what was liberal yesterday.  Again I’m not advocating to be an extremists for the sake of being extreme:  I think we should look for those who have sound economic, national and foreign policies and debate the merit of those policies rather than irrelevant attacks and personal attacks that occur too much today for cheap media sound bites.  Ultimately for the Christian we must ask the question of what is Biblical.

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12274268_10153757643638390_3213903715001889466_n

These are links concerning Presuppositional apologetics gathered from December 1st-7th, 2015.

1.) Rich Bargas: Humility in Defending the Faith

2.) Presuppositional Objectivity

3.) Bertrand’s Blunderbuss

4.) November Ministry Update: Frontline Apologetics

5.) Encounter of Jerusalem With Athens — Greg Bahnsen

6.) The Psychological Complexity of Unbelief

7.) 2015 REFORMED FORUM’S APOLOGETICS COLLOQUIUM

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