Wednesday, November 30

Movies You'd Never Watch Again

I mentioned in a post below that I'd never, not for a million bucks, watch Sophie's Choice again. Second on my list of never-again movies would be Old Yeller. You didn't know I was so sensitive, did you?

Update: More never-again movies to add to the list:
  • Kim in IL - The Deerhunter.
  • Kim in ON - The Passion of the Christ ("Once was enough," she says.) and Beloved.
  • Charlie - Raging Bull, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and The English Patient.
  • Shaun - Silence of the Lambs.
  • Peter Bogert agrees with me about Old Yeller.
  • Stephanie - The Patriot
  • ~m2~ (I wonder how she pronounces that?) - Caddyshack II, which she says was beyond bad, What Dreams May Come and Jaws in 3-D.
  • Catez - The Saint with Val Kilmer, which she says is good for one thing: going to sleep.
  • Helen - Shindler's List (Wan't to know a secret? I haven't ever seen that. I'm sure it's good, but it's not for me.)
  • David Heddle - The Exorcist
  • Carol - Apocalypse Now.
  • Sal - Dances with Wolves. Another snorer.
  • Bonnie - The Fly with Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum, Blue Velvet and The Passion of the Christ. Bonnie also says that she's seen Silence of the Lambs a few times and that she'd watch it again. I wonder if she loved the ending of Old Yeller, too.
  • John Schroeder (aka Mr. Blogotional) - The Net and several dozen others that have been erased from his memory because they were so bad that even the memory hurts.
  • Bill Lueg - Boys Don't Cry, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, (anything else by Michael Bay), and National Treasure.
  • The Sinner - Moulin Rouge
  • Julana - Point Break
  • Susan:
    I will never again watch these movies:

    These just left me feeling uneasy:
    War of the Roses
    Death Becomes Her
    Sleepy Hollow
    The Exorcist (still get nightmares just from commercials!)
    The Wall (Pink Floyd)

    Just BAD!:
    Frankenhooker (Don't ask...I was basically forced to watch it!)
    The King of Texas (made for tv western based on King Lear)
  • Violet - Rosemary's Baby
  • Byron - Moquito Coast, and he says he'd watch any of the above movies 10 times over in order to avoid watching even a smidgen of this stink bomb. Bicentennial Man, he says, is almost as bad.
  • Waterfall gives a "never-again" to Silence of the Lambs, too.
  • Rey hates Cold Mountain. And The Exorcist. And Cold Mountain.
  • Did I mention that for someone who hates Cold Mountain, Rey sure seems to talk about it a lot?
  • William Dicks agrees with Charlie about Kill Bill Vol. 1.
    I would rather have a repetitive root canal done before watching Kill Bill Vol 1 again.
  • Bowden - Father of the Bride
    As the father of three daughters, I think this is the scariest movie ever filmed!

What about you? Any movies you'd never watch again except with a loaded gun pointed at your head, and maybe not even then?

November's Theme: Thankfulness

I'm thankful for a whole month of thankfulness. It wasn't hard to find something to be thankful for every single day. Big things, small things, and sometimes it's the small things that are the biggest blessings.

I'm thankful for Julana, who participated throughout the month. Today she's thankful for her messy house. I used to be a neat freak, but I'm less so now. A messy house can be a wonderful sign that good things are happening.

I'm thankful for the others who were regular thanksgivers, too. I feel blessed.

This Blog is a Finalist

in the Best Biblical Exhortation category of the Blog of Beauty Awards. (Ahem....are there too many Bs in that sentence?)

What are the Blog of Beauty Awards? Sallie explains that the "focus of these awards is honoring the female bloggers who bring beauty to the world of blogdom."

Directions for voting are in the above linked post. The deadline is December 6th.

Tuesday, November 29

Seven Sevens

Catez tagged me for this meme in which you're supposed to list seven things in answer to each of seven questions. As you'll find out, that wasn't all that easy for me.

1. Seven things to do before I die.

You know, I would have answered this entirely differently 5 years ago. Now only the first two really matter to me. The rest I'd like to do, I guess, but if I don't it'll be no skin off my teeth.
  1. See my kids married and
  2. Enjoy my grandchildren.
  3. Take a trip to Europe, especially Norway and Scotland.
  4. Have a cabin on a lake
  5. With a boat.
  6. Drive the Dempster.
  7. Have time to just sit and read like I did when I was a child.

2. Seven things I cannot do.
  1. Enjoy shopping. For me it's a necessary evil. I've tried to enjoy it, but that doesn't help.
  2. Watch a movie clear through from start to finish. I can watch for an hour at a time, and then I get restless no matter how fascinating the movie is.
  3. Throw a ball well. I'm not sure how I missed learning this skill, but I did.
  4. Enjoy eating potato chips. Blech, blech, blech!
  5. Eat peanuts. I'm allergic, although thankfully not deadly allergic.
  6. Be cheerful when it's hot out.
  7. Stay up late.

3. Seven things that attracted me to my husband.
  1. His quirky sense of humour.
  2. His enjoyment of children and babies.
  3. He could sometimes beat me at Scrabble.
  4. His strong protective instinct.
  5. His eyes.
  6. His confidence. There was no skill he wasn't sure he could master.
  7. That he loved me.

4. Seven things I say most often.
  1. Hmmm.....I'm not sure.
  2. Come on, guys!
  3. I just made a new pot of coffee.
  4. Would you turn that down?
  5. Okay.
  6. Will you get that cat out of my room?
  7. Apparently.

5. Seven books (or series) I love.
  1. Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis
  2. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
  3. Knowing God - J.I. Packer
  4. Winnie the Pooh Books - A.A. Milne
  5. Father, Son and Holy Spirit - Bruce Ware. (I'm not kidding about this book. It belongs here with all the other classics.)
  6. Works of Jonathan Edward - Jonathan Edwards.
  7. I'm drawing a blank on number 7. If I think of another one, I'll update the list.

6. Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would watch over and over if I had the time). Ooooh...this is a hard one for me, since--as I just wrote--I have a hard time watching movies, so I don't have any that I watch over and over again.
  1. The Princess Bride.
  2. The Apostle.
  3. A Christmas Story.
  4. The Shawshank Redemption
  5. Regarding Henry (This one's on the list simply because it's one I actually have watched more than once, since Harrison Ford's little freckle faced daughter is my cousin's youngest kid.)
  6. Old Yeller. Just kidding. I'd rather die than watch the ending of that one again.
  7. I've run out of ideas and I'm wishing the question was Seven Movies I'd never watch again. Number one on that list would be Sophie's Choice. Okay, I've thought of another one that I actually do watch over and over again: What About Bob?

