Archive for July, 2008

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The Creation Museum, Coal and the First Adam

July 28, 2008

Some friends, my wife and I visited the Creation Museum this past Saturday. It was a great experience. I enjoyed how much effort and planning and detail they put into the exhibits. For instance, Cain was modeled as a boy with a flute nearby – a hint at Cain’s great-great-great-great-great grandson Jubal who was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe (Genesis 4:21).

Two things that impressed me the most were floating forests and Adam’s age. One explanation for the formation of coal involves forests that floated before the global flood (see also other articles like this). Also, Adam lived for so long that he actually knew Methuselah for 243 years of his life. Imagine the great treasure of revelation this provided. The first man created could have recounted so much information about God. Then Methuselah lived 600 years while Noah was alive, leaving only one person between Adam’s knowledge of God and Noah’s. This is a great testimony to the godly line of descendants God sustained to make sure His word and revelation was secure.

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The Bible and TV

July 11, 2008

15He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
who despises the gain of oppressions,
who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,
16he will dwell on the heights;
his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
his bread will be given him; his water will be sure. (Isaiah 33:15-16)

Hopefully the title and Scripture passage provided a good introduction. I want to draw out only the application toward television. These two verses give a great application and promise to Christians – avoid television and dwell in security. The vast majority of television is created by the world for the world: meaning, it celebrates sin – murder, lying, homosexual relationships, disobeying parents, insubordination, and on and on.

We are not discerning enough with what goes into our heads. The Bible tells us that a righteous person “stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil” (v.15). It is your (and my) motivation to hear and see evil that invalidates God’s promise to us to dwell in security (v. 16). Do you desire to hear about bloodshed and see evil? Yet what are most TV shows about? A comedy about disobeying parents and authority altogether? A drama about a murder and trying to bring the killer to justice? A comedy/drama about illicit sex? And many more.

Someone might object by saying that the Bible itself contains these things. Consider the difference in origin. The Bible is from God. Where is our entertainment from? The intent of the Bible is for us to grow in the love and knowledge of God through Jesus Christ. What do the authors of the shows you watch intend? The Bible is a history. Does your entertainment give history?

Now, of course, these questions are just to get you thinking about how you decide upon what to watch, what to listen to and what to participate in1. I don’t mean it to be exhaustive, just to get you to beg the Holy Spirit to reveal how you might best glorify God in time you might normally title “free” so that you might “dwell on the heights”.

1 see my comment on video games here (under joshua)
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Near… Far… Near… Far… Near

July 10, 2008

There is an old Sesame Street cartoon where Grover illustrates Near and Far. Today I started to wonder about why God sees fit to at some times place us near to Him and at sometimes to place us far from Him (though none of this is meant to be an excuse for trying to be far from God, only to appreciate the goodness of His moving us through our lives).

First, we know it must glorify Him. But how does it do that? Although there are doubtlessly many reasons, I begin with four. 1) The return is always sweeter when there was distance prior to that. There is incredible grace in being given a closer relationship with God. If we moved only from far to near, how would we know the brillence of our progression? 2) The journey informs us of our dependence on God. Many people try to claim partial sovereignty in their lives – God does somethings but the person has to do other things apart from God. The experience of nearness and farness in our relationship with God shows us that we are completely dependent on Him, especially for salvation. 3) It is helpful in many things to stand back and admire the big picture which makes sense of all its pieces. When God puts us far from Him for a time, we have opportunity to admire Him and the value of being near to Him. That leads to our fourth thought. 4) Times of being far away give us insight into how it will be to dwell in final nearness to Jesus in heaven. Though we may be far away, we know the joy and peace of still being in Christ and praising Him because He has saved us from an end worse than farness – hell. And that instead we are drawn so close to Him, through Jesus Christ, as to be in His very family!

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God’s name and remembrance

July 7, 2008

In the path of your judgments,
O LORD, we wait for you;
your name and remembrance
are the desire of our soul. (Isaiah 26:8)

I’m often surprised at the motivation of Christians. Either they don’t think it matters, haven’t considered it or, like me, struggle violently with it.

Isaiah presents, simply, our proper motivation. First he tells us to wait for the LORD. Our waiting should be in the path of His judgments. At first this doesn’t seem to be the best place to be. But Christian, consider where you are. You are fully covered by Jesus Christ. Where but in the path of God’s judgment could you glorify Him more? Being fully covered by Christ, the justice of God is vindicated and the worth of Christ shows piercingly when the judgment of God falls and yet we remain unscathed because of Christ. Second he tells us that our desire for the name of LORD should be paramount. All our actions should be consumed in desire to make known who the LORD is in us and to us. Third Isaiah tells us that our remembrance of the LORD should equally consume the desire of our soul. When was the last time we were broken over how little time we spend with the LORD each day? Prayer, Bible reading, study, meditation, service, missions, spiritual gifts, even down to devoting the brushing of our teeth to the name of the LORD and our remembrance of Him, these things are almost completely unpracticed in my life and in your life. I spend more time thinking about cartoons and energy drinks than I do about God.

How great and sufficient is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to save us from such a miserable waste of life! Let us remember Him, praising His name and waiting for His coming.