November 18, 2004

The DaVinci Movie

Yup -- by now I'm sure you've heard. The DaVinci Code is going to be made into a movie.

I have to wonder -- if Christians (myself included, I will admit) hadn't gotten so upset about this book, would anyone really have noticed it? I haven't read it, though I have been meaning to, but from what I've heard, the book isn't all that great. It's biggest selling point is that it gives "deep, dark secrets" about the Catholic Church. If we hadn't paid as much attention to it, the Catholic apologists out there would have taken it on with all the seriousness that they afford Jack Chick -- which is actually more than he deserves, and more than this book deserves.

I really think that this book would have had some moderate success without the "bad press" from Christian circles. After a while, people would have started talking about something else, and the world would have forgotten about the book -- untill the paperback came out.

Now, there are a couple more books planned, with the movie options surely being negotiated for them as well. I just hope they don't start with the anti-DaVinci movies.

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November 17, 2004

A Day at the Convention

I've only ever been to one Baptist state convention. I spent one day in Warner Robbins, GA at the Georgia convention, and was pretty much bored to tears. The conflict that everyone thought would happen didn't, so I spent most of the day wandering the exhibits and reading pamphlets.

So I wasn't expecting much yesterday when I went to the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Vote for the president, listen to the sermon, hook up with some people I know, that sort of thing.

I walked into controversy. In fact, if I didn't have a very important class this morning, I'd have gone back, and probably would have addressed the convention on one issue this morning.

Yesterday there was a proposal to study "how the KBC should relate to the Baptist World Alliance." A nine-member panel would be appointed to research the issue. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but we just DID that on the national level. The national convention has more money to sink into the study, and more resources, so why can't we simply review the data from their study and base our path on that?

Because a bunch of people in Kentucky don't like what the national study found. And I don't have a problem with disagreements -- unless you're the guy who sat behind me yesterday. He kept heckling people who were peaking against the proposal, yelling out "That's not true!!" -- but NEVER taking the mike and voicing his opinion. Truthfully, everyone's minds were pretty much made up on the issue before the discussion started, and the vote was narrowly opposed to the study. Individual churches who want to support the BWA can still do so -- that's the beauty of the Convention -- but churches who don't want to support them don't have to worry about their money going to the BWA

Another proposal (one that I was amazed even made it to the floor) was that we ammend the constitution of the state convention to allow "up to 25%" of the trustee board of state Baptist colleges to be NON-BAPTISTS. I have NO problem with people who aren't Baptists -- I am friends with good, conservative, theologically sound Presbyterians and Anglicans, with whom I agree to disagree on matters that are not essential to the faith (more on that in another post, maybe later today). But if the school is a Baptist school, shouldn't the people overseeing it be Baptist? The purpose of the proposed ammendment wasn't to give "greater diversity" -- it was to reward community members with large pocketbooks for donating to the school. State Baptist colleges are in bad shape anyway -- they are notorious breeding grounds for any number of heretical notions, from process theology to open theism and beyond. We need strong Baptist trustees who can take charge of our state colleges, and I'm hoping that we'll begin to see that in the next few years, especially in Kentucky. There is a reason that so many Southern Baptists send their kids to Liberty and Cedarville -- because they get a quality education AND orthodox theological training.

And this morning, the convention revisits the "pull our kids out of public schools" issue. By now, the discussion is over. I REALLY wanted to be there, but I know someone who feels the same way that I do -- and is a youth minister, so his words carry more clout than mine would -- and he was planning on being there.

All in all, an interesting experience. And next year should be even more interesting, I think, as both sides marshal their forces for a big showdown.

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November 15, 2004

Christian Carnival

To enter is simple. First, you post should be of a Christian nature,
but this does not exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in
nature from a Christian point of view. Secondly please send only one
post dated since the last Christian Carnival. Then, do the following:

email ChristWeb at

christweb at

Please put Christian Carnival in the Subject

Provide the following:

Title of your Blog
URL of your Blog
Title of your post
URL linking to that post
Description of the post

Cut off date is Tuesday at midnight EST

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November 14, 2004

He's Getting the Band Back Together

World Magazine has it, but it was Jollyblogger who broke the news to me -- Jerry's decided that it's time for a reunion tour.