7. Seven people I want to join in, too. The first seven to leave a comment saying they want to participate.
  1. Terry says he's game. (Terry's response is here.)
  2. Corrie wants to play, too! (Corrie joins in here.)

November's Theme: Thankfulness

Did I mention how icy it is here? Today I took the dog for a walk in the woods, and I made my way along the edge of the path in order to avoid the layer of ice on the path itself. Things were going swimmingly until I had to cross the path to the other side. I would have done just fine, if the dog hadn't chosen that moment to come rushing up behind me.

I'm pretty sure she intended to stop before she plowed forcefully into my calves. However, it would appear that dog feet don't grip ice any better than my boots do. I flew up in the air and landed with my legs on top of the dog and my head on the ice.

So here's what I'm thankful for: I'm thankful that I was able to pick myself up and make my way home. I'm thankful that the only lingering results of my fall are a little soreness and a nice sized bump on the back of my head. And that the dog's fine, too, even though she and I are no longer on speaking terms.

Julana is thankful for pediatric specialists and Christmas in the schools.

Update:Kim in ON is thankful for heating pads
...because my shoulder is feeling the effects of a torn rotator cuff and what the physiotherapist is doing to help it heal. I guess it gets worse before it gets better.

What are you thankful for?

What is God?

God is a Spirit,[1] in and of himself infinite in being,[2] glory,[3] blessedness,[4] and perfection;[5] all-sufficient,[6] eternal,[7] unchangeable,[8] incomprehensible,[9] everywhere present,[10] almighty,[11] knowing all things,[12] most wise,[13] most holy,[14] most just,[15] most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.[16]
  1. John 4:24:
    God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

  2. Exod. 3:14:
    God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you,’”

    Job 11:7-9:
    Can you find out the deep things of God?
    Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
    It is higher than heaven - what can you do?
    Deeper than Sheol - what can you know?
    Its measure is longer than the earth
    and broader than the sea.

  3. Acts 7:2
    And Stephen said:
    "Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran..."

  4. I Tim. 6:15
    ...which he will display at the proper time - he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords...

  5. Matt. 5:48
    You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  6. Gen. 17:1
    When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless..."

  7. Psa. 90:2
    Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

  8. Mal. 3:6
    For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
    James 1:17
    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

  9. I Kings 8:27
    But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!

  10. Psa. 139:1-13
    O Lord , you have searched me and known me!
    You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
    You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
    Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord , you know it altogether.
    You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

    Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
    If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
    If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
    If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
    even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.
    For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

  11. Rev. 4:8
    And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

    “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come!”

  12. Heb. 4:13
    And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
    Psa 147:5
    Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
    his understanding is beyond measure.

  13. Rom. 16:27
    to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

  14. Isa. 6:3
    And one called to another and said:

    “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
    the whole earth is full of his glory!”

    Rev. 15:4
    Who will not fear, O Lord,
    and glorify your name?
    For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship you,
    for your righteous acts have been revealed.

  15. Deut. 32:4
    The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
    A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he.

  16. Exod. 34:6
    The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness...

Question 7, Westminster Larger Catechism. Scripture quoted from the ESV.

Christian Carnival Reminder

Don't forget that tonight (November 29), midnight EST, is the deadline for entries to this week's Christian Carnival. Submit your entry to ChristianCarnival [ATT] gmail [DOTT] com. Include
  • The name of your blog
  • The URL of your blog
  • The title of your post
  • The URL of your post
  • A short description of the post
  • The trackback link if you have one
Then look for your entry in tomorrow's (November 30) carnival at Cadmusings. You'll find more complete information on the Christian Carnival here.

Monday, November 28

November's Theme: Thankfulness

I'm thankful for the peace of God.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians4:5-7 ESV)

Julana is thankful for abilities and the incarnation.

Update: Shawnda is
thankful for the grace that has set my sinful soul FREE in Christ! I'm thankful for my undeserved husband, Jason!! And I'm thankful for the 2 children the LORD allowed us to adopt this summer - Samuel and Keziah! They bring us more joy than we ever could have imagined!!!

Kim in IL is
thankful for the "soul rest" that is promised in Matthew 11:28-30.

I am thankful that He carries His lambs in His arms and that He is the Good Shepherd. He leads us with gentleness--but He does lead us. I am thankful that He does not allow me to stray from His fold. I am thankful that He knows the way, even when I do not.

It is a stunning thing to deeply realize that He is the Shepherd of my soul. Whatever comes my way, I know that He has lead me there and will lead me through.

From Ginger:
I'm thankful that He has promised that though we stumble, we will not fall.

(And I'm thankful for family!)

What are you thankful for?

Called According to Paul: Romans 4:17

An explanation of this series of posts can be found here. You'll find the first two posts in the series are here and here.

In this post I'll look at Paul's use of the word called in Roman 4:17. it is written, 'I have made you the father of many nations'--in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. (ESV)

The context of this quote is speaking of Abraham's faith. Abraham believed that God would fulfill his promise to him. You'll remember the promise: God would make Abraham the father of many nations, and his offspring would be innumerable like the stars are innumerable.

Abraham faith was firm because he understood some things about the God who had spoken the promise to him: he was a God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In other words, Abraham's faith was strong regardless of the impossibility, humanly speaking (Abraham being "as good as dead" and Sarah being barren), of what God had promised him, for Abraham understood that God is the God of divine fiat.

The language of the phrase we are looking at--"calls into existence the things that do not exist"--is language that harks back to God's creation by command. So while this particular usage of the word call is not refering to the call that works salvation (or faith, or conversion) like the usages examined in 1 Corinthians 1 and 7, Paul is nonetheless using it in the sense of divine command. Abraham believed God because he understood that many nations would spring forth from him by way of God's calling into existence things that do not exist. Paul is using call here in the sense of a command with creative power.

Just as with other posts in this series, I welcome additions/corrections/comments about Paul's usage of the word call in this context.

