Tuesday, November 30, 2004

"Internet Evangelism for the 21st Century"...

The "Internet Evangelism for the 21st Century" conference will be held at Liberty University Apiril 1-2, 2005. This conference expects to draw attendees from the 8,000 member residential student body as well as pastors and leaders from Central Virginia and beyond. LU's state of the art wireless campus is an ideal venue for IE-21st Century. For more information visit http://ie-21stCentury.com and/or email Professor Daniel Henrich at mediastrategy@readmail.biz.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Journal Note: The "B-word"...

CNN.com carried a story last week. The Indianapolis Star carried a story the week before. And this morning my pastor actually said it from the pulpit...

...the B-word .

There's no retreating. Life as we know it, will never be the same.

[Mark your calendar for January 17. We're going to help pastors and leaders here in Indy learn to cope with it. Stay tuned.]

Internet E-Day...

Patricia's Story... pretty much says it all. So I've marked my calendar for April 24, 2005. See you online.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

If You Had Your Rathers...

If you were Dan Rather announcing your retirement from CBS, wouldn't you rather that CBS/Viacom stock hadn't jumped $1 Billion (market capitalization) today?

Varvel's View...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Hope In Taiwan... Little Hope In Artest (or Detroit)...

One is among Indianapolis' finest. The other,'most fined'?
One's underpaid and a great representative as she ministers overseas.
The other... well, hmmm.... what an embarrassment to our city & state.

Nonetheless, this is not at all to exonerate the owners of the tinderbox in Detroit. This isn't Iraq. It's the U.S., where civility is a core value and where 'Love Thy Neighbor' is taught. So if the NBA commissioner is going to hand out heavy penalties on Ron Artest and the Pacer boys, then let justice prevail: Hand down heavy penalties on the Detroit club for gross negligence in brewing such a fan base... and failing to secure them. And Ben Wallace, who clearly started it all, should be culpable for the results. How does he walk with only a 6-game suspension?

And as for the NBA in general... Physician, suspend thyself. You've loosened every rule in the book in order to make the game more 'exciting'... to sell more tickets and commercials... and the cost is a loss of dignity.

Ron... while we might all have the inclination to retaliate, you're getting paid bigtime to take the abuse... all the way to the bank. You've made your Rodman reputation, so live with it... perhaps elsewhere.

Go spend your time off learning from someone like Hope.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

"Conservatives Capture Whitehouse... Liberals Overrun Pentagon"...

"On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."

Such ideals were routed early today as the ACLU overran positions at the Pentagon. American Legion moves to retake lost ground. Story at eleven.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Barna's Election Analysis...

George Barna
Barna Research

"The difference was in the rates of turnout of each segment. Although the born again population constitutes just 38% of the national population, it represented 53% of the vote cast in the election. If the born again public had shown up proportional to its population size, Senator Kerry would have won the election..."

[If you've followed my blog post below: "What more could a (white) evangelical ask for?", you'll understand why I also found the following very interesting...]

"However, a key comparison is the shift over the past four years among born again blacks. In 2000, this segment rallied behind Mr. Gore by a 92% to 7% margin. In the current election, the margin of preference was reduced to 85% to 15%. That reflects a doubling of the percentage of the black born again vote delivered to Mr. Bush."

Access To The 'Exit-Polls'...

[click here to see Exit-Poll results, state by state]

[Click here for Barna Research analysis.]

Besides all the other post-election analysis we've all heard, one number that jumped off the Indiana page was... the low number of white Catholics who voted for Kerry, a white Catholic...
35% (vs. 63% who voted for Bush).

I think I'll cheer for Notre Dame this weekend.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Who Are His Wise Counselors, Anyway?

Interviewer: "Do Christians and non-Christians and Muslims go to heaven, in your mind?"

President Bush: "Yes they do."

Makes me wonder where he's getting his advice. Presumably not from Jeb. Perhaps 'George Bush 41'?

Thankfully many Christians pray regularly for President Bush. And many Christians pray for you & I too -- that we may know God exactly as He desires to be known. Apparently none of us are entirely there yet. So it begs the question: Where do we get our understanding?

May we first & foremost look to & through the authority of God's Word. And how will we gain such an understanding if not by reading it extensively (and obtaining all the wise counsel we can find)?

We need not struggle with the interviewer's question -- it's an easy one. At least President Bush got the ground rules correct: "I don't get to decide who goes to heaven. The Almighty God decides who goes to heaven."

So if Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)... then the answer is simple enough -- it's through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ that we can someday stand justified before God.

Jesus was asked point-blank: "What must we do to do the works God requires?" He answered, "The work of God is this, to believe in the One He sent." That's pretty straightforward for anyone who has heard the Good News... trust in God's redemptive promise... ie, His own personal sacrifice on our behalf, paying the penalty for our sins if we'll but receive that promise by faith.

Perhaps the question arises: "What about those who do not know Jesus by name?" Abraham didn't. But he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. (Gen.15:6). The same standard applies, trust in God's redemptive promise.

Do Muslims know of Jesus? Sure, and call him a prophet, but vehemently deny He is God... not to mention their denial of His sacrifice on their behalf.

Any questions? Wish you knew more about how to relate to your Muslim friends & neighbors?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What More Could A (White) Evangelical Ask For?

It's hard to imagine how an evangelical Christian could hope to improve on yesterday's election results. After all, God seems to have directly answered our prayers... did He not... that winners would be those who aspire to govern with biblical insights & character. Bush won, while the most pro-gay presidential candidate ever... lost. In a related bad bet, pro-choice John Edwards ended up giving his Senate seat to a pro-life Republican. Indiana's Baron Hill is leaving the hill. No tears for Tom Daschle either. Pro-life Mitch Daniels won the governorship of Indiana by always trying to take the 'high road'. On the other hand, his opponent gave 'dirty politics' a bad name... not to mention flying in the face of his own church's position on the sanctity of life. Indiana statehouse Republicans who couldn't even get a motion onto the floor last spring under Speaker Bauer's dictatorship... will now soon be in control of the microphone.

So let me take that challenge. How could we improve on a night like that?

By making the choice clear-cut for ALL Bible-believing Christ-followers... not just white ones like myself. Let's stop being oblivious to the very real problems of vital Christians on the other side of the aisle... and town. Let's humbly walk a mile in our brothers' shoes to find & eliminate the reasons that our Christian brothers & sisters of other races end up with the hard choice between being neglected by one party and taken for granted by the other. Let's include 'Christ-like compassion' as one of those key 'moral values' that differentiate the good guys from the rest. Let's do more than just pray 'thy will be done on earth' -- let's do what Jesus also did... heal problems as we come across them. Let's be generous. Let's go to war on poverty. Let's be overcomers. Let's give grace as it's been given to us. Take seriously our obligation: "to whom much is given much is required". Let's re-engineer the social networks that perpetuate inequities from one generation to the next. Let's stop building 'self-driven churches" -- i.e., favorite flavor (or color!) homogenous churches catering to our particular whims. Instead, let's get over ourselves and start building heterogeneous churches around the pillar of Christ-like love .

Let's get to work now... and see to it that next time, Christ-followers need not split our votes at all.