Showing posts from May, 2005

Old Bones???

Check out this interesting article: Scientists recover T. rex soft tissue 70-million-year-old fossil yields preserved blood vessels could these bones really be 70 Million years old and still contain well-preserved soft tissues? Or might scientists perhaps have over-inflated these ages??

Where Does Faith Look?

Perhaps it’s not a question we’re accustomed to asking ourselves, but it’s certainly one that requires an answer: “Where does our faith look?” But I suppose that before we can even answer that question, we first have to answer the question of “What is ‘faith’ in the first place?” The textbook Bible definition is Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (ESV). So faith is essentially a firm trust and belief in things not seen, but hoped for. It should also be pointed out that the word ‘faith’ comes from the same root (in Greek) as the verb ‘to believe.’ But to ‘believe,’ ‘trust,’ or ‘have faith’ in something is different than just simply a ‘head knowledge’ about something. For example, Jesus cast out many demons that knew who He was. A demon-possesed man said in Mark 1:24, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—The Holy One of God.” Jesus rebuked the demon and cast it out.

Sermon on Matthew 28:19-20 (Trinity Sunday)

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Although Trinity Sunday comes only once-a-year, that isn’t meant to suggest that we shouldn’t be singing, praising, speaking of, or teaching about the Holy Trinity year-round. Rather it draws special attention this Sunday to the question of “Who God is;” and I think, as a special bonus, it gives us a fitting day to use the Athanasian Creed. The sermon text this Trinity Sunday will be Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” I also will be making frequent reference to the Athanasian Creed, so you may want to look at that creed in your bulletin insert. When I say it’s a special bonus to say the Athanasian Creed this Sunday, I’m not joking. It gives such a clear p

Lutheran Blogger's Unite!

My buddy wildboar asked me to post this on my blog, and I'm happy to do it. You're welcome to join us! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>. For those of you who enjoy reading/commenting on Lutheran blogs, I have a cool opportunity I’d like to bring to your attention. Some friends of mine (also Lutheran bloggers) recently started a Lutheran chat channel called “tabletalk.” There, we can do all the things that attract us to writing/reading blogs… enjoy one another’s company, share ideas, relate joys and concerns, air our opinions on current events and pop-culture, and yes…discuss/debate theology! This channel offers all of the above and I was hoping many of you might stop by for some good conversation. We’re hoping to populate the channel with Lutheran bloggers/readers so we can discuss issues we believe are important to us. Please, feel free to invite any other confessional Lutherans you think might be interested. If yo

Million Dollar Baby (Ethics Part 3)

I had promised back in March to give a third part to my discussion of ethics, see here and here , but I never got around to it, partly because everyone knows how the Terri Schiavo saga ended. (although I still haven't heard anything about her autopsy results). So today I saw the movie "Million Dollar Baby" with Hillary Swank, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman. I saw it because I knew it dealt with the ethical dilemma of euthanasia. It's certainly not the first movie ever made with a blatant agenda behind it. Perhaps not even the first to have the agenda of euthanasia (I can't think of other's off-hand). But what I began to realize after seeing it, was that movies like this are training us . Now what disturbs me about this is not that someone is making a movie to push an agenda. But I see it as an illustration of what is happening in our modern America. There is a growing sympathy toward euthanasia, which at some point in the not too distant past was recog

A lost Art? Disputation

I meant to put this quote up for quite awhile. It describes the art of disputation as it should be: a genuine pursuit of the truth through sincere and thoughtful debate, with careful attention given to listening to your opponent . Much of what happens in modern debate creates such a muddle with personal attacks, straw men, etc, which detract from the real issue. It would do much for the discussion of theology (and other things as well!) if we could emulate what is described in this quote: "If this fundamental conviction is genuine, it must necessarily affect the mode of listening as well as the mode of speaking. Dialogue does not mean only that people talk to one another, but also that they listen to one another. The first requirement, therefore, is: Listen to the interlocutor, take note of his argument, his contribution to the recherche collective de la verite (anyone translate French?) in the same way that he himself understands his own argument. There was one rule of the dis

Is this True?

In the book Classical Rhetoric and its Christian and Secular Tradition by George Kennedy, I came across this quote on p. 151. My question is whether this statment is an accurate representation of our Christian understanding of Scripture: "Much of the work of Christian exegesis in the following centuries is built on the assumption that there is a wisdom in the Scriptures, deliberately obscure, which human beings can, in part, come to understand with God's help. The view of St. Augustine and many other Christian exegetes was that God had deliberately concealed that wisdom to keep it from those who were indifferent to it, but would allow those who sought the truth to find a road to understanding." Now, in consideration of the quote verse like these certainly come to mind: Matthew 11:25 (ESV) "At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to littl

Sermon on John 17:1-5 (Happy Mother's Day!)

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. The sermon text for this Seventh Sunday of Easter is John 17:1-5, After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” From the beginning of the Gospel of John, when Jesus performs His first miracle at the wedding in Cana, the stage is set for something truly monumental to happen. The first eight chapters of the Gospel of John have a recurring phrase that tells us that all of these signs and events and teachings in J

The Preacher's Fundamental Sin

The preacher must learn that his fundamental sin is not to preach the gospel. He may be tempted by sins just as other people are, but the fundamental sin of his life is false preaching, false teaching, false theology. If the builder of a bridge were to build his bridge of pasteboard he would be prosecuted, he would be made responsible for the consequences, criminal action would be taken against him. But how about our preaching? What if our teaching and theology are like building bridges with pasteboard? What if the bridge we build here leads men to destruction instead of salvation? What if what we teach and proclaim is contrary to our ordination? What if the sole reason for our existence as preachers of the gospel be obliterated by ourselves? We preachers are capable of sinning in many ways like other people and it is good and right to remember this. But the work by which we must be tested as preachers and in which we must constantly examine ourselves is our preaching. There the questi