Tuesday, January 31

Korean Orphan Choir

and Other Gospel Music from the 1940s-60s

This week I got an email from a man who is married to a former member of this children's choir. I'd mentioned here that I'd heard them sing as a child, and that my family had an KOC album that we listened to. He was hoping that I still had the album (I don't) so he could buy it for his wife as a surprise gift, since she no longer has any of the albums, either.

While searching online to see what I could find for him, I found this: Streaming audio of a Korean Orphan Choir album.

This is from a site that has streaming audio from other sacred music from the 40s-60s, too. Jerome Hines, for instance, is another one whose albums were played in my home.

Or do you prefer your music sung with a brogue?

Tags: ,

Christian Carnival Reminder

Entries for the Christian Carnival are due by tonight (January 31) at midnight EST. 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 (February 1) carnival at Attention Span.

You'll find more complete information on the Christian Carnival here.

Tags: ,

Monday, January 30

An April Green They Were

....the green of early spring, before the ferns unfold their spiral heads....Oops, sorry, where was I?

You're a Narrative writer!

What kind of writer are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Via Ian's Messy Desk, from whence all fun things flow.

Round the Sphere Again

  • By now it's last week's Christian Carnival, but you'll find it posted here at Technogypsy.

  • Mark Roberts has finished up his series of post on The Bible, the Qur'an, Bart Ehrman, and the Words of God. There are several more articles than were there when I linked it last week.

  • David Heddle of He Lives has an informative series of notes from his Sunday School lessons on what he calls "the always electric topic of predestination":And he follows those up with his notes on Free Will.

  • James White has put all his posts debunking The Da Vinci Code into one file: Debunking Dan Brown's "Fact Based Fiction". To those who think it's silly to spend all that time responding to a book of fiction, he defends his work this way:
    ...the story of this book reflects Brown's own "research" on the subjects. You don't do "research" for years on material that is merely "fiction." Instead, the book is presented as fiction based on facts. The book itself begins by stating that what it says about art, architecture, and documents, is authentic. Authentic is not a synonym for "fiction." And that brings us to the key issue: no one is arguing Langdon or Teabing actually exist. They are the fictional characters. But the assertions they make, in the guise of setting the foundation for the central conspiracy theory of the book, are presented not as fiction, or mere speculations. They are presented as unquestioned historical facts.
    My daughter certainly knows from comments she hears at her job that many people take what's presented in this book as real history.

  • Remember the building collapse last week in Kenya? Tim of Mission Safari treated some of the victims. Here are his posts related to it:
  • Gotta love those lists! Wayne Leman of Better Bibles Blog has a list of free downloadable Bibles.

  • Randi's giving quilting lessons: Lesson 1, Lesson 2. This link comes via Hiraeth.

    Related Tags: , , , , ,
  • |

    Sunday, January 29

    Blackout Supper

    I was just about to post the Sunday hymn when the electricity went off. It stayed off all afternoon and through supper time. The sons took a spare Kielbassa sausage from the fridge, cut it up and roasted it like hotdogs in the fireplace. They said is was delicious.

    I'm not much of a Kielbassa fan, so I concocted a plan to use an old tin can to heat up some of the chili I made yesterday. Just as I was ready to start the big chili heat up, the electricity came back on, so I opted for the stove top instead.

    We were having so much fun sitting by the fireplace in the candlelight that we talked about just sitting there for a while after the lights came back, but then we remembered that there was a Raptors game on. We were just in time to see the Raptors beat the Kings in overtime. Gotta watch all you can of those winning game, since they come so rarely.

    Some people don't have power back yet, and while it's not as cold as it was, it's too cold to go for long without any heat at all.

    I hoped to post a very belated Round the Sphere Again up this afternoon, since I've collected some good links over the past week, but I think that'll have to wait until tomorrow. Answering email will have to wait, too. (And no, Matt, I didn't get the mail from you yet, but I'm betting on tomorrow for that as well.)

    I did get a lot of reading done, though, so all is not lost.

    My daughter's boss was told that the power outage was caused by something major--in other words, it's not just an electrocuted raven--and we may have rotating power here for a while. Maybe I'll just post this right now to make sure it gets posted before we lose power again.

    Update, 1/30: Here's a news story on the Great Blackout of '06.

    Tags: , , , ,

    Sunday's Hymn: The Really Oldies

    This one comes to us from Synesius of Cyrene, who lived way, way, way back in the 400s, so this one's been around a very long time.
    Lord Jesus, Think on Me

    Lord Jesus, think on me
    And purge away my sin;
    From earthborn passions set me free
    And make me pure within.

    Lord Jesus, think on me,
    With many a care oppressed;
    Let me Thy loving servant be
    And taste Thy promised rest.

    Lord Jesus, think on me
    Amid the battle’s strife;
    In all my pain and misery
    Be Thou my Health and Life.

    Lord Jesus, think on me
    Nor let me go astray;
    Through darkness and perplexity
    Point Thou the heavenly way.

    Lord Jesus, think on me
    When floods the tempest high;
    When on doth rush the enemy,
    O Savior, be Thou nigh!

    Lord Jesus, think on me
    That, when the flood is past,
    I may th’eternal brightness see
    And share Thy joy at last.

    Lord Jesus, think on me
    That I may sing above
    To Father, Spirit, and to Thee
    The strains of praise and love.

    Saturday, January 28


    Tagged by Karen for this meme.

