…and Tim Tebow has Colt McCoy’s back as Well

[this post is a companion piece to Colt McCoy has Tebow’s Back]

Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Florida QB Tim Tebow (below indulging his inner thespian in a church play) would give Texas QB Colt McCoy his Heisman vote.

Tebow: McCoy would get my vote

As a past winner, Tebow can cast a ballot for the prestigious award given to the best player in college football.

Can’t really blame the big guy, given McCoy’s recent demolition of Mizzou’s defense before a national television audience: 29 for 32 for 337 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 Rushing TDs, and here’s Colt on his way to one of the rushing TDs:

Eric Gay/AP

Here’s hoping that if Colt does win the Heisman, his acceptance speech (like Tebow’s) will reflect the humility and character that God has blessed him, not to mention call the nation’s attention to Whom both of these young men attest their accomplishments to.

Minister goes Undercover in the UK

A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgemental glances
Tells him that his chances are better out on the road

Jesus payed much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ. — From “If We are the Body” by Casting Crowns

According to this story, “Priest disguises himself as a tramp to teach his own churchgoers a lesson.”

A Methodist minister in the UK dressed up as a homeless person (he “bought some scruffy clothes at a charity shop, ripped the trousers, and put on a straggly wig and thick, broken glasses” and “splashed lager” all over himself”) and stepped into his church and perhaps to no one’s surprise (given the comments at the bottom of the piece), none of his congregants recognized him, judgmental and condescending people that Christians are, especially the lot that attends church services.

At the risk of sounding like noted Christian toxicologists, there is much work to be done within the Church as to how we perceive people who look and smell differently. Given our penchant for the theology of “our Sunday best”, this flock’s reaction might be replayed in many an American (most definitely Mexican) church service (perhaps this drove the Casting Crowns lyric).

The perhaps pathological focus on dress and outward appearance is surprising to me, especially when the average churchgoer (who might or might not be a genuine Christian, remember attendance, even perfect attendance does not a Christian make) is completely oblivious to any serious understanding of doctrine and thus its application.
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Futility Lives Here

The myth of Sisyphus was a favorite of mine when we studied the mythology of the Greeks. If one recalls, Sisyphus is the man whose eternal punishment was to roll a huge boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down as he neared the summit.

The story is invoked when an illustration of futility is needed, for an apt one it is, at least from Sisyphus’ perspective.

No matter how many grains of morality we gather from hearing this myth, it is astounding that some of our actions and attitudes show that we are not immune from rolling our proverbial boulders up our own hills.

One such boulder which is defiantly and may I say proudly, continuously pushed up that hill, is the boulder of not taking God at His Word. That this is par for the course for people who for now, remain in the dark is of no surprise to anyone.

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Paul doing Science on Mars Hill

“Science is not truth; it is, instead, a method for diminishing ignorance”From “The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory” by J. M. Adovasio, Olga Soffer, and Jake Page.

Whether or not the above definition is accurate or not is an argument which I don’t necessarily intend with this here post. It could be perhaps if I knew the context of the phrase.

I haven’t read the book but I did manage to get the quote from reading a review of the book in the journal Nature, 447, pp.34-35 (2007) during lunch a couple of days ago.

The authors’ contention did get me thinking though: If science is a “method for diminishing ignorance” then can Paul’s outstanding sermon on Mars Hill be counted as science, so-called?

According to Luke,

So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.

“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD ‘ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. — Acts 17:22-23

He sought to liberate the members of the Areopagus from their ignorance, did he not?

Christianity Brings out the Worst in People

“Christianity must be a most extraordinary thing. For not only (as I understood) had Christianity the most flaming vices, but it had apparently a mystical talent for combining vices which seemed inconsistent with each other. It was attacked on all sides and for all contradictory reasons. — GK Chesterton in Orthodoxy

I was recently privy to an elucidation of what Chesterton alludes to. A complaint was made that a certain charitable Christian woman was “too nice” to her fellow congregants. So much so, that the congregants, filthy quislings that they are, were portrayed as folks who took advantage of the woman’s charity.

Oh the outrage that this venerable woman would, at the drop of a hat, stop what she was doing and rush to the aid of her brothers and sisters of Christ. As a recipient of such actions, though not coming from this woman, I most appreciate this example of faithworks.

Ironically enough, the plaintiff above also showed displeasure when people did not lend her a helping hand in an hour of need.

The episode brought Lucian’s The Death of Peregrinus (to mind. I have not read this work but learned about it as it was referenced to in Fanning the Flames: Probing the issues in the Acts within a chapter having to do with the way the first Christians were perceived by their Greek and Roman critics.

Lucian’s mid-second century unflattering description of Christians is in part, as follows,

The activity of these people, in dealing with any matter that affects their community, is something extraordinary; they spare no trouble, no expense.

Peregrine, all this time, was making quite an income on the strength of his bondage; money came pouring in. You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.

All this they take quite on trust, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property. Now an adroit, unscrupulous fellow, who has seen the world, has only to get among these simple souls, and his fortune is pretty soon made; he plays with them.

What certain unbelievers see as “stupid” and “misguided” is actually service to the Lord. To the Lord because by serving His body, the Church, one serves Him.

That this requires denial of self (not as its own end of course) is paramount not to mention counter-intuitive to the deep-rooted selfishness natural to us after Adam’s sin.

That this is not, can not, be understood by those who willfully remain outside merely gives testimony to the truth in the Apostle’s words,

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

May we go forth and tell those still in darkness about this “crucified sage” and show the love He teaches us.

Mohler on Jesusanity

Often the call is heard within Christian circles that we need to be “red-letter Christians”. What is probably meant by this is we need to primarily focus on Jesus’ actual words in the Gospels. That is, the things He taught during his 3-year ministry in Palestine.

