What saddens me abou the Seeker Movement

Many of you know where I stand on certain issues. What saddens me about this video is that it's like church becomes a spectator sport where the important thing is getting people into the door and entertaining them long enough to get the message (if such a message is preached). I doubt many of them will be hearing about turning from their sins, repenting, and following Christ. I"m pretty sure it will be a family friendly event. Why is that so bad? Because church isn't meant to be a family friendly event. I can understand logistical stuff that goes on at big churches, and yet the emphasis is so placed on people, I think it edges God out.

Lest you think I'm being overly picky, two years ago, I had a sad and yet wonderful thing happen to me on Easter Sunday. It was very early, and the people had arrived at my former church. It was one big production show after another. Indeed, there was singing and presentations and it was all fun. (I might add, is church meant to be fun only? ) Anyway, I just saw no preaching of Christ, his mission, he cross or anything. The guest speaker talked about God and how he makes families better. Not that I'm against that kind of stuff, but on the one day when the message of Christ needs to be preached, we get that? It saddened me. I found an empty room and sat down with my laptop and opened my Bible. I was let to read Revelation 5:

1Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" 3But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.

I wept, because no one was worthy. Not even me. i wept for the people because they were being spoon-fed, when they needed meat. I wept, because I felt alone. But then, I read

5Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."

HE had TRIUMPHED. That's what that day was about. HE was worthy, when I was not. He triumphed, where I could not. In a sense I believe God spoken to me. Through his Word. It was an amazing moment of being alone with God. He encouraged me that day, by showing me what he had done. I hope on Easter Sunday, people will hear about what Christ did for them, rather than get some snazzy production. SDG.

"Selling Jesus " at the Riverside International Film Festival

As a happy citizen of the Inland Empire, I know our little corner of the universe has something to offer in terms of the arts. I was right. I found Inland Arts and was surprised to find the Riverside International Film Festival. What makes it more exciting is that it all happens on the week or my birthday-April 11-April 20 (my bday is the 21st) I might add, were anyone kind enough to celebrate my birth by taking me to a show (hint hint) I would much appreciate it. Having said that, I've posted two movies that are playing at the event.

The first is called "Matando Cabos" (Killing Cabos) A Mexican film with a weird description:
Oscar Cabos, a multimillionaire tycoon, is being held for ransom--only his captors have nabbed the wrong man. Now, to get their money, they must find the real Cabos--which could get tricky since he's been counter-kidnapped by his future son-in-law and impersonated by his childhood friend (now his janitor), Nacho. To make matters worse, the two desperate friends who started this mess must rely on the less-than-delicate street savvy of former wrestler Mascarita and the pint-sized Tony "The Cannibal" to sort it all out.
Get it? I can't wait to see this one.

The next one is pretty interesting to some of us who want to get a feel for how we are perceived. It's called "Selling Jesus". It's described as:
Accept Jesus Christ before the Apocalypse and Receive Salvation at No Extra Charge.
Carl Christman presents a satirical look at the evangelical movement and religion in general.

This one will be interesting to see.

Does God have no expectations?

A leap day discussion: In a blog with a good friend of mine he's made the argument that an expectation/obligation framework is a bad way of understanding our relationship with God. In essence God has no expectations of us, and thus when we respond to anything he has done, he has gratitude for whatever we do. Click the link to read what he says. And read my response. What would you say?


Supply a caption!!!!!

The new Russian President Demitri Medvedev


What do Rick Warren and Bart Ehrman have in common?

What could atheistic scholar Bart Ehrman and Mega Pastor Rick Warren's respective books have in common? (Besides the three and half stars they have on amazon) Here's a quote from the jacket of Erhman's new book-pay close attention:

Through close readings of every section of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, he discovers that the Bible offers numerous answers that are often contradictory. The prophets think God sends pain and suffering as a punishment for sin and also that human beings who oppress others create such misery; the writers who tell the Jesus story and the Joseph stories think God works through suffering to achieve redemptive purposes; the writers of Job view pain as God's test; and the writers of Job and Ecclesiastes conclude that we simply cannot know why we suffer. In the end, frustrated that the Bible offers such a range of opposing answers, Ehrman gives up on his Christian faith and fashions a peculiarly utilitarian solution to suffering and evil in the world: first, make this life as pleasing to ourselves as we can and then make it pleasing to others.

