August 31, 2004

Mea Maxima Culpa

I promised that I'd get the TWiCH out Sunday. It's now Tuesday (in case you hadn't noticed yet), and TWiCH is just now out. Maybe I'll make up for it by giving you a double dose this week.

On the bright side, my wireless card is working, and is interacting with the wireless system in the library just fine. And I MIGHT have a job!!! More on that as it (hopefully) develops.

I also neglected to promote the Best of Me Symphony, which is up at The Owner's Manual. As I said before, this is a great opportunity to get some of your older work out of the archives and into public attention once again. Jollyblogger has a great article in there about the Historical Jesus, but most of the other submissions are from blogs I'd never heard of -- which is the point to Carnivals. I'd have sent something, but I realized that most of my older stuff is junk, so I'm not sure I have much that I want to revisit. Hopefully next week I can find something worth sending. Send your submission to gcruse(at) for the next symphony.

{EDIT Note: I HATE this sticking SHIFT key on this laptop. I'm hoping to be able to save some money to get a new(er) one, but in the meantime, I'm stuck (with the sticking)}

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This Week in Church History

September 2, every year.

The second of September is celebrated as Martyr's Day in Papua, New Guinea. This holiday has different dates wherever it is celebrated, and is, in most cases, very similar to the US holiday of Memorial Day. Many martyrs that are celebrated were, in fact, political victims. Many, however, are Christians.

I think that it's fitting that we look pay and pay tribute to the martyrs who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their faith. From the Reformation-minded Protestants who died rather than surrender sola fide, sola gratia, sola Christus, sola Scriptura, sola Deo Gloria, to the Catholics in post-Reformation England who died accused of treason. Missionaries the world over, who gave their lives in unknown places for the sake of the gospel.

Maybe we can get something started among Godbloggers. On September 2nd, post something about a martyr -- famous or not. Maybe we can have September 2nd declared the Internet Day of the Martyr. We remember those who gave their lives for the cause of their country; we shouldn't forget to honor those who surrendered their lives for a much higher call.

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August 28, 2004

Study of Mark: Mark 4:35-41

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side."And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?"And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?"
(Mark 4:35-41 ESV)

After having taught the multitudes in parables, and having explained the parables to His disciples, Christ is ready for a time of rest, so He commands the disciples to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. After He fell asleep, a storm comes up, and the disciples are upset, thinking He doesn't care about them.

Don't we tend to do that? Isn't our first reaction when something goes wrong, or something bad happens, to get mad at God? "God, I'm TRYING to do this for You. Why aren't you making it EASY FOR ME!!!??? Don't You want this to get done? What's up with all these problems? Don't You love me anymore?" Instead of thinking about what God has in mind for us, we're quick to get mad, and give up.

Jesus took care of the problem. He calmed the storm and the sea, just to show them that He could. God sometimes lets these things happen to us to show us that it is HIM, and not us, that is in control. He is trying to teach the disciples that they need to rely on Him. So He takes care of the problem, then rebukes their unbelief.

Waitaminuite. Unbelief? They ran to Him to fix things, didn't they? Yes, but they ran to Him NOT to ask for His help, but to complain that they were in the situation to begin with. Several of the disciples were fishermen -- they knew when a storm was possible, because their lives depended on it. They went out into the sea in obedience to Him, trusting that He'd not let something like this happen, and when it did, their faith was tested -- and they failed the test. They didn't believe that He was in control anymore. "Don't you care that we're GOING TO DIE??" is what they asked. They knew that they were going to die, and were mad that He put them in that situation. The storm came, and they lost faith.

Happens to us all the time. Sometimes the storm is big, sometimes it doesn't take much. I was upset last week that I couldn't find a place to stay in Louisville. I got mad at God -- wondering why He'd led me that far from home, only to abandon me once I got there. Finally, I got on my face in my hotel room and asked Him for guidance, and admitted I had been wrong. Next day, I run into someone in my Theology class who lives not far from home (right across the river, in fact), who told me that there was commuter housing available for $10 a night. I had thought that they didn't do that anymore at Southern. God had a plan for me -- all I had to do was recognize that He was in control. Now I have a place to live. Little storm -- but it sure seemed big on Wednesday night last week, when I was trying to figure out how we were going to pay for an apartment AND gas AND food AND everything else. This passage reminds me that God has everything under control.

Even after this storm on the sea, the disciples wondered who Jesus was, exactly. "What kind of man is this, that the very forces of nature obey Him?" They were starting to learn, though, that this wasn't just an ordinary religious leader that they were following.

