Saturday, May 31, 2008


Codex Balliolensis, Tertullian’s ApologeticsApologetics, as defined in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, is "a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity." Someone who engages in apologetics is called an apologist. The term comes from the Greek word apologia (2 Corinthians 7:11, Philippians 1:17, 1 Peter 3:15), meaning the defense of a position against an attack, not from the english word apology, which is exclusively understood as a defensive plea for forgiveness for an action that is open to blame.

First Peter 3:15 declares that Christians must be ready to give a reason for their faith. Christian apologetics are designed to present non-Christians reasons to adopt the Christian faith or to strengthen the belief of current Christians. Also, apologetics within the Christian community provide arguments that support and strengthen the doctrinal and ethical tenets of the Christian faith.

Sociologists of religion, such as Peter Berger and Douglas Cowan, have observed that boundary maintenance of belief occurs when one religious tradition encounters another.

Evidentialist apologetics, such as today's Gary Habermas or the more introductory Christian apologetic works such as Josh McDowell or Lee Strobel, are the most popular apologetics and have been historically. This can be seen from the earliest times in Christianity, as the New Testament records the apostles appealing to eyewitness testimony.

Historically speaking, philosophical apologetics has not been very instrumental in the propagation of the Christian faith or had much interest to many Christians, although it has appealed to Christian intellectuals. The apostle Paul, who was well-educated, said to beware philosophy (Colossians 2:8), though there is evidence that he was acquainted with Greek philosophy himself (Acts 9:29). Evangelical Christian apologist Dr. Norman Geisler composed an essay entitled "Beware of Philosophy: A Warning to Biblical Scholars". Yet some apologists call themselves Christian philosophers, such as Michael Horner. An explanation of this conflict is that Christians view some philosophy as being compatible with Christianity, such as the laws of logic, while other philosophy is not, such as nontheistic philosophy. Also, Francis Schaeffer, a conservative Protestant Christian apologist, argued that Christians needed to be more knowledgeable about philosophical questions, as he taught that only a Judeo-Christian view of man and the world provided satisfactory and consistent answers to the questions of being, knowledge and morals which philosophy addresses.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Gabriel (archangel)

Gabriel delivering the Annunciation. Painting by El Greco (1575)In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel (גַּבְרִיאֵל, literally "Master, of God", i.e., a Master, who is "of God") is an archangel who is thought to serve as a messenger from God ("angel" literally translates to "messenger" from the Koine Greek; an "arch" angel is a "primary" or "chief" messenger). He first appears in the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible. He was also referred to as the "Left Hand of God".

Christians believe him to have foretold the births of John the Baptist and Jesus. In Islam, he is thought to have been the medium through which God revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad.

In Biblical tradition, he is sometimes regarded as the angel of death, the prince of fire and thunder, but more frequently as one of God's chief messengers.

The Talmud described him as the only angel that can speak Syriac and Chaldee. In Islam, Gabriel is one of God's chief messengers but other above mentioned titles are not given to him (for example the angel of death is Azrael).

In the Catholic Tradition, he is known as one of the archangels. In Islam, he is called the chief of the four favoured angels and the spirit of truth, and in some views Gabriel is the same person as the Holy Spirit. Gabriel also finds mention in the writings of the Bahá'í Faith, most notably in Bahá'u'lláh's metaphysical work The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys.
"...And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought to understand it; and, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, who called, and said:' Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.' So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was terrified, and fell upon my face; but he said to me: 'Understand, son of man; for the vision belongs to the time of the end..." (Daniel 8:15-17).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

the First Temple

A Dutch engraver’s depiction of Solomon’s Temple. Solomon brought in masons and architects from Tyre to build the temple, which took seven years to complete.Solomon's Temple (Hebrew: בית המקדש, transliterated Beit HaMikdash), also known as the First Temple, was, according to the Bible, the first Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. It functioned as a religious focal point for worship and the sacrifices known as the korbanot (see korban) in ancient Judaism. Completed in the 10th century BCE, it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.

Before his death King David had provided materials in great abundance for the building of the temple on the summit of Mount Moriah (1 Chronicles 22:14; 29:4; 2 Chronicles 3:1), where he had purchased a threshing floor from Araunah the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24:21 et seq.), on which he offered sacrifice.