What is troubling to me is that these portions of scripture are all taken to mean that they are all talking to us right now. It comes doewn to the old "what does this mean to me" ploy. Never mind the context for which each story happens. Or that God has the right to do whatever he wants. Or that God owes us nothing. Instead, he makes man the measure (don't we all?) and puts God on the stand, when it's really the other way around. It's just bad use of the Bible in the end. And bad philosophy, for utilitarian answers to evil have the difficulty of trying to make everyone happy-but that is a very vague notion. After all, what would make a society filled with murderers, rapists and child molesters happy?

What does RW have to do with this? (BTW: I use the initials RW much like the people HERE ) I went to Borders to read through his book as my old church is on the eve of the 40 Days of Purpose (a critique of it is here) so I could get a feel for what this guy teaches. I looked at the back of the book to see what he was quoting. To his credit he does quote a lot of scripture (just as Mr. Erdhman's book will-hint hint). I was amazed at what I saw:
He quotes The Message, NIV, New Living Translation, Living Bible, New Century Version, Today's English version and The Amplified Bible to no end.
King James 4
nasb: 5
jerusalem: 1

In essence, he quotes the most loose and most paraphrased version of the Bible to teach millions of people who will buy his books. Much like Erhman, he's taking the bible out of context and forcing meanings on it that it does not have. In appendix three of his book he attempts to defend his use of many translations. In short he says, some translations miss the nuances of the Greek and Hebrew. So instead of going to the more literal translations, he goes to the broadest translations that may not adequately reflect the original intention! And then he goes on to defend his use of only parts of scripture (much like Erhman quoting scripture out of its context). He states that since Jesus and the Apostles sometimes only quoted parts of scriptures to make a point, we should too. He defends this from the fact that chapter and verse divisions were later inventions. To that I say irrelevant. A verse or sentence cannot be quoted without the immediate context of its book. Here's one for you Mr. Warren: "Jesus replied, 'Friend, do what you came for'" (Matt 26:50) and "So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself'" (Matt 27:5). Well, I guess we must go hang ourselves. I'll get the rope.

All this to say, Mr. Warren goes out of his way to proof text everything he says, by quoting a translation that fits with what he's saying. It almost felt like he looked through every translation that had the word "purpose" in the verse-even if the word had no business being there. Not to say that he's teaching terrible things, but I have to wonder at a man who is playing loose with scripture. Indeed I'll leave you with the words from amazon customers:

--I am a theologian and I read this book years ago. I actually bought into the load Warren served the church because it sounded good and he quoted the Bible. It has to be good if he quotes the Bible and the rest of the church likes it, right? Surely that many people *can't* be wrong, could they?

I was recently led to compare his book to the Bible...NOT the paraphrase, but what the Bible originally said. Look at what Warren is saying compared to the Greek and Hebrew (a good interlinear Greek and Hebrew Bible will help anyone who does not read Greek and Hebrew!) There are HUGE differences. You can't pull random verses out to support what you believe. You have to use verses in context and shoot....you should at least quote the verses in their entirety, not just crop off the part you don't like to make it seem like the entire verse was quoted! Sadly, unless you compare Warren's book to the Bible, you may not realize this is happening.

It is downright scary how many are following this blindly. It is downright scary how many churches are building and running their church based on what Warren says rather than what God gave us in His Word.

Those closest to me know that I often say "If the world is going one way, I better be going another." Sadly, I am having to change this to say, "If the church is going one way, I better be going another" because apparently most of the churches in America are on board with this crock.

--In citing 1000 scriptures throughout the book, Warren uses 15 different Bible translations interchangeably. He explains that all translations have limitations and that he uses various translations to present scriptures in a fresh way.

--As far as I can tell this book has no Christianity in it at all, by that I mean, there is nothing about the teachings of Jesus found in the gospel writings: Do to others as you would yourself, love your enemies, judge not, etc. The only thing Warren has heard Jesus saying is "go and make disciples". But without the content of Jesus' teaching, how can you do even that?

The most helpful one star reviewer says:

1. The 40 steps or whatever he calls them. There are not 40 steps that you take and magically become a good Christian. If you want to be a Christian who follows God's will, it is a whole lot more than a 40 step program. It is a life commitment.