Sunday, November 27

Sunday's Hymn: When Came in Flesh the Incarnate Word

When came in flesh the incarnate Word,
The heedless world slept on,
And only simple shepherds heard
That God had sent His Son.

When comes the Savior at the last,
From east to west shall shine
The awful pomp, and earth aghast
Shall tremble at the sign.

Then shall the pure of heart be blest;
As mild He comes to them,
As when upon the virgin's breast
He lay at Bethlehem.

As mild to meek eyed love and faith,
Only more strong to save;
Strengthened by having bowed to death,
By having burst the grave.

Lord, who could dare see Thee descend
In state, unless he knew
Thou art the sorrowing sinner's Friend,
The gracious and the true?

Dwell in our hearts, O Savior blest;
So shall Thine advent's dawn
'Twixt us and Thee, our bosom Guest,
Be but the veil withdrawn.

---Joseph Anstice

Saturday, November 26

Quirky Hymns

I've been at the Cyber Hymnal, looking for tomorrow's hymn. You can't spend much time there without running into a hymn or two that are just a tad strange. Or maybe they're just dated and they seemed perfectly fine when they were written.

How about this one?

Life is like a mountain railroad, with an engineer that’s brave;
We must make the run successful, from the cradle to the grave;
Watch the curves, the fills, the tunnels; never falter, never quail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore;
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

You will roll up grades of trial; you will cross the bridge of strife;
See that Christ is your Conductor on this lightning train of life;
Always mindful of obstruction, do your duty, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

You will often find obstructions; look for storms of wind and rain;
On a fill, or curve, or trestle, they will almost ditch your train;
Put your trust alone in Jesus; never falter, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

As you roll across the trestle, spanning Jordan’s swelling tide,
You behold the Union Depot into which your train will glide;
There you’ll meet the Superintendent, God the Father, God the Son,
With the hearty, joyous, plaudit, “Weary pilgrim, welcome home!”


Union Depot? God the Father as Superintendent? I'm betting you don't sing that one Sunday morning at your church.

Update: Ian McKenzie posts lyrics to another railroad gospel song in the comments.
My dad used to sing one, with the lyrics,

Better get your ticket for the heaven train,
Heaven train, Heaven train,
Better get your ticket for the heaven train
And get ready to meet the Lord.

Will it come in the morning?
Only the good Lord knows.
Will it come in the evening?
Only the good Lord knows.

It then listed many different scenerios where the train might come, but "Only the good Lord knows," before repeating the refrain.

I suppose that next someone's going to tell me there are airline gospel songs!

November's Theme: Thankfulness

I'm thankful for sports. I know there are those who don't enjoy them, but they've been a positive thing for this family. Oldest son has gone to Vancouver for the Grey Cup game, youngest daughter is in a squash tournament today, and youngest son has a volleyball game tonight. They will all have a lot of good fun, and the two youngest ones will keep fit at the same time.

Update: Nickie Goomba is thankful that
wars are not fought on my street. It's a comment from my first Thanksgiving in 1946, and has been repeated ever since.

Yep. We often take for granted things we ought to see as blessings.

Update 2: Anita is thankful for "sisters-in-law, yarn shops, and new knitting projects."

Update 3: From Julana:
I'm thankful we had a safe trip to Michigan and back, over Thanksgiving, through snow and traffic jams.

I'm thankful no one in my family feels compelled to stand in line for bargains at 4 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. We know time is more important than money and things
Not shopping is something I'll join in being thankful for, too!

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 25

November's Theme: Thankfulness

Yesterday there was a multitude of birds eating the berries in the May day tree. I'm thankful God feeds the birds.

These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are filled with good things.
(Psalm 104:27-28 ESV)

Update: Kim in ON is
thankful that the snow held off until I got home last night at 10:00. It's a winter wonderland here this morning.

Go see the lovely pictures at her blog.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 24

Called According to Paul: 1 Corinthians 7

An explanation of this series of posts can be found here, and another post in the series is here.

In this post, let's look at the use of the word called in 1 Corinthians 7, verse 15-25. I've italicized it each time it's used in the quote of the passage.
But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity. For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. (1 Corinthans 7:15-25 ESV)
In all of these usages of called, it is used as a sort of shorthand for "became a Christian" or "first believed". This would make it a similar usage to 1 Corinthians 1:24 where it is a parallel for "being saved". People believe when they are called in this way. This is a call that results in believing.

This is also an individual call. It goes out to individual people who are in various circumstances. We saw the individual nature of the call in 1 Corinthians 26-28 (...not many wise...not many powerful....), but it is even more pronounced here.

[Update: Kim in IL suggests that in the first use of the word call in this passage, the sense may be more "appointed", as in "God has appointed you to peace." See her comments.]

What more do you see about the meaning of the word call from this passage?

November's Theme: Thankfulness

I'm thankful for God's grace.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins  
in which you once walked,
following the course of this world,
following the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--
among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,
carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,
and were by nature children of wrath,
like the rest of mankind.  
But God, being rich in mercy,
because of the great love with which he loved us,  
even when we were dead in our trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ--
by grace you have been saved--
and raised us up with him and seated us with him
in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  
so that in the coming ages
he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  
For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing;
it is the gift of God,  
not a result of works,
so that no one may boast.  
For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV)

Phil W is thankful for an excellent wife and a place in his community.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 23

November's Theme: Thankfulness

I'm thankful for beautiful blue skies. Today we have them (at least for a while), after what seems like a really long time of nasty low dark grey clouds. I would take a photo, but my camera needs batteries.

Update: I can't believe I spelled "skies" wrong and left it there all day. I'm blaming you all for not bringing it to my attention.

Chris has posted a photo of our blue skies. Unfortunately, his photo also shows the one thing I'm not thankful for right now.

Update 2: David Norris is
thankful that Christ died for me while I was not yet alive and that He lives for me this vey present moment and that His blood cleanses me from all sin. I love you Lord Jesus.
Sal is thankful because God is God.

What are you thankful for?

What do the scriptures make known of God?

The scriptures make known what God is,[1] the persons in the Godhead, his decrees,[2] and the execution of his decrees.[3]
  1. Heb. 11:6
    And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

  2. Acts 15:14-18
    Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.  And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,
    After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.’

