Saturday, January 30, 2010

Postmodern Architecture

wexFrom an address by Ravi Zacharias:

I remember lecturing at Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in this country. I was minutes away from beginning my lecture, and my host was driving me past a new building called the Wexner Center for the Performing Arts.

He said, “This is America’s first postmodern building.”

I was startled for a moment and I said, “What is a postmodern building?”

He said, “Well, the architect said that he designed this building with no design in mind. When the architect was asked, ‘Why?’ he said, ‘If life itself is capricious, why should our buildings have any design and any meaning?’ So he has pillars that have no purpose. He has stairways that go nowhere. He has a senseless building built and somebody has paid for it.”

I said, “So his argument was that if life has no purpose and design, why should the building have any design?”

He said, “That is correct.”

I said, “Did he do the same with the foundation?”

All of a sudden there was silence.

You see, you and I can fool with the infrastructure as much as we would like, but we dare not fool with the foundation because it will call our bluff in a hurry.

(HT: JT)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Difficulty a Creationist Had In Getting a Ph.D

"Getting a PhD in the United States is not normally a newsworthy event. After all, thousands of people do so every year. But on February 12, 2007, my picture was on the front page of the New York Times, with the headline "Believing Scripture but Playing by Science's Rules." Why the national spotlight? I had just received a PhD in geosciences from a respected secular university, and I am a young-earth creationist."

Read the whole article here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jan. 25 - Still Celebrating Christmas!

No, I'm not going crazy. This is the scene nearby our apartment on Dec... er, check that... January 25th!

Many times in the past I have been personally encouraged by seeing decorations coming out at the end of November in Japan. It reminds me a bit of home, even though I know that 99.5% of the people in Japan do not know Christ.

That being said, it stills seems a little funny to be "celebrating" the holidays a month, sometimes two months(!) after Christmas. Yes, last year our own dear apartment complex was decorated all the way until the end of February! The funny thing - this year our landlord, for one reason or another had absolutely no decorations up.

Anyway, Merry Christmas from Japan! May the light of Christ shine into your lives all year around!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

AiG's Castle Illustration
I thought this was a good summary of the previous post.

Questions to consider:
- Where are you aiming the guns of your thoughts, time and resources for God's glory?
- Do you think it is possible to effectively destroy the red balloon problems without addressing the foundational thinking of humanism that drives them?
- How could we be inadvertently attacking our own foundations by our lack of focus on the reliability and clarity of Genesis?

I encourage you to check out AiG's extremely helpful award-winning site here.
Weakening Foundations

As I was watching "Noah - The Musical" (see trailer below) recently, it struck me that the simple act of BUILDING the ark in Noah's day was as foolish as the act of simply BELIEVING the same story today. Sure we Christians believe in the resurrection; but no, no, not in a world-wide flood! Not in a huge boat that carried two of every living kind of animal on the Earth. Now that is just too crazy.

In our churches and Christian circles today, we are usually content with simply defending our New Testament, not in understanding or defending the Old. We are content to fight only against the fruit sins of our culture (homosexual marriage, abortion, etc.) as we forget the fight against the root sins of pride and arrogance over and against God's revealed Word.

It should be no surprise then that the new atheists, secular humanists (to name just a few) are gaining so much clout and esteem over and against us "Bible Thumpers". Our great towers of Christian morality and thought are being effectively undercut - the foundations are being removed and we are sitting by simply quoting our New Testaments rather than clearly defending the truth of the whole Bible.

It is no longer seen as a problem that the foundation of Genesis (in which all the key doctrines of the Bible have their foundation), is being laughed at. We would rather be cool than be connected with those "Ark builders". We have bigger and cooler fish to fry; bigger, cooler mountains to climb. Meanwhile our defense is losing all plausibility in a non-Christian world.

If God simply "used evolution" to create the world, He is no longer really needed, no longer compellingly believable. And if we are nothing but over-evolved animals, why should the abortion of lice or mice be any different to us than the abortion of humans? Why should any absolute morality be followed at all? It would be just downright cruel to prohibit two people who love each other from getting married. All of our Christian moral issues and causes are a joke, after we throw out the foundational importance of Genesis in our theology.