The Bible states that in the beginning of his reign, King Solomon of the united Kingdom of Israel, set about giving effect to the ideas of his father, and prepared additional materials for the building. From subterranean quarries at Jerusalem he obtained huge blocks of stone for the foundations and walls of the temple. These stones were prepared for their places in the building under the eye of Tyrian master-builders.

According to this account, Solomon also entered into a pact with Hiram I, king of Tyre, for the supply of whatever else was needed for the work, particularly timber from the forests of Lebanon, which was brought in great rafts by the sea to Joppa, whence it was dragged to Jerusalem (1 Kings 5).


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

anthropic principle

This is a mosaic image, one of the largest ever taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope of the Crab Nebula, a six-light-year-wide expanding remnant of a star’s supernova explosion. Japanese and Chinese astronomers recorded this violent event nearly 1,000 years ago in 1054, as did, almost certainly, Native Americans. Material credited to STScI on this site was created, authored, and/or prepared for NASA under Contract NAS5-26555In physics and cosmology, the anthropic principle is an umbrella term for various dissimilar attempts to explain the structure of the universe by way of coincidentally balanced features that are necessary and relevant to the existence on Earth of biochemistry, carbon-based life, and eventually human beings to observe such a universe. The common (and "weak") form of the anthropic principle is a truism or tautology that begins with the observation that the universe appears surprisingly hospitable to the emergence of life, particularly complex multicellular life, that can make such an observation and concludes with that premise that in only such a fine-tuned universe can such living observers be.

Given the extreme simplicity of the universe at the start of the Big Bang, the friendliness of the universe to complex structures such as galaxies, planetary systems, and biology is unexpected by any normal model of turbulence driven structuring that science has been able to derive.

The idea evolved from the so-called "Dicke's coincidence", and has subsequently been reinforced by the discovery of many more anthropic coincidences since Robert Dicke first noted that the evolution of the universe is not random, but is coincidentally constrained by biological factors that require that the age of the universe had to be roughly this "golden-age". Much younger, and there would not have been time for sufficient interstellar levels of carbon to build up by nucleosynthesis, but much older, and the golden age of main sequence stars and stable planetary systems would have already come to an end.

The anthropic principle also acts as a convenient category for physical and cosmological reasoning that takes into account the existence of a biosphere on Earth in an essential way. Attempts to invoke the "anthropic principle" to develop scientific explanations has led to more than a little confusion and controversy.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

William Lane Craig

William Lane CraigWilliam Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949) is an American philosopher, theologian, and Christian apologist. He is a prolific author and lecturer on a wide range of issues related to the philosophy of religion, the historical Jesus, the coherence of the Christian worldview, and Intelligent Design. He is married and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is currently a Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University in La Mirada, California. Craig is a fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, which is the hub of the Intelligent Design movement.

Craig has been critical of philosophical naturalism, logical positivism, moral relativism, liberal theology, and the Jesus Seminar. He has defended the middle knowledge view of divine providence and is also notable for his work in the philosophy of time. He is a founding member and has served as president of the Philosophy of Time Society.

Craig became a Christian believer in high school at the age of 16. His vocation and academic studies reflect his religious commitment to Christian beliefs within the Protestant Evangelical tradition.


Friday, May 23, 2008

biblical inerrancy

Geneva bible First epistle of Paul to TimothyBiblical inerrancy is the belief that the Bible is without error. The belief takes several forms, ranging from biblical literalism (the belief that the Bible is true in every word) to the belief that Biblical texts require interpretation in order to be understood correctly.

The theological basis of the belief, in its simplest form, is that as God is infallible, the Bible, as the Word of God, must also be free from error. A more nuanced restatement of the same idea is that God inspired the authors of the Bible without marginalizing their personal concerns or personalities, and so preserved the texts from error.

Protestant churches, unlike Eastern and Roman churches, reject that there is an infallible authoritative tradition that is held over scripture. Some Protestants hold that the Bible confirms its own infallibility, pointing out that Jesus frequently quotes Scripture as if it was meant to be taken historically rather than entirely allegorically, and citing John 10:35 "the Scripture cannot be broken," they conclude that if the Bible is not inerrant, then Jesus is a liar.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Intelligent Design Movement

The Antennae Galaxies are undergoing a collision that will result in their eventual merger. Credit:Hubble Space TelescopeNASA/ESA.The intelligent design movement is a neo-creationist campaign that arose out of the previous Christian fundamentalist and evangelistic creation science movement in the United States that calls for broad social, academic and political changes derived from the notion of "intelligent design." Chief amongst its activities are a campaign to promote public awareness of this notion; the lobbying of policymakers to include its teaching in high schools; and legal action, either to defend such teaching or to remove barriers otherwise preventing it.

