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  • iplawrence 6:39 pm on August 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Pretty insteresting article here for those of you involved in youth ministry. Any thoughts? Any additional insights that you would add to his question?

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2011/07/29/why-youth-stay-in-church-when-they-grow-up/

     
    • mashbaugh 1:42 am on August 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      as one who literally just started working at a church with high school and middle school kids this is a great short article. I look at my kids, pretty all of whom i thoroughly enjoy, but wonder where I’m supposed to start. I’m used to YL kids, non-churched kids, but i don’t want these kids to be those stats…i want them to not even question what they’ll do in college, but assume going and serving at a church in college is exactly what they want to do because they know the lord and have a genuine relationship with him….

    • Marty 1:50 am on August 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I think the larger question is what is the ministry to that age group teaching. Unfortunately for a vast majority of churches it is just therapeutic moralistic deism. The question can be further elaborated as to why that group leaves to usually only return when they have children of their own. It is usually because what was taught to them was some form of therapeutic moralistic deism. The difference for the ones that stay is that it was more than that.

      The question he is asking has been bettered asked by Kenda Creasy Dean a professor at Princeton Seminary. Im not usually impressed by a lot of the work that comes out of Princeton, but while I may differ greatly with her on certain theological points her book on this very topic, “Almost Christian,” is amazing. It is worth a read if you have time.

      • iplawrence 12:02 pm on August 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I’ve heard good things about that book. Is it only focused on youth?

        • Marty 1:05 pm on August 17, 2011 Permalink

          It is focused on youth. It is a response a national survey that was done. I would highly recommend it even for those not in youth ministry. I would say its a must read for youth ministry folks.

  • iplawrence 11:58 am on October 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    This quote is from John Piper’s talk th… 

    This quote is from John Piper’s talk this past weekend, “The Life of the Mind and the Love of God”:

    “There is an odd notion that, if we use our minds to grow in our knowledge of God, mystery will diminish and with it a sense of wonder and reverence. I call this notion odd for two reasons. One is that, no matter how many millions of ages I use my mind to know more and more of God’s majesty, his glories will never be in danger of being exhausted. What is not yet known of God by finite creatures will always be limitless. You honor this truth more by shameless growth in the knowledge of God.

    And the second reason I find the notion odd that thinking about God and knowing more and more of God jeopardizes our worship of God, is that without knowing him we can’t worship in a way that honors him. God is not honored when people get excited about how little they know of him.

    Ignorance of God has never been the ground of true worship. While we don’t know all, and never will know all, we know something, because God has chosen to reveal himself. And he is honored when our worship is based on what he has revealed, not on what he hasn’t.

    So don’t be romantic about the benefits of ignorance. Be more enthralled by the God you know, than the God you don’t know.”

    I reccomend listening to/reading the whole thing, very helpful stuff.

    http://desiringgod.org/blog/posts/john-piper-the-life-of-the-mind-and-the-love-of-god

     
  • iplawrence 12:44 am on May 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    The Onion on Darfur 

    This is hilarious

     
    • The Wild Card 2:19 am on May 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Ian,
      This is really convicting. I think we should all make t-shirts just to make sure people know that we care.

      • mashbaugh 5:43 pm on May 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I definitely feel dumber after watching this…

  • iplawrence 5:48 pm on February 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Qdoba coupons 

    This is random, but I thought I’d share my excitement –

    If you go to http://www.qdoba.com and play the “mash” game you can win some pretty sweet coupons. You can play once a day, and you usually win something. The best coupon is a free “craft 2” (reg. $5.99 entree) with a drink purchase. Megan and I have gone twice in the last week and both had dinner for $3.50 total. Check it out!

     
  • iplawrence 5:56 pm on January 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Unconditional 

    (This post is sort of a testing of the waters – not to see what you all think of the post itself, per se, but whether or not posts about theological “stuff” are interesting enough to warrant comments, thoughts, criticism, etc.)

    We talk a lot about God’s love as unconditional, but I think many of us, myself included, haven’t thought very deeply about what that means.  After all, even unbelievers like to say that God’s love is unconditional, and some even dare to apply this to mean that God loves all people equally, and therefore wouldn’t “send” anyone to hell.

