I had a good friend talking about this yesterday with me. We were discussing what it is like to be a single man and seeking a lady. My friend is already married but told me about a book called “Love and Respect” where it is said that a lady wants most of all to be loved while a man wants to be respected.

There’s a lot of truth in that.

I’m only going to be speaking from the guy’s perspective here though. We all want respect. Last night when I got home, I was ready to relax on the net for the evening but the phone rang. My Dad works at a store not too far from me and really needed some help stocking. Could I come and help?

Anyone who has ever seen me knows that I am in no way on the path to becoming Mr. Universe and could hardly lift fifty pounds without help. Still, I figured I’d go down and do what I could. He’s my Dad after all. So I went in and started immediately bagging ice and then lifting boxes and refilling shelves and the freezer. I spent a little under three hours there.

Now I thought about that compared with my current job. I do menial labor as well, but I enjoyed the work for my Dad even though I didn’t get paid for it. (Well, he did buy me something in the evening, but I did it simply because it was the right thing to do.) What makes them so different?

I can think of only one difference. I was respected in the help I gave. It was a case of “We need you down here. Can you come help?” It is easier for a man to do hours of unpaid work in which he is respected than to go work somewhere else for pay where he does not believe he is being respected.

Women. Understand this about your men especially. Your man wants you to respect him more than anything else for him. For you married women, your man would most likely rather have respect without sexual intercourse, than sexual intercourse without respect. I’m that serious. (Your man would prefer both of course though and he’d prefer you enjoy both.)

You want your man to leap tall buildings for you? Simple. Go up to him and wrap your arms around him and whisper in his ear that he is your man. It is that simple. When your man knows he is your man, he will be willing to cross a burning desert just to get you a glass of water.

I had a professor several years ago that said it would not be much honor to go to my wife and say “You are a woman.” Maybe not, though I think some would appreciate it. If you tell your man something to correspond though, he will be honored. That is his wish. He wants to know what he is your man above all others.

Yet I also thought the same happens with God! In 2 Kings 3, the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom unite to face Moab. Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah at the time and he was a righteous king. All of the kings go to see the prophet Elisha to find out how to deal with Moab. I love the way the NIV translates 2 Kings 3:14.

Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you or even notice you.

I believe Elisha was passing on the respect of God. It’s not saying Jehoshaphat was above God at all. Hebrews 11 tells us about people whom God is not ashamed to be called their God. What a great privilege it must be to be one of those people that when God looks at us says “I’m their God, and I’m not ashamed to say it.”

I also think this is why we men are so competitive. We want to be #1. No man wants to be second place. We all want that respect. We all want to outdo every other man. Watch a group of guys telling stories sometime. Each guy thinks he has to come up with a better story than the others? Why? Because a guy wants respect.

Respect. It’s needed in the workplace. It’s needed in marriage. It’s needed among other guys. It’s even needed in the faith. Let’s start giving true men respect. It can shape them to be the heroes of tomorrow.


There is one thing that I have not got to write on yet. It is so obvious that I think it always slipped my mind. That is the joy of teaching. I am always thrilled to set up a dialogue where it looks like I might get to pass on some information to someone. Of course, the reverse is true as well. I love dialogues where I gain it as well.

What I want to write on is the joy of teaching.

Now, that joy is in many ways easier to experience in person. There is something that I call the Eureka Moment. That is where I have been explaining something to someone and then all of a sudden, I see something like their eyes lighting up. They might smile or speak excitedly. They get it. It’s coming home. They have reached the conclusion I wished for them to and then they start giving the ramifications of that.

There is just something great about that. Knowledge is such a wonderful thing and it’s great to see people growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ as Peter says. (2 Peter 3:18)

I have been doing work with a friend of mine for a school project of his. He’ll sign on once a week and interview me on some topic. It is based on the “Tuesdays with Morrie” book. I am the Morrie he has chosen to interview. As I am telling him my thoughts on subjects, I learn more something every teacher knows.

You learn more from students than they learn from you.

It is kind of a selfish reason for doing teaching though not my only one of course. I just enjoy it. I love learning new things though. When a person comes and asks you a question, it gives you a chance to maybe learn something in a way you’d never seen it before. A great friend of mine said to me a few days ago “Can I ask you something about Islam?” That was excellent to hear.

My friends. I invite you to teach sometime if you’ve never done so. There is a great joy in it. It might not be your thing, but I certainly love it, and I encourage everyone to give it a shot.

Jesus did not turn the world upside-down

There is a belief we speak of in modern talk. It is the belief that when the disciples went out after the resurrection, that twelve ordinary men turned the world upside-down. It has never been the same since. I started saying it at the coffeeshop I was at Tuesday night in speaking to the owner. Well, I did say it and when I finished, I corrected it immediately.

