Tuesday, January 31, 2006

there's something wrong with me...

I'm behind schedule on...well, pretty much everything...so why is it that I'm prepared to spend good time doing this?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The T-Shirt Says It All

Finally saw Serenity tonight. Gorgeous film. I loved the series, but this...wow. They really brought their A game. The dialogue didn't crackle the way that Whedon's usually does--but he was going for a slightly broader audience this time (I never had doubts about his Wonder Woman flick, but I have less now)

There was a rawness, a humanity to this that no Star Trek movie, and most of the Star Wars films didn't touch (maybe bits of Empire). The deaths (and there were some) meant something; the sacrifices, the nobility--they were real. Can't say that for many things on TV or in the theaters today.

River rocked. Still would give a limb for Kaylee. Would like to be half the Shepherd that Book was. Wash and Mal still make me laugh.

Not going to attempt a real review, or even what passes for one 'round these parts. Can't do the film justice. It made me laugh, made me jump, made me angry, inspired and left a smile on my face. Can't ask for much more out of a cowboy in space movie.

Too many good lines to recount, but one'll stick with me for awhile: "If you can't do something smart, do something right." I should get that on a pillow or something.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Malkin's blogging too much lately

Can't keep up with her...but man, I feel compelled to (thankfully still waiting for a couple textbooks to arrive, so it's not like I'm deliberately ignoring homework). One stop shopping for blog-reading.

  • We have this bit of insightful commentary:
    Meanwhile, potty-training my son is like dealing with post-9/11 liberals. No matter how much patient educating and explaining you do to convince them to take responsibility for their actions and prevent future disasters, the end result is always the same: soiled pants.
  • This interesting post on the WMD.
  • Some tech-culture commentary on the Google-China deal
  • And we darenot forget what Michelle does best: exposing our weaknesses on the southern border. If "The War at the Border" and "The War at the Border: Escalation" don't cost you some sleep, you aren't reading closely.
  • And then hits the cultural high-brow note here (a note I should aspire to).
  • and much, much more...why are you wasting time with my blather? Just read Malkin!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

100th Episode

Smallville reaches the magic 100 mark tonight. (not sure why it's magic anymore, used to be the point at which shows went into syndication, iirc, it's not that anymore)

Anyway, this is the show we've all been anticipating/dreading since the season opener. To satisfy Jor-El returning Clark's powers to him (a la Superman II), someone close to him will die (unlike Superman II). Who will this person be? Someone standing close to Clark? or someone truly close to him? Well, someone from the opening credits. Maybe more than one someone. Supposedly no one on the cast saw it coming 'til they got the script (gotta be a sucky way to find out you're unemployed).

Anyway, will be at work with someone meets their doom. Hope my VCR (how much of a throwback am I? Video cassette?) does its job tonight. Won't be going online 'til I've had the chance to watch it, as a good chunk of the internet will be talking about this. If my VCR doesn't do its job, well, let's just say you won't be seeing me update the blog or check my email for a few months :)

My greatest fear is that it will be Chloe. Scribbler and I aren't sure if we're coming back for a Chloe-less Smallville (we will, we'll just gripe for a couple weeks). Lois is safe, ditto for Lex. I bet Ma is, too. Jonathan...hmm..tough call. But he's almost too obvious w/the long-term heart condition, hate-hate relationship with Jor-El. Lionel? Ha. Not close to clark at all. That leaves Lana. Oh my, I hope it's Lana. She's a drag on the show, the Clark-Lana relationship hasn't had zip for awhile. And we all know the relationship is doomed (see Lois). We'll know in a couple hours how much I think like a TV writer (there's part of me that opes I don't think much like one)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Things that made me LOL today

in no particular order:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

That quote...

Okay, okay, okay...you can stop harassing me. A few days ago (well, a couple of weeks and change) I put a quotation up, with the promise of revealing the author soon. And then silence ensued--part of that was due to the fact that I was busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. Another part of it was due to the fact that I was intending on using it in the sermon I had to preach for class on 1/13, and I was reserving comment on it 'til I was done with that. (and another part is shear laziness, I'm sure).

Sorry Rusty, it was not Princess Di who wrote that. Nor was it little ol' me. And maybe using a Bible Code-type hermeneutic you could find a chicken curry recipe there, but I'm not sure. And as for Internet Lutherans...well, I'm sure the original author would deal with them in such a way as to make Steve Hays look like kitty cat. It was by the stalwart Robert L. Dabney, from the book Sacred Rhetoric. Currently published under the title Evangelical Eloquence by the Banner of Truth.