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Google Talking

Thanks to Brian at Spare Change for this "resource". My results:

"View from the Pew is a little face of disappointment. " gee, thanks. Let's try another.

"Warren Kelly is living in a COMPUTER Simulation?" probably explains a little bit to my wife, who often wonders what I DO on this thing all night.

"Southern Baptists are the largest cities in the United States of America and the Carribean." O-KAY!!

Try this one again: "View from the Pew is a little uncomfortable, but its not my fault. " Oh, yes it is, GoogleTalk.

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The Little Guys, part I

I've decided that the only way I can MAKE myself post fairly regularly is to give myself regular "features" that I need to get out. So here's another one. (The Mark Study will be here later tonight, TWiCH will be here on Sunday afternoon.)

I love looking at the lives of people who are barely mentioned in the Bible. I figure that if they were worth being mentioned in God's Word, they must have something to tell us. Some of them tell us something little. Some tell us something major. Things that SOME tell us are wildly misinterpreted. So I'm going to take a look at the lives of some of the "little guys (and gals)" in the Bible.

I'm going to start with Demas. Demas is mentioned three times in the New Testament:

Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
(Philemon 1:23-24 ESV)

Col 4:14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.

2Ti 4:10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

Demas starts out with Paul, and is present with Paul when he writes to Philemon from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment. He is also mentioned in the letter to the church at Colossi, which Paul also wrote during this first imprisonment. Just a few years later, Paul writes that Demas has forsaken him, having loved the world more.

What happened to Demas? The same thing that can happen to many of us. He started enjoying life too much, and was afraid to lose it. He saw Paul in jail again, and knew, as Paul did, that this time it would be different. Paul wasn't going to be released again. He was going to die.

Demas wanted to live. He may have even rationalized it by saying "I have so much more to do for God! There are so many people to win, so many places to go! I CAN'T die now!" Maybe he thought about his own self-importance. "If they kill Paul, who is going to spread the Gospel? I HAVE to stay alive, no matter what!" Maybe he was just afraid.

Whatever the reason, Demas didn't trust God. He didn't think that God would preserve the life of someone that was needed to fulfill His plan. He thought that God could be thwarted -- that His plan depended on something that He couldn't control.

We tend to think we're indispensible. "Boy, if I didn't do this, NOBODY would be doing it. At least, nobody that could do it as well as I can." If you have that attitude, start a blog. Then read other people's blogs. My blogroll is full of people who write better than I do, are better-informed than I am, are more involved than I am. Maybe even some that are better-looking than I am (but since I haven't put up a picture yet, most of you don't know. Matt, keep quiet). God's plan doesn't hinge on me. By His grace, and for His glory, I can be a part of His plan, but if I don't do the job, He'll find someone else to do it. His will WILL be done.

Demas was a part of what God was doing. He could have been a bigger part, but he loved his own life more than he loved the things of God. And now, for eternity, his name is associated with abandoning principles. When things got really tough for Paul, and he needed friends, Demas bailed, too concerned with his own life. The church is full of people just like Demas -- we need fewer.

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August 25, 2004

Christian Carnival is Up

Check it out at Patriot Paradox. I'd say more, but I've got work to do for tomorrow. 'Nite!!!

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Somebody Went and Dun DONE It!!!

Well, I wrote about Open Source Theology, meaning it (as it says over at Patriot Paradox) as an extended metaphor. I saw ways that the metaphor could be hyper-extended, and I saw a whole SERIES of Open Source Theology posts, discussing new "modules' as they came out. It would have been a satirical dream come true.

Then I found this (thanks to Dave from Jollyblogger). Someone is actually DOING Open Source Theology.

I've taken some time to read a bit of the site. Maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy (at 36? Maybe), but I have a few ... concerns. Quotes are taken from the 'Rules of Engagement' page.

"Biblical and theological scholarship will have to subordinate itself to the missiological imperative. " In other words, study and Truth will have to take a back seat to getting people to agree with us. It doesn't matter so much that Christ was born of a virgin, for example, if that belief keeps someone from believing in Christ. We're not concerned with doctrine -- we just want conversions. Never mind the fact that Christ commanded us to "make disciples" -- that turns post-modern people off, apparently.

"I think there is a consensus that in the most general terms the theology represented on this site must take very seriously both God, as Father, Son and Spirit, and scripture as the record of the story of the people of God." This one shows up in a response to a comment, and I have no problem until that last phrase. "Scripture as the record of the story of the people of God." Scripture is God's revelation to Man, not simply a story about God's followers. Without a basis of Scripture as Truth, how can we really know anything about God? in fact, how can you have a God as Son if you don't have Scripture as divine revelation? I think this is aproblem with the system that could be very troublesome down the road.

