Seventh Heaven

I’ve been tagged by Chris, I guess I’m it.

Seven things to do before I die (in no particular order):1. Go to the World Series
2. Write a Book
3. Teach through the entire Bible
4. Pastor a Church
5. Have kids
6. A Triathlon (probably a mini-triathlon)
7. My Master’s degree (and maybe ThD?)

Seven things I cannot do:

1. Enjoy soccer
2. Respect France
3. Vote Democrat
4. Leave Florida
5. Throw Left-handed
6. Break 70 (it’s a golf thing)
7. Watch the WNBA

Seven things that attract me to my spouse:

1. The first thing I ever noticed about my wife was how beautiful she was,
2. The second thing that I noticed was how godly she was.
3. Her biblical/theological knowledge
4. Her Humility
5. Her tender heart
6. The way she laughs
7. The way she crys

Seven things I say most often:

1. “I’m Fixin to…”
2. “How’s that working out for you…”
3. “There you go!”
4. “urp… excuse me… I have stomach problems”
5. “What the Heck?” (Reserved for the teen-agers)
6. “Dear…” (usually followed by what’s for dinner, or did you tell me that?)
7. “I’m not so sure about that”

Seven books (or series) I love (only seven yeah right):

1. “Brothers We Are Not Professionals,” by Piper
2. The Sherlock Holmes short stories, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
3. “Lectures to My Students,” by Spurgeon
4. “A Tale of Two Cities,” by Dickens
5. “Continuity Discontinuity,” edited by Feinberg
6. “The Freedom of the Will,” by Edwards
7. “Twelve Ordinary Men,” by MacAurthur
[Of course, this assumes that the Bible is at the head of any such list of favorite books]

Seven movies I would watch over and over again:

1. We Were Soldiers
2. Blackhawk Down
3. What About Bob?
4. It’s A Wonderful Life (at Christmas)
5. Gladiator
6. The Sandlot
7. Meet the Parents

Seven people I want to join in, too:

1. Steve
2. Doug
3. Elyse
4. Terrye
5. The Youth Group
6. Clarissa
7. Morgan

*I had help comipling this list from my wife; my brother; and my Youth Group.*


Understanding Old Testament Prophesy

How the New Testament Authors Understood the Prophets:
A Look at Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:14-21.

Over the next few Wednesday I want to take a surface look at Acts 2:14-21 and Joel 2:28-32. This is actually part of a study that I was required to do for Bible Introdction to Old Testament (BIOT). The focus of these post will primarily be on understanding Old Testament prophesy, and how the New Testament authors understood the prophets. Peter’s quotation of Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2:14-21 will serve as a text case for out sudy. This is one of the hardest NT quotations of the OT to interpret, and fit into a theological system. As you will see in the post to come I think that we must take and “already not yet” approcah to this text (as well as other text). The fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy is inaugurated in Acts 2:14-21 at the day of Pentecost. Peter’s message to the crowd in Jerusalem represents the first in a series of events that will lead to the ultimate fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 at the second coming of Christ.

Lets look at the texts:

Joel 2:28-32

“It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
“Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
The Day of the Lord
“I will adisplay wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
“The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
“And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Will be delivered;
For bon Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who cescape,
As the Lord has said,
Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
Acts 2:14-21

But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.
“For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day;
but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
And it shall be in the last days, God says,
That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy.
And I will grant wonders in the sky above
And signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.
And it shall be that aeveryone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.


