Friday, September 30, 2005

Top Five Fantasy Fiction

I just picked up the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, (soon to be a "major motion picture") for the first time in 10 years. I loved these books then and wanted to see if I enjoyed them as much now. After three engrossing chapters of The Horse and His Boy I can say they're still terrific.

Since The Chronicles were the first books that introduced me to the idea of fantasy fiction as metaphor for the Christian experience ('Hey, Aslan is kind of like Jesus...'), here's some top five lists of my favorite fantasy fiction. I'm going to include science fiction in this category, since most of it (except 'hard SF') is based on fantasy.

Top Five Fantasy Novels:
  1. The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis
  2. Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
  3. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
  4. The Naked God by Peter Hamilton
  5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
Top Five Fantasy Movies:
  1. Star Wars Episode IV
  2. The Matrix
  3. The Fifth Element
  4. Total Recall
  5. Willow

Thursday, September 29, 2005

David Suzuki Foundation

The David Suzuki Foundation has a 10 point list of practical things you can do to help improve the environment, and a test to help you figure out where you can make the most difference. My wife and I decided we'd try to reduce our electricity consumption by 10%, buy a more fuel efficient vehicle, and buy locally grown food for one month during the summer.
God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:28, emphasis mine)

"And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth." (Revelation 11:18, emphasis mine)
David Suzuki is the host of the CBC television show The Nature of Things. He was recently voted the fifth greatest Canadian.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Appearing

The Appearing, It Is Written's latest satellite evangelism event, finished this Tuesday night, and for the Grande Prairie Seventh-day Adventist Church it was a success. The Appearing is an innovative 'seed sowing' event where participants were invited to spend five nights learning about the Bible prophecies of the Second Coming and then join a prophecy study class. Shawn Boonstra, formerly of It Is Written Canada (and a fellow Friesian), presented the series.

The Appearing was great for my church three reasons. First, it hit a hot topic. This is the first evangelistic project I've been involved in where the door-to-door work actually brought people through the doors in of the church. Why? Because people are interested in the second coming, and were happy for an invitation to learn more about it.

The Appearing was short. People didn't feel threatened by the length of it, and my church was able to take the project up on a month's notice because it wasn't lengthy (though more warning would have been nice). Also, church members felt more comfortable inviting their friends to this event rather than a thirty night series. We had fifteen total non-Adventists who attended, and five consistent attendees whom we hope to see in the follow-up class--all on roughly two weeks of pre-work.

The Appearing was postmodern friendly; I don't know any other way to put it. The format was set up around a 35 minute presentation by Boonstra followed by a study through a lesson guide on the evening's topic by a local moderator (myself and my senior pastor). This encouraged dialogue and removed the all-knowing, authority-figure evangelist image from the presentations. Pastor Shawn added further credibility with his self-deprecating humor and his constant exhortions to study the Bible for ones self and not just take his word for what it says.

Boonstra's presentations
were based on some of the best exegesis I've seen in Adventist evangelism (from my limited perspective) and were structured in a way that people's thoughts toward their relationship with God. I think I made a hand raising appeal almost every night I moderated; the 'so-what' factor was definitely there.

I only had a few minor quibbles with
The Appearing. (1) The guy who introduced Boonstra stumbled over his words every night. (2) The music was suited to a very narrow range of tastes (i.e. church goin' folk). (3) And, as do most Adventist evangelists, Boonstra used Isaiah 28:10 to support the proper method of Biblical interpretation. However the context of the passage indicates that it is talking about the babble of drunken priests (see this for a brief explanation).

For any church looking to get their feet wet with evangelism The Appearing is the way to go. Just order the DVDs and some advertising materials and away you go. Very little outlay but potentially huge dividends. Just be prepared to start a prophecy study group and watch God bring people into the truth. I'm excited about what God is going to do in my church because of this simple outreach program.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Once Again

Last Saturday we had the Lord's Supper at my church. (You can find the sermon I preached here.) A criticism has been made of contemporary Christian music that it doesn't often deal with themes relating to Christ's death. I find that many of the newer songs coming out are filling that void--for instance, this one that a friend and I did for the communion service.
Once Again
by Matt Redman

Jesus Christ, I think upon your sacrifice.
You became nothing, poured out to death.
Many times I've wondered at your gift of life,
And I'm in that place once again.
I'm in that place once again.

