Thursday, August 30, 2007

Confessions of a Tooth Fairy.

In honor of Hannah losing her second tooth....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Interesting Religious News

Two "religious" stories caught my eyes recently. The first deals with China and the Dali Lama. China recently passed a law regulating...I'm not making this up...where Buddhist monks can reincarnate. Buddhist monks must first receive official permission from the government before they reincarnate. The move is designed to allow China to pick the next Dali Lama. No word yet on how effective enforcement of the new law has been. The story can be found here:

You may be surprised to find that I personally support this regulation. I have always felt that reincarnation was far too "loosey-goosey". I propose that our government follow the bold initiative of our Chinese counterparts and regulate this practice. Think about the ramifications for our tax code alone. The death tax could be expanded to tax not just the individual when he/she dies but also when they are reincarnated.

The next story deals with Mother Teresa. Many of you may have read about her letters to her mentors that are being published in a book entitled, "Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the 'Saint of Calcutta." The letters chronicle the doubts she felt regarding her relationship with God. She writes things like:

"I have no Faith - I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart - & make me suffer untold agony,"

"Such deep longing for God and ... repulsed empty no faith no love no zeal. ... Heaven means nothing pray for me please that I keep smiling at Him in spite of everything."
She even wrote that her public personality was a "mask."
"What do I labour for? If there be no God - there can be no soul - if there is no Soul then Jesus You also are not true."

Many Roman Catholics argue that this struggle merely reflects her human side. Mother Teresa, like all people of faith, wrestled with what she truly believed.

I have always been uncomfortable with the Evangelical Church's relationship with Mother Teresa. Many have pointed to her works as clear evidence that she is a true believer. You may disagree with me, but here's how I interpret her letters: As profound as her works were, even she understood that there was something fundamentally missing in order for her to have a right relationship with God. I would argue that what was missing for her may have been faith in the person of Jesus Christ alone for her salvation. Of course I would argree that some doubt is possible for the believer. But what these letters seem to reveal is a profound level of doubt over decades. This is not normative for the believer.

Here's a link to the story:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dr Quantum - Double Slit Experiment

This video explains part of the experiment I referenced in a previous post. I purchased "Cosmic Jackpot" and am currently reading it. Two words: "Wow!" (It's a quantum physics joke).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Whitney's Video

Whitney made a video of highlights from our trip to see Ellie.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Does the FUTURE cause the PRESENT?

There is a must read article in the July 30th issue of Newsweek. An online version of the article can be found here:

Part of the article quotes Paul Davies in his new book Cosmic Jackpot. I plan on purchasing it soon, and given my well-known obsession with quantum physics (?), I should be through it rather quickly.

Here is the part of the article I found most interesting. When conducting an experiment with photons, researchers found that: "The act of observing alters what the photons did earlier, somehow changing things.... There are 'many histories' a photon could have...." Furthermore, phsicicst Jeff Tollaksen of George Mason University argues that "Something that happens now is affected by something that happens in the future....It suggests that the universe has a destiny--a destiny that is out there and coming back to us from the future."

Is that crazy? To me (cue warning bells of theologian attempting to understand quantum physics), it implies that not only do we exist spatially in the perfect part of the universe/galaxy to allow life to exist, but our temporal location may be equally significant. There may be things going on in the subatomic world in the future that allow this to be the perfect point in time for us to exist.

There are, of course, great spiritual metaphors to be drawn from this as well. Just as a photon's current conduct may be based upon its future, so might we say that our progressive sanctification is contingent upon our ultimate glorification. Is it possible that our future (glorification) affects our present (sanctification) as much as our past (initial salvation)?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Birthday, etc.

First, a very happy anniversary wish to my beautiful wife. Today is number eight. God has been very gracious to us.

Second, a happy birthday wish to my sister, Emily. It's hard to imagine being ten years older than a person who is no longer a teenager!

Finally, we received some good news on our adoption, but I don't quite understand it all. Here's Whitney's take on it:


I would hate for someone to fall asleep at the wheel...but here's the second part of my sermon series: .

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Link to Sunday's Sermon

I arrived back in Peoria at 1:30 AM on Sunday morning and preached a few hours later. The sermon mentions our can be found here: