Jan 172015

thumbnail.aspxLord, it’s too late for you to be quiet, you have spoken too much; you have fought too much.

You were not sensible, you know; you exaggerated, it was bound to happen.

You called the better people a breed of vipers.

You told them that their hearts were black sepulchres with fine exteriors.

You kissed the decaying lepers.


You spoke fearlessly with unacceptable strangers.

You ate with notorious sinners and you said that street-walkers would be the first in Paradise.

You got on well with the poor, the tramps, the crippled.

You belittled the religious regulations.

Your interpretation of the law reduced it to one little commandment: to love.

Now they are avenging themselves.

They have taken steps against you: they have approached the authorities and action will follow.

Lord, I know that if I try to live a little like you, I shall be condemned.

I am afraid.

They are already singling me out.

Some smile at me, others laugh, some are shocked and several of my friends are about to drop me.

I am afraid to stop.

I am afraid to listen to men’s wisdom.

It whispers: you must go forward little by little, everything can’t be taken literally, it’s better to come to terms with the adversary… And yet, Lord, I know that you are right.

Help me to fight.

Help me to speak.

Help me to live your Gospel to the end, to the folly of the Cross.

Quoist, Michel (2014-09-05). Keeping Hope – Favourite Prayers for Modern Living: Selected Inspirational Prayers from World-Renowned Theologian Michel Quoist (Kindle Locations 985-995). Gill & Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

Jan 162015

IMG_0027It was a difficult conversation.

Researchers in the U.K. had “proven” that cats have no real attachment to or affection for their owners.

Indeed, their research has concluded that cats believe humans to be insipid, ignorant, tools whose only worth is in what they can feed them.

Cats do not like us and could care less whether we live or die.

When we clean up after them when they use our house as a bathroom, they believe it a sign of conquest over us.

All signs of feline affection are merely ruses carefully thought out by the beasts to deceive us so we will keep feeding them.

If we were smaller, they would slay and devour us as well.

Dogs, however, (according the the scientists) truly love and appreciate their human masters.

The gig is up, Miss Kitty… science has revealed your true motives.

I read the article to Miss Kitty as she laid on my lap, purring and feigning affection and contentment.

She, of course, denied the allegations.

She also directed my attention to another “scientific” study that showed that cats actually believe people to be kin…larger versions of themselves.

Thus, the need to groom us when we haven’t done so properly and the donation of fresh kill to us in case the Whiska’s run out and we all starve together.

This, she purred, is the true belief of cats and one that she holds to personally.

It saddened her to think that we would believe that cats would despise humans when humans are made in the image of cat.

She also noted the folly of someone spending research money to prove what can’t be proven.

Some things can’t be proven…they can only be experienced.

She then groomed my eyebrows and went back to sleep.

Despite what the scientists believe, I believe my cat.

The point is irrelevant…because I love my cat despite it’s faults and mixed motives.

I’ve experienced the love of cat.

Man wasn’t made in the image of cat, but in the image of God…who we love imperfectly with mixed motives.

He loves us even when we feign affection for Him.

He loves us even when we try to manipulate Him for our own ends.

He even loves us when we metaphorically use His house as a bathroom.

We did slay Him…

He loves us anyway.

We love Him because He first loved us.

Just like me and Miss Kitty…

Go ahead and purr…

Jan 162015

We have been in the process of moving our site to a new, faster, and more secure server.

In that process it appears we lost some comments and this mornings TGIF.

My apologies for all the inconvenience.

I’ll rewrite TGIF and post it later today.

Thanks again for reading and participating….

Jan 152015

ReformationsdenkmalGenf1One of the questions we get a lot is about how I as a Protestant in general and a Calvinist in particular can share space amicably with those in traditions that don’t believe in justification by grace through faith alone.

Don’t Catholics and the Orthodox deny this doctrine and thus place themselves outside the true church?

Can they be saved believing in a “different gospel” ?

The ages have clouded the importance of this doctrine to the church…the material principle of the Reformation was justification, the formal principle was biblical authority and the two were linked together in the minds of the Reformers.

