Archive by Author

Don’t Be a Bozo!

Do you know who the first Bozo was?  When you hear that question, you may think I’m talking about the clown and who first played him. We’ll get back to the clown. However, my meaning is about where the name most likely originated.

Probably the name Bozo comes from a historical character who lived nearly a thousand years ago. A man named Boso (spelled with an s) was an abbot in a French abbey.  Boso and the church father Anselm corresponded a great deal about theological matters in the eleventh century, so much so that Anselm used Boso as a foil in his famous work Cur Deus Homo (Why God Became Man).  In this book, Anselm has Boso asking questions, and in response Anselm explains thoroughly to him why the Son of God had to become man in order to redeem us. As one person stated in a New York Times editorial, “Boso is the dummy, often obtuse, allowing Anselm to chide him, defeat his views and continue in a teacher-to-student relation.” Anselm proves clearly, at Boso’s expense, that no other means for accomplishing salvation would have sufficed.

This same article continues, “No doubt many a slow-witted monk was called ‘Boso’ by his fellows as Anselm’s influence on Christian […]

Friction

Recently I was out in the woods hauling some things with a wheelbarrow. As I tromped down the hill, with the weeds, grass, and briars brushing against my legs and arms, I was concerned about getting poison ivy. Then I remembered seeing this video about how to never contract it again (proving Facebook does have some value!).

The message of the video, delivered by Dr. Jim Brauker, is that the urishiol oil in poison ivy must remain on your skin for some time to create the itchy rash. Since this oil is undetectable to the eye and adheres to the skin, it is easy for it to remain on your body. Using very visible axle grease to demonstrate, in the video Brauker shows different ways you get the oil on your skin and then, with his hands and arms blackened by the grease, goes inside to clean up. Brauker uses different soaps and proves that none of them is the true answer to getting rid of the oil. The key is (you guessed it from the title) friction. He uses soap and running water with a cloth, and carefully cleans the axle grease off by rubbing it. He explains in the video that most people get […]

Browse Worthy: Trinitarianism and Complementarianism (Continued)

Some other articles have appeared that I believe shed some further, needed light on the discussion of the Trinity that I chronicled here last week. As I share these links, let me add a thought or two to highlight the issue for those who may not understand its importance. The danger in trying to be simple is that I will not be able to convey all the complexities of the matter and the problems that arise from a lack of doctrinal precision. That is why you should read the links.

At the heart of this discussion are two basic matters. First is the use of the term “eternal submission.”  This phrase is being used to describe the relationship between God the Father and God the Son before the incarnation. By this phrase its proponents mean that the Son has forever been in obedience to the Father. The problem with this concept is that it begins to create a divide into the oneness of God, as by implication it would mean that the divine Father and divine Son have differing – if not different – wills. Yet as the articles below remind us, orthodox truth from confessions throughout the centuries have always upheld that God is […]

The Lord’s Supper is a Heavenly Meal

In the Lord’s Supper, we look back upon Christ’s sufferings. We know that communion is a memorial meal that we do, as Jesus instructed, “in remembrance of me.” We understand that the broken bread and poured wine represent the body and blood of Jesus, who died on the cross for his people. So we look back in remembrance in the Lord’s Supper.

Yet we must also look ahead. For the Lord’s Supper is an eschatological meal. Eschatology is the study of the last things. By using this word to describe the Lord’s Supper, we mean that when participating in it we are to be looking ahead to the end of earth’s history, the day of the Final Judgment, and the eternity of heaven. How do we know this? In the words of institution in the Lord’s Supper that Paul gives us, he tells the church that “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (I Cor. 11:26). Every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we should be remembering he is coming again. We are saying in its observance, “He is coming! Jesus is coming back again!”

The book of Revelation helps us to understand this […]

Browse Worthy: Trinitarianism and Complementarianism

A fascinating debate is taking place on the blogosphere regarding the Trinity. Initiated by a defense of the complementarian view (that men and women have differing yet complementary roles in the home and church) that used the eternal relationship between the Father and the Son, the discussion has turned into a interesting dialogue with men like Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware on the one side and Liam Gollagher and Carl Trueman on the other.

