Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I've recently been challenged to think about what I want to do with this web log. When it first started, I was just messing around and there was no clear purpose. A friend asked himself a worthy question when he started his own blog - "What's the point?" He says,
    So the question I ask myself before I embark into the world of web logs is, "Why? With all the wonderful, culture-engaging commentaries out there already, why add more verbiage to the deluge of the internet? Why try to contend with such heavy hitters when you are trying to keep your head above water in right thinking?" Well, I want to add my voice because I think that the worst thing I can do is remain quiet and let this wave go by without attempting to put my hand to the clay and mold what thoughts are formed.
It is with similar sentiment that I feel I should put my own hand to this clay. I don't purpose to change the entire world with anything I write here (far better minds than mine are already at work on that, I'm sure) - but maybe I'll be used to impact yours, if only in a small way.

And so what I will purpose to do in this forum is to help equip and encourage you as you go about your pilgrimage by sharing thoughts and musings - from the theological to the mundane - from my own journey with Christ in hopes that it will take you a step further in yours. Perhaps you would provide insight from your own walk that would do the same for me. Visit and comment as often as you like, and I will try to post often and consistantly. I'll look forward to seeing where the Lord takes us in all of this.

The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of Your hands. -Psalm 138:8

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. -Proverbs 19:21

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Church Webmasters - Stop Working for Free

Today I read an article called Church Webmasters - Stop Working for Free by Micheal Boyink. For those of you who are webmasters, web designers, IT specialists, or simply recognize the usefullness of the web as a relevant tool for the church's use, I'm extemely curious to hear your thoughts on the article.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Reflections After a Week of Fatherhood

I've been an officially practicing Dad for a little over a week now. Here are some thoughts and things I've learned so far.
  • The birthing process is an incredible paradox. It's the only experience I can think of that I've simultaneously wanted to throw up and shout for joy at the exact same time. On one hand, it is just plain gross... but watching new life come into the world is nothing short of awesome.
  • Babies are strong. This lil' fella is seriously tough. Bounce 'em, toss 'em, swing 'em - they just keep on keepin' on. Not to mention the 17-hour trip down the birth canal and the trauma of learning to breathe air.
  • I am weak. It's amazing how helpless and even fragile I sometimes feel when helping take care of my son. Truly "God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong ... that no one could boast in the presence of God."
  • Apparently babies have uncharted hypnotic powers. You can stare for hours and not even realize it.
  • When driving in the car with a baby, every bump and pothole suddenly becomes a gaping chasm. You also assume any other vehicle going over 25mph is being driven by a raging maniac.
  • My wife is tired, wired, and more than a little moody. She's stretched out and sore in places she doesn't want to mention. She is more beautiful than ever.
  • Turns out nobody's really kidding about that whole "no sleep" thing.
Just some initial thoughts as I walk through the first few steps of fatherhood...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Off The Wire

My good friend and brother, Matt, is an ace theologian, and as long as I've known him, he has been used by God to play an instrumental role in the development of my theology and challenging me to a deeper walk with Christ. Ol' Matt recently started up his own blog. Check it out.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Glorious Day

What a glorious day... my son was born. Meet Caleb.

Here I raise my Ebenezer, Hither by Thy help I’ve come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,Safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Regeneration Must Precede Faith

Continuing my last post, let me assert that no man can provide faith for his regeneration to salvation. Regeneration and salvation must be a wholly divine work. I think this is very clearly seen by observing mankind's fallen state.

Ephesians 2:1 tells us that we Christians were all once dead in our trespasses and sins. Dead. That is a word of finality - it is unmistakable. You can't, in reality, be "half dead" or "somewhat dead" or "kind of dead" ... either you are dead in all fullness or you are not. If you are not dead, you are therefore alive, even if only the faintest spark of life exists. However, Scripture does not teach that the faintest spark of spiritual life exists in fallen man. As uncomfortable as it may seem, every Christian was once dead in our sins and every non-Christian still is. Consider these words from a teaching by Charles Spurgeon:

"Holy Scripture tells us that man by nature is dead in trespasses and sins. It does not say that he is sick, that he is faint, that he has grown callous, and hardened, and seared, but it says he is absolutely dead. Whatever that term "death" means in connection with the body, that it means in connection with man's soul, viewing it in its relation to spiritual things. When the body is dead it is powerless; it is unable to do any thing for itself; and when the soul of man is dead, in a spiritual sense, it must be, if there is any meaning in the figure, utterly and entirely powerless, and unable to do any thing of itself or for itself. When ye shall see dead men raising themselves from their graves, when ye shall see them unwinding their own sheets, opening their own coffin-lids, and walking down our streets alive and animate, as the result of their own power, then perhaps ye may believe that souls that are dead in sin may turn to God, may recreate their own natures, and may make themselves heirs of heaven, though before they were heirs of wrath. But mark, not till then. The drift of the gospel is, that man is dead in sin, and that divine life is God's gift..."

When someone is dead in their sin, their existance is a closed system. A closed system cannot become other than it is without being influenced by something outside of that particular system. By that I mean that something that was not already in that system will never manifest itself within that system by that system's own devices. That would be like me asking you to sponateously produce knowledge of everything you don't know. Death is a closed system. Unless acted upon by an outside force, death does not sponteneously produce anything (except perhaps more death).

A spiritually dead person cannot produce the smallest inkling of faith that would lead him to somehow cooperate in the regeneration process. He can offer nothing for his salvation - he must be acted upon by an "outside force."

"Regeneration is not a joint venture. We do not cooperate in it because we will not cooperate in spiritual matters while we are still dead in our sins. Our hearts are totally disinclined and indisposed to the things of God. We love darkness and will not have God in our thinking. The desires of our hearts are enslaved to sin. We will never choose Christ until or unless we are liberated from that slavery. In short, we are morally unable to exercise faith until and unless we are first regenerated.
This is why the axiom of Reformed theology is that regeneration precedes faith. Rebirth is a necessary pre-condition for faith. Faith is not possible for spiritually dead creatures. Therefore, we contend that apart from spiritual rebirth there can be no faith.
Of course, once the divine initiative of regeneration has been wrought by the sovereign monergistic work of God, the rest of the Christian life is synergistic. But the transformation of the person from death to life, darkness to light, bondage to liberation is done by God alone, effectually and irresistibly." - R.C. Sproul, Dead Men Walking

"For it is by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God..."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Something Serious

Okay, since I've had this blog up for a while now, I should probably post something that's actually worth reading.

The other day in a meeting I was in, a friend of mine asked a great question - basically, where does faith come into salvation? Is it man's faith that saves him (saying that faith is a prerequisite for regeneration, which leads to salvation) or is faith a result of man's regenerated state (saying that regeneration/salvation must preceed faith)? It's a great question, and I think, an important one. Unfortunately, my friend's question was brushed aside with a "people have debated over that for years and we're probably never really going to know" kind of answer. I'm going to attempt to explore it here.

The debate between various theological camps regarding this issue often centers around Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Some folks will tell you that in Eph. 2:8-9, the phrase "it is the gift of God" refers to to grace alone, but not faith; the idea there is that God gives the grace, and man provides the faith for his own salvation (this view is called synergism - a cooperation between the human and the Divine in the regeneration process. The opposing view is monergism, where regeneration is explicitly a work of God without aid from man.) Man providing the initial faith sounds nice - and certainly gives man a little ego-boost - but it's an erroneous view. I'll explain further in my next post.