Saturday, August 16, 2008

Intentional Living?

Here is a song by Randy Travis.
This is what I think of when I hear Randy Carlson and other people I know talk about "Intentional Living"
I like the song, but I'm not crazy about the latest buzz-words... "Be Intentional"
I think I'll just live a life of gratitude, for what God has done.
Grace and Peace,

Friday, August 15, 2008

Grace and Style

This is Grace Community Church's position on musical style of worship. Sometimes our preferences whether tradition or contemporary get in the way of True Worship. We come to church to hear from God, through Word and Sacrament. The word either preached or sung. Rod Rosenbladt from the WHI said that "even if the Pastor blows it in His sermon, we should still be able to hear about Christ and Him crucified during the Liturgy." This means that if the Pastor doesn't preach what he is supposed to the rest of the service ought to point us to Christ and Him Crucified and that our sins are forgiven. Especially during the Lord's Supper and Baptism. Also, don't forget that Jesus said that Mary was doing the right thing just sitting there listening to her Lord, while Martha was busy doing things that Martha thought were the right things to be doing. I think our churches are always trying to do the Martha thing when we should be doing the Mary thing. "Don't just do something... sit there!!" (Rosenbladt)

Grace and Peace,

Coram Deo!!!

New Article from Pulpit Magazine

Grace and Style

Posted: 15 Aug 2008 02:01 AM CDT

Grace and StyleWhat is Grace Church's view on musical style in the church?

The Bible does not prescribe a particular style of music as being solely acceptable to God, nor does it condemn any particular styles. But it does contain principles that we can apply to any situation and ascertain what course of action will please God.

When it comes to choices about what style to use in the church, we should apply the principle of appropriateness. At Grace Church, our Sunday worship services contain musical styles that are appropriate for all ages ‑‑ we try to be careful not to distract anyone present by using music that could be considered controversial in any way. But in our youth meetings and events at The Master's College, more contemporary styles are often played or sung. We require the lyrics in the latter to be doctrinally sound and clearly understandable.

Some churches and Christian schools teach that any music with a drumbeat or electric guitar is worldly and sinful. We do not do so at Grace Church because the Bible tells us "not to exceed what is written" (1 Corinthians 4:6). We cannot add to the Scripture without subtracting from its effectiveness in our lives. If we elevate personal preference and man-made tradition to the level of God's Word (Mark 7:6-15), we risk entangling people in the bondage of legalism and diverting them from the true issues of sanctification (Romans 14:17).

Here are five questions you can ask when evaluating music:

1. What is the lyrical content of the song? Are the words true? Are they biblically accurate?

2. Does the way in which the lyrics are presented cheapen the message?

3. Does the song make you conscious of the Lord, and draw you to Him, or does it distract from true worship?

4. Do the musical style and performance promote and facilitate a worshipful atmosphere? Or do they somehow undermine the truth and purity of the lyrical content?

5. Is the life‑style of the musician honoring to God?

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Bible and Archaeology

Here is a really good article from Pulpit Magazine about how Archeology continues to provide evidence to the trustworthiness of the Bible. 
Coram Deo!!!

Pulpit Magazine

New Article from Pulpit Magazine

The Bible and Archaeology

Posted: 08 Aug 2008 02:01 AM CDT

The Bible and Archaeology(By Nathan Busenitz)

The following comes from Nathan's new book, Reasons We Believe: 50 Lines of Evidence that Confirm the Christian Faith (Crossway). Today's article is adapted from part of reason no. 13, regarding archaeological evidence for the Bible's trustworthiness.