    Four Jobs You've Had

    These are my first four jobs:
    1. Camp counselor
    2. Truck stop gas jockey/bookkeeper
    3. Receptionist/switchboard operator
    4. Paper pusher/form filler-outer

    Four Places You've Lived

    Okay, so these are the first four places I lived:
    1. Dayton, TN
    2. Belleview, ID
    3. Wheaton, IL
    4. Bemidji, MN

    Four Vacations You've Taken
    1. Disneyland
    2. Fishing in Petersburg, AK
    3. Visiting relatives in Minnesota
    4. My uncle's ranch in Idaho

    Four Vehicles You've Owned
    1. The Honda Accord in the driveway is the first vehicle that's been in my name, so the others are just vehicles we've owned and I've driven.
    2. 1971 Porsche 914
    3. 1975 GMC Jimmy
    4. 1990 Camry

    Four Blogs I Want to Tag

    Okay, I shall now annoy some people I know in real life by tagging them:
    1. Kevin
    2. Chris
    3. Scott
    4. Violet (I don't know Violet in real life....yet. But I figure she's the other blogger I'm most likely to meet sometime in real life.)

    And This Just In...

    from the exciting world of curling.

    Once again, the American Olympic Men's and Women's Curling teams are from my hometown, the curling power-house of Bemidji, Minnesota.

    [Update: Thanks to Brandon to the link to the Women's Curling Team Blog: Curlgirls.com Team USA.]

    While we're on the subject, here are some signs you could be Minnesotan. Cleverest one?
    You're a card-carrying member of both the NRA and the ACLU.
    Tags: , , , .

    Proof That I Am Not Tim Challies

    The organizing bug continues to influence. Here's a list of all the book reviews I've done.
    Tags: , ,

    Friday, January 27

    Today's News

    I used my blogging time today to write up something on the ordo salutis to post at Theologica.

    And while I was doing that, The New York Time Travel Section put up an article telling you all to come visit me.
    Spend a winter weekend in Whitehorse (population: 22,000), and you'll find that the spell is truly contagious. The capital of Canada's Yukon Territory was so named because Gold Rush stampeders found that the since-tamed rapids of the Yukon River reminded them of the flowing manes of stallions. Whitehorse is sub-Arctic, so winter is obviously cold, with temperatures often down around zero degrees Fahrenheit. But dark it is not. You could enjoy more rays on an abbreviated February day than in an entire week down south in the Pacific Northwest. The clear nights are often highlighted by a symphony of color called aurora borealis, the Northern Lights. The people? Friendly -- and hearty indeed.
    Book your tickets now!

    To those of you who have emailed me in the past few days: Answering my email is on my list for thing to do tomorrow.

    Tags: , , , , ,

    Thursday, January 26

    Book Review: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?

    Trusting God with a Hope Deferred by Carolyn McCulley[1], reviewed for The Diet of Bookworms.

    Carolyn McCulley has written Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? for Christian single women, particularly for women who remain single beyond the time when most women are married. It's a book full of encouragement--encouraging the single woman to trust God with his plan for her life and to live her life fully for His glory.

    I married quite young, so the situation of a woman who's never been married is not one I've experienced. I had to try to imagine what that would have been like, so I'm probably not the very best person to evaluate experientially whether this book is useful for someone living the single life. However, I can tell you that the wisdom found here is grounded in scripture, which tells you the most important thing you need to know in order to evaluate its usefulness.

    After establishing in the first three chapters that singleness is a valuable gift from God, and that God is sovereignly working in all things to bring about his good his plan for our lives, Carolyn McCulley gets to what I consider to be the meat of this book: the nitty-gritty of living the life of a single woman for God's glory. And she bases it all in that famous passage of scripture from Proverbs 31--you know, the Excellent Wife passage.

    Here's how she defends her use of this passage as the guide for the single woman:
    The role described in this passage is that of a wife, but her godly, noble character is what all women should desire. It will serve us in every season of our lives.[2]
    And she's right, of course. The passage may be about a noble wife, but what's noble in a wife is what's noble in any woman. The Proverbs 31 qualities are qualities of excellence, desirable for every woman in every situation. For example, the noble woman Proverb 31 is a hospitable woman. In the same way, a single woman can use her home to serve others. The excellent wife of Proverbs is generous with the needy, so the single women, too, can learn to look beyond herself and her own needs to consider how she can help meet the needs of others.

    Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? is peppered throughout with interesting stories and anecdotes, many from the author's own life; and thankfully, she's not afraid to tell the stories that make her look less than perfect. All this makes for a lively and engaging read, but one that's challenging and thought-provoking as well. If you're a single Christian woman who's trying to sort through the challenges of "a hope deferred", you'll want to read this book. Or if you know a single Christian woman who needs encouragement, recommend this book to her.

    [1]Carolyn McCulley blogs at Solo Femininity.

    [2]Page 50.

    Tags: , , ,

    Wednesday, January 25

    Called According to Paul: Romans 9

    An explanation of this series of posts can be found here. You'll find the previous seven posts in the series listed under Current Series in the sidebar.

    Some form of the word called is found five times in Romans 9, first in verse 11:
    And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."(Romans 9:10-13 ESV)

    There's no need for me to explain all of Romans 9 here, as these posts have a very specific purpose--getting at the way Paul uses the word call. Here are a few things I see in these verses:
    • Yet again, the call is associated with God's purpose, in this case it's God's purpose of election. God's call is based in God's will or plan or purpose.

    • God's call is put in opposition to "works": not because of works but because of his call. That God calls is the determining factor in the older son serving the younger, and not the good or bad deeds of the sons. We might say that God's call, in the way Paul uses the term, works freely to accomplish God's purpose. God's call brings about God's plan, and in this case, God planned for Esau to serve Jacob, and God's call causes that plan to become a reality.

    • Just as we've seen in some of the other passages, God call is associated with God's love for a particular person, and with God's choice (election).

    Later in this chapter, Paul uses called again:
    What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory--even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea,
    "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,'
    and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'
    And in the very place where it was said to them,
    'You are not my people,'
    there they will be called 'sons of the living God.'"
    (Romans 9:22-26 NET)

    In these verses
    • God's calling is associated with God's mercy.

