Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

Good Questions for pastoral candidates

What are your goals?

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Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, Chapter 4

In which he describes the descent into addiction. He uses the model of idolatry to to trace a trajectory from being unprepared, starting a friendship, growing infatuated, loving and betraying, and finally worshipping. This is the descent from sin through slavery to tragedy.

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Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, Chapter 3

He suggests idolatry, adultery, foolishness, a beast’s attack, and even disease (!) as biblical metaphors for addiction.

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Forgiveness (warning: the story is graphic)

I am moved, sickened, overwhelmed by this incredible story. Susanne (wife of one of the victims) experienced maybe the worst thing possible in this life: the torture and murder of a loved one. Her pain must be horrible. The thing is, Jesus gives us something to live and die for that makes it all worth the trouble. The pain of this life will end. Heaven is worth it.

A Christian doesn’t need to avenge wrongs; he or she can forgive the wrong because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The torture and murder is horrible. But that is how all sin looks to God. Our petty lies, lusts, jealousies, and on and on all look that horrible to God. It cost him the torture and murder of his son.

 Somehow, after reading about the gracious forgiveness of Susanne to those who hurt her so badly, I feel moved to forgive those who have wronged me. Yes, the sin is terrible. But Jesus’ redemption is more powerful than the sin.  

While under house arrest, Paul wrote to the Philippians that he would prefer to die and be with Christ. The reality is, his death was institutionalized murder. He was to be executed for his beliefs. He was happy to live and endure the wrongs of others for the sake of his brothers and sisters in Christ. But his preference was to leave it all and go home. Philippians is full of joy and unity and servanthood and Christ’s humility and exaltation. Paul was near death. He was so moved by knowing Jesus that the worst wrongs and pain in this life didn’t rattle him.

Do I know Jesus like this?


Just started using Wireshark to read network traffic for BACnet.

I set the capture filter to “ether host xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx” to read only traffic for a certain device. If you use a display filter instead of a capture filter, it captures all the network junk. The tighter the capture filter, the better.

 I have also set the display filter to “bacnet.version > 0” in order to see only BACnet traffic. I am sure there is a better way.

Phil 3:8 Valuable and Not Valuable

I am going through the NavPress LifeChange study for Philippians.

I like the emphasis of one of the questions about Phil 3:8. Here is a list of things that are valuable (from 1:9-11, 18, 23-26, 2:2-4, 17):
love, knowledge, understanding, pure and blameless lives, fruit of salvation, God’s glory, the gospel, living for Christ, dying and being with Christ, others’ growth, unity, love, working together, unselfishness, humility, putting others first, other’s faith and service.

Here is a list of unvaluable things (from 1:12-18, 23-24, 3:4-8, 4:11-13):
suffering, jail (including guards and chains and restricted freedom), others’ wrong motives, others hurting us, staying alive, our own accomplishments.

If I truly shared Paul’s value system, I would probably spend less time worrying about my own accomplishments and more time with friends.

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, Chapter 2

John 8:34 says we are slaves to sin.

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Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, Chapter 1

Our beliefs and theology affect us, but we are often unaware of many of our own beliefs that float around in our hearts. Other people can help us discover some of those beliefs; sometimes our unconscious beliefs are fairly obvious to others but hidden from ourselves.

Welch takes issue with AA and the disease model of addiction.

Addicts are worshippers who are devoted to something (pp. 11-12) They are in bondage, out-of-control. People can be addicted to a great many things, but a uniting factor seems to be a quick (seconds or minutes vs. days) physical response that makes one feel better.

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave

It seems I have started blogging more books than I will finish. But I am trying.

Addictions: A banquet in the grave: finding hope in the power of the gospel, by Edward Welch.

Edward Welch refers to Proverbs 7 where a young man wanders by a known house, just in case he might get in on a little action. He is pounced upon and willingly led away, but to his own grave. Addictions are like this. Addicts are enjoying a banquet in the grave.

 I am very interested in developing my own theology of addiction. Something that deals with the reality of physical and mental addictions without ignoring the sin element. I believe that at the core, the issue is flesh vs. Spirit (Gal 5, Phil 3:1-10, Rom 10:1-4, Eph 2:8-10, Rom 3:19-26, etc.) and flesh vs. grace and faith. However, addictions raise some very difficult questions and reveal some paradoxes about human freedom. So I am interested in seeing what Mr. Welch has to say.