Thursday, 29 September 2011

WTG SPY! (Way to Go St Paul's Youth)

A nice story involving young people from St Paul's Edmonton;
From The Anglican Planet...
ON MAY 15, the town of Slave Lake, 200 kilometres north-east of Edmonton, was struck by devastating wildfires. One-third of the homes and businesses were destroyed.
St Paul's VBS usually welcomes a team each summer from Crosstalk Ministry, which is based in Montreal. Students travel across Canada during the summer months to facilitate Christian day camps. Crosstalk had already booked one of its two-member traveling teams to run a one week VBS day camp in the Edmonton parish of St. Paul’s, but on short notice they and a team from St Paul's did two more weeks in Slave Lake. By all accounts it was a true blessing to all concerned.
When they heard of the need in Slave Lake David Dolmat and Emma Goettke offered to continue traveling to the struggling town. Since about 150 kids were interested in attending VBS, Slave Lake opted to host two one-week camps. St. Paul’s also offered to send two teams of its youth leaders to assist, including newlyweds Lauren and Adrian VanderHout. Lauren told the Messenger:
“While Slave Lake welcomed the idea of a facilitated day camp, the community worried it would not have enough volunteers. My co-worker, Noelle Byer, and I were asked if we would gather a youth team to come with us. We arrived in Slave Lake with nowhere to stay, but ready to ‘do’ day camp.
Quite a bunch. Well done.

Take Care

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Anyone Remember This?

My wife tries to tell me she wanted us to go to Woodstock back when it happened, but she says I didn't want to go. I don't remember that, but I can well remember a number of "little Woodstocks" presented aroung Southern Ontario after the movie came out and it was hip to be associated with it, however tenuously.
Guys would get on the public address system and try to sound like the announcer at Woodstock (Chip Munk, I think it was) just to hear the sound of their voices. Looking back, it all seems rather funny.

At any rate, this number includes what may arguably be the best drum solo in rock history, beginning around 2:50 and lasting a full two minutes.

Those were the, "good old days," but I've become a new person since, and I sure wouldn't want to go back.

Take Care

Monday, 19 September 2011

Alzheimer's and Faithfulness

From Here...
[Last] week on his television show Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson said a man would be morally justified to divorce his wife with Alzheimer’s disease in order to marry another woman. The dementia-riddled wife is, Robertson said, “not there” anymore. This is more than an embarrassment. This is more than cruelty. This is a repudiation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Marriage, the Scripture tells us, is an icon of something deeper, more ancient, more mysterious. The marriage union is a sign, the Apostle Paul announces, of the mystery of Christ and his church (Eph. 5). The husband, then, is to love his wife “as Christ loved the church” (Eph. 5:25).

At the arrest of Christ, his Bride, the church, forgot who she was, and denied who he was. He didn’t divorce her. He didn’t leave.

There is probably some support for someone whose spouse is, "not really there" seeking other companionship. Certainly there is sympathy, and that sympathy itself is not wrong. And just as in other areas of sexuality, there is the selfish view that one's personal 'needs' outweigh what is right or wrong. It's as if we are justified in including a, "but" after every vow.

Is a person justified in leaving a spouse who has Alzheimer's? I guess it depends on how seriously you take your promises.

Take Care

h/t themcj

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Greg Koukl on the Historicity of the Gospels

Clearly and succinctly put.

Obvious when you think about it, but a common objection from those who haven't thought things fully through.

Koukl's very helpful site, Stand to Reason, is Here...

A number of short answers to various apologetic questions is Here...

Take Care

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Chaz Bono on "Dancing With TheStars"

From Here..., among other places.

The news that Chaz Bono, born the daughter of Sonny and Cher Bono, but since transgendered to a man has ignited a firestorm of criticism, as well as support for the move. What should be the Christian response to this story.

Well, I'm sure there are many different responses, including the call from some Christian groups to boycott the show, but I will try here to give you mine.

First of all, I don't really care for the show in the first place. My daughters grew up in the world of dance, and my oldest still teaches it. But we are both in agreement on the faact that the recently popular dance shows on television, not only DWTS but , "So You Think You Can Dance" (both American, but especially Canadian) have overly sexualized dance. Every hip-hop number, for instance, seems to include an obligatory simulated sex act. Even the ballroom dancing on DWTS has deteriorated to a focus on the more erogenous areas of the anatomy, especially the female. So I don't think the show is the best television fare for Christians to be watching anyway, especially Christian families.

But what about Chaz? I believe there are only two kinds of people in the world; the saved and the unsaved. As Christians, we need to be focused on witnessing to the unsaved, not judging them; not putting them off or pushing them away. Without passing judgment on Chaz' status, if he is not yet a Christian, we need to pray that he might somehow become one. When anyone does then become a Christian, the past no longer matters, as far as his standing with God is concerned. He is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come. It is not our business to be judging anyone who has not yet come to faith in Christ. It is our business to see, LORD willing, that they do.

I think 1 Corinthians 6 applies here.
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NIV, emphasis mine, JK)
Some of the Corinthians Christians, indeed some of us today, were once the type of people Paul condemns as wicked, but they and we were washed, justified and sanctified by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. If Chaz Bono were to come to Christ, he would come as he is, what ever he is. Now you may have differing opinions as to what he is, or should be, but he will come as a new creation. The old will have gone and never be counted against him.

A person with tattoos all over his body, for instance, if he becomes a Christian, will still have tattoos all over his body. He may not, as a Christian, have done this; we may believe that a Christian should not have excessive tattoos, or any, for that matter, but that is irrelevant. That person is now no less a Christian than we.

Chaz Bono, along with every other person who does not (if indeed he does not), is someone who needs to know Jesus Christ. I believe it's as simple as that.

Take Care

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Election and the Sovereignty of God

The sovereignty of God does not need to be established. As an essential aspect of His being and person, it is in no way contingent. The sovereignty of God does not depend, for either its existence or its manifestation, on either the fact or the mode of election. God is sovereign, regardless of whether He elects, or does not elect... whether He elects some, or all... whether election is conditional or unconditional. Neither the fact of election nor the mode of election nor the extent of election affects the fact of (His) sovereignty..., and the assumption that unconditional particular election is necessary for the preservation of (His) sovereignty... is a theological humbug which for generations has been used by Calvinists to beg the question. (Shank; Elect in the Son, p144)
AsI have argued before, just because God can do something, does not mean He is obligated to do it. Just because He could have designated particular individuals for salvation in eternity past (and therefore by corollary, all other particular individuals for damnation without recourse) doesn't mean He did it. Just because He is sovereign over all things, doesn't mean He must exercise that sovereignty.

He could very easily have instructed all people everywhere to seek Him, and then rewarded those who did. And of course, that is exactly what He did (Hebrews 11:6).

He could have promised that all who seek Him with all their hearts would find Him. And that also is what He did.

He could have promised that all who ask will receive, all who seek will find, and to all who knock, the door will be opened. And again, well, know

He could have promised the Holy Spirit, the mark and the agent of regeneration, to anyone who asks Him. And, well I could go on.

Those who insist that because God can do something, He must do it, actually diminish His sovereignty, don't they?

Take Care