There seems to be a general aversion to systematic theology. I like systematic theology, though I really enjoy studying historical theology. It seems to me that a systematic theology is a consistant theology, one that recognizes the inter-relations between various ideas. Our idea of what God is, for example, is going to influence our idea of what Man is, what and who Christ is, what the Church should be, etc. Our understanding of Christ will influence our ideas about salvation and the Church. Each discipline cannot exist in a vacuum; it must be consistant with other areas of our theology, or our ideas do not stand.

I'm going to keep an eye on this site. The idea of a group of people getting together to hash out theological principles seems like a good idea, but the road is full of potholes.

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August 24, 2004

Christian Carnival

Well, I'm NOT too late!!

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, and will behosted at Patriot Paradox. If you have a blog, this will be agreat way to get read, and possibly pick up readers in the process orhighlight your favorite post from the past week.To enter is simple. First, you post should be of a Christian nature,but this does not exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) innature from a Christian point of view. Secondly please send only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival. Then, do the following:

email me

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 night at midnight EST (but late comers welcomeup until 1 pm Wednesday EST.

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The Best of Me Symphony is Up

I decided to try this one out -- after all, the Parableman said it was good, so how could it be otherwise!

There's some great stuff there, and I LOVE the Babylon 5 quote that is next to my entry. One day, maybe I'll write something about the spirituality of science fiction ....

This is also a great way to get some of your older stuff out there for people to read -- I'm pretty sure it has a different audience than the Christian Carnival, so a different group will hear what you have to say, too. Your entry has to be two months old, so take a look through the archives!!

If yer interested, email your submission to gcruse(at) with the subject being Best of Me Symphony. Give the following information:

Post Title
Post Permalink
Author's Name (or handle)
Weblog Name (if not obvious from the link)
Submitter's Name/Handle (if different from Author)
Description of post and/or why this post is being submitted (That is, what about this post makes you think it is one of the best from the weblog).

This might also be a way for me to make up for having missed a few Christian Carnivals (like I did this week ...).

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Quote of the Day

When I read this, I KNEW I had to share it with you all. Tip o' the hat to Ryan at PCCBoard

"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal.

"Besides, when I read the list of people who are supporting Kerry, if I wasn't already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt? Don Henley? Geez, that's a good reason right there to vote for Bush."
---Alice Cooper

You can read the whole article here. I normally don't read WND, but I loved this article.

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August 21, 2004

Open Source Theology

This post actually started it's life as a comment on this post over at Matt Hall's blog. He's talking about an experience he had with Theopedia -- a wiki-like theology encyclopedia.

I think that one of the major problems with the Church is our Open Source Theology. Open-source software is, for those who aren't familiar with it, software that encourages people to write changes or additions to it that make it more functional for users. We're doing the same thing with theology. We're trying to make it "work" for everyone, and rather than letting God's Word speak to hearts, we're changing things, making things easier.

Have a problem with repenting from sin? No biggie -- here's the "Easy Believism 1.0 Patch". Now you can have a "great relationship with Jesus" without all that "Go, and sin no more" stuff.

You want to learn all about Jesus, and have that be enough? No problem -- the "Sandemanian Patch" will give you an intellectual faith without all that nasty faith stuff.

Here's our newest patch: "Open Theism .95". It's still in beta testing right now, but it's based on some really old patches. It lets you believe in a God that really depends on YOU to chart the course of the future. Now THAT makes you feel important, doesn't it? Go is waiting for YOU to act before HE can know what's going to happen!! WOW! What a neat patch!

I'd say that Theology should be licensed software. There have been some updates from the Manufacturer (like the Trinity 1.0 update) that clarified some things in the software. There have been some patches (Reformation 1.5) that were designed to completely update the system (even though many people didn't upgrade at that time). Other people have written "patches" for the software, but they AREN'T licenced by the Manufacturer, and their use can corrupt your whole Theology system. You should ALWAYS try to check the certificate on any Theology-based download that you encounter, and make sure that it is a licenced, authorized upgrade from the Manufacturer.

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The ACLU Does Something Right

When I was an undergrad at Liberty, I tended to speak of the ACLU as the Atheists, Communists and Liberals Union. I'd crack jokes at their expense, and often wondered at what a great place it would be for Christians if the ACLU went away. I wasn't alone. Listening to the ACLJ's radio program, and some of the callers, it seems that there are still people who wish the ACLU would go away and never come back.

