Preaching in Lodi

Last night we had a great service with Chan Keith in Lodi, CA. A college‐aged lady who was visiting the church that night chose to follow Christ!

I love my job…

Also, Nicholette Lockwood, a student from our former ministry in Springfield, MO moved in last night. She’ll be staying with us for a month this summer.

Right now I’m focused on two tasks:
1) Helping to select the Chi Alpha leader for Northern Cal/Nevada.
2) Helping to plan Chi Alpha’s Winter Conference in 2004.

Does The Bible Teach That Jesus Is God?

It is sometimes alleged that the Bible doesn’t really claim that Jesus is God. This is a list of passages that establish the doctrine. This list isn’t written to persuade nonbelievers that Jesus is in fact God, but to persuade everyone that the Bible indeed claims that He is.

Passages That Explicitly Assert Jesus Divinity

  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
    Word was God
    . (John 1:1, NIV)
  • No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God,
    is near to the Father’s heart; he has told us about him. (John 1:18, NLT)
  • Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your
    hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said
    to him, “My Lord and my God!”
    Then Jesus told him, “Because you have
    seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have
    believed.” (John 20:27–29, NIV)
  • Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has
    made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought
    with his own blood
    . (Acts 20:28, NIV)
  • Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of
    Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. (Romans
    9:5, NIV)
  • we wait for the blessed hopethe glorious appearing of our great
    God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
    who gave himself for us to redeem us
    from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own,
    eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:13–14, NIV)
  • to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus
    have received a faith as precious as ours (2 Peter 1:1, NIV)

Continue reading “Does The Bible Teach That Jesus Is God?”

Reno Rocks!

We got back from Reno yesterday. It was a great trip!

If you ever need to travel to Reno, you really ought to look into staying at the Peppermill, a hotel/casino. Their rates are great and the rooms are wonderful!

We stayed in three different hotels this weekend (for perfectly good reasons which I won’t go into here), and the Peppermill blew the other two away.

Reno and Roomies

Paula and I are heading up to Reno to preach this Sunday. We’ve got a ministerial meeting in Susanville tonight (about 90 minutes from Reno), so we’re just going to spend the whole weekend up there. I probably won’t be able to check my email again until Monday.

Side note–we’ve had students living with us the last few days. A lot of students are in‐between housing right now, and so we offer our pad to those who are in a homeless zone. Nate left yesterday to go do his summer studies at Princeton. Jimmy is leaving Sunday to go do his military service in Singapore.

I guess today is the last time we’ll see Jimmy for a long while. In fact, it’s possible that we’ll never see him again. That’s an incredibly sad thought…

On a more upbeat note, Shih‐Yang and Andrew will be moving in Sunday (while we’re still gone). Talk about roommate flux!

Lunch With Andy Carver

Today I had an interesting lunch with Andy Carver, all‐around cool guy and former congressional candidate (Libertarian). He’s working on his Ph.D. in Management, Science, and Engineering. He also drives a really nice motorcycle.

Anyway, we had lunch to talk about God. Andy is somewhere in the agnostic realm (he thinks there’s probably something out there, but despairs of knowing exactly what it is–he’s just doesn’t see how you can choose between the major world religions).

We talked for about 2 or 3 hours. We’ll have to get together again sometime soon, we both seemed to really enjoy ourselves!

Here’s the thumbnail version of my half of our discussion:

Why choose Christianity?

1) God exists
2) God is good
3) God has revealed Himself in Jesus
4) The Bible is God’s trustworthy message

We spent a lot of time talking about the different reasons I find each tenet plausible (and have in fact chosen to base my life upon them).

At the end, Andy allowed me to pray a simple prayer for him: God, I know you love Andy. Please reveal yourself to him in a way that makes sense to him and is persuasive to him. Bless him in his studies, in his relationship with Glo, and in everything else he puts his hand to. In Jesus name, Amen. He seemed to genuinely appreciate it.

Towards the end of our conversation I asked his permission to make a little posting about our meeting. He granted it, and you just finished reading the result.

