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A Theology Post.

This is a theology post. That means that it is supposed to be theological in nature, and have some level of smartypants theological content. But, then again, isn't everything we as Christians do supposed to be theological in nature? Isn't everything supposed to be centered in and around the study of God and how that plays out in our daily lives (which is what theology really is)?

Think about this: How do you think about theology? How to you think about God day in and day out? How do you think about how your family culture is shaped by your faith? How does our Christian faith in the finished work of Christ factor into how we do our jobs? Raise our kids? See those outside the faith?

We in the West are so compartmentalized in our thinking that we tend to literally only set aside Sundays for the worship of God. We have our work-life, our family-life, and our church-life. This is saying essentially: This way of me operating and living and my morals or actions are this way during th…
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Review of The Distinctives of Baptist Theology

NOTE AND DISCLAIMER: I am a horrible theologian and I am even worse at summarizing complex theological systems in very short space, so take what I am writing here as a feeble best attempt, and buy the book so that you can get a much better explanation.

This short book (about 200 pages) written by Pascal Denault is a fantastic comparison between the two basic forms of covenant theology inside of what could be labeled as forms of Puritan federalism, which are ways of understanding how God has dealt with humanity through history. Mr. Denault (a French speaking Canadian Reformed Baptist Theologian) does a great job outlining the Presbyterian model of covenant theology and the Baptist model and does so from not only primary sources but  he uses  Scripture within the primary sources to highlight the differences between the two in favor of Baptist covenant theology.

Now I suppose I may need to back-up a bit and explain what in the world I'm talking about. Most of us know what a covenant

Missionaries, Misconceptions, and the dashing of Idols

This is the first actual bit of "work" that I've done in a few weeks. I've been doing some meetings here, scheduled some stuff there, but I haven't been doing any reading or writing or anything that feels....substantial. 

There are reasons for that, of course. We've been busy with life stuff. Meeting with friends, holiday stuff (we did Thanksgiving here!) and sickness has taken it's toll on our schedules with work and homeschooling. So yeah, this feels good, to sit down and write something. It feels good to put some thoughts to keyboard and process some of what has been going on, and if you haven't noticed, processing what we are going through is really kind of the point of this blog, along with stateside contact, of course.

In October, Rudy, our translator, took some well deserved time off to go spend time with his family in another city and all of a sudden, out of the clear blue sky, culture shock hit. Hard. We were suddenly struck with some of the …

Undas and the Reformation in the Philippines

As most everybody knows, this week celebrated the 500th anniversary of when Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenburg, Germany. The Protestant Reformation was kicked off from this otherwise normal event, as Luther and the Roman Catholic magesterium (popes, cardinals, bishops, so on) dug their heels in over the argument over the gospel and the final authority in the church. To Luther and the other Reformers, the Gospel was buried underneath all the junk of Roman Catholic tradition that had accrued over the years, with the teachings on indulgences and purgatory and the selling of "grace" by the popes being some of the most obscene displays of any sort of religious leadership, and it is the mess with indulgences that actually prompted the 95 Theses. Pressing into the conversation about church practices led to conversations about authority within the church itself. Luther began making arguments from Scripture and reasoned that practices or…

Facebook Question #2

A while back I asked on facebook for questions for us to try to answer regarding Filipino culture. This, that's right, is one of those posts. This one right here, as you can tell by the title, is to answer question ang numerong duha (that's number two!)!

This comes from Judy Russell. She asks if we feel secluded due to our language differences.

This is a fantastic question, and the answer will take us about eight months back, all the way to February...

When we started taking language classes way back then we knew very little Cebuano, and I mean basically one or two phrases. And we later found out that we were using them horribly incorrect. We went through the course of material that our awesome teacher patiently guided us through in about 7 months, while the course is intended to take closer to a year or year and a half, if you really pace yourself (imagine a fire-hose attached to a hydrant, now rip the hose off and drink straight from the hydrant). We did learn quite a bit an…

Atong Trabaho (Our Work)

Let's talk about work, everybody loves work right, ooh, and geography, everybody is a fan of that too, right?

This is a picture of Tubajon, the municipality that we are working in on Dinagat Island, which is north of Surigao Del Norte (at the bottom of the map), which is on the current island that we live on, Mindanao (that was a mouthful).

The area is divided into 9 baranagays. These 9 barangays are spread out through the whole of the red area on the map, with most of them actually being along the coast inside the sideways v looking bay on the left side of the island. For our purposes, we are basically calling them villages that all answer to one mayor, even though each of them have a barangay captain that is responsible to the mayor for the administration of that area.

Out of the nine that are in this area, there are four barangays (that we know of) that have absolutely no evangelical church anywhere within their administrative areas. These four areas are going to be our object…

Review of Katharina & Martin Luther

Since it is Reformation month I thought that I would read and try to write a quick review of a book on the man who began the Protestant Reformation in force. Michelle DeRusha wrote this nice little book on the marriage of the Reformer, something which is often overlooked in most Reformation history. We tend to focus on the theology and the upheaval of the Reformation, because that is important. But DeRusha does an amazing job at showing why Luther's marriage to a runaway nun was so groundbreaking at that time. This focus shows how Luther's theology is fleshed out in everyday life, and it is a great reminder that our theology (because every Christian is a theologian) needs to be fleshed out and connected with the everyday and mundane of life.

With only 8 letters of Katharina (von Bora) Luther that has come down to historians there is a hard time to figuring out important things about her early life and the day to day of their marriage. There are copious amounts of letters from …