And once again I look upon the cross where you died.
I'm humbled by your mercy and I'm broken inside.
Once again I thank you.
Once again I pour out my life.

Now you are exalted to the highest place,
King of the heavens where one day I'll bow.
But for now I'll marvel at this saving grace,
And I'm full of praise once again.
I'm full of praise once again.

And once again I look upon the cross where you died.
I'm humbled by your mercy and I'm broken inside.
Once again I thank you.
Once again I pour out my life.

Thank you for the cross.
Thank you for the cross.
Thank you for the cross, my Friend.
Simple words with profound meaning and set to powerful music. I couldn't have said it better myself. Yes, thank you for the cross, my Friend.

Matt Redman is the man who wrote Heart of Worship. If you haven't read the story behind this song, you must.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bible Studies 11: Growing in Christ

This Bible study is on the recently adopted Adventist Fundamental Belief, "Growing in Christ". It follows the same fill in the blank forumla as my previous studies. You can look up the scripture references here.

Study 11: Growing in Christ

1. Jesus has d_______ Satan in the spiritual conflict and granted us the victory (Col. 1:13,14; Rom. 8:37-39; 1 John 4:4).

2. We have divine help in this conflict through p______ (Eph. 6:10-18, 1 Thess. 5:16-22).

3. Demons are subject to Christians based on Jesus a________ (Luke 10:17-20, Matt. 17:14-20).

4. The Holy Spirit r________ the evil spirits in the believer’s life (Matt. 14:43-45, 1 Thess. 5:23).

5. The Spirit gives us power to d________ into mature believers (2 Pet. 3:17,18; 2 Cor. 3:17,18; Phil. 3:7-14).

6. The Spirit-filled life is marked by a c________ of love (Matt. 20:25-28, Gal. 5:19-26).

7. This new life happens in a c_________ of faith for mutual encouragement (Heb. 10:19-25).

8. What aspects of a Spirit-filled life are you experiencing?

9. What are the traits the Spirit is showing you to develop in order to have a character like Jesus'?

1. Defeated. 2. Prayer 3. Authority 4. Replaces 5. Develop 6. Character 7. Community

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Three Nuts for Cinderella

My wife's family insisted that I watch this Czech Cinderella film from the 70's. I wasn't too keen on it, because watching Ever After too many times at the insistence of various females has turned me off to that particular fairy tale. But Three Nuts for Cinderella was a delightful surprise.

The plot is your basic Cinderella story except this time she has three magic hazelnuts that grant her wishes instead of a fairy godmother. This Cinderella is also a tomboy who is an excellent rider, tree climber, and hunter, (Did the tomboy motif originate with the Czech?) and, of course, she has the smallest feet in the land.

Three Nuts for Cinderella doesn't take itself seriously and thus has none of the pretension that kills most fairy tale films. The actors have fun with the material and each other. A good example of this is the final scene where the prince attempts to find the girl who belongs to the slipper he retrieved, and the ugliest peasant women mock him by presenting their feet and laughing. It's a disrespectful, hilarious scene without being biting or harsh, and the prince bears it well.

The actors deliver strong performances but often seem as if they're playing a stage instead of acting to a camera. The devious stepmother and her daughter are truly villainous, but not enough to dampen the light mood of the film. The actress who plays Cinderella is the most cheerful face I've seen on a screen. I also enjoyed the repartee and camaraderie of the prince and his goofball friends (the real "three nuts" of the film).

I'm having a hard time thinking of something I didn't like about Three Nuts for Cinderella. As long as you approach it as nothing more than good, clean, escapist fun; what's not to like? The only drawback, as with all fairy tales, is it offers no new perspectives on the reality those of us who aren't Cinderella have to face.

If you love fairy tales or are just looking for something that you and your girlfriend can tolerate, rent this movie. If you like to interact with your movies by spouting sophomoric quips, this one is priceless. I recommend this movie for anyone who doesn't mind reading subtitles wants to to veg out and enjoy some clean fun.