  3. Acts 4:27-28
    or truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
Question 6, Westminster Larger Catechism

Tuesday, November 22

Called According to Paul: 1 Corinthians 1

What did Paul mean when he used the word called in regards to God's calling? How did he define it? What significance did he give to it? Those are the questions this series of posts is seeking to answer. I've already posted a quote from Herman Ridderbos in which he gives us his studied view of Paul's usage of the word, and the point of these posts is to check things out to see if he's right.

I'm going to start with 1 Corinthians 1, for no real reason except the word called or calling is used of God's call several times there, and I know this passage fairly well, so I've got a bit of a head start on things. What I'll do is look at each instance of the word in the context it is used to see what I can learn about the way Paul uses the word from that. I'll not worry too much about the exact form of the word, but look at every usage that comes from the same root, as long as it is God doing the calling. Besides the text itself, I'm going to limit myself to my concordance, because that's a tool that most people have and know how to use.

  • Okay, here we go. Right off the bat, we have this:
    Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus... (verse 1)
    What can we learn from this verse? First of all, the call here is to apostleship. If you've read Paul at all, you know that he considered his apostleship to be a personal appointment from God, so we can understand that in this usage, the call is a call that is particular in nature and of some strength, like a summons, maybe. It is this call that made Paul an apostle rather than a more ordinary follower of Christ. This call also originates in God's will or choice, and it is to something: to be an apostle.

  • Next up:
    To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...(verse 2)
    The church is often refered to by Paul as the "called" or "called saints". Here he explains that this saintly calling is to all believers everywhere, but it is only to believers. So we can understand this call as well to be particular rather than general: to all who call upon the name of the Lord, but only to those who call upon the name of the Lord. And it is a call to something: to be saints.

  • Verse 9:
    God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
    This calling is also to something: into fellowship with God's son.

    Update: Brandon Watson adds:
    I think we see a bit of the power of God's call in verse 9, too, since the call seems to be put forward as part of the clarification of verse 8, i.e., that God will keep you firm to the end. The idea seems to be that, because God is faithful, His call is the explanation of our steadfastness in Christ.
    Here are verses 7-9 so you can see the flow of the thought: are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,  who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Verses 23 and 24:
    we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
    In these verses we see a little of the power within the call of God. The message of Christ crucified (or the gospel) is, in general, something that is despised as worthless or troublesome. It is offensive the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. However, there is an exception: to those who are called, from both Jewish people and Gentile people, the message of Christ crucified becomes the power and wisdom of God. This call then, changes how the message of the gospel is perceived. This is also a particular call rather than a general call, for it is to certain Jews and Greeks out of the Jews and Greeks in general.

    There's another statement in this passage that is quite parallel to this one, and sometimes by putting the phrases from the parallel statements side by side we can glean a little more about the meaning of the words. The parallel statement is in verse 18:
    For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    Putting the two side by side:

    the word of the cross/
    the preaching of Christ crucified

    folly to those who are perishing/
    a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles

    but to us who are being saved/
    but to those who are called

    the power of God/
    the power of God and the wisdom of God

    Paul statements equate being called with being saved. It is "those who are called" who are "us who are being saved." This is a call that saves. This is a particular call, then, and a call with the power to save.

  • Verses 26-28:
    For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are...
    These verses are interesting because they show us again the parallel between God's choice and God's calling. God calls what (or whom) he chooses.

    This passage also stresses the insignificance of what (or who) is called. It is an "out of nothing" (things that are not) calling, wording that ought to bring us right back to God's creation of the world out of nothing by command, suggesting to us that this calling, like God's command in creation, is a creative command.

    Thats it. We've gone through the whole chapter. Since this is all very rough, and what you are reading is more or less a bunch of study notes, I'll ask what you see that I missed. What can you see in this passage about the meaning of the word called or calling when it is used by Paul in regards to the call of God?

    All scripture quoted from the ESV.
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    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    I'm thankful for pets, and the way they brighten our lives. We got our latest dog as a puppy just before my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and that little dog gave him an awful lot of joy during his illness. If he was resting, she curled up with him. If he felt like going for a walk, he had an automatic hiking companion.

    Now she gets me out for a bit of exercise every single day.

    Pets are a good thing. Even those of us who pretend not to like them seem to get a lot of pleasure from complaining about them.

    Last night the StatsGuy told me he's thankful for the internet and blogging. He's one of the bloggers I know in real life, so he doesn't have to comment here in order to get his thanksgiving item on the list, since we all get together every Monday night to discuss blogging for home fellowship group.

    Update: From Bible Archive: Praying a Thanksgiving Prayer.

    Update 2: Julana is thankful that she "chose" a mortal life.

    Update 3: StatsGuy is chock full of thankfulness: "I'm thankful for our Monday night home fellowship group. I'm always challenged and edified."

    Kim in IL and

    What are you thankful for? Tell us in the comments or post it on your blog and send me the link.

    KFAW and the CC

    Two items on the agenda this morning:

  • For the few who didn't come here from, I have very exciting news: I've been named King for a Week over at Tim's place, which, as everyone knows, is a real honor. The crown is just a little heavy, and people look at me as if I were a little strange when I wear it in the grocery store, but the kind words from Tim about my blog make up for those small inconveniences.

  • In all your excitement at my coronation, don't forget that tonight (November 22), midnight EST, is the deadline for entries to this week's Christian Carnival. Submit your entry to ChristianCarnival [ATT] gmail [DOTT] com. Include
    • The name of your blog
    • The URL of your blog
    • The title of your post
    • The URL of your post
    • A short description of the post
    • The trackback link if you have one

    Then look for your entry in tomorrow's (November 23) carnival at Thought Renewal. You'll find more complete information on the Christian Carnival here.

    Now I'm off to put my royal seal in the sidebar......
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    Monday, November 21

    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    I'm thankful for good health. That I've been sick twice in November reminded me that's it been at least a couple of years since I've been sick with even a cold. I don't live with physical pain, like some people I know, or with a chronic illness. And that's a gift that's not to be sneezed at.

    Julana is thankful for the first amendment to the constitution and the time that is given to us.

    Update: Kim in ON is thankful for "the truth of Romans 8:28-30. I spoke about it at my ladies meeting, and then the pastor turned around and spoke about it on Sunday!"

