Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Church

I've been having some good talks with a Presbyterian. On top of that, there is an excellent post at Pyromaniacs which has me thinking...

Presbyterians really "get" church as community. They excel at integrating the family into the church. That can be a real problem for Baptists, who tend to be more individualistic.

Of course, Frank nails it in one:
"The way this approach to 'church' works is to see what God has done for 'me' as the starting point of Christian life and then maybe one tries to extend what God has done for 'me' to include what God has done for 'you' on a provisional basis. When I think God hasn’t done it for you anymore, I can therefore not care about you anymore – at least in the church sense."
And immediately gives the right thinking:
"But the way we are taught to reason by the Bible about our faith is that Christ has died for us, and that Christ sees his bride as an assembly, and that God has a whole people who are purchased as his own possession." (emphasis in original)
The Church is not a building, or an institution. It is first and foremost all the elect throughout time. Individual "called out ones" gather into little, local bodies as a symbol of this time and space spanning body.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Missing Heat

An interesting article from Science Daily:
"Current observational tools cannot account for roughly half of the heat that is believed to have built up on Earth in recent years"
"Either the satellite observations are incorrect, says Trenberth, or, more likely, large amounts of heat are penetrating to regions that are not adequately measured, such as the deepest parts of the oceans. Compounding the problem, Earth's surface temperatures have largely leveled off in recent years."
Wouldn't warming of the deep ocean be good? It is really cold down there...
"any geoengineering plan to artificially alter the world's climate to counter global warming could have inadvertent consequences, which may be difficult to analyze unless scientists can track heat around the globe."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Selective Abortion

A horrifying story from Albert Mohler:
"A doctor in the city [Sarasota] has lost his license because he aborted what is now described as the 'wrong' baby."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ASC and the heart

Another treatment using ASC progressing into human trials, from Science Daily:
"A few weeks ago, the first patient received progenitor CD133+ stem cells isolated from his bone marrow"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Clothed in Christ

Something Ed Young said on TBN really registered with me - Ed Young is one of the best preachers TBN has, and he is not really good at all (even in the sense that a man can be good, not just in the sense that only God is good). Anyway:

When you look at the story of Jacob, you see that he came from a history of lying. When he presented himself to Isaac (Gen 27), he wore a hairy costume to pretend to be Esau - he had "put on Esau". He told his father his name was Esau.

Later, when Jacob wrestled with God (Gen 32:24), God asked him his name. He had to put off Esau. And God gave him a new name (Israel).

In the same way, we put off the old self, and put on Christ, and God gives us a new name (Rev 2:17).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nationalist Idol

An interesting post by Doug Wilson. Doug is reviewing a book by Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher - Peter is a Christian).

Doug makes the excellent point that nationalism can be wrong if it makes the nation an idol. This is a failing all conservatives are vulnerable to (Postmillenial or Dispensational).

The most interesting point:
"The churches were full before 1914, half-empty after 1919, and three-quarters empty after 1945" (quoting Peter's book)
Now, there are many effects underlying this.

Doug and Peter associate it with the idolization of the nation (confusing God and nation). That defects in the worship of the nation were applied to people's notion of God, causing them to turn against God.

There are two other factors:
  1. Modernism - Modernism began much earlier (Oden says 1789), but it really started to peak in the late 1800's. Prior to the World Wars, the American Civil War (1861-65) could be dismissed as an outlier (even a necessary good, eradicating slavery). However, the World Wars put an end to any thought that mankind could do good on its own (or at least, gave it a sound drubbing).
  2. Postmillennialism - It is well said that the World Wars killed postmillennialism (PM). PM preceded Modernism, and ideologically had little in common.
The common elements of these two is optimism (and that many churches accepted both). When this optimism was shattered, the churches suffered - the Anglican church in England, and the mainline Protestants in America (additionally, Modernism acted as an acid which eroded the authority of the Bible - which is the ultimate cause of any collapse).

Modernism is pretty soundly defeated (having given way to Post-Modernism, which is also making its way into many churches). PM is said to be making a comeback, although I have seen little of it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

ESC Research

As I've mentioned before, the primary use of ESC has been in pure research (research for information, not for treatements). From Science Daily.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Michael Spencer, 1956-2010

I am going to bend the arrow of time a bit.

Michael Spencer (aka Internet Monk) has died. For those following his blog, this is not a real surprise. He had been battling cancer for some time.

I didn't always agree with Michael, but I did always enjoy reading his blog. He was always encouraging and insightful.

I will be leaving this post at the top of my blog until I catch up in time...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Conflict Again

Catching up on my Pyromaniacs...

Christians are not supposed to physically oppose our opponents:
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12
The important point here is that the spiritual is greater than the physical.

Our physical life is short and passing. There are no eternal consequences.

But, we should struggle and fight hard for eternal, spiritual things.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Interesting development from Science Daily:
"The therapy involves extracting and purifying blood stem cells from the patient's bone marrow. Antiviral DNA is transferred to the cells in the laboratory, after which the cells are re-injected into the body."