Friday, April 22, 2011

Blog switch!*

hey folks,

I have a nice blog makeover courtesy of Ben and Emeth Casbon..  The new one is here: 

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Category: Liturgy~ for imprecatory prayer/song service at Planned Parenthood

Christ Church Spokane did this liturgy a week and a half ago albeit scaled back.  We didn't have the time to teach through the practice of literally calling down curses upon murderers like the Psalmists did, so we scaled it back a bit.  I wanted to be a part of this before I moved and also wanted to get it started in Spokane before I left so, hence the reason for doing it so quickly.

This one though, is the gloves off version that I think is fully appropriate.

May God bless our efforts and vindicate His lordship.  To pray anything less than this friends, is to ignore the reality of what actually takes place there:

Worship is Warfare
Prayer and Song Service at Planned Parenthood Abortion center

Call to Worship

Celebrant (C) :  The Lord be with you!
All (A):  And also with you!
C:  Our help is in the name of the Lord.
A:  Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 2

A Collect for Peace
C:  Let us pray.
A:  O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed:  Give unto your servants that peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments, and also that we, being defended by you from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, age after age.  Amen!

A Prayer for the President of the United States, and all in Civil Authority
C:  O Lord, our Governor, whose glory is in all the world; We commend this nation to your merciful care, that being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace.  Grant to President Obama and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and do your will.  Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness; and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, world without end.
A:  Amen!

A Prayer of Petition
A:  Almighty God, who has given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto You; and You promise that when two or three are gathered together in your name You will grant their requests; Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of your servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Let’s sing The Lord’s Prayer 

Let’s pray Psalm 94
C:  O LORD, God of vengeance,
         God of vengeance, shine forth!
    2Rise up, O Judge of the earth,
         Render recompense to the proud.
    3How long shall the wicked, O LORD,
         How long shall the wicked exult?
    4They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly;
         All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.
    5They crush Your people, O LORD,
         And afflict Your heritage.
    6They slay the widow and the stranger
         And murder the orphans.
    7They have said, "The LORD does not see,
         Nor does the God of Jacob pay heed."
    8Pay heed, you senseless among the people;
         And when will you understand, stupid ones?
    9He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
         He who formed the eye, does He not see?
    10He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke,
         Even He who teaches man knowledge?
    11The LORD knows the thoughts of man,
         That they are a mere breath.
    12Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD,
         And whom You teach out of Your law;
    13That You may grant him relief from the days of adversity,
         Until a pit is dug for the wicked.
    14For the LORD will not abandon His people,
         Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
    15For judgment will again be righteous,
         And all the upright in heart will follow it.
    16Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
         Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?
    17If the LORD had not been my help,
         My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.
    18If I should say, "My foot has slipped,"
         Your lovingkindness, O LORD, will hold me up.
    19When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
         Your consolations delight my soul.
    20Can a throne of destruction be allied with You,
         One which devises mischief by decree?
    21They band themselves together against the life of the righteous
         And condemn the innocent to death.
    22But the LORD has been my stronghold,
         And my God the rock of my refuge.
    23He has brought back their wickedness upon them
         And will destroy them in their evil;
         The LORD our God will destroy them.

A Prayer for God’s justice and salvation to reign
C:  Oh God, your Word calls us to love our enemies.  And your Word calls for the teeth of the oppressors to be broken.  You took your servant Saul, a murderer, and made him an apostle.  You’ve taken Norma McCorvey, the woman “Roe,” behind Roe v. Wade and converted her.  You’ve taken Abby Johnson, employee of the year of Planned Parenthood, and have wonderfully broken her will and showed her mercy.  Lord, we ask that you would make brothers and sisters out of enemies.  Show mercy O Lord on all those You have predestined to life.
A:  Amen!

