Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"God and Sinners Reconciled"

We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

- The Apostle Paul (2nd Corinthians 5:20b-21)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is God Trying to Tell You Something?

Is God is trying to tell you something? Honestly, no, he is not.

Here's why...

Think about it: Christians who claim that God is "trying to tell them something" are making a mockery of God's ability to communicate. Such language is basically saying either one of two things:
1) God wants me to know something but he is unable to bridge the communication gap
2) God's ways of communication with us are highly mystical as if God is playing some sort of game and we're trying to come up with the right answers.

Christians have seemingly embraced mystical answer in making such a claim. As Greg Koukl so convincingly points out in this transcript: "God does not try" because God cannot fail to do (or say) what he wants. Koukl states:
Many have bought the idea that optimal Christian living involves "experiencing God" in a special manner: hearing His voice and getting special directives or assignments from Him. For those who say, "I don't hear God," the rejoinder is often, "He's been trying to talk to you, but you weren't listening."

Most people use the phrase innocently, I believe. However, like many phrases that become popular and are passed around among Christians (like the common cold) such is not consistent with Scripture. (Pointing out such inconsistencies is something Greg Koukl does quite a bit and he's quite good at it.) Koukl says of his view that nowhere in the Bible does God attempt to speak where he is not heard - not obeyed, yes, but never not heard.

Interested in more on this topic? Get the audio for Greg Koukl's talk entitled "Decision Making and the Will of God" (unfortunately it's $9.99 to download.)

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Hybrid Hope

"A Hybrid Hope" was the sermon title yesterday at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit with 3 SUV's parked behind the pulpit. [Link to current church webpage on the topic.]

Is this where churches go from here?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Paper Dot Com

Problem: How do I say "I read it in the paper" when I actually read it online?

The whole range of terminology related to "in the paper" feels uncomfortable at best when referring to one's perusing of the online edition of the local news. Interestingly, the phraseology seems to always be taken to be in reference to the town or city paper of one's locality. If a person living in Texas reads something in the New York Times, the seemingly appropriate terminology for mentioning something read therein is a reference to the Times and not just "in the paper" because "in the paper" carries with it the assumption of being local.

With the internet, though, the problem is partly the universality of "the paper." For news junkies, the ability to view all the major papers quickly on one's computer is great. However, the local side of reading the paper is at risk, and the way one refers to any news read online is troubling. I do not wish to clarify every time I make reference in conversation of something "in the paper" that I actually read it online. "I read it online" carries little weight since a person can read practically anything online.

Proposal: "Paper dot com" as in "I read it in the paper dot com." "Paper dot com" then would mean that I read it on the local website of the local newspaper.

Of course, according to this article, not too many paper readers actually do read the paper online. Even with declining numbers of paper-paper readers, there is no great shift to electronic editions. So, it may all be a lost cause.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Book in Print

My book is finally available in print! As a "spare time" writer, I wrote Dolor for Misdeeds over the course of about a year while in graduate school (I guess I should have been studying more.) After much work (and time) the novel is finalized and available as a paperback.

The story is about Jake, one of Louisville's favorite sons, who finds himself on the brink of success at the same moment that the discovery of human remains brings his secret to the surface. The book opens with the uncovering of the evidence and the devastating news for Jake who has tried to blot out the past incident from his memory. His career and marriage are suddenly in turmoil. Answering to a curious detective proves tough, but even as his legal problems begin to mount an even more dangerous foe arises seeking his own brand of justice.

Dolor for Misdeeds can be purchased by going to the website www.dolorformisdeeds.com or by visiting Amazon.com. The list price is $9.99. A coupon for $2.00 off is currently available for purchases from the publisher using the coupon code YE79YDUT at checkout.