    David Fisher is "thankful for the opportunity to declare God's faithfulness, His character and His attributes that blogging affords us."

    David also posted a hymn on Sunday, so you can go to his blog for this week's hymn.

    What are you thankful for? Come on, you know there's something!

    Sunday, November 20

    Just in Case

    you're looking for a post from me today, I doubt there will be one. I'm still fighting some sort of illness. I think this will be the first Sunday in a year and a half that I haven't posted a hymn. I'm not sure I could even read one through right now.

    I have posted more here though, but that was before my head exploded.

    Saturday, November 19

    Called According to Paul

    In Paul, an Outline of His Theology, Herman Ridderbos writes that
    ....something should be said about what Paul time and again terms the divine call and the calling of the church....He gives the word a pregnant understanding it of the word of divine power by which God calls into being the things that do not exist and by which he works what he commands. It is this effectual, efficient divine calling which now takes place through the gospel and by which God has called the church to faith itself as well as to the whole of the new life by faith. [1]
    According to Ridderbos, then, when Paul uses the word call, he means something that does real work, something that gives rise to that which had not previously existed. Paul uses call to mean a call that is heeded because there is power in the call itself.

    How did Ridderbos come to that conclusion? Well, I'm pretty sure he didn't just consult a lexicon or concordance or Bible dictionary. Ridderbos is a biblical scholar, so he had years and years and years of study under his belt when he wrote that statement, but I'd bet that part of his study involved looking at the all the instances in which Paul used the word "called" and studying the context for clues to how the word was used in that particular place; and then putting all of that information together to come up with the general definition of the word given us in the quote.

    This is something that even those of us who are not biblical scholars can do. We don't have to just take Ridderbos' word (or the lexicon's or the dictionary's or the concordance's word); we can check it out for ourselves. It's not that difficult, although it does involve a bit of detective work through careful inspection of the text. You don't have to know New Testament Greek. Not that a knowledge of Greek wouldn't be helpful, but you can still learn a lot about the meaning of biblical words without it, as long as you've got your trusty magnifying glass and notebook. (No secret decoder ring necessary!)

    So that's what I think I'll do: I'll look at Paul's use of the word "called" to determine how he used it. It'll take a series of posts; I'm not sure how many. First up will be an examination of the use of the word "called" in 1 Corinthians 1.

    Stay tuned....

    Herman Ridderbos, Paul, an Outline of His Theology, page 235.

    No, that is not a photo of Herman Ridderbos.....and it's not me either!

    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    I'm thankful for God's protection while we drive, especially in the winter time. We have three drivers, and youngest son catches rides sometimes with friends who are inexperienced drivers, yet we've all been kept safe.

    Update:V. Schroeder is "thankful for days to to do things around the house, at a different pace. To have a chance to go a little slower and really see what's around me."

    Carla is thankful for Thanksgiving.

    How about you? What are you thankful for?

    Friday, November 18

    Round the Sphere Again

    With last week's roundup not being posted until this week, I feel like I just did this! But I do have a few good links for you.

  • This week's Christian Carnival is at Jordan's View.

  • Check out John Samson on the meaning of the word foreknowledge and the new birth at Reformation Theology.

  • Matt Hall links to the MP3s of the sessions from last year's Pastors' Conference at Bethlehem Baptist Church. I've listened to Bruce Ware's talks on the Trinity, and I highly recommend them.

  • South Park gets it right: Matt Stone and Trey Parker are so getting sued from The Crusty Curmudgeon. Oh, and I almost forgot: The Curmudgeonly One has math poetry, too.
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    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    I'm thankful for surrounding mountains.

    Update: Kim is thankful that her perception of herself is not the same as God's.

    What are you thankful for?

    Thursday, November 17

    I Spent the Day

    here. Okay, not all day, but enough of it. You know I can't resist that sort of thing!

    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    Its one of those days, and today I'm thankful for moment by moment strength to keep going.
    For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 2:17,18 ESV)

    Update: Samantha is thankful that she "could take a few hours off to sit in bed and not do anything."

    I can't keep up with Julana, who is thankful for Jan Karon's Mitford books, that God never changes, Tim Horton's coffee (Yeah, who wants Starbucks when you can have Tim Horton's!), and neighbors. I'm a little rushed for time, so no individual links for individual posts, but humour me and just go to her blog and read them all!

    Violet is thankful for God's faithfulness during her mum's move and that whole big job.
    Often during this time I felt this project was out of my control. Often I had to lecture myself with reminders of Who was. But the end result has been a crop of peace and the feeling of a job well.

    What are you thankful for?

    Whose Rifle?

    I have this toy rifle on my dining room wall. If you watched TV in the sixties, you may have wished for this rifle. Can you identify it?

    What do the scriptures principally teach?

    The scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.[1]

    1. II Tim. 1:13
      Follow the pattern of the sound [1] words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

    Question 5, Westminster Larger Catechism

    Wednesday, November 16

    Was Paul Bunyan Really Canadian?

    I grew up right outside the town most famous for its big statue of this Amerian folk hero and his equally famous sidekick. Did you know that these statues of Paul and Babe are the second most photographed icons in the U.S.? Eastman Kodak says so, and you'd think they'd know.

    Although there are several towns that claim to be Paul Bunyan's true hometown, Bemidji's only real competition came from Brainerd, MN (You know, that town of Fargo fame!), which had a big talking Paul Bunyan in an amusement park. But the park's been closed, and Paul's been moved out of town, so Brainard's claim to Paul seems to have lost much of its steam.

    Yep, Paul is a big part of American folk history. He's got a stamp to prove it, right along with John Henry, Mighty Casey and Pecos Bill.

    Unfortunately, Paul might really be Canadian. And French Canadian at that! At least that's what it says at Wikipedia, and who would want to argue with Wikipedia? Paul, it seems, crossed the Sault Ste. Marie River--in one step, I'm sure--into Michigan. He must have crossed alone, because big blue Babe is an all-American ox. Paul walked over to Minnesota, where his big footprints stamped out the 10,000 lakes.

    The great American folk hero Paul Bunyan, then, joins basketball as another of those American icons that was really invented by the Canadians.

    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    Today I'm thankful for sleep. Restorative sleep.

    Last night I was stewing over something, and it's all solved this morning, simply because I have a clearer head that comes from a good night's sleep. And I can sleep like a baby because God never sleeps.