2. The focus of the book is on fulfilling YOUR life, while the goal of Christianity should be doing God's will.

3. There are NO Old Testament quotations.

4. There are many, many verses taken completely out of context and misused to support his points.

5. It is widely used by Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, etc. If you write a book about Christianity, and other religions feel comfortable using it to support their theology, there is probably something wrong with your book.

--It is a crying shame that this books is so popular. People fill their minds with this mush when they could be reading books with substance. If there were a 0 star option, this book would get it.

Tim Challie's (the guru of Christian book reviews and all around nice guy) Amazon review states:

Rick Warren quotes the Bible over 1,200 times in the text of The Purpose Driven Life. To do so, he uses fifteen different translations and paraphrases. Appendix 3 contains his rationale for this and he provides two reasons for the number of translations. The first is that in any single translation "nuances and shades of meaning can be missed, so it is always helpful to compare translations." The second is "the fact that we often miss the full impact of familiar Bible verses, not because of poor translating, but simply because they have become so familiar." He believes this will "help you see God's truth in new, fresh ways."

The author's logic is faulty as the two reasons he provides contradict each other. If a translation introduces something in a new and fresh way it will necessarily introduce new nuances and shades of meaning. The way to remove nuances and shades of meaning is to use as literal a translation as possible so that the words are God's alone and are not interpreted by the translator. The author can then ex posit the text, clarifying what might require clarification. This is nothing more than the traditional means of teaching what the Bible says.

We have already seen how the author has used multiple translations as well as his justification for doing so. Of even greater concern is his carelessness in his use of the Bible. He continually removes Scripture passages from their proper context in order to make them suit his purposes. He carelessly applies promises to the reader that clearly do not apply. He also distorts or changes the meanings of certain passages to make them say what he wants them to say. This is well-documented in other reviews on this site.

Having said that, I leave you with the words of Paul to Timothy:

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 NASB

Mind Game

Click HERE to see the back-it's a huge surprise!


Godless Oscars? Some thoughts....

This surely was an interesting Oscar show. A few in times past have been interesting. There was the year in the mid 90's when the independent films outnumbered the big studio films. There was the show after 9/11, and the year Titanic won 11 awards, and who could forget when Halle Berry and Denzel Washington both won Best Actor and Actress respectably. Last night set a mark because all the major winners were European. Of course, the Coen Brothers won some major awards as well. But what I think stands out is that not once in the entire telecast, did anyone mention God! Usually, in most awards shows, I can hear more than a few mentions of God. But, none last night to mention. Does this mean that Hollywood is truly godless? Maybe not. If the nominations this year show anything, we saw that Hollywood can show us what the depravity of man can look like. But, no mention of God? I'm wondering if they got some kind of booklet of accepted behavior that said they could back the current administration all they want, but not mention God? But I digress.
There were some great moments in the show. I loved the performances of the music nominations. I've included the performance of "Falling Slowly" (See below). Jon Steward kept the politcal jabs at a minimum, and there were some funny moments (I'm Halle Berry!). But still, no God? Hopefully next year we'll see someone give the Almighty a nod.

Oscar winners

By now we all know who won and I'm happy with at least one of the winners. Here is the list of who I thought would win.

Best Movie: No Country for Old Men-I was right

Actor: Daniel Day Lewis-crazy guy! I was right.

Actress:Julie Christie because she's gotten the most buzz. (But Ellen page from Juno or the lovely Kate Blanchett should get it)- I was wrong

Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem (got it friendo?)-But I thought Paul Dano from there will be blood deserved one.

Supporting Actress: Ruby Dee-because of all the buzz. I was wrong.

Director: Coehn Brothers-but I think Paul Thomas Anderson did a great job in There will be Blood-I was right, but still stand by Paul.

Screenplay: Juno deserves it, but it may go to Michael Clayton and Ratatouille deserves it too. I was right! Great for Juno!

Adapted screenplay: Diving Bell and the Butterfly-However Atonement looks good as well. On another note 300 should have been nominated for this one, it would have been the first graphic novel to be in this category. And it was a great adaptation of the original comic. I was wrong, it went to the Coen's.

Best song: "Falling slowly" from ONCE (I really liked it!) I'm glad it won! I might add, it was nice of John Stewart to let Markita Irglova come back on stage to give a speech (Glenn Hansard went first and when he finished the music had cut her off) Her speech was great.

