Gospel. Culture. Technology. Music.

Month: January 2007 Page 1 of 2

Ernie and Zach on Oprah

Here’s a link to a Star-Telegram article about Ernie and Zach (Zach is in my D-team @ CCBC) appearing on Oprah today … http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/16587162.htm

Webserver1 Power Supply Fried

Well, it finally happened … during an install of Windows XP nonetheless. I was getting tired of dealing with Windows 2000 Server and some of its overhead, so I decided to put XP on there, and for some reason, it used enough power to push my already fragile power supply over the edge. Gonna take a couple of days to get a new one, so its all good. I don’t have email right now, but it’s being forwarded to my two backup mail servers. So anyway, there’s the scoop. Kinda sticks, but oh well, not the end of the world, God is sovereign 🙂 Teaching me some about where I place to much of a priority actually. So praise God for that … it has been way overdue for a new power supply anyway, so it all works out. Email me at westerfunk@gmail.com if you need to get in touch with me …

Update … 1/31/2007

Got the webserver back up and running now. Email and all services are back up and running normally.

Configuring TCP/IP Using the Command Line in Windows 2000/XP

This could be very helpful for times you need to quickly switch back and forth between multiple IP configurations on the same network interface using a batch script.

Active Obedience of Christ

J. Gresham Machen said before his death, “I’m so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it.” This blog entry http://www.reformationtheology.com/2006 … christ.php on www.reformationtheology.com does a great job of expounding upon the idea of Christ’s active and passive obedience on our behalf, and how the two are inseparable if our complete redemption was to be accomplished. Amazing, soul sustaining doctrine to praise Christ for, in that His active obedience throughout His life is counted our own. How wonderful!

N Korea Working with Iran to Test Nuclear Weapons

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh … iran24.xml
One of the statements in this article particularly hit me as to why we have to take punitive actions against these rogue nations who are working toward or who possess nuclear weapons; these people don’t understand “NO” with talks unfortunately: “The Iranians are reported to have been encouraged by the fact that no punitive action was taken against North Korea, despite the international outcry that greeted the underground firing. This has persuaded the Iranian regime to press ahead with its own nuclear programme with the aim of testing a low-grade device, which would be difficult for international inspectors to detect.”

Contending for Our All – A Book By John Piper

http://www.amazon.com/Contending-Our-Al … 158134676X
This is a book about three men from church history who stood up to the mainstream currents of error despite the suffering they knew they had to endure, in the name of truth for the Gospel’s sake. A must read in our time where pastors left and right seem to be abandoning solid doctrinal truth in the name of Christ. Quote from a book review off Amazon: “Contending for Our All is an especially important book for our present day. In the lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen, Piper shows how the need to defend truth has always been paramount in genuine Biblical Christianity. None of these three men enjoyed controversy for its own sake. All three were charitable and gracious with those whom they disagreed (a lesson all sides should learn in our day!). In his section on Athanasius, Piper insightfully applies Athanasius’ battles to the issues of our day: ‘Athanasius would have grieved over sentences like “It is Christ who unites us; it is doctrine that divides.” And sentences like: “We should ask, Whom do you trust?” rather than, “What do you believe?” He would have grieved because he knew this is the very tactic used by the Arian bishops to cover the councils with fog so that the word Christ could mean anything. Those who talk like this–‘Christ unites, doctrine divides’-have simply replaced propositions about Christ with the word Christ. It carries no meaning until one says something about him. They think they have said something profound and fresh, when they call us away from the propositions of doctrine to the word Christ. In fact they have done something very old and worn and deadly..” (pp. 64)

The Dispensationalist Bent on Eschatology

Okay I’m frustrated and about to rant … Why is it most in the dispensational camp seem to make it their life-long mission to make sure everyone has what they consider to be the right understanding of the end-times and won’t even give a decent bit of consideration to the other three major positions within the larger evangelical church on eschology? I mean a lot of “trying to understand the end-times” is speculation anyway, as to whether or not things will turn out exactly how it is proposed. Right? So why invest so much time in this as a church? A whole year or more even? Prior to the 1800’s, this was not even at the forefront of pastors and theologians minds. Christ, and faithfully proclaiming Him to a lost and dying world was the main task at hand. Sure they may have exposited a bit on the end-times, but a majority of historical writings from before that time talked very little about eschatology, simply because of the fact that much is speculation and not worth trying to figure out.

I suspect many church theologians from the past had greater tasks to tackle, like preaching correct, Biblical doctrine, and refuting errors that harm the Gospel and its cause. Am I wrong? Why is it so important to try and figure out what happens in the end-times? I’m still trying to figure this out. How much does this bear on the Gospel and the preaching thereof for the edification of the congregation within the dispensational camp? Is it fascinating? Sure. Is it the absolute necessity of the church to focus on eschatology so much that you neglect the greater things in scripture, namely justification, sanctification, substitutionary atonement wrought through the person and work of Christ? No. I mean whatever is going to happen will happen, right? Should it not be our job, first and foremost, to faithfully proclaim the Gospel, to grow people in the Gospel, to show them how the Gospel bears on every area of our lives so that we grow in the knowledge of the grace of Christ?

