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Archive for August, 2008


I predict ...

I predict ...

Lack of funding.  They need another $2.8 million to complete the project.

It’s actually a funny interview– what with Steve Taylor and Donald Miller involved.  The target audience of the movie doesn’t have the money to invest.  And those who do have the money have never heard of the book.

I like this part:

Both men say they won’t invest any of their own money into the project.

“Writers don’t make much money anyway,” laughs Miller. “Like Obama says, it’s above my pay grade.”

Angst Personified

Angst Personified

Taylor took out a sizeable loan against his home to help make The Second Chance a few years ago, and says he’ll never do it again.

“I should have called that move The Second Mortgage,” he says. “I made a deal with my wife back then that we’d only use that strategy once.”

Miller and Taylor both say they’re sure the film will get made.

“I’m convinced it’s going to happen,” says Miller.

Asked if there was any chance the project will die, Taylor quipped, “Not unless I die first.” But when pressed for a timetable, he added, “Are you pre- or post-millennial?”

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While many relief agencies have left the areas devastated by Katrina 3 years ago, there are some churches that continue to work toward the rebuilding of their communities.  Many of them survive through donations and streams of Christians volunteering their time and skills.  Please consider supporting them as you can.

One is Lagniappe Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Lagniappe, MS.  Some teens and adults from the church we worship in went there to volunteer in July/August.  You can also support them financially or materially too.  You can read the article written about their ministry to help restore creation in ByFaith Magazine.

The one my brothers-in-law helped is the Christian Life Center (Christian and Missionary Alliance) in Waveland, MS.  Like Lagniappe, you can volunteer or support them in various ways.

The process of rebuilding this area will take many years (CLC estimates 6-10 years).  Just because the “emergency” is over doesn’t mean people aren’t still suffering in those areas.  People still need help rebuilding their lives.  These are just 2 of the Christ-centered ministries helping that to happen.

Update: How could I forget Desire Street Ministries?  Founded by Mo Leverett it was involved in community transformation long before Katrina hit.  Since the life-changing event, Mo has left to receive a call to a PCA church in Tallahassee, FL (gee, I can’t understand why they chose him over me 🙂 ).  Desire Street continues from a new headquarters in Atlanta and a new quarterback in Danny Wuerffel (yes, the Gator QB).  They hope to replicate what they did in the Desire Street neighborhood around the country.  The academy has moved to Baton Rouge. They are still doing some light construction in New Orleans, and need volunteers.  They are also looking for people willing to move to New Orleans to take part in a new church plant there.  They need financial resources too, obviously.  A new ministry they started, to rebuild affordable housing in New Orleans is CDC 58:12 (taken from Isaiah 58:12).

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For a team in the midst of a playoff hunt, injuries are not very helpful.  Injuries have been an issue for the Red Sox all season long.  The latest batch of injuries had Josh Beckett, J.D. Drew and Sean Casey all visiting the doctor today.

Despite the injuries, the Red Sox have weathered the storm okay.  They haven’t gained ground on the Rays, but they haven’t lost ground either.  Theo has made some waiver wire moves to support the team in the face of injuries picking up Paul Byrd and Mark Kotsay.

The Sox got good news on the Josh Beckett front.  He’ll rest another week, and should start again next Friday.  This is quite important.  They could make a playoff push without Drew.  They can probably get to the playoffs without Beckett, but to win in the playoffs without Beckett and Schilling would be near impossible.  I’m not sure I can trust Dice-K in the playoffs yet.  But Beckett and Lester provide 2 great performers that could carry the Sox staff in the playoffs.  Take out Josh, and it is probably one and done.

Jason Bay has been a fantastic addition for the Sox.  His production has exceeded Manny’s while with Boston this year.  Speaking of Manny, I don’t think he’s missed a game or gone to the doctor with that injured knee.  In fact, he’s been hitting great and running out plays, even stealing a base, like all is well.  Certainly leads one to believe he was faking it like in previous years’ hamstring issues.  I’m glad the Diva is gone.  He had some great years in Boston, but he was unreliable.  Imagine what his numbers would be if he gave a consistently good effort?