Jay Sekulow isn't one of those. He often talks about the ACLU, but he is often complimentary. He makes the point that they have a right to believe what they do, and that the place to fight them is in court. And he has admitted that they have been right on several occasions -- even working WITH the ACLJ from time to time.

So I've tryed to post stories that show the ACLU doing something right. These are stories that often get overlooked by the Christian media, but we need to know about them -- because it shows that the ACLU really IS concerned with civil liberties, and they DO sometimes help Christians out.

This story is a good example of that. Briefly, a city in Nebraska is trying to zone a church out of existance, and the ACLU is trying to stop them. Here's a quote from the story, in case you don't feel like clicking through. The quotes are from ACLU Nebraska legal director Amy Miller.

"The city is proposing an outrageous burden on the right to free exercise of religious beliefs,” Miller said. “The current city proposal would require that the church hire a mechanical engineer and install a new air intake system with shut off valves in case of a hazardous spill.”
The small congregation is renting its current location, so such a requirement “is tantamount to ordering them to close down,” she said.
“No other businesses in the industrial zones – auto body shops, daycare centers, health clinics and even live adult entertainment – are required to have this sort of expensive renovation. If there were a true danger requiring these changes, would it not apply to day care centers and health clinics also?”
So let's hear it for the ACLU. They did something right. Let's pray that they keep it up.

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August 19, 2004

Lots of New Referrals

Thanks to the new Blogger Bar (look up top -- isn't it nifty? And it matches SOO much better than the old thing), I'm getting a lot of new hits to this blog. Some people are probably pretty surprised to be taken here -- Andrew Fuller and Charles Spurgeon don't get quoted much in the blogosphere (unless you've been hanging out at Matt Hall's place again ...). This isn't your typical Blogspot blog.

Or maybe it is. Looking at the ol' Blogroll, I notice quite a few folks with a .blogspot in their URL. Maybe there's a quiet reformation going on in the blogosphere. Maybe the evangelicals really ARE taking over the world. Run Away! It's a vast right-wing conspiracy!!!!!!

Or maybe it's that whole freedom of speech thing. Anyway, I hope some tolerant folks stop by. I hope a lot of the new visitors keep coming by. And a big THANKS to Blogger for the new hits. At least it didn't mess up my code (maybe because my code is archaic TABLE statements rather than real CSS).

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August 18, 2004

The Baptist's Cave

This story has been getting a lot of attention lately. Maybe with good reason. After all, finding the cave that tradition says John the Baptist lived in could lead to verifying historically that the Baptist was an actual person, and validate the Biblical record, right?

Well, yeah. Shimon Gibson has said as much, in his press release. Of course, that press release was four years ago. He found some "cave paintings" of John the Baptist, but those were dated to the Byzantine era. There's pottery there, too -- but that has dated as early as 200 BC. WAY too early for John the Baptist.

Take a look at this story in Christianity Today. Gibson has made some remarkable discoveries -- enough to make cynical people suspect him.

Am I that cynical? Maybe. Don't get me wrong -- I love archaeology. In fact, I almost chose Midwestern over Southern because they have a Masters in Biblical Archaeology. I want to get involved in digs in the Holy Land. I believe that there are some remarkable things out there, waiting to be found. I think that there is a LOT for us to learn, buried under the sand and soil in Israel, Turkey, Greece, and other places.

But I also know that it doesn't matter if we prove that the Bible is accurate. Those who believe it will believe anyway, and those who don't believe will find a reason to not believe. I can't approach finds like this as a Christian who desperately wants them to be real -- I have to approach them as an historian who wants to make 100% sure that they are real before I base anything on them, even though 100% sure is not really possible. Maybe I am cynical, but I prefer to think of it as a hopeful cynicism -- a cynicism that wants to believe, but that has been suckered before, and is cautious about it happening again.

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Carnival Time

Head over to Parableman for the latest installment of the Christian Carnival. Jeremy puts a LOT of effort into this, and everyone who reads this blog should go check it out -- even though I didn't get squat done to enter into it. I thought about using my TWiCH for this week, but that would have been two weeks in a row that I did that, and I don't want to be redundant, and I don't want to repeat myself, either.

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There's a great article about potential, and not realizing it, over at Challies Dot Com. It made me stop and think -- a lot.