The overall goal of the intelligent design movement is to "overthrow materialism" and atheism. They believe that society has suffered "devastating cultural consequences" from adopting materialism and that science is the cause of this decay into materialism since science seeks only natural explanations. Science is therefore atheistic, they claim. They believe that the theory of evolution implies that humans have no spiritual nature, no moral purpose, and no intrinsic meaning. The movement's proponents seek to "defeat [the] materialist world view" represented by the theory of evolution in favor of "a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions."

To achieve their goal of defeating a materialistic world view, advocates of intelligent design take a two-pronged approach. Alongside the promotion of intelligent design, proponents also seek to "Teach the Controversy"; discredit evolution by emphasizing "flaws" in the theory of evolution, or "disagreements" within the scientific community and encourage teachers and students to explore non-scientific "alternatives" to evolution, or to "critically analyze" evolution and "the controversy". But the world's largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has stated that "There is no significant controversy within the scientific community about the validity of evolution." and that "Evolution is one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of modern science."


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Map of ConstantinopleConstantinople was the name of the modern city of İstanbul, Turkey over the centuries that it served as the second capital of the unified Roman Empire, and after its division into East and West, of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire (from the city's ancient Greek name, Byzantium).

Constantinople was located strategically between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara at the point where Europe met Asia, and was highly significant as the successor to ancient Rome and the largest and wealthiest city in Europe throughout the Middle Ages, known as the "Queen of Cities".


The city had many names throughout history. Depending on the background of people, and their language and ethnicity, it often had several different names at any given time; among the most common were Byzantium, New Rome, Constantinople and Stamboul were some.

The name of Constantinople is an honorific eponym referencing its founder, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Billy Graham

Billy Graham, April 1966 The Rev. Dr. William Franklin Graham, Jr. KBE (born November 7, 1918 in Charlotte, North Carolina), commonly known as "Billy Graham," is an American Christian evangelist. He has often advised U.S. presidents and continues to be listed as one of the "Ten Most Admired Men in the World" in Gallup Polls. He is of Scottish descent.

Raised as a Presbyterian, Billy Graham switched denominations to Southern Baptist in 1934 during a Christian revival meeting conducted by Mordecai Ham. Graham was ordained a Southern Baptist minister in 1939.

After graduating from Sharon High School in May 1936, Graham attended Bob Jones College (now Bob Jones University) but found it to be extremely fundamentalist and, considering this disobliging, he transferred to the Florida Bible Institute, now Trinity College of Florida, in 1937 and graduated from Wheaton College in 1943.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Antiochus IV Epiphanes

The martyrdom of the seven Maccabean brothers and their mother (under King Antiochus Epiphanes IV), by Franz Joseph Hermann, work period 1770–1791Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Greek: Αντίοχος Επιφανής, "The Shining One") (ca. 215–164 BC) ruled the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death.

He was a son of Antiochus III the Great and brother of Seleucus IV Philopator. He was originally named Mithradates, but renamed Antiochus, either upon his ascension, or after the death of his elder brother Antiochus. Notable events during his reign include the near-conquest of Egypt, which was halted by the threat of Roman intervention, and the beginning of the Jewish revolt of the Maccabees.

Rise to Power

Antiochus took power after the death of Seleucus Philopator. He had been hostage in Rome following the Treaty of Apamea in 188 BC, but had recently been exchanged for the son and rightful heir of Seleucus IV, the later Demetrius I Soter. Antiochus took advantage of this situation, and proclaimed himself co-regent with another of Seleucus' sons, the infant Antiochus, whose murder he orchestrated a few years later.


Saturday, May 17, 2008


Meditating philosopher by RembrandtAsceticism (Greek: askēsis) describes a life-style characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures such as maintaining power (especially sexual activity and consumption of alcohol) often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals. Some Eastern religions teach that salvation and liberation involve a process of mind-body transformation that is effected through practicing restraint with respect to actions of body, speech and mind. The founders and earliest practitioners of these religions (e.g. Buddhism, Jainism, the Christian desert fathers) lived extremely austere lifestyles refraining from sensual pleasures and the accumulation of material wealth. This is to be understood not as an eschewal of the enjoyment of life but a recognition that spiritual and religious goals are impeded by such indulgence.

