About Son of Man

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A (brief) meditation on Evangelism

In his recent book, Sharing Your Faith With Friends and Family, Michael Green says,

One of the things we need to do if we are to help people to Christ is to puncture the apathy about ultimate issues, the cocoon of surface happiness with which our friends tend to protect themselves.

I think this is really key. This type of thing is demonstrated in so many different ways. It could be partying, excessive dating, acting as if nothing bothers you, or embracing the contradiction of moral relativism. Green says that a great way to puncture the proverbial cocoon is to ask a question - an unloaded one. But if I expect someone to answer my question I must first demonstrate sensitivity and transparency. I need to learn how to facilitate real give-and-take in the discussion instead of just pontificating about God.

The new Voice CD opens with a talk by Josh Harris. In it he says that the gospel is vulnerable. I think this is true in the sense that we can severly misrepresent the Bible and its message by the way we handle it. The million dollar question is: Can I present the gospel with enthusiasm and urgency without being pushy or hard and also be vulnerable myself?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

[Digest This:] Wilt thou love God as He thee?

by John Donne

Wilt thou love God, as he thee? Then digest,
My soul, this wholesome meditation,
How God the Spirit, by angels waited on
In heaven, doth make his Temple in thy breast.
The Father having begot a Son most blessed,
And still begetting, (for he ne'er begun)
Hath deigned to choose thee by adoption,
Coheir to' his glory, 'and Sabbath's endless rest.
And as a robbed man, which by search doth find
His stol'n stuff sold, must lose or buy it again:
The Son of glory came down, and was slain,
Us whom he'd made, and Satan stol'n, to unbind.
'Twas much that man was made like God before,
But, that God should be made like man, much more.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Very Bad Poetry

This gem comes from the 19th Century poet, James Milligan. Little is known about this poet, save his obvious love of geology.

from The Science of Geology

In ages past [animals] lived and died,
And afterwards were petrified
By enclosure in massive rocks,
And thus became fossilised blocks.
The oldest-known rocks contain lime,
Thus proving at that remote time
Animal life did then abound,
Which may fill us with thought profound.

Don't you love when poets convolute the syntax to force a rhyme.

Monday, July 24, 2006

More laughs at the outdoor court

A few days back, one of the boys notified me of several pit bull pups that were apparently living under a bush beside the nearby school. Concerned for them and wanting one for a pet he had asked me if I had time to go investigate the lead. Needless to say, I didn't get around to it. Today, while taking a breather between games, he leaned over to say something to me. "Hey Josh, do you remember those pit bulls I told you about last week?" he asked me. "Yes," I said. "Did you get a chance to go over and check them out?" He replied, "um, well, my friend went over and took some of them to the vet."

I love how long stories can take.

The compassionate and opportunistic boy was then told by the vet that what he had in his possession were squirrels but that she would make sure they were taken care of.

Oh well, it's a few less vicious dogs owned by irresponsible people.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What was the Question again?

I love Jesus. I love him for lots of reasons. Today I realized that I love him for perfectly demonstrating conversational segue. What got me thinking about this was the sermon that Tom Gee preached tonight. He was using Luke 12:13-34: cool. He said that it was very common for people in Jesus' time to approach a rabbi for matters of financial arbitration. The man in Luke 12:13 approaches Jesus, asking him to convince his brother to divide their inheritance. Jesus instantly makes the transition and answers, "take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." He goes from here to a presentation of the need to treasure God above all else and then to be reconciled with God while there is still time. Now that is segue.

My personal favourite is found in Matthew 12:46-50. Jesus, when told that his mother and brothers are looking for him, says, "who is my mother, and who are my brothers? Whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

Again in Matthew (19:13-15), Jesus happens to be hanging out with some local kids (you've gotta love those local kids) and says to his disciples, "let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

If we are completely preoccupied with things of Christ, keeping our sights on what is above, I think we will segue just like Jesus did.

Thanks Tom.

Serve your king

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Canada Supports Illiteracy

Okay, maybe that is not true but I will make a case for it at the end. I have been staggered by the problems many youth have comprehending basic vocabulary, interpreting punctuation, and focusing on a non-moving target (a book for instance) for any period longer than 10 seconds (literally). The other day I was reading Ephesians 5 with a boy (the part about who will and who will not inherit the kingdom) when he stopped me and asked what the word 'impure' meant. I guess I could add to the above list: inability to recognize common prefixes. I love being asked what 'ignorance' means. Those are always good times. It seems necessary to allegorize every term. That is also fun. All of this became even more apparent (though not suprising) when I went on to get schooled in "an easy" Xbox game.

Are the kids I hang out with the exception? I wonder what education was like back when it was God-centered. The reason this concerns me is because God happened to reveal himself in a book. Too bad he didn't just wait and release it on DVD. Does everything need to be interactive? Will anything ever replace the reading of the Word?

I'll try to redeem the inappropriately bold title now. Canada supports illiteracy by keeping God and his book out of education. I think I can stand by that.

So, since I'm here, go out and BUY the brand new Voice cd. Don't even think about it. Just trust me. Any Christian who loves reformed doctrine will HEART this disk.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Listen to your heart

This has been the least relaxing summer that I can think of. I haven't even been blogging. The ol' outdoor ball program is both physically and mentally draining but it is teaching me many things. It is always amazing how much you learn from the kids that you are leading and mentoring.

