Archives For chris-brauns

Alex and Brett Harris are teen brothers who have written the book, Do Hard Things.

I strongly encourage parents and teens to become familiar with their leadership.  A good place to begin is to listen to their recent interview on NPR.  Listen here.

The Shack continues to be wildly popular.  It is a work of fiction that attempts an allegory of the doctrine of the Trinity.  Collin Hansen rightly cautions that writing such an allegory  is a difficult, and potentially, heretical exercise.  (Click here).

So, I like Collin’s article, but I do want to tell him about “triple points” which are really cool.

In his article, Hansen argues that using solid, liquid, and gas as an analogy for the Trinity is incorrect because all three phases of matter don’t exist at once. 

I agree that any analogy ends in heresy, but, technically, this critique is wrong.

Physicists have long understood something called “triple point” – – basically there is a combination of temperature and pressure at which all three phases of matter exist at once.

So, if you had the right temperature and pressure, you would find both ice, steam, and water existing at the same time.

There was a Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society article in 1993 by an Auburn physics professor named Michael Bozack where he made this very point.  Bozack wrote,*

In summary, the triple point shows how one substance can exist in three fundamental forms concurrently, each fully the same in nature yet clearly distinct to the extent of having a real interaction with each other, different properties, and different applications.

The triple point shares a number of common elements with the Trinity, including a singular nature shared by three coequal but distinct subsistences, economical properties, and ontological properties. . .

Bozack goes on to describe where the analogy breaks down.

*The Evangelical Theological Society, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society Volume 36, 36:67 (The Evangelical Theological Society, 1993; 2002).

Soon enough, we will all be called to walk through deep valleys. There is much to learn from the example of others and how they manifest the grace of God at such times.

Tragically, the Steven Curtis Chapman family lost their little girl last week. Here is a television report on the memorial service.

HT: Trevin Wax

Deliver Us From Evil

Chris Brauns —  May 30, 2008

Our culture seems increasingly unwilling to identify evil and call it what it is.  But, we live in a fallen world where it is real.  God’s people must stand up against it.

Of course, being honest with the reality of evil forces us to address difficult theological questions.  Why does God allow evil?  Here, I think Os Guinness’ book, Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil is must reading.

Unfortunately, one of the most monstrous forms evil takes is when those in Christian leadership take advantage of people under their care.  Pastor James Emery White talks about how local churches should not and should respond in this post.  (Click here).

As for those who perpetrate such evil, it would have been far better for them if they had drowned first (Matthew 18:6).

Crunchy Con (click here) interacts with a GQ article on Hugh Hefner.  He notes that the symbolic, and apparently literal sound, Hefner is making as he passes off the scene is that of flatus.

If the passing of gas acoustically symbolizes Hefner, then 1 John 2:15-17 gives a theological explanation.  Hefner, and what he represents, is “passing away along with its desires.”

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).

So sad.

Alternatively, follow Christ and, “abide forever.”

New Survey on Reading

Chris Brauns —  May 29, 2008

Justin Taylor summarizes new data on reading habits.  Read it here.

In 2007 a well known atheist named Athony Flew published an unexpected book.  The title of the book is, There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.  In it, Flew shared why he renounced being an atheist, though he is still not a Christian.  I’ve not read the book, but it must be a fascinating read.  You can read a review by R.C. Sproule here.  (HT: Justin Taylor).

In the mean time, I will add Flew’s book to my online store.  Slowly, I’m building a list of recommended reading.

You can see my online store here.  Notice that there are categories at the upper right so, you can move away from this particular aisle.  (Full disclosure.  The theory is that if you buy a book via my online store, I get some sort of reward).

Owen Strachan is blogging about his trip to Hong Kong.  You can read it here

I think it is especially interesting reading given that this is first trip to Hong Kong.  If, like me, you don’t travel “east” much, you may find his journal especially interesting.

I grew up on a farm eight miles from a town of a thousand people.  I now live in a rural community.  I’m used to wide open spaces.  I think I might get claustrophobic if I lived there.

But, it is amazing day when we can enjoy almost immediate access to someone traveling in Hong Kong.

Amazon’s Kindle

Chris Brauns —  May 27, 2008

If you’ve ever been around me and my work environment, you know that I work as an island in a sea of books.  I spend a lot of time organizing books, reading from them, copying down quotes, and transporting them from my study at home to church or vice versa. 

Generally, a book is the opposite place of where I need it.  If it is at church, I need it at home, etc.

So, you might think my dream would be to own a Kindle (Amazon’s electronic reader).  Then I could carry around multiple books in this electronic device.  But, for myriad reasons, including the fact that I like how books smell, I have not seriously considered it.  Besides, it is pretty expensive.

But, for those who are thinking of getting one, you might want to read Tim Challies review here.

And, by all means, if you get one, click through someone’s Amazon Associates link, such as the one below.  The reward for referring someone to a Kindle is pretty good.  $40 according to Tim.

Kindle: Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device

 

John Witte, Jr. writes a thoughtful column for Christianity Today considering whether polygamy should be illegal.

Ultimately, those who oppose polygamy can only do so on the grounds of morality.

Click here to read it.