A Prayer for Swift Justice in the land
C:  Lord, you are angry with the wicked every day.
A:  And because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.
C:  But it will not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, because he does not fear God.  O merciful God, You do not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that he should be converted and live.  And yet, You will execute vengeance on those that will not repent and continue to murder the fatherless.
A:  Father, we know that You are a jealous God.  You visit the iniquity of the fathers on the children on the third and fourth generations of those that hate You.  Abortion is your judgment upon our land.  Forgive your church’s failure to be a light to the wicked in America.  Forgive the fathers in your church who have paved the way for abortion by failing to shepherd their sons and daughters.  Abortion is your judgment upon us.  You have allowed sinful men to murder their own children.  But You hate hands that shed innocent blood.  End the murder O God.  In wrath, remember mercy.
C:  Hosanna Lord, Hosanna!  Save now!  But for all those destined to not know salvation we therefore pray that You would unleash your terrible judgment upon the murderers connected with Planned Parenthood.  We pray that You would act swiftly!
A:  Amen!

Psalm 5 
Psalm 76

A Prayer for God’s Wrath upon Those Openly, Publicly and Brazenly Violating God’s Word
A:  Almighty and most terrible God, judge of all men living and dead, we bring before You this Planned Parenthood who have openly and brazenly defied You and your holy Word.  They have wantonly and stubbornly practiced torture, murder and sale of body parts and they refuse to repent of their public and sinful actions.  We now ask that You place your especial curse upon these people, and upon all in alliance with them.  We ask You to pour out the fire of your wrath upon them, and convert or destroy them, cause their rebellion to cease, and your kingdom to be exalted.  We ask You to visibly and swiftly vindicate the reign of your only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 45 Vv. 1-3

A Prayer for the Tempted, Distressed and Erring
C:  Keep in remembrance, O Lord, the tempted, the distressed, and the erring; particularly those mothers who would sin against You by murdering their children through abortion.  And those fathers, parents, friends, politicians, doctors, social workers and any others who would either encourage the mothers to commit murder or would acquiesce to their wishes to do so.  Keep them from following through with their wicked designs which lead to judgment, guilt and death.  Guide them by your great goodness and bring them instead into the way of peace, truth and life.  Let the light of your truth shine on them that they may be turned toward You and come to know You and so find peace.  Deliver them from the bondage of their sin into the glorious liberty of the children of God; for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
A:  Amen!

Psalm 75

The Son of God Goes Forth to War

Revelation 18:1-5
C:  “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory.  And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.  For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.’  I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;
for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.’” 

C:  Oh God, distinguish in your judgment your elect from those outside.  Spare your people, we pray!


Revelation 19:5,6 “And a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.’  Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,
A:  ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.’

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Category: What should a pastor wear?

So, I'm now the pastor of Trinity Church of the Tri-Cities  Whoohoo!  I'm a happy camper.

I just wanted to share with everyone how potent wearing a liturgical collar is..  My "office" right now is either Starbucks or the Columbia Basin Racquet Club.  The church is graciously getting me some office space, but don't have it yet.  Our place is just a little bit full with my fam so I need a place to study.

I've made a rule for myself to never wear a black liturgical shirt..  It's just too close to the wrong uniform for the wrong team--R.C.'s.

But, I've got a dark blue on and have white.  Some other colors are coming in the mail.

Wearing the collar has already been amazing..  This is the second day I've worn it.  When I was in Spokane I was all over the city and you just don't get people approaching you very much..  Wearing a collar here doesn't create invisible walls like it would more in the south.  I guarantee you that I wouldn't have had a recent evangelistic conversation without it.  People feel more comfortable to approach you because you represent Someone else, not so much yourself.  It's a conversation starter, if nothing else.  Some people hate it probably, some think it's weird, but it's done so rarely in society that I think it's an easy way to get an edge in the "world."  If you try to carry yourself with a little humility and be a blessing with it (in terms of tips, friendly business exchange etc.) it's really powerful.  You can constantly  (if you're not being an idiot) put a good testimony on Christianity because the uniform is so distinct.  

Katherine Daniels might be my first visitor this Sunday.

Here's hoping..

Thursday, April 7, 2011


So we're moving to the Tri-Cities to take the pastorate at Trinity Church.  We're excited, and crazy busy right now.  I'll post when we get to our new place! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Category: Wisdom

"One becomes a theologian not by understanding, reading, and speculating, but by living, dying, and being damned."

Luther, Commentary on the Psalms

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Category: Theology

Baptism for the dead?