It is interesting what the word 'Christian' means to so many people. I asked one teen why he considered himself to be a Christian and what made him one. He answered, "um, I don't know, it is like a lifestyle." If that is all it is, then people have every right to be offended and angry when people like me "cram it down their throats" and "judge" them. In that case I wouldn't be much different than some vegan snob going around telling everyone that they NEED to quit eating meat and stuff. Actually, as a way of life, it's pretty unappealing. Sorta like being a vegan I suppose. I like to call it a transfomation of the mind that leads to a life of good works and salvation from God's just wrath.


Anyways, I've been watching this great documentary called Hell's Bells (borrowed from Tim who also wrote a review of the semi-recent dvd). It is about the 'power and spirit of popular music.' Don't judge the vid by my comments here since, needless to say, I wont be reviewing it like Tim has and they'll just be misleading but just might serve the purpose here. So, just read his post.

At one point they display a quote from Anton Szandor Lavey and his buddies which basically calls the 'triumphant strains' of Sinatra's 'My Way' one of the most satanic songs of the 20th century. Why? As Occultist Aleister Crowley wrote, "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law," Frank's song articulates the key to satanic worship: The worship of self. Is this not the same refrain heard in the millions of songs that tell you to "listen to your heart?" Or even more clearly "do what you want."

Proverbs 28:28 says, "he who trusts in his own heart is a fool" (NKJV).

Jeremaiah 17:9 says, "the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick" (ESV).

Why did God flood the earth again? Oh ya, it was because "every intention of the thoughts of [the heart of man] was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5 ESV). God's reason for not flooding the earth again is also very interesting. Take note of Genesis 8:21: "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth."

Or some new testement action. Mark 7:21-22 says, "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.

I love music but it is NOT neutral.

Serve your king

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Especially in light of incessant discussion (amongst my family that is) about who Clara looks like, recent evidence has proven to be quite striking. Not only is the physical resemblence there but she also appears to have other interests which make the comparison even more apparent.

I really don't think words are even necessary to point out what these photographs clearly show.

And she likes both Radiohead and Zao.

...but the tip of an iceberg.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Confusion between Christ and types of Christ (sort of)

As is the custom, I was sharing the gospel with the kids that come out to the Rexdale basketball program. After we had looked at the fall of man and briefly examined Genesis 3:15, I began comparing my life before grace to slavery and things like that. When I asked if they knew who the man was who freed me from such bondage to evil, one great kid answered, "Martin Luther King Jr." All I could say was, "not quite, buddy. It is someone else."

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dealing with Kingston and a few thoughts on relevance

Queen's is a great school and all but these kinds of things just don't happen in the T dot. What kind of a sign is that? This was on Saturday.


Another funny thing happened today (Sunday). I had my friend Ken over after Church, and he was flipping through one of the latest issues of Relevant. After realizing that the majority of the music reviews were on secular bands he said, "shouldn't this magazine also be relevant to Christians?" I laughed. Though I love many things about the magazine, his comment was very profound to me. It is a very thin line to walk when you want to balance relevance (I mean it in a good sense, as in being able to powerfully and effectively reach unbelievers at this time in history) with "not being conformed to the pattern of this world (Rom 12:2)." I don't know where the line must be drawn. I really have no idea. How do we know when we are becoming too influenced by the trends of our culture and if we should be resisting these things or embracing them in order to "save some (1 Cor 9:22)."

I guess we judge all things by the standard of scripture. I wonder, if I really did that, would I get convicted about all of the secular music that I own and love? Is there a rule or can I deal with instances individually? I wonder if I even have the maturity or the honesty to do this...Am I remaining relevant or am I just holding onto the things of this world?

What I am really worried about is the fact that my favourite David Lee Roth vinyl is neither relevant nor edifying. Conundrum indeed.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

...and good times were had by all

By his strange and wonderful providence, God has given me the opportunity to develop and lead a summer sports program for youth in the Rexdale area. He always brings you places that you would never expect to be. Anyhow, one of the great things about this ministry is that it is as grassroots as you could possibly get. We have no official church, community, or school affilation which means that I can blatantly preach Christ as much as I want. Cool. We aren't even renting a gym facility. Basically, my partner and I show up at the outdoor court and invite kids to come to our program. They came, what a miracle. An even greater miracle is that, when the time came, they all willingly quit playing ball and sat on some bleachers so we could open some Bibles together.

Comment of the Day

After we were done our discussion on "What the Bible says about itself" a young (17) man approached me and after kissing his teeth and nudging me on the shoulder said,

"sexy speech yo."

How do you answer that? I smiled nodded and walked away.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Very Bad Poetry

The simplest way to put it: I love bad poetry. It is just so fun. Here we have the worst attempt at poetically expressing Biblical truth, namely, something along the lines of penal atonment. Then, after that, there is just a wicked bad poem. Good times.

Both of these poems come courtesy of the self acclaimed genious J. Gordon Coogler.

God Correctly Understood

The man who thinks God is too kind
To punish actions vile,
Is bad at heart, of unsound mind
Or very juvenile.

Pretty Girl

On her face there are smiles of grace
That linger in beauty serene,
And there are no pimples encircling her dimples,
As ever, as yet, I have seen.