    • It's associated, too, with a prior plan of God--"prepared beforehand".

    • God's call causes things to happen. It's a call with power. Those who were not God's people become his people, or become "beloved", or become "sons of the living God" because of God's call.

    What do you see that I missed? What can you see in this passage about the way Paul uses the word "called" when he uses it in regards to the call of God?

    Tags: , ,

    Celebrating Robbie with a List


    Tuesday, January 24

    Christian Carnival Reminder

    Entries for the Christian Carnival are due by tonight (January 24) at midnight EST. 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 (January 25) carnival at Technogypsy.

    You'll find more complete information on the Christian Carnival here

    Some Things That Fly

    Some things that fly there be,—
    Birds, hours, the bumble-bee:
    Of these no elegy.

    Some things that stay there be,—
    Grief, hills, eternity:
    Nor this behooveth me.

    There are, that resting, rise.
    Can I expound the skies?
    How still the riddle lies!

    ---Emily Dickinson

    It's Still Growing

    Here's concrete proof that this blog has the best readers ever: There are several new and wonderful items on the list of things to ask for on behalf of you local church.

    I wonder what would happen if everyone of us committed to praying through that list every week?

    (And don't think this means you have to stop contributing items to the list! I'd love to have even more.)

    Tags: , ,

    Monday, January 23

    A Collection of Lists


    Sunday, January 22

    Prayer List for Your Church

    What things should we pray for when we pray for our local church?

    Let's make another cooperative list. Leave your suggestions in the comments, and I'll move it up to the body of the post as I can. If you've got scripture to support your suggested prayer request, so much the better.

    I'll start; then you can add.

    1. Pray that God will continue his saving work in the members by working increasing sanctification within them.
      For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.... And I pray this, that your love may abound even more and more in knowledge and every kind of insight so that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:6, 9-11 NET)

    2. Pray that God would give us a "spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him", and that we would know
      what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead... (Eph. 1)
      Suggested by Anne.

    3. Julana suggests that we pray for the minister's marriage and family life. Since managing a household well is one of the requirements for an overseer given to us in scripture, isn't this is a crucial prayer to make on behalf of our pastors?
      The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife... He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity. But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God? (1 Timothy 3:2,4-5 NET)

    4. Kim in IL likes to pray as Paul did in Colossians 1:
      We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. . .For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. (Colossians 1:3,9-12)

    5. Island Sparrow adds another great prayer from Paul:
      For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

      Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

    6. Eric Zeller give us a whole list of his own, which you can also find posted on his blog. First up: Pray that you would submit to your leaders and be a joy to them as they keep watch over your soul.
      Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. Let them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to conduct ourselves rightly in every respect. ( Heb. 13:17-18.)

    7. Pray for unity.
      Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory. (Romans 15:5-7 NET)
      (See also Philippians 2:1-8)

    8. Pray that God would give your leaders the grace to remain qualified for the offices they hold. (Qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Also see list item 3, above.)

    9. Pray that your leaders will fulfill 1 Peter 5:1-4:
      So as your fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings and as one who shares in the glory that will be revealed, I urge the elders among you: Give a shepherd’s care to God’s flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God’s direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. And do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock. Then when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away.

    10. Pray that those in the church put on the whole armor of God.
      Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:11-13. See also 14-20.)

    11. Pray that the church would fulfill it's mission of making disciples
      Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-30 NET)
      List items 6-11 are all from Eric Zeller.

    12. Martin Labar has written a whole article on what things we should ask for on behalf of our fellow believers. He gives us two of them in the comments: That other believers don't sin,
      Now we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong, not so that we may appear to have passed the test, but so that you may do what is right even if we may appear to have failed the test. (2 Corinthians 13:7-10 NET)

    13. and that their love may increase.
      And I pray this, that your love may abound even more and more in knowledge and every kind of insight...(Philippians 1:9 NET)

    14. Karen adds several requests (List items 14-17) for us to make for our leaders so that they would have the courage and boldness to be true shepherds, leading the sheep and not lording it over them. (See item 9 above.) First on her list: Pray that our leaders would be willing to study and pray.
      But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:4 NET)

    15. Pray that our leaders can lead us to the truth.
      Therefore, I intend to remind you constantly of these things even though you know them and are well established in the truth that you now have. Indeed, as long as I am in this tabernacle, I consider it right to stir you up by way of a reminder, since I know that my tabernacle will soon be removed, because our Lord Jesus Christ revealed this to me. Indeed, I will also make every effort that, after my departure, you have a testimony of these things. (2 Peter 1: 12-15 NET)

    16. Pray that our leaders can protect the church from false teachers.
      Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world’s perspective and the world listens to them. We are from God; the person who knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit. (1 John 4:1-6 NET)

      See also Galatians 1:6-12.

    17. Pray that our leaders would bring correction and discipline to those who are in open sin.
      But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you. (1 Corinthians 5:11-13 NET)

    18. Pray that we look to glorify our Heavenly Father, not our church, its members or its pastor. Suggested by rev-ed.

    19. Kim in ON suggests that we pray for humility among the members.
      Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Chrrist Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7)

    Now it's your turn. What've you got?

    (Update: Wow! You guys are great! Let's keep it going...)

    Tags: , , ,

    Sunday's Hymn: The Really Oldies

    This one is from Aurelius Prudentius, and written in the fifth century or thereabouts.
    Of the Father's Love Begotten

    Of the Father's love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
    He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,
    Of the things that are, that have been,
    And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

    At His Word the worlds were framed; He commanded; it was done:
    Heaven and earth and depths of ocean in their threefold order one;
    All that grows beneath the shining
    Of the moon and burning sun, evermore and evermore!