As a teacher, I spent a lot of time with kids (duh!). I was able to teach in two areas with totally different socio-economic backgrounds, and different racial makeups. In Georgia, I taught at a school that was split 50-50 almost exactly between white and black students. The school I taught at until recently (as of two weeks ago, I was still listed as being a staff member!) is 99.44% white -- with one Phillipino girl serving as the racial diversity.

The white kids in my last school loved to hear stories about Georgia. I taught kids who dealt drugs in class. I was once offered $100 for a 100% on a test -- and shown the roll of $20s that I was going to be given. The kids in Ohio loved those stories. Then they'd ask about the intelligence level.

I told them the truth. When they asked, I told them that the kids in Georgia cared more about their education than they did. A lot of the kids were from poor families who didn't really live in the district -- the kids "lived" with grandparents or other family members so they could go to a better school. And they appreciated it more. They saw that someone had faith in them, and tried to live up to their potential. And most of them did.

In contrast, the rural Ohio kids tended to live down to expectations. There were exceptions -- I can think of a couple of students (who might even be reading this!) who are intelligent, give some thought to their future, and are trying to do better for themselves. A lot of the kids at the school, though, are trying NOT to do better. They don't want people to think they're trying to be better than their parents.

They love to use excuses. "We live in _________ County. We can't do that -- we're not good enough." They live down to the expectations of the area: "We go to ________ High School . We don't have anything decent, so we're dumb." The school is a charter school, and the funding isn't what it could be, but the real problem is that the kids are happy where they are. They HAVE a LOT of potential, but they don't live up to it.

I think of one girl in particular. She's mouthy, arrogant, and often insubordinate. She was also one of my favorite students last year. She has potential. She could do anything she wants to, and she sells herself short. She's typical of the kids I taught.

It's hard to teach kids who don't care. It's even harder to teach kids who are taught not to care, by parents who don't care because THEY didn't care in school. Especially when I've taught kids who had less opportunity, but made more of it -- simply because they tried, and had some support at home.

With school starting back all over the nation, I want to encourage parents to take an interest in what their kids do at school. Find out who their teachers are. Go to conferences. There's nothing more discouraging for a teacher than to have to be at school an extra three hours or more for conferences, and to have nobody show up. Especially when ten kids failed your classes. Get involved. I LOVED parents who got involved with what their kids were doing. I LOVED it when I got phone calls from upset parents when their kids didn't do well -- as long as they were ready to admit it was the kid's fault. The best thing you can ask one of your child's teachers is "What can I do to help?" Say that to a teacher when you meet them at school.

They might just do backflips. I know I would have.

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August 17, 2004


Well, I have officially been orientated! (Yes, I know -- it's an inside joke between my wife and me. LONG story, maybe I'll tell it some time.)

I still don't have a PO Box on campus, which I need, so you can't send me care packages yet ;-) , but I will by Thursday or Friday. I finish classes by about 10 am tomorrow, so I'm going to hit the pavement looking for employment and housing. I have a list of seven apartment complexes that I'm going to check out -- one of them HAS to have a place for me.

AND -- I managed to pass BOTH my Church History placement tests!! I really didn't think I had done well at all, because I was ready for a multiple choice/short answer test (like the others) and got an essay test. Then today in orientation everyone was talking about how tough they made those tests. Dr. Bruce Ware even said that more people failed than passed. So I was shocked when I got my sheet and found out I had passed. That means I don't have to take Intro to Church History I or II -- I can take elective classes instead. And I already have them picked out. I also found out I don't have to take any of the Intro to Old Testament or Intro to New Testament classes because of my track (Biblical and Theological Studies) -- which I should have known, but hadn't paid attention to that closely.

Some of my coursework may show up here, and I know of one thing I'm going to put on my web site. I've got a bunch of writing to do, and a ton of reading. I just have to keep focused on my goal, and it will all be worth it. I've heard from some who read here, telling me that they're praying for me, and I want to let you know I appreciate it greatly -- I will really need those prayers!

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This Week in Church History

August 14, 1670. (OK, so technically this is last week. It's within the last seven days, so I say it qualifies. Besides, it's my blog. ;-) )

On this day in London, England, two Quakers were arrested for preaching in public. One was a man named William Meade. The other was a young man who would become famous for his accomplishments in an entirely different continent -- William Penn.

When they were brought to trail, Penn demanded to hear the law that they were charged with breaking. He was told they were being tried under Common Law. He demanded once again to hear the law that he and Meade had broken, but the court refused. penn refused to enter a plea. As long as he didn't know what he was being charged with, he would not enter any plea. He was finally taken from the courtroom under protest, crying that what was being done to him could be done to anyone in England.