I saw immediately the reverse was true. They did not turn the world upside-down. They turned the world right-side up! The world was already upside down in chaos and confusion since the fall. We were already all like sheep that had gone astray and each of us was seeking our own way.

The world had been created good, but it was sin that had messed things up. If the world was a musical masterpiece, sin was a bad note that entered into the harmony. It brought things out of sync with each other. It is because of sin, that we have things that do not belong in this world. (Not necessarily our sin. The sin of Satan as well.)

How can we speak of the world as in proper alignment at that time? How can we speak of it as in improper alignment after Christ came! The victory is ours, though there are of course battles to fight. It is not that the war is lost. It is that some have not heard that it is over or they do not believe it is won. (Or even, the depth of man’s depravity, that some do not believe it even exists.)

No. The resurrection was the great note in our masterpiece symphony! It is from the point of the resurrection that all creation enters a crescendo until we reach the grand finale. It is at that point that all creation will worship him who sits on the throne and the lamb and will praise him.

Paradise has been lost, but it will be restored. Christ does not take us from it. He takes us to it. That which has been wronged will be made right. Christ does not destroy that which is good. He brings it to its total greatness. We would do well to keep in mind that that is what he intends to do with us as well!

I simply wish to make a simple point. Did the disciples change the world with the message of Christ? They surely did! Let us not say it was turned upside-down though. Let us say that it was we who were upside-down, and the gospel is what has turned us right-side up.

Blunt Thoughts On Prayer

There are some times when I come to my blog and I have a simple shoot from the hip approach. It means that I’m not going into a long and thought out argument. These are just things that I am pondering at the time. Now I could have pondered them for a long time, like tonight’s, but I have no “This is all I want to say” tonight. I just want it to flow. My topic will be prayer.

I told a friend of mine tonight that I would really like to improve my prayer life. Why do I say this? I’d like to say that I am a man of prayer, but I know in many ways I am not. I do not leave prayer usually in a happy, happy, joy, joy mood. A lot of this is because I and probably many others don’t have much knowledge on how to do it.

I also think a lot of it comes from pop Christianity. I don’t care for the system on hearing the voice of God and listening for it. I don’t see that taught as normative Christian practice. It is a more modern idea that has been put in our doctrine. I find that those who teach it the most inevitably show that they don’t believe in it either.

So where does my problem lie? My problem is that we find it so difficult. It seems that when I wake up and have to do my duties and fix my breakfast and do some reading and go work 9 hours and come home and relax, that finding prayer in there doesn’t seem to happen until I get to bed.

Once it starts, how long does it go? Is it more spiritual for instance to pray for an hour? We really have no criteria. The command to pray without ceasing would seem to indicate that prayer is more of a lifestyle than an activity. We say the same with worship after all. Worship is not something done at one time in the day but an event throughout the day.

I think about this with people who have what they call quiet time. If you have it and it helps you get closer to God and know him better, great. I just don’t see this in Scripture. I am more interested in a life of devotion than I am interested in doing what is called “devotions.”

Yes. The Bible says early in the morning will I seek you. I don’t think that means though that it’s more Christian to wake up early in the morning. It’s more likely that simply since the ancients did not have indoor lighting like we do today (And sometimes I wish we could get back to those days) that they woke up in the morning and so they began seeking God in the morning.

I do think I would love to get back to such times though because life did seem simpler back then. It seems that the more labor saving devices we have today, the less time we have. We have more books printed than ever before, but we seem to have less time to read them.

When you get to prayer, what do you say? I simply try to say what’s on the heart. That’s it. There are many times I’m honestly not caring too much about requests friends give me. That saddens me, but it’s true. I pray for them anyway. I want to be the kind of person that I pray about. I find it important to know who I am and who I want to be.

Do I see myself as a great lover of God? No. Not really. That is saddening. Do I see myself as a prayer warrior as they are called? Not at all. I recognize room for improvement. My friends would say I’m being too hard on myself. They’re probably right. I suppose I should ask them to pray for me.

What are my thoughts then? I have a ways to go. Why am I saying this? Because I don’t think I’m alone. Chances are, you could be the same way. If so, let me know. Let’s try to help each other out and really develop a doctrine of prayer.

An Irrelevant Objection

I was listening to Eddie Tabash and William Lane Craig debate secular humanism vs. Christianity on MP3 last Sunday. I have to say that I was quite disappointed by Tabash in this one. He suffers from what I call the “Veruca Salt” complex, where he will believe in God when God does what he wants and could only constantly complain about “Well what if my grandmother is in Hell?!”