    He is found in human fashion, death and sorrow here to know,
    That the race of Adam's children doomed by law to endless woe,
    May not henceforth die and perish
    In the dreadful gulf below, evermore and evermore!

    O that birth forever blessed, when the virgin, full of grace,
    By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Savior of our race;
    And the Babe, the world's Redeemer,
    First revealed His sacred face, evermore and evermore!

    This is He Whom seers in old time chanted of with one accord;
    Whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word;
    Now He shines, the long expected,
    Let creation praise its Lord, evermore and evermore!

    O ye heights of heaven adore Him; angel hosts, His praises sing;
    Powers, dominions, bow before Him, and extol our God and King!
    Let no tongue on earth be silent,
    Every voice in concert sing, evermore and evermore!

    Righteous judge of souls departed, righteous King of them that live,
    On the Father's throne exalted none in might with Thee may strive;
    Who at last in vengeance coming
    Sinners from Thy face shalt drive, evermore and evermore!

    Thee let old men, thee let young men, thee let boys in chorus sing;
    Matrons, virgins, little maidens, with glad voices answering:
    Let their guileless songs re-echo,
    And the heart its music bring, evermore and evermore!

    Christ, to Thee with God the Father, and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
    Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving, and unwearied praises be:
    Honor, glory, and dominion,
    And eternal victory, evermore and evermore!

    Do you read Latin? Here are the Latin lyrics.

    Tags: ,

    Friday, January 20

    Is There Another Word for Thesaurus?

    If you look up the definition of thesaurus, you'll find that it's a book of synonyms, and if you look up the definition of synonym, you'll find that it's "a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word in a language." Most often, a synonym will fit under the nearly the same category, as it's a rare thing when two words have exactly the same meaning.

    One of my favorite lists of synonyms in any thesaurus is the list given for the noun fight. It makes sense that there would be so many fun ones, since there are so many fun ways of disagreeing. Here are a few:
    • skirmish
    • struggle
    • melee
    • duel
    • tussle
    • scuffle
    • scrimmage
    • fracas
    • brouhaha
    • kerfuffle
    • dogfight
    • pitched battle
    • battle royal
    • feud
    • wrangling
    • set-to
    • tussle
    • squabble
    • brawl
    • scrap
    • spat
    • tiff
    • joust
    • tilt
    That isn't a complete list, but most of the ones that aren't boring are there.

    And speaking of boring, let's say the combatants in the kerfuffle agree to compromise. Things aren't nearly so exciting, situation-wise or synonym-wise:
    • mutual concession
    • accomodation
    • agreement
    • settlement
    • truce
    • compact
    • happy medium
    Okay, the last one's not quite so boring as the rest, but it doesn't hold a candle to battle royal, does it?

    One way to use a thesaurus is to keep text from sounding repetitive. If someone doesn't want to use the same word over and over, they can look up synonyms to use instead. But you can usually smell the thesaurus when someone's done that. There's another, better way to use your treasury of synonyms.

    Lord Chesterfield pointed out that there is always "some little difference, some distinction, between all those words that are vulgarly called synonymous--one hath always more energy, extent, or delicacy than another." It's that synonyms are not the same, but nearly the same, that makes a thesaurus is so useful. The very best way to use it is to find the one synonym that's different from the others in precisely the way needed to express perfectly what you want to say. Was the fight a pitched battle or a skirmish? It's the nuances of meaning that you see when all the synonyms are lined up together that help you call a spade a spade, and not a shovel.

    Tags: , , ,

    What is the work of creation?

    The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of his power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for himself, within the space of six days, and all very good.[1]

    1. Gen. ch. 1
      In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth....(click link to read the whole chapter)

      Heb. 11:3
      By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
      Prov 16:4
      The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
      even the wicked for the day of trouble.

    Question 15, Westminster Larger Catechism.

    Tags: ,

    Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

    I bet you'd forgotten that there's still another draw prize due for the Canadian Christian Blog Showcase, the prize drawn from the names of all those who linked to the showcase. There were 11 of you, altogether, from whom this lucky (providential?) winner was drawn.

    And the winner is Carla Rolfe. Her prize is the medium sized Canadian scenic wall calendar shown in this post. All I need is for Carla to email me (The Contact Rebecca link, under my photo in the sidebar) with her mailing address.

    I still haven't sent out Violet's calendar, either, since I was hoping to do only one trip to the post office. So she can stop sitting out by the mailbox for at least a few days.

    Another bit of EXTRA news: Dan Edelen has finished up his 21 Steps to a 21st Century Church series with a fifth post. He also has a post linking the whole series.

    Yet more: Catez of Allthings2all reminds us that our blogs are read world-wide, so we need to be sensitive to the various language cultures.

    Thursday, January 19

    Round the Sphere Again

  • You'll find this week's Christian Carnival posted here at Dunmoose the Ageless.

  • Mark D. Roberts has a series of posts titled The Bible, the Qur'an, Bart Ehrman, and the Words of God that I highly recommend. I was particularly interested in the posts that deal with Bart Ehrman's book Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why:
    1. Do We Even Have the Bible God Inspired?
    2. The Text-Critical Case Against Biblical Inspiration, Section A
    3. The Text-Critical Case Against Biblical Inspiration, Section B

    He promises more posts in this series as well, so if you enjoyed those, you'll want to go back to check for more.

  • Mark Roberts also links to two reviews of Bart Ehrman's book:
    1. Review of Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus, by P.J Williams at Evangelical Textual Criticism, a blog you'll want to bookmark if you're interested in textual critical issues.
    2. Review of Bart D. Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005) by Daniel Wallace.

  • And there are more Ehrman links: On the Dividing Line, James White has been taking on Ehrman's remarks in an interview on NPR:
    1. December 16
    2. December 20
    3. December 22
    4. December 28
    5. December 29
    6. January 3
    7. January 5
    8. January 10
    9. January 17.

