Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Satisfying and substituting

I am still reading through The Cross of Christ. It is a brilliant book!

The biblical gospel of atonement is of God satisfying himself by substituting himself for us. The concept of substitution may be said, then, to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone.

Praise Him!

The word is a thing...?

If you have been in the church very long the content in this video will not be shocking to you. I post this not because the actual video clips are humorous (in fact they are sad) but because the commentary is humorous. I am posting this with some hesitation and because of that I will not make any comments or provide any disclaimers. Watch at your own theological discretion.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Design issue

Has anyone else noticed that there is a great deal of the above going on in design these days. I don't understand it. Can someone help me?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Dangers of Alcohol

I have a friend who lives in a Muslim area of the world. Recently he posted something to his blog about the dangers of alcohol. He did it jokingly in reference to the man who was eaten by a bear at a beer fest. The comments to this post have been interesting. I have posted the entire string below. The names and places have been changed to protect the ones who may or may not be wrong or right. David is the author of the blog. Goliath is the other commenter. What say ye?

While there are many reasons that alcohol does not have a place on my menu (especially living in a Mslim country), still the biggest reasons tend to be practical. It’s just plain nice to know, as best you can, what is going on around you. If you don’t understand, maybe the article below can draw you a picture. (Bears Eat Man)

Comment #1 - So, David, are you against drinking alcohol or against drunkenness? Are you setting aside your rights to drinking, for the sake of the gospel (ala 1 Cor 8-10), or do you agree with your Muslim neighbors that there is inherent evil in drinking alcohol?
Also, being drunk is not the only reason one would jump into a bear cage. What about Anchorman Ron Burgundy? He jumped into the bear pit to save the woman with whom he used to have familiar relations.

Comment # 2 - Goliath, I have a difficult time knowing when I’ve had enough to eat, let alone worrying about my choice of beverage.
But, for clarification. I am against drunkenness, not necessarily alcohol. I haven’t been able to come to any other conculsion Biblically. And, yes, ala 1 Cor 8, I set my freedom aside for the sake of the gospel. The best I can understand from my Muslim friends is that the evil in drinking comes from drunkenness. If drunkenness is evil, it’s easiest to avoid drunkenness by avoiding alcohol altogether.

Also, it’s an obvious choice to leap to the bears over a woman. Anyone would do that. But, the issue is being able to have that choice.

Comment # 3 - I’d jump into the bear pit for the woman with whom I have familiar relations …probably.
Well, let me press the point a bit further then. You said you have a difficult time knowing when you’ve had too much to eat. So, do you not eat? I know I’m being antagonistic, here, but this is a hot-button issue in my church and it really bugs me. The statement, “If drunkenness is evil, it’s easiest to avoid drunkenness by avoiding alcohol altogether,” is exactly what many at my church say, and it smacks of legalism to me.
Where does that trail end? It just seems that to be consistent to this principle, you also need to say, “Sex can be done sinfully, so I abstain from sex. Also, there are sinful things on TV and in movies, so I abstain from those things. Watching sports can lead to gambling, so I abstain from sports too. And there are naughty magazines in gas stations, so I don’t go into gas stations…” It bugs me that Christians have picked out this one thing to be legalistic about.
Sorry, I took a mainly light-hearted post and made it all serious and stuff. What a jerk.

Comment # 4 - to my friend, the jerk,
Pt pressed. First the above quoted statement is from my Muslim friends, not from me. That said, it is only legalism when dictated to others. When it is a personal conviction, can’t it just be wisdom?
The trail … While I don’t disagree with you too much, I think your examples aren’t quite fair. Sex is needed (and enjoyed) within a God-centered, healthy marriage. Food is necessary for a healthy life. Alcohol is not necessary for anything but pleasure. If I’m watching sinful things on TV or in movies, wisdom says to avoid them. If I struggle with sports gambling, wisdom says to avoid sports. If I struggle with naughty magazines, and they are available in gas stations I frequent, wisdom says find another gas station or don’t go into them (pay at the pump?). Don’t these fit into the eye gauging / hand chopping admonition of Jesus?
OK. I agree that in dictating conviction where Scripture seems to give freedom, you are bringing legalism into the church. But, for an individual to abstain from something to avoid personal sin, shouldn’t that be encouraged?
I don’t think Christians everywhere have picked this issue. It seems to be an American church issue. Here, it doesn’t seem to be an issue. But, everyone knows if you find a liqour shop in X, it’s probably ‘christian’ owned. That’s a little embarrassing too.

What say ye?

at our zoo?

Last Saturday we had a boys-day-out at the zoo. We saw several different types of animals. We saw flamingos, bears, lions, giraffes, penguins and monkeys. Later that day Ezra turned to me in a very serious way and asked "Daddy, we don't have dinosaurs at our zoo do we?" My response was simple but true - "no." Then we continued playing with his dump truck.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Purpose Driven Drinking

Many of you know I worked for the Man for 5 years. During my time there I was able to purchase stock at a discounted rate. We still have the stock and plan to keep it to pay for the education of our offspring.