Now, I don’t delight in people being in Hell, but the whole time I was hearing that, I was thinking that this is the exact opposite of Man or Rabbit. That’s the title of an essay by C.S. Lewis where some people asked if you needed Christianity. Couldn’t you be good without it? Lewis says that is a foolish question to ask. We should ask if it is true. Also, Christ does not call us to be good. He transforms us instead.

Tabash is asking the opposite in reverse. If Christianity is true, it does not matter whether you like it or not. If your grandmother is in Hell, saying “I don’t like it” will not change it. The way to avoid Hell is not to make people ignorant. Jesus came so that we might believe. The way of salvation is belief and not disbelief.

Why is this objection irrelevant? It simply boils down to “I don’t like it, therefore it can’t be true.” Unfortunately, I believe a lot of things that I like that aren’t true. I believe that I have a limited amount of money in the bank. I’d like to say I have millions, but that wouldn’t be true.

In fact, we do choose truth over happiness in that regards. Many of us would be happy believing we’re financially secure. We choose to believe we’re not though. Why? Because it’s true that we’re not. We would rather be true and unhappy than we would be happy and false.

Now if Tabash wants to argue that this is immoral, that’s a whole other line, but that is inconsistent to believe while espousing moral relativism as he does.  From what I could gather though, it boiled down to that Tabash just doesn’t like Christianity. So what? I don’t like a lot of things about it at times. I still follow it though. Why? Because it’s true.

Remember friends. One question must always be asked. “Is it true?” It matters not how much I like or dislike a belief. What matters is if it is true.

What Kind of Life?

Last night, I was feeling kind of down about myself. I have a lot of struggles that I am quite certain many people don’t have. I remember thinking about my blog from last night and praying at night as I wasn’t feeling too well either, “Lord. Sometimes, I’d just like to get to live a normal life.” My mind started considering what I had said then. A normal life? Whoever said I was to live a normal life?

The thought has been on my mind much today. Did Jesus come and die and rise again just so I could go to work, make money, come home, enjoy myself, and then eventually die? Did Jesus come just so I could get married and have kids and have a family and leave more for the next generation? Did he come just so I could go to church every Sunday? Did he come so I could have a game night with my friends?

There’s nothing wrong with any of these things. They’re all great things to do. However, Jesus came so that we might have life in the full. He came not that we would avoid life but that we would experience it. Jesus did not come so we could go about life the way it went about before he came.

I was reading later and came across this Nelson Mandela quote which has also been attributed to Marianne Williamson:

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

I remember talking to my roommate last night about Seminary and my hopes that we would rock Seminary. Well why not? What should we say? I hope we’ll go and be two ordinary students and be forgotten when we leave and just wind up as faces in the crowd.

No. We need to go and do the best we can! Doing the best we can will hopefully inspire others to do the same. It is amazing that if we thought a child wanted to study to win the National Spelling Bee, that we’d think that was tremendous. If he wanted to be a winner in the Olympics, we’d tell him to give it all he had! If he wants to be an outstanding Christian though, we tell him to be sure he’s humble.

I’ve nothing against humility, but humility doesn’t mean that you sit around and be unnoticed. If you can make a difference in the world, then by all means do so. Guess what! You can! You can because you are an image bearer of God and you were put here to reflect him. If you reflect him, you will make a difference.

So what is the goal? Be the best you can in what you do. C.S. Lewis said our problem is that we are far too easily pleased. We settle for an ordinary life when Christ wants to give us an extraordinary life. Let us not let fear keep us from the blessings of God.

Things of Life vs. Life

I was sitting in church tonight and my pastor was leading us in prayer. He prayed in the prayer something along the lines of “Let us not be distracted from life by the things of life.” I don’t know if he was really pondering what he had said just then, but I sure spent a lot of time thinking about it.

My first thought was that the idea was absurd. How could the things of life keep us from life? Then I realized that it was I that was absurd. That is, in fact, what always happens. We get so caught up on so many things on the road of life that we forget where it is that we are going.

Imagine what it would mean if you were driving down a road and you just spent all the time looking at scenery and billboards and you spent so much time that you forgot where you were going. Even if you take a scenic route while driving, you at least have an idea where you are and where you’re going. You don’t drive to see billboards normally, but you can be distracted by them. You drive to get somewhere, but those things on the side can divert your attention.

It is the same with all things. If we take a good thing and forget its purpose, we can easily end up with an addiction. Food is good, but it’s purpose is to provide nourishment. If we make it the end though, we will develop an addiction. The same goes for gambling, drinking, sex, or anything else.