Asceticism is closely related to the Christian concept of chastity and might be said to be the technical implementation of the abstract vows of renunciation. Those who practice ascetic lifestyles do not consider their practices as virtuous but pursue such a life-style in order to satisfy certain technical requirements for mind-body transformation. There is remarkable uniformity among the above religions with respect to the benefits of sexual continence. Religions teach that purifying the soul also involves purification of the body which thereby enables connection with the divine and the cultivation of inner peace. In the popular imagination asceticism is considered a sort of perversion (self-flagellation by birch twigs as the archetypal stereotype of self-mortification) but the askēsis enjoined by religion functions in order to bring about greater freedom in various areas of one's life, such as freedom from compulsions and temptations bringing about peacefulness of mind with a concomitant increase in clarity and power of thought.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger 1950’s, © Dr. Hermann HeideggerMartin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) was an influential German philosopher. His best known book, Being and Time, is generally considered to be one of the key philosophical works of the 20th century.


Heidegger claimed that Western philosophy has, since Plato, misunderstood what it means for something to be, tending to approach this question in terms of a being, rather than asking about being itself. In other words, Heidegger believed all investigations of being have historically focused on particular entities and their properties, or have treated being itself as an entity, or substance, with properties. A more authentic analytic of being would, for Heidegger, investigate "that on the basis of which beings are already understood," or that which underlies all particular entities and allows them to show up as entities in the first place.

But since philosophers and scientists have overlooked the more basic, pre-theoretical ways of being from which their theories derive, and since they have incorrectly applied those theories universally, they have confused our understanding of being and human existence. To avoid these deep-rooted misconceptions, Heidegger believed philosophical inquiry must be conducted in a new way, through a process of retracing the steps of the history of philosophy.

Heidegger argued that this misunderstanding, commencing from Plato, has left its traces in every stage of Western thought. All that we understand, from the way we speak to our notions of "common sense," is susceptible to error, to fundamental mistakes about the nature of being. These mistakes filter into the terms through which being is articulated in the history of philosophy—reality, logic, God, consciousness, presence, et cetera. In his later philosophy, Heidegger argues that this profoundly affects the way in which human beings relate to modern technology.

His work has exercised a deep influence on philosophy, theology and the humanities, being key to the development of existentialism, hermeneutics, deconstructionism, postmodernism, and continental philosophy in general. Heidegger's thought directly informs the works of major philosophers such as Karl Jaspers, Leo Strauss, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Lévinas, Hannah Arendt, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Louis PasteurVitalism, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is
  1. a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from physicochemical forces
  2. a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining
Where vitalism explicitly invokes a vital principle, that element is often referred to as the "vital spark," "energy" or "élan vital," which some equate with the "soul."
Evolution is a vitalism religion based on ignorance of growth and development as proven by the experiments, never overturned, of Francesco Redi, M.D., in 1668 amongst others -AIG
Vitalism has a long history in medical philosophies: most traditional healing practices posited that disease was the result of some imbalance in the vital energies which distinguish living from non-living matter. In the Western tradition, associated with Hippocrates, these vital forces were identified as the humours; Eastern traditions posited similar forces such as qi and prana. Vitalistic thinking has also been identified in the naive biological theories of children.

Vitalism has a long history in medical philosophies: most traditional healing practices posited that disease was the result of some imbalance in the vital energies which distinguish living from non-living matter. In the Western tradition, associated with Hippocrates, these vital forces were identified as the humours; Eastern traditions posited similar forces such as qi and prana. Vitalistic thinking has also been identified in the naive biological theories of children.

However, opponents of vitalism argue that it is a remnant of prescientific thinking, since its core ideas are metaphysical and impossible to prove or disprove using scientific method.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Samuel F.B. Morse

Samuel F.B. MorseSamuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) was an American, a painter of portraits and historic scenes, and co-inventor (with Alfred Vail) of the Morse Code.