    In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8 ESV)

    Julana is thankful for advocates and Ohio weather.

    Update: Kim in ON is "thankful for the prayers of others and for husbands who have lots of technical knowledge."

    What are you thankful for? Tell us in the comments or on your own blog. Just make sure that if you put it on your own blog, you send me the link.

    Tuesday, November 15

    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    Julana is thankful for food.

    I think I'll let that be what I'm thankful for today, too.
    You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for man to cultivate,
    that he may bring forth food from the earth
    and wine to gladden the heart of man,
    oil to make his face shine
    and bread to strengthen man's heart. (Psalm 104:14,15 ESV)
    Food, and my potatoes in particular, grown from the plants God gave for us to cultivate so that we can "bring forth food from the earth".

    Sunday night I had to make supper on the fly with not much food in the house, so I fried up potatoes with a little kielbassa sausage--no onions, nothing else. The sons kept mentioning how much tastier garden potatoes are than store bought ones. Yep, they are one of our good blessings from our good God.

    Update: Kim in IL is thankful for her old battered refrigerator, an available repairman and her son's help.
    I am thankful for my old battered refrigerator in the basement. We bought it back in '82 and it's been hauled from house to house through more moves than I'd like to admit over the past 20 years and it's still chugging along.

    My "new" 2 year old refrigerator went on the blink yesterday. I'm thankful that the repairman could come today and that the repair wasn't too expensive.

    I'm also thankful my son will be home from class soon to help me haul up all the stuff from the basement.
    It sounds like she's had an interesting couple of days!

    Vicki is thankful for several good things, too.
    I'm thankful my thyroid biopsy was benign and that I can enjoy my 3 yr. old granddaughter. Also thankful for encouraging writers who spur me on to keep writing.

    Update 2: Phillip is thankful for forgiveness:
    I'm thankful for the grace that comes after saying or doing the wrong things. I'm thankful that in His eye my misgivings are washable.
    Me too....

    What are you thankful for? Tell us in comments, or post it in your own blog and send me the link. Don't be shy, and don't think anything is too small to be thankful for! Small mercies count just as much as big ones.

    How doth it appear that the scriptures are the word of God?

    Answer: The scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God, by their majesty [1] and purity;[2] by the consent of all the parts,[3] and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God;[4] by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation:[5] but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God.[6]
    1. Hosea 8:12
      Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing.
      I Cor. 2:6-7,13
      Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. ...And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
      Psa. 119:18, 129
      Open my eyes, that I may behold
      wondrous things out of your law.

      From the Westminster Larger Catechism

      Your testimonies are wonderful;
      therefore my soul keeps them.

    2. Psa. 12:6
      The words of the Lord are pure words,
      like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
      purified seven times.
      Psa. 119:140
      Your promise is well tried,
      and your servant loves it.

    3. Acts 10:43
      To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
      Acts 26:22
      To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass...

    4. Rom. 3:19, 27
      Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.

      Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.

    5. Act 18:28
      for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
      Heb. 4:12
      For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
      James 1:18
      Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
      Psa. 19:7-9
      The law of the Lord is perfect,
      reviving the soul;
      the testimony of the Lord is sure,
      making wise the simple;
      the precepts of the Lord are right,
      rejoicing the heart;
      the commandment of the Lord is pure,
      enlightening the eyes;
      the fear of the Lord is clean,
      enduring forever;
      the rules of the Lord are true,
      and righteous altogether.
      Rom. 15:4
      For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
      Acts 20:32
      And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
    6. John 16:13-14
      When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
      John 20:31
      but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
      I John 2:20, 27
      But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.

      But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything—and is true and is no lie, just as it has taught you—abide in him.

    Christian Carnival Reminder

    Don't forget that tonight (November 15), midnight EST, is the deadline for entries to this week's Christian Carnival. Submit your entry to ChristianCarnival [ATT] gmail [DOTT] com. Include
    • The name of your blog
    • The URL of your blog
    • The title of your post
    • The URL of your post
    • A short description of the post
    • The trackback link if you have one

    Then look for your entry in tomorrow's (November 16) carnival at Jordan's View. You'll find more complete information on the Christian Carnival here.

    Monday, November 14

    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    Today I'm thankful for librarians. I dropped youngest son off at the library this afternoon to do some research, and the friendly librarian took him under her wing and found lots of obscure information for him, and he's happy. I'm happy, too, because the more she does, the less I have to do.

    Update: Vicki says she's thankful for bloggers like me. (Don't look now. I'm blushing...)

    What are you thankful for?

    Round the Sphere Again

  • Last week's Christian Carnival can be found at Eternal Revolution.

  • Coffee Swirls has hosted a Prayer Carnival.
    I realize that the blogosphere does not meet the qualifications to be a church, but as people of God, Christian bloggers need to be sold out to the infinite value of prayer. It is by praying in Jesus’ name that we tap into a power that is not of this world, relying on God to do that which we are unable to do, all to His glory. It is to this end that I chose to produce a prayer carnival.
  • And while we're on the subject of prayer, Magic Statistics gives us a prayer of Richard Baxter, along with a brief biography of this noncomformist pastor and an explanation of what it meant to be a nonconformist.

  • Last week's cleverest title goes to Why I'm not Bertrand Russell--a post by Steve at Real Clear Theology. In it he examines the arguments in a certain famous essay.

  • David Heddle gives an apology for apologetics.
    Some people believe that since it is the work of the Spirit that converts, we don’t need to engage in apologetics, which is a defense of Christianity....

    The bible teaches differently. We are to be prepared to defend our faith, with gentleness even in the face of hostility, in order to shame those who blaspheme God.
  • You can add a daily new testament passage in Greek to your blog by copying and pasting the code found here. HT to Kim in ON for this.

  • Yukonpics has some wonderful photos of the fall aurora. Like this, this, and this.
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    This Month's Challies Giveaway

    Tim's at it again. Click the banner below and sign yourself up to win The Outdoor Bible and your choice of a book from a selection of books that includes titles written by R.C. Sproul, C.J. Mahaney, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Horton and others.

