I was once a conservative, but now find myself more often than not in between the two extremes of most issues. This blog is dedicated to those who live in the tension critical thought can bring. I am the pastor of Harmony Baptist Church in Morton Valley, Texas, and am currently attending Seminary at the Logsdon Theological Seminary at Hardin-Simmons University.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I'm Not a Heretic!

I am apparently compliant with the council of Chalcedon. However, I'm also just as much a Pelagian. I wonder what that means?

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Pelagianism

83%

Chalcedon compliant

83%

Monophysitism

50%

Modalism

33%

Nestorianism

25%

Donatism

17%

Monarchianism

17%

Gnosticism

8%

Apollanarian

0%

Adoptionist

0%

Arianism

0%

Docetism

0%

Albigensianism

0%

Socinianism

0%

Are you a heretic?
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Monday, February 20, 2006

I realized today that there are very few sports which may actually be considered "outdoor" sports. Granted, there are sports played outdoors, such as tennis, golf or baseball, but these are not truly outdoor sports because they are not played in all weather conditions. To be a truly outdoor sport, it must be playable no matter the weather conditions. Take for example, American Football, soccer (which I don't really care for, but you gotta admit, those people play no matter what), and what may possibly be the toughest sport ever, rugby. These sports are played in any conditions, no matter the weather. Rain? So what, mud makes it fun. Snow? That's what warm clothes are for. Wind? That just makes it more fun to pass/kick/throw. About the only thing that will truly kill these three sports is a chance of electrocution (and then not always) due to a lightning storm.

I am not arguing that baseball, golf, etc. are not true sports, simply that they are not truly outdoor sports.

I'm not sure what this has to due with theology etc, but I haven't posted in a while, so there you go.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

It's Been a While

Well, much has happened in the two months since I last posted. I wouldn't be suprised if I've lost most of my loyal readers in my abscence, the numbers probably reach into the five's now (given a base 5 number system). I am now a (very) happily married man. I have completed an application to Baylor Universitiy's Department of Religion for a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology (please note that this is independent of Truett Seminary, and institution in which I would not choose to enroll). I am embarking upon my final semester of Seminary, a prospect that might excite me more if it meant the end of my formal education, but nonetheless is still a significant milestone. As a good friend, Justin Dunn, said, "They're not going to just hand us our diplomas in May, they still expect us to actually do work." I wish I had something more theological to post, but maybe this update will prime the pump for future postings.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I Can Live With This

I don't always like equizzes, but this one was really cool.

You scored as William Wallace. The great Scottish warrior William Wallace led his people against their English oppressors in a campaign that won independence for Scotland and immortalized him in the hearts of his countrymen. With his warrior's heart, tactician's mind, and poet's soul, Wallace was a brilliant leader. He just wanted to live a simple life on his farm, but he gave it up to help his country in its time of need.

William Wallace

83%

Indiana Jones

79%

The Terminator

67%

Batman, the Dark Knight

63%

James Bond, Agent 007

54%

Maximus

54%

Neo, the "One"

54%

The Amazing Spider-Man

46%

Lara Croft

42%

El Zorro

33%

Captain Jack Sparrow

33%

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
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PS, My mother's maiden name is McOsker, so I'm at least half Irish/Scottish.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Countdown

Four weeks and six days.

That's how long it is until my wedding. I'll soon begin counting down the weeks, days and hours. When we hit the one week mark, I'll begin counting down by days, hours and minutes, and even closer, I'll count by the second.

This will annoy many people.

I don't care.

The only other time in my life I counted down to something so precisely was when the first Lord of the Rings movie came out. Looking back, it was kind of silly to be so excited about a movie. In no way is being this excited about my wedding silly.

I love Norma, and can't wait to spend the rest of my life together with her. No doubt our marriage will change many things in my life. In fact, Norma bought shoes for me the other day without me being there. She called to check on my shoe size and preferred style, then bought me a pair of brown oxfords. This, more than anything else, brought home to me the fact that my life is changing drastically. And do you know what? I'm ok with that.