I was at Liberty when Jerry decided to retire the Moral Majority. I saw the revival that broke out on campus, just because we had a Chancellor who was involved, and was able to contribute spiritually to the university. It made a huge difference in a lot of lives.

And now, even though we've got the closest thing to an evangelical President that we've ever had, Jerry Falwell is gearing up for another try at influencing national politics, with the Faith and Values Coalition. He's turning over day to day operations at Liberty University to Jerry, Jr., and day to day at Thomas Road Baptist Church to Jonathan Falwell. Jerry, Jr. is a pretty good choice, with his legal background. I feel a little sorry for the folks at T Road, though -- looks like they won't get to pick their own pastor when Jerry fully retires from the pulpit. He still plans on preaching each Sunday, but he's handed the control of everything else over to his son.

I hope this turns out well. I really do. I hope that Liberty continues to be the school that it has become, and can improve without sacrificing the values that made the school what it is. I hope that the church grows, and continues to be a blessing in the community. I hope that Jerry will not forget that the church that God gave him to lead is his primary responsibility.

But I only expect to be disappointed. So the only hope I have left is that the Faith and Values Coalition will remain true to it's name, and not end up becoming the Christians for Republicans Coalition.

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November 13, 2004

Study of Mark: Mark 6:33-44

Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." But he answered them, "You give them something to eat." And they said to him, "Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?" And he said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see." And when they had found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
(Mark 6:33-44 ESV)

This is probably the most familiar parable of them all. Five thousand men (and who knows how many women and children) fed with a few loaves of bread, and a few fish. It's parallels are in Matthew 14:13-21, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-14 -- one of the few miracles that are mentioned in all four Gospels. I think that should show us the importance of what happened here.

Something bigger happened than just a bunch of people pooling their lunches so that everyone could have enough to eat. This is Jesus making sure that the people who had followed Him had enough to meet their needs.

Most of the people hadn't left their houses planning on following Christ that day. They saw Him, and decided they wanted to hear what He had to say. He could have easilly decided that the crowd was too big to deal with, and gone back to where He and the disciples had been for their retreat. But He was moved with compassion on them, because they were "like sheep without a shepherd." They had no real leadership, no instruction, nobody to take care of their real needs, and they didn't even realize it. They were just wandering around, and they saw in Jesus someone who might be able to meet their needs, and take care of them. They didn't realize who He realy was, but they knew that they could count on Him to meet their needs.

And then the test came. After listening to this guy teach all day long, they got a little hungry. They hadn't planned on sitting in on his teaching -- they were out running errands, maybe shopping. It was late, and they had to get some food. Jesus could have turned them loose, sent them out to buy their dinner, but He was their shepherd. He was taking responsibility to meet their needs. And He did it in a way that helped show them all the kind of power He had.

How often do we have needs, and panic? How often does the car break down right when funds are at their lowest, and we have no clue how we're going to pay for it? And how often do we sit calmly back and say "God will handle it. He's in charge, not me."

As familiar as this passage is, I think we often forget the message. My God shall supply every need of yours according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.

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November 11, 2004

This can't be good

You are a Gumby! You love smashing bricks together and wearing your hankerchief as a hat...
You are a Gumby! You like to smash bricks and say
things that no-one can understand...

What Monty Python Sketch Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla!


Thanks to the Spanish Inquisition.

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November 09, 2004

Caution: Facetiousness Ahead

It's 7pm, I'm typing my paper. My mind is not itself.

So I take a break, and decide to hit the "Next Blog" button at the top of the page a few times, just to see what will happen. Maybe I'll find someone who I can add to the blogroll. Maybe I'll find someone intelligent. Maybe ...

But no. I find a bunch of angst-ridden teenagers writing bad poetry about the boy who broke up with them to date their best friend's neighbor's sister's cousin, and how could he DO that, and other such nonsense. So I decided to try it out myself. I'm going to write som blog poetry now -- pure stream of conscousness stuff. Maybe I can finally be a cool teenager -- Lord knows I wasn't 20 years ago, when I was IN high school.

I see my two feet
sneakerclad, tapping my toes.
Going nowhere, fast...

The computer glares
The cursor flashes insults
My prose, it is bad.

