Friday, September 5, 2008


In case anyone is wondering, this blog is going to be indefinitely discontinued. I have found I can accomplish the same thing quicker and rather more effectively on my Facebook page, so I have begun using that for sharing links and providing quick updates. Sojourner's Song and What Susan Said are still live, and this blog will remain up for archival purposes.

That's all, folks!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Some good reviews on The Dark Knight, from MercatorNet and Greg Boyd.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How we read online.

(HT: evangelical outpost)
VOM, India:

On April 25, Pastor Mohan Babu and two other believers were severely beaten by 35 Hindu extremists for holding a Vacation Bible School (VBS) near Bangalore City, in Karnataka State. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in India, the three-day VBS was organized by Ragigudda Baptist Church. VOM sources said, "Around 60 children from different backgrounds were attending the VBS. As they were worshiping, about 35 people belonging to a Hindu extremist group forcefully entered the hut chanting slogans and demolished the hut. The extremists mercilessly beat Mohan, Samuel and Krishna, alleging forceful conversion. The perpetrators chased the children without any courtesy and tore the Bibles. Mohan was severely injured on his lips and was profusely bleeding. The believers are living in fear and did not lodge complaint with the police." Pray for healing for all those injured in this attack. Pray they forgive their attackers and for the children who were attending VBS to continue growing in their faith despite the attack.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Michael Spencer on rethinking God, and Brant Hansen on being/feeling spiritually bankrupt. Honesty: check. Edifying: check. Politically correct: heck!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday book sale finds:

  • True Spirituality - Francis Schaeffer
  • The House Of The Dead and Poor Folk - Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Colorful Desert Wildflowers - Grace B Ward & Onas M. Ward
  • The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve - G. Edward Griffin
  • An Anthology of Czechoslovak Literature
  • Albert Schweitzer: The Man and His Mind - George Seaver
  • The Bourne Identity & The Bourne Supremacy - both by Robert Ludlum

Grand total: $1.50. I was feeling generous and paid two dollars.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Make sure and bookmark Michael Spencer's new writing headquarters: Jesus Shaped Spirituality.

Jesus Shaped Spirituality stands on the corner between the study of Jesus- especially the historical Jesus- and the formation of discipleship on every level.
Greg Boyd on the Nephilim:

If we take the narratives seriously, we can't deny there were some incredibly large people (and grapes!) in the land of Canaan.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Michael Spencer asks What Was Jesus Like?

Do you like grape Kool-Aid? I’ve always loved the taste of grape Kool-Aid on a hot day.

Have you ever tasted grapes? Do grapes taste grape Kool-Aid?

No, they don’t. But you could easily imagine a child who loves grape Kool-Aid eating a grape and saying “Yuck!! This doesn’t taste like grapes at all!”

The real thing has been replaced by the advertised replacement so long that there’s genuine confusion and disappointment at the taste of a real grape.

So it is with Jesus. The version of Jesus that dominates so much contemporary Christianity is the grape Kool-Aid version of a real grape. And many, many Christians have no “taste” for Jesus as we find him in scripture, especially the Gospels.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

VOM, Sri Lanka:

The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) reports the wife of martyred Pastor Edirisinghe is recovering from severe injuries sustained during an attack that killed her husband. "The NCEASL chairman visited Shiromi yesterday. She is experiencing a great recovery, she speaks, breathes well and has been transferred to Kandy General for surgery to remove [the] bullet," NCEASL reported. Mrs. Edirisinghe was critically injured on February 17 when two assailants gunned down her husband outside their home in Ampara, Sri Lanka. She sustained critical injuries to her stomach and their two-year-old son was also injured in the attack. Pray for her quick recovery from the remaining surgeries. Ask God to heal her emotions and to touch their son with the love of Christ. Pray God will give them supernatural ability to forgive the assailants and for their testimony to draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Christ.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Michael Spencer on Art, Industry, and the Evangelical Resistance:

Evangelicalism is industrial. Technological. A culture of consumption, getting more, winning the game, having the best. One need not buy into the “prosperity gospel” to be part of a movement that advertises itself as young, hip, relevant, edgy, successful, hot and trend-setting.

Christian spirituality, however, is art. Creation. It is poetry, not the work of an assembly line. It is spiritual, not industrial. It is not produced by methodology purchased in a kit or acquired by subscription service. It is not the result of surveys or research. It is God’s Kingdom work, now as always.

