Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Jesus Guy!

Have you seen the Jesus Guy around? You may soon! He's begining to make headlines. For what it's worth, many feel that the Jesus Guy looks a lot like Jesus Christ Himself (an angilicized version, no doubt). They say he preaches like St. Francis of Assisi. Some rather candidly say he’s “a kook.” Others, confess him to be “a blessing from God.” I'm cluless!

Of course, contemporary liberal scholars, news pundits, and Hollywood have had many stupid opinions about Jesus and this guy fits the stereotype. He even answers the "name question" with a counter question "What's your name?" I suppose that's better than "I AM" for an answer. Sure he walks around barefoot in the snow (not, on water) and he's clad in a white robe but what does that say? Well, he likes to walk! According to reports, he’s walked through 47 states [and 13 countries] on a 16-year mission. So now the media wants in! Lately, both 20/20, Time and the Wall Street Journal have all helped to get the Jesus Guy a little free publicity.

So what's next? Interested? Click here to view more information about a documentary by Sean Tracey titled The Jesus Guy. The documentary covers the mystical journey of America’s “Barefoot Evangelist.” Oh, and by the way, the Jesus Guy is broke, penniless! So, if philosophy is for cynics and pop culture is for bimbos, what's this Jesus Guy all about? Does he have any good news?

enjoy, ron

Friday, October 12, 2007

Atlas Shrugged?

Today, October 12, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. It was a huge, hotly debated bestseller in its day, and its sales have held steady ever since. According to a 1991 report by the Library of Congress, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand is second only to the Bible in the influence it has had on readers' lives.

I must confess! I passed through a rather intense Ayn Rand phase in my own philosophical journey. At that point, all around me, I was hearing the words: “Atlas Shrugged changed my life.”

Rand was from a educated, prosperous Soviet family who suffered terribly under communism. Her lifelong hatred for communism was superseded only by her love for the United States. She loved its skyscrapers, its technology, its machinery, its individualism, its energy. She was a thorough bred Aristotelian both in word and deed.

Unfortunately for Rand, she loathed religion as much as she hated communism. Being a fool for Christ myself, I was saddened to discover that she saw Christianity as the religion of fools and slaves. The woman was audacious in her worldly wisdom. For example, when faced with the writings of C.S. Lewis, Rand declared him to be a “driveling non-entity,” a “mediocrity,” and “scum.” (see, 1 Corinthians 4.13)

In place of Christianity, Rand, the antichrist, heralded objectivism - with objective reason as its god! Rational, responsible and principled individualism was her philosophy for living. In and of itself, objectivism is very compelling. It promotes values like love, friendship, wealth, and comfort. It respects science, technology, and innovation. It emphasizes reason and clarity. It values purposefulness, achievement, and success. It reveres passionate living, and pursing the greatest heights. All good things but meaningless without a knowledge of Jesus Christ and the power of his resurrection.

So instead of glorifying and enjoying God, Rand set personal happiness as the extreme goal and objectivism as the philosophy that gives you the tools to figure out how to achieve it. Consequently, Atlas Shrugged turns out to be no more than diddly squat in light of the ultimate influence of the Bible.

Jesus Hugged!

enjoy, ron

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"ba da ba ba baa.. I'm lovin' it"

With the current McDonaldization of society it is no wonder more and more Americans know the ingredients of Big Macs than they do the Ten Commandments. It's a fact! Just check out this news story and weep.

BTW can you guess the correlation between morality and obesity? Have you seen the documentary Super Size Me?

Of course, this news is hardly all that shocking, particularly when so many American evangelicals (younger & older alike) are often about as clueless as the rest of the public when it comes to the Law of God.

What about the golden rule? How long before it goes the way of the golden aches (or golden calf)? What can be said about a society that no longer believed killing, cheating, stealing and slander are wrong? That envy and jealousy are good things? Help me here...

If we as Christians can remember the condiments on a hamburger over the contents of God’s commands, it’s a pretty good indication that our morality it shot. It is only through the knowledge of God’s Word that we are prevented from sinning.

With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!

(ESV, Psalm 119:10-12)

enjoy, ron

Monday, October 08, 2007

Heart Broken!

“Faith lives in a broken heart. ‘He cried out with tears, Lord, I believe.’ True faith is always in a heart bruised for sin. They, therefore, whose hearts were never touched for sin, have no faith. If a physician should tell us there was a herb that would help us against all infections, but it always grows in a watery place; if we should see a herb like it in color, leaf, smell, blossom, but growing upon a rock, we should conclude that it was the wrong herb. So saving faith always grows in a heart humbled for sin, in a weeping eye and a tearful conscience.” –Thomas Watson

PS. "God loves a broken heart, not a divided heart."

enjoy, ron

Monday, October 01, 2007

Shelter from the storm!

Jesus, refuge of the weary,
Blest redeemer, whom we love,
Fountain in life’s desert dreary,
Savior from the world above:
Often have your eyes, offended,
Gazed upon the sinner’s fall;
Yet upon the cross extended,
You have borne the pain of all.

Do we pass that cross unheeding,
Breathing no repentant vow,
Though we see you wounded, bleeding,
See your thorn encircled brow?
Yet you sinless death has brought us
Life eternal, peace, and rest;
Only what your grace has taught us
Calms the sinner’s deep distress.

Jesus, may our hearts be burning
With more fervent love for you;
May our eyes be ever turning
To behold your cross anew
Till in glory, parted never
From the blessed Savior’s side,
Graven in our hearts forever,
Dwell the cross, the Crucified.

–Girolamo Savonarola

PS. Girolamo Savonarola (September 21, 1452 – May 23, 1498) was an Italian Dominican priest and leader of Florence from 1494 until his execution in 1498. He was known for religious reform and vehemently preached against what he saw as the moral corruption of the clergy. He is sometimes seen as a precursor of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.

PSS. The novel Romola by one of my all time favorite authors George Eliot features Savonarola as a central character. Romola (1863) is a historical novel set in the fifteenth century, and is "a deep study of life in the city of Florence from an intellectual, artistic, religious, and social point of view." If you want to read the book click on Romola.


In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes
I bargained for salvation an' they gave me a lethal dose.
I offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn.
"Come in," she said, "I'll give you shelter from the storm


enjoy, ron