How Do You Spell Presbyterian?

Though I usually suppress my giggles, I do have fun watching those filling out a form of one kind or another pause when it comes to listing where I work.  The “Sycamore” and “Reformed” are no problem, but I often have to help them spell “Presbyterian.”  I usually use it as an opportunity to explain what it means.  Here’s what I’ve experienced:

Favorite misspelling:  “Presbytrain.”  Choo-choo!

Worst definition to give:  “Presbyterian comes from the Greek word ‘presbuteros’ found in the Bible and means elder.  Presbyterian is a form of


Rambling Reviews of an Audio Scavenger

I love a full MP3 player.  And last week, my MP3 player was pretty darn full.  Ah, yes, the simple pleasures in life!

So, yeah, I’ve listened to quite a few messages lately.  It’s been a strange mixture.  A little bit of everything.  Nothing life changing, exactly, but no downright duds either.  It’s for this reason I’m going to go with the shotgun approach today.  Not a slug, but buckshot.  So here we go.  Time to ramble.



The Impudence of Men and the Hiddenness of God – A Thought

I have long wondered why atheists continue to brazenly demand a showing of God.  If they knew what they were doing, or if they had slightest inkling of the utter audacity of it all, they would realize the sheer folly of the demand and immediately desist.  But they do not. 

The demand to see God usually occurs during a debate, and typically towards the end.  The atheist, with an air of elite confidence, will say something like the following:

“If God is truly real, then why doesn’t He simply show up?  Why doesn’t He come down here right now, make this podium float and twirl in the air and tell me that I’m wrong?  If He would do that, I would believe.  He wants me to believe, right?  He wants it badly, no?  So why not simply prove He’s there?  A simple miracle will do.”


Electronic Dog Leash

Taking my daughter to a friend’s house a few times recently, I have noticed a sheltie collie at the end of one T-street on which I turn.  The little dog stands at the front edge of its fenceless yard, waiting for cars coming to its street.  As a car reaches the T of the intersection, the collie races madly to the end of the yard, then abruptly leaps and spins in the opposite direction and charges back that way, the whole time barking constantly.  As you drive past, you notice it keeps repeating this process – flying back and forth, back and forth, with non-stop barking.  Obviously it has been trained with an electric fence and collar, because it stays right on the front edge of the yard and never crosses the side edges of the property.  Indeed, the last time I went by the collie had worn a path in the snow right down to the ground.


PARABLE OF A VACANT CONGREGATION’S PASTORAL SEARCH

When approached by the Elders to return to the Topeka pulpit after 10 years of retirement, Pastor Bob McFarland read the following to the congregation on his first Sabbath Day after his ten year absence.

And it came to pass that the Topeka congregation once again in 2008 went to the auto showroom to consider the automobile to meet their needs since they no longer had a car of their own.  ( 10 years earlier they had taken their old car and retired it, they assumed,  for good.)


Vindicated

I have recently started preaching in the Gospel according to Luke. I was captivated, right off the bat, with Luke’s opening scene. And with one character in that scene, in particular. And especially with one quality of that person.

The opening scene of Luke’s account is a prayer service at the Temple. After the narrator’s prologue (1:1-4), Luke pulls back the curtains and on the stage we see the worshiping crowds gathering at the Temple for an afternoon prayer service, where Zechariah the priest is on duty. There are several characters in the passage,


A Time to be Silent

Monday evening I was in the gym with my son’s basketball team and two other teams  practicing.  The gym echoed with the bouncing of balls, the squeak of shoes, the shouts of boys and coaches.  Then silence suddenly came.

The coach of the varsity team, David Hartman, received news that his daughter had been in an automobile accident on icy roads.  His nine year-old grandson, Skyler, a player on our elementary team, was in the car also and had been instantly killed.

I embraced David as soon as I heard.  The feeling of his sobbing, heaving chest with its broken heart against mine stayed with me even after he rushed to see his daughter.  That sensation still remains.  I will never forget it.


The Justification Landscape – Reformed Forum

What I’m about to say isn’t hyperbolic:

I appreciated every single sentence uttered by Pastor Mark Garcia in this Christ the Center interview.

As someone who has been following the Federal Vision and New Perspective(s) on Paul controversies for some time now, I’ve listened to my fair share discussions.  Like that old Clint Eastwood flick, most could be labeled as either being good, bad or ugly.  And unfortunately, there’s been a lot of ugly. 

But let me tell ya, Pastor Garcia ain’t ugly.


Hodge Podging

Regarding Hodge, a while back a dear friend brought to my attention the carefulness with which Charles Hodge developed the doctrine of limited atonement in comparison to others who are a bit more reckless with it these days.  In particular, Hodge’s care to develop limited atonement by emphasizing the judicial side of the atonement  rather than a strictly  pecuniary approach preserves this doctrine from the common charges often brought against it.  Indeed, reading Hodge encourages a belief in limited atonement that deepens love and devotion for the Savior, creates awe in His mercy, and spurs one to offer freely the gospel to others.  Read his Systematic Theology, Volume II, Chapter VIII.

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I love being bound together in fellowship with my other R&P pastors.  They encourage me so.  Three of my pastor friends are so dedicated to