Sunday, July 16, 2006

New Site on the Rise

You may find my new format and feel:

GM Eco-mobile and the future of auto travel

In this feature, the new GM Hy-Wire is showcased. Its H-powered, has an interchangeable body, no pedals, and all mirrors have been replaced with digital video.

Also, the H-drive engine derives its hydrogen from saltwater, our most abundant resource.

This may sound too east coast for some of my friends in Texas, but I look forward to seeing the day the Hy-Wire rolls off the assembly floor. And with a R&D pricetag of nearly $9.2m, I look forward to the consumer version.

Watch the video here.

Kingdom Gentrification

You may need to refresh your memory on the definition of gentrification, but after that, you should read this thoughtful theology of property recovery for kingdom purposes.

Evangelicals everywhere need to follow this example of witness and ministry.

Read the article here.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Pastor fills bars in outreach effort

Rob Bell, Michigan pastor (previously covered here) of the mega-Mars Hill Bible Church near Grand Rapids, is now doing meta-stand-up in bars around the country.

Bell founded the church in 1999, which now meets in a cavernous building (former shopping mall) and draws more than 11,000 to his weekend services.

Bordering on self-proclaimed "utter-foolishness," Bell admits his efforts "crank up the risk factor" and may "crash land."

Jim Hamilton, my friend and much-published collaborer (blog) in the kingdom, is quoted in the article, "If you want to be contextualized, that's fine, but you have to be contextualizing the Gospel," he said. "If you are not contextualizing the Gospel, you are just being conformed to the spirit of the age."

Contextualization in evangelism and outreach is like typologization in biblical interpretation. There must exist some objective boundaries and safeguards in place; otherwise, where ends the envelope?

See the coverage from Houston (here).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ken Lay Dead

After facing the judgement of men and the media at 64, Ken Lay suffered a massive coronary and now stands in the presence of the One whose eyes are aflame with fire (Rev 19:12). In mid-June, I spoke with Mr. Lay's pastor, and he spoke confidently of Ken's love for the gospel and trust in Christ for salvation and forgiveness. Indeed, he affirmed that Ken viewed the events of the last years as trying and formative. He indicated that Ken found life and happiness only in Christ, and that the terrible events, including his trial and conviction, were from the Lord for his good and God's glory.

Few know anything of Lay and his simple upbringing. He was born in Tyrone, Mo. and worked with his father at the family general store selling stoves. His father left the store to answer the call to ministry, and Lay delivered newspapers and mowed lawns to make ends meet.

He served the country in the Navy both at the Pentagon and then served as undersecretary for the Department of the Interior before returning to business. After a short tenure at Florida Gas, he moved to Texas to continue his ascent in energy.

In his recent trial, Lay testified, "I’ve not only pursued the American dream, I’ve achieved it. I suppose we could say the last few years, I’ve also achieved the American nightmare."

These are sobering words and deserve close attention. Perhaps we should consider the dreams and hopes we pursue. Even more, we should listen to the life of a man who now knows that every dream ends in the presence of the One who treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. Listen to him say, "Only those who humble themselves at the hem of his blood-soaked robe will find happiness--seek Him; serve Him; cling to Him."

See his personal website (here) and local coverage (here) for more detail.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Dynamic Duo fund abortion through "charitable" giving

You should be aware that two of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, have drawn widespread praise and criticism this week for their philanthropic alliance. While teaming together to fight disease and poverty, they have also collaborated to fund Planned Parenthood and the murder of the unborn.

To be clear, philanthropy means a combination of phila- (love) and -anthropy (mankind)--there is nothing lovely or "charitable" about murder.

Gates has given over $34 million to PP, the largest provider of abortion in the USA. What a tragedy.

Read the Sun-Times report here.

Persecuted Christians Killed for God and Gospel

In a recent study (reported here), Professor Thomas Schirrmacher, director of the Religious Liberty Commission of the German Evangelical Alliance, explains that at least 55,000 Christians are killed each year for religious reasons. To be clear, this excludes social or political upheaval that may result in Christians dying.