Best animated movie: Ratatouille-deservingly so. However Persepolis looked good.

Best foreign film: Haven't seen the any of the one's nominated. I wish ONCE was nominated. It was great. On another note, why was Diving bell and the butterfly not placed here? Oh well.
On another note, here's the stars of Once performing the winning song: Falling Slowly.


The biggest critique of Emergent thought

Are you just as comfortable with certainty as you are with doubt? And what do you tell the dying who are like this man?

30 Day Sex Challenge


Lest you think this was found in latest issue of Cosmo (or any issue of Cosmo at that) this comes from Relevant church in Tampa Florida. I saw the Pastor interviewed today and was not surprised. He had the gottee, t-shirt and jeans ensemble most of these hip pastors have these days. While I applaud any efforts at giving a balanced view of sex, I have to say I have some suspicions. In the last year, I and the people at a little leaven have seen a rise of the use of sex by churhes. I'm not a conspiracy theorist here, but rise of this type of stuff is also highly suspect. And that's why I have a bit of a problem with it. If you want to promote biblical views of sex, so be it, but why glamorize it? In an oversexed culture that thrives on the sensational, how are you being salt and light? More so, when many churches are getting into trouble for these kinds of stunts, why take a chance on giving the church or Christ a bad name?

The Driscoll Debate

Tim Challies has opened a small can of worms because of his review of Mark Driscoll's new book "Vintage Jesus". Having read the review I can honestly say it's very charitable and shows Mr. Challies being honest to his convictions. However, there are a few things that Tim points out that he has a problems with. He notes a few instances of "coarse" language. Those of you who know anything about Mark, know that he has in the past been called the cussing pastor (though he has stopped that I hear).
Challies notes the good:

* “Jesus was a dude. Like my drywaller dad, he was a construction worker who swung a hammer for a living. Because Jesus worked in a day when there were no power tools, he likely had calluses on his hands and muscles on his frame, and did not look like so many of the drag-queen Jesus images that portray him with long, flowing, feathered hair, perfect teeth, and soft skin, draped in a comfortable dress accessorized by matching open-toed sandals and handbag. Jesus did not have Elton John or the Spice Girls on his iPod, *The View* on his TiVo, or a lemon-yellow Volkswagen Beetle in his garage. No, Jesus was not the kind of person who, if walking by you on the street, would require you to look for an Adam’s apple to determine the gender.”
* “The Orthodox and Catholic baby Jesus pictures are simply freakish, with him looking like a Mini-Me complete with a halo. Honestly, if I had a kid like that I would sleep with one eye open.”

He also notes the not so good:
Roughly two thousand years ago, Jesus was born in a dumpy, rural, hick town, not unlike those today where guys change their own oil, think pro wrestling is real, find women who chew tobacco sexy, and eat a lot of Hot Pockets with their uncle-daddy. Jesus’ mom was a poor, unwed teenage girl who was mocked for claiming she conceived via the Holy Spirit. Most people thought she concocted a crazy story to cover the “fact” she was knocking boots with some guy in the backseat of a car at the prom. Jesus was adopted by a simple carpenter named Joseph and spent the first thirty years of his life in obscurity, swinging a hammer with his dad.

After 65 responses to the artice, Tim shut down the comments section. He also responded with an article on the whole thing here.
My own take? It must be noted that Mark has come a long way from just being a "cussing" pastor. He wrote a Christ-centered book on Jesus that many more 20 to 30 year olds will pick up. How likely are they to pick up a book from John MacArthur or R.C. Sproul? However, he's not just attacked by Reformed people because he seems irreverent, but he also gets flak by emergents because he's Reformed. And, he was criticized at church growth conference for using soldier imagery and implying that men were called to lead churches. In my own response on Challies page, I mentioned that we should take a wait and see approach. He has publicly apologized for his lack of humility and he has taken a stand for the bible and the gospel and Jesus' humanity and divinity (which is what the book is about). I would also say that someone who is on good terms with John Piper and D.A. Carson is ok with me.


