Friday, March 30, 2007

Photo Friday

Gym Coach

Best in Show

We held our first annual Mustache March Mustache Contest on Wednesday. Ben was the resident gym coach, while Chris tied for best in show. Here he shows off his pride and joy.

My Photography || Flickr Friday Photo

Thursday, March 29, 2007


There are a lot of places where North Park and I don't align. For the most part I'm fine with that. I've learned to pick my battles. I've learned about the correct arenas of those battles. I know that I'm not going to convince anyone in a classroom setting of my theological positions. I'm not worried about convincing people anymore, rather than an understanding of where I'm coming from, which usually means grabbing some coffee and sitting down for a patient conversation. And I've learned that blogging about something and thinking no one will ever read it is a false assumption to make. So I don't make that assumption anymore.

However, beyond our differences in theology-- my stance on women in ministry and my strongly held Calvinistic beliefs-- even the primacy with which I hold Scripture is dashed aside. When I talk about the Bible I use words like "inerrancy" and "infallibility." Language in these tones, however, never get used at North Park. Why would one refer to the Bible as inerrant? I thought we were so passed that.

Honestly I don't understand what people have to hold onto, if they don't affirm the inerrancy of Scripture. No, I'm not naive enough to say that there aren't inconsistencies and discrepancies between one book or another. Nor am I naive enough to say that stories and metaphors don't exist in the Bible. There are literary genres in Scripture. I also contend that Scripture is insufficient to describe the fullness of God's glory, but on this side of the mirror, this is as clear as we can see.

But more than all that, this is God's word. Are those who don't affirm the inerrancy of Scripture calling God errant? If we believe 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 that all Scripture is God-breathed, then what we today affirm as Scripture has come from the mouth of God, and unless one thinks that God makes mistakes, or errs, then I don't see how we can make the same claim on Scripture. But then again, 1 & 2 Timothy have authorship issues and who even gives a crap about what Paul says anyway. He wrote at a specific time to a specific people addressing a specific issue and we're not naive enough to think that this still applies to us today, do we?

What blows my mind is how the Covenant can use words like "perfect" to describe how the Scripture functions, but not affirm it's inerrancy. Who then decides what's errant or inerrant? How do we make these judgment calls? And then how do we explain to our flocks that this section of Scripture is right, but this stuff here is phooey, so don't believe that, cause that'd just be stupid. Do we ride the wave of culture to inform our consciences as to what is valid in God's word? I contend that is a dangerous wave to ride.

Are we really so bold before God to toss aside his word and tell the Creator that we're the ones that decide what is true or not?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Unclear Vision

Everywhere I've been turning as of late, there has been an overwhelming discussion of the War in Iraq. Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had people on last night addressing the war. Newsweek's stories this week all focused on the soldier's lives lost. The network news programs took a break on the war in Iraq last night to tell us about the war on cancer, in response to both Edward's and Snow's diagnoses. But the conversation is never dead.

Should we be calling it a "war" or an "occupation?" Is it right? When should we leave? What would be the consequences of leaving? From what I've read there seems to be no good answer to this question and the default Democrat answer "pull out now" wins out, just by that--default. No one has a good solution.

I read how Pelosi got her antiwar vote in the House, and even though it will be vetoed, the Dems won. Won? Really? They got people to say what everyone has been saying the whole time-- wars suck. We don't want to war, but sometimes we have to. War has consequences and Newsweek illustrates that with their closing article Last Letters. It's a reprinting of deceased soldier's handwritten notes to their loved ones.

Everyone stands up at this point and says how horrible the war is for claiming American lives, but very few are arguing from the standpoint of the Iraqis. I contend that the best case scenario "pull out now" is racism-- and that's not a word I use lightly. Basic at it's premise is that we value American lives over Iraqis. We're tired of seeing our boys, sons, brothers and some sisters, dying to ensure the freedom of Iraqis. We're saying that American lives are more valuable than those of the Iraqis.

But what about their lives? What about their sons? What about their desire to live in a country where they don't have to worry about going to the market and being blown up by a bomb? Or living in a country that doesn't have an oppressive government?

