Saturday, September 30, 2006

DGC06: Sesson 2 - Voddie Bauchman

Session 2 || Saturday Morning || Voddie Bauchman – The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World

“Truth is under attack in modern American culture. Rare is the person who believes that there are facts that correspond with reality (truths) and that those facts are true for all people in all places and at all times. Common, however, is the man or woman who believes that all religions are the same (religious relativism), that tolerance is the ultimate virtue, and that there is a no absolute truth (philosophical pluralism).

Innocuous as these beliefs may seem, they are dangerous. They lead down a path filled with peril. If all religions are the same, then no religion is true. Moreover, if we believe there are no absolute truths, and all truths are equally valid, this will ultimately lead us to nihilism wherein all ideas lose their value. Ultimately the only thing that will matter is who has sufficient power to exercise his or her will.

Much of this capitulation to secular culture’s demands stems from the fact that over the years Christianity in America has been more American than Christian. …The fact is that what we believe determines how we behave. My goal is not to tell Christians what to do but to challenge what we believe. Currently much of what we believe is shaped by our culture and unfortunately much of what our culture believes on a fundamental level is diametrically opposed to biblical truth.“

NOTES (stuff that grabbed me):
Dr. Bauchman gave a superb apologetic contrast between Christian Theism (distilled, the worldview that Christ is supreme and over all) and postmodern Secular Humanism (belief in man, even and especially to the point of atheism). Below are the four questions of every human experience and the answers from the postmodern Secular Humanist (S.H.) and the Christian Theist (C.T.)

“Who am I?”
S.H.: You are nothing. You are an evolutionary accident, a single-celled organism gone wild - an ape that lost its hair and grew an opposable thumb.
C.T.: Who you are begins with who Christ is – Col. 1:5, 16. You are the crown jewel of God’s creation.

“Why am I here?”
S.H.: To make the best of it. To consume and enjoy.
C.T.: To recognize and reflect the supremacy of Christ. Nothing short of honoring and glorifying Him – Col. 1:17,18.

“What is wrong with the world?”
S.H.: There is insufficient education (people just don’t know any better than to act the way they do) or there is insufficient governing by those with greater education.
C.T.: We are what is wrong with the world. We are hostile toward the One who created us – Col. 1:19, 21

“How can what is wrong with the world be fixed?”
S.H.: We need more education, and more government.
C.T.: Only Christ can make things right. There is no other way; He is exclusive – Col. 1:22, 23

This is one of the best teachings I've heard in a while. Check out a more extensive rundown here, and make sure to grab the audio of the Desiring God site when they post it.

DGC06: Session 1 - David Wells

Session 1 || Friday Night || David Wells – The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World

“It is only as the evangelical Church begins to put its own house in order, its members begin to disentangle themselves from all of those cultural habits which militate against a belief in truth, and begin to embody that truth in the way that the Church actually lives, that postmodern skepticism might begin to be overcome. Postmoderns want to see as well as hear, to find authenticity in relationship as the precursor to hearing what is said. This is a valid and biblical demand. Faith, after all, is dead without works, and few sins are dealt with as harshly by Jesus as hypocrisy. What postmoderns want to see, and are entitled to see, is believing and being, talking and doing, all joined together in as a seamless whole. This is the great challenge of the moment tf the evangelical Church. Can it rise to the occasion?

…We today are rapidly descending into serious inauthenticity. However, the people of God, across the ages, have also leaned that they can, indeed, recover their lost authenticity when they are willing to cry to God from the depths and make good on what has gone badly. Today is such a day, and God has always been, and always will be, the God of new beginnings.”

NOTES (stuff that grabbed me):
Unlike religions like Islam, Christianity today has no geographical center, no dominate race, tongue, or culture. Christ, then, holds all of Christiandom together – He alone is the incomparable Supreme.

The outcome of the Cross cannot ever be changed. Christianity is ONLY about a supreme Christ – unique, unchallenged, central in and to all things. This is the only Christ we are to preach.

For a complete transcript of Dr. Wells’ teaching, check out

Friday, September 29, 2006

Desiring God Conference

Desiring God 2006 Conference
I'm off the '06 DG Conference. Ought to be good. Pray that it will be. If I have internet access there, I'll try to give you a running commentary. If not, I'll hit you up with some conference posts post-conference.

In the meantime, you should definitely listen to this right now.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

VeggieTales on NBC?

That's right - Bob the Tomato & Company are coming to network TV. But don't get too excited yet; it won't be the VeggieTales you're familiar with. Instead, you'll get a watered-down "values-friendly" version of your old favorites that is carefully censored so as not to "advocate any one religious point of view." Even Bob the Tomato's signature sign-off line, "God made you special and he loves you very much," has allegedly been replaced with "Thanks for coming over to my house, kids. See you next week." Boo.

