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Showing posts from April, 2007

It's Official

I had a dream about a cigar last night. Does this mean I'm officially Reformed?

Strange Day

Today was one of the strangest days of my life. I've been unusually introspective. Today some friends were talking about the Virginia Tech tragedy, and how the youth aren't taught how to defend women anymore. It brought back some painful memories of a certain Wednesday night shortly before my parents divorced.

I also realized how much I cherish the friends I have made here. I'm not referring to my college buddies whom, although I like them quite a bit, I haven't spent much time with, and whom I cannot bring myself to confide in. I'm talking about friends I've made at Saint Andrew's Community Church. They've taught me quite a lot (whether intentionally or not) about practical, everyday things, like the married life and raising children. I dare say that this past semester has been the most influential on me to date.

I also experienced a paradigm shift today. I'm not sure I can even put it into words, or even begin to explain it. I just know that at some…

How Many Will Enter Heaven?

Check out this quote I found online:

"[C]onsider this fact: fewer than 20% of people actually think they are going to hell. And yet, in answering that question, Jesus says in Matthew 7 that FEW pass through the gate that leads to eternal life. 80% doesn't sound like few to me... do some of us have the wrong idea?"

There are a number of problems with this quote. First of all, you it is assuming that "few" refers to the current ratio of professing Christians to non-Christians. What's to say that Jesus isn't referring to the entire population of all the earth over all time? In that case, it's entirely plausible that 80% of people now are really Christians, as long as there are still few total Christians when all is said and done. Maybe it applies only to the people in the crowd listening to Jesus. Or, it could refer to something else entirely (as I believe).

Jesus was talking to a specific people living in a specific time. We cannot decontextualize his te…

SBC Baptisms Declining

According to this article, although "the number of Southern Baptist churches in 2006 increased by 524... total baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention fell for the second consecutive year."

This has caused me to ponder: is this because the SBC is attracting mainly people from church backgrounds (i.e. already baptized), or is it because the SBC doesn't put enough emphasis on the doctrine of baptism? While I've never belonged to a SBC, my church background is similar (a conservative baptistic evangelical church), and baptism has never been stressed as very important. In fact, I wasn't baptized until many years after I became a Christian and joined a church.

I'm Going To Miss Those Guys

Less than 3 weeks. That's what I have left here in Valencia. Wind Ensemble ended last week at TMC; jazz band will end this next week. I can casually flip through the remaining pages in my textbooks - there aren't many left. I'm actually having to think about packing for the trip back home. I'm arranging for somebody to pick me up at the airport - the airport in Kansas.

But I won't forget the times I had in California. In fact, I may return some day when I have a degree and a job (and some money to put down on a house).

Oh, and a wife would be good too.

Some Book Blurbs:

For a highly entertaining and socially-charged book on racism in the deep South during the 60's, try this captivating true story by John Howard Griffin.
Black Like Me: B

The Journal of a slave woman and her escape to the North. A fairly telling account of the slave situation.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: C

A neat historical book by Iain H. Murray, retracing the history of the church in betwee…

Good Times

Definitely a niche market.

What Lies in the Future for History?

Since I'm taking a couple of history classes this semester, I've been thinking about history as a subject. I have a few observations:

1) I find that I'm skeptical of the method of teaching history that history books employ. I find that I learn history better through my Music and Theatre Appreciation classes, which are essentially music history and theatre history. Additionally, as I read various books outside of class, I pick up on the history which frames the book much easier than by reading it from a history textbook. Perhaps this is because I actually care about music and theatre. Perhaps this is also due to the fact that it is easier to track the history of one subject easier than it is to track the history of... well, history. I've come to realize that history textbooks are essentially super-condensed compilations of the history of music, theatre, art, religion, politics, slavery, literature, the economy, pop culture, the Native Americans, the military, etc. No won…