  • Dan Edelen has a intriguing series with some of his suggestions for ways for the church to improve:21 Steps to a 21st Century Church: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

    You probably won't agree with them all, but that's beside the point, because they'll make you think.

  • The Parableman discusses the ideas and statements of the Emergent Church in Emergent Church: Apostate or Nothing New Under the Sun?
    It might well be that the Emergent Church has something new to offer that isn't constitutive of apostacy. But the two most obvious ways to take some of their central claims do seem to me to be ambiguous between two primary interpretive frameworks: (1) that they are saying something new that in fact distances them from central Christian teaching and (2) that they are saying something that isn't really new among evangelicals but because of their false categories they've taken to be new.

  • Update: Oops, I forgot. There's more fundametalism discussion:
    1. At Jordan's View: Fundamentalism: Not Necessarily a Bad Word
    3. Doug at CoffeeSwirlsgives us Fundamentalism: Legal and Narrow?

  • Magic Statitics give us A primer on crime statistics, which discusses how crime statistics are collected and what must be done in order to make meaningful comparisons of crime statistics between nations.

  • Dr. Bob explains why cancer screening is not as simple as you might think. Once again, it's all about statistics.

  • There's more discussion on the comments of this post.

  • Keep checking out Best of the GodBlogs.

    Tags: , , , ,
  • |

    Wednesday, January 18

    Questioning the Candidates

    Ian with the Messy Desk has posted a list of election bulletins from various Canadian organizations. It's a diverse group, with very different viewpoints, but you'll probably a group or two that share your beliefs and priorities.

    As an example of the sort of information you can get from this list, there is a page of sample questions for the candidates from The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. Here are some of the suggested questions.

    On marriage:
    1. Would you support the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others?
    2. Will you take active steps to re-affirm the heterosexual definition of marriage?
    3. What will you do to protect the religious freedom of those who do not support same-sex marriages?

    On respect for human life:
    1. What do you believe should be the legal status of the unborn child?
    2. Would you support the introduction of legislation to regulate abortion in Canada?
    3. Do you support the existing laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide?
    4. What steps will you take to support palliative care?

    Several of the listed organizations have similar sample question pages.

    Tags: , , ,

    God and Evil, Some Quotes

    Shaun quotes from the WCF in the comments on the previous post on this subject.
    God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[1]

    Here's a bit from Jonathan Edwards, who first notes that no one ever defines what they mean when they use the phrase author of sin, they just use it to suggest that someone crossed some sort of blasphemous line, but it's not made clear exactly where that line is:
    If by the Author of Sin be meant the Sinner, the Agent, or the Actor of Sin, or the Doer of a wicked thing; so it would be a reproach and blasphemy, to suppose God to be the Author of Sin. In this sense, I utterly deny God to be the Author of Sin; rejecting such an imputation on the Most High, as what is infinitely to be abhorred; and deny any such thing to be the consequence of what I have laid down. But if by Author of Sin is meant the permitter, or not a hinderer of Sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy, and most excellent ends and purposes, that Sin, if it be permitted or not hindered, will most certainly and infallibly follow: I say, if this be all that is meant, I do not deny that God is the Author of Sin, (though I dislike and reject the phrase, as that which by use and custom is apt to carry another sense,)....[2]

    [1] Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter III, Of God's Eternal Decree, Section I.
    [2] On Freedom of the Will, Part IV, Section IX, page 76.

    Tags: , , , ,

    Operator, Oh Could You Help Me Place This Call?

    Several years ago there was a typo in the Yukon phone book, and the number for one of the local radio stations was wrong. Instead of the right number, which was one digit different than our home phone number, the number listed for the station was our own number. The radio station got on things right away. They sent out flyers with their right number on it, and kept repeating the right number on air, but for a couple of years, at least 4 or 5 times a day we'd answer the phone to hear these words: "I'd like to request a song...."

    Finally the radio station got all new numbers that were nothing like ours, and the wrong number phone calls gradually petered out. There've been no rogue phone calls for at least 4 years, but this morning, in the space of an hour, I had two phone calls intended for the radio station.

    Guess where the callers got the number they were calling? From 411, the local directory assistance. I've been trying to create scenarios for the directory assistance operator using a 10 year old list of phone numbers, but I haven't come up with anything yet.

    I hope those two people get their money back. And their song played, too.

    Tags: ,

    Tuesday, January 17

    Christian Carnival Reminder

    Entries for the Christian Carnival are due by tonight (January 17) at midnight EST. 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
    • (Sorry, no trackbacking available this week.)
    Then look for your entry in tomorrow's (January 18) carnival at Dunmoose the Ageless.

    You'll find more complete information on the Christian Carnival here.

    Tags: , ,

    Frappr Complaint

    Yes, I've been doing more than my fair share of complaining here lately, but how would you like it if Frappr never let you join a Frappr group? If it always said your city was invalid? What do they want me to do? Move?

    So many peeves, so little time....

    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    Monday, January 16

    The Discussion I Can't Stay Away From

    It's in my blood, or something. At least this time I stayed away until I sensed a genuine (rather than a Calvinist-baiting) question. From the Baptist Board, in a thread titled God responsible for evil?, this question is asked.
    But if God ordains something, does that mean he makes people do things?
    My response (edited to correct errors and further clarify some things):
    No, not in the case of evil acts. God ordains that evil acts come about by way of his permission. All systems of theology--at least all of those that deal in any way with God's decrees--say that God decreed (or ordained) the fall, for instance; but all have this decree as a decree of permission.

    God is not the direct cause of any evil act, but decreeing to permit a certain evil act is a cause of that act, just not the direct cause. God choosing to allow a specific evil act makes it certain that it will occur, and if he had chosen not to allow it, it certainly would not occur. In that way, God's decision regarding any evil act is a cause of the act, because whether that act occurs or not is dependent on what decision God made in eternity regarding it--whether to allow it or not.