Apparently this film has a cult following. Check out this fansite.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sermon Summary 9-17

The gospel writer Luke considered Jesus' crucifixion the defining moment of His life. He wrote more about it than any other story and presented Jesus life as proceeding to and from this event. From this perspective I suggest that we can learn much from Jesus' relationships on His journey from Pilate's court to His death on Calvary as recorded in Luke 23.

The first person Jesus meets on His journey is Simon, who is forced to help carry His cross (Lu. 23:26). Often we have a picture in our minds of Jesus going through the crucifixion in an aloof state, needing no ones assistance. Yet, this was not the case. True, there we some things only Jesus could do, but He sought (Lu. 22:39-46) and accepted support where He could. How much more do we need the support of relationships?

Yet, Jesus was not needy. He told a group of women following and weeping for Him to save their tears for the terrible things that would happen to Jerusalem in the future (Lu. 23:27-31). When we're in trouble we usually think the world revolves around us. If I'd been there I would have said in my selfishness, "Darn right you'd better cry about what's happening to me!". But Jesus was other-oriented, and this is the kind of love He wants us to experience.

When they reached the "place called Skull" the soldiers crucified Jesus and began to torture and mock Him again (Lu. 23:32-38). What was Jesus response to this 'dysfunctional relationship'? He forgave them right then and there. How could Jesus do that? Even at my best it takes me a day or so of prayer to come up with forgiveness when someone does a major wrong to me.

To understand these relationships we must consider the reason Jesus went through with His death in the first place. He did it because His whole mission on Earth, the purpose of His death, was to restore relationships to and through selfless love (2 Cor. 5:19). And it worked! One of the thieves crucified next to Jesus said "I want to be a part of whatever a man like that is doing," and was saved that day.

Would you like to be part of what Jesus is doing? He is still able to give you His restoring love.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Bible Studies 10: Salvation

I'm starting to run out of Bible studies in my series on the Fundamental Beliefs, so I won't be posting them every week. This study looks at salvation as an experience which is spoken of through three different biblical metaphors--legal, moral, and dynamic.

You can look up the texts here, and find the previous study here.

Study 10: The Experience of Salvation

1. From the founding of Israel to the present day God has been in the business of s______ His people (Ex. 14:13-16, Matt 1:21, Rom 1:16-18).

2. To receive salvation from sin one needs to r______ or “change ones mind” about God, oneself, and sin (John 16:8, Acts 2:37-39, Rom. 2:1-4).

3. In the Bible, the l_____ description of sin is breaking God’s law or commandments—wrong behavior (3:4-10, Rom 7:7-13).

4. Because Jesus gave his life as a free gift to die in our place, we can be legally d________ just and forgiven before God through faith in Him (justification) (1 John 1:8-2:2, Rom. 5:1,6-21).

5. In the Bible, the m_____ view describes sin “missing the mark”, immaturity, or failure to love (imperfection)—a deficiency of being rather than behavior (Matt. 5:20,43-48; Luke 6:36; 1 John 4:7,8)

6. Holy Spirit comes into our hearts when we accept s_________ to give us God’s love, purify our being, and set us apart for His service (sanctification) (2 Thess. 2:13, 1 Cor. 6:9-12, Gal. 5:13-26).

7. The d_______ aspect of sin is the power of evil (the Evil One) and death—a captivity to the wrong power. (1 John 5:19, Rom. 6:15-19 1 Cor. 5:56,57).

8. Jesus’ defeated the power of evil and death and gave us the right to partake of His death and resurrection v_______ (glorification) ( John 13:31-33, Heb. 2:9-15, Rev. 20:6, 2 Cor. 3:4-18).

9. Justification, sanctification, and glorification are all past, on going, and future r_________ for the believer (1 John 2:1, Rev. 20:12—justification) (1 Cor. 1:2; Phil 3:12-14—sanctification) (Rom 5:1,2—glorification).