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Yes, she’s more than the “former mayor of a town of 9,000”.  She is the current Governor of Alaska, a wife and mother.  She has executive office experience on the local and state level- something the Democratic candidates can’t say.

I really like McCain’s choice.  I’d rather vote for her for President.  One thing I love is that she undermines many typical progressive arguments on issues.

  • She’s pro-life.  She was consistent with that conviction even when she was 4 months pregnant and learned their son had Downs’ Syndrome.  She knows the cost of having a child most people would consider rejecting.
  • She supports the War on Terror, and her own son is preparing to head to Iraq.  Her choices would affect her son too!
  • She rejected Federal money for the “Bridge to Nowhere”, so she will fight earmarks.
  • She cut taxes, and stimulated job growth.
  • She’s a member of the NRA- and hasn’t killed anyone or robbed anyone at gunpoint.
  • She’s not a silver spooner, but the daughter of school teachers- one a science teacher.
  • Her husband is an oil man (probably a union member), but has fought against unethical practices in the oil business.
  • She is pro-energy independence, and wants drilling in her “backyard”.
  • She’s not an insider to the Beltway.
  • She has Democrats and Independents in her administration.
  • She represents what feminism is supposed to shoot for.
  • She comes across as bright, positive, articulate and winsome.  This doesn’t mean she’s wimpy- she’s got to be tough to fight corruption, and has the nickname “The Barracuda”.
  • She has an approval rating of 80% from her constituents.  I didn’t think any politicians had positive approval ratings anymore.
  • In terms of experience, or the supposed lack thereof, she’s running for VP not President- so Obama’s comparison is unfair and illegitimate.

I found her speech far more inspiring than any other candidate’s in recent memory.  Boston.com put together some quotes from her race for the governor’s seat in Alaska.  She’s an evangelical, fiscal conservative who thinks both creation and evolution should be taught in school, affirms traditional marriage, and was very involved with her community.  What brings joy to one person’s heart brings fear to another.  Check out the comments!

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A few years ago, the ARP was in the process of evaluating (and eventually affirming) our statement on Women in the Church when explained why we do not ordain women as elders, and why the issue of women deacons is left up to the Session of each congregation.  There are some in the ARP that strongly oppose women deacons.  One of the hang ups I identified was the word “ordained”.  In talking with some men in my Presbytery I stated we probably ought to take the stumbling block out of the way and commission deacons rather than ordain them.

With this issue briefly addressed in the PCA this summer (sadly they decided to send it back to the Presbyteries rather than study it) Tim Keller has written an article entitled The Case of Commissioning (Not Ordaining) Deaconesses.   His article explains this much better than I ever could.

This is a view that upholds male headship (complementarianism) while seeking to honestly understand Scripture on this issue.  He presents historical as well as  biblical and theological evidence that we have to deal with before making a wise decision in this matter.

I particularly like this section:

Many opponents of deaconesses today are operating out of a “decline narrative.” They claim that having deaconesses is the first step on the way to liberalism. But Jim Boice and John Piper, the RPCNA and the ARP, B.B. Warfield and John Calvin, believed in deaconing women or deaconesses. Are (or were) all these men or churches on the way to liberalism? I don’t think so. Nevertheless, one person put it to me like this recently: “Sure, the RPCNA has had women deacons for over a century. Sure, a biblical case can be made. But in our cultural climate, allowing deaconesses would be disastrous. It’s a slippery slope.”

In other words, the Bible probably allows it, but let’s not do it because of the culture. Isn’t that also responding to the culture rather than to the text? If the PCA is driven either by reaction to or adaptation to the culture, it is being controlled by the culture instead of the Word. Let’s allow presbyteries and sessions to use women in diaconal work with the freedom they have historically had in our communion.