So, let me ask you: Do you believe in Genesis or do you believe it doesn't matter what we believe about it? Do you believe that science determines the right interpretation of Scripture or that context does? Does Scripture bring light to science, or does science interpret Scripture? Let us be wary of ignoring such key issues.

Tomorrow (Jan. 22) in the U.S. the anti-God movie, "Creation" debuts. (Watch the trailer here.) The attack continues. Do you know how to defend against it? Do you know Genesis well enough to do so? Let us strengthen our foundations while we can. (Is. 54:2)

Be sure to watch Nightline (11:35 pm Eastern 1/22) to see what the world (including Christians) are saying about the movie, "Creation". UPDATE: The Nightline broadcast has been rescheduled by the producers to 1/25 (Monday) at the same time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Amazing Testimonies of God's Grace

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The God of Second Chances
My brother Doug: This is beautiful. Apparently, Carlos Whittaker was recording a video in a bad part of town when a homeless man named Danny began to spontaneously worship with him.

The God Second Chances
My brother Doug: This is beautiful. Apparently, Carlos Whittaker was recording a video in a bad part of town when a homeless man named Danny began to spontaneously worship with him.

Rescued in Haiti
This is a powerful video.

(Ht: Z)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Me-Focused Religion?

Josh Harris wrote this a few years ago about how he grew up:

"Like many Christians my faith was often two parts Americanism and one part Christianity with a good dose of self-esteem thrown in. The poster on the wall of one Sunday school class read: "God made me and God don't make no junk."

I received the subtle but pervasive message of independence in my faith. As one writer put it, my faith was about Jesus and me, not Jesus and "we". I remember being told that if I had been the only sinner in the world Jesus would have died just for me. Now I treasure the fact that God loves us individually and that Christ died for me. But it seems that even this truth can be twisted into a celebration of self at the expense of the fact that Godís amazing plan has always been to save for himself a people. Since the days of Adam and Eve there have always been at least two sinners in need of saving. Today millions have been saved through faith in Christ and yet with our rugged individualist tendency we find a way to make God's great plan of salvation mostly about ourselves.

Maybe that's why we love to talk about having a "personal relationship" with Jesus. It's a wonderful truth, but do we misuse it? Hey, it's nice to know that no matter how annoying other Christians might be, we can go into our rooms, shut the door and have our personal, exclusive relationship with Jesus. If other Christians let us down we can make it on our own.

But can we really? And were we meant to try?"

May God save us from independent, self-esteem based, America-focused Christianity!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti earthquake video message from Compassion International's President Wess Stafford

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Christian Influence still Reigns in America

In the wake of the terrible earthquake in Haiti, we have been able to see again how America, still coming back to their Biblical Christian influences, gives way more than any other country. Though America, in many respects, continues to stray further from Biblical principles, the influence of Christian ideals - especially caring for the weak and the poor - still clearly has a tremendous impact on its people and on the world for good. By comparison, those countries whose worldviews are mainly based on atheism and evolution, ie. the survival of the fittest, give far far less.

Note: America has pledged at least 100 million USD to Haiti as a government, not including the billions given already since 1992 and millions more given by private entities and individuals. Japan, by comparison, has to date made a commitment of only 35 million USD. Though far more than some rich Muslim countries, it is a clear statement about the deficiency of the atheistic worldview.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Food For The Hungry In Haiti

I urge you to somehow get involved in sending financial assistance to the desperate people in Haiti.

Bill Walsh:

With you, we at DG International Outreach are watching the news coming out of Haiti and praying for the victims and those who will be working to bring relief in the coming days. One of those groups bringing aid is Food for the Hungry, which has become a great partner of this ministry. We would like to encourage you to support their work.
Their vision is to answer the call to respond to physical and spiritual hungers worldwide through action and advocacy for those who Jesus spoke about when he quoted the prophet Isaiah in Luke 4:18,
He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.
Here is how they are describing the situation:
FH staff on the ground have indicated that food and water are not available for purchase within Port-au-Prince, and that looting is already beginning as desperate people try to obtain what they can. Major medical facilities have collapsed, hindering first aid help for those injured in the quake. Communications are almost impossible, and a fuel shortage is cutting off transportation. FH has only been able to contact five of our 20 Haitian staff members. Meanwhile, survivors and rescue workers are digging through rubble to reach people trapped in collapsed buildings.
Here's the latest on how FH is responding:
FH's Relief Director is en route to Port-au-Prince to join the efforts of Haitian staff and to assess our next phase of response. Staff in the Dominican Republic are also standing by to join relief efforts as soon as it is possible to cross the border.
FH's wholistic development initiatives reach tens of thousands of Haitians with HIV/AIDS and child survival programs in several of the poorest slums near Port au Prince, including Petionville, Jalousie and Bois Moquette. These areas were hit severely —the homes and other buildings in these slums are built on steep, unstable hillsides and not built to code. During this crisis, program staff will utilize existing relationship networks to bring emergency help to these communities.

