Francis Chan: "International Man of Fu Manchu Mystery"

Ever since he announced that he was leaving his pastorate at Cornerstone Church in Simi, California, it seems everyone’s been wondering, “What the heck is going on with Francis Chan?”

In a conversation with Francis Chan and Joshua Harris, Mark Driscoll asks, “Everybody thinks you’re cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. You’ve got a good church going on and you hit the eject button and now you’re an international man of Fu Manchu mystery. What is going on? What are you thinking? And what’s going to happen to your church?”

You see Chan’s response in the video below:

HT: The Gospel Coalition

Theology Matters

Tristan Carnahan’s short film “Theology Matters,” based on the book Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris:

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.5494355&w=425&h=350&fv=]
more about “Theology Matters by Tristan…“, posted with vodpod


I’ve come to learn that theology matters. And it matters not because wewant a good grade on a test but because what we know about God shapes the way we think and live. What you believe about God’s nature—what he is like, what he wants from you, and whether or not you will answer to him—affects every part of your life.

Theology matters, because if we get it wrong, then our whole life will be wrong. . . .

Knowledge doesn’t have to be dry and lifeless. And when you think about it, exactly what is our alternative? Ignorance? Falsehood? We’re either building our lives on the reality of what God is truly like and what he’s about, or we’re basing our lives on our own imagination and mis-conceptions.

We’re all theologians. The question is whether what we know about God is true.

Joshua Harris, Dug Down Deep, pp. 10-11

HT: Daniel Mosley

Around the Interweb (01/31)

The iPad: Greatest Disappointment in Human History or the New Device You Can Touch

Last week, Apple unveiled the long-rumored tablet computer, the iPad.

Über-blogger Tim Challies has written an astoundingly negative post on the iPad, calling it “the greatest disappointment in human history”:

I wanted the iPad to do lots of neat things but to do one thing exceedingly well. Speaking personally, I wanted it to be an exceptional reading device. Why Apple didn’t position it as a reading device baffles me. Why didn’t they work with textbook manufacturers to make this the future of reading, the future of studying? . . . .This device could have been an amazing way of taking reading (which even Steve Jobs knows isn’t really going to go away) to the digital world. Kindle has tried and has done some good things. But the whole field is still vastly underdeveloped. Apple had its chance and, by what I can see, has completely blown it. Sure the iBook application looks pretty, but it does not look at all innovative beyond a few visual effects. I’m disappointed because the iPad could have been so much more.

Josh Harris disagrees:

Now my brother Tim is upset that the iPad doesn’t have a camera and more input options. But that’s the genius of Apple. They know what to leave out. Before we even know ourselves, they figure out what we’ll actually use and how we’ll use it. Sure, the iPad will get better. We’ll look back on this first version like we do the clunky first-edition iPod. But I think this will be a game changer for how people interact with media and the internet. Seeing my kids interact with the iPhone has convinced me of that. We want a computer we can touch.

Mike Rundle, rightly, I think, gets to the heart of the issue: The iPad isn’t for power users. It’s for everyone else.

What about you, internet friends? You a fan of the iPad or do you think Tim’s right to be disappointed?

In other news

My internet friend Matt Svoboda needs prayer in pursuit of church planting. He’s a good guy and I’ve got no doubt he’ll be a great pastor.

JD Greear offers a tip for evangelism: Tip well.

You are cool if you are “missional.”

In case you missed it

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

Book Review: God the Holy Trinity

A tip for evangelism: Talk positively about your spouse

Ten questions about books (because Aaron likes his bookie-books)

“If I’m the hope, that’s not good news,” a message from Mark Driscoll

Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds us that there is hope because we have a God who acts.

Can I Just Be Holy Now, Please?

Progressive sanctification.

I have a hard time with it. Not because I disagree with it, but because I’m incredibly impatient. Slow, hard growth is painful and uncomfortable and I’d really rather be holy now (and not just positionally), thank you very much.

You can imagine the problems that this can bring. It’s easy to despair over the presence of sin, to grow weary in the fight to put it to death. To sometimes feel a little hopeless.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that “Changed, Changing, to Be Changed,” a chapter from Dug Down Deep, was a much-needed kick in the pants. Here’s why:

[W]e live between two moments in salvation history—between the arrival of salvation through Jesus’s first coming and the ultimate fulfillment of our salvation when Jesus returns and establishes his eternal kingdom. Theologians call this in-between reality the “already” and the “not yet” aspects of our salvation.

Jesus has already brought salvation by his substitutionary death on the cross and his resurrection. Jesus has already made us new creatures with new desires and the power to obey (2 Corinthians 5:17). He has already freed us from slavery to sin (Romans 6:6).

But we’ve not  yet arrived. He has not yet fully vanquished sin and Satan. Jesus has not yet freed us from the presence and consequences of sin. He has not yet banished death, wiped away every tear, punished all injustice, and established everlasting peace (Revelation 21:1-8).

