Monday, June 29, 2009

The Face of the Apostle Paul

About a month ago, we discussed what the Apostle Paul might have looked like. In the end, we simply don't know. However, a recent picture has emerged that has some asking if this is a more accurate depiction of the apostle.

This picture dates back to the 4th Century and stands as the oldest image we have of his. What do you think?

Also, some are arguing that the actual bones of the apostle have been uncovered.

For more:

World Net Daily: Is this the face of the apostle Paul?: Newly uncovered artwork has experts 'identifying' biblical hero

Huffington Post: OLDEST ST. PAUL IMAGES (Photo) Found

Daily Mail: Is this the earliest image of St Paul? 'Sensational' 1,600-year-old icon of saint found in a Roman tomb

Independent: Bones confirmed as St Paul's remains

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 21, 2009: The Faithful Father

You can download the notes by clicking here. Otherwise, the audio can be downloaded by clicking on the title.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Myths of Fatherhood

Recently I commented on an article written by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where I attend regarding five myths of fatherhood. I encourage everyone to read what Dr. Mohler had to say about each myth as we approach father's day.

Here are the 5 myths:
1. The Mr. Mom surge.
2. Women want all housework and child-related work divided 50-50.
3. Cohabiting fathers are just as involved as their married counterparts.
4. The children of divorced parents do just fine.
5. Dads are dispensable

And we wish everyone a very happy Father's Day!

For More:
Mohler on the 5 Myths of Fatherhood
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. - Watch Out for Myths About Fatherhood
Alex Chediak Blog - Five Myths on Fathers and Family
CNN - Dad feels cheated on Father's Day booty
"A City Without Fathers" - A Sober Call to Bring Back Dad
Mohler: Are We Raising a Nation of Wimps?

June 15, 2009 - Joy of Spiritual Humility

You can download the notes here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weekly Recommendation: "Kingdom Living"

As we begin to look at the Beatitudes as we discuss joy, I have been blessed with the John MacArthur book, "Kingdom Living: Here and Now." John MacArthur is one of the most influential persons in my life. I weekly devour his books, articles, sermons, and lectures. He stands as the best Bible teacher in America today. I have been repeatedly enriched from him.

Kingdom Living is essentially his series of sermons on the beatitudes in book form. MacArthur has simply taken the transcripts from him sermons and with minor edits, has published them. Nonetheless, this book stands as an insightful and practical guide into understanding Jesus' teaching in the Beatitudes and how to have real, lasting joy.

The book is fairly simple and easy to read. MacArthur frequently refers the reader to various stories and texts in the Old Testament. MacArthur is a firm believer in illustrating the Bible by using the Bible.

So for those wanting to learn more about the Beatitudes and on Jesus' teaching on joy, I can think of no better source than this.

Bonhoeffer: The Meaning of Poor In Spirit and the Joy of Being Spiritual Bankrupt

Sunday morning we will be begin by looking at the subject of joy and we will be looking at the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12). The first of 9 "blesseds" regards those who are "poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3). While studying what Jesus meant by this, I came across the following quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book, The Cost of Discipleship:
They are poor . . . They have no security, no possession to call their own, not even a foot of earth to call their home, no earthly society to claim their absolute allegiance. Nay more, they have no spiritual power, experience or knowledge to afford them consolation or security. For his sake they have lost all. In following him they lost even their own selves, and everything that could make them rich. Now they are poor -- so inexperienced, so stupid, that they have no other hope but him who called them. -107

I love this quote. It is a good summary of what Jesus means by "blessed are the poor in spirit." Jesus says that those who are truly happy, those who have real joy, are those who are utterly spiritually bankrupt. It is Jesus, and Jesus alone, who can turn things on their head like this. Jesus calls us to recognize that only when we realize that we are already spiritual destitute can find true joy in the gospel of Christ. And it is the poor in the spirit who will "inherit the kingdom of heaven." It is only whenever we acknowledge that we have nothing and yet gain everything that we can be truly happy and live a life of joy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thesis Availble Online

I am finally completely finished with my M.Div. Thesis. It is on the Emerging Church; specifically on Brian McLaren and his understanding of the gospel. McLaren is perhaps the most influential leader in the movement and through such influence, the gospel has been smothered and redefined within the Emergent movement. Anyone interested in understanding how dangerous a cultured-stained gospel can be, I encourage you to read it. However, remember that it is an academic paper and so uses words and concepts for academia.

The title: Brian McLaren and Emergent Soteriology: From Cultural Accommodation to the Social Gospel.

You can download it for free by clicking on the above link. I will also make it available on the left side of this page.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Weekly Recommendation: "The Greatest of These is Love"

For the past several weeks, we have been studying 1 Corinthians 13 and the importance of practice real, biblical agape love. One of the books I have been reading is by Cale K. Burgess called, "The Greatest of These is Love." Burgess offers a simple and straightforward survey of what the Bible has to say on this important subject.

Most of the book covers 1 Corinthians 13, but the author does not limit their survey to this chapter alone. The book is rather simple and not very deep. Throughout the book, the author provides countless illustrations, poems, hymns, and quotes from various persons to drive their point home.

My biggest complaint regards the illustrations and they are two-fold. First, the number of illustrations is quit overwhelming. Burgess quotes others more than actually writes themselves. Page after page is covered with illustrations, quotes, stories, and other things. At times I found myself saying, "OK, I get it. Now tell what to do." Although the book contains many great insights into the Biblical teaching on love, it could be much shorter without all of the extra information and citations.

Secondly, Burgess quotes various persons and sources that would best be left out. For example, at one point the author quotes Mohammad, the founder of Islam. Grant it, there is some truth to be gained in most things as the result of common grace, but in a book that expounds Scripture, it is best to leave such things out.

Overall, however, I found this book to be helpful and an easy read. It is simple and straightforward and for the most part a good summary of the Biblical teaching on love. However, good luck finding it anywhere as it was written over 50 years ago.