    November Giveaway


    Sunday, November 13

    Sunday's Hymn: My Song Shall Be Of Jesus

    This is another of Fanny Crosby's hymns.
    My Song Shall Be Of Jesus
    My song shall be of Jesus;
    His mercy crowns my days,
    He fills my cup with blessings,
    And tunes my heart to praise;
    My song shall be of Jesus,
    The precious Lamb of God;
    Who gave Himself my ransom,
    And bought me with His blood.

    My song shall be of Jesus;
    When, sitting at His feet,
    I call to mind His goodness,
    In meditation sweet;
    My song shall be of Jesus,
    Whatever ill betide;
    I’ll sing the grace that saves me,
    And keeps me at His side.

    My song shall be of Jesus,
    While pressing on my way
    To reach the blissful region
    Of pure and perfect day.
    And when my soul shall enter
    The gate of Eden fair,
    A song of praise to Jesus
    I’ll sing forever there.


    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    Today I'm thankful for the quiet here first thing in the morning.

    Julana is thankful for farm families and traveling mercies.

    [Update: Kim in ON is thankful for her woodburning fireplace to make things homey. Becky C. is thankful for leaves.]

    What are you thankful for? Tell us in comments, or post it in your own blog and send me the link.

    Saturday, November 12

    Book Review: Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth

    An Analysis of More Than One Hundred Disputed Questions, by Wayne Grudem, reviewed for The Diet of Bookworms.

    This is some book! By that I mean that Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth is about as comprehensive a treatment of the issue of the proper biblical roles of men and women in the home and in the church as anyone could hope to find--856 pages, 80+ pages of which are bibliography and indexes, 8 appendices totaling over 200 pages, and 536 pages of text--all painstakingly documented and referenced.

    Grudem argues for the complementarian viewpoint, which holds that the equal value and dignity of the sexes do not mean that men and women have the same God-given roles in marriage or the church. (I would consider myself a complementarian--although not necessarily a studied one[1]--so I was not reading this book as someone whose bias is critical of this viewpoint.) However, no matter what your personal view is--complementarian or egalitarian[2]--if you are interested in this issue, you will find this book invaluable for the careful documentation of the arguments for both sides. I wish everyone writing books arguing for a particular viewpoint were as fair as Grudem is in his representation of the arguments of the other side. In fact, he solicits comments from any egalitarian author who thinks he has unfairly quoted or summarized their arguments, giving an address for their complaints to be sent to.

    In the first two chapters of this book, the positive case for the complementarian viewpoint is given. In the bulkiest section of the book, chapters 3-12, Grudem systematically answers the arguments made by egalitarians. If you've heard the argument made, you will undoubtedly find it set out for you in this section, right alongside Grudem's evaluation of the claim.

    Let's take one you've probably heard: the argument that Junia was a woman apostle. I've heard this one stated flat out, as if there's no other reasonable way to interpret Romans 16:7. From this interpretation of the verse, the argument is made that if there was a woman apostle, then all church roles (or offices) should be open to women. Grudem gives the better part of four pages to the examination of this particular argument.

    He argues that first of all, we cannot tell for certain from the spelling of the name whether the name is masculine or feminine. It could be either, although Grudem concedes that the Latin evidence makes it more likely, but not sure, that the name is a woman's. He also points out that for the first four hundred years after the writing of the New Testament, writer's comments are mixed regarding the gender of this name. So there remains a good bit of iffiness as to the gender of the person called Junia.

    Secondly, and this is the strongest argument against this particular verse having any weight at all for the egalitarian view of roles in the church, Grudem argues that most recent Greek grammar research suggests that this verse means that Junia was "well-known to the apostles."[3] In other words, it is likely that all this scriptural text is saying is the the apostles knew Junia well.

    The third general argument Grudem gives is that the word translated apostles can just mean "messengers", and is translated that way in several other places in the New Testament. It would not, then, have to refer to the church office of apostle, but might refer less specifically to someone who simply functions as a messenger.

    Of course, Grudem goes into each of these arguments in more detail than what you'll find in my little summary statements, but it all adds up to a conclusion--that there was someone serving in the role of an apostle in the early church who was a woman--built from uncertain or speculative or even doubtful premises. It isn't much to make a positive conclusion from.

    There are 118 egalitarian claims examined in this same detail in this middle section of the book. Even if you don't read this section clear through from start to finish, you should find it handy to have as a reference, no matter where you hang your hat on this issue.

    The two summary chapters of the book contain Grudem's argument that evangelical feminism tends to lead to other liberal positions within a church, and an overview of the viewpoints held by the various denominations and parachurch organizations. He ends the text with some of his personal observations and opinion as to how and why egalitarianism is advancing in the church and what complementarians ought to do about it.

    Then there are the previously mentioned appendices, which are almost a book in themselves, and just as interesting and informative as the regular text of the book. They include, for instance, two lengthy works on the meaning of the Greek word translated head. If you've heard many egalitarian arguments, you know that the meaning of this word figures large in their arguments.

    To sum up, if this is an issue you care about, then you'll want to read this book in order to make sure you have a full grasp of the arguments on both sides. And your library is lacking if you don't have this book as a reference to draw from. If you, like me, are not a scholar, you'll appreciate that while Wayne Grudem is a scholar--and this is a very scholarly piece--it is still quite readable and understandable for the nonscholar.

    [1]This doesn't mean I am simply what Grudem calls an "instinctive complementatian". In fact, my instinctive (or default) position would probably have been more toward egalitarianism. However, every argument I heard egalitarians make sounded "grasping" and flimsy, so I began to view the whole viewpoint with suspicion. After all, if your best arguments are a stretch, it doesn't matter much that you've got a whole slew of them--support for your argument is still weak.

    [2] Egalitarianism is defined by Grudem as the view that there are no unique roles for men and women in marriage or the church that are based on gender alone (except for obvious physical differences).

    [3] You can find Daniel Wallace's argument for possibly taking this as "well-known to the apostles" here. There are NET Bible notes on this subject (note 8), too.

    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    Today I'm thankful for Operation Christmas Child, and Suzanne, who coordinates it for us here. Kevin has photos of the boxes collected at his school, and a brief explanation of what Operation Christmas Child is.

    (Samaritan's Purse is holding a moment of prayer for Operation Christmas Child today at 11:00am PST (2:00pm EST). Pray for God's help in the collection, processing, shipping and distribution of all those gift boxes, and that the children who receive the gift boxes will experience God's love and learn the good new of Jesus Christ.)