(HT: Vit. Z)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All Nations Returnees Conference 2010
For all Japanese that are returning to Japan after becoming Christians overseas. This is such a needed conference!


  • 同じ国・地域から帰国した仲間との交わりを楽しむ。(同窓会のアレンジ可)

  • 近くに住む海外経験者と知合い、互いに支え合い、フォローアップのための交わりが始まる。

  • 聖書の言葉から、変わることのない神様の愛に励まされ、変えられる。

  • 帰国者ミニストリー、海外邦人宣教を通して日本の教会が祝福される。

  • 日本にある教会、個人、宣教団体と、在外邦人伝道、帰国者フォローアップに取り組んでいる教会、個人、宣教団体が、内外縦横連携を推進することを通して、世界の架け橋としてさらに進んでいく。

  • 帰国者をはじめ、真の国際人クリスチャンとして互いに成長し、この時代と世界への貢献を祈り求めて行く。

Irresistible Grace - An Odd Way to Speak

Doug Wilson:

"The language of irresistible grace is both odd an obvious...reminiscent of one of C.S. Lewis's Dufflepuds, who said that water was powerful wet stuff... No one speaks of the doctrine of irresistible creation. However, when we think about it for a moment, we should realize that creation ex nihilo is about irresistible as it gets. Was there any likelihood that nonexistent matter was going to defy God when he summoned the universe into being?

It is the same with the grace of new creation: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shinned in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:4-6)

The God who summoned light from darkness at the beginning, without consulting the wishes of darkness, is the same God who summoned the light in our souls into being. He the Creator, and he is the New Creator.

Birth is another irresistible process. I do not recall being consulted about this, and I have it on good authority that this was because I was not there. I was born a Wilson, not a Smith. I was born a boy, and not a girl. I was born in the United States, and not in Ethiopia. I had all kinds of irresistible things thrust at me, and did not begin to seriously reflect on what I was doing with it all until about sixteen years later."

Wilson goes on to say that just like the wind we do not, and cannot, control the wind, we do not and cannot control the Holy Spirit by our repentance or by our prayers. (John 3:7-8) The Holy Spirit gives us a new birth by unmerited grace alone, as He wishes. Just as we begin to breathe upon new life, we begin to confess our sins and love Christ as Savior and Lord in faith upon our new birth.

(Quoted from the book, "After Darkness, Light")

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Q&A with John Piper and Inmates at Angola Prison

(Ht: my friend Justin Taylor)

Friday, January 08, 2010

10 Ways to Encourage a Missionary

Matt Rogers:

In an effort to learn how we can best encourage missionaries, I emailed some and asked how they would most like to be served and encouraged. This list is drawn from their responses, including many direct quotes.

Check them out here. I would heartily agree.
The Two Most Powerful Words

"It is simply a fact of life that the two most explosive words in the English language appear to be Jesus Christ." - Brit Hume, former news anchor for Fox News.

If you haven't heard of the controversy he caused last week, here is a good write-up and a response by Brit.

Here is one more taste of the article: "Instead of urging that Tiger Woods turn to Christianity, if I had said what he needed to do was to strengthen his Buddhist commitment or turn to Hinduism, I don't think anybody would have said a word. It's Christ and Christianity that get people stirred up."

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Miracle of Tears

Did you ever wonder why tears come when people become emotional? Did you ever wonder what would happen to your eyes if you didn't produce tears while cutting onions? The answers to these questions defy a gradual evolution of the eyes.

Read about it here.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Why Do Atheists Imagine Themselves to be Non-Religious?

Great post here by my friend Zach Nielsen on the non-sensical nature of this argument. Especially if you are an atheist or "non-religious" please let me know what you think.

Friday, January 01, 2010