The hopes and doubts of living in a new Reformation


There's a lot for me to do and I haven't gotten it done. Part of me wants to do a lot of big things. I think I have a tall order to start with: start a New Reformation. That's big. I think it's not to me to start, I think it is for me to participate and make a move. Part of it came when Dr. Bob gave the message on the characteristics of a reformer. I believe it includes a sense of inadequacy, a sense of Destiny and a sense of God's help. I think I have felt some of that in my life. I just feel hopelessly useless at times. Who am I to think I can really do a lot of the things I have wanted to do? My dreams are too high for me. And yet they feel within reach. As one friend told me a while back: the world is yours. One of my pans is to write a book.

My friend Mig has reminded me that I have been saying that since we were 12! True. I think I have more to say now than I did then. But why won't it come out? I'm in full research mode right now, but I don' know where to start writing. It kind of all began a few weeks ago when I was making a list of books coming out this year. One is called "Why I'm not Emergent by Two Guys who should Be". Wow. They stole my idea! Dang. But as I thought about it, they are really coming at it from the perspective of what they are against. Good for them, we need a good critique of something dangerous (or at least very concerning) like the Emergent church. However, I don't want to just say what I'm against. I want to talk about what I am for.
I was contemplating calling the book "Anti-Blue Like jazz". But then again, I want to show what I'm for. And BLJ does not capture that. I have seen a lot of people at my school really get into some of this stuff, and I just want to tell them that they are walking in sketchy territory. I want to show them the beauty and comfort of the New Reformation.

But back to my book. I want it to show what it means to be Reformed and young. Christianity Today wrote an article (and has a book coming out) called Young Restless Reformed. It is a restless experience sometimes because people don't always get what were saying. Our positions are muddled and misunderstood and almighty free will is not honored. It's annoying and it does make one restless. However, I have hope. In my book I want to share some of that (however small) hope. If not to present it to the interested, to present it to the already believing. Maybe I should call it "how to cope with being reformed".
I want to write about everything. Faith, scripture, why I still love church, why I am annoyed with it, a new kind of reformation, why I am annoyed by a new kind of Christian, culture, hope and doubt. A light of hope I have seen is in the new book 'The Reason For God' by Tim Keller. It's basically a presuppsitional/verificational apologetic book that takes on some of the most recent attacks on faith. It's very good and very interesting. I would highly recommend it to all of you to see how you can apply reformed apologetics to post-modern settings. Any book that quotes Lord of the Rings, historians, theolgians, sociologists, Scripture, Bono and Darth Vader throughout is worth taking a look at. Go buy it, read it, and think about it. Who knows, maybe one day, I may be endorsing my own book.


Is Joel Osteen afraid of God?

Joel Osteen

HERE we have Mr. Osteen again embarassing himself on 60 minutes. If he can't teach Christ and Him crucified, he shouldn't be teaching ANYTHING!

Maybe this is why he appears in this video????

Feeling a little contemplative?

In doing my research for my "special project" (hint hint) I've come across contemplative spirituality A fascinating page that deals with the growth of contemplative spirutality in American Christianity and has some great information. Here is an article on contemplative prayer:

Is Contemplative Prayer Christian Prayer?
Topics: Contemplative Prayer

The origin of contemplative prayer and its spread from catholic mystics into protestant circles was recently discussed in a revealing article published by a number of media outlets (click here)

While contemplative prayer has been taught over centuries by Catholic mystics like St. Bernard, St. Teresa of Avila and Thomas Merton, its most recent revival came through people like the Rev. Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk, and the Rev. Henri Nouwen, a Catholic priest who died in 1996.

Its spread to non-Catholic corners has been spurred by Protestant thinkers like Richard Foster, a Quaker teacher; the Rev. Rick Warren of "Purpose-Driven" fame; and Brennan Manning, a former Catholic priest popular among evangelicals.

"This is really a very old Christian form of prayer which does not use words or active intellectual meditation," said Sister Marianne Burkhard, who leads a class in contemplative prayer at Holy Family Catholic Parish. "It is what is often called the 'receptive form of prayer' which cultivates stillness and interior silence."

The head of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria's tribunal isn't surprised that Protestant interest in contemplative prayer has grown.

"It's really a Christian prayer," she said. "It was developed mostly before the Reformation and it's based on Scripture. You can practice this from whatever denomination you come from. (Protestants) have found that this spirituality coming from the old Catholic tradition or even the newer one is very compatible with their own expression of their own denominational faith."

