Monday, October 31, 2005

So Much for Church Autonomy!

The Missouri Baptist Convention has voted to exclude membership of any church that supports the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship or any other Baptist group that is considered to compete with the Southern Baptist Convention.

So, now the MBC can decide FOR THE LOCAL CHURCH who they are allowed to give money to, and what organizations they are allowed to be members of. It would be interesting to see if supporting the Baptist World Alliance would be enough to get a church kicked out of the MBC.

Click here to read more of the story.

Although it is not that bad here in North Carolina yet, the fundamentalists are on the attack and it appears the moderates have tired of the fight. To read more about North Carolina, click here.

Friday, October 21, 2005

New E-Mail Option

If you prefer to receive updates from this blog via e-mail, just fill in your e-mail address in the field in the right column or at the end of this entry. I am using a new service for this, so if someone signs up, let me know how it works.



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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pictures from the Washington Trip


I have put the pictures from the Washington trip online. You can look at them by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Brain Drain!

Well, I am back from Washington, but I have certainly not recovered. I have found that the approximately 15 hours of lectures we had have drained my brain! I foudn myself sitting in my Art of Ministry class today asking, "Is this guy speaking English, because I am not understanding a word he says." I don't feel so much of a physical exhaustion as a mental one. We have our final exam in Church and State Tonight, which is a bit soon after the trip for my tastes.

Once class is over tonight, I only have one more class this week, and that is the Art of Ministry small group on Thursday morning. I am going to use some of the off time to catch up on reading that I have fallen behind on in my OT class, which is the only class I am behind in. Hopefully, I will be able to start next week feeling a little more refreshed.

Gay and I will be joining FBC Statesville on Sunday. I will be joining under watchcare, which will allow me to keep my Florida CBF and Bayshore scholarship money. I am also interviewing the pastor tomorrow, which may eventually lead to an internship opportunity there. We'll just have to wait and see. It certainly would be nice to work with Gay again, and even better to be able to work at the same place on Sunday. We'll just have to see what happens. My internships won't start until next year, so I certainly have some time to find something.

I will be posting some pictures from the Washington trip soon, and will provide a link to them here.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bill Leonard on NPR

The dean of The Divinity School at Wake Forest University appeared last Friday on "On Point" on NPR. As many of you already know the dean, Bill Leonard, is also my Christian History professor. The show was about the national disasters that have happened of late, and how religion and science are responding to it. I am listening to it as I type this blog, so I don't know what conclusions were reached yet, but you can listen to it yourself on the NPR website by clicking here.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Washington Day 1






Washington Day 1

Well I slept about as well as I expected to the first night. The bed is small, the mattress is terrible, and I had to go through the closet to go to the bathroom! But the pictures above tell a happier story. The speakers today were actually really good. We had someone on the conservative side of things that was pro-faith based initiatives. Then we had someone from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State which opposes faith based initiatives. Then it was off for the highlight of the day which was a meeting with the director of the First Amendment Center which is a part of the Freedom Forum group funded by the Gannett Media Endowment (excuse me if I get some of these names wrong. I am typing this on my top bunk in the dark. The meeting room is one of the pictures above (click for a larger picture) and the other is a view from the balcony. This talk was probably the highlight of the day for me. The topic was the teaching of intelligent design and creationism in the public school. I will write more of this later as I am able to look at my notes. Then it was back to the Penn house for two more lectures, and then I went out to dinner with a few fellow students.

Now I am back in the bunk and getting ready to go to sleep. Just in case you forgot what it looked like, here it is as big as blogger will let me show it. This is CLOSE TO LIFE SIZE! Notice the light we have to unscrew to turn it off and keep the fan on! (You can click for a larger version if you really want to.)

