11.27.2008

Female Priests

At one point I'd like to talk about female roles in the church from a complementarian perspective (not as limiting as you might think!) but here is an example of what many churches are going to be facing. Thanks to A Little Leaven for pointing this out.

11.25.2008

"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" a review



It's been a while since I've written a movie review. However, I felt it necessary to share this movie. World War II has proven to be a great source of inspiration for movies about war and the big questions of life. The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas proves to be a great addition to the great canon of World War II movies. What makes this film stand out is that the story is told form the perspective of an 8 year old German boy. Moving from home because of his father's military duties, he soon learns what the war is really about and what is really going on in his new home. He also makes a new friend. A young Jewish boy named Schmuel. This film finds a unique balance between Bruno's child like wonder and the realities of WWII Germany. The stellar soundtrack by James Horner (Composer for Titanic) added a sense of wonder and sorrow to the story. This is a very interesting Good Samarita story, and of how far someone will go to help a friend. On another note, it did have its flaws, especially because it is in English (with British actors to boot) and there was a scene where I felt that the song being sung probably was an old English tune, and not a German hit from that time. I had the opportunity to see this movie with people who more than likely lived through the dark days of WWII and I could tell that this story resonated with them. I think it will with you too. It will leave you speechless.
5 Stars.

11.21.2008

Flashback Fridays!!!!

Sorry for the lateness of my post. Well, here's a good oldie: Breakfast by the Newsboys. Giving us a reason to not go to hell: no breakfast!


The funniest (ok some) moments of The Naked Gun-a funny movie I loved as a kid.


And a favorite movie of mine from the 80's Monster Squad

11.18.2008

New Reformation Promo Video-enjoy

Here it is. Visit the page. And share with those you think would be interested.

11.17.2008

What's the state of the church? Watch this.....

Take a look at the following clip. It comes from Michael Horton's "Christless Christianity" project. It should speak for itself. But I do have something to add at the end.



If you missed it, Roger Olson (Arminian) Marva Dawn (Paleo-orthodox Lutheran) and Scot Mcknight (Emergent leaning/NPP/Anabaptist) also appear in this video. Normally we stay away from people of other (almost contradictory) traditions, but if even they can see that there is a problem, it shouldn't surprise us that Horton's book is necessary. It should also make us think of what we're going to do about it? What is your church situation like? Is it like what is being presented in this clip? Is it only about how God can make you happy? If it is, what will you do about it? I recommend reading Christless Christianity and giving a copy to your church leadership.

But, I'd like to hear from you as well. What is the problem? What are some solutions?

11.10.2008

Happy Birthday Martin Luther!

MartinLuther Pictures, Images and Photos
(Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms)

As a Reformed Christian, I celebrate the life of a great saint God used to change history. Here are a few thoughts, blogs and video clips that commemorate today's event. Some thoughts from the Desiring God Blog
It was a backwater German town called Eisleben on November 10, 1483—today marks 525 years.

There Martin Luther had his inauspicious beginning. He was born a poor boy, son of a coal miner. And by a strange providence, Luther died in the same town 62 years later on February 18, 1546, even though he spent barely any of his life there.

In the intervening 6 decades, the world changed—and Luther, under God, was the chief catalyst.

The pope excommunicated Luther in January of 1521, making him a marked man. For the last 25 years of his life, he lived with the awareness that each day could be his last. He often expressed surprise that he was still alive.


Other's celebrating are
1517: Happy Birthday Martin Luther

And a very interesting video I found. Enjoy. The Reformation Polka. Very funny.

11.09.2008

Gay Protest Saturday Nov. 15-How will we respond?



If you haven't been watching the news, Gay groups have been marching across the state. They've marched in Salt Lake City against the Mormon church, against Saddleback Church, and today against the Los Angeles Cathedral in Los Angeles. How far will this go? Sad to say, it would seem that we are allowed to vote as long as it's for whats in vogue. But it also says that we are allowed to vote, so long as we leave behind that which is most important to us: our values and our worldview. So what are we supposed to do? This Saturday I ask that we fast and pray. If you know someone who is going to march on Saturday, take them out to eat on Friday and talk with them. Even more, listen. I know we'll disagree. As a matter of fact, they may not like our reasoning, but I think they will see that we care. After we pray, the ball is in our court. They will march against our churches, but we can respond with wild eyed extremism (the kind they make fun of on SNL), or we can respond with prayer, with love, and with a carefully reasoned case for traditional marriage. That last part was inspired due to something someone said at our New Reformation "Cheer Up Party".
The book of Luke and Acts were written to a Grecco-Roman audience with the aim of showing that Christianity is a legitimate faith amongst the many pagan faiths of the time. More so, that it was politically viable. I believe that our ideas still have weight and have much to offer. Indeed, they have shaped the Western society! I also believe that living those beliefs to their fullest (especially the mercy and compassion we have shown in the past) could well be one of the biggest testimonies to the world. So from sun up to sun down next Saturday, I'll be fasting and praying. How about you?