Luther called it the doctrine by which the church stands or falls and the rest of the Reformers said amen.

I affirm the the doctrine with the same zeal as my forefathers and teach it and believe it with all the faith I have.

I believe those who do not teach and believe it are in gross error.

Justification by grace through faith is a hill I would die on.

The question then becomes why do you call Catholics and the Orthodox brothers and sisters in the faith?

I do so because I believe the Gospel that saves is about the person and work of Christ, not about the mechanics of salvation.

Saving faith is about placing your trust in Jesus…believing in His incarnation, sinless life, death for your sins, resurrection, ascent, and return to judge the quick and the dead.

When the Ethiopian eunuch asked “what must I do to be saved?” the answer was simple…believe on the One you’ve been reading about.

“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

(Romans 10:8–9 ESV)

I believe that there are those in all the Christian traditions that have made that confession with their mouths that reflected the faith in their hearts that Jesus is Lord and they will indeed share in His resurrection.

Justification by grace through faith is a hill I would die on…but not one that I will slay others on.

If we are saved by grace through faith that covers their gross doctrinal errors…and mine as well.

We’ll be talking about this on the next episode of Calvin’s Corner as well.

Jan 142015

Randy Alcorn is a very good writer who is often ignored because no one tradition can safely claim him.

In this interview with Trevin Wax he talks about how the various traditions should interact with each other…and I think it’s gold.

I commend it to your reading.

Jan 142015

1426163_10152538970789156_1955504315_aToday, like every Wednesday, we will remember Saeed Abedini.

We do more than just remember, however…we stand with him by using our social media to advocate for his release.

We ask that you change your Facebook profile picture to his and that you “like”  the “Free Saeed” Facebook page and participate in some of the activities that promote his cause.

We ask…that you remember him and his family in prayer…and that you refuse to give up on efforts to secure his release.

Jan 132015

timthumb.phpThe ten most unnecessary Bible versions ever…

8 questions for Walter Brueggemann…

When internet authority trumps church authority…

12 myths about Arminianism…

The six moral foundations of politics…

The Welsh missionary who brought Christianity to Korea…

A lament for Nigeria…

Richard Roberts and the fall of the Oral Roberts dynasty…can’t miss….

Carl Trueman on the speech police…

Evidently, Wesley didn’t come that close to sinless perfection after all…

When your pastor is bigger than Jesus…

Pain and evil in the wreckage of Eden…

The fate of American religious freedom…

The top 50 countries where it’s most difficult to be a Christian…

On the “nones”…

Wenatchee has an interesting collection of links on practical theology…

Can science make a case for God?

Wrights new book…

Eastern Orthodoxy and the pope…a brief history.

Eight signs that you may be an evangelical reject…


Jan 122015

Calvin's Corner headerPastor Michael Newnham and Phil Naessens discuss Monday night’s NCAA National Championship Game between Oregon and Ohio State, why Denver Broncos fans should be quiet about wanting QB Peyton Manning to retire, Phil finds a Brock Osweiller jersey on Ebay and the guys attempt to refute the erroneous bible teaching that mental illness isn’t a disease but because of sin in the believers life.

Jan 122015

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. It is strange and troubling that discussions about grace so often turn into graceless arguments about the nature of grace where grace is withheld from those with different definitions of grace.

2. Go Ducks!


3. I do not hate the church…I think the church is a precocious child with vast untapped potential for good when it decides to put down it’s trifles…

4. While Amazon is convenient and cheap, there is nothing as intriguing and delightful as your local independent book store.

5. I’m at a stage in life where learning more theology is senseless until I learn to live what I already know…

6. There is no more selfless and loving act than to truly pray for someone else…

7. Note to self; Jesus is neither overwhelmed or surprised, nor disappointed.

8. If we can’t find it in ourselves to love other traditions in the body of Christ, my guess is that offering the love of Christ to the world is out of the question…

9. The idea of a “Christian worldview” as if there were one monolithic view in Christianity makes me chuckle…

10. I laugh at all the people calling for Peyton Mannings retirement…they must be terribly anxious to wear that Brock Osweilller gear. 

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