Early years

Samuel Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the first child of geographer and pastor Jedidiah Morse and Elizabeth Ann Breese Morse. After attending Phillips Academy, Andover, he went on to Yale. He devoted himself to art and became a pupil of Washington Allston, a well known American painter. While at Harvard University, he attended lectures on electricity from Benjamin Silliman and Jeremiah Day. He earned money by painting portraits. In 1810, he graduated from Yale University. Morse later accompanied Allston to Europe in 1811


Morse's Calvinist beliefs are evident in his painting the Landing of the Pilgrims, through the depiction of simplistic clothing as well as the austere facial features. This image captured the psychology of the Federalists; Calvinists from England brought to the United States ideas of religion and government thus forever linking the two countries. More importantly, this particular work attracted the attention of the famous artist, Washington Allston. Allston wanted Morse to accompany him to England to meet the artist Benjamin West. An agreement for a three- year stay was made with Jedidah, and young Morse set sail with Allston aboard the Lydia on July 15, 1811.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Christian church

The Four Evangelists. Oil on canvas, ca. 1625–1630, Jakob Jordaens (Dutch, 1593–1678)The Christian Church is a religiously ambiguous and cultural-sociological term to refer to all religions based on the worship of Jesus of Nazareth as the son of God. It is not a single religious institution. Today there is no single political entity recognized by the secular world as the unique Christian Church.

The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches all claim to be the unique church established by Jesus in the Great Commission. Protestants, on the other hand, hold that the concept is justified by the notion that the Church is ultimately headed by Jesus Christ himself, who acts as the unifying figure for all who follow Him. Anglicans feel that they are but a branch of the Church. The term means something quite different for each religious institution that sees itself as belonging to the Christian traditions.

The phrase The Church in its widest sense, as the Body of Christ has a similar breadth.

The word "church" is used in two senses:

  1. the visible and
    • The visible church consists of all the people that claim to be Christians and go to church.
  2. the invisible church.
    • The invisible church is the actual body of Christians; those who are truly saved. The true church of God is not an organization on earth consisting of people and buildings, but is really a supernatural entity comprised of those who are saved by Jesus.


Throughout history there have been various terms that have been used to express the concept of a united Christian Church. This section discusses some of these.

The English word church derives from the Greek κυριακή (kyriake), "Lord's (house)". The term has expanded over time to the allow today's more general meanings.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

archaeology of Israel

The Old City of Jerusalem in the early 20th century. The Jewish quarter is at the bottom of the image. The two large domes are the Hurva Synagogue and the Tiferes Yisrael Synagogue, both of which were destroyed by the Jordanians in 1948.The archaeology of Israel is a national passion that also attracts considerable international interest on account of the region's Biblical links.

Each university in Israel possesses a strong department or institute of archaeology and is involved in research, excavation, conservation and training.

Israeli archaeologists frequently achieve a high profile, both at home and internationally.

Yigael Yadin, one-time Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, was one of the more influential amongst the older generation of Israeli archaeologists before his death. Eilat Mazar, granddaughter of the pioneering Israeli archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, has emerged as a frequent spokesperson for concerns regarding the archaeology of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Stemming from its Biblical possibilities, controversy remains a hallmark of Israeli archaeology. Recent issues have centered on the veracity of such artefacts as the Tel Dan Stela, the Jehoash Inscription and the James Ossuary, as well as the validity of whole chronological schemes. In regard to the latter, Amihai Mazar and Israel Finkelstein represent the leading lights in a debate regarding the nature and chronology of the United Monarchy.

Excavation in Israel continues at a relatively rapid pace and is conducted according to generally high standards. Excavators return each year to a number of key sites that have been selected for their potential scientific and cultural interest.


Friday, May 09, 2008


click to listenPaul David Hewson (born 10 May 1960), nicknamed Bono Vox (stage name) and Bono (pronounced Bonn-oh), is the lead singer and occasional rhythm guitarist of the Irish rock band U2. Bono lives south of Dublin with his family and shares a villa in Èze in the Alpes-Maritimes in the South of France with The Edge, as well as an apartment at The Dakota in Manhattan.

Bono doesn't attend church on a regular basis. However, he does pray regularly, usually before meals and he tries to have a "Sabbath hour" as often as he can. He likes Eugene Peterson's bible paraphrase, The Message. Sometimes he hangs out with Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones, and sometimes he hangs out with Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.

In a interview, Bono said, "I often wonder if religion is the enemy of God. It's almost like religion is what happens when the Spirit has left the building."

In an article titled, "HIV, Bono, and Christianity Today" by Fayola Shakes, Bono said,

Shouldn't the focus be on meeting the person's where they're at? Isn't that what Jesus did? He didn't shout "Repent, you little hussy!" to the woman caught in the act of adultery. As far I recall, it went more like this:

"Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, 'Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?' 'No, Lord,' she said. And Jesus said, 'Neither do I. Go and sin no more.'"