I agree completely with Ligon Duncan when he says that the current debate in the PCA is “to determine what its complementarianism is going to look like in the future.” That’s right. His article and mine represent an intramural debate within a strong commitment to biblical complementarianism. While we argue and discuss this let’s keep that in mind.

As those who claim to be “reformed and reforming” we should not dismiss this under the accusation of feminism or liberalism.  Let’s try to work together to better understand what the Bible really does teach on this matter and how best to implement it in our communities of faith.

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Joined at the Hip

Joined at the Hip

The last week seems to be a blur.  We are now back in hot, humid Florida.  The travel day was filled with way too much whining and crying.  Seems to put a damper on a good vacation.  Returning also means a return to my responsibilities- first of which is finding a way to support my family.  Yes, puts a damper on the whole thing.  But let’s ponder more interesting things!

Here are the “highlights”.

Monday night I learned that a church has begun checking references.  This is great news!  The result of the process is not certain, but the process has begun and maybe that will result in something really positive.

Tuesday we missed Tropical Storm Fay.  Our home got plenty of rain, but we did not experience the flooding many other communities in Florida and elsewhere did.  Better than that, CavWife and I stole away for a lunch alone.  A quiet lunch!  No crying, complaining etc.  We enjoyed each other’s company and talked about a few things- including my impressions of Job this time through (2nd time in a year).

CavWife's New Doo

CavWife

(more…)

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CavWife and I finally watched Amazing Grace, the biopic on William Wilberforce.  We suffered from some laser issues at times- the in-laws’ DVD player is in decline- which affected our ability to both enjoy it and follow the story line, at times.

I know a bit about Wilberforce, having read one of his books and read a short biography on him.  In preparing a lesson on the slave trade I did some more research on him.  As a result, I was more familiar with him than the other people in the room.  As a result, I was able to fill in some of the gaps in the story line.  The movie clocks in at a hair under 2 hours and it could have easily been longer.  There were some things I wish were in the movie, which focused on his romance/marriage and lengthy battle in Parliament to abolish the slave trade.  It is difficult to tell the story of such a long period of time in a meaningful way in 2 hours or less.

Most of the movie takes place when he meets the woman who will become his wife.  He tells her of how he became involved in the political battle.  The movie follows along to eventual victory.  The time shifts mean you have to pay close attention since Wilburforce doesn’t seem to change much physically.  John Newton, played well by Albert Finney, and the troublesome Clarkson do undergo some physical changes providing clues if you miss the message.

I am a great sinner.  Christ is a great Savior.

"I am a great sinner. Christ is a great Savior."

The movie clearly portrays his evangelical moorings, but doesn’t dwell on them in a way that would make a non-Christian too uncomfortable.  I particularly liked the quick scene with his butler.  Wilberforce explains some strange behavior on God.  “You’ve found God.”  “More like I’ve been found by God.”  I’m not sure about the exact wording, but it reflects the wording of his mentor’s song- “I once was lost, but now I’m found.”  But the movie does not cover his conversion- which was a fairly lengthy process so that is understandable- or that his faith was the impetus and sustaining force in the fight against the slave trade.

One disappointment was the scene in which his best friend died.  His friend lamented that he didn’t have William’s faith.  Wilburforce left it at that rather than offering the promises of the gospel to him.

The movie makes some quick mention of some of his other accomplishments, such as found the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  This too flowed out of his faith.  He saw Christianity as not less, but more than his personal conversion.  His understanding of Christianity was that God transforms us, and society through us.  Wilburforce was so active in living out this vision that his health did suffer greatly.

... no longer belong to God, but belong to man...

... no longer belong to God, but belong to man...

The film does a good job of telling people about part of this great man’s life.  It is a fairly low budget film.  That it is a period piece helps it to feel like something you might see as a mini-series on PBS.  But I wasn’t looking for style points.

It is sad that most people don’t know about this man, and his lengthy struggle to see the slave trade come to an end, and soon thereafter slavery itself.

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