Thursday, April 28, 2005

Sermons updated 

Several new sermons have been uploaded. Click on the link on the sidebar to see.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


I have not posted any new sermons for a while, because I had a sketchy internet connection that made it very difficult to upload. But I've got that fixed, and am going to start putting sermons back on the web. The link is on the sidebar, and I have put the sermons in a new place as well. So take a look and see what's available. The sermons there are a little old, but I'm getting caught up.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Seriously Out of Pocket 

We found out a few weeks ago that Andrea has a complication known as placenta previa, which means that her placenta is down at the bottom of her uterus instead of at the top where it's supposed to be. This means she has to have a c-section, and also that we have to stay near a hospital due to the possibility of a hemhorrage starting at any time. So we're staying at my mom and dad's in the Springs until the baby is born, which will probably be in the middle of May sometime.

We're doing OK, dealing with the inconvenience and the uncertainty. The last week has been really crazy, since Friday night when I had to rush Andrea in to the hospital because she was bleeding. I'm spending about half my time in COS and half in Limon. Andrea has some discomfort but basically feels as good as one ever does in the last month of pregnancy. Thanks a bunch to everyone who's been helping with meals, who's visited, who's sent cards and called. We appreciate it.

I'm getting a really good opportunity to practice what I preach. I have told a lot of people to trust God with uncertainty and fear; that God is in control; that not a hair falls from our heads without His will. Now I get to try to live up to those expressions of trust myself. There's nothing quite so humbling as an event like this to show one one's utter dependence on God for everything. How quickly the plans and intentions of man are swept aside. "As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children." (Psalm 103)

Friday, April 08, 2005

Extremely Unpleasant Experience 

So I was in the grocery store in Colorado Springs yesterday, doing some shopping, and I had an extremely unpleasant experience. My role in the grocery shopping experience is usually limited to pushing the cart around and playing with Katie, so I wasn't really paying much attention to my surroundings.

I saw one of those little displays that they have sticking out from the shelves, and it had a little circle of material and the display said something like "feel the softness!" So, being a compliant person by nature, I felt the softness.

Then I looked up and realized what section I was in- women's hygiene.


Monday, April 04, 2005

The Salvation of the Pope 

It wasn't too long ago that the Pope was widely considered by the Protestant world to be the Antichrist. Not just "antichrist", but THE Antichrist, big "A", long horns, pit of hell stuff. But then the Pope in those days was slaughtering Protestants and building huge cathedrals on the false hopes of ignorant peasants enslaved to a false gospel. Of course when I say that it wasn't too long ago, I mean it was just a couple of centuries, but that really shouldn't be a huge period of time to properly historically-minded people who don't think that the world began on the day they were born.

But I digress.

Pope John Paul II was a different kind of pope, it seems to me. It's all been said, so I won't rehearse it here, but he championed freedom, life and values. He was more responsible for the downfall of communism than anyone else in the world with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan. He was a great man.

Of course, being a great man doesn't get you into heaven. And in regard to Catholics, I've often said that while there are certainly individual Roman Catholics who may truly trust Jesus as their Lord and savior, it seemed impossible to me that someone could be well-versed in Catholic theology and yet be saved, with its works requirement for salvation, its deification of Mary and other saints, its many additions to Scripture, and its bastardization of the Lord's Supper, the one sacrament which ought to be a continuing part of every Christian's life. Big issues, these, and how could you be said to worship the one true God and at the same time give some of that glory to Mary?

How could a man who truly knew and believed these doctrines be said to trust only in Jesus Christ for his salvation? And who would be more well-versed in Roman Catholic doctrine than the Pope?

Just as being a great man doesn't get you into heaven, though, neither does accuracy of doctrine. Being a good Christian doesn't mean being a good scholar. All Christians ought to be scholars as they are able, but it is faith like a little child which is the instrument by which Christ's redemption is applied to us, and only that sacrifice and death can "get us into heaven". Did Pope John Paul II have that faith? How on earth are we to know?

For all the RC's faults, they believe in the trinity, the deity of Christ, and his substitutionary death on the cross for our sins. They believe that it is necessary that I have faith in that death for salvation. They believe in the afterlife, heaven and hell, even if they did add a third, utterly unbiblical state, purgatory. All of this, it seems to me, add up to the core of the gospel, even if they have dumped a truckload of other garbage on top of those beautiful doctrines, obscuring them to millions.

So I'm not willing to say. And I don't think anybody should. I think this is the proper use of that so often abused quote from Jesus- "Judge not, lest ye be judged." If I judge John Paul to be condemned by his impurity of doctrine, I may just be judged on the same basis myself, and I am not so big a fool as to think that I've earned my place in heaven by my theological acumen. I am utterly dependent on the grace and mercy of God. So is Pope John Paul II, and I am content to leave it that way. "Will not the judge of the earth do right?"

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The End of the Bronze Age 

I recently purchased a 12-disc set of courses from The Teaching Company on ancient Greece. I spend a lot of time in the car, and I thought this would be a productive way to spend some of that time. They've been fascinating, by the way. Well worth the money.

Anyway, I just listened to the account of the forerunners of the Greeks, the Mycenaeans and the Minoans. They had a pretty amazing civilization in the 2000-1200 BC range of time, give or take. But their civilization ended rather abruptly, due to causes that are not entirely clear. And not only them- but basically all of the bronze age civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean all came to an end at about the same time, followed by a dark age of a few centuries until the rise of iron age cultures in the ninth and eighth century.

I did some adding up and some remembering, and it occurred to me that the Israelites would have left Egypt and arrived in Canaan in 1400-1300 BC, depending on whose dating you use. And it was over the next two hundred years that these cultures all collapsed- Hittite, Minoan, Mycenaean, Cretan, and others. Now maybe this has been extensively said before- probably so. But the Biblical account of the Israelite invasion and destruction of the Canaanites would directly account for some of that, and indirectly it could have caused a lot of the rest of the decline too, it seems to me. The general breakdown of order caused by the destruction of those civilizations in Canaan could have caused a lot of disorder to spread to other parts of the Mediterranean world, accounting for that sudden and precipitous decline of so many civilizations at the same time. And the pinnacle of Israel under David and Solomon would then correspond to the dark ages of most other civilizations around them.

It seems to me that the Biblical account of this period would far better explain these events than a lot of the speculation I've heard. The Teaching Company lecturer throws some ideas out about possibilities, but admits that they are speculations and says that nobody really knows what happened. But while I haven't studied the idea out exhaustively, I think we might just be able to add this to the long list of answers that the Bible provides us with. If I were right it would hardly be the most important issue the Bible ever solved for us- far from it. But it's interesting, nonetheless.

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