Click here to download.
Greetings to everyone! And may I wish you a very wonderful Thanksgiving. Early, I know…. Still, I don’t know exactly when I will be posting again on here, so I might as well wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving now, or I might be too late.
For those of you who are familiar with our family, you know how crazy and fun it can get around here. These past few weeks have been just that. CRAZY… but FUN too! We had a great visit with Granny who came down to visit us recently, but after she left we were in the midst of end of semester panic time. While I myself am not a student officially, I have been auditing Greek 101 this semester and have gotten to experience for myself just how crazy it can be to be Mom by day and student by night. Ah, the lack of sleep… And yet, here I am posting on this blog at midnight. Silly. I know. Still, it has been nice to get a feel for what Greg does day in and day out. STUDY. Thankfully we are now enjoying a nice break for “reading week” and I’m trying to get caught up on my Greek… and Greg is making the most of his time by working on his Thesis.
It’s been a long time since we posted any pictures as well, for which I apologize. It is not due to a lack of change in our children’s stature or appearance, although, I wouldn’t mind if that were the case. They have been growing by leaps and bounds. However, my camera was not functioning properly and was always giving me some error message whenever I would attempt to take some photographs. However, for my birthday I received a new-to-me lens (Thanks, Susan!) which now allows my camera to take the wonderful pictures I enjoy.
God’s richest blessings on you all.
We had a good summer back home in Michigan. I took one class online (Trinitarianism) and was able to plug into my home church by teaching the college Sunday school class as well as preaching once. I was able to do a lot of work around the house for my dad (who was out of town), which was good. We were staying on a lake, so we were able to do a lot of swimming as well.
The biggest news was that we had our third child this summer. Christopher Paul was born on July 22, and my wife’s labor was blessedly quick and easy (as it had been for our first two). Right now he is smiling and cooing a lot, and is getting close to rolling over. He enjoys watching his big brother and big sister tear around the house, though the “big kids” make his mom and dad a little nervous!
This semester I began an internship at Northwest Bible Church in the Outreach department. I am working with our church’s African refugee ministry, and I am overseeing our church’s ESL tutor program. We connect willing members of the church with refugees to practice English. I am also putting together an equipping class for the leaders of the church which will hopefully start next semester. It has been a good learning experience to work within a much larger church than I was a part of back in Michigan.
I have had a great line-up of classes this semester. I am taking my third semester of Hebrew, which has been good (studying the book of Ruth and a few Psalms). I also took an elective called Hebrew Reading, which has really helped me. We’ve focused primarily on narrative in Genesis and Judges, but we are just now transitioning into the last segment of the class, which is on poetry. I am also taking Exegesis of Romans,” which is our fifth Greek class. This is very enjoyable course. I love the book of Romans, and I think it’s one of the most important books of the Bible (along with Genesis and Mark). I’m also taking a class called Creative Writing, which has been a lot of fun. I aspire to write fiction on the side (haha), so it’s been very helpful. I’m signed up for Advanced Creative Writing with the same teacher next semester, where I will be focusing on preparing a novel I have written for hopeful publication. My last class this semester is our second preaching class. This covers narrative preaching (in Mark and Genesis), and I have learned a lot in this so far.
As far as future plans, I am once again wrestling with the decision of whether or not to pursue a PhD in New Testament here at DTS. On one hand I would really love the additional training, and I think it would only help me in the future. On the other hand, since I want to be a pastor (not a professor), I know it is not strictly required, and so I wonder if it is worth the time and cost to my family. I am probably learning at the moment toward doing it. I had a good talk with one of our NT professors, and he advised that he thought there is a great need for “scholar pastors” who can minister in the church from a such a level of training. I will be doing an informal internship with him in the near future as well, and so I hope that will help clarify my direction. I would appreciate your prayers!
Here’s an old post reposted. (Greg Rhodea)
Some of you may be familiar with the book The Shack, by William P. Young. It has become an exceedingly popular and “trendy” Christian book, and many Christians are reading it, recomending it, and claiming to have been transformed by it. Right now it is the #5 overall best selling book on Amazon.com, and #1 best selling religious book. There is also much controversy concerning this book within the church at large, and so for these reasons combined, I read it this last Thursday on the way down to Dave’s wedding.