Melanchthon is dull
So much has been written
All is in German.

People pass by me
They stop, staring at foolishness.
Bad poems on my screen.

Wow. I feel cool again. That was just so cathartic. I think the haiku is an underrated form of verse, don't you? So structured -- it's a challenge to get your thoughts to fit the meter. People don't write that way anymore.

Ok. Break's over. Back to Melanchthon, and you all can go do something much more constructive.

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Christian Carnival plug

Get something ready and submit it!! I'm rooting through all the drek I've posted in the past week to see if I have anything worthy.

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, and will be
hosted at Digitus, Finger & Co. If you have a blog, this will be a
great way to get read, and possibly pick up readers in the process or
highlight your favorite post from the past week.

NOW. :-)

To enter is simple. First, you post should be of a Christian nature,
but this does not exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in
nature from a Christian point of view. Secondly please send only one
post dated since the last Christian Carnival. Then, do the following:

email Neil at

uchitel AT

Provide the following:

Title of your Blog
URL of your Blog
Title of your post
URL linking to that post
Description of the post

Cut off date is Tuesday at Midnight EST

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Sola Scriptura and Tradition

I'm hoping right back on this horse -- I think that our idea of Scripture is vital to the future of the Church, and I think there are a LOT of misunderstandings concerning the doctrine of sola Scriptura.

Of course, a lot of great information was available in the League of Reformed Bloggers carnival, Post Tenebras Lux. There is a wealth of information on the Net, too -- both good and bad. But I have to clarify this little issue.

Where does sola Scriptura stand on tradition? And specifically, how do we deal with this verse: "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter." 2 Thes. 2:15 (ESV)

First, sola Scriptura does not ignore tradition. It does not mean that we ONLY accept what the Bible says, and avoid anything it doesn't talk about. I've said this before, but I still get people asking about it. Someone posted a comment at Jollyblogger, commenting on the carnival, that essentially was this verse and a rant about the Reformation. People still don't get it.

Tradition is important. But tradition does not trump Scripture. When Scripture does speak, we cannot follow a tradition that contradicts it. The verse from 2 Thessalonians teaches us that we need to listen to what we're taught, whether we read it or are taught it orally. That's all it says. But Paul teaches, just as clearly, that we are to test any teaching that we hear with the Word of God. That's what the Bereans did, when they encountered Paul's teaching -- and they saw that what he was saying was true. It didn't contradict Scripture.

Sola Scripture doesn't say anything about rejecting tradition. Anyone who has any knowledge of the Reformers knows that both Luther and Calvin quoted from the patristic writings. They didn't reject history, or historic teachings. They DID reject those teachings that they felt contradicted Scriptural teaching -- and that is what we must do today.

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November 08, 2004

A Few Things to Think About

From the Dallas News:

Forty years ago, the moral values – against abortion, and for traditional marriage exclusively – that motivated one out of five Americans last week to vote for George W. Bush were so mainstream as to be unremarkable. Gay marriage was unthinkable. Regarding abortion, a top Washington politician wrote this in 1971: "Human life, even at its earliest stages, has a certain right which must be recognized – the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old."

The author of those words was not a Republican. It was Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Head over to Jollyblogger for a great discussion on Bridging the Chasm.

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November 07, 2004

Two Little Quizes

This one seemed right on:

You Are a Religious Republican

You make up the conservative, Christian, dedicated core of the Republican Party.

You believe it's important for religious people to stand up for their beliefs in politics.

And for you, this means voting your conscience - which almost always means voting Republican.

Your pet causes include the sanctity of life, school vouchers, and prayer in school.

(via Farther Steps)

And no blog would be complete without the obligatory Monty Python reference:
You are Tim the Enchanter! Sure you can blow up small objects, but no-one really respects you. But you'll have the last laugh...MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
You are Tim the Enchanter! Sure you can blow up
small objects, but no-one really respects you.
But you'll have the last

Which Monty Python & the Holy Grail Character are you REALLY?
brought to you by Quizilla

(via News from the Great Beyond)

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Study of Mark -- Mark 6:30-32

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.
(Mark 6:30-32 ESV)

Short passage today -- I hope to have the rest of the chapter up by the end of the week. The priority this week has to be the theology paper -- 12-15 pages due Friday, about the theological method of Philip Melanchthon.