    That's the reason that Acts can use such strong language regarding God's role in the evil acts of those who crucified Christ. Scripture says those acts were "God's definite plan," and that what was done by Herod, Pontius Pilate, etc was "predestined by God's plan" (Acts 2 and 4). They were predestined (or decreed or ordained) acts brought about by way of God's choice to allow them, and perhaps by other means as well, like the setting up specific circumstances, but not by the Spirit's direct agency.

    Tags: ,


    It seems the lastest thing is embellishing iPods so that your own is not just like everyone else's. Here's what youngest son did with his yesterday afternoon.

    How did he do it? He carefully marked off his stripes by covering the unstriped portion with exacto knife cut out pieces of a bumper sticker. Then the covered iPod was placed face down on a towel. Next, he sanded the stripes with 1000 grit sandpaper until he thought things were perfect.

    In the photo, the sanded stripes look more shiny than the rest, but in real life, the rest is more shiny than the stripes.


    A Little More on the Fundamentals


    Sunday, January 15

    Sunday's Hymn: The Really Oldies

    I've decided that for a while I'll be going way back in history for Sunday's hymns. This one's from Bernard of Clairvaux. It's a favorite of mine, although my hymnal doesn't have most of these verses. Pity!
    Jesus the Very Thought of Thee

    Jesus, the very thought of Thee
    With sweetness fills the breast;
    But sweeter far Thy face to see,
    And in Thy presence rest.

    Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
    Nor can the memory find
    A sweeter sound than Thy blest Name,
    O Savior of mankind!

    O hope of every contrite heart,
    O joy of all the meek,
    To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
    How good to those who seek!

    But what to those who find? Ah, this
    Nor tongue nor pen can show;
    The love of Jesus, what it is,
    None but His loved ones know.

    Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
    As Thou our prize will be;
    Jesus be Thou our glory now,
    And through eternity.

    O Jesus, King most wonderful
    Thou Conqueror renowned,
    Thou sweetness most ineffable
    In Whom all joys are found!

    When once Thou visitest the heart,
    Then truth begins to shine,
    Then earthly vanities depart,
    Then kindles love divine.

    O Jesus, light of all below,
    Thou fount of living fire,
    Surpassing all the joys we know,
    And all we can desire.

    Jesus, may all confess Thy Name,
    Thy wondrous love adore,
    And, seeking Thee, themselves inflame
    To seek Thee more and more.

    Thee, Jesus, may our voices bless,
    Thee may we love alone,
    And ever in our lives express
    The image of Thine own.

    O Jesus, Thou the beauty art
    Of angel worlds above;
    Thy Name is music to the heart,
    Inflaming it with love.

    Celestial Sweetness unalloyed,
    Who eat Thee hunger still;
    Who drink of Thee still feel a void
    Which only Thou canst fill.

    O most sweet Jesus, hear the sighs
    Which unto Thee we send;
    To Thee our inmost spirit cries;
    To Thee our prayers ascend.

    Abide with us, and let Thy light
    Shine, Lord, on every heart;
    Dispel the darkness of our night;
    And joy to all impart.

    Jesus, our love and joy to Thee,
    The virgin’s holy Son,
    All might and praise and glory be,
    While endless ages run

    Tags: ,

    Saturday, January 14

    Coffee Filter Conspiracy

    How's this for a scoop?

    Coffee filter makers everywhere have all banded together and they're making the 8-12 cup size basket style paper filter shorter. They used to be 2 and 1/2 inches tall, and now they're 2 and 1/4 inches. It's a black day in the history of coffee.

    I know you think I've gone off the deep end, but why else do the grounds float up over the top of the filter and into my coffee?

    Related Tags: ,

    Augustine's Been Active

    It's been increasingly active since May of 2005, but in the past few days there's been lots more activity. Yesterday, the volcano erupted 5 times, and the colour code was raised to RED.

    The news from the Alaska Volcano Observatory for Friday the 13th of January, 2006:
    Augustine volcano has entered a period of repetitive explosive eruptions. Today's eruptive events occurred at 4:44 AM, 8:47 AM, 11:22 AM, and 4:40 PM. Each of these events produced ash plumes, mudflows, and pyroclastic flows on the island.
    More info here, including links to two webcams, and here's the webicorder.

    Related Tags: , , , ,

    Friday, January 13

    How doth God execute his decrees? 

    God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will.[1]
    1. Eph. 1:11
      In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will...
    Question 14, Westminster Larger Catechism.

    Thursday, January 12

    It's a Hoar Frost World

    (Click to see the larger version.)


    Out of Canada Christian Blog Showcase

    It was Matt Gumm who made the statement about how many good Canadian bloggers there are. I'm hoping to prove him right with this post showcasing Christian bloggers from all across the country. Let's start in the Maritimes and move west to my own territory. (If I place your blog in the wrong category, please tell me so I can correct things.)

    The Maritimes

    • There's Carol of Carol's Storybook, who blogs from New Brunswick. Mothering and home life are her most frequent topics, but in this post she gets political and tells us why she'll be voting Conservative in the upcoming federal election.

    • Updated to add A Sparrow's Home, a Prince Edward Island blog suggested to me by Julana, who's been sick and unable to get back to me with the URL until now. You'll find breathtaking photos there, like this one of a kayaker among the icebergs.

    • Neil Shay is part of a whole blogging family. Better known around here is his wife, Kim from ON, who has been on my blog roll for quite a while. Neil has recently decided to blog, too, at Chez Kneel. The First Christmas, circa 1600 B.C. is one of a series of posts on the shadows of the Old Testament.