    John Frame, professor at RTS in The Doctrine of God, says,

    “People sometimes ask whether God’s love is “unconditional.”  In one sense, God’s love is conditional, for God declares conditions that must be met by those who are seeking his blessings. Some don’t meet those conditions and receive eternal punishment.  But when God loves someone in Christ before the foundations of the world, God himself meets the conditions, so that that person will certainly be saved eternally.  To those who belong to Christ, there are no further conditions.  Nothing can separate us from his love.  In that sense, God’s saving love is utterly unconditional” (423)

    I’ve had to check myself often in the past few years to see if I’m getting my definitions from the Bible or from popular evangelicalism – unfortunately the two are not always the same. I agree with Frame because I think it’s true to how the Bible talks about God’s love.

    Definitely a worth while thing to put some thought into.  Praise God for meeting the condition for us that we could never have met ourselves!

     
    • Vengeful Pat 7:58 pm on January 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I love Frame’s thought here, but my only question would be… does God not also love those who he condemns to hell? I would say that he does. In the same way, he loves those who have committed themselves to Christ, but who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. It’s always been my understanding/belief that the banishing of many to hell is out of requirement. Those who have not been reconciled through Christ’s blood may not enter the kingdon of heaven because they lack the proper purity. Their sin would taint God.

      • steverawls 1:39 pm on January 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Pat said taint.

    • Martin 8:45 pm on January 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I think that Sproul actually does a better job of explaining the Love of God here than Fram does. Sproul talks about the 3 types of divine love. Two of the types are unconditional, and the third type we share in because of the work of Christ. Let me explain a bit further to give a better Idea to what Sproul means. The three types of Divine love Sproul speaks of are benevolence, beneficence, and the last which is complacent love. Complacent love is what most minister are referring to when they say Unconditional Love.

      Benevolence- we all share in God’s good will toward fallen humanity. Essentially sinner’s that are not covered by the blood of Christ are still living despite their sinful state that is gracious and merciful of God in and of itself.

      Beneficence – good acts- Everyone sinner and saint receive good kind acts from the hand of God.

      Complacent Love- Sproul uses complacent not as we know it today, but as a love that is “without measure or qualification” There is more to complacent love than this but its crazy to wrap my mind around, and I am at work. God demonstrats his complacent love for us in that, “while we were still Sinners Christ died for us”

      • iplawrence 1:24 pm on January 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, Sproul is definitely really good on this too, as he is with most everything. Frame says quite a bit more than what I explained above – he puts God’s love in three categories as well: God’s self love – the love which existed within the Trinity before creation and still exists, his universal love – his love for all mankind expressed in common grace and in the opportunity to believe the gospel (Mt 5:45), and his saving love – love uniquely expressed toward those whom he gives new life (Eph 2:4). Wish I could write more, gotta run!

      • mashbaugh 8:00 pm on January 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        That’s something I’ve been thinking about some too. When Jesus says in John 14:21, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” That is saying we will be loved if we love him. Is that a different kind of love then the love in John 3:16?

        For example, my Cutco boss, who I enjoy and is 20 years old tells me he wants to grow in faith and that he wants to do more good because he wants God to love him more. I tell him that God loves him regardless, two other guys agree with me who are a part of the conversation (one of which is either an Israeli Christian, or an Israeli jew, and a Mormon guy, that’s another story). But Jesus said we are loved him if we love Him. I guess my next move should’ve been to talk about sin and being justified by faith alone. It didn’t go there. Regardless again, pray that Brian (my boss) would be called by Jesus and that I can preach the gospel to him. If only I was a better Cutco salesman, then he would believe.

        • Vengeful Pat 9:56 pm on January 21, 2010 Permalink

          I am wondering… it says “He who loves me will be loved by my father”, but does that mean that if you do not love Jesus, you will not be loved by the father? I’m not sure it implies that. I think you are safe in telling Brian that God loves him. If God IS love, then wouldn’t he have no choice but to act as love to everyone/anyone?

        • crapsack 11:34 pm on January 21, 2010 Permalink

          Mark, the bible is a double-edged sword. Does that make it sharper than Cutco knives? Ask your boss that. Boom. I just blew your mind.

        • mashbaugh 3:13 am on January 22, 2010 Permalink

          Scott, my mind is blown.