And a more ironic passage I could not have used. After teh interlude where Mark tells us about what happened to John the Baptist, the disciples return from their teaching trip (verses 7-12). They tell Jesus about the things they did -- but we don't get to know. This is one of those places in teh Bible where I really wish we got more information -- what happened? Were they able to cast out demons? Were people receptive of them? Did anyone come back with them, to learn at the feet of Jesus? We don't know.

I figure that's for a good reason. The teaching that the disciples were doing didn't have the power of the resurrection behind it. They taught that the Kingdom of God was coming -- that Christ had arrived, and that He was going to establish His kingdom. Without the truth of the resurrection, though, that could have been misunderstood. We've seen examples already, and we see a great example in Acts, of people who expect Jesus to be the political Messiah they were expecting. That wasn't His goal -- He came to be the sacrifice for our sins. Without redemption, without the reconciliation between God and fallen man, the Kingdom of God cannot be established. Fallen mankind has no part of the Kingdom -- that is for the redeemed of the Lord.

I expect that there were people who became interested in Jesus, probably started paying more attention to His teachings. I wonder how many were still there after He was killed. That's probably the other reason we don't know about the results of this trip -- many were not true conversions. You've seen those if you've ever gone door-to-door on a Saturday morning.

The part of this passage that gets me the most is the last part. They've just finished some hard work -- their first, really, since they started following Christ. They're tired. They may be frustrated. So Jesus suggests a retreat.

If you've spent any time in Baptist churches, you know what a retreat is. You take a bunch of people, in the middle of summer (or fall, sometimes. I always went to the summer ones), go out to the middle of nowhere -- usually the middle of the woods, near a lake, on some property that the church owns. Bunch of cabins, a kitchen building, a chapel, and nature. Time to recharge -- physically and spiritually.

This is something that I think we tend to ignore. We're so busy doing God's work, we burn ourselves out. We end up being no good to anyone, and our other responsibilities (family, friends, etc.) tend to get ignored. We make the sacrifice -- and never even think that our loved ones never got a choice in the matter. They sacrifice, too. And sometimes, they don't like it.

We don't have to go out in the woods. All we need to do is take a time out, to take care of the other things God has given us.

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November 06, 2004

A Frightening Day, and other political rants

I just read Kristof. And I agree with him.

This is tough to admit. And I don't really like the implications of what he has to say -- especially if the Democrats listen to him. He's basically callling the Dems to pay attention to the people that they just assumed would vote for them.

I'd like to see the Democrats become more than the ultra-left version of ultra-right Republicans. This election was painful -- mainly because for so many people, there wasn't an option. I am very impressed that so few people fell for the third-party candidates -- it show that the American people at least know that you have to have some kind of backing in Congress to make any impact.

What I'm hoping to see, in a couple years, is a third party who actually cares about Senate seats. A third party who wants to work in state politics. A third party that is as concerned about winning the governor's mansion as the White House. That would be a third party that is in it for the long haul. And it would be a third party that would have a credible chance at the White House in 2012 or 2016.

It might even be a third party that I could support. The Libertarians could do it; so could the Constitution Party, if they got a little more realistic in their foreign policy. The Green party could do it, though they will still end up skewing further left, just as the Connies would skew further right. A viable third part would make politics interesting again for a lot of people.

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November 05, 2004

Map Two from the post below

This is what I was trying to post. Thanks to Spare Change for posting a .joeg! Posted by Hello

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A Tale of Two Maps

Is this the America that YOU see?? Posted by Hello

This is the view that many people on the Left have since the election. Now look at this map (thanks to GetReligion -- stupid Hello won't post .gif files). That is a map of the actual election -- NOT by state, but by district. Soo ALL those red spots -- with little blue dots mingled in? THAT is what the nation looks like -- and those blue dots are carrying a LOT more clout than they deserve. They want to preserve democracy? That means rule by majority, folks -- and the red states (and districts) are the majority. Cope with it. Or cry in your beer. It really doesn't matter to me right now. But remember -- democracy works.