11.07.2008

Overheard.....


As yo might recall, overheard is basically a round up of ideas, links, pages and such that I want to put up in one section. So here's what I've overheard

1. Gay rights, outreach and discussion
Ever since prop 8 passed on Tuesday many people have been talking. A few have responded in ways I'm not completely in agreement with, but must think about anyway. Like my friend Jonathan has on his page. The guys over at Biblical Thought have their own thoughts as well. If you'd like to be a part of a longer dialogue on this, you can go to my New Reformation Page, and contribute to the forums. (Oh and feel free to join too!)

2. The election. We've voted, and many of us aren't happy with the results. However, I ahve seen my fellow conservative friends lose graciously. And they have offered some great advice. Triablogue has some helpful ideas.. James White has a video tht we should ALL WACTCH. Dare I say that it is prophetic? Here it is.



3. The John 3:16 conference. As a future member of the Southern Baptist Conference, I will be watching this with some interest. Calvinism has begun to grow again in the SBC and while some people react greatly, there are those who have responded to it. I personally believe it's fear and misunderstanding. Here are some peopel who are following the story. Timmy Brister writes a great review of the events. Justin Taylor also has some important things to say. Tim Challies has a friend there live blogging as well. Check it out, it's about 8 posts in all.

11.06.2008

A prayer for California and the rest of our country....

Father,
We thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed upon us. For the freedoms, and protection you have extended. But today we see where we are as a country. We seek your guidance. We see the entrance of a new president, and a change in our country's landscape. Somewhere, your church is active. But we wonder if it's going in the right direction. This morning many of our fellow Californians rejoice, while others weep. Give us compassion for them. Give us the mercy and grace to reach out to them, even while we have the task to show them how their behavior has alienated them from you. Help us cry with them, and to love them so much we will give them the gospel and treat them as the neighbors they are. Have mercy on them Lord, by having your Spirit move amongst them, that they may turn to you, and be healed. Raise your church, let it be the first to uphold righteousness and justice in it's sphere of influence, before it seeks to move the government to do so. Forgive us where we have sought a political leader to save us, instead of the Savior. Where we have not been wise towards unbelievers, forgive us and we ask that you give us wisdom in our relationships. Where we have given millions to political causes, while neglecting the needy, forgive us. Where we have been ungracious, while preaching grace, forgive us. May we live in peace with our neighbors, as we share your gospel. May we live in a manner worthy of your name.

11.05.2008

The day after the elections..some thoughts and ideas




Like a lot of you, last night I waited and hoped for the TV to give me good news. That news never came. Seeing the first Black President should be a moment for us as a country to celebrate. But I want to say that for many who think that the American dream NOW can finally be reached (or that they can FINALLY be proud of their country) I want to say: I have always been proud of this country. When Reagan, Bush and Clinton were president and I will be proud now. As someone who's family came from Guatemala with nothing, I've seen the American dream come true. I want to celebrate but I can't because of many ethical issues that I disagree with this new President on. But after much thought and prayer and discussions with friends, I have a few ideas to share. Could something good come out of this? I believe so.

1. Humility. I hope that we are humbled today, and instead of being bitter, will pray, and continue to work even harder to articulate our faith, our values and ideas. The church for better or worse is now politically active. Unfortunately we have stayed in the bumper sticker mode of thinking and idea presentation. I hope shallow thinking will be replaced with a real robust presentation of our ideas (that have shaped the West for thousands of years) including the greatest gift we offer: The gospel.

2. 55,543,527. From the good people at Triablogue, I was reminded that that is how many people voted against Obama. This also shows that moderate republicanism won't win. The party has left us, and it must change. Conservativism can win, and McCain's loss (sadly) shows it. But I think for us conservatives, our time will come again.


3. The Sovereignty of God
. I could only hope that as people look for answers, they will find hope in the words of the Psalmist

Psalm 135:6-10
6 Whatever the LORD pleases, he does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
who makes lightnings for the rain
and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

8He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
both of man and of beast;
9who in your midst, O Egypt,
sent signs and wonders
against Pharaoh and all his servants;
10 who struck down many nations
and killed mighty kings,


4. 2010. In two years, we will be voting again. I can only wonder where we will be. But, if you're mad today, I ask that you consider getting even more politically active. I've had the same two liberal senators in California since I was in 5th grade and it's time for change. I think if we want to see things happen, it will happen at the grassroots level. Here are a few places to get involved:

www.americansolutions.com (Newt Gingrich has some cool ideas)

www.hucpack.com
(Mike Huckabee started a political action committee and I like him, his way of doing things and see his new political institute as a means for people to get things done).

