Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chapman Family Update

By now I'm sure you've all heard about the tragedy that struck Steven Curtis Chapman's family (link is to the Associated Press story), and I simply wanted to post to put out some updates on what's going on.

First, a brief summary: One of the boys (I believe the younger of the two boys), Will, was driving an SUV down the driveway where the girls were playing, and hit Maria, the youngest of the Chapman's adopted daughters. She was airlifted to nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Please, please, PLEASE pray for Will especially; I'm sure he's beating himself up over this to no end.

At this time, SCC's official site has been reduced to only the front page, due to high traffic. Services for Maria have been set; visitation is tomorrow, service on Saturday at Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, see the official site (link above) for details. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to Shaohannah's Hope. If you would simply like to send condolences to the family, head over to In Memory of Maria, a blog set up for this purpose.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Paul was a Platonist? Well...

As often happens here at While Rome Burns, I am going to respectfully disagree with Ingrid's assessment over at Slice of Laodicea. In this case, we're looking at a video posted on YouTube (embedded below for your convenience) of an interview between Tony Jones and Jerry Johnson, president of Criswell College.

The folks who put this video together seem to think that Jones is elevating the writings of Augustine to the level of Scripture, and stating that Paul was a Platonist. I really don't think that's an accurate assessment, and here's why. First of all, he doesn't say Paul was a Platonist; he *does*, however, say that Paul was versed in Platonism, which would imply he was extremely familiar with it. This would make sense, as Paul talked about being "all things to all men," and his various writings show that he adjusted his message based on who he was speaking to in order to convey the message in a way his audience could understand. Second, Tony doesn't say that Augustine's writings are the same as Scripture; he simply states that a strong knowledge of Platonism came through in many of his theological writings, and uses that to draw a parallel. Finally, Tony doesn't deny the inspiration of the Scriptures, which Johnson implies at the end of this video. I think I would really like to get my hands on the audio of the entire interview, because it seems to me that in the video above, Tony got cut off. I've got a busy week ahead (I really shouldn't even be on now!), but I'll see what I can do. Stay tuned.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Feed Me, Seymour, Feed Me!

Great post over at CRN.Info today in response to an article by Jim Bublitz at First, I want to post the comment I left at, and then I want to expand on this a little more, so here goes:

It was not so long ago, in our College and Career age Sunday school class, that one of the ministry leaders (ministry is led by a husband and wife team who are not paid by the church, but do receive financial assistance from the church for things related to the ministry) made the point that the Sunday (and possibly midweek) services should not be the only times you get fed. They should be, as she said, “the icing on the cake.” Yes, we are referred to as sheep, and sheep need to be taken to a place where they can eat, but the shepherd can’t eat for them. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Same principle applies here. The pastor is called to act as a shepherd and feed his sheep, but at the same time, the sheep need to do the actual eating. Not only that, we are told to “grow up in our salvation” and move from milk to meat.

I’ll say it once more; the pastor can put the spiritual food in front of his congregation, and show them where to find more, but they have to make the choice to actually eat it.

I also wanted to expand on this, because the point that seems to have been made by Jim and others at Old Truth is that sequential exposition is the *only* way to properly preach the Word. However, as Rick Frueh (one of the commenters at pointed out, even expository preaching is topical on some level, because there is a topic to the sermon, and honestly, there has to be, or the sermon won't make sense. Go read the original article at Old Truth, and then read the response at and the comments. There are some great points made on both sides.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

A Slice of Something That Shouldn't Be

I have deleted this post in the interest of promoting peace, unity and polite discourse, and because feel that I need to. While there was a point to be made, I didn't make it well, and it has created discord and hard feelings, two things I am NOT trying to do. I've also deleted the associated comments for the same reason, and because the won't make any sense aside from the original post. And finally, to make this a three for one special, I will offer up the moral of this story; don't blog after a late night at work.