Christians in India, Indonesia, and Pakistan run the highest risk of tortuous death. Pray for our brothers who are suffering. Pray that in their death, more would be reached with the life-transforming message of Jesus Christ.

Christianity and the light of its influence

In this article (here), Chuck Colson notes the connection between the spread of the gospel and the influence it brings to the whole of society.

Christ transforms work, home, culture, and the welfare of society in general. One day soon, He will return to enjoy it with the redeemed forever and ever (1 Pet 4).

Sunday, June 11, 2006

In defense of the truth, and a friend

Recently, I attended the trial of a friend in federal court. He was charged with crimes of the financial nature (non-violent). I was there in the event he wanted me to serve as a character witness. Instead, he asked his Bible study teacher to speak on his behalf. In spite of their efforts, he was sentenced to serve time in the federal pen.

Similarly, Ken Lay's pastor, Ed Young the greater, spoke on Lay's behalf during the trial. To my knowledge, Young never said Lay was innocent. A blog tucked away in the recesses of the WSJ says, "The defense's 29th and final witness was Ed Young, a popular Houston minister. Speaking of Lay, Young reportedly said, 'I believe he loves God, I believe he works hard and I believe he's a man who keeps his word.' On cross, prosecutor Cliff Stricklin told Young he had taken a religion course in college taught by one of Young's sons. Joking that Young's son became a minister while he became a lawyer, Stricklin said, 'You can draw your own conclusions from that.' Retorted Young: 'I already have.'" (HT: Denny Burk)

For the sake of Truth, the miracle of gospel repentance, and Mr. Lay's soul, I pray that Young's judgements and hopes are accurate; only God knows the heart but Young may have seen His fruit. Thank the Lord for forgiveness found in Jesus Christ. Also, thank God for ministers who have the careful courage to minister in spite of the public rush to judgement.

The next Billy Graham?

The CST reports (here) about an interesting pastor and his effort to reach out with the gospel. When asked the comparative question, he responded, "Uhhhh . . . anybody who'd have a clever response to that I'd be deeply suspicious of," Bell says, quietly. "This whole experience broke me a long time ago. . . . The fact that God could use me, I'm still . . . in awe."

I suspect Graham would respond similarly. Also, I believe both would agree that Christ be the focus of our ministry and all of our ambitions ought to be found in exulting Him.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to speak at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention this week in North Carolina.

I am in Greensboro now and will periodically update you on the progress of SBC happenings...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Where's the Islam in Islamic Terrorism?

In this intriguing blast (here), Andrew McCarthy has some strong things to say concerning the alarming lack of media coverage linking Islamic terrorists to the religion and its doctrines that drive them to murder infidels, not to love and die for them so that they may live.

McCarthy closes strong, "They apparently are not members of the terror network, did not train at the Qaeda camps, and have not been directed by the Qaeda hierarchy. All they have in common with al Qaeda is their schooling in the same creed. And their conclusion that this creed commands them to murder."

One observation: I have long concluded that further evidence of this first-order gag against the Islamo-terror connection deepens in the surprising absence of journalistic response to opinions like McCarthy's. If there is no connection, then surely someone on the left would be strongly condemning writings like Andrew's as racist and bigoted. It seems that somewhere a memo was circulated that prohibits any real discussion of this "scoop."

Sunday, June 04, 2006

More Muslims than Jews look for Messiah

In a recent survey by Ephraim Yar of Tel Aviv University revealed more Israeli Muslims than Jews believe in special creation and look for the advent of Messiah.

Also, the study revealed more Jews believed in the "evil eye" than in heaven after death.

52% believe in the evil eye; 43% surveyed believe in heaven.

Pictured here is the gozmunjughu, a small blue or black glass that has a black spot inside a white circle, resembling the iris of an eye. This ornament is the "secret" to warding off anyone assailing you with the evil eye.

The results of this study are a sober reminder to our friends of the dual covenant that Jews and Muslims alike need the Messiah--the One who came and gave himself for the forgiveness of sin and to triumph not only over the evil eye but all fear and darkness.

Read the brief (here) in the Washington Times.