10. Have you experienced freedom from sin through all three aspects of salvation?

1. Saving. 2. Repent. 3. Legal. 4. Declared 5. Moral 6. Salvation 7. Dynamic 8. Victory 9. Realities

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Seventh-day Adventists Believe: A Rehash

Well folks, I got my copy of the new Adventists Believe book today, and it wasn't what I'd expected. I haven't yet read it fully, but after comparing two chapters I'm pretty certain that the whole thing, except for the chapter on the new belief, is word for word from the old edition. They didn't even bother to make a new preface to the second edition, just added a paragraph and some new names to the old edition. So don't rush out and buy this book, unless you're dying to read the thirteen page exposition on Growing in Christ belief wait until it goes on sale a campmeeting.

Now don't get me wrong, I think the old Adventists Believe book is great on a doctrinal level. But when it was advertised that the expositions of each belief in the second edition would reveal "more of what [Jesus] is like and what a relationship with Him means" I expected to find some new passages explicitly connecting each belief to practical spirituality. I suppose my hopes wouldn't have been as high if I'd read the back cover of the old Adventists Believe and found the same thing printed there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Today I plunged into Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge and I could not stop reading. John is the author of Wild at Heart, a book on masculinity from a Christian perspective. In Captivating he and his wife take up the challenge of "Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul."

Wow! Tall order, eh! But when my wife said she wanted to cry after reading the first chapter, I knew Staci had managed to speak to women as clearly as John spoke to men in Wild at Heart. Captivating is already opening my eyes to things I already knew but never acknowledged
(and that are going to be hard to admit to my wife). This paragraph adequately summarizes the message I needed to hear:
I (John) just let out a deep sigh. The we even need to explain how beauty is so absolutely essential to God only shows how dull we have grown to him, to the world in which we live, and to Eve. Far too many years of our own spiritual lives were lived with barely a not to beauty, to the central role that beauty plays in the life of God, and in our own lives. We held to the importance of truth and goodness. Had you suggested beauty to us, we might have nodded, but not really understood. How could we have missed this? (Captivating, 34)
Ouch. Missed this indeed. It's high time we started to learn to value beauty as a good in itself. Not shun, hide, or ignore it. And I need to value my Beauty for the beauty she offers--the physical and spiritual forms. After all...
The reason a woman wants a beauty to unveil, the reason she asks, Do you delight in me? is simply that God does as well. God is captivating beauty. As David prays, "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek...that I may...gave upon the beauty of the LORD" (Ps. 27:4). Can there be any doubt that God wants to be worshipped? That He wants to be seen, and for us to be captivated by what we see? (Wild at Heart) [Captivating, 35 emphasis mine]
For more on John and Stasi Eldredge visit Ransomed Heart Ministries.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

American Woman

I don't know why this song appeals to me. Maybe it's that I first heard it during a commercial for the U.S. Women's Soccer Team. Maybe it's because of the anti-Vietnam message. Or maybe singing along is my pathetic way of sticking it to all those girls back home who spurned my love. (I had to go North of the 49th to find a quality woman.)

Anyway, here's the lyrics to American Woman by the Guess Who:
American Woman:

American woman, stay away from me
American woman, mama let me be
Don' come hangin' around my door
I don' wanna see your face no more
I got more important things to do
Than spend my time growin' old with you
Now woman, stay away,
American woman, listen what I say
American woman, get away from me
American woman, mama let me be
Don' come knockin' around my door
I don' wanna see your shadow no more

Coloured lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else's eyes
Now woman, get away
American woman, listen what I say-ay

American Woman, said get away
American Woman, listen what I say
Don' come a hangin' around my door
Don' wanna see your face no more
I don' need your war machines
I don' need your ghetto scenes


American woman, stay away from me
American woman, mama let me be
I gotta go, I gotta get away
Baby, I gotta go,
I am dying

I' gonna leave you woman (4x)

Bye-bye (4x)
(American woman)
You're no good for me
And I' no good for you
(American woman)
I'l look you right in the eye
And tell you what I' gonna do
You know I' gonna leave, you know I? gonna go
You know I' gonna leave,
I' gonna leave you woman
Goodbye American Woman
My favorite part? "I don't need war machines/I don't need your ghetto scenes." Yah, that we can do without.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Why Some People Leave Church

I just read Mark Finley's booklet They're Coming Home about reaching former members who no longer attend church. It has several helpful lists of ways to reach out to former members, but one of the most informative is the list of reasons "Why Some People Leave" church.
  1. A conflict with another church member or the pastor.
  2. Discouragement over personal problems and a growing guilt because of an inability to live up to biblical ideals.
  3. A growing disinterest in spiritual things because of a neglected devotional and prayer life.
  4. A perception that the church is no longer relevant to life and does not meet felt needs.
So do people leave the church, or does the church leave people? Three out of four items on this list show the church leaving people. (I put item 2. in this category since people should be able to find help for personal probelms at church).