    What are you thankful for?

    What is the word of God?

    Answer: The holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God,[1] the only rule of faith and obedience.[2]

    1. II Tim. 3:16:
      All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness...
      II Peter 1:19-21:
      And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
    2. Eph. 2:20
      built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone
      Rev. 22:18-19
      I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
      Isa. 8:20
      To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.
      Luke 16:29, 31
      But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ ...He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”Answer: The holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, [1] the only rule of faith and obedience.
      Gal. 1:8,9
      But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

      As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
      II Tim. 3:15-16
      ...and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness...
    From the Westminster Larger Catechism.

    Friday, November 11

    November Colours


    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    Today I'm thankful for all those who died in the service of their countries. I'm thankful for all those who served without paying the ultimate price, too.

    I'm thankful for the teacher (a former coworker of my husband's) who took youngest son aside yesterday to tell him some of the specifics of my husband's service in Viet Nam. We know some of the stories, but we don't understand the context, and this man, being a military historian, does.

    In Flanders Fields

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    ---by John McCrae

    [Update: The Crusty Curmudgeon has been posting letters home from Winnie: 23th August 1916, 6th October 1916, 6th November 1916, Feb 1917, 29th March 1917, 16th April 1917. Update 4: Finish off the series with "It will be one of the biggest things in Canadian history". And then thank Scott for letting us in on some of his family history.]

    [Update 2: Chris is thankful for his home fellowship group.]

    [Update 3: Julana is thankful for family.]

    What are you thankful for?

    Thursday, November 10

    November's Theme: Thankfulness

    Today I'm thankful for reader participation. It makes blogging so much more fun.

    Julana, considering her Mennonite heritage, is thankful for the things they've handed down:
    I look back at these people, and at my own grandparents, and am so thankful for the faith and values they handed down, and for the vessels of tradition it was carried in.
    She's also thankful for her own lactation consultant, and lactation consultants in general.

    Update: Kim in ON is thankful for her daughter.
    She had to share her testimony on tuesday evening with some younger girls, and when she did, mentioned something I said that affected her walk with the Lord. I'm thankful that she remembered something I said.
    Kim in IL is
    thankful for 34 more bags of leaves on the curb and Sam who helped me rake and bag.

    I'm thankful for a husband who says, "Don't cook, we'll pick up some steaks to throw on the grill."

    I'm thankful that salad comes in a bag.
    Thirty-four more bags? I just might be thankful for snow.

    Update 2: Martin LaBar is thankful for
    leaves, electricity, the Web, my family, the Bible, forgiveness, and basketball.
    Rev-ed is thankful for his family.
    I baptized my oldest child last weekend. He's becoming a man, slowly but surely. And I really enjoy listening to him sit and play his guitar. It's like a soundtrack for my life.

    My middle child is the social one, yet even he keeps bringing home straight A's on his report card. I can't wait to see what God does with him!

    My little girl just turned four. I'm getting to spend A LOT of time with her these days and it makes my heart smile.

    My wife has been forced back into the workplace this week. She wasn't happy about leaving home so much, but she was determined to help out.

    I thank God that He saw fit to bless me in such a remarkable way.

    What are you thankful for?

    Wednesday, November 9

    Phrases That Should Never Cross Your Lips

    • I don't mean to toot my own horn, but.... Have you ever heard this phrase when it wasn't a lie? Similar to another obnoxious phrase, "I don't mean to brag...."
    • No offense, but.... The problem with this phrase is that it's almost always followed by something that means "You're fat!", or "You're dumb!", or "That roast would have been much better if you'd cooked it for 7 hours less." No one ever says, "No offense, but that supper was the tastiest I've had in years!"
    • Don't take this the wrong way. If you need to use this phrase, there's only one way for anyone to take what you're about to say--and that's the wrong way.
    • I'm saying this in Christian love. Carla adds this one for us, and says sometimes it's used when "what's being said seems about as love-motivated as a baseball bat to the forehead." She has a way with words, doesn't she?
    • I'm sorry, but.... Kim from ON says, "If you're saying sorry, say sorry. Adding the 'but' may mean you're not really sorry." I agree. The "but" is usually followed by an excuse of some sort or another, and what's really been said is "I'm sorry, but it wasn't my fault."
    • I just thought you should know. Kim from IL adds this lovely one, which can sometimes be used to introduce some helpful tidbit of information, but often is followed "by the person sharing something that even if you HAD known you couldn't've done anything about it, and even knowing it now, there is no way you can 'fix' it."
    • But I believe that.... Shaun says he hears this one is used by pastors when "But God says that" would be better. Yep, that the pastor believes it doesn't really settle things, does it? That God said it ought to.
    • With all due respect.... Honest Brian in Fresno admits to using this one when he's really meant just the opposite. It's often used that way--when it really means, "I don't consider you to be due much respect"--isn't it?
    • Don't take this personally, but.... The other Rebecca adds this phrase. "This is almost invariably followed by something that is impossible not to take personally, as in, 'Don't take this personally, but I think all bloggers are foolish time wasters and have huge ego problems.'"
    • Don't take this for evil. From Rebecca, too, who tells us this is a German phrase, which her family likes to use for comic relief. They always , she says, follow it with "the most horrendous insult." All in fun, of course.
    • I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but... Rebecca's addition again. You've heard this one, haven't you, and the person who says it is usually trying to tell you exactly what you should do.
    • I don't mean to be rude, but.... Rebecca, too. (You can tell her family specializes in these!) She tells a little story about this one:
      I was visiting a friend of mine and her young daughter was eager for me to leave so the family could go out for pizza. She said, in an effort to hasten my departure, "I don't mean to be rude, but---" only to have her mother interject, "Then don't say it!"

      The little girl repeated, "I don't mean to be rude, but when are you ever going to leave?"

      Her mother and I both burst into laughter, and we said, "Well, for someone who didn't mean to be rude, you sure were!" Even she saw the humor in what she had said and decided this phrase simply didn't make sense.
    • Now I ( insert suitable word: love, respect, have a lot of regard for...) ( insert name: my pastor, my mother-in-law, my husband...) but.... This is one that causes Violet's antennae to go up, especially when the relationship between the speaker and the person being talked about is a close and trusting one. It's a little disloyal, isn't it?

    Got more?