Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jordy and I on the pitch

I've been a Sporting KC season ticket holder for four years.  This year the team let season ticket holders get a picture  before a game.  Pretty cool.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Barrels of Fun!

I am so glad I didn't see this when I was a teenager...I'd surely be dead trying this.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Trueman drops the gloves on new Roman Catholic book


When people find I was raised Roman Catholic they often ask why I left "The Church" (if they are Roman Catholic) or "Romanism" (if they are an astute Protestant).  It's not an easy question to answer in simple fashion, but it came down to wanting to know God's will.  Where could I find God's will, especially about being right with Him?  The Roman Church said it was to be found with the Church, specifically the Papacy.  Papal authority is the "buck" for Romanism.  I understood that assertion very clearly and did my very best to appreciate it and be a good son of the Church, so to speak. I had several kind, learned priests and nuns instruct me during my time in CCD class.  But what about the Bible?  Through attending a vacation Bible school ministry at a Protestant church in the Reformed tradition, I was introduced to a different paradigm for finding God's will-the Bible.  I didn't read the Bible much in my Roman Catholic experience, including the CCD classes I attended faithfully.  There were a few short readings during Mass, and a very brief homily by the priest that would touch on some simple scriptural theme, but that was it. Bible reading was not encouraged much, at least in the 1980's. To this day, the only Roman Catholics I know who are biblically literate are converts from evangelical churches. There was a definite sense of enigma about the Bible and you were made to feel you could not really understand it on your own (as a side- one of the most liberating things I witnessed in my father was his discovery of Scripture- reading and studying the bible when he left the Roman Church to go to a Protestant bible-teaching church at age 70 and then joined our church at the age of 74. He almost never missed Mass for seven decades, yet knew very little about the content of Scripture). Given their view of authority, I understand why the Bible isn't emphasized too much in Romanism, at least not among the laity. Through the aforementioned Reformed Church I began reading the Bible and then about guys like Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others.  These men wrote profoundly and prolifically about Scripture being THE authority in all matters of life and faith.

So, for me, it was a matter of authority- the Pope or the Bible.  Admittedly, there are challenges with either because on the one hand, the doctrine of the Papacy is racked with problems biblically, historically, morally, etc.  On the other hand, when you say the Bible is the authority, which interpretation is the right one? Any time I post something that criticizes Romanism, long debates break out that ALWAYS come down to the matter of authority mentioned. It's tiring...and not my point in drawing attention to Trueman's post.  

A new book just came out where the author tries to blame Protestantism for a host of things (a favorite approach by be fair...Protestants do it to).  Carl Trueman, a learned professor and exceptional writer, takes the author to task by addressing some of the tired Roman Catholic attacks on the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.  Trueman will use the more technical doctrinal designation- "Perspicuity of Scripture", but he is practically referring to the way Protestants say the Bible is the final authority on all matters. I won't re-state his line of argument, because he says it way better than I can.  At the same time, he does cover various problems with Romanism- particularly the ignoring of many glaring issues that strike at the heart of the doctrine of the Papacy- that I have been noting for years.

I don't expect any one committed to Romanism to agree with me or Trueman, so save the usual debate points.  Instead, I think Trueman's post will give Protestants sick of the tired Roman attacks on Sola Scriptura some confidence in their trust in Scripture over the Papacy.  I like how Trueman ramps up his argument-

I wonder if I am alone in finding the more stridently confident comments of some Roman Catholics over the issue of perspicuity to be somewhat tiresome and rather overblown. Perspicuity was, after all, a response to a position that had proved to be a failure: the Papacy. 

Thus, to criticize it while proposing nothing better than a return to that which had proved so inadequate is scarcely a compelling argument. Yes, it is true that Protestant interpretive diversity is an empirical fact; but when it comes to selectivity in historical reading as a means of creating a false impression of stability, Roman Catholic approaches to the Papacy provide some excellent examples of such fallacious method. The ability to ignore or simply dismiss as irrelevant the empirical facts of papal history is quite an impressive feat of historical and theological selectivity.

I highly recommend Trueman's post:  

Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain! Roman Catholic History and the Emerald City Protocol By Carl Trueman

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Resurrection = PAYMENT ACCEPTED

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof of God's acceptance of the Son's sacrifice on our behalf.  The Father was pleased with the Son's offering and raised Him to life.

So much commerce is conducted on the internet these days. I'll bet anyone reading this blog has purchased something off Ebay, Amazon, or some other online store.  You know how it works.  You select your item, add to your cart, then check out.  When you check out, you have to submit a payment, usually through Paypal or with your credit card straight up.  You plug in all your info, then hit the "PAYMENT" button.  In many cases there is a short delay as your credit card is being processed. Perhaps the little hour glass turns while the payment is processing.  The little rainbow circle thing spins on my Macbook screen while the site checks my payment info.  Then, after a few seconds (and maybe a touch of anxiety), "PAYMENT ACCEPTED" appears on the screen.  Now I know the item is mine and it will come to me soon, within a few days or so.

As I think about the death and resurrection of Christ, it's sort of like what I just described.  Christ makes payment for our sins on the cross. He hits the "PAYMENT" button, as it where.  Then a pause occurs, the three days His body stayed in the tomb.  On the third day God raised Him as if to say "PAYMENT ACCEPTED".  Because of God raising Jesus from the dead, we know salvation belongs to us.  Now we are waiting for the final consummation to that glorious work of God through Christ, when we take possession in full.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why people do not believe, despite evidence of the Truth

Jesus rose again from the dead! How can people not believe?

Postmodern man, Americans especially, pride themselves on being open-minded.  A large number of people will claim they are teachable and ready to be persuaded of something if evidence is there.

Scripture teaches the minds of people are blinded (2 Corinthians 4:3-6, John 1:5) unless God gives spiritual sight, so no amount of "evidence" will ever convince natural man of the truth.  God must grant sight (faith) to see the truth.

Putting it another way- every person has a set of pre-suppositions about life.  One professor of mine called these pre-suppositions "pre-commitments".  People have a view of the world formed over time by many influences.  Only God can change a person's view of things.  This is why you can present all the evidence in the world for the fact of Jesus' miracles and resurrection, and still have a person deny the truth.  They have pre-suppositions that will not allow them to believe.  Giving more evidence will not make a person believe. Only God can change a person's presuppositions so he or she might see the truth.

Dr. Rayburn put it this way-

"If a person holds unsound presuppositions with sufficient tenacity, facts will make no difference at all.  They will be able to create a reality of their own, separate and untouched by, the truth."

God, and God alone, by His Holy Spirit, must convince a person of sound presuppositions for them to believe the truth.