Foster, Warren, and Manning - common names in many evangelical circles. But is the type of prayer promoted in the article above really "Christian"? The Westminster Catechism, a product of the protestant reformation defines prayer this way:
Q. 98. What is prayer?
A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God,[200] for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.

Contemplative prayer, on the otherhand, is thought to be a way of obtaining knowledge of God by emptying one's mind and receiving/experiencing:
Burkhard defined contemplative prayer as "the growing and deepening knowledge of God."

"At some point, you realize you're starting to understand faith better or that you get insight into your life or the difficulties of your life, so that contemplation is often something that works slowly in you. At some point, you realize, 'Oh my goodness, I have really learned a lot and see things differently.'"

Contemplative prayer is usually preceded by centering prayer, Burkhard said, a period typically lasting 20 minutes during which the person praying clears away active thinking.

"You try to get away from all your thoughts and emotions and perceptions and images that float constantly through our minds," Burkhard said. "The teaching is that you choose a word which is called the 'sacred word,' which can be something like 'Jesus,' 'Mary,' 'Let go,' 'Listening,' anything that is simple and signifies my intention to be present to God."

The person praying then silently says that word in order to "let these other thoughts go," the sister said.

How is it that one knows without thinking or understands by repetitious utterances which have no meaning? The method may give the individual a temporary inner peace or calm the emotions, but the Bible, received through faith, is the means for knowing God.

How did we come to know God except through the Gospel, revealed in His word? [1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.]

We can only know God as He makes Himself known to us. God has communicated Himself in person, words and propositions which have been recorded for us in Scripture. He is not silent but has accommodated Himself to our lowly capacity that we might apprehend His purpose. Our faith is not based in any speculation or man-made philosophy but is based on the historic Christian faith which is recorded in the completed canon of Scripture. The Scriptures are without error (inerrant and infallible) in the original manuscripts, and represent the supreme and final authority for our faith and practice. The Bible is our guide in all matters regarding doctrine, church practice, counseling and individual behavior. We should, therefore, always be reforming our thoughts of God in order to be more God-honoring & consistent with the Word of God. The Scriptures were written by divinely inspired humans and are Godss revelation of Himself to everyone. (Exodus 24:4;Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21) - Monergism


First Scientology.....

now Pastafarians! Who are they? They are the atheists who believe in the flying spaghetti monster. It's a form of trying to say we believers have a similar faith in God. A group of very funny people have made a great video in response to them. Enjoy.

Movie Reviews: There will be blood, Rambo

This truly was a freaky little movie! Actually, it was under two hours, but from beginning to start, it set a slow, eerie tone. As a matter of fact, there is no dialogue for the first fifteen minutes of the movie. You see, however, Daniel Day Lewis as he is introduced as a very ambitious, character. In the early days of California, we see Daniel Plainfield as he goes from prospector to oil tycoon over the course of twenty years. But it is the town of Little Boston where all the action occurs. Forget cowboys and small towns. This movie goes for broke as it takes place in a desolate area of the desert that sets the mood for the story. We are introduced to his young son and an ambitious young preacher (played brilliantly by Paul Dano from "Little Miss Sunshine"). But what makes this movie fascinating is that it seems like a horror movie from the start. The real horror is man. More so, it is a study of what Paul warned us about: "The Love of money is the root of a sorts of evil". We see what lengths people will go to because of their greed and ambition. That is the real horror.
The movie has a great pace, Daniel Day Lewis gives an amazing performance, and we get a peek at how people are abused and hurt in the process of many people's ambitions and greed. Whether it is the religious leader, or the oil magnate, greed can affect anyone and everyone. Great film. It is creepy and just throws a lot of things at you that you won't see coming. Go see it! 9/10 points.

Wow! The body parts are flying in this latest installment of Rambo. Where as "Blood" deals with violence as a result of greed, "Rambo" deals with violence done to protect the innocent. In this case, it's a lot of violence. Unlike, the previous two films, this violence is very real (like in First Blood) and it deals with things going on in the real world. When is it right to fight? The movie deals with a jaded Rambo working near Thailand as the genocide in Burma goes on. Christian missionaries (led by the lovely Julie Benz of "Angel" fame) ask for help as they bring medical aid to the country. After little dialogue ( I think Rambo says a few sentences in all!) and lots of explosions, Rambo leads a group of mercenaries to get them. No real fun is poked at the aged warrior (except to call him "boatman" and left behind to take care of the boat). But soon enough we see Rambo in full action. This is where the blood hits the fan. How many gallons of blood did they use? It must have been lots. When is it right to fight? This movie will definitely make you wonder. What's interesting is that Sly has come back to some kind of faith he had in his youth. And after making a great movie like "Rocky Balboa" (which was very well done!) he makes "Rambo". Plenty of action and extreme action makes this a movie worthy of an R rating, but you will like it. I will say, it made me feel very edgy because of how real the violence is. Go see this one. 8/10 points.