        • mashbaugh 3:13 am on January 22, 2010 Permalink

          PS. Scott, I don’t think you have to be crapsack, but that’s up to you. Others might respond to that comment by saying it’s not up to you…

        • iplawrence 1:47 am on January 23, 2010 Permalink

          I’m going to think about this some more and maybe post something further next week. I’ll say for now with regard to John 14:21 – the passage is chock full of the exclusivity of the love of the Father for those who receive the Son. Verse 23 says, “Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” A condition followed by a response if the condition is met. Does this mean the gospel is legalism? We know that it can’t mean that, so we have to keep pressing to understand this better.

        • Vengeful Pat 7:33 pm on January 25, 2010 Permalink

          Again, I’m not sure I agree. Maybe the translation is poor, but for a true “cause and effect” statement, it should have been written, “If anyone will be loved by my father, he will love me and keep my word, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” But it’s not written that way. I’d be more inclined to think that Jesus is inferring a specific kind of love only given by the Father to those who love him. I don’t have the original Greek or Latin, so it could just be the translation, but if not then I don’t think you can infer that in order to receive God’s love, you must love Jesus. I guess you could also claim that God and Jesus are the same, so then it would be correct to say that you cannot love God without also loving Jesus, but then you have to wonder why Jesus bothers to make a distinction between the father and himself. I’m dizzy.

          At any rate, I think it’s probably most wise to include what you know from the whole Bible, and then decide if it makes more sense for God to only love those who love Jesus, who for God to love all mankind. It’s hard to get past, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The one being loved in this statement is the world, so it’s tough to put a qualifier from a passage later stating that God doesn’t actually love the world, but only a select portion who love and obey Jesus.

        • iplawrence 3:02 am on January 26, 2010 Permalink

          Pat, I’m not sure that we’re disagreeing. You say:

          “I’d be more inclined to think that Jesus is inferring a specific kind of love only given by the Father to those who love him.”

          That’s exactly what I’m saying. I completely affirm that God loves everyone. But I also believe that God has loved some in a unique way. Those who love Christ and obey his commands (one in the same) are those who receive this unique love, the Father’s love and Christ’s love – i.e., salvation (“we will come to him and make our home with him”). The only way this isn’t legalism is if God himself grants grace unto faith and repentance.

          PS – I anyone still paying attention to this other than Pat and I? or should we just email each other?

        • Martin 9:45 pm on January 26, 2010 Permalink

          Not legalism. It is saying though that those that love Christ will keep his commandments. This isn’t Legalism. Its true Love is the greatest motivator. The more we recognize the love of Christ toward us the more our faith is strengthened and the more we desire to do his will and works.

        • mashbaugh 5:37 pm on January 28, 2010 Permalink

          Ian, one who has taken Greek, help us out… They are different Greek words for love, but that’s about all I got. hgaphsen is for 3:16 and agapwn is 14:21. That’s the extent of my Greek I found on a website.

        • iplawrence 11:53 pm on January 28, 2010 Permalink

          same greek work, different form. The greek is not part of the issue here, the esv translation is fine, as i’m sure the NIV is too (havent checked it). It’s more of a systematics question – looking at the evidence throughout Scripture and bringing it to bear on individual verses.

        • Vengeful Pat 4:18 pm on February 1, 2010 Permalink

          I agree with your last statement to me Ian, I think we are coming from the same place. I think I am just fired up about this subject because we’ve been going over Romans in our Bible study and I think I’m just about the only one in the group who weights free will higher than predestination and believes the Bible speaks more to the former and special cases to the latter, so I’m a little defensive these days when I think someone is trying to put God’s love in a box (which I now realize you obviously weren’t).

        • iplawrence 3:14 am on February 2, 2010 Permalink

          Dear Pat, just for the sake of showing all my cards, I’m definitely coming from a Calvinistic perspective. That being said, I certainly don’t consider myself to have perfectly worked out all of these doctrines/issues (as if I ever will!) to the point that I don’t need to be challenged. I’m extremely sympathetic to anyone who is truly going to the text to determine what they believe is true and what is false. I’ve needlessly offended enough people in the past with a careless Calvinism to be very careful how I approach these doctrines with people who disagree. All that to say, keep the challenges coming 🙂 I hope that we can be sharpened to challenged to think harder about this stuff.

