more on invitations

As a follow-up to my earlier post, I’d like to comment on what I think are appropriate uses of the invitation.

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on invitations

If you’ve been in the conservative evangelical/fundamentalist world for any length of time, you’ve experienced a variety of invitations in the services you have attended. In some services, the preacher seems to connect with heaven and send a message direct from God to your sinful heart and you bow in confession and respond as the preacher calls for repentance at the end of the service. Some services in particular speak directly to the heart of the lost and are used by God to bring about numerous conversions in response. On other occasions, the preacher may not have seemed so connected with the divine, yet an invitation is given anyhow – and a response ensues, often in large numbers, but it somehow seems to lack the intense spirituality of those other occasions. It seems… routine… manufactured… indefinite… inconclusive… and rarely produces change that lasts.

What is the difference? [Read more...]

a very special guy


This is our dear friend Al, receiving a knighthood from the Republic of France for his role on the beaches of Normandy, June 6, 1944. He has been invited to a special ceremony there this year (all expenses paid), but at 92, he doesn’t want to chance it. He said to me today, “I made it off those beaches alive once, I’m not sure I can do it again!”

More importantly, Al testifies that he is depending on the work of Jesus Christ to save his soul from sin. He regularly attends our services with his wife and brings one of our other ladies along with them as well. Yes, he is still driving and is as sharp as a tack. He is actually kind of hard to keep up with, but he is a real blessing to us.

theology of the heart

A few years ago I sat in on a seminary class with one of my sons. The professor was one who taught me back in my days in grad school, Dr. Robert Bell. In this lecture he made a comment that I have often thought about since. He was discussing two opposing theological systems. Then he said something to this effect: “Most people have a theology of the head and a theology of the heart.”

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I don’t know if my American friends can see this video, its an interview by a Canadian TV personality, George Stroumboulopoulos. I can’t stand George and I’m not a huge fan of the Prince, but I was a good deal put off by the beginning of the interview.

The way it appeared to me, Strombo, as they are sitting down, unexpectedly sticks out his hand to the Prince, expecting to shake hands. Prince Charles appears not to notice at first, then, to spare George embarrassment, reaches out and shakes his hand.

It might be just me, but I seem to recall that you just don’t do that… If you meet a royal and they initiate a handshake, it’s all good. But we commoners keep our hands to ourselves otherwise. At least … that’s the way I think it is supposed to be done.

I am sure on-air interviews aren’t easy, for interviewee or interviewer. But wouldn’t George have been briefed on protocol before he sat down with the Prince? Or is he just completely clueless? (I tend to think the latter.)

May God bless Steve Pettit

I am pleased that my good friend Steve Pettit has taken on the post of president at our mutual alma mater, Bob Jones University. Steve and I were in seminary together, shared many classes, not the least of which was “Snack Shop Theology” where we would hash over what we learning during breaks between classes.

I call him a good friend, and so I consider him, though our ministries have been miles apart and we have not crossed paths frequently since graduation. There are some points of practice where he and I might not see completely eye to eye, but Steve is a good man and will be a strong leader for BJU, something that has been sorely needed for some time.

I am sure he will receive the occasional “what in the world is going on” kind of letter from me as both of his predecessors did. But, still, I think he is a good choice and I wish him all the best.

It is interesting to me that another mutual friend told me this was going to be the choice back in March. I don’t know when the final decision was made, but my buddy surely had the goods on this one at that time.

we’re not comfortable, so here’s a statement about something

Interesting development at NIU. Daniel Patz produced a response to the alarm raised over the woman preaching in the NIU chapel the other day. I am not quite sure how to characterize this. Apology? Damage control? “Sorry if you’re offended?”

Perhaps some reaction to whatever it is might be helpful. It is not that I think you need the benefit of my opinion, but rather that issues of complementarianism/egalitarianism have long been an interest of mine. I’ve debated the issues at length on an old forum sponsored at one time by the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. (One thing we should say – the names for this issue are most unwieldy – too bad they couldn’t have come up with something more catchy!) This particular instance reveals the weak side of many professing complementarians – when push comes to shove, they will weasel around.

I am quoting the statement in its entirety, but will interact paragraph by paragraph. I provide the link above so readers can verify that I am quoting the statement entirely in its form as copied from the linked site on 2014.4.24.

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Woman preaching at NIU?

That’s what this looks like.


here’s a breathless announcement

It is a bit bigger and somewhat colder, but a planet circling a star 500 light-years away is otherwise the closest match of our home world discovered so far, astronomers announced on Thursday.

This comes from Scientists Find an ‘Earth Twin,’ or Perhaps a Cousin in the New York Times.

Here is something that bothers me in this story, and in some of the pronouncements of astronomer’s in general. The way this is reported, it sounds like they know for sure that what they saw is 1) a planet; 2) of a certain size; 3) orbiting a Sol-like star; 4) orbiting in the ‘habitable zone’ of that star. All of these pronouncements are stated matter-of-fact-like.

Yet what do they really know?

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clever spam

What do you think of this one?

Was given a copy of a Book & Bible from a group of people who comes from the Mormon church and days later we decided to start reading it. Hope we are not going to be misled and are been led into error that will send us to hell forever ?
Please are the teaching from the Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ Latter Days Saint) in line with the Bible and the Word of God?

Brother Mike Okiji & family
Room 2b No 4 Okiba village Road,
% P.O.Box 982
B/City, Edo State, Nigeria

This showed up in my inbox today, totally missed Google’s filters. The addressee is the same Yahoo address as the sender. My address is presumably in a BCC.

If you get something like this, and are tempted to reply… don’t! You are just confirming your address as “live” to some despicable human beings.