And yes, I know this is actually a representative democracy -- maybe a federal republic, as I've heard before. Point is -- the system has spoken. If you want to complain, get a time machine and whine to the founding fathers. Or get organized and try again in two years.

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November 03, 2004

A Word of Thanks

First, I'd like to thank those of you who joined me in a prayer for our nation and the election.

More importantly, I want to ask you to join me in a prayer of thanksgiving to the One who guided the results and reminded me once again that if I look to Him and not CNN I'll find the true answers.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for guiding our election.
Thank you for giving us a leader who lives his beliefs everyday.
Thank you for helping us learn to rely on You and Your Son.

Please continue to lead us in Your direction.

Let us come together as a nation, while following Your laws.
Let us love our adversaries, without accepting their wrongdoing.
Let us support our leaders, whether we voted for them or not, through prayer.

Lord, make me a good citizen and an even better child of the kingdom.
May I witness for you while standing on Your holy word.

In Jesus' name,

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One Sure Thing

Gay marriage has been soundly defeated. It's clear from the results in the 11 states who were voting on the issue that the majority of Americans are opposed to recognizing same-sex marriages as legitimate.

3-1 margins in Kentucky, Georgia, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. 3-2 margin in Ohio, Michigan. 6-1 in Mississippi. 2-1 in Montana, and Utah. Oregon was the only close vote, and the measure passed by 200,000 votes.

No matter what the lobbyists and action groups want you to think, this is an issue that Americans are pretty united on. Unfortunately, it's not going to go away -- even though it has been beaten. Too many liberal activists have latched onto this issue for the long haul for them to let go of it now.

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A Question for Ohio Voters

HOW can we vote 62% to 38% to reject same-sex marriage, and affirm male-femal marriage, yet vote this closely for President? Don't you know what the guy you're voting for beleives in??

3,242,160 voted for the marriage ammendment.
2,010,876 voted against it.

2,794,346 people have voted for Bush.
2,658,125 people have voted for Kerry.

500,000 people think that their vote against gay marriage is consistant with voting for John Kerry -- who thinks that you need to keep your opinion about this to yourself, and has courted the gay lobby on this issue throughout the campaign.

I don't mind people voting their conscineces -- in fact, I firmly believe that is how we should vote. I WOULD like for people to be consistant with their voting. Maybe that's too much to ask.

And I KNOW I wasn't supposed to post on the election again. I'm sorry.

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November 02, 2004

An Urgent Call

Call me a "Nervous Nelly." Call me a "woman of little faith." But I'm getting scared.

The thought of John Kerry and his unique wife in the White House makes my blood run cold. I did my part. I voted for Bush. I voted for a marriage amendment to the state constitution. I did what I could at the polls.

Now I'll do what I can on my knees. I ask, even beg, you to join me. Please pray for a conservative voice, a return to God. We must save this country. We must ask for God's grace. Thank you.

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Blogging the Vote

And this will be my only election-related post. Promise.

First off -- I WOULD have voted for Bush, had my voter registration not been totally messed up by someone in Ohio (probably a Democrat). I sent the thing, sent for the absentee ballot weeks ago, and heard nothing. Found out that my registration was never processed. Since I mailed it from Louisville, I don't even know that it got to Ohio -- something got majorly messed up here. Now I know better, but I'm still NOT happy.

Reason I wasn't already registered? The last election was shortly after we moved to Ohio. I had no clue about any of the people, or ballot issues, or anything. I wasn't an educated voter, and following my own advice to others, I didn't vote. I also didn't complain about the way things turned out two years ago.

Second -- I am taking the Post Election Peace Pledge.

After the election results are in, I promise to:
: Support the President, even if I didn't vote for him.
: Criticize the President, even if I did vote for him.
: Uphold standards of civilized discourse in blogs and in media while pushing both to be better.
: Unite as a nation, putting country over party, even as we work together to make America better.
Hat-tip to TTLB

Third -- CNN has Bush ahead 30-something to 3. A ten to one margin. The experts here at View from the Pew have decided to call this one for Bush -- a ten to one deficite? Not even the Red Sox came back from that far back!!

Fourth -- For the gullible among you all, the last item was supposed to be funny. Emphasis, I guess, on the supposed to be.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 07:28 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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