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Archive for August, 2010

Hope springs eternal for Browns fans, particularly in the late summer. It usually fizzles quickly. This year things seem different. Mike Holmgren seems to have put a proper organization in place and he is hitting the right notes with football decisions as well as rhetoric. He has brought in useful players, banking on actual production rather than ever-elusive potential. He has also wonderfully initiated a “Ring of Honor” for the numerous Browns who have excelled throughout the team’s storied history.

All in all, Browns fans-except for a few chuckleheads who have already begun imbibing liquid insulation-are optimistic that the team will be competitive without necessarily winning even half their games. The AFC North is tough.

Several story lines have cropped up this summer, some intriguing, one downright disgusting. Let’s get that out of the way first: Jim Brown-the greatest Cleveland Brown and the greatest running back in NFL history-has once again spewed his disturbing and revolting rhetoric and revealed his own selfishness to the point that no one care that he won’t show up at the inaugural Ring of Honor ceremony. Enough of that, you sense a real need to take a shower after reading his comments.

On to brighter topics. After who knows how many decades, we finally have a real NFL quarterback, maybe two! Delhomme is the first Browns qb probably since Bernie who was capable of leading a team, and Seneca Wallace has proved to be a more than capable backup. For the first time at least since 1999, the backup qb won’t be the most popular player.

In a related topic the wide receivers have been widely panned throughout the league, but seem to be much better than expected. It is likely that their dismal showing last year was, to a great extent, due to pathetic quarterbacking. We also have a full stable of running backs and they all seem to be able to tote the rock without stumbling over their feet or running into their own blockers. Defensively, we may have a defense that can actually tackle and will! What a change that would be.

One final story line that has been dragging on far longer than necessary has been Shaun Rogers and Robaire Smith. Each of them were caught with pistols in luggage at airports (don’t ask me why, but our current sports players do a lot of dumb and illegal things). The NFL headquarters has been threatening suspensions ever since. These infractions took place last winter and spring and the League office still has not done anything. Things are still “under review.” In the meantime, Ben Roethlisberger assaulted yet another female, was suspended by the League office, and is scheduled to have another meeting with Goodell later this week to determine if his suspension will be reduced. Can someone explain to me why Goodell fast tracks someone who sexually assaults females each off season, yet drags its feet over two non-violent and non-harmful incidents.

But the NFL front office is

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HT: Dave Doran

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doors to anxiety

[M]any times people face their days with calmness and even some confidence because of the assurance they feel about their own abilities, their own health, their own mind. But what little confidences those are to face this world with. Have you been continuing to know some weak peace through such misplaced confidences? My Christian friend, throw those wrong confidences aside. Get rid of them as the beggarly things they really are. … You realize that all of your earthly confidences are just doors for anxiety, and even a wrong fear, to enter into your life and begin to threaten your very heart’s peace.”

Mark Dever. Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church

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The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story

On February 20-21 and 27-28, 2009, Don Carson presented a 14-part seminar entitled “The God Who Is There” at Bethlehem Baptist Church’s North Campus in Minneapolis. This series will serve the church well because it simultaneously evangelizes non-Christians and edifies Christians by explaining the Bible’s storyline in a non-reductionistic way.

The series is geared toward “seekers” and articulates Christianity in a way that causes hearers either to reject or embrace the gospel. It’s one thing to know the Bible’s storyline, but it’s another to know one’s role in God’s ongoing story of redemption. “The God WhoIs There” engages people at the worldview-level.

And now MP3s (full) and video (10-minute previews) are available for Carson’s 14-part series:

If this series is “geared toward ‘seekers’ then I like continuing to seek. “[N]on-reductionistic” is a kind way of saying that you will have a mental tummy ache the first few times you listen, not because of the difficulty, but the amount of nourishment. This is somewhat akin to the buffets I have heard are available on a cruise ship.

DA Carson’s explanation of the sweep and storyline of Scripture is masterful and captivating. While I take issue with a few things (particularly the lack of precision regarding the Creation narrative), this is a phenomenally rich resource. This series would be beneficial to all believers, especially valuable for a new Christian who desires to learn the Scriptures, as well as those unbelievers who are genuinely curious. Highly recommended.

The MP3′s may be found at The Gospel Coalition (which is itself a phenomenal resource). A brief note: these are enormous mp3 files, so if your mp3 player is space-deficient, as mine is, be forewarned.  A CD may also be obtained, simply for the cost of shipping!, from Monergism Books. Speaking of books, it is also a book, which I need to obtain sooner rather than later.

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