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Fighting the Sunrise with a Hatchet

I remember having one of those “light bulb” moments listening to one of R.C. Sproul’s lectures from his series The Consequences of Ideas, in which he made the simple but salient point that correlation does not necessarily prove causation. His example was vivid: Every morning a rooster crows. Shortly afterward, the sun comes up. We conclude that crowing causes sunrise. Of course, only a birdbrain blames a rooster for a sunrise that wakes him up too early. 

Continue reading “Fighting the Sunrise with a Hatchet”

Bulverism

“You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this, the only real issue, by busily explaining how he became so silly.”
– C.S. Lewis

I can scarcely imagine what Lewis would have thought of Twitter.
Enjoy the introduction to Ezekiel Bulver. Might sting a bit.
I did. It did.
jr

The Ugliness & Beauty of Forgetting

a funeral homily

Since I never met Jeff, and all of you gathered here knew him well, I find myself in the awkward position of being the only person in the room who didn’t know him, and also the one doing all the talking. What I do know about Jeff is that he died at the young age of fifty-seven of early-onset dementia, so I wanted to take a few minutes to direct our minds to the Word of God and ponder with you the subject of forgetting. Continue reading “The Ugliness & Beauty of Forgetting”

Alice in the Palace

At the urging of some very dear people I have compiled, edited, and formatted the “Alice blogs” into book form, and am happy to say that Alice in the Palace is, to the best of my abilities and with the help of a few good friends, done and ready to go. As many of you know because you walked the journey with us, this is the story of my four-year-old daughter Alice from the first mysterious symptoms until her death from a brain stem tumor 8-1/2 months later. Along the way, I recorded a fairly raw account of what we were experiencing and feeling, for better and for worse, along with my own reflections on Alice, wrestlings with God’s involvement, thoughts about the prayers of his people and the fate of children who die. I also wrote an epilogue on the anniversary of Alice’s funeral, which was just last week.

Thanks to everyone who followed Alice’s story and encouraged us along the way, and if you’d like a nicely organized pretty good looking (if I do say so myself) record of Alice’s story you can get one, or it might be an encouragement for a friend who’s going through “the stuff.” I don’t know why you might want to buy one, but if you do, now you can!

For what it’s worth, I bought a copy myself and I really like it. And (far) more importantly, Michele approves. By the way, Michele drew the cover picture for a card she sent to Alice’s best friend Kenzie, and I loved it so much that I took a picture of it before she dropped it in the mail.

The book is available at Amazon.com in paperback for $10, Kindle for $5. If you purchase a print copy you can get the kindle version for free.

jr

Suck It Up

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you…
Ephesians 4:1 ESV

Once, while reading through the book of Ephesians, it struck me as a bit odd that here smack dab in the center of his letter, Paul mentions the fact that he’s in prison. I’d expect maybe that he’d do that at the beginning, perhaps at the end, but to stick it here seems out of place. Continue reading “Suck It Up”

We have just posted the audio of the first four sessions of our Spring Conference held last Saturday at Lifespring Church in Crosby, MN. Thanks so much to Pastor Eric Anderson and the dear folks at Lifespring for their labors in Jesus’ name making this a wonderful day of sound biblical instruction, encouragement, and challenging thinking. It was an honor to get to meet the gracious Dr. Peter Jones, who was somehow schnookered into coming to the sticks of Northern Minnesota. We are so grateful.

I’ve also posted some new material on the What I’m Listening To page, including some fun kids stories I grew up with, audio Bible recommends, and some other good stuff including Psalm 23 in Hebrew and a wonderful piece on “The Disease of Melancholy.”

-jr

In Which I Discover I am Immoral

I am now immoral when once I wasn’t, and I didn’t do nothin’. These are my thoughts concerning my recent, rather unpleasant, self-discovery. Continue reading “In Which I Discover I am Immoral”

A few little things to note:

I added some new things to What I’m listening to for your auditory pleasure and/or edification. I particularly enjoyed (for the third time or so) Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story story about Mrs. Bullfrog, which is perhaps more relevant and culturally fitting in our day than we may care to admit. And while in my shop I was enraptured in the vision of God Sinclair Ferguson presented so beautifully, I also ignored the strain I was putting my table saw through until the motor burnt out. Still, I can scarcely recommend this sermon highly enough.

Don’t forget to register for our upcoming Spring Conference with Dr. Peter Jones. Registration is both free and required. If the registration process frightens you (entering an email address that “they” will have), contact Eric or me and we’ll register you under the name of some notorious heretic. I think the next name to be used is Marcion, unless Andy Stanley has reserved it for himself.

JC Ryle texted me from my Dad’s phone this week:
When an eagle is happy in an iron cage,
when a sheep is happy in the water,
when an owl is happy in the blasé of noonday sun,
when a fish is happy on the dry land –
then, and not until then will I admit
that the unsanctified man could be happy in Heaven.

My birthday was this week. Spent much time thinking about last year’s birthday – Alice on my lap laughing opening my presents and blowing out my candles (picture of that here), the first little signs of her tumor’s recurrence were showing up making it somewhat miserable for me as I tried to soak up all the good and properly ignore the bad I couldn’t do anything about. I think much of eternity, and in a way, yesterday I turned 40 but kinda wish I’d turned 70. I’d look good for a 70yr. old. Anyway, itching to see her again, itching to get on with the business of eternal life. God give me patience to endure to the end.

Common Slaves Spring Conference

The Common Slaves Network is excited to invite you to attend our Spring Conference, to be held on Saturday, April 27th, 8:30AM at Lifespring Church in Crosby, MN.

Our keynote speaker is Dr. Peter Jones, who will be addressing the theme of the conference, Only Two Religions: Understanding All the Worship in the World. Continue reading “Common Slaves Spring Conference”

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