I can't say that I love that we're over there, that we went over there or the results while we have been over there. But if we were all created in the image of God, then that imprint is on them as well. Their lives are as valuable as ours.

As much as we fight the war on cancer, we need to be fighting for the sanctity of all human life-- no matter where one lives.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Photo Friday

National Furniture

James and Light

I nabbed these while I was in Kansas City visiting James Beecher, a good buddy of mine from college. I'm always encouraged after I get to see him, so it was definitely a blessing to be able to go through KC on my way home.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I found some great videos about Facebook. If you don't know what that is, I can't help you, but maybe these can...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Photo Friday

The first is some older gentlemen waiting on their loved ones. The second is Foxy putting up with her loved ones.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I was "published" via Gapers Block, a web publication in Chicago, for the first time last week. I didn't even know until it was pointed out to me. It makes me pretty excited.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Twenty One

This week is my Spring Break and I'm trying to savor the fact that I still have one, while most of my friends are working away in a dungeon, at least that's how I imagine it. I'm also trying to catch up on the semester, on the golf course and with the Wii.

I'm down in Tulsa this week and my sister's 21st birthday is today. Pray that she has a good time, and she stays safe.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Photo Friday

This is an old pic that I shot in Costa Rica while I was hanging out downtown.

My other hand is not making a peace sign. But this is a new photo.

All my flickr friends must excuse the redundancy of my photostream. I believe I've posted about 4 versions of this photo. Just trying stuff out. And I order some of my pictures for print from and they all came out great, so I recommend them to all.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

William S. H. Piper

John Piper's father passed away yesterday after being hospitalized for some time. John wrote a very moving and encouraging journal entry and an obituary, which I encourage all to read.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Christian Pharisees

Alright, so I watch way too much Comedy Central, but in all seriousness, Stephen Colbert does amazing things with satire. It is a shame, though, that secular media does a better job at expressing grace than the church does. I implore you to take below very seriously and ask if us Christians are not turning into (post)Modern-day Pharisees.

(And now I'm just going to go off...)

Do we not read the Bible seriously anymore, or are we just not reading it at all? Do the Gospel writers not scream in protest about this pharisee-ism? I mean, GUM! It's freaking gum! Jesus was continually jeered for eating with sinners, for serving them, for loving them. And this doctor is refusing to care for the sick because of gum. The irony of all this is Jesus uses this exact metaphor in Mark 2:17 about why he does spend time with sinners. "Those who are well have no deed of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but the sinners." What irks me the most is how much attention this right got. And now Christians everywhere have this stigma placed on them by this one dude. Hopefully, people aren't so brash as to dismiss the whole because of the actions of one. I'm sure this doctor loves Jesus, but somehow the thrust of the Gospel has completely gone over his head. Jesus warns us that he will say to some, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." And to those that did not treat the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, naked, sick or imprisoned? "These will go away into eternal punishment" (Matthew 25:31-46).

How can we, who were once sick ourselves, not care for those who still are? What are we doing to the name of Jesus? We call ourselves Christians-- little Christs. We're supposed to be exemplifying his love for the world, not destroying it because of our own purity laws. Ah! Flagellum! I can't even cohere words to describe what goes through me because of this. It truly breaks my heart to see a baby not be treated because of someone's personal "purity" in the name of Jesus. May God protect us all from our sin.

I'm gonna go listen to some Derek Webb.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Quotable Snodgrass

Tuesday's are an incredibly long day, as I've mentioned before, but my class on Romans is a good reason to keep going, even when I'm about to crash.

Romans is taught by Klyne Snodgrass, a well-respected New Testament scholar, who refers to people like N.T. Wright as Tom, J.D.G. Dunn as Jimmy, and mentioned in class that he called up Bruce Metzger-- who is responsible for us having a Greek New Testament today-- as if it was an everyday occurrence. It's an extremely cognitive class and I had the brilliant idea to take it for credit, instead of auditing. Klyne is putting the finishing touches on a book on the parables of Jesus, which should be a goldmine. At the risk of infringing on copyright laws (of speech) and taking things completely out of context, I offer you some great quotes by the man himself.

"Grace is the perimeter within which Christians live."

"Faith is not what you do with your brain, it's what you live."