So why does the church still have a pocket full of stones? I could see if it were 1984. Back then everyone -- scientists, doctors, HIVers -- was searching for answers.
In context, Bono's above reference to Jesus's parable comes from John 8:1-8.


Thursday, May 08, 2008


Site of the Temple of Artemis.Ephesus (Greek: Έφεσος see also List of traditional Greek place names, Turkish: Efes) was one of the great cities of the Ionian Greeks in Asia Minor, located in Lydia where the Cayster river flows into the Aegean Sea (in modern day Turkey). It was founded by colonists principally from Athens. The ruins of Ephesus are a major tourist attraction, especially for people traveling to Turkey by cruise ship via the port of Kuşadası.

Ancient Ephesus

Ephesus is believed by many to be the Apasa (or Abasa) mentioned in Hittite sources as the capital of the kingdom of Arzawa. Mycenaean pottery has been found in excavations at the site.

The many-breasted "Lady of Ephesus", identified by Greeks with Artemis, was venerated in the Temple of Artemis, the largest building of the ancient world, according to Pausanias (4.31.8) and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, of which scarcely a trace remains.

Achaichus, (1 Cor. 16:17), was one of the members of the church of Corinth who, with Fortunatus and Stephanas, visited Paul while he was at Ephesus, for the purpose of consulting him on the affairs of the church. These three probably were the bearers of the letter from Corinth to the apostle to which he alludes in 1 Cor. 7:1.

There was a Jew of Ephesus named Alexander who took a prominent part in the uproar raised there by the preaching of Paul (Acts 19:33). The Jews put him forward to plead their cause before the mob. It was probably intended that he should show that he and the other Jews had no sympathy with Paul any more than the Ephesians had.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

missional living

Village Children, Eastern Cape of South Africa, taken by Larry and Susan Correll.  This file is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 LicenseThe Oxford English Dictionary defines "missional" as "Relating to or connected with a religious mission; missionary." In contemporary usage "missional" is an adjectival alternative to "missionary." Although both words are related to "missio" (Latin: sending), some scholars, including Darrell Guder et. al. in The Missional Church believe "missional" focuses on the the Church's indigenous, rather than cross-cultural context, with the church contextualizing its methods, morality, and message to fit this indigenous culture.

In this usage "missional" has rapidly entered the lexicon of the growing emerging church movement whose participants have popularized the term, enabling participants in this movement to recognize each other across denominational lines.

As the term has come to be closely associated with the emerging church movement, it has come to represent the belief that the Spirit of God is alive and active in the people of God, namely the church as a whole. This approach tends to emphasize the importance of the involvement of "laymembers" and "lay-leaders" in churches.

Mark A. Driscoll (PastorMark), for example, helped start, a repository of missional theology resources, and has contributed to the "Faith and Values" section of the Seattle Times.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008


“Shalom” (in blue) and “Salaam” (in green) mean “peace” in Hebrew and Arabic respectively and often represent a peace symbol.Shalom (שָׁלוֹם) is a Hebrew and Jewish word meaning peace, Nothing missing, Nothing broken, wellbeing, and complete , and used to mean hello, and goodbye. As it does in English, it can refer to either peace between two entities (especially between man and God or between two countries), or to the well-being, welfare or safety of an individual or a group of individuals. It is also used as a greeting to either say hello or farewell, and is found in many other expressions and names. Its equivalent cognate in Arabic is salaam, Shlomo (ܫܠܡܐ) in Syriac-Assyrian and sälam in Ethiopian Semitic languages from the Hebrew root shin-lamed-mem (ש.ל.ם).

In the bible

24 Then Gideon built an altar there to God and named it "God's Peace." It's still called that at Ophrah of Abiezer.
—Judges 6:24 (The Message)

4-8 David, out in the backcountry, heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep and sent ten of his young men off with these instructions: "Go to Carmel and approach Nabal. Greet him in my name, 'Peace! Life and peace to you. Peace to your household, peace to everyone here! I heard that it's sheep-shearing time. Here's the point: When your shepherds were camped near us we didn't take advantage of them. They didn't lose a thing all the time they were with us in Carmel. Ask your young men—they'll tell you. What I'm asking is that you be generous with my men—share the feast! Give whatever your heart tells you to your servants and to me, David your son.'"
—1 Samuel 25:4-8 The Message

5-6 "When you enter a home, greet the family, 'Peace.' If your greeting is received, then it's a good place to stay. But if it's not received, take it back and get out. Don't impose yourself.
— Luke 10:5-6 The Message

19-20 Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you." Then he showed them his hands and side.