I bring this to your attention and link to these posts not because of a morbid curiosity to see brothers debating or an enjoyment in wrangling over words. Rather, I do so because getting the Trinity right is foundational to Christianity. Also, this discussion serves as an example of how we must be careful in seeking to support one doctrinal position that we do not stretch other tenets to a breaking point.

Below I simply list the columns with the author and dates so you can follow the flow of the discussion. The first three posts set some historical context, as this matter has been under discussion for some time and these works are referred to in some of the current posts. If other links become available, I may add to […]

Browse Worthy: Living Christianly

A smattering of recent posts that will encourage you in your walk with Christ!

The Ten Pleasures

David Murray restates the Ten Commandments by beginning each one with the word “enjoy.” No, he is not trying to give a sugary, Joel Osteen-esque new translation of them. Rather, he is reminding us that the commandments, summarized by Christ as loving God and loving our neighbor, have a positive application that should result in us experiencing the answer to the first catechism question.

Girl in the Picture

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in fewer words than that Emily Thomes adds to the picture by telling the story of her remarkable conversion. Both look and read, then marvel over the power of the gospel once again!

One Facebook, Two Worlds, Three Problems

Trevin Wax explains how our Facebook feed is feeding our biases, and how it can impact true public discourse. He gives some ideas on how to overcome the divide.

Why Go to Church? 50+ Things You Miss Out On By Not Attending Church

The title says it all!

Christian Funerals Can Be Too Happy

I have often thought this and have written about it here and here. Love the direct simplicity of this post.

Obedience School

We have been enjoying a long weekend with my daughter and her family in Manhattan, Kansas. One of the fun parts of visiting them was attending the church plant to which they belong. Those involved in a new work often find the Lord putting them in interesting situations that call for flexibility and even a sense of humor.

The congregation rents out space in a senior center, which with its open welcoming area, meeting room, padded chairs, and smaller rooms for classes is well-suited for the congregation’s use on Sundays. However, there is another part of the center that other groups can rent. In the morning, a small church meets there and they have to make sure their visitors find the right place. In the evening, a dog training school uses this other area. So it was a bit humorous coming to church and walking in with people bringing their terriers and hounds. When Jonathan, the pastor, was finishing his message, he had to raise his voice over a chorus of barks coming from the other side of the building.

During the service I had to go out to the car to retrieve a pacifier for our grandson, Max, so that the pastor would […]

A Troubling 17th Century Presbyterian “Tweet”

What if a “tweet” about government interference in the church put you in prison for four years? Then eventually banished you from your country for the rest of your life?  Such was the case of Andrew Melville.

Perhaps nowhere else on earth has the drama of Christ’s headship over the church been more intense than when the Reformation came to Scotland. When it arrived there in the sixteenth century, popes and kings battled over who was the head of the church.

In so many words, the pope would say, “I am the head of the church, for the members of the church are my subjects and I appoint bishops to rule over it.” Similarly, the king would then respond, “No, I am the head of the church, for the citizens of the nation who attend church are my subjects and I will appoint bishops to control it.” In the midst of this dispute, the Reformers studied their Bibles and said, “No, Christ is the head of the church, for he bought its members with the price of his own blood and his Father has seated him as its Lord.”

Most of these Scottish Reformers upheld the Presbyterian form of elders governing the church to uphold this truth […]

A Memorial Day Meditation

number of years ago now our family took a vacation eastward and southward where we focused on learning more about the Civil War. We had been studying this war in our home schooling curriculum. Being able to see some of the sights added value to our education.

As we traveled, we read books and listened to tapes that told stories of the war. Yet we also visited a few places to see what we were reading.

We stopped in Gettysburg, heard of Pickett’s Charge, and read Abraham Lincoln’s address.  As most of the war was fought on southern territory, it was fascinating to learn more of General Lee’s attempt to try to take the war to the Yankees. The great number of men who lost their lives in this battle was staggering.

Our favorite sight on this journey ended up being the private Pamplin Park near Richmond, Virginia. This four hundred plus acre site was extremely well-maintained, preserving the location of the April 2, 1865, “Breakthrough” battle which led to the evacuation of the Confederate capital at Richmond. This park also featured the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. As we walked through this interactive display, our imaginations were triggered by the audio recounting and memorabilia all […]