Another good list is the "Signs of Fading Interest" in the church:
  1. Irregular church attendance
  2. A critical or ambivalent attitude toward the church and its leadership.
  3. A change in habit patterns--or a return to old ones.
  4. Increasing withdrawal from the fellowship of the church.
The point of this information is that when we see these things happening to contact our friends and ask them what's going on. Don't let your church be one that 'leaves people'. Listen to their story, accept them and their faults, and invite them to worship with you again. Just noticing and caring may make the difference.

Hurricane Katrina Relief

Click the image to donate to
Adventist Community Services.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Seventh-day Adventists Believe

For 17 years the book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe...A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines, has been the standard resource for those seeking to understand the Biblical basis Adventist theology. But with the adoption of a new Fundamental Belief at the General Conference session this summer, the old Adventists Believe was made obsolete, being short one belief. Two weeks ago the Adventist Ministerial Association announced the publication of the new Seventh-day Adventists Believe, a soft cover featuring an exposition of all 28 Adventist Fundamental Beliefs.

When I first read this news I wasn't too excited. It looked like a resource book I wanted, but not something I was going to run out and buy. Then I read this:
This single volume shows in detail how each belief is grounded in the Bible and focused on Jesus Christ. The different beliefs, or doctrines, emphasize different facets of Christ'’s lovely character. Each one reveals more of what He is like and what a relationship with Him means. (Ministerial Assn.)
Now that's what I'm talking about! My personal ideal is that each doctrine I believe will enhance my experience of Jesus, and if it doesn't, there's something wrong. But often rational analysis of theology has taken me far from that ideal of balancing the extremes of intellect and emotion. And I find that most religious books excel in either one category or the other but rarely form a union of the two.

"Grounded in the Bible and focused on Jesus Christ"--Yes, that's where we need to be. This doctrinal starting point of the new Adventists Believe is one that the church desperately needs. I only hope the contributors and editors pulled it off.
I'll post a review once I've finished the book (my copy's in the mail) and seen if it lives up to my expectations.

You can order the book from your local Adventist Book Center or online at the Ministeral Association website.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sermon Summary 9-3

The theme of good vs. evil is in the heart of all human beings; we see it in songs, novels, movies--all human stories. I believe the reason for this is that the theme of good vs. evil is being played out in the spiritual lives of all human beings. We know we should be good, but evil is so difficult to defeat, even in our own hearts.

The Bible says that God has an exclusive claim on goodness (Mark 10:18), in other words anything that is good comes from God. Therefore, if we want to know what is good we need to learn what He says is good. Any other definition of good would ultimately be self-referencing and thus meaningless.

God has spelled out what goodness is by giving us His commandments, because without them we would be in danger of making God in our image--defining Him by what we think is good. The negative commands tell us what goodness isn't (e.g. "You shall not murder." Ex. 20:13), and the positive commands tell us what goodness is (e.g. "Establish justice in the court!" Amos 5:24). Jesus said that both types of commands are important for us to obey if we want to be good (Matt. 5:17-19).

But He also said that even if we keep the rules as well as the best rule experts, it isn't enough for us to be good (Matt. 5:20). In order to be good we need the results of the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts (Gal. 5:22), and the best way to facilitate this is to look up to God and try to be like Jesus (Eph 5:1,2). Goodness is a quality that only God can give us.

Goodness cannot tolerate evil; it expresses love through correction (Eph 5:7,13). This is what Jesus was doing when He chased the money changers from the temple (Mark 11:15-17). Notice that Jesus was hardest on those who claimed to be religious but worked for evil.

Goodness is expressed and developed in community. Paul described the church in Rome as "full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another" (Rom 15:14). These are the characteristics of a good community, a community I'd like to be a part of. At first the admonish part doesn't sound so good, but the reason they are full of goodness is they help each other fight the battle against evil. Only those who really love us will graciously tell us when we're wrong, and we cannot express love in its fullest unless we are able and willing to do the same.