Prophesy makes up a significant amount of the Old Testament, and so in order to understand the Old Testament one must understand prophesy. To better understand how Old Testament prophecy applies to the Church age it is important to see how the New Testament authors interpreted it. There are few prophetic passages that are interpreted in more diverse ways than Joel 2:28-32. The major debate over this passage is how does Peter’s quotation in Acts 2:14-21 relate to the fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy. Many different hermeneutics, and various theological orientations are represented in the many different harmonizations of these two passages. Two popular approaches used to interpret these passages are Sensus Plenior, and a double referent view. Sensus Plenior has been unable to harmonize the meaning of Joel’s prophecy in Joel’s day with its fulfillment in Peter’s day. The double referent view, however, harmonizes the two aspects of this prophecy. The double referent view of Joel’s prophecy properly views the day of Pentecost as a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that as of yet has not been finally fulfilled.
*This post was originally posted on 11/9/2005, before the great crash. I have posted it again to restart a series of conversations on the subject. Look for more to come in the following Wednesdays.*

My laptop, a good book, and long underwear

My computer has been repaired and I am back on the blog. It is so very nice to hear the tap of the keys on my laptop. Please bear with me for just another few days as I re-install programs, and configure my settings.

Also, at the end of this week I will be leaving the beautiful Florida climate for the frigid climate of southern Illinois. I have some vacation time that has to be used before the end of the year and my wife and I decided that it would be a good idea to use that time to go to southern Ill. with her parents to see some of her extended family. I have never met any of the people we are going to meet so it should be interesting. I bought my long underwear, I have some books picked out, and my computer is ready to go.

As long as I can stay warm, and get a little reading in it will be a great time.

Tomorrow I am planning on re-posting a post that I put out on OT prophecy in the NT. It was intended to be the first post in a series of post, and so I think that I need to re-issue it before I get back on the subject.

Are you worried about a “terrific tornado?”

Let me pick up where I left off in my previous post. God willed us into Creation…

I think that if there is one thing that we can agree on it is that God chose to create the world, and by His will it was created. Let me refer again to Revelation 4:11:“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

If we can agree that God created the world by His own sovereign choice then we have a good starting point. And if we are saying that God created the material world by his own sovereign choice then I think that we must also admit that God sovereignly governs the material world. Why would God choose to create a world like a watchmaker would wind a watch, just to let it run on its own? If it was God’s will for the world to exists, why would He separate Himself from His creation?

Think for a moment about the implications of this type of Deism. If God was not in control of nature, and we were simply left governed by impersonal laws, where would that leave us?

If God is not in control how can we know for certain that the world will not be covered by the waters of a flood again? Sure God made a covenant with Noah, but if He is not in control…

A.W. Pink thoughts were this:

“If there is nothing more than impersonal laws of Nature regulating the wind then perhaps tomorrow, there may come a terrific tornado and sweep everything on the surface of the earth to destruction.”

If we deny that God is sovereignly in control of creation then any sense of security we might have is lost.

If God is not in control then we have a plethora of worries.

If we view God as in control in that he has established impersonal natural laws to governs the Earth then we must be very careful not to upset these laws, and in the end (because God has removed himself from direct control of the earth) there is no guarantee that these laws will be able to sustain themselves.(This is the World View behind today’s extreme environmentalist. God is not at work in nature and therefore man has the ability to destroy nature. Have you ever put any thought into “global warming?” This idea that man has the ability to change the climate of the planet, and destroy nature is preposterous. We must remember that God is the one who controls the weather. Mankind has been given rule (to an extent) over the Earth, But God is the one who sovereignly rules it. But quite frankly I have ventured far enough off of the path on this issue.)

Scripture is not silent on God’s sovereign rule over creation, rather it is quite clear.

Look at Hebrews 1:3-4:

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…”

When we read this we can be confident in Christ propiatory work because He is the one who “upholds all things by the word of His power.” Because God is in control we can have confidence that he will work his redemptive plan out to the finish.

What about Colossians 1:15-20:

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, {both} in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the {Father’s} good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, {I say,} whether things on earth or things in heaven.”

Christ is “before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Christ’s preeminence extends from all of creation (vss 15-16) to all of redemption (vss18-20).

There are many other passages that we could look at. But at this point I think that most would be in agreement that God is in sovereign over nature. But from the two passages that we just looked at this is not enough. God is not only sovereign over nature, but He is also sovereign over redemption. Both the Hebrews 11 passage, and the Colossians 1 passage links God’s sovereignty over creation with his sovereignty over redemption. The two are inseperable!