Meade echoed Penn's arguements, and he was dragged away as well. The jury was told to find both defendants guilty of preaching to the people and dreating a disturbance around them in public -- what we would now call disorderly conduct. The jury, perhaps inspired by the defendents' actions, found them guilty of preaching only. They were locked away with only bread and water, in an effort to get them to change their verdict, but they did not. Finally, the jury was arrested and thrown in jail. Penn and Meade were released. England's highest court ruled that the jury should not have been tampered with, and the jurors were set free.

Christians today are faced at times with opposition in the form of people who think they know the law. I'm reminded of a student that my wife taught in Georgia who was told that she couldn't read her Bible during free reading time -- by her English teacher. Her parents told her to keep her Bible at home; they didn't want to cause a fuss. My wife and I told her that we'd back her up if she wanted to go after the school -- I knew that the ACLJ would have loved to get in on that suit. But it didn't happen.

Christians need to be aware of their rights. We ARE allowed to pray in public. We ARE allowed to pray in schools -- as long as we don't force anyone else to pray. Students can pray whenever they want -- again, as long as they do not coerce anyone else. Teachers in public schools are permitted to honestly answer questions about religious faith, especially in the context of a history class. We have rights and privileges that we are not using, because we are ignorant of them, and we don't care to defend these rights.

Penn and Meade knew their rights as Englishmen. They knew that they had done nothing wrong, and they were willing to rock the boat to defend their rights. Because, as Penn states, if they can do it to one person, they can do it to all of us.

In a society that is increasingly hostile to public displays of religious devotion, we need to be aware of our rights as citizens, and we must be willing to defend those rights, for ourselves and for others.

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August 15, 2004

Happy Birthday Montgomery

Yesterday was my daughter's third birthday. We celebrated it in Louisville at Olive Garden, and she loved it when they sang to her. She loved the chocolate cake even more ...

I'm going to put some pictures of her up on my web site, one of these days. For now, if you click here, you'll see her and her Daddy at this year's prom. I was thinking on Friday about how much life has changed in the last three years, and I was surprised to find that it hadn't really changed in too many major ways. We still like to travel, though now it takes us a little longer to get packed, and we make a few more stops. We like to read, and she reads right along with us. OK, she doesn't so much read as look at the pictures and say "What's that?" every so often, but she loves her books as much as her mother and I love ours. The things we've had to change have seemed insignificant, even though at one point in our lives, they'd have probably been major.

If you ask her, she'll tell you she's Daddy's girl. Of course, she'll tell you she's Aunt Sarah's girl, Grandma's girl, Mommy's girl, Grandad's girl -- whoever you say. She has the most infectuous smile that I've ever seen on a little girl, and people seem naturally drawn to her. I figure she's got a great future in PR or politics, unless she joins the LPGA first. Yes, she wants to golf -- every Monday when I leave for my league match, she wants to play too. I've told her when she gets big and strong, she can play golf with me. Who knows, maybe she'll be the next Nancy Lopez or something, and I can caddy for her.

Right now, she's cleaning up the floor where she dumped packing peanuts all over the place. Not a problem -- she'll grow up soon enough. At least she's cleaning up after herself.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 09:21 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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My Sunday

I'm conducting a Bible study on Sunday nights at church, and that's taken a good bit of my time this week. We're doing Discovering the Biblical Jesus, written by Dr. Daniel Akin from Southeastern Baptist Seminary. It's the first time I've done anything like this -- usually, if I speak at all in church, it's fifteen or twenty minutes on a Wednesday night. This is 30-45 minutes on Sunday night, and it will probably last for a while. The study is designed for six hour and a half long sessions, but I'm doing it 45 minutes at a time, so .... well, you can do the math.

Usually, we have less than 30 people on Sunday nights. Last week, we had 40+, this week a bit more than that. I'm thrilled that people are interested in the subject -- I just hope I'm doing it justice. The material is excellent, BTW, if you're looking for a small-group study program. I'm modifying it a bit to fit in a Sunday evening Bible-study setting.

My schedule at Southern is going to be a little easier than I thought it would be. My Intro to Christian Philosophy class that meets Tues-Thurs from noon to one actually doesn't meet at all on Wednesdays, meets every other Tuesday and Thursday, and doesn't start until the 24th of August. I'll have more study time, and more time to work. Good thing, since books are going to run almost $400, and it looks like rent is going to be right around that -- unless I find out someone who was supposed to have on-campus housing didn't show up, and I can grab a room on campus for less than $300.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 09:11 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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