The painting of Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple is by the rennaissance painter El Greco.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Mayor Nagin Interview

Mayor Nagin Interview

This is a must hear audio clip. For once we hear a politician speaking the straight truth as he sees it. Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans delivers a damning report on the Federal response to the crisis in New Orleans. Bush may have been able to claim ignorance on September 11, but it looks like he may not be able to escape Katrina.

Make sure you listen to the whole inverivew, some of the best stuff is at the end. Not for those who are offended by mild profanity.

Bible Studies: 9 The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ

Friday is again here and TGIF. Actually, I have alot of work on Fridays, so I'm going to post another Bible study. Comments and criticism are appreciated. You can look up the texts in the Bible Study Tools search box, and you can find the previous study here. As always, the 'answers' are at the bottom.

Bible Study 9: The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ

  1. Although Jesus’ birth was extraordinary, He d_________ in the usual, human way (Matt. 1:18-23, Luke 2:51, Mark 6:3).
  2. Jesus m________ was to bring about the Kingdom of God (Luke 3:23; Mark 1:15,38,39; Matt. 12:22-28; John 20:30,31).
  3. Jesus faced temptation like we do, yet lived a m_______ perfect life by relying on His Father, setting us an example (Heb. 4:15,16; 1 Pet. 2:21-24; 1 John 3:4-6, John 5:19).
  4. Therefore, Jesus was the perfect s________ to cover our sin (Heb. 9:16-22, John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:18-20, Rev. 5:8-10).
  5. Jesus d_____ accomplished our rescue, reconciliation, and redemption (Rom. 1:16; 2 Cor. 5:17-19, Eph 1:7).
  6. The cross did not kill Jesus, rather, He v___________ endured total separation from God, the results of sin (Is. 53:4,5; Phil. 2:5-8; Matt. 27:46, 2 Cor. 5:21, John 10:14-17).
  7. Jesus' r____________ is the heart of Christian proclamation (1 Cor. 15:3-7, 1 Cor. 15:12-19).
  8. Christ’s resurrection power is able to bring a_________ life to the believer today and resurrection from death in the future (1 Cor. 15:20-23; John 11:25,26; John 10:10).

1. Developed. 2. Mission. 3. Morally. 4. Sacrifice. 5. Death. 6. Voluntarily. 7. Resurrection. 8. Abundant.

Hurricane Katrina

Normally, I don't like to comment on news events like Hurricane Katrina until I've had some time for reflection. I tend to reserve judgment until the facts start to unravel themselves, and I respect the 'experts' to do the unraveling.

I guess my area of expertise has to do with the question, Why God?, which I am asked as His supposed proxy on a regular basis. And it's a question no 'expert' can answer, especially for someone whose life has been washed away. I firmly believe that there are times when questions serve us better than answers. So I think I'll come up with a list of them, and try to tackle some in future posts. See if you have any to add.
  • Why didn't the government invest in better dikes or hydraulic sea walls? The Dutch seem to do pretty well living below sea level?
  • Why didn't the government do more when they knew the hurricane was going to make landfall near New Orleans? Why didn't they have hospital ships, relief supplies, national guard troops on the way before hand? Sure, they didn't know it was going to be this bad, but they knew it was going to be bad, right?
  • Does God pour out judgments of sin cities like New Orleans? Do only the evil suffer when he does it?
  • If Jesus could calm a storm on Galilee, why not Katrina?
  • Who makes it a disaster, the storm or the human response to it? Why all the looters and gunmen? Who's really the bad guy here? Why did they build the stupid city there in the first place? Why don't we ever learn that you can fight nature and win? Why would anyone refuse to leave?
  • How do you rebuild after something like that? Should New Orleans be relocated?
  • Why is it that the poorest and most vulnerable get screwed? Shouldn't our society protect such people? Isn't that what the government is for?
  • How can a just God allow innocent children to suffer?
Well, those are the questions on my mind. I'm starting to think of some possibilities, but I don't want to put down any pat answers. I believe that it is at these boundaries that our faith grows. So, what do you think?