HT: Ben Witherington
Greg Boyd is writing a series on violence in the Old Testament. Here's the first two posts.

Greg also recently read and reviewed Chuck Colson's God & Government, and later added a follow-up post to provide some additional clarification.
Some brilliant writing from Victor Davis Hanson (scroll down to "Ode to an Orchard").

Monday, March 3, 2008

VOM, Jordan:

The government in Jordan has admitted it expelled missionaries for "illegal" activities. According to Compass Direct News, "On February 20, Acting Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh, told the Jordanian parliament that authorities had expelled missionaries operating 'under the cover of doing illegal charitable work.'"

The expulsions violated Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Jordan adopted in 2006. According to Compass, recent expulsions included two Egyptian pastors married to Jordanian women. "On February 10, authorities expelled an Egyptian pastor with the Assemblies of God church in Madaba, one of five evangelical denominations registered with the government. Married to a Jordanian citizen, and the father of two children, Sadeq Abdel Nour, was handcuffed and blindfolded and taken to the port city of Aqaba. There he was placed on a ferry to Egypt. The previous week an Egyptian pastor from a Baptist church in Zarqa was also arrested, held for three days and also returned to Egypt by ship from the port city of Aqba," the Compass report added.

Pray for believers in Jordan who are experiencing increased persecution. Ask God to encourage and minister to the pastors and their families. Pray God will use their testimonies to draw non- believers into fellowship with Him.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My friend Brian has recently launched a new blog about books, authors, and literature. He's widely read and has superb literary taste, so check it out when you can.
VOM, Sri Lanka:

On February 17, Pastor Neil Edirisinghe, of the House Church Foundation, was gunned down by two assailants outside his home in Ampara, Sri Lanka.

According to a report by the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), "Pastor Edirisinghe was engaged in the Lord's ministry in Ampara for many years. The attackers also shot his wife in the stomach. At last report, she was in the hospital in critical condition. Their 2-year-old son who received a minor injury in the attack is also suffering from trauma."

NCEASL added that the motive for the attacks was believed to be in response to Pastor Edirisinghe's ministry. The Voice of the Martyrs is assisting the family during this difficult time. Pray for peace and comfort for Pastor Edirisinghe's family. Pray for a speedy recovery for his wife and child and for them to rely on the great Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Tolkien family is suing New Line Cinema over unpaid royalties from Lord of the Rings, which has grossed over 6 billion dollars worldwide. Ben Witherington has more details, along with some witty commentary:

Stay tuned for future episodes when we will no doubt hear about Gandalf the wizard lawyer who unties the gordian knot of the problem and returns the ring to its rightful owner, to thoroughly mix my metaphors.
VOM, Egypt:

An Egyptian court has recognized the faith of 12 converts to Christianity. The decision overturns a lower court ruling which said the state need not recognize conversions from Islam because it constituted "apostasy," an act often treated as a capital crime in the Muslim world. A lawyer for the 12 Coptic Christians described the case as a victory for human rights and freedom of religion that will open the door for hundreds of other Copts who want to return to their original faith from Islam. There is concern, however, over the ruling's mandate that the converts' former religion must be noted in their official documents, as this could leave them vulnerable to discrimination. Thank the Lord for this victory. Pray that these individuals will not be subject to further discrimination. Pray that those who were born into Muslim families and convert to Christianity will also have their conversions recognized by the Egyptian government.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Derek and Sandra just announced the pre-release of their first collaborative project: Ampersand EP. It's short, but it can't help but be good with this kind of talent behind it. These two know what they're doing when it comes to music.

Monday, February 11, 2008

N. T. Wright on heaven:

Our culture is very interested in life after death, but the New Testament is much more interested in what I've called the life after life after death — in the ultimate resurrection into the new heavens and the new Earth. Jesus' resurrection marks the beginning of a restoration that he will complete upon his return. Part of this will be the resurrection of all the dead, who will "awake," be embodied and participate in the renewal. John Polkinghorne, a physicist and a priest, has put it this way: "God will download our software onto his hardware until the time he gives us new hardware to run the software again for ourselves." That gets to two things nicely: that the period after death is a period when we are in God's presence but not active in our own bodies, and also that the more important transformation will be when we are again embodied and administering Christ's kingdom.

Read the whole thing.