"To have faith is not saying something about you, but about the God in whom you trust."

"When you fail to honor God, humanity is dishonored."

"Worship precedes obedience."

"The wrath of God is in the revelation of the righteousness of God."

"There is no sin that is not constitutional-- we are always dealing with identity."

"Can you draw near to this God and not be affected by him? I think not."

"I don't care what you do with the genitive-- the focus is on the cross."

Monday, March 5, 2007

Slightly Ashamed...

So my blog is entitled that Not Ashamed... which up in title box thingy, I explain in Romans 1:16, Paul states that he is not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God. It was my prayer that I would not be ashamed of the Gospel as I went to Costa Rica and then I reworked it that I would take on that same frame of mind through out my whole life. This still holds true.

On The Colbert Report (Comedy Central) tonight, Stephen interviewed Larry King. One is a master interviewer who has been on for fifty years and the other is a crack job that provides hilariousness to ensue during my dinner. Stephen is a confessing Catholic and over all has an amazing grasp of the Gospel-- if this knowledge is lived out, praise Jesus. His only deep question to Larry was which dead person he would interview. "Christ," Larry replied. I nodded, but Stephen chimed in with the truth-- Jesus is not dead, he rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. Woof. I had to cringed at the thought of me nodding along when Larry exclaimed that Christ was dead. It is an easy trap to fall in, but one as Christians we need to be ever conscious of. We do not worship a dead body in a tomb, as yesterday's Discovery special wanted to claim. We worship a living God, who has conquered death and reigns over it. Who one day will come back and at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Please enjoy the clip below.

Manly Reads

This is my lazy man's blog for Monday. Last Tuesday, I sat down with another brother from North Park in regards to my posts back in November that caused such a stir. You remember those? While not agreeing with my position, he did share some concerns about the future of male leadership and the emasculation of male leadership. Further we talked about if the complementarian position is fully lived out, in regards to the vision in Ephesians 5:25-33, it would place women above men. I would say it does place women in a seat of honor as their husbands seek to love their wives a Christ loves the Church. Since then I've found some really good reads on being a Godly man and what that means in regards to women. And since I haven't caused much drama in the past few months, I figure it's about time again. So with that, here's my top-- well, we'll see how many I get.

  1. Piper's still going with his sermon series on marriage. He said he was going to get to headship soon, so it could be yesterday's, which at this time is yet to be posted.
  2. Tim Challies is a great blogger that posted a couple entries entitled The Extraordinary Value of Women I & II. Both of which I highly recommend.
  3. Justin Taylor, who used to work at Desiring God Ministries and is now in Wheaton, posted an excerpt of an old sermon by Albert Mohler that he had recently reread entitled The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Christian Marriage. He has links to both it's full text and audio.
  4. Justin's also posted a few other dated posts to take note of: Wayne Grudem on his marriage, and an older sermon by Piper on submission.
So it's only four, but I think there are enough hyper links up there to give anyone ADHD. I do hope they're for your edification.

Postmodern Jesus Tombs

Yeah, I watched it, at least some of it. It was actually rather entertaining and I got a good laugh. Much of the things they were stating were so out of line with the Biblical evidence and, as some argued, good archaeological methods. For a discussion of the evidence, I point you to Craig Blomberg's response. The part that contained the most meat, though, was the hour long special with Ted Koppel--I was mesmerized by his hair.

It was actually surprising that Discovery had gone out and gotten some credible theologians for the discussion, especially the conservative evangelical Darrel Bock from Dallas Theological Seminary. What was most interesting about the whole discussion was the weaving of modernism and post-modernism-- or, as described on the program, the evidence and the narrative. Throughout the "documentary" Simcha, the filmmaker-- or journalist, he never could decide-- interlaced dramatic scenes depicting the events that they are trying to prove. Here is where the Biblical scholars took issue. The scenes give overwhelming power to the evidence being presented. Whereas, in a modern world one would use evidence to back up the historicity of a story, the postmodern world is using story to give power to the evidence. I find it a very interesting flip.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Photo Friday

The first photo is a collection of old photos of my grandfather (Rohles) and the second is me after I finished reading Romans.