20-21 The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: "Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you."
—John 20:19-21 The Message

The Word "shalom" can be used for all parts of speech; as a noun, adjective, verb, and as an adverb. It categorizes all shaloms.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Mark Driscoll

Mark DriscollMark A. Driscoll (born October 11, 1970) is an American minister and author. The co-founder and preaching pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, he co-founded the Acts 29 Network, and has contributed to the "Faith and Values" section of the Seattle Times. He helped start The Resurgence, a repository of missional theology resources.

Driscoll was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota and is a 1989 graduate of Highline High School in Burien, Washington, where he served as student body president and editor of the school newspaper. He earned a Bachelor's degree in communications from Washington State University with a minor in philosophy. Currently, he is completing a Master of Arts degree in exegetical theology at Western Seminary, a school affiliated with the Conservative Baptist Association.

Acts 29

Mars Hill Church is home to the Acts 29 headquarters. Acts 29 is a network of pastors from around the nation and world whose dream is to help qualified leaders plant new churches and rejuvenate declining churches. Acts 29 is lead by Scott Thomas, a Mars Hill pastor.

The Resurgence is an outgrowth of the teaching ministry at Mars Hill Church. Started after the successful Reformission Conference in November 2004 hosted at the Reformission Conference effectively became the precursor event for the movement now known as Resurgence. The intent of the ministry is to provide a large repository of free missional theology resources in hopes of serving the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ in culture. Additionally, Resurgence have announced that starting in 2008 they will begin publishing a line of books called Re:Lit (Resurgence Literature) in partnership with Crossway.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Rob Bell

Rob BellRob Bell is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, one of the fastest growing churches in American history.

He lives with his wife, Kristen, and their two boys in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Rob's first book is titled Velvet Elvis : Repainting the Christian Faith.

The Emerging Church movement is a movement which seeks to revitalise the Christian church beyond what it sees as the confines of modernity, so that it can effectively engage with people in a postmodern age.

Brian McLaren is a prominent author who is a spokesperson for this movement.

Rob Bell may also be seen as a proponent of Postmodern Christianity, but in a more indirrect way than Brian McLaren. Rob is the Teaching Pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids Michigan (Mars Hill) and recently released a book entitled "Velvet Elvis"; adding his thoughts to the ongoing discussion of the Christian faith (See also fans of rob bell jr. & the mars hill bible church).


Friday, May 02, 2008

Brian McLaren

Picture of Brian McLaren at the Emergent Theological Conversation at Yale Divinity School, 2006.Brian D. McLaren is a prominent, controversial voice in the Emerging Church movement. He was recognized as one of Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America," and is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland.


Born in 1956, Brian McLaren graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with degrees in English (BA, summa cum laude, 1978, and MA, 1981). His academic interests include medieval drama, romantic poets, modern philosophical literature, and the novels of Dr. Walker Percy. He is also a musician and songwriter.

Something’s Going On

McLaren says "Something’s Going On" and traditional views are changing. We are in "deep shift":
What does it mean, in today’s world, to be a follower of God in the way of Jesus?

What does it mean to be a faith community engaged in the holistic, integral mission of God in our world today?

How do we, as individuals and organizations, respond faithfully to the crises facing our world?

What is our duty to God, ourselves, our families, our neighbors, our enemies, and our planet in light of Jesus’ radical message of the kingdom of God?

How can we engage in personal formation and theological reformulation for global transformation?


After several years of teaching English and consulting in higher education, he left academia in 1986 to become the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, a nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region. The church has grown to involve several hundred people, many of whom were previously unchurched. In 2004 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from the Carey Theological College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rick Warren

A press photo of Rick WarrenRichard D. "Rick" Warren (born January 28, 1954) is a Christian author and founding and senior pastor of Saddleback Church).


Warren was born in San Jose, California, in 1954, the son of Jimmy and Dot Warren.

He graduated from Ukiah High School in 1971, then taking a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist University, his Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1979), and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He also holds several honorary doctorates. He has lectured in the cities of Oxford, Cambridge, and at the University of Judaism (for Synagogue 3000), and the Evangelical Theological Society, among numerous seminaries and universities.

Warren has been invited to speak at national and international forums including The United Nations, The World Economic Forum in Davos, The African Union, The Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and TIME’s Global Health Summit. He's also a signer of a statement concerning the global warming initiative.





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