The verdict? Two big thumbs down.
It’s unfortunate, because I think this is a book that could have been good. It packs an emotional punch, and some of it is very biblical, very inspiring, and very helpful. However, much of it is not.
Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary and a leading evangelical Christian says it contains “undiluted heresy,” is “subversive,” “seductive,” and demands a revision of Christianity.
I agree. While much of this book is good, there is simply too much that is false for use to recommend it in good conscience. What’s that about the best lies containing a bit of truth?
I’ll give you a few quick examples, and then some links for you to investigate further.
#1 Trinitarian Heresy
The book features a man named Mack spending a weekend in a “shack” with the Trinity. God the Father is portrayed as an African American woman named “Papa,” Jesus is a Jewish man, and the Holy Spirit is a Asian woman named “Sarayu.” Apart from the obvious problems with God the Father and God the Spirit being portrayed as women (or any human, for that matter), the book goes even farther astray. I think the single greatest danger and problem with this book is that most of the substance of the book consistes of the author putting words in God’s mouth that may or not be based on Scripture (plenty of both, more of the latter). So God the Father (Papa), says this on page 99: “When we spoke ourself into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human…” On page 192, Papa again says: “in him (Jesus) we are now fully human…” This is heresy. God the Father and God the Father did not become human…only God the Son did. This may seem like a small issue, but it is really huge, and sets the stage for rampant misunderstandings of the Trinity and develop further in that paragraph and through the rest of the book.
The book also contains false teaching regarding the workings of the Trinity. The Bible portrays God the Son as submissive (yet equal) to God the Father (“Not my will, but yours,” etc). However, this is not what Papa says in the book. It is claimed that the Trinity is a “circle of relationship” with no hierarchy among them. Jesus says on page 145, “That’s the beauty of my relationship with Abba and Sarayu. Wew are indeed submitted to one another and have always been so and alway will be. Papa is as much subimitted to me as I to him, or Sarayu to me, or Papa to her. Submission is not about authority and it is not obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect. In fact, we are submitted to you in the same way.” Mack then questions how this can be and how God could submit to him. Jesus answers: “Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationship. I don’t want slaves to my will; I want brother sand sisters who will share life with me.” So God the Father is submitted to God the Son, and both are somehow submitted to us as humans. The book goes on to explain that all authority and roles are because of sin and are evil. How does this fly when compared with Scripture?
#2 Incomplete Picture of God
Missing or vastly downplayed in this book are God’s righteousnes and Holiness. So when Mack asks God on page 119 “aren’t you the one spilling out great bowls of wrath and throwing people into a burning lake of fire?” and “Honestly, don’t you enjoy punishing those who disappoint you,” she (God) answers: “I am not who you think I am, Mackenzie. I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.” Now certainly part of that is true, but it also ignores some pretty compelling chunks of Scripture.
At this point, I am given to frustration, because there is simply so much that is wrong with this book and I don’t have to go into any more detail. There’s no clear communication of salvation, the author dances around Uninversalism, nothing but contempt is expressed for the instutution of the Church, and when God finally gets around to dealing with the protagonist’s core complaint, about why his little girl was murdered, Jesus really drops the ball and says that the girl’s death “Was no plan of Papa’s.”
If you are in any way interested in hearing more about this book, check out one of the two links below. This guys do a better job of dealing with the book than me.
Text Link: Dr. Al Mohler
Audio Link: Dr. Al Mohler
Dr. Mohler devotes the second two thirds of his radio program dealing with this book. His commentary is brilliant, and you should listen. When it starts playing, skip ahead to minute 11, that’s when he starts dealing with the book. The relevent section is about 20 minutes long.
Video Link: Mark Driscoll
Mark is the pastor of Mars Hills church in Seattle, and an awesome guy. This video is 8 minutes long.
Hello everyone! We’re in the midst of re-creating our website with a new look and new features. Stay tuned and come back often!