I then got to thinking about how much our life changes when we encounter God. For some, we were always in church, and just gave ourselves to God as a natural part of growing up. This is not unlike realizing you love an old friend. For others, the encounter with God was later in life, and produced a more drastic change. Some people also meet their significant other later in life.

Coming to God is like falling in love, everybody does it differently, but as long as you get to the place where love is, the way you get there is contingent.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Literal and True

In my church we are working through the book of Revelation in a Sunday Night Bible study, which I am teaching. In the course of our lesson last Sunday, we discovered that the words "literal" and "true" are not synonyms. That is, something can be literal and untrue, and something can be true but not literal. For example, the phrase "This is a table" is literal. There is no figurative language, no metaphor, simile, hyperbole, etc. However, if you are pointing at a chair while making that statement, your phrase is untrue. If you are pointing at a table while making that statement, your statement is both literal and true.

On the other hand, something can be true but not literal. I referred to the tape recorder we used to record the lessons. I said, "This recorder is capturing my words." That statement was not literal. My words are not physical objects moving around on their own, and the tape recorder was not tracking them down and trapping them. What was literally happening was that my vocal chords were creating vibrations in the air. Those vibrations were sensed by electronic equipment in the microphone, interpreted and converted to an electronic signal. The signal was then recorded by aligning little magnetic thingys (here my technical knowledge breaks down) on a piece of tape. Later, we could play back the tape, and the magnetic alignment would be sent to the speaker, which would then convert the signal back into air vibrations, which our ears would detect as vibrations on little hairs in our aural canals, then they would convert the vibrations that our brains would interpret first as sound, then as words, then our brain would make sense of the words.

That is literal. Pretty bulky, huh?

On the other hand, the recorder was capturing my words, in that it could be used to carry the words around and let them out at the appropriate time. The statement was not literal, but it was true. On the other hand, if the recorder had not been turned on, the statement would be unliteral and untrue. Literal isn't always preferable to figurative, since figurative is often quicker, and because it is less bulky, can be more effective.

In terms of the Bible, things can be true but not literal. Take for example God's statement that God carried the people of Israel on Eagles' wings out of Egypt. The people walked out on their own two feet. The statement is not literal. But the statement is true, because it refers to the people being taken out of Egypt by a power not their own (God's intervention to convince Pharaoh to let them go and then protecting the Hebrew's in the desert.

So, literal and true are not synonyms, in fact, literal and true are independent variables, i.e. they are neither dependent on one another nor are they mutually exclusive.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Intelligent Design

As the debate rages on about whether or not intelligent design should be taught in public schools, the question keeps presenting itself to me, "Who Cares!?" Why are so many focused on what public, non religious schools are teaching our children about religion when it is we, as Christians who ought to be teaching others about the good news of Christ. For many, I think, this is an issue of loyalty. Far too many see this issue as an either or situation. Either you support intelligent design and its being taught in schools, or you are a pagan. This is simply not the case. I believe God created the world yes, but I believe that the place to teach that doctrine is in the Christian home and in Sunday School. Let public schools talk about how the world was created, but frankly, I don't care what they say about who did the creating. Lets remember, we can always tell children to think for themselves.

I also hear a great number of comments about how ungodly our schools are becoming. To that I have several responses. 1. My mother is a public school teacher, and she sees her job as ministry. While she does not teach about religion, her religious beliefs permeate who she is, so that whenever she goes into her school, Christ walks in with her. Wherever those who love Christ are, so there is Christ amongst them. I was recently at a Conference with Dr. Ben Witherington III, where he said that many Evangelical Christians have pulled their kids out of public schools and begun to home school them or to put them into "Christian" schools. If our schools have slid to a more godless position, perhaps it is because Christians, by their absence, have allowed it to happen. It is the presence of Christians in the schools, being loving and kind as Jesus was, not teaching intelligent design, that will make our schools godly again. It is the learners, and not the curriculum, who determine that. Let's quit wasting our time confusing Sunday School and science class.