The already and not yet reality of our salvation helps keep things in perspective. We shouldn’t be surprised that even though we’ve been changed, we still have to struggle with weaknesses and imperfections. We still have to deal with the ugliness of life in a fallen world where people let us down and disappoint us and where sickness and death break our hearts. So we shouldn’t despair over ongoing struggles with sin. This is part of the deal. Jesus has already brought salvation. But he’s not yet taken us home (pp. 146-147).

I have some sins that I really struggle with. I hate that even when I’m trying to be careful with my language and tone, I still come across as arrogant. I hate that something as vital and powerful as prayer—especially intercessory prayer—isn’t my first reaction.

But I don’t need to despair. There will be a day when I won’t be seen as arrogant. There will be a day when prayer will be as natural as breathing. I’m working toward it, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It’s coming.

But not yet.

Book Review: Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

Title: Dug Down Deep
Author: Joshua Harris
Publisher: Multnomah

A little background

Joshua Harris first really came on my radar about four years ago (around the same time I discovered a love for sound doctrine). The first thing I ever heard was his talk, “A Humble Orthodoxy” on the Resurgence podcast, and I was blown away. I’d heard of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, but only because people I knew made fun of it (they thought at the time that not dating was just ridiculous).

What impressed me about him as a communicator and pastor was his obvious passion for the gospel, Scripture, sound doctrine and people. So when I heard about Dug Down Deep, it immediately went on my “to read list.” A couple months ago, I wrote some impressions of the first chapter, and now have had the pleasure of reading the whole thing.

Personal & Practical

Dug Down Deep is a book about theology. “We’re all theologians,” writes Harris. “The question is whether we will be good theologians or bad theologians, whether what we know about God is true or false” (p. 11). In this book, encourages us all to be good theologians, because “if we get it wrong, then our whole life will be wrong” (p. 10).

Harris wisely frames a fairly deep doctrinal discussion in the story of his discovering a love for theology. He isn’t trying to come off as a hyper-intellectual academic. Rather, he comes across as someone having a conversation with the reader over coffee and isn’t afraid to be transparent.  [Read more…]

Dug Down Deep: Impressions on the First Chapter

Read the full review of Dug Down Deep (posted January 19, 2010)

Dug Down Deep is the latest book by Joshua Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye & Stop Dating the Church and pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Set to release January 19, 2010, the book focuses on the practical importance of theology in the life of every believer as it shares Harris’ journey to having an informed knowledge of God as the foundation of his spiritual life. Harris and Multnomah Books have kindly made the first chapter of Dug Down Deep available as a free preview, which you can read here:

So… how’d I like it?

Honestly, it’s really, really good. [Read more…]

Joshua Harris Killed by Evil Beanbag

“In the end there, that was me being killed by evil.”

HT: Evangelical Village

Sunday Shorts (07/26)

Dug Down Deep: New book by Joshua Harris

3D.DugDownDeep%20copy.jpgThe other day, Joshua Harris (Pastor of Covenant Life Church and author of such books as I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Stop Dating the Church) has released some information on his latest book. From the back cover:

I know from experience that it’s possible to be a Christian but live life on the surface. The surface can be empty tradition. It can be emotionalism. It can be doctrine without application. I’ve done it all. I’ve spent my share of time on the sandy beaches of superficial Christianity.This book is the story of how I learned dig into truth and build my life on a real knowledge of God. How I first discovered that orthodoxy isn’t just for old men but for anyone who longs to know a God who is bigger and more real and more glorious than the human mind can imagine.
The irony of my story is that the very things I needed, even longed for in my relationship with God, were wrapped up in the very things I was so sure could do me no good. I didn’t understand that seemingly worn-out words like theology, doctrine, and orthodoxy were the pathway to the mysterious, awe-filled experience of truly knowing the living Jesus Christ.

They told the story of the Person I longed to know.

You can read Harris’ comments on the origin of the title at his blog, and you can preorder a copy at Amazon.

Gnosticism and Fundraising

Jonathan Dodson offers some thoughts on the often dualistic approach to fundraising and the work of the ministry over at his blog:

Some of us need to repent of our dualism, of seeing God as sovereign and concerned only with our piety and not with our pocketbook. Some of us need to redeem our view of money with an understanding that the Gospel redeems consumers to spend, not just “spiritually” but practically. Our money should be governed by the gospel and move towards mission. But that is uncomfortable. We would rather live with the comforts of unspiritual spending, than invest our whole lives into the mission of God. Our idols of comfort, clothing, and standard of living hide beneath our functional gnosticism. God is calling us to repent and believe that Jesus is Lord over our entire lives, finances included, to bring us into a life of joyful giving and worship.

Read the whole thing. It’s well worth it.

John MacArthur on Spurgeon & Worldly Preaching

HT: Evangelical Village

In case you missed it

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

Everyday Theology: “God won’t give you more than you can handle” Exploring the question: does God really only give us what we can handle?

A Holy Terror Embracing a holy fear of the Lord

Timeless Truth: Mere Christianity Looking at an example of true wisdom that has only become more powerful since it’s writing 60 years ago.