Recent interviews with leading archaeologists in Israel have again confirmed the historical and geographical trustworthiness of the Bible.[1] "Serious scholars, even if they're not believers, even if they do not think this is a sacred text, still consider it to be history, because things match up so well," says archaeologist Steven Ortiz who has been working in Israel for over 20 years. He continues, "[T]here isn't anything to contradict or anything to make me wary of the testimony of Scripture."[2] Speaking specifically of the Old Testament, Denis Baly notes that "the historical material in the [Old] Testament must be taken with great seriousness. It is primary evidence for the history of the time, and no honest historian or archaeologist should treat it as anything else."[3] Echoing this sentiment, Aren Maeier of Bar Ilan University acknowledges the fact that "You can't do archaeology in Israel without the Bible."[4]

Their consensus on the importance of the biblical text to Israeli archaeology echoes the words of Yale archeologist Millar Burrows, who wrote over a half-century ago, "On the whole, archaeological work has unquestionably strengthened confidence in the reliability of the scriptural record. More than one archaeologist has found his respect for the Bible increased by experience of excavation of Palestine."[5] More recently, after an extensive study of Old Testament data, renown archaeologist and Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen (of the University of Liverpool) has written:

What can be said of historical reliability? Here our answer—on the evidence available—is more positive. The periods most in the glare of contemporary documents—the divided monarchy and the exile and return—show a very high level of direct correlation (where adequate data exist) and of reliability. . . . 

In terms of general reliability . . . the Old Testament comes out remarkably well.[6]

The testimony of archeology continually confirms the trustworthiness of the Bible. As Norman Geisler, Dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary, correctly points out, "While many have doubted the accuracy of the Bible, time and continued research have consistently demonstrated that the Word of God is better informed than its critics."[7] Henry Morris presses the point even further, asserting that there is "not one unquestionable find of archaeology that proves the Bible to be in error at any point."[8] On the other hand, notes Josh McDowell, "numerous discoveries have confirmed the historical accuracy of the biblical documents, even down to the occasional use of obsolete names of foreign kings."[9]

Those are statements no other religious book can make. Yet they correspond directly to the Bible's own claim to be true.

* * * * *


[1] "The Archaeologists I", video presentation, SourceFlix Productions (uploaded August 10, 2007) (accessed September 2, 2007). This clip highlights the testimony of a number of leading archaeologists who are currently working in Israel and who affirm the importance of the Bible to their work. It is part of a larger documentary to be released in 2008.

[2] Steven Ortiz, transcribed from "The Archaeologists I," video presentation.

[3] Denis Baly, God and History in the Old Testament (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), 19.

[4] Aren Maier, transcribed from "The Archaeologists I," video presentation.

[5] Millar Burrows, What Mean These Stones? (New Haven, CT: American Schools of Oriental Research, 1941), 1.

[6] Kenneth A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), 499–500.

[7] Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 52. Cf. Thomas Lea's commentary on 1, 2 Timothy, Titus NAC (Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, 1992), 239, where he notes that "any errors in the field of history would undermine the confidence of the reader in the theological trustworthiness of Scripture."

[8] Henry Morris, The Bible and Modern Science (Chicago: Moody, 1956), 95.

[9] Josh McDowell, The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, 89.  Along these lines, Jens Bruun Kofoed in Text and History (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2005), 4–5 responds to skeptics of the Old Testament by arguing that it is much more historically reliable than many scholars claim, and that "it must be included in rather than excluded from the pool of reliable data for a reconstruction of the origin and history of ancient Israel."

Friday, August 01, 2008


I had a good chuckle reading this on Steve Camp's blog.  I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you.

Grace and Peace,

...the latest trend in the emerging/emergent culturally irrelevant church growth movement

Top ten signs that you are visiting
a Submerging Church:

10.) The usher asks if you prefer the smoking or non-smoking section
9.) Regular attendees earn cash bonus points to local brewery
8.) Sunday School has been replaced by contemplative-walk-abouts
7.) Baptismal tank has a wave-maker machine
6.) Fifty dollar cover charge at the door (featuring open bar and local dance band - woman must wear red)
5.) Pew Bibles are The Message
4.) Sign out front has latest pastors name written with dry erase markers
3.) Chris Rock humor from pulpit mandatory to be considered missional
2.) Worship team performs their favorite Zeplin medley; altar call is "Stairway to Heaven."
1.) Banner across front of sanctuary reads, "Today's Worship Service Brought to You by Chevrolet."
Coram Deo!!!