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Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Communion of the Saints

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner. Sometimes I feel like my only friend is the city I live in, the city of angels, Lonely as I am, together we cry…” These are the opening lines of a 1990s rock song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.How could a man who lives in a city with a metro population of over 17 million people feel like his only friend is the city itself?

The singer  goes on to say,”It’s hard to believe that there’s nobody out there. It’s hard to believe that I’m all alone. At least I have her love, the city, she loves me, Lonely as I am, together we cry.”

It is lonely out there, Mr. Kiedis.

I pass thousands of people every day and without being purposeful, one could virtually disappear. It is very easy to be all alone in a city of 17 million. I know of one homeless man in Hollywood that believed that he was invisible because he was never spoken at nor looked at! That’s lonely! But the fact is, that it is easy to be all alone anywhere and everywhere. Community takes effort, it does not happen without being purposeful.

When Jesus died for sinners like you and me, […]

Bigger Bloggers

Our children like to tell the joke, “Who is bigger?  Daddy Bigger, Mommy Bigger, or Baby Bigger?”  The answer?  “Baby Bigger.  He’s a little Bigger.”

As baby bloggers, all of us at Gentle Reformation are glad you stop by here to read our little blogger offerings.  Yet we marvel at the much bigger resources bigger bloggers provide.   The Lord has raised up an innumerable army of talented  people offering resources in the virtual world of the internet.  If used carefully, they can be a great source of evangelism, encouragement, and edification.  The Blogroll to the right lists some of our favorites. I thought I would point out just a few of the  helpful resources in bigger bloggers I’ve come across this past week.

Baseball and the Kingdom

Last night, my fingers burned as I jumped back and forth between radio stations on MLB AtBat to keep up with the greatest single day of regular season baseball in history. On the last day of the regular season, eight games had playoff implications. After a day of hard work and after our evening Bible study (yes, I’m trying to spiritualize this as much as possible) I checked the scores and ended up being irresistibly fixated on the drama at hand.

A Biblical Answer on 9/11

Fouad Ajami, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University and a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, writing in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, noted:  “The Arabic word shamata has its own power. The closest approximation to it is the German schadenfreude—glee at another’s misfortune. And when the Twin Towers fell 10 years ago this week, there was plenty of glee in Arab lands—a sense of wonder, bordering on pride, that a band of young Arabs had brought soot and ruin onto American soil…Everywhere in that Arab world—among the Western-educated elite as among the Islamists—there was unmistakable satisfaction that the Americans had gotten their comeuppance.”

9:11 Bible Verses

As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 draws nigh, the media is saturated with reflections on this defining event of our generation.  Watching or reading certain pundits can be a maddening experience, as they draw wrong conclusions or hype the tragedy.  Other types of coverage can make your heart leap into your throat, such as the cover of one magazine I saw in the airport recently entitled “9/11 Children” featuring those who had lost parents on that fateful day. For reflective articles, I have benefited from the latest issues of WORLD and Tabletalk magazines.

I recall how horrified I was ten years ago, as events unfolded, by the evil forethought of the perpetrators.  

Publishing Peace?

Christians  in this 21st century ought to be aware we are living through a media transformation on par with the invention of the printing press in 1440. The explosion of cell phones and social media sites like Facebook mean the communication possibilities on a given day are virtually limitless. In this new media environment “citizen journalists” are able to wield tremendous influence as they report on things happening in their sphere of influence.

But the Internet also creates another class of users. They fall into the same trap Paul warns about for young widows: “they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house [or chat to chat], and not only idlers but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not” (I Timothy 5:13). Such people consume drivel and produce nothing.

So my question to you is: are you a consumer or producer? Is the Internet facilitating your mission as a Christian, or fueling your lusts and pathologies? Are you leading others, or being led astray as slaves to various passions and pleasures (Titus 3:3)? In a word, are you a follower of others or a leader toward Grace in cyberspace?

Generational Conflict in Ministry

D.A. Carson has written a timely article entitled “Generational Conflict in Ministry.”  See if the first paragraph catches your attention:

“About five years after the Berlin wall came down and the communist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe had mostly fallen or been transmuted into something rather different, I had the privilege of speaking at a conference for pastors in one of those formerly eastern-bloc countries. The numbers were not large. Most interesting was the way this group of men reflected a natural breakdown. They were clearly divided into two groups. The older group—say, over forty or forty-five—had served their small congregations under the former communist government. Few of them had been allowed to pursue any tertiary education, let alone formal theological training. Most of them had served in considerable poverty, learning to trust God for the food they and their families needed to survive. Some had been incarcerated for the sake of the gospel; all had been harassed. The men in the younger group—say, under forty or so—without exception were university graduates. Several had pursued formal theological education; two or three were beginning their doctorates. They were interested in ideas and in the rapidly evolving cultural developments taking place […]

Dear Norway

Dear Norway,

It seems at this point words can only fail. While I, along with the rest of the world, feel stunned breathless by your tragedy, surely your pain and anguish is and will become deeper than we can imagine. But if it is possible to communicate my grief and prayers in a short letter, I’d like to try.

The Gay Mirage

Warning: Though I have sought to word carefully this post so as not to be explicit, the nature of the subject means certain references are unavoidable.

To my knowledge it was the only time I have been followed in a threatening way.  

Two Weeks of Listening. Some Snapshot Thoughts

Apologetics 315 Interview with David Wood

Excellent interview exploring the subject of Islam.  Instead of looking at the historical evidence, which is rarely what Muslims care to explore, David Wood very helpfully shows how one can and should use the Koran itself as a foil to the Muslim’s most common objections against Christianity.  Good stuff.

Epistemology – Andrew Fellows

In one of the most helpful and concise sketches of the history of epistemology I’ve run across, Andrew Fellows of L’Abri ministries shows how nearly everything after Plato and Aristotle, in the history of philosophy, is but footnotes.  Well worth the 90 minutes.