Special thanks.....

to the good people at biblicalthought.com/blog. They have referenced my video post. Thanks to them. I also look forward to the major announcement they are going to make in the next few days. Could it be the return of the radio show? I hope so!

An open message to the church....

There is a resurgence in young reformed Christians. We are coming. Are you ready?

A lesson in leadership (what not to do!)


As we all go to the voting booth today, it is a reminder of the many times I voted and felt like I didn't really make a difference (parent notification in CA). Then again, I remember the many times I voted and somethihng did happen (prop 99 in CA-look it up!). Having said that, I didn't give up on the process. I knew Arnold would win, even though there were better candidates out there. I voted for one of them. He lost, but gained some political capitol. Politics is after all consensus, compromise, and preparation for the next election. Sad to say, but it's true. Having said that, I wish to call on the floor Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, and (sadly) James Dobson.
In the last few days they have gone on the air (or had someone for them) and air out their grievances about the republican party. I am just as frustrated with it as they are-but what are they frustrated about? The fact is, they want someone that's 100% conservative and pro-life. The fact is, that no one is 100% conservative! It has a wider spectrum these days. Having said that, as leaders, they should know better than to go on national television or radio and say who they are against. Reading James Dobson's open letter here and see negativity. It takes more than whining and moaning to make a difference. You have to stand up for something. I don't think Reagan would have whined and moaned on national television about who he didn't like. We have to stand up and say what we do believe in.
It would have been better for them to say who they did believe in and use their national platforms to help them. Last I heard, this is a three man race, they are all pro-life. Lest we think that staying home and not doing anything, we must all the more believe that we can make a difference, and that our vote does (or will) count. We should know enough by now that we will never vote for the person who we really like, but we can work with people who we can at least agree with more than 50% of the time.


The New Mormon (false) Prophet

What occurs to me as the new prophet is introduced is that we don't really see anywhere in the Bible someone becoming a prophet because of seniority! And yet that is what is happening. It's never established that you can vote in someone into a prophetic office. Very odd indeed. For more information visit my friend's page here. Tell him Fusion! sent you.

Save the Humans!

Celebrities like Hayden Panetierre and Pink campaign for the lives of animals. I believe we should take care of God's creatures. But in a world where people are getting slaughtered (see previous post) and need physical and spiritual help, can we fight to save the humans first? You can go to to
Kiva which is a microlending organization founded by a Christian guy who wants to help you get money to people in tough parts of the world.

World Vision reports here what is going on in Kenya and ways you can help. As always, please pray for these people. It's the kids who are getting hurt the worse.

Pease pray...

I'll be talking a bit about Kenya. Here is a blog that has a message about a Kenyan orphanage that is possible going to be burned down. Please pray. It hits home for me because my Pastor is from Kenya and he too helps with an orphanage. Please pray for his family in Kenya as well. Things are getting hard over there with all the fighting.


Where are you taking us?

The video labeled a message to the church has gotten much to think about. Where is the church taking us? It helps to take a look at where it is. We see popular evangelical preachers not able to explain the simple gospel, or saying mormons are Christians. You have those on the other side sucking up to other religions and apologizing for things that happened years ago. oddly enough, none of these people ask for forgiveness for things done to the church. We have them downplaying the role of scripture in the church and christian life, we have an unhealthy embrace of doubt and skepticism (and yes, there are healthy uses for them) and some times it feels as if God isn't being taken seriously.
And so I have to ask myself a very important question: what am I doing about it? Paul writes to the Romans in Romans 1
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

For my sake, I want to do something about it. I don't want to be found as someone who whines and doesn't do anything. I want to stand for a church that has a real faith and lives it in the real world. What do you want to stand up for?

A Message to the Church

Are you ready?