In fact, take sex as an example. (By which I mean sexual intercourse of course.) Every young man dreams of it, but pity the man who marries just for it! In such a case, he is not wanting the beloved. He is merely wanting a function that she can provide. In marriage though, the truly good lover is not the one who merely wants sex, it is the one who wants the beloved and sex is the means. For one, the woman is the means to sex. For the true lover, sex is the means to the woman.

In fact, this is what makes it unique. If I was a married man, I could go to any woman on the street and get sex. Of course, it would be wrong, but I could do so. There is only one thing I couldn’t get from every woman on the street though. That would be the woman I love, the wife I’d have. Thus, when a married man looks forward to a “romantic evening” with his wife, he is not looking forward to just a physical thrill. He is looking forward to getting the beloved.

A similar type of analogy can help us with understanding the problem of evil. Consider the case of a man who has just got married and wants to be with his new wife. He is driving to their place wherever it may be in his excitement and unfortunately, hits a small object in the road and gets a flat tire. Our young man is a Romeo though. He will not simply tell the girl to get in the back seat because he can’t wait. He will repair it. Thus, he gets out and fixes the flat tire and then they drive to their destination for their first time together.

How is a person to look back on the situation? I think the true romantic would laugh. That is what the Problem of Evil is though in many ways. We are invited to be on the road to Paradise, yet there is suffering on the way. When we reach Paradise though, will we be complaining? No. In fact, any great inconvenience and suffering at the time will seem minimal when compared to the glory there.

Who are the people complaining about the problem of evil? They’re the ones that look back on the honeymoon and think of the flat tire. The ones we are to be are the ones that look back and remember the honeymoon. When we remember the tire, while it was suffering at the time, we’ll tell it as a funny story.

I must point out a danger for one in my position. I am always in a rush to accumulate more and more knowledge. However, I have to keep in mind, and maybe this is common for apologists, that the purpose of the knowledge is to bring glory to God. I do not acquire it for the sake of acquiring it. I have to watch and be careful that I don’t fall into pride either. I take great comfort that Paul said that he was given a messenger so he would avoid pride on account of his great revelations in 2 Cor. 12.

Friends. We are on the road of life. Let’s remember why we’re here. We’re here for God’s glory and joy. Not ours. Now if we follow the path, we will get glory and joy, but that is a by-product of the path. It is not the reason we are on the path. Look to that goal and be not distracted by the things of this world. Enjoy them, but make sure they have their proper place under him.

Does Good Have Meaning?

What if I told you that there was a proposition that was neither true or false? You could look at it any way but you could not ask the question really “Is it true?” or “Is it false?” Why? Because all the terms are meaningless. Colorless green florks swinzle routinely. Does anyone have any idea whether that is true or false or is it just meaningless? (And of course, contradictory. Take out green and it’s still nonsense.)

I was listening to an audio debate yesterday between Craig and Atkins. Atkins, being the atheist, is a moral relativist. William Lane Craig I believe soundly defeated the views of Atkins, but at one point, they were speaking on moral relativism. It is amazing that relativists still want to avoid some conclusions of their system.

Relativists want to deny that their system means that there is no moral distinction between Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler. When it’s told that if people embrace this worldview, they will act in such a way, they want to deny it. Now I’d say a lot of moral relativists in America are still good people. That’s the problem though. They have no reason to be good or any concept of it.

That’s what I was screaming out listening to the debate. I wanted Atkins to tell me what good meant. We can argue that a system produces good. What is good? Is there any way that you can look at moral relativism and say that it produces good people if you believe in it? Not at all. Why? Look at the proposition.

Moral Relativism produces good people.

The problem is that the first part makes the second part nonsense. If moral relativism is true, there can be no such thing as a good person. There can be no such thing as a bad person. There is only a person. How can you say any action is good or bad or any person if all such concepts are relative?

Greg Koukl talks about having a caller on his program once who was a moral relativist and he wanted this person to really show what moral relativism leads to. The caller went beyond the “call of duty.” When asked a moral question like “Is it wrong to torture babies for fun?” the caller said “The question doesn’t even make sense.”

That caller is absolutely right. If moral relativism holds the day, then the propositions that concern terms like good, evil, better, ought, etc. in a moral context are meaningless. However, that leads to a question. If these are so meaningless, why is it that our language abounds with them and even Atkins at one point in the debate said that something was evil?

Why? Because we all do know the truth. Some actions are right and some are wrong. Good is not a vacuous term. It has meaning. The moral relativist should say “Murder is morally wrong,” is a meaningless statement as it is neither true or false. The absolutist can say “Amen.”

Friends. Moral relativism is a philosophy we can’t let hold the day. We all know some actions are good and ought to be done and some are wrong and ought not to be done. Let’s stand up for those.

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