More so, keep in mind that real change will always be needed at the LOCAL LEVEL! The fact that in "blue" California, Prop. 8 is passing I see that local politics are not a lost cause. There is much to do and keep doing. Even if 8 passes today it will be a battle. Abortion will again be an issue. Please people, don't give up, local politics (especially in California) will always be important (no electoral college, just popular vote). Also issues on crime, the environment, church/state issues, and such will always be around for us to vote on.

5. Pray. I am happy to see people here who can put politics aside and pray for our new leader. Justin Taylor writes:

No matter who you voted for--or whether you voted at all--it's important to remember that, as President, Barack Obama will have God-given authority to govern us, and that we should view him as a servant of God (Rom. 13:1, 4) to whom we should be subject (Rom. 13:1, 5; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).

* We are to pray for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
* We are to thank God for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
* We are to respect Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7).
* We are to honor Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7; 1 Pet. 2:17).


It's interesting that it says in 1 Timothy that we are to pray that we may live peaceable lives. If at least we are left alone as a church these next 4 years, it might give us a chance to get the gospel out. Which leads me to my last point

6. The Gospel
. Even if McCain had won today, and all the pro-traditional marriage bills passed, people still need to know God. The gospel brings the real change we can believe in. Keep spreading it, teaching it, loving it, hearing it, and above thanking God for it.

11.04.2008

Civil Rights leader says yes on Prop 8.



Interesting.

Election Day!

Constitution Pictures, Images and Photos
Well here we are. I'm sorry if I haven't been on here lately. I've been busy on the new site New Reformation. (Join today!) On another note, I just want to say two things: Go vote. And go pray. Pray that God will guide this process, that we will vote wisely, and no matter who wins tomorrow, that we can get back to the business of the country. Thanks again for all your support.PS:

Triablogue has some cool thoughts for you voting in California.

Fusion!

Here is something Mark Driscoll has written. I thought it wise to share. Read it and weep.
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In my years of pastoral ministry I have worked very hard to not be political. I believe that my job as a pastor is to preach and teach the Bible well so that my people make their decisions, including their voting decisions, out of their faith convictions.

This election season which has dominated the cultural conversation for many months has been particularly insightful regarding the incessant gospel thirst that abides deep in the heart of the men and women who bear God’s image. Without endorsing or maligning either political party or their respective presidential candidates, I am hopeful that a few insights from the recent election season are of help, particularly to younger evangelicals.


First, people are longing for a savior who will atone for their sins. In this election, people thirst for a savior who will atone for their economic sins of buying things they did not need with money they did not have. The result is a mountain of credit debt they cannot pay and a desperate yearning that somehow a new president will save them from economic hell.

Second, people are longing for a king who will keep them safe from terror in his kingdom. In the Old Testament the concept of a peaceable kingdom is marked by the word shalom. In shalom there is not only the absence of sin, war, strife, and suffering but also the presence of love, peace, harmony, and health. And, this thirst for shalom is so parched that every election people cannot help but naively believe that if their candidate simply wins shalom is sure to come despite sin and the curse.

The bottom line is obvious to those with gospel eyes. People are longing for Jesus, and tragically left voting for mere presidential candidates. For those whose candidate wins today there will be some months of groundless euphoric faith in that candidate and the atoning salvation that their kingdom will bring. But, in time, their supporters will see that no matter who wins the presidency, they are mere mortals prone to sin, folly, and self-interest just like all the other sons of Adam and daughters of Eve. To help extend na├»ve false hope as long as possible, a great enemy will be named and demonized as the one who is hindering all of the progress to atone for our sins and usher in our kingdom. If the Democrats win it will be the rich, and if the Republicans win it will be the terrorists. This diversionary trick is as old as Eve who blamed her sin on Satan rather than repenting. The lie is that it’s always someone else’s fault and we’re always the victim of sinners and never the sinner.

Speaking of repentance, sadly, no matter who wins there will be no call to personal repentance of our own personal sins which contributes to cultural suffering and decline such as our pride, gluttony, covetousness, greed, indebtedness, self-righteousness, perversion, and laziness. And, in four years we’ll do it all again and pretend that this time things will be different. Four years after that, we’ll do it yet again. And, we’ll continue driving around this cul de sac until Jesus returns, sets up his throne, and puts an end to folly once and for all.

In the meantime, I would encourage all preachers to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and repentance of personal sin. He alone can truly atone for our sins. He alone can deliver us from a real hell. He alone is our sinless and great King. And, he alone has a Shalom kingdom to offer.

Lastly, for those preachers who have gotten sidetracked for the cause of a false king and a false kingdom by making too much of the election and too little of Jesus, today is a good day to practice repentance in preparation to preach it on Sunday. Just give it some time. The thirst will remain that only Jesus can quench. So, we’ve still got work to do….until we see King Jesus and voting is done once and for all.