Friday, September 28, 2007

Zero More Sleeps!

This post's title refers to the fact that today we leave to Ukraine, but it could also refer to how little sleep we got last night! Hopefully we can catch some Zs on one of the three flights to Ukraine.

Thanks so much to everyone who has wished us well. We'll talk to you soon.

On Our Blog Title

I like Dave Black's comment from September 26:

“Truth without love is legalism; love without truth is libertarianism.” This has been my hope and prayer for me and my students – that we might speak the truth with a tear in our eyes, with a lump in our throat, but without a hole in our heads.

After reading it I thought a word about our blog title is in order. We seek the truth, and when we find it, we discover that it is a truth that loves. There are two traps the religious fall into. One is not liking or pursuing truth. Perhaps one refuses to think through what one believes and challenge it. The other trap, though, is to go crazy about truth and be proud about it. Real Christianity cuts a middle (narrow) path between these two ditches. It loves truth, and it loves to be questioned, researched, probed, debated, pursued. And the truth that it holds to is a truth that loves. It is a truth that moves us to help people, put others first and sacrifice for others in this world of six billion Me-Firsts (me too). I am too much aware of my shortcomings and selfishness in this regard, but incidentally, it is the truth of Jesus that motivates us to Ukraine.


We had our first KFC (Kids For Christ) of the year this past Monday night. I don't know if the kids had fun, but I sure did! We had a nice group of kids come in for stories, games, singing, treats, and a Bible lesson. I tried to show them how that Jesus is the Master Builder, his handiwork in Joseph's carpenter shop being merely an echo of what he built at the beginning of time, and what he will build in the future (and what he's building right now, John 14:2).

Speaking of building, Helen and I built this castle--if you can call it that--for this year's KFC. As you can see, my Dad's skill in building didn't transfer to me, but the kids loved it. Thanks to everyone who saved milk cartons for "bricks"! Unfortunately, the picture doesn't bring out all three dimensions of this impressive, redefining-Austin's-skyline structure!

We'll be praying for the rest of the KFC team as they look after two sessions while we're gone.

John Lennox vs. Richard Dawkins

Great news! Jabe Nicholson passes this on:

Would you make the upcoming event a matter for serious prayer? On October 3,there will be a debate on the existence of God at the Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Richard Dawkins, called by the BBC "Darwin's Rottweiler" and author of The New York Times bestseller The God Delusion will face Christian apologist John Lennox. This will also be one of the few debates in which Dawkins has participated. The event is sold out.

The debate will take place as Dr. Lennox releases his new book God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? published by Kregel. "A brilliantly argued reevaluation of the relation of science and religion, casting welcome new light on today's major debates," says author Alister McGrath of Lennox's book. "A must-read for all reflecting on the greatest questions of life." As another reviewer wrote: "Lennox employs impeccable logic, irrefutable documentation, and extraordinary Christian grace as he invites readers to reexamine claims that belief in God is incompatible with modern science."

The God Delusion Debate is sponsored by Fixed Point Foundation, a Christian think tank. Richard Dawkins is a fellow of the Royal Society and Charles Simonyi chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and is an eloquent spokesman for what has been dubbed "the new atheism." John Lennox has doctorates from Oxford, Cambridge and the University of Wales. He is reader in mathematics in the University of Oxford, and fellow in mathematics and the philosophy of science at Green College.

The debate will also be broadcast via the Moody Broadcasting Network and its affiliates, but is being made available to any stations who are interested in carrying the broadcast. Please pray for a full measure of wisdom, grace and courage for brother Lennox, and that the format will be fair to both participants. Pray that the light of truth will shine into many hearts as a result.

This is sure to be a great debate. Dawkins, well, everybody knows him. Lennox is not so widely known amongst the general public, but mathematicians certainly know about him! He's that kind of genius whose eyes betray his brilliance, but whose graciousness and humility conceal it. John Lennox has teamed up with another hero of mine, David Gooding, to write some excellent apologetic books. It is great to see that serious Christian scholarship has not entirely disappeared from brethren assemblies.

Here's the new book by Lennox, and here's the older one he co-wrote with Gooding.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Back Home, Safe and Sound

Helen and I just got back from 4 days spent in Calgary. I was there for an airport conference for work. We had lots of fun and rest—just what we need before another busy stretch. Anyways, that's all for tonight. I hope to post more tomorrow.


Monday, September 10, 2007

First the UK, now the Ukraine

A year ago tonight, Helen and I were staying with some great friends in London, debating taking the underground the next day on the anniversary of 9/11. [We ended up taking it, and was it ever worth it!] Tonight, like most nights these days, we're getting ready to go to Ukraine!

The Lord gave us the desire to go to Ukraine way back in the early spring. Now we're just 2.5 weeks from the departure gate, and getting more and more excited as we go.

Last night we had Malcolm and Jean Stanley over to discuss our trip. Malcolm has gone several times before so he knows all about it. It's a good thing too, because Helen and I certainly wouldn't know what to expect, and the two of us, along with Malcolm, bring the membership number of this missionary team up to a grand total of three! The highlight of our evening for me was turning to God together in prayer and committing every detail of the journey to Him. Christian fellowship brings so much joy.

Why are we going there? For the glory of God and the joy of people. What will we do there? Visit orphanages, villages, and possibly a jail or two; meet physical needs, speak at schools, and minister to Christians. Speaking of the Christians, don't think that we plan to show them all how it's done. I do hope that by the strength of the Holy Spirit we will be able to help them in some way, but I know I'll learn a lot from them too. Even the apostle Paul felt this way about visiting Christians he hadn't visited before. He writes to the Christians at Rome:
"11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine" (Romans 1:11-12, ESV, my emphasis).

If you have some extra room on your prayer list, mention us to the One who alone can accomplish eternal work through us.