If a may digress for a moment…

As was stated earlier:

“Why would God choose to create a world like a watchmaker would wind a watch, just to let it run on its own? If it was God’s will for the world to exists why would He separate Himself from His creation?”

This speaks to God’s sovereignty over creation, but couldn’t the same truths be said about God’s sovereignty over redemption? Why would God choose to work out a redemptive plan for sinners, just to let it run on its own and see who will accept it? If it was God’s will for men to be saved why would He separate Himself from them to let them have the power to choose by themselves?

Let me stop here. I have a few more thoughts on this subject so look for me to pick up where I left off today.

A Pink Perspective

I am still waiting for my computer to come back from the dead. Apparently a new hard drive and 400$ will take care of that. Unfortunately I do not have easy access to either of those items. So, here I am from my satellite feed. I was hoping to continue my Wednesday series that I began on understanding the OT prophesy found in the NT, however my work for that is currently on my dead computer with no back-up (yes I know, I should back everything up). What I would like to do today is take a brief look at the Sovereignty of God.The issue of God’s Sovereignty has been muddied up by the church today. It has been my experience that there are three different positions on the sovereignty of God in the church today. The first position unequivocally accepts the doctrines that affirm God’s sovereignty. The second position sees God’s sovereignty in juxtaposition with man’s libertine free-will. Finally the third, and most common position is the don’t ask don’t tell position (“I don’t know, and it seems so hard to understand that I don’t want to know. I just want to love Jesus”). You may fall somewhere between the cracks of my broad categories, but I think that these categories represent the American church. This is the place that we are at today. Lest we think that things are worse now than they have ever been let me share with you the perspective of A.W. Pink (from the Sovereignty of God, pg 15):

“Therefore, in view of the growing disrespect for human law and the refusal to ‘render honour to whom honour is due,’ we need not be surprised that the recognition of the majesty, the authority, the sovereignty of the Almighty Law-giver should recede more and more into the background, and that the masses have less and less patience with those who insist upon them.”

What was true when Pink wrote this, and is true now, has always been true. Man inherently has an utter disrespect for God and his sovereign rule over creation. Because of the effects of sin men elevate their view of themselves, and consequently belittle God.

If God is sovereign over all things then how can I have a free-will to do what I please? This is how the world thinks; Romans 1 makes it very clear to us that man is looking to attack the sovereignty of God to justify the practice of lawlessness. If the law-maker isn’t all that great, then the law-breaker isn’t all that bad. This is why the church must be so careful not to be influenced by the thinking of the world in her formation of doctrine. Instead of beginning with man as the center of the universe and working our way back towards God, we must begin with God and work down towards man.Again Pink writes (pg 19):
“We freely grant that the postulates of God’s sovereignty with all its corollaries is at direct variance with the opinions and thoughts of the natural man, but the truth is the natural man is quite unable to think upon these matters… The Bible conflicts with the sentiments of the carnal mind, which is at enmity with God.”

With this in mind we must be extremely biblical, and painfully careful how we understand the role of God’s sovereignty. It is not enough to give lip service to God as the ruler of the world. We must work hard to understand what it means that God is the ruler of the universe. God’s sovereignty is a point of emphasis in Scripture, and so must it also be in our lives. God must be God in fact, as well as in name.

I think that as the opportunity affords itself I will post more on this subject in the coming days. So for today, let me leave you with one last thing to think about. In Revelation 4 we find this majestic scene of the angels worshiping the Lord and in verse 11 here is how they worshiped Him:

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”Did you notice the emphasis on God’s sovereignty? God is the creator of all things who is worthy of glory and honor and power. And not only that, but God created all things for no other reason than it was His will. Yes man has a will, but we must not forget that God also has a will. We must not let ourselves be fooled into thinking that our will is equal to (and at times supercedes) God’s will. God willed us into creation, and he has also willed us unto re-creation. Nothing that we can do with frustrate the will of God.

