Monday, 30 June 2008

Movie Review - Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia)
Focus on the Family
30 Jun 2008

Fantasy lovers love allegory. And nobody's known more for creating allegorical fantasy than C.S. Lewis. So it's to great anticipation that the second movie in The Chronicles of Narnia franchise (based on the fourth book in Lewis' series of seven) arrives in theaters. Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter are a year older than they were in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and they're longing to return to the world that once made them kings and queens.

They get their wish while sitting on a train platform waiting to go back to school for a new term. They're pulled into Narnia at the request of Susan's magical horn of need, blown by Prince Caspian. Little do they know that Cair Paravel lies in ruins and 1,300 years have passed since their last visit.

Though he's not a Narnian at all, much of this story revolves around the titular prince. Caspian is a Telmarine, a human race that has conquered Narnia and driven its diverse inhabitants to extinction. (Or so it is thought.) Caspian and other kids of his generation have been raised to believe that the old stories about Narnia, its magic, the White Witch and Aslan himself are fairy tales.

He comes face to face with the truth soon enough. The lad's evil Uncle Miraz (having murdered Caspian's father) only tolerates Caspian because he has no son of his own to inherit the throne. A baby boy changes that equation and Caspian flees for his life—straight into the deep woods that protect pockets of Old Narnians.

Enter the talking animals. Enter the magical horn. And enter the Pevensie kids. The result? War. Caspian and Peter lead their troops into battle against Miraz. At stake? The very soul of Narnia and the Narnians' fading belief in Aslan.

(read more)

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Saturday, 28 June 2008

Book Review - The Deliberate Church by Mark Dever & Paul Alexander

Mark Dever and Paul Alexander wrote the book "The Deliberate Church" (Building your ministry on the Gospel) in 2005. It is divided into four sections:
  • Section 1: Gathering the church
  • Section 2: When the church gathers
  • Section 3: Gathering elders
  • Section 4: When the elders gather
I like Dever's comments in the first chapter "The 4 P's",
When I was interviewing with Capitol Hill Baptist Church before they called me to be their pastor, someone asked me if I had a program or plan to implement for growth. Perhaps to this person's surprise (and perhaps to yours too!), I responded that I didn't really have any great plans or programs to implement. I was just armed with four P's - I would preach, pray, develop personal discipling relationships, and be patient.
Michael McKinley posted this on the 9Marks blog recently, "The Four Keys to a Fruitful Pastorate," that according to Mark Dever, the keys to a effective pastorate (normally) is "Preach and Pray, Love and Stay".

Read reviews of the book below.
A Discerning Reader's Review (Tim Challies)
Book Review (Adrian Warnock)

Book Review (Bryce Hales)

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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Evangelist accuses Obama of 'distorting' Bible
Alexander Mooney, CNN
24 Jun 2008

A top U.S. evangelical leader is accusing Sen. Barack Obama of deliberately distorting the Bible and taking a "fruitcake interpretation" of the U.S. Constitution.
James Dobson says Barack Obama is distorting bibical teachings to fit "his own confused theology."
In comments aired on his radio show Tuesday, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson criticized the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for comments he made in a June 2006 speech to the liberal Christian group Call to Renewal.
In the speech, Obama suggested that it would be impractical to govern based solely on the word of the Bible, noting that some passages suggest slavery is permissible and eating shellfish is disgraceful.
"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" Obama asked in the speech. "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount?
"So before we get carried away, let's read our Bible now," Obama said, to cheers. "Folks haven't been reading their Bible."

He also called Jesus' Sermon on the Mount "a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our Defense Department would survive its application."
(read more)
Dobson on Obama (25 Jun 2008) - Scot McKnight,

Obama: Dobson Is ‘Making Stuff Up’ With Bible Criticism (24 Jun 2008) -

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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Don Carson Interview

Adrian Warnock interviews Don Carson at New Word Alive 2008.

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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Preach ... like Billy Graham!

Quote from Billy Graham, recalling his first sermon in his book Just as I am, posted by Colin Adams,
When the moment came to walk to the pulpit in the tiny Bostwick Baptist Church, my knees shook and perspiration glistened on my hands. I launched into sermon number one. It seemed to be over almost as soon as I got started, so I added number two. And number three. And eventually number four. Then I sat down. Eight minutes – that was all it took to preach all four of my sermons!

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Saturday, 14 June 2008

Christian Reading List

Compiled a couple of basic book recommendations for an average Christian's reading.

Top Ten Christian Book List "Basic Christian Reading List"
Essential Reading List - Beginning
What are some books that DG recommends? (Desiring God, John Piper)
9Marks Reading List - for pastors and/or laymen (by publisher or topic) - link down

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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Christian leaders meet privately with Obama

10 Jun 2008
by Charles Babington

Barack Obama discussed Darfur, the Iraq war, gay rights, abortion and other issues Tuesday with Christian leaders, including a conservative who has been criticized for praising the Democratic presidential candidate
Bishop T.D. Jakes, a prominent black clergyman who heads a Dallas megachurch, said Obama took questions, listened to participants and discussed his "personal journey of faith."
The discussion "went absolutely everywhere," Jakes told The Associated Press, and "just about every Christian stripe was represented in that room."

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Saturday, 7 June 2008

Book Summary - Five Essentials for Lifelong Intimacy (James Dobson)

Essential 1. A Christ-centered home (1 Cor 3:11)
- persistent prayer
- intimacy with Jesus

Essential 2. A Lifelong commitment (Matt 19:6)
- persisting through the pain
- emotions: you can't trust them
- "I promise..."

Essential 3. A Deep & Abiding trust (1 Cor 13:6-7)
- building trust with words
- building trust with actions
- hedges around your home
- trust begins with God

Essential 4. A Willingness to communicate (Phil 2:4)
- marriage misconceptions
- restoring the information flow
- accept the unresolvables

Essential 5. An understanding of love (Songs of Sol 8:6)
- "My lover is mine and I am His"
- the thrill of the chase
- how to love a man
- the art of making love

- establishing a Christ-centered home
- cultivating committed love
- building trust together
- seeking to understand
- renewing your romance

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