      • The Wild Card 12:51 am on February 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I knew you were an Armenian Pat!! Consider our phone date cancelled! So I guess you’re not joining the group “Facebook Calvinists: The Group That Chooses You”? 🙂

        • Vengeful Pat 3:21 pm on February 2, 2010 Permalink

          Haha… just give me a chance Lee! I swear I’m not 100% Armenian! Honestly, though as far as the 5 points of Calvinism go, that’s the only one where I’m not on board. I’m more of a 4-point Calvinist. I am a partial man, Lee, and I need you to fill the hole where the 5th point would go. Okay this is starting to sound like porn, so I’m going to stop typing now.

  • iplawrence 11:36 pm on December 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Jet pulling for Jesus 

    Several weeks back Kevin Fast set the world record for pulling a jet the longest distance. He’s a Lutheran minister in Canada, and has set several world records for feats of strength, always using the opportunity to raise money for various ministries and social benefits. I’d love to hear this guy preach!

    New YL fundraiser idea?

     
  • iplawrence 2:39 am on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Roddy Piper 

    Harris and I watched this movie called They Live some random night several years back. The main character is Rowdy Roddy Piper, and he kills a lot of aliens, aliens who he can only see when he wears special sunglasses. Anyway, this fight scene is amazing. Beware, there’s some “adult language”, but it only seems appropriate in a fight like this.

     
    • Scott 3:56 am on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      We should all wear more flannel.

      • Vengeful Pat 4:52 pm on December 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        This fight is so ridiculously long, and it’s all about putting on a pair of sunglasses. Awesome. “Buy yourself a pair of cheap sunglasses, nah nah nah nah na na nah nahhhhhhhh”

  • iplawrence 10:34 pm on September 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Ignatius 

    I don’t know if you guys have seen this yet – it’s entertaining in the least.

     
    • Hunter D 12:43 am on September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      quite entertaining. “we want to raise up a generation of flamers”

      • Mashbaug 2:43 am on September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        “The Michael Phelps of Student ministry.” What does that mean?!

        • Josh 3:07 am on September 16, 2009 Permalink

          durr, it means he’s won 8 gold medals in student ministry. And does pot.

        • Hunter D 1:45 pm on September 16, 2009 Permalink

          speaking of michael phelps, i finally caught an episode of “Shaq Vs.” last night. it was shaq vs. michael phelps and it was awesome. shaq is large.

  • iplawrence 2:34 pm on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Julia Ashbaugh 

    I imagine most of you have heard already that Mark and Katherine had their baby girl a few weeks ago – 7 weeks early.  Katherine and Julia are healthy, everything ended up going fine. Here’s a link to some pictures.  As usual, Mark and Katherine photo-documented the entire thing starting with the drive to the hospital.
    http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=991746024/a=155817489_155817489/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/

     
    • Katherine Ashbaugh 6:58 pm on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Do Mark and I really photo document everything?!?!? That’s funny. Whatever, have you seen Rawl’s engagement photos!!!!

      P.S. I’m a girl. Am I allowed to write on this?

      • Vengeful Pat 8:33 pm on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hey Katherine! Congrats on the healthy baby! I think I speak for the group when I say that we are all really excited for you and Mark. And to answer your question, no.

        • Justin Cason 2:56 pm on August 25, 2009 Permalink

          My vote is yes, Katherine was a huge part of the 05-06 house, in fact there was a huge basement vs upstairs fight over her which resulted in Hunter stealing Steve’s moped and wrecking it; and for some reason crapsack’s jeans were torn so terribly they no longer concealed his boxer which were also full of holes

        • Scott 10:04 pm on August 26, 2009 Permalink

          I didn’t know there was a boxer in my pants. That’s odd. Also, Katherine is such a large part of the House that a picture of her is still attached to my dresser, along with Cason and Clark. It reminds me of the end of slavery. Katherine is a girl, and therefore can’t post on the blog. Good try, though.

  • iplawrence 1:39 am on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Really bad 

    You know this song, but you’ve probably never seen the video, and there’s a reason for that.  I invite you to waste several minutes of your life.

     
    • iplawrence 1:41 am on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Was there really any better way to do that dice shot? I don’t think so.

      • steverawls 1:47 pm on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        i like how literal the video is. They thought, we better act out everything we say in this song. Don’t let people watching imagine what we’re talking about. We’ll give them images for every single point we’re trying to make. I mean, honestly, that’s pretty crappy art.

        • mashbaugh 1:09 pm on August 21, 2009 Permalink

          At least we don’t have to guess what they’re thinking?

    • rcard7878 2:13 am on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I always liked this version better.

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