From Al Mohler (President of SBTS):
Is NBC seriously concerned that any significant percentage of the nation's parents believe that God did not make their children special? Do they not want their children told that God loves them very much? Just what "one religious point of view" does this represent? In reality, this represents the fear among the media elite that any reference to God will transform them into religious broadcasters. That frightening thought led an NBC executive, Alan Wurzel, to tell The New York Times, "We are not a religious broadcaster." Who knew? [more]

From Phil Vischer (Original creator of VeggieTales):
...Just two weeks before the first three episodes had to be delivered to NBC, I was sitting at a meeting about the VeggieTales movie ... when the head of Big Idea leaned over to me and said, "NBC says we can't say 'God made you special and he loves you very much'." I think I turned visibly white. "How are we supposed to end the show, then?" I asked. He didn't have an answer.
Four days before the first three episodes were due to be delivered to NBC, we got an email from NBC's 'standards and practices' department with a list of lines that needed to be removed from one of those shows - every line that implied God or the Bible might have an impact on how we live our lives today.

But seriously, am I all that worked up over VeggieTales? Not really (though I do think it's a shame to see the shift that will take place in something originally used to teach kids about God.) Cutting Bible- and God-references out of the show seemed like a pretty easy decision for NBC, especially since they are not condoning "any one religious point of view." I guess the more difficult decision for NBC is whether or not to broadcast a crucified Madonna. Double standard, anyone?

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Illusion of Security - Part One

I almost hate to break this to you, Christian - but I probably should. So get ready - here goes: Security is an illusion.

I assume you know what illusion is. But to clarify, when I say "security," I'm talking about it from the aspect of having some assurance of safety, even if that assurance is mental or physical, real or imagined. Security in this regard is also often defined as freedom from danger, risk, anxiety, etc. I want to make it clear that I am not talking about the believer's security of salvation here (for this is very secure); I am referring to the kind of security found in terms like "homeland security," "security guard" and "airport security checks."

In the wake of "recent terrorist activity" (that least-favorite buzzphrase that nonetheless seems to have forever infiltrated media vernacular), our government - God bless 'em - has instituted a variety of measures meant to increase security both within and beyond U.S. borders. This is not news to you. We've shuffled together, you and I, sock-footed and vulnerable, through airport metal detectors flanked by armed National Guardsmen.

And so, here we are on the five-year anniversary of 9/11, and we find outselves a nation and a people in so many ways obsessed with safety and security.

Now, to be fair, there is - and should be - a normal level of concern for the security of one's person or family. For example, I make sure the doors of my house are locked at night. I do not flash large sums of cash in public. I look both ways when crossing the street. I do not make jokes about bombs while traveling by airplane. I am glad we have police officers and military personel.

Furthermore, I think it is right of our government (or any government) to institute rational measures of security to protect its people from threat and harm. The need for such measures is simply indicative of the reality of a fallen world. And while such security measures may be instituted from the very least (looking both ways before you cross the street) to those of a more serious, widespread nature (national terrorist attack alerts), they are all, in the end... illusion.

To be continued...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Jesus on the Today Show. Really.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this. Either way, looks like it's good to be The Je$u$.

Well, at least this guy seems to have a good handle on the situation. I'll keep saying it - watch your life and doctrine friends.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Free Derek Webb John Piper

Hooray for free stuff! Boy oh boy, the buzz around DW's Mockingbird is all the latest throughout Christian blogdom, so here's another freebie to throw in the mix. The Billy Graham Crusade is giving away copies of John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life this month only - fo' FREE. Grab yours today.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Free The Whales Derek Webb

Free is good.My boy Derek Webb is giving his latest album, Mockingbird, away online for free. Says Webb, "My most recent record 'mockingbird' deals with many sensitive issues including poverty, war, and the basic ethics by which we live and deal with others. but i found that music has been an exceptional means by which to get this potentially difficult conversation going. ...We hope this bold campaign will provide a jumping off point for conversations about all of these issues, and communicate my commitment to playing my part in starting them."

All this talk about "conversation" ...I thought this guy was reformed, not emergent. Just kidding, Derek - and thanks for the freebie. Free is good.

Invisible Children Revisited

After watching the film Invisible Children at 7.24 (see last post), a friend and I were discussing our reactions. The documentary ends with several suggestions as to how to help the situation in Uganda. Although we both agreed that something should be done - must be done - we shared a frustrating sense of helplessness. After all, what does throwing a couple bucks at a national civil war really accomplish? You could even go there for a week or a month a year - but would that really change anything? Really? I left that night feeling useless.

It wasn't until the next day that the Lord reminded me of loaves and fish. You know the account - thousands of people fed by a couple loaves of bread and a few fish. What looked like an impossibility became reality in the hands of Jesus.

I was reminded of a well-known quote from Edward Everett Hale, a chaplain in the U.S. Senate in 1903; "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do."

So maybe I'll buy a video or a bracelet or write a check. I only have a few loaves and a couple fish. But it'll make a difference in Christ's hands.