The Art Of Pastoring

I read this book once before many years ago. Something about it stuck in my head, I remember enjoying reading it but wasn’t sure why. I decided to break it open again.

I enjoyed reading it this time too. Hansen gives a first-hand account of what being a pastor is about through his own experience. He shows what he did in various circumstances but refrains from telling all pastors to do it his way.

If you are a pastor you will find this book very encouraging. If you want to know the life of a pastor this is also a good, honest window into that sad, sad world.

He also talks about the theology of pastoring, what the Bible says it is, a good idea for all people to know what that is as few pastors do it and even fewer “laymen” have any idea what their pastor should do (other than whatever they want them to do at the moment).

I would recommend this book to all believers. I would part with Mr. Hansen on some theological issues, but his little book here is quite good.

Are Mormons Christians?

I’ll give it to you straight: nope. Here’s why I say that.

–Christians believe that Christ did not have a sin nature because He was born of a virgin, conceived by God.
–Mormons believe that God is a physical being who had sexual relations with Mary (one of his many wives, including Eve) to create the child Jesus.

–Christians believe that God is three persons in one, the Trinity.
–Mormons believe that God and Jesus are two gods. They also believe that all people can attain godhood.

–Christians believe that the shedding of Christ’s blood is what takes care of our sin problem and makes us acceptable before God.
–Mormons believe that your works–your ability to follow God’s commands and the LDS Church’s commands can cleanse your stain of sin. Brigham Young even said you can shed your own blood to take care of your own sin.

–Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
–Mormons believe that the Bible has been distorted over the years and have added three other books in addition to the Bible, most of which conflict with Scripture on many points.

–Christians believe in heaven and hell and your decision to believe in Christ’s sacrifice for your sins determines where you will spend eternity.
–Mormons believe all people go to heaven. Heaven is divided into three spheres, the top sphere of heaven contains three spheres as well. Only those people who have worked their way into godhood make it to the top of the top tier.

–Christians believe that Christ will return to this earth and reign in righteousness.
–Mormons believe Christ will return to establish the Jews in Palestine and the Mormons in Missouri. Then, the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel will leave their warm country beyond the North Pole to bring their wealth and produce a wonderful place of blessing for people to live in.

Perhaps many Mormons don’t know they believe these things and few would ever say it as I have. They are desperately trying to sound Christian and yet reading their texts clearly shows they are not.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. –Galatians 1:8

The Dip

Quitting is not just for losers. Green Bay Packers are frequently wrong, you know. Winners quit too, they just happen to quit the right things.

The Dip is all about quitting. Everything in life hits a down time, a dip, where things are tough. Is the dip worth quitting over or should you push through it? Professionals push through the dip; amateurs quit and go try something else.

In order to have the required energy and resources to push through a worthwhile dip, you must quit other things that are not worth it. Seth Godin is a master at stating the obvious. I love his stuff, it’s so simple and yet thought provoking.

It also strikes me that this book copies Jesus Christ’s method. Jesus Christ built a dip into Christianity as well–whenever a crowd was getting excited about Him He’d drop something impossible on their heads to weed out the pretenders.

I couldn’t help but read this book and think of the Gospel. Today’s church makes the Gospel all easy, no sweat, every one’s in practically. The church has specialized in removing the dip. The thing is, though, is that Christ left the dip in, even made it dippier.

Paul calls the life of faith a race to be endured, a fight to be fought, only he who endures to the end showed he was in it. The reward for finishing is eternal and marvelous. Living it now is tough, is the dip of faith worth it to you?

It’s All Latin To Me

The pope is prepared to authorize the use of the Latin Mass again. Interestingly it is speculated that this authorization will officially be given on the Feast Day of the Blessed Pope Benedict XI.

What’s so interesting about that? Ben XI’s feast day just so happens to be 7/7/07! Coincidence or supernatural? I think we know the answer to that.

The Latin Mass, by the way, is antisemitic, a little bit anyway. Just so you know.

Lucky Sevens

“As the number of the days of God’s first week, of the levels of heaven…of the numbers of angels and trumpets, etc., the number came in the last few centuries BCE to represent divine perfection,” said David Frankfurter, professor of religious studies and history at the University of New Hampshire. “Something organized seven-fold meant that it corresponded to God’s own arrangement.”

Why are we talking about the number 7? Because we’re getting close to having to make major decisions to have a little more of God’s favor (sometimes referred to as “luck”). In another week we will have 7/7/07.

Make all your big decisions on that day. Pick your new church, get married, buy a car, get a dog, start a new job, start a Pop Tart diet, whatever momentous activity your life needs. Sounds like a good day for the Lord to return. Wonder if Pat Robertson is up on this one.