    • Kim Shay, Neil's wife, blogs at The Upward Call. There's one of the Turk's wooden nickels in her sidebar, too--this one awarded for Best Homeschool Blog. Kim writes inciteful posts daily. I especially like her Canadian history posts, and she's sharing one about Louis Riel with us in this showcase.

    • Tim Challies runs Challies.com. He's posted every single day for at least a couple of years, and that's not an easy thing to do. You'll also find that he reads a lot of books and posts a lot of reviews. This week he started a short series of posts on assurance of salvation. Here are the first and second posts in the series, and he promises the concluding post tomorrow.

    • Scott McClare's blog is The Crusty Curmudgeon. His sense of humour is right up my alley, and it's never sharper than when he's chasing wackos with his cane.

    • Michael Haykin writes on church history at Historia Ecclesiastica. Today he tells us John Bunyan's view on written prayers.

    • Ian Clary's blog is Ruminations by the Lake. Someday he wants to be a professional theologian, but right now he's taking on Rick Warren and his comments on fundamentalism.

    • There's also Mama Squirrel of Dewey's Treehouse, who tells us why educating your own children is not really like trying to do surgery at the kitchen table in Between Two Worlds.

    The Prairies
    • I'd seen Daniel from Winnipeg comment on various blogs I frequent, but I'd not visited his blog before he entered a post in the showcase. How I missed his blog, I don't know! After all, he's also been awarded a wooden nickel from Frank Turk. He blogs at Doulogos, and Moby Jack is his fish story.

    British Columbia

    The Yukon

    Believe it or not, way up here in this corner of the frozen north, where there are only 30,ooo people or so, I am in the company of other Christian bloggers!
    • Scott Gilbreath once blogged here as a guest blogger, and then just couldn't resist starting his own blog. It's called Magic Statistics, a phrase that alludes to a quote from Robertson Davies, another Canadian. Scott has a unique take on things, partly because he's a statistician, so he has the real scoop on all those statistics floating around trying to confuse us. In this post Scott asks and answers this question (with a little help): Did primitive people invent religion to explain what they could not understand?

    • You know, I'm thinking this next Yukon blogger got his first taste of the blog world right here, too, when he let me post one of his photos of the S.S. Klondike. He dragged his blog feet a little longer than Scott of Magic Statistics did, but finally, Chris Klassen couldn't resist either. His blog is called Limited Thinking, but don't let the name fool you. His has his fair share of good thoughts running around his head. In this post, he tells us that he's a traditional guy.

    • And then there's my blog, which is right here. I sometimes do more serious posting, but I have the most fun with the not-so-serious stuff, like The Whole Tail Tale.

    The Draw Prize

    Now comes the real excitement! As promised, I'm drawning a name from all the bloggers who entered posts in the showcase, and that blogger will win a lovely Canadian scenic calendar and also a bit of Canadiana previously owned by Matt Gumm.

    So here goes. I'm drawing the name right now.....wait....wait.....wait.... it's Violet of promptings! If Violet will just send me her mailing address, I'll get that prize mailed as soon as possible.

    I know the rest of you are terribly disappointed, but not to worry. If you didn't win that calendar, you have a chance to win another one by linking to this post and trackbacking it or emailing me to tell me you linked. You'll find all the details on the prizes here.

    Wednesday, January 11

    Nag, Nag, Nag.....

    Remember, the deadline for the Out of Canada Christian Blog Showcase is tonight. Details are here and here.

    Make sure you come back tomorrow to see the showcase.

    And thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who have already contributed something!

    Best of the God Blogs

    You'll notice a new banner on the sidebar above the Blog of Beauty Award. It's for a new blog portal that advertises itself this way:

    Too many blogs? Too little time? Welcome to BGB:
    Your portal to the best of the Christian blogosphere.

    Go learn more about BGB and it's editor, Pastor Mark Swanson, here. You can also find out how you can contribute to Best of the God Blogs by submitting links to posts here.

    I'll be contributing there as an associate with a special focus on blog posts written by women.

    Tuesday, January 10

    Rick Warren and The Fundamentals of the Faith

    [Update 2: Jollyblogger has posted more extensive comments on the same interview. ]

    In Tim Challies A La Carte entry for today, he quotes Rick Warren from this interview, where Warren makes this statement:
    Now the word "fundamentalist" actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity...
    What are the Five Fundamentals?
    I grew up in churches that belonged to a loose fundamentalist organization, so I'm familiar with the fundamentals. Here's a list of the fundamentals as I learned them:
    1. The literal inerrancy of the autographs of scripture. (The word autographs means the original writings of the authors of scripture, so manuscript copies and translations are not included in what is inerrent according to the fundamentals.)
    2. The virgin birth and deity of Christ.
    3. The substitutionary view of the atonement .
    4. The bodily resurrection of Christ.
    5. The imminent return of Christ. (Originally there was not a specific eschatological view in mind here, since the founders of the fundamentalist movement were from various denominations and held various views of the end times.)

    Depending on where you look, you'll get a slightly different list. This one is from an article posted by the First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York:
    1. The inerrancy of the Bible.
    2. The virgin birth of Christ.
    3. Christ's substitutionary atonement.
    4. Christ's bodily resurrection.
    5. The authenticity of Christ's miracles.

    [Update 1: If my recollection is correct, and it might not be, there was a sort of unwritten sixth fundamental: Nonparticipation as a church body with groups that don't adhere to the five fundamentals. Warren doesn't seem to be referring to an unwritten sixth fundamental, but rather to the five.]

    Is Rick Warren right?
    Fundamentalist Christianity has taken on more "narrowness" since the movement started, and most groups that call themselves fundamentalist today have added fundamentals to the list, at least in practice, if not on paper. For instance, many are King James Version only, so they don't see inerrancy as something found only in the autographs of scripture, but also as something found in the text of the King James Version of the Bible. Another frequently added doctrinal fundamental is a dispensational premillenial view of eschatology. Many groups have also added matters of practice, in addition to matters of doctrine, to their list of fundamentals.