Here's the quotation w/a little context--Dabney is discussing the subjects of sermons--the type of sermon to be preached. Should they all be doctrinal? Should they all be practical? Dabney says no to both. Part of his argument for a balance between the two in preaching included that quotation. Here it is with the rest of the paragraph:

The practical definition of Christianity has been fully accepted by us. Its end and aim is holy living [author's footnote: "Eph. i.4; Titus ii.14, et passim"]. Of this holy life, the law of God is the rule. The believer justified in Christ does not, indeed, look to the law for his redeeming merit; but he receives it as his guide to the obedience of faith and love, as fully as though he were still under a covenant of works. He therefore needs practical instruction, as really as the unbeliever. It must stimulate and direct him in the Christian race, and make him a "peculiar person, zealous of good works." The exclusive preaching of doctrine to professed Christians tends to cultivate an Antinomian Spirit. The exclusive inculcation of duties fosters self-righteousness. The edification of the Church, then, demands the diligent intermixture of both kinds. This precept may be confirmed by the remark, that, as the motives and obligations of all duties are rooted in the doctrines, so the best illustrations of the doctrines are by their application to the duties. The two are inseparably connected as grounds and conclusions, as means and end; and their systematic separation in your instructions would leave your hearers incapable of a correct understanding of either.
The part that struck me is of course the part that struck the commenters: "...but he receives it as his guide to the obedience of faith and love, as fully as though he were still under a covenant of works." The words are jarring to our ears (and, I'm willing to bet Dabney's original audience). We instinctively recoil, "'Covenant of works? Oh, no, no, no. Even if you accept the outdated notion of a Covenant of Works, we know that under the New Covenant we have nothing to do with such a thing." Well, yeah, I do accept the covenant of works, and I'm not arguing that we should consider ourselves under it--nor does Dabney. I want to emphasize, Dabney is by no means arguing for moralism, if you didn't catch that in the above quotation. He later stresses, "It is only the morality of the Cross which the Christian pastor should teach."

But think of it this way: let's say, we were under a Covenant where our performance did decide our eternal state. Where our understanding, our adherence to a code of morality or a list of duties was the sole determining factor in whether we had life everlasting, or perpetual punishment. Now, given those conditions: how fully would we receive and embrace that code/list as our guide to obedience?

But, thank God, that is not the condition we are in. "The believer justified in Christ does not, indeed, look to the law for his redeeming merit" (or any other kind of merit). By God's free grace, we have been called, justified, adopted, and more. But in love we are to obey that same Lord, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15); "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words" (John 14:23,24). If we love Him, would we not therefore embrace this same code with more ardor, more fervor than we would out of fear of punishment/hope of reward? Especially when we remember, that "this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." (1 John 5:3)

Okay, there are (some) of my thoughts on the quotation. Feel free to throw some back at me.

P. S. Before I forget, while I'm talking about Dabney's book on preaching. His comments on political preaching were worth the price of the book. Should probably get it printed in pamphlet form and mail copies to everyone who attends one of those "Justice Sunday" events. If someone kindly reminds me in a few days, I'll post parts of it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Thought for the Day - 1/11/06

God is glorified in the work of redemption in this, that there appears in it so absolute and universal a dependence of the redeemed on him. - Jonathan Edwards
The absolute sovereignty of God is a corollary of the absolute dependence of man. Similarly, the corollary of a partial dependence is a partial sovereignty and a partial sovereignty is ultimately no sovereignty at all.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Not doin' it on our own...

But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:7-16
Of the many great gifts that our gracious Lord and Savior has given us, perhaps the most overlooked are those mentioned in v. 11 "the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers." Why are they given? The Apostle tells us, "to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…"

It doesn’t take an ecclesiastical genius to see that the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son have not been reached (much less the rest of the list). So it’s easy to see that we still need those gifts. Now we have the apostles and prophets work preserved for us in the Scriptures—and most Christians have little problem remembering to be thankful for them.

But what about the rest? What about the evangelists, the pastors and teachers? What about those working to equip the saints for the work of ministry? Those who throw themselves into building up the body of Christ? How often do we think of them as gifts from the risen and ascended Christ? How often are we thankful for them?

Not just those that we see and hear week after week (hopefully), but all those who from the time of the apostles and prophets have labored to build up Christ’s body to the measure and fullness of Christ?

While in class today, listening to a godly professor cull the accumulated wisdom and teachings of many throughout the centuries to equip we future ministers (D.V.) to equip others. How little I’ve thought of that treasure lately. My fellow elders, my friends in the ministry, my professors, and all those giants on whose shoulders we stand (and a few midgets, too, it must be admitted). How gracious and generous our Lord is!

How pathetic, how shortsighted—how unappreciative, how ungrateful are those who disdain them. Lone Ranger Christians despising the gifts that Christ gave and gives now that he is on high.

May God save me—and his church—from this spirit, and help us to embrace and to utilize their work.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Blog

Natalie Teeger's blogging--yay! Okay, I'd have rather read Sharona's blog, but this is close enough. (and I have to admit Natalie's really growing on me)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Discuss amongst yourselves

I'm going to leave the author and my take on this out of it for the moment, want to hear some chatter from my readers (even you who don't comment that often--especially you!), read this quote yesterday and I've been chewing on it since.

[Christianity's] end and aim is holy living [author's footnote: "Eph. i.4; Titus ii.14, et passim"]. Of this holy life, the law of God is the rule. The believer justified in Christ does not, indeed, look to the law for his redeeming merit; but he receives it as his guide to the obedience of faith and love , as fully as though he were still under a covenant of works.

Stranger in a Strange Land

If you took all the OPCs in Utah and Idaho, put them on a plane and brought them to the meeting room of the PCA church I attended tonight here in SC, there'd still be room for visitors. It was hard on my system (in a good way). On the other hand, the PCA church I attended this morning was smaller in attendance than my own. And both of them (and a few other PCA's in the area) have their own buildings.

Just can't imagine that embarrassment of riches in the Pacific Northwest....