Archive for December 13th, 2008

The Hajj–look and pray!

hajj2-3 million people.

Throwing stones at a wall, representing Satan.

Have to do this to be in the good graces of Allah! But if you can’t make it to Saudi Arabia, that’s OK. There is a back-up plan!

Incredible! Oh, let our souls weep and pray for the millions, millions, who are deceived by this fast growing religion!

Here are the pics!

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Facebook soli deo gloria

facebookTada!  I just joined Facebook this week.  I am not very active on it, but have been thinking about how I might use it strategically for God’s purposes.  And voila!

If you are on Facebook, here is a very intriguing article, one that as Christians we should think through.  Some Christians are avoiding joining this social network, others are embracing it without serious thought.  Justin argues that we should embrace it with a “side hug.”

How are you redeeming your social life online?

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img_2082_21I found this post from Russell Moore to be particularly insightful in regards to parenting:

When we think of Christian eschatology [inserted note: eschatology is the study of end times], we tend to think first of prophecy charts or apocalyptic novels, but nothing is more eschatological than parenting.

A parent disciplining a child, for instance, communicates to the child the discipline and judgment of God in ways deeper and more resonant than any Sunday school lesson (Heb 12:5-11). A parent who will not discipline a child for disobedience, or who is inconsistent in doing so, is teaching that child not to expect consequences for behavior.

In short, a parent who will not discipline is denying the doctrine of hell.

At the same time, a parent who disciplines in anger or with harshness teaches a judgment of God that is capricious and unjust. An abusive parent, worst of all, ingrains in a child’s mind a picture of God as a ruthless devil who cannot be trusted to judge justly.

Parental discipleship and discipline ought always to have repentance and restoration in view, picturing a God who is both just and the justifier (Rom 3:26). Discipline should be swift and fair with quick reconciliation between parent and child. Long periods of “time out” do not communicate the discipline of God; they communicate the isolation and exile of hell.

Parents who spend time with their children, especially at meals, demonstrate something of the harmony they want their children to long for beyond this life. It’s a longing to eat at another Father’s table in the kingdom of Christ.

Moreover, we should teach children to respect and acknowledge authority, attributes necessary for citizens of a democracy for a short time, yes, but more necessary for subjects of a kingdom forever. Teaching children to refer to adults as “Mr. Smith” or “Mrs. Jones” or “Pastor Doe” and to say “sir” and “ma’am” (or the culturally equivalent signifiers of authority) is about more than politeness. It is training children to recognize proper hierarchy and authority when the veil is lifted and we see face to face.

Those of you who are parents probably grow weary and discouraged sometimes. I know I do. It seems as though you’re not “getting through” sometimes, that your children aren’t responding the way you thought they would. Keep hugging. Keep kissing. Keep chastising. Keep teaching. This is a long-term project. You’ve got a long-term project in front of you. And there’s a lot at stake.

After all, parenting isn’t about behavior modification. It’s about Christian eschatology.

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surprisedbysufferingHere is D. A. Carson’s  fourth reason why we are surprised by suffering at times.

Some of us have absorbed a form of theology with all the answers. We can offer standard answers to every problem that comes along, especially if the problem is afflicting some other person. Our certainty and dogmatism give us such assurance, our systematic theology is so well articulated, that we leave precious little scope for mystery, awe, unknowns. Then, when we ourselves face devastating catastrophe, and we find that the certainties we have propounded with such confidence offer us little relief, our despair is the bleaker: we begin to question the most basic element of our faith. Had we recognized that in addition to great certainties there are great gaps in our comprehension, perhaps we would have been less torn up to find that the mere certainties proved inadequate in our own hour of need.

I becomes important, then, to decide just where the mysteries and the certainties are. Christianity that is nothing but certainties quickly becomes haughty and arrogant, rigid and unbending. Worse, it leave the Christian open to the most excruciating doubt when the vicissitudes of life finally knock out the supporting pillars. The God of such Christianity is just not big enough to be trusted when you are up to your neck in the muck of pain and defeat. Conversely, Christianity that is nothing but mystery leave nothing to proclaim, and make faith indistinguishable from blind credulity. Part of our task in this book then, must be to emphasize some of these things that ought to be firm points of assurance for Christians, and to probe a little around the edges of the deep mysteries.

– D.A. Carson, How Long O Lord?, p. 26, 27

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