What does Paul mean in I Cor. 15:29

    Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?
This is the best two page article I've seen on the matter.  Very helpful, worth your time:  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Category: End-times~ Amill and Postmill had a fight at the Pub.. Part II


Pabst Blue Ribbon (Amillennial) beer said to Black Butte Porter (Postmillennial):

"But Hoekma said that Post-mill theology.."

"Ah.." Porter said, "have you ever read any postmill theologians?  Or do you get your understanding of postmill from amill guys?"

Pabst:  Uh... well no.  but I'm going to. 
Porter:  Good.

Amill folks, I believe, will never have a satisfactory answer to texts like this:
Is. 65:20 ..."For the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed."  This is in a passage describing the new heavens and the new earth!  Death is still happening in an age when Isaiah describes it as after the creation of the new heavens and earth.  Notice those words, "new earth."  There is not going to be merely a perfect heaven but destroyed earth in the end, but new heavens and new earth joined in perfect new creation.  Death will obviously be completely abolished and destroyed in the end, at the final second coming.

You are familiar with the important categories of creation, fall, redemption, but that's not complete without the Bible's end goal-- new creation.  Creation to new creation.. That is as clear as it gets when you compare the garden imagery with Gen 1-3 and Rev 21,22.  A part of what that means is just as people lived very long in the early parts of history so people will reverse back to that by living longer in an advanced age of blessing on earth--ref above verse Is. 65:20.

Notice in Ezekiel 47:1-12 that the period of prosperity for the gospel is gradual..  Ezek. is a classic high symbolism Jewish theologian but don't get lost with it.  The water from the Temple is the blessing, the life bringing "irrigation" to the desert of the world.  First, the water reaches the ankles v.3.  Then, the knees v.4.  In v. 8 this water actually flows into the "sea," (a classic and broadly held metaphor for the gentiles) making them, "fresh."  There's even a verse on fishing v. 10--not a frequently used ref. for heaven, typically defined.  But this is a ref. to Jesus' making miracles with his large catches of fish in the gospels--John 21:6.  The inauguration of the kingdom came with this great Fisher of men.  Now, if you're skeptical--shame on you..  :)
Pabst:  But surely Ezekiel was talking about some blessing to come in the near Israelite future at that time..
Porter:  But it was said of Jesus when speaking to his disciples that, "beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."  The OT texts find ultimate fulfillment in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus.
Porter:  Look at v. 12 in Ezek. 47 which is a crystal clear referent for Rev. 22:2.  New life, new creation for the world, that came gradually through the Holy Spirit's work in and through the Temple--the Church.

Category: Literature

Did Virgil read Isaiah?

Or is it pagan prophecy?

Pieces from Virgil's famous poem, Eclogues IV are below.

Constantine, Augustine and Dante all believed that this was Virgil's messianic prophecy, written in 37 B.C.


..."Justice returns, returns old Saturn's reign,
With a new breed of men sent down from heaven.
Only do thou, at the boy's birth in whom
The iron shall cease, the golden race arise,

Apollo reigns. And in thy consulate,
This glorious age, O Pollio, shall begin,

Of our old wickedness, once done away,
Shall free the earth from never-ceasing fear.
He shall receive the life of gods, and see
Heroes with gods commingling, and himself
Be seen of them, and with his father's worth
Reign o'er a world at peace. For thee, O boy,
First shall the earth, untilled, pour freely forth
Her childish gifts, the gadding ivy-spray
With foxglove and Egyptian bean-flower mixed,
And laughing-eyed acanthus. Of themselves,
Untended, will the she-goats then bring home
Their udders swollen with milk, while flocks afield
Shall of the monstrous lion have no fear.
Thy very cradle shall pour forth for thee
Caressing flowers. The serpent too shall die,
Die shall the treacherous poison-plant, and far
And wide Assyrian spices spring.

But soon
As thou hast skill to read of heroes' fame,
And of thy father's deeds, and inly learn
What virtue is, the plain by slow degrees
With waving corn-crops shall to golden grow,
From the wild briar shall hang the blushing grape,
And stubborn oaks sweat honey-dew. Nathless
Yet shall there lurk within of ancient wrong
Some traces, bidding tempt the deep with ships,
Gird towns with walls, with furrows cleave the earth.
Therewith a second Tiphys shall there be,
Her hero-freight a second Argo bear;
New wars too shall arise, and once again
Some great Achilles to some Troy be sent.
Then, when the mellowing years have made thee man,
No more shall mariner sail, nor pine-tree bark
Ply traffic on the sea, but every land
Shall all things bear alike: the glebe no more
Shall feel the harrow's grip, nor vine the hook;
The sturdy ploughman shall loose yoke from steer, 

O baby-boy! ten months of weariness
For thee she bore: O baby-boy, begin!
For him, on whom his parents have not smiled,
Gods deem not worthy of their board or bed."