Focus on these words more than the words in the rest of the New Testament. Words written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (who by the way Jesus sent). What is conveniently forgotten is that the “red-letters” were also written under the inspiration of the same Spirit.

What this call translates to in our modern world after it gets sifted through a couple of political filters is that we need to focus on issues such as helping the poor (with nary a regard for prudence) and/or rescuing the environment from our predations (regardless of other considerations).

Other topics which are deemed more personal like abortion and homosexuality are left by the wayside since allegedly Jesus didn’t address them in those infamous red-letters. Again what is forgotten is that the Spirit whom Jesus sent inspired Paul to reiterate the fact that homosexuality is abomination in God’s sight, so in effect Jesus did address this “issue”.

As for abortion (the murder of one’s own child), it doesn’t take a seminary degree to realize where Jesus stands on murder, much less infanticide.

Dr. Mohler posted on the conflict between this brand of spirituality as it stands in contrast with biblical Christianity.

“Christianity vs. Jesusanity — The Postmodern Temptation”

Doug Giles challenges Evangelicals who support Obama

Evangelicals for Obama? Not according to Townhall columnist Doug Giles who challenges any evangelical to biblically support their backing of presidential hopeful Barack Obama in his latest column,

“Obama’s on Fire for Jesus (the Jesus of His Own Imagination)”

The only problem is that according to the Senator’s voting record, it will prove impossible to support his views at least from a Biblical perspective, which to evangelicals is the only one that should truly matter, the Bible being God’s Word and all.

Impossible unless said support is primarily rooted in emotionalism, as I myself have observed. Emotionalism impairs our ability to reason and ultimately our commitment to God.

Giles’ style is a bit abrasive but he competently makes his point. Here’s the last part of the column,

How a true believer in Christ (as defined by Scripture) can say he or she believes in what Jesus, the prophets and apostles said and side with such a liberal politico simply because he is “charismatic and youthful” is beyond me.

I’d love to have an evangelical Christian (as classically defined) who backs Obama wade in here on the comment thread and defend (biblically):

1. Obama’s voting record on life and marriage

2. his allegiance to a clearly anti-white, anti-Semitic, anti-American pastor/congregation

3. why B-HO, if he doesn’t buy into what his minister of mayhem propagates, doesn’t officially leave the congregation and disassociate himself from his mad maharishi and his bigoted beliefs?

C’mon . . . hit me with your best shot.

Ryan Tedder on Christian Recording Artists

I had no idea who Ryan Tedder was before reading a piece on him and his band in last Thursday’s Houston Chronicle.

Tedder heads up the band OneRepublic whose single Apologize is apparently a big hit.

Chronicle reporter Joey Guerra’s piece is basically a Q&A between him and Tedder.

In it is revealed that Tedder was raised in a family of missionaries and pastors and is a Christian.

This is that part of the interview,

Q: You were raised by an extended family of missionaries and pastors. Has that played into your music?

A: I got offered a Christian record deal. I’m Christian, I grew up in the church. But I’m not going to tour churches. I was raised in Oklahoma. Tulsa’s like the buckle of the Bible Belt. I grew up in that environment. I was in Nashville for two years, (and) I quickly became friends with probably half a dozen of some of the biggest Christian recording artists. Every single one of them was absolutely miserable with the fact that they were “Christian” recording artists. I saw some stuff in Nashville that turned my stomach. Some of the most pretentious, insecure people I ever met were Christian recording artists.

(emphasis mine)

Pretentious? Insecure? Ouch, I do wonder how accurate these comments are.

How do you feel about so-called Christian music?

[I wonder if Local H (if they’re still around) will write a song including the line, “If I was Ryan Tedder Would you like me any better?”]

When Religion Makes One Feel Superior…

If you have been through this blog you’d realize that I deeply admire and have been blessed by the writings of one Clive Staples Lewis.

Perhaps my favorite book of his is Mere Christianity, which contains a few chapters which can stand alone as classics.

One of these titled, “The Great Sin”, is a treatise on pride and contains a number of riveting insights.

He describes Pride,

Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.

Also,

The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. Other vices may sometimes bring people together: you may find good fellowship and jokes and friendliness among drunken people or unchaste people.

But pride always means enmity–it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God.

Insightful to be sure and he goes on to say that pride can be a “death-trap” to Christians.

He describes such occasions,

Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good–above all, that we are better than someone else–I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil.

The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object.

It is better to forget about yourself altogether.

Did Martin Luther change Diapers?

With the gender role brouhaha that this post spawned, it seemed good to link up this post from the folks over at “The Silent Holocron” (gotta love the obscure Star Wars reference),

Changing Diapers to the Glory of God”

In the post you’ll find a lengthy quote from one Martin Luther which I think relevant to the discussion.

What the man’s attitude should be (according to Luther) in regards to the so-called drudgeries of fatherhood,

O God, because I am certain that thou hast created me as a man and hast from my body begotten this child, I also know for a certainty that it meets with thy perfect pleasure. I confess to thee that I am not worthy to rock the little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of the child and its mother. How is it that I, without any merit, have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving thy creature and thy most precious will? O how gladly will I do so, though the duties should be even more insignificant and despised. Neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labour, will distress or dissuade me, for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in thy sight.

Then the woman’s to the so-called drudgeries of motherhood,

A wife too should regard her duties in the same light, as she suckles the child, rocks and bathes it, and cares for it in other ways; and as she busies herself with other duties and renders help and obedience to her husband. These are truly golden and noble works. . . .

On a personal note, I once was that guy that proclaimed “Never will I change a diaper” only to do it (happily I might add, though I’ve been slacking as of late) after our son was born.

Prior to witnessing our son’s birth I admired my wife for her beauty, her wit, and her mind. Afterwards said admiration grew exponentially for reasons which words cannot express.