(HT: evangelical outpost)
VOM, Philippines:

On January 15, Father Jesus Reynaldo Roda, a Catholic missionary with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, was murdered by a suspected Al-Qaeda related group of Islamic extremists in the chapel at Notre Dame in Mindanao, Philippines. The armed group forced its way into the chapel where Father Roda was praying. When he resisted their attempt to kidnap him, he was shot and killed. Pray Father Roda's colleagues will be strengthened by the courage and peace in Jesus Christ. Pray God raises others to continue Father Roda's work.
What bookshelves are for:

Bookshelves are not for displaying books you've read -- those books go in your office, or near your bed, or on your Facebook profile. Rather, the books on your shelves are there to convey the type of person you would like to be.

HT: evangelical outpost

Friday, January 25, 2008

VOM, Pakistan:

On January 17, a pastor was shot and killed by an unknown person in Peshawar, Pakistan. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, the pastor had worked with the Assembly of God Church in Peshawar, for the past 10 years. He is survived by his wife and a one-year-old daughter. Pray for this grieving family and church. Ask God to comfort believers in Peshawar and for this pastor's family to realize that to be absent from the body is to be present with Him.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Here's the New York Times coverage of the breaking down of the Egyptian-Gazan wall by Gazan Palestinians on Wednesday:

Muhammad Mishlahad broke down nearly a half-mile of massive concrete blocks with his big Effer crane. “I got a call from Hamas at 6 a.m. this morning and they said they had a job for me,” Mr. Mishlahad said, nearly giddy with the thrill of the day. “They asked me to come and clear the barrier.”

Just another day in the life of a crane operator!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Steve Brown on war and peace:
When one gets into the specifics of which war to fight, how to go about obtaining justice, what kind of force should be used and how in particular one should protect the innocent, the way gets kind of muddy. (“The devil is in the details.”) Someone has said that simplicity on this side of complexity isn’t worth dink, but that simplicity on the other side of complexity is incredibly valuable. I sometimes fear that Christians (both pacifist Christians and “kill the enemy for Jesus” Christians) have never taken the time to go through the complexity. Jesus said that we were to be “as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.”

That’s not an easy thing to do and, if it seems to be, we haven’t understood.
I've liked that idea of post-complexity simplicity for a long time. Of course, getting there is another matter.
A survey of John Searle's philosophy of consciousness.

For Searle, genuine freedom is incompatible with determinism, and that’s that. Given this, he turns to quantum mechanical indeterminism to make space for free will. His admittedly tentative solution is that the unreduced conscious mind might play an independent role in directing brain processes that are subject to indeterminacy at the neuronal level.

That's ok, I didn't understand it either.

HT: A&LDaily
VOM, Iraq:

On January 6, four churches and three convents were damaged in coordinated bombings. According to numerous media reports, the blasts occurred within five minutes of each other and involved mortar shells, explosive devices and car bombs. In Baghdad, the St. George Chaldean Church in Ghadir quarter, a Chaldean convent in the Zaafaraniya quarter and a Greek-Melkite parish were attacked. In Mosul, the St. Paul Chaldean Church and the House of the Holy Spirit, a Chaldean convent, were simultaneously bombed. A Dominican convent in Mosul was also attacked and an Ancient Assyrian Church in the al-Nur district was damaged when a parked car blew up outside the building. At least six people were injured, one of them seriously, in the explosions. Pray for Iraqi Christians as they deal with the effects of this attack. Pray for healing for those injured. Ask God to enable Iraqi Christians to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer as they suffer for Him.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

So Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution "to fit God's standards." Greg Boyd is confused, and I'm rapidly running out of candidates to vote for.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dan Edelen on Ragnarok, Recession, and Real ID:

The early Church prepared for problems. In fact, they listened to their prophets and sprang into action. But where are our prophets? And in lieu of prophets, why can’t we seem to heed our own common sense? Yet I can’t think of one major Church leader in this country talking about economic issues and how the Church must face them.
Should Christians apologize to Muslims for the Crusades? Nathan Bradfield, citing Al Mohler and a few others, doesn't think so.

I say it's worth a bit more thought.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

MercatorNet reviews The Whisperers - a book about private life in Stalin's Russia:

Figes has compiled so many stories of sorrow and injustice that the book is hard reading. Combined with many photos of unsmiling adults and children with haunted eyes it is a compelling document, bearing witness to the tribulations of a whole nation that took place within living memory.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

MercatorNet critiques Pullman's Golden Compass. The verdict: disorderly and confused, which is not much of a surprise considering Pullman has abandoned God.
An American's prayer for the New Year, from Ben Witherington.