If our eschatology doesn’t ultimately point to the person and work of Christ in His glory, then our eschatology is fatally unbiblical. The point of Revelation wasn’t for God to merely get us excited about what’s going to go down. Sure that’s there. But if that’s the primary focus we’ve missed it. The point is to show us Christ in His majesty, in His glory and how this Jesus, who is the lamb-like lion and lion-like lamb, who suffered and died for sinners, will come and do wreckshop on the world. Revelation is a call to repentance and faith in this Christ who will do all these things to sinners who continue in their rebellion, and that He will be glorified in it. That’s the point. For now, isn’t preaching Christ crucified, risen for sinners in every message a much more important task for preachers to grow people spiritually than trying to figure out Bible Code (if there really is such a thing), or the end-times and how things are going to unfold, much of which is speculation anyway? And since when did the Scriptures speak that secular/non-ethnic Israel is the barometer for when everything is going to go down? I mean there are more ethnic Jews in the U.S. than there are in Israel … explain that one to me.

I hear dispensationalists say that, “You reformed people focus entirely too much on election and the mysteries of God.” My response to them, oh really? Not anymore than you dispensationalists mostly focus on eschatology in your preaching and writing. And in addition, we’re not trying to figure out the mysteries of God but merely pointing them out, in order that we may marvel at this awesome Jesus who has called us into His kingdom through the cross.

The Fundamental Fault of the Modern Church

“The fundamental fault of the modern Church is that she is busily engaged in an absolutely impossible task–she is busily engaged in calling the righteous to repentance. Modern preachers are trying to bring men into the Church without requiring them to relinquish their pride; they are trying to help men avoid the conviction of sin. The preacher gets up into the pulpit, opens the Bible, and addresses the congregation somewhat as follows: “You people are very good,” he says; “you respond to every appeal that looks toward the welfare of the community. Now we have in the Bible–especially in the life of Jesus–something so good that we believe it is good enough even for you good people.” Such is modern preaching. It is heard every Sunday in thousands of pulpits. But it is entirely futile. Even our Lord did not call the righteous to repentance, and probably we shall be no more successful than He.”

– J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, Chapter 3, God and Man, 1923

Oppose the PERFORM Act

If this is passed, it could mean the eventual downfall of publicly streamed, “open-source”-type music (streaming sites would be required to employ DRM on their streams to prevent radio audio recordings). Go here and send your Senators a letter telling them to oppose this … https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=221

How Christians Should Approach Politics

This is a great answer from John Hendryx to a question posed to him in an interview @ http://www.internetmonk.com/articles/J/ … dryx1.html

10. What is your opinion of the evangelical interest in politics and the identification of many Christians with the Republican party?

While I believe we should be engaged in our civic duty to vote and be engaged, it appears to me that many evangelicals have gone beyond the call of duty and have bought into dominion theology. Some of us seem to hold the false belief that if we just changed the laws and made the US political system based on the Bible then all would be well while not considering the changing of hearts. My response to this is that the problem is not just OUT THERE, it is with us. If we lived like we believed the gospel ourselves, then God would use us to change the culture. While I can agree that civil law can be used to restrain evil, we often bludgeon our secular opponents with it as if they could somehow be saved through obedience to it. I believe the first table of the law cannot be legislated. Persons must be persuaded into the Kingdom by human instruments casting seed with the Spirit germinating it, so to speak, but not by the sword or by coercive legal measures. Contrary to my evangelical and Theonomist brethren, I do not believe that the civil magistrate has the authority to judge heresy. A little known historical fact is that the Presbyterian Church wisely invoked semper reformanda and removed chapter 23(?) on the Civil Magistrate from the Westminster Confession in the early 1700s. A move for which I am thankful. Instead, we are to take up our cross and persuade as Jesus did, through meekness, suffering, joy, helping the poor and loving others above ourselves.

I have no problem with Christians personally identifying themselves with a party, but I will emphasize that politics is not the solution to our problems by any stretch of the imagination. There is entirely too much emphasis placed on it, as if God’s plan could somehow be thwarted. We should vote and do what we can to eradicate injustice, poverty and to actively find ways to be involved in mercy ministries. This might mean entering politics on a local level or just merely spending time with hurting people. But if the Republicans don’t get elected next term it isn’t the end of the world. Maybe a little discomfort will begin to burn off the dross in our churches. We must remember that God ordains whatsoever comes to pass. If God wills that we should live in Babylon, we must serve the it with excellence, influencing it by being good stewards of the calling God has given each one of us. Though some may be tempted when things get real bad, we should never take up arms to further our political agenda.

I have lived in a communist country for 10 years and, I can tell you with certainty, that the gospel is not chained because of a political system. On the contrary, communism has been a key factor in raising interest in Christianity in that country on a massive scale for the first time in their 5000-year history. It seems that Christians have become so addicted to comfort here that there is very little awareness of how people are living in the rest of the world. But we Americans are of very little account in the big scheme of things.

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