Seminar With Barna, Osborne, and Slaughter

This morning Paula and I went to a simulcast sponsored by CCN about Innovation and Risk‐Taking in Leadership.

The presenters were George Barna, Larry Osborne, and Mike Slaughter.

It was pretty good. Two slightly humorous soundbytes stuck with me:

Larry: So what if people think I’m a failure? I’ve been one before!”

George: Yeah. You gotta run with your strengths, right?

and then another comment by Mike Slaughter: We have all these ethical problems with cloning people, but we seem to have no problem with cloning churches.

Those both seemed very funny to me at the time… looking at them in print I think the first one in particular needs tone of voice to make it sound right.

Yet Another Director’s Cup For Stanford!

Stanford has now won 9 out of the last 10 Director’s Cups. The Director’s Cup is given each year to the best overall sports school in the nation.

The Cardinal claimed NCAA Championships in men’s cross country and men’s water polo in 2002‐03, in addition to second place finishes in women’s volleyball, men’s soccer, women’s cross country, synchronized swimming, women’s tennis and women’s water polo. In all, Stanford recorded 12 national top five finishes and 24 top 10 finishes. from the Stanford press release.

See the official NACDA page.

Bye‐bye, Grads

2003_grad_group.jpg first photo: glen with a handful of MS&E grads
second photo: our grads from the grad party we had on Saturday. We’re missing a few, but you get the idea.

This was a pretty hectic weekend–it was graduation time for a number of our students!

This was my first Stanford graduation, so I wasn’t sure what to expect…

Here are some observations:

1) Stanford doesn’t take graduation too seriously. Less secure schools make everybody act formal and solemn, but Stanford lets students act celebratory at their celebration. You can see a video of the aptly‐named “Wacky Walk.” I heard there were streakers, but I didn’t see any. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were–it fits the school culture.

2) The commencement speaker was Alejandro Toledo, the president of Peru. There’s a video snippet from his speech online. He’s got an amazing story. He was raised in abject poverty, and through the intervention of the Peace Corps was able to come to America to get a degree, and ultimately to become the first indigenous president of his country.

3) It was HOT! I’m just glad I didn’t get worse sunburn than I did.

4) After the main graduation ceremony, there were around 70 smaller graduation ceremonies for individual departments. That was the one where they call students name by name and actually hand them a diploma. The one I attended, for the major of Management, Science, and Engineering had a rather scrumptious free buffet afterwards.

5) We’re really going to miss our grads. Bye, guys! Don’t forget to write!

The Gospel According to Gamaliel

In the cumbersomely‐titled article Support For Authenticity of The Book of Matthew Comes From An Unlikely Source, you can learn how archaelogical/historical finds are increasing our confidence in the biblical text.

One of the first Gospels to be doubted was Matthew. Church tradition said it was written by Matthew, a tax collector who became a disciple of Jesus, a witness to events. Conservative Christian clergy and scholars said they believe the book of Matthew was written between A.D. 40 and 60, within Matthew’s lifetime.

But other scholars concluded the Gospel wasn’t written any earlier than A.D. 85, perhaps as late as A.D. 135, long after Matthew’s death. If the author wasn’t a witness, the thinking goes, the Gospel becomes less credible.

So to scholars the dating is important.

In an essay written for the book Passover and Easter: Origin and History to Modern Times, Israel J. Yuval of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University reported a find in the Talmud that appears to show Matthew could have been written earlier than some scholars contend.

Yuval wrote that a leading rabbinical scholar of the time was “considered to have authored a sophisticated parody of the Gospel according to Matthew.”

The parody, written by a rabbi known as Gamaliel, is believed by some well‐respected liberal Christian scholars to have been written about A.D. 73 or earlier.

The fact the parody exists and the date when it was believed to be written “would undercut badly (biblical critics’) claims of a late date of A.D. 85–90 or later,” said Bob Newman, professor of New Testament at Biblical Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.