What do you think?  Did Virgil read Isaiah?  Did he borrow from the Hebrews to envision a Roman golden age?  Or did he actually end up writing a prophecy about the Boy to be born?  I will comment on your comments if you're interested.

Consider these passages from the prophets:  Is. 65: 24,25  Is. 2:2-6 Micah 4:1-3 and any other prophecies you remember of Jesus' birth like being born in a lowly place like Bethlehem etc.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Category: Lovemaking

Fornication, adultery, and all porneia are a slander against God, because we're made in His image.  The problem with people who fall to un-covenanted sex is not that they emphasize sex too much but too little.  They think too little of the glory of sex because they depersonalize it and reduce it to mere impulses of selfish lust.  But glorious sex is intensely personal and the personhood of the gift is what makes it so great to those seeking righteousness.  We exult in this great gift of God.  But to those craving lust it is that personal nature of sex that comes back to bite them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Category: Family

After taking communion a couple Sunday's ago Julia says happily and quite audibly- "Jesus loves me."  The children of believers belong to Jesus, belong to baptism, and therefore belong to the meal of the baptized-the bread broken for you..

I love the CREC and covenant renewal worship..

Monday, March 21, 2011

Category: International Culture

Hoorahh for girls!

It is staggering and wicked how many cultures out there hate girls..

In India they abort them like mad and likewise China..  They can't produce in the culture like men and they are expensive on the family.  Fathers have to give dowries when they get married and likewise pay for the wedding.

Countries are so stupid.  What's the cumulative problem with all this murdering of girls?  You have a bunch of males with no woman to abuse ooops, I mean marry.  I forget the ratio of men to women but it's widening dramatically.

China, I think, is worse. 

And if you're a girl in a Muslim country.. I am really sorry, seriously I am.

In our reformed circles in the U-S-of A we have a different problem..

The topic actually comes up in our presbytery meetings, of all topics!

What's our problem?  Too many males?  Nope.  Too many girls?  Nope.  Too many under-acheiving and lazy guys?  Yep.

I do think God has given a lot of Christian fathers little ladies by design.  And these little ladies are growing up smart, godly and ... yep, downright gorgeous.

But the guys rate of maturation is behind.  Hopefully the guys will start comin' 'round but in the meantime,

Hooraahh for my girls!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dude, unplug sometimes..

Amillennialism and Postmillennialism had a fight at the Pub Part I

Premill just sat there drinking a coke and wishing he could argue..

Our two fighters:  Black Butte Porter the Postmillennialist vs. Pabst Blue Ribbon the Amillennialist.

Porter:  “I don’t think all Amill folk are preterist but being preterist= (the pos. that says most of the prophetic “end-times” material is fulfilled in and around 70 AD with destruction of apostate Jerusalem) is really important.”

Pabst:  “Yes, I’m a preterist.”

Porter:  So, on that, amills and postmills can agree, that’s step 1.

Step 2 is where amill has error.  Step 2 is believing the gospel will be victorious on earth in the future.

Pabst:  (Lets out an obnoxious grunt, rolls his eyes and says,) “Oh, everyone knows that the world is not getting better..Of course the gospel is going to be victorious in the end, when Christ returns.”

Porter:  Here is one of the best short definitions of Amillennialism I’ve ever seen:
“We are in the millennium now, but the blessings of the millennium are not outward but rather the inward blessings of the church and in the heart.”
This, from my ordination examination test actually.
This is why the amill pos. is criticized for being semi-gnostic.. That the blessings of the New Covenant age are inward and in the heart, not outward-flowing and recreating the world.  The place to hammer out the eschatalogical positions is not Rev 20 (millennium proper) but the greater telos “end/goal” eschatology of the Bible.  What is the end goal of the Bible, its eschatology?  It is new creation, first in the changed hearts of its subjects but then outwardly towards all creation–Rom 8 and all over Isaiah’s latter chapters and other prophets.
Pabst:  Spits out his blue ribbon beer and has a black-eye.