We're in Washington

We have arrived in Washington, DC. After a 7.5 hour bus ride in a hot bus, we have arrived at our accomodations. The William Penn house is a Quaker retreat center in Washington. Its only a couple of blocks from the capitol, but as our professor said, "Its not the Holiday Inn...its not even the Red Roof Inn." He said it wasn't as bad as some camps he has been too, but its worse than any I have been to. This picture is of my friend Dean in the bottom bunk. I have the top. There is 1 bathroom for the guys. Its two rooms over. We have to go through a closet, and duck below the clothes bar to get there! If you turn the light off, the ceiling fan goes off as well, so we unscrewed the florescent bulb! Why am I in divinity school again?

Anyway, I will post more pictures as I get the chance. I am connecting to the internet via my cell phone, so it is really slow. But I had to get online to post this picture!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Off to Washington!

Well, I am officially through all of my mid-terms. (Although I really only have 2.) I got a B+ on my Old Testament Interpretation midterm, and took my History of Christianity midterm yesterday. I am doing well, although History of Christianity is a struggle for me. The first exam covered from the beginning of Christianity through just about 1200. So, the good thing is we have the rest of this sememester and next to cover the next 805 years! I am still getting all A's and B's, although the History of Christianity exam might change that.

This week I am off to Washington DC with James Dunn for my Chruch and State in America class. We will be leaving tomorrow afternoon (Thursday) and will return on Sunday. We will be listening to various people from various religions talk about church/state people. We will be hearing from both sides. For example, we will have a speaker from George Bush's justice department, as well as a speaker from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. I will try to post some pictures from Washington here over the weekend, so keep your eyes open. When we get back, we have our final for that class on Tuesday, and we have to write a response paper on the trip, which I will post here if it is any good. That will end this class which will give me more time to work on other classes, which is great!

On a technical note, I went back to the Blogger commenting system because they have made some improvements, and it is easier for me to update when Blogger has new features available. Unfortunately, that means we loose the older comments, but this makes things easier for me, and we all know that's what is important!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Why Can't I Own a Canadian?

The following is a letter senr to Dr. Laura Schlessinger's radio show a few years ago. I am posting it here because our Old Testament professor gave us a copy in class last week. I thought you all would enjoy it.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The First Employed Minister in the Family!

Today was a great day! Gay was called as Minister to Preschoolers and Children at Fist Baptist Church of Statesville, NC. The church voted at the end of the service, and the vote was unanimous. We then had lunch at the Sunday School appreciation lunch. It seems to be a great church, and Gay is very excited to be there. The really great thing is that the staff and children's leadership seem to be more excited than Gay is!

The service today was great too. Statesville celebrated World Communion Sunday, had Baptism, and was also voting on church deacons. Dr. Jeff Porter, the senior pastor, preached a great sermon. He talked a lot about the role of deacons in the church, and how important a healthy deacon board is to the health of the church.

I am very proud of Gay, and I know that she is going to do great things for the children's ministry at Statesville. I know this job is one of the reasons why we are in Winston-Salem.

On a lighter note, Gay and I went to our first Wake Forest football game yesterday. My friend Dean called late Friday night and told me a neighbor had given him 4 tickets to the game. So, we decided to go. We fully expected Wake Forest to loose to Clemson, but it didn't work out that way! Wake pulled out to an early 21-7 lead. Clemson was able to come back, and was leading 27-24 late in the fourth quarter. Wake scored with very little time on the clock to take a 31-24 lead. Clemson was almost able to come back, and on the final play of the game, they got as close as the 3 yard line, but the Demon Deacons prevailed! We had a great time.

We went out to dinner with our friends Dean and Janet after the game, and we discovered that they are getting married on June 3rd of next year. So, they will have the same anniversary we do. What are the chances that we leave Tampa, move to Winston-Salem, meet a couple from across the bay in St. Petersburg that only lives about 5 minutes from us and will now share our anniversary? Pretty weird, huh?

Just a picture of me



I forgot my picture was hosted on Bayshore's website, and its gone now. So, I need to post a picture of me for the profile. So, here it is. Just ignore this post.