    However, I don't see either of these lists of original fundamentals as particularly legalistic and narrow, and I'd happily sign my name to either of them. In the same interview from which the above quote comes, Warren says that in doctrinal matters,
    it's what Augustine said: "In the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity."
    I'd see these five fundamentals as essentials. If affirming them as fundamentals is narrow, it's the necessary narrowness of unity around essentials.*

    To be fair to Rick Warren, in reading the whole text of the transcript, I'm not completely certain he meant to say that the original five fundamentals were legalistic and narrow. Here's the whole paragraph:
    Now the word "fundamentalist" actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity, and when I say there are very few fundamentalists, I mean in the sense that they are all actually called fundamentalist churches, and those would be quite small. There are no large ones.
    It may that he's just pointing out fundamentalism's roots, and then moving on to this present time, pointing out that there are not that many churches that actually call themselves fundamentalist churches, and those that do are, by and large, legalistic and narrow. If Warren's charge of narrow legalism is made toward what fundamentalism has become rather than the five fundamentals themselves, then he's not completely off base.

    If, however, he meant to say that the five fundamentals, as set out in the original books were narrow and legalistic, then I think he's full of beans, and I use that term in its technical sense.**

    What say ye? Are the original fundamentals of the faith legalistic and narrow?

    *The five fundamentals were not meant to be a summary of all essential Christian doctrines; but rather, they were particular doctrines that the framers of the five fundamentals considered to be under attack at the time the fundamentals were set down. As such, they would be an incomplete and unbalanced list of essentials.

    [**Yet another update: Since some of you seem to be unaware of the absolutely correct technical definition of being full of beans, I'll define it for you: Being full of beans is speaking a lot about something one knows very little.]

    Related Tags: , , ,

    Monday, January 9

    Out of Canada Christian Blog Showcase: There Be Prizes!

    Matt Gumm is just about the most inspiring person around. Having a prize for the showcase entrants was his idea, and I've taken that idea and gone with it.

    Here's how it will work. See that big calendar in the picture--the one at the bottom of the calendar pile? It's a huge wall calendar of panorama photos from all around Canada, including the Yukon. Along with that calendar will go a mystery prize, a piece of Canadiana that was once owned by Matt Gumm himself. These two lovely items will be sent to the winner of a draw that includes all those who entered their blog in the showcase. If you don't enter the showcase by midnight Wednesday, then you won't be in the draw, even though I may link to your blog in the showcase anyway. You'll find more info on the showcase (who can enter and how to go about it) right here.

    The second calendar, the medium sized one, which is also has photos from across Canada, will go out to the winner of a draw that includes all those who link to the showcase post once it's posted this coming Thursday. Just link to the showcase post in the week following it's posting, then trackback or email me with your link, and your name will go into the draw. Canadian or noncanadian, you are eligible for this prize as long as you link to the showcase post.

    The third, itty-bitty calendar? That one's going out to Matt Gumm himself, for noticing how many good Canadian Christian bloggers there are!

    And yes, that's a cat in the upper left of the photo. It's the ornery one who has to have his nose in all the business.

    Sunday, January 8

    Called According to Paul: Romans 8: 27-30

    An explanation of this series of posts can be found here. You'll find the previous six posts in the series listed under Current Series in the sidebar.

    Here's the text using the word called that we're examining in this post:
    He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (Romans 8:27-30 NASB)
    I've quoted more than just the verses with the word called in them because having all four verses helps to show the gist of the passage. If I were going to explain it, my explanation would be something like this:
    The Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints, asking for what is in accordance with God's will for them. And God works in all things to bring about his will for them. This means that all circumstances bring about good results for those who love God (or the saints, or the called), fulfilling God's will for them--a will which has as the ultimate good or final result their likeness to Christ's image, in order that Christ will be the firstborn with many siblings who bear his image. To this end he foreknew and predestined the saints, and as a result of his foreknowing and predestination, he calls them, justifies them, and eventually glorifies them. This calling, justifying and glorifying are part of the process of working Christ's image in them, part of the process of fulfilling God's will for them, part of the process of working good for them, and part of the process of bringing to pass what the Spirit intercedes for on their behalf.

    What we can learn about the way Paul uses the word called in these verses?
    • In 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14, we saw that being called is associated with our being loved by God, while in these verses, being called is associated with our loving God. Those who love God are those who are called. Being called is also related to being a saint or being holy. We've seen this idea in previous passages as well. So being a saint and being called and loving God are all closely connected in Paul's thought.

    • Once again, just as it was in a couple of our previous passages, the calling is grounded in God's will or purpose--a will or purpose that has been determined beforehand: "called according to his purpose..." and "whom he predestined, He also called..."

    • As we've also seen before, the calling is closely related to salvation, although the strength and nature of the relationship is spelled out for us here in a way it may not have been in previous texts: "...these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified." Calling is a result of God's foreknowing and predestining; calling results in justification and glorification. Verses 29 and 30 aren't called the golden chain of salvation for nothing. Each thing--foreknowing, predestining, calling, justifying and glorifying--is firmly linked with the others, and each link pulls the following link along with it; and the whole cart, right up to our final salvation when we are glorified and become complete image bearers of Christ, necessarily follows. So calling, as it's used here, is a calling with power: the power to bring about the whole of of salvation.

    • We are called so we will be like Christ. This is a calling that is an appointment to be something. We've seen elsewhere that Paul says that God's calling is to righteousness and holiness, or "so that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." * This is the same idea expressed differently.
    What do you see that I missed? What can you see in this passage about the meaning of the word called when it is used by Paul in regards to the call of God?

    *2 Thessalonians 2:13-14