Porter:  As I’ve studied the Bible the burden of Scripture does not move towards the advancing church’s blessings in the world to be “in the heart,” “up there” with Gary Larson’s far side heaven, but, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  In the end, in Revelation 21:2 heaven comes down to earth in final consummation.  The two will become one.

Pabst:  “uh-uh..”
To risk being reductionistic for the sake of clarity, amill pos. sees the church as always beaten down and never really victorious…Christ never really subdues all His enemies beneath His feet….until one great climactic moment in the end similar actually to premill but without the rapture.

Pabst:  I guess I have been kind-of a depressed Christian.
Add caption
Porter:  Amillennialism is depressing, and it’s defeatist.  The Bible is not defeatist.  This misses the entire melody of Scripture which is that “the knowledge of the glory of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.”  He will reign until all His enemies are subdued.”

Pabst:  But the NT is alarmist and “pessimistic!”

Porter:  Some folk say that you can’t get to this optimism when reading NT.  But they miss the fact that the NT, not the age to come, is “pessimistic” because God was bringing that old age, the old covenant order to an end with judgment upon the arch-enemies of God—as it turns out, the unbelieving Jews themselves!
The world was feeling like it was going to end when you lived in 55 AD and were reading the Apostle Paul’s letters.  But the power of the raised Messiah is more than sufficient to topple all the citadels of unbelief both now and in the future.  The problem comes when we read into the NT’s doom-is-coming language into the present.  The Church, now in that symbolic thousand years, and living in the kingdom will be victorious, albeit in a death and resurrection pattern, like her King–Notice the terrible predicted anguish of Christ in Ps 22 but then notice the telos, the fruit of that cross in vv.27-29.  That theme, “the government will rest upon His shoulders-” (Is.9:6) as I’ve now discovered, drips from the Bible.  My previous presuppositions that the Bible was essentially pessimistic with victory and that the Church could not be predominant blinded me from what texts actually say.

Pabst:  I need another beer..

Porter:  Notice Is. 9:7 “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace…”  That doesn’t mean the church brings in the kingdom without suffering and that there are long periods of terrible persecution.. It is that our graph of world history is much longer than the short ones predicted by both premills and amills.  A long graph has severe depressions, yes, but you have to see how the gospel has enveloped the globe already very significantly since the first century.

Pabst at this point, started slinging wild punches from non-sensical theological expostulations from Rev 20…

Porter:  You really need to read David Chilton’s, Days of Vengeance.  And your argument from Rev 20 has nothing to do with the burden of argument I’m bringing from the eschatology of the Bible as a whole.

The apostle said not to box as though beating the air…

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bruno on the sabbath

Been reading a really interesting and unique book..  The Good Wine by Bruno Barnhart.  Subtitle is, "Reading John from the Center."  It's pretty deep.  I thought he had some excellent comments on all the sabbath wars that were going on between Jesus and the Pharisees:

"The divine word embodied in the law had been virtually paralyzed, (much like the paralytic himself) and this was exemplified by the legalisitic interpretation of the sabbath in terms of complete inactivity.  Jesus brings the word of the sabbath back to its original meaning in the sense of re-creation, return to the font of life.  (..."The Father is working..")  Once again, the movement from exodus to creation is a movement from human religious structures, imperfect, impotent and sometimes perverse and inimical to life, to a faith which relates the person immediately to God's creative power."

The Pharisees mistakenly held to a sabbath of impotent, lifeless, and inactive death..  Jesus brought re-creation and life-giving rest.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Some good movies you should see and one you can spare..

Get Low
Like Dandelion Dust

Two excellent Christian movies.. Christian films are getting better and better.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader was lame. Very disappointed, but then, should I be?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Year of Living Biblically-A.J. Jacobs Part 1

"In the third century, the scholar Origen is said to have interpreted literally Matt. 19:12 'There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven'-and castrated himself.  Origen later became a preeminent theologian of his age-and an advocate of figurative interpretation."