Archive for August 12th, 2008

At the end of the NFL season last year a few people asked if we could put together a fantasy football league for this year. So we’ve done it. One thing though, you’ll see the name of the league is Neutral Ground so keep the smack talk fantasy football related, even if someone writes something that really irritates you.

Go to:
Yahoo’s fantasy football page and sign in with your yahoo ID (sign up for one if you need to).
League id: ID# is 398786
Password: jesus

Also, if all the slots fill up and you want to play leave a comment here to that effect and if there’s enough for another league I’ll open up a second one.

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Friends,

In light of all the sadness of today, what with Joe M announcing his resignation from CRN.info (I hear he has been tapped to write an intro for Rick Frueh’s forthcoming book), I thought it might be appropriate to learn about an important American tradition. My hope, in posting this video, is that we will learn something valuable about the nature of Christianity.

YouTube Preview Image

So, what does ‘noodling’ teach us about Christianity? Most likely nothing, but this is not to say there are no hidden secrets in noodling that might inspire a book. And it was fun, even for a minute, to distract all of you from the important work of being angry with one another. Here’s to friendship! My hope is that someday all of us can go noodling together and enjoy one another’s company. Isn’t that what noodling is really about? Friendship?

A song of ascents. Of David.

 1 How good and pleasant it is
       when brothers live together in unity!

 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
       running down on the beard,
       running down on Aaron’s beard,
       down upon the collar of his robes.

 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
       were falling on Mount Zion.
       For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
       even life forevermore.

Soli Deo Gloria!

PS–This post is dedicated to merry who constantly reminds us all that ‘an anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.’ (Pr 12:25)

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The JokerMy wife and I attended the midnight show of The Dark Knight, several weeks ago, and I have to say that Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker still has me a bit perturbed. In discussing the movie with my Christian friends, we’ve all recognized how this particular movie villain seems to be much more malevolent and inherently scary than most others – even apart from Ledger’s eerie performance.

In discussing the movie with my non-Christian friends, I have found a particular opening that not only brings religion into the discussion, but has opened up follow-up conversation, as well.

Chaos and Order

In Genesis 1, we read:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

In Hebrew, the phrase tohu u’vohu is sometimes translated “formless and empty”, and this is its only appearance in the Bible. Before everything was created by God, the earth was chaos – formless and empty. In the picture painted in Genesis, this chaos – this formlessness and emptiness was contained within the deep (theum, which is literally translated “abyss”). In fact, the Hebrew word for the abyss (theum) comes from the Hebrew root for chaos (theu).

Chaos is the absence of everything, a vacuum. In scientific terms, chaos is to God as cold is to heat. There is no such thing as “cold” – “cold” is just the absence of heat. In the same way, there is no such thing as chaos – chaos is the absence of God.

And so it was that God created order from the chaos – He created everything from nothing. (To the ancient Jews, the seas represented the abyss – chaos – which was why so few would venture out onto the sea, and why so many superstitions were part of it.)

In the Beginning

In the Hebrew mind, the opposite of God is not Satan. To view it as such is an outgrowth of Babylonian dualism. In fact, though, to the Hebrew mind, the opposite of God is chaos. In the poetry of Genesis 1, we see the overarching theme of God’s creation, as ‘deep calls out to deep’, where God first creates and separates from nothing on days 1-3:

Day 1: Light and Darkness
Day 2: Sky and Water
Day 3: Water, Land and Vegetation

Then, in days 4-6, God brings forth creation from creation, paralleling Days 1-3:

Day 4: Sun, Moon and Stars
Day 5: Fish and Birds
Day 6: Animals and Man

And then, on the seventh day, God rests, and hands the tasks of creating from creation from creation to mankind – to be fruitful and multiply and to continue to bring order to creation.

And so, in the Hebrew mind, God created from nothing, filling the chaos with order. He then further creates from His creation – further eradicating chaos. Finally, he gives man the job of working and bringing order to all that He created – fully eliminating the chaos.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Recently I’ve been involved with Ken Silva in a matter that I wanted to address privately. Ken decided to go public with that situation, which is his prerogative and right. I want to respect that. Here is the situation as I understand it:

  1. I contacted Ken to discuss the issue of him presenting me as a Christian Agnostic. I have evidence that is provable where Ken’s claim’s have provable damages to me. I did mention lawyers in attempt to show Ken that I have a case of provable libel
  2. Ken rebuffed my attempts to talk to him.
  3. I called and emailed Chris Rosebrough of Extreme Theology to see if he would feel comfortable moderating a Three Way Call between Ken and I. As of the writing of this post I have not heard from Ken or Chris.
  4. Ingrid and Ken posted about how I was attempting to distract Ken from the work God has called him to be a part of.
  5. I called Ingrid and expressed my frustration with her and especially with Ken because I was attempting to handle this situation Biblically and being frustrated at every turn. Ingrid did not seem comfortable moderating a three way conversation between Ken and I.
  6. I asked Ken again for contact information to his board and to his local association. My thinking was that I might have to initiate some form of church discipline
  7. Ken ignored me
  8. Someone from Ken’s board contacted me. We talked and I presented the situation as I understand it.
  9. He offered to contact Ken and see if Ken would talk in a three way with us.
  10. Ken refused.
  11. All of the activity that has happened on the “Team Politics” post has transpired.
  12. I contacted Ken’s former DOM and discovered that Ken’s church is no longer considered part of that association.

Now, I will issue the same challenge to Ken again. What of this do you refute or say is inaccurate?

Really though, what matters is what I have learned from this? Here it is.

  1. I believe I have followed all mandates in the Bible in contacting Ken and attempting to handle this issue as best I can. I believe the Bible now calls me to treat him as an outsider. Interestingly enough there is no mandate in the Bible about not taking an outsider to court. (I’m not doing that but…)
  2. I have learned that Ken’s reputation in his town is not good.
  3. I have been sinned against and despite all of Ken’s proclamations about caring about Scripture and the perspicuity of it, he has refused to engage in this matter in a Biblical manner.
  4. Ken has been mean and nasty and does not represent the Christ of the Scriptures at all.
  5. In my opinion, Ken does not hold himself accountable to his board in any manner. Why else would he refuse to give me contact information?
  6. None of 1-5 matter all that much.
  7. I am leaving CRN.info. The bottom line is that I believe Ken and his friends to be the bottom feeders. I know that’s not all that charitable which is why I’m leaving. I don’t have time to engage a man who hides. I don’t have time engage drive by commenters. I enjoy commenting here and may continue to do so, but at the end of the day I do not believe Ken, Mike R, and John Chisam and the rest are worth my time. They are divisive, angry people who do not show the light they claim to have. If they’re writing is reflective of they believe to be Chistianity, we have fundamentally different views of Scripture
  8. I am too busy to worry about modern day Pharisees.

So, let the vulture attacks begin about what I said wrong here.

So long, farewell, I’ll see you (some of you) in the sky….

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