Our boys really enjoy having coffee in the mornings. I know that sounds strange but they really do enjoy it. We have told them it may stunt their growth. They don't seem to care. We limit their intake of coffee to about once a week. They enjoy it but it may be because they know that, to some extent, what they are drinking will pay for their college. They have a purpose for drinking coffee.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

9 Marks Interviews

Maybe you like to rock out to the oldies while you sit in traffic. Maybe you like to listen to one-sided political jabs from egotistical radio personalities. Let me suggest something different. 9 Marks Ministries interviews pastors, theologians and authors about various topics. The audio interviews are posted to 9 Marks web site and are free!

This month Mark Dever interviews David Wells and asks him about "going against culture, contextualization, postmodernism, how to do theology as preachers, urban ministry, and more." I have enjoyed listening to these interviews during my 7 minute commute. Download the latest interview here.

*As a teaser...if you attended the Desiring God National Conference in October 2006 you will be interested in this interview. Dever asks Wells his opinion on Keller, Driscoll and Piper. Are they similar in approach to the culture or not?


It's a long story but...we get TIME magazine free. I wouldn't ever pay for the magazine but since it comes to our mailbox once a week I look at the pictures and skim some of the articles. The most recent TIME magazine has Billy Graham on the cover. Look at the cover. Do you see anything interesting about it? Do you think the layout team is using subliMinal messaging?

I'm just sayin.'

Monday, August 13, 2007

The pastoral beat-down

Last week I began reading The Cross of Christ. This book has been recommended by many. I have heard several pastors recommend this book as one of the top books in their library. I have had the book for several years and have never cracked it open. I began reading this book during one of my first "Q days" (Stott called his one day a month quiet day a "Q day"). I read 120 pages in one sitting. Stott has the ability to grab your theological mind just in time to slap you with the pastoral beat-down of application. For instance, after spending a few pages discussing details about the Roman soldiers and Pilate's role in Christ's last days Stott says,

It is easy to condemn Pilate and overlook our own equally devious behaviour. Anxious to avoid the pain of a whole-hearted commitment to Christ, we too search for convenient subterfuges. We either leave the decision to somebody else, or opt for a half-hearted compromise, or seek to honour Jesus for the wrong reason (e.g. as teacher instead of as Lord), or even make a public affirmation of loyalty while at the same time denying him in our hearts.

So far this book has been a great devotional read - one in which I commend to you if you like an occasional pastoral beat-down.


I love our boys. Kirsten and I have had an increased love for them over the past few weeks. I don't know why that happens at times but every now and again we are struck with an overwhelming love for them.

Last night I had one of those moments. We sat down to have our evening Bible reading time together. I began reading through the book of Matthew with them last night. We read the genealogy and talked about all of the people in Jesus' family and compared that to all of the people in our family. David was one of the names mentioned in the genealogy and for some reason Ezra grabbed on to that name. He said -

Oh, daddy! We need to read 'bout David. He ran to Doyiaff and played baseball and threw it and bonk it hit him on the head and he fell down. (read in one breath)

I believe Ezra is getting his stories mixed up a bit but he has the basics down. David hit Goliath and he fell down. Ezra is simply trying to contextualize the Old Testament stories so that they are more understandable. We all do this to some extent -don't we?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Home-grown salsa

This year we planted some vegetables and we are calling it a garden. We planted 4 different types of peppers, two types of tomatoes, onions, green beans, zucchini, sweet corn, and pumpkin. We have been pleasantly surprised by the sizable amount of fruit we have received from the little amount of work we have put into it. My goal for the summer was to be able to make salsa from our garden. Today it happened. Our boys waited around the table in anticipation of this great event. It's yummy.

Yes, those are both smiles.

Ezra trying it out. He liked it but the onions made him cry.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Owen S.W. McWhite

Welcome to this world O.S.W. McWhite. We are glad you are with us on this side of the womb. Congrats Bryan and Leslie! Boys are great!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It's the cheesiest

I have been re-thinking my Christian Cheese blog. Recently I have had some conversations with a friend about what should be posted on blogs. I believe we have both agreed that bashing others is easy to do but probably not most edifying thing to do on a blog. I have wondered if this bashing was taking place on my Christian Cheese blog. I don't mean harm by the blog but I do mean to question the motives and the efficacy of such Christian Cheese. Rick seems to like the format of the blog in that I typically try to leave my opinion out. What do you think?

50 conversa...nevermind

I was going to post "50 Conversation Starters" that my dad sent me but then realized that Rick already posted it. You can read them here. I may use them sometime.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What's in?

Once again we have added to the files of bedhead pictures. Asher is joining the ranks of bedhead fame. Do you think you have bad beadhead? Compare it to this!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Google Image Search - pt. 2

Again - I don't remember this photo being taken. This is definitely an action shot and I was not posing. I don't know who is uploading all of these photos of me but they are on Google Images so they must be of me.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Google Image Search

I did a Google Image Search for my name. This is one of the first images found in the search. Google is amazing! I don't remember who took that picture but I do remember it was at a Christmas party in the late 90's.