Happy, happy Earth Day.

April 22, 2010

Today is one of the most significant days of any year, at least for some folks.  They are not the people I hang with.  But before you jump to the conclusion that I do not hold April 22nd in high regard, I do.  It is my mother-in-law’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Connie.  I love you.  

Apart from the birthday we celebrate in our family,  April 22nd is also the day when some people cast all caution to the wind and worship the created, in this case the planet Earth, often, I am afraid, with indifference to the ONE who created it.  And they have been doing so for 40 years, believe it or not.  This insanity is nothing new.   At best, some of these folks who go all out on Earth Day, do so because they think that the Creator is “in” everything, but theologians would call that pantheism, and boiled down to its essence, that is just idolatry.  C. Michael Patton has a great quote to help straighten out this confusion:

 “God is everywhere” gets dangerously close to pantheism that says God is present everywhere and in everything. God is transcendent to His creation, yet actively and relationally engaged.  Better to say “everywhere is in God’s immediate presence.”

Last year, I published a couple of posts dealing with Earth Day.  One dealt with things I did NOT do on Earth Day, the other was, well, a confession of those things that I did do that frankly had a deleterious impact on Earth.  This year, while the day is not over, and there is still time to do something of great harm to the planet, I have to say that I did do something nice for the Earth.

Today, I applied fertilizer to our yard.  AND I used a 100% organic granular product, that must surely be both NOT harmful to the planet, but also quite good for it.  At least that is what the “organic only” types would have us believe.   My usual preference is to use a chemical fertilizer because they are cheaper, they work just fine, and at the end of the day are made from naturally occurring elements.  You might be familiar with some of these.  Ever heard of nitrogen, or sulfur?  I digress.

I admit I am a bit conflicted by my “service” to the planet.  On the one hand I am feeling really good about my contribution to preserving my little corner of the globe.  But, every time you step outside, and every time the dogs come in the house from being in the yard, it smells like poultry crap, which is what the fertilizer was made from according to the bag it came in.  It is really a pretty awful smell.  The guys at the feed store where I bought it had a bit of a discussion about who was going to have to load it in the car.  And after applying it, the smell is stuck in my nose even when I am in the house.  A small price to pay, I suppose, for saving the planet.

You, your children, and  your children’s children are welcome.

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What is the Gospel?

April 6, 2010

What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert is a short book of only 120 some odd pages, that I read in one sitting.  But while its physical length may be short, it is in no way short on substance.  This is one of those books that accomplishes in a very few pages, what countless others with two or three times as many pages have failed to do, and that is to draw attention to the white-hot core of the essentials of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And Gilbert does so in very understandable terms, in part by drawing comparisons between the TRUE Gospel and some of the mutations that have developed over the last couple of thousand years, with most of those springing up in the last couple of dozen.

This is an excellent book for both the Christian and the unsaved alike.  It will be useful for the “mature” Christian and the person who has just recently experienced the life changing experience of Godly regeneration. 

I know something of Gilbert’s background in terms of seminary education and the church where he currently serves.  To his credit, he focuses on the real essentials of the Gospel and does not even make a slight pass by any of the doctrinal or practical distinctives that I know he embraces, but which would cause some to regard this book as flowing from a particular theological stream of modern Christianity or a particular denomination within the church, and thus be suspect of partisanship or bias.  But, again to Gilbert’s credit, you would not expect to find those sorts of doctrinal or practical influences in a book that serves to answer the question:  “What is the Gospel?”

Read this book!


It’s voluntary!

April 2, 2010

The deadline to file tax returns for 2009 is two weeks from yesterday.  April 15, 2010 is now just 13 days away.

I have yet to make my filing, although I have submitted all of the necessary information to my accountant who will actually complete the  return for me.  But this year, I know, with absolute certainty, that I will owe money to the Federal government when I mail that return.  But, it will be so much more rewarding to know that my writing the check and mailing it (figuratively) to the current regime occupying the White House is purely voluntary, or at least it is according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Don’t believe me?  Watch this video and be comforted that on the 15th, if you have not already done so, you ‘voluntarily’ send your money to the IRS.  Just keep telling yourself, “I really DO want to give my money to the government so that they can spend some portion of it on things I would NEVER spend my money on.  I do it of my own free will.  I would do it no matter what.  It’s what I do.  It’s my ‘thing’.  It’s how I roll.  Really!”

There now, doesn’t that make it better?

HT: my Dad