The Great Crash of ’05

I apologize for not posting at all since Tuesday. This may sound like your typical blogger excuse, but really my computer had a melt-down! I am posting from a satellite location right now, but it is going to be a while before I will have consistent access to any computer. If you don’t hear from me next week don’t be surprised. If you don’t hear from me for a month send out the dogs (computer geeks would be more appropriate though).

Hopefully all of my docs will be recovered and my computer will be restored. I am not sure how or if that will happen, but at this point I don’t think that I would be beyond a healing service for my computer. Actually strike that last remark, it needs to be resurrected.

I keep reminding myself of the millions of men who went before me who didn’t have a computer at all. Think about Jonathan Edwards; he wrote volumes during a paper shortage. But then again I am not Edwards, and Edwards didn’t have a blog to keep up with. Oh well, this weekend I will hand my poor shell of the computer that once was over to someone far more adept at resurrecting computers from the dead (The only thing that I am sure of is that I shouldn’t try living water).
Right now the Youth that I work with are planning a burial service for the computer. They have quite a few interesting ideas to memorialize the computer. I am sure they would love a few suggestions so just leave a comment and let me know what I should with my deceased computer.

One more note before I loose my satellite feed. Today is Veterans day. Find a veteran and thank them. They sacrificed everything including their lives so that we could have the freedom to do things like blogging. And if you see a Marine, tell him happy anniversary (it is the 230th anniversary of the Marine Corps).

Al Lopez

Al Lopez, a Hall of Fame catcher and manager who led the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox to American League pennants in the 1950s, died Sunday October 30th at age 97.Lopez had been hospitalized in Tampa since Friday, when he suffered a heart attack at his son’s home, Al Lopez Jr.

Lopez was the oldest living Hall of Fame member, and may have caught as many “Hall of Famers” as any catcher ever. He caught Bob Feller, Dizzy Dean and Dazzy Vance, and even worked as a teenager with Walter Johnson, who won 417 games and possessed a legendary fastball.

Lopez hit .261 with 51 homers and 652 RBIs during a 19-year career in which he was one of baseball’s most durable catchers. A solid major league catcher whose record of 1,918 games caught stood for more than 40 years until the record was later broken by Bob Boone, then Carlton Fisk.

Lopez was elected to the Hall of Fame as a manager. His 1954 Indians and 1959 White Sox interrupted a 16-year stretch in which the Yankees won every pennant but those two. He helped the Indians to the 1954 pennant and, until a few weeks ago, was the last manager to lead the White Sox to the World Series — their 1959 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. His Indians set a record with 111 wins in ’54, and his ’59 “Go-Go Sox” won that franchise’s first pennant in 40 years. Had there been a wild-card in his managerial days he may have taken his teams to the post-season every year – he guided his club to a second place finish ten times.

“We’re saddened by the news,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said through a spokesman Sunday. “Al lived a long and good life. We’re so pleased we were able to win the World Series this year and that he was able to see it before he died.”

Lopez began his professional baseball career at the age of 15. During spring training in 1925, the Washington Senators hired Lopez to catch batting practice for $45 a week. Lopez was afforded an opportunity that every 15 yr/old boy in 1925 would have dreamed about, the chance to catch for Walter “The Big Train” Johnson. Johnson was nearing the end of his career by then, but still made an impression on the youngster.

“He wasn’t firing like he used to, but he was still very fast and had very good control,” Lopez said. “All you had to do was hold your mitt around the strike zone, and it’d be right there.”
The two-time All Star’s first full season in the majors was not until 1930. In his career Lopez played for Brooklyn, the Boston Braves, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. He also managed the Indians from 1951-56 and the White Sox from 1957-65 and 1968-69.

Every off-season, Lopez returned to Tampa, where he was born in 1908. The people of Tampa loved Lopez. I can speak from experience. As a young man growing up and playing high school baseball in the area you knew who Lopez was. Lopez was like “The Godfather” of Tampa baseball (which by the way is no small thing; take a look at the number of big leaguers from this area).

“They’ve treated me real nice here,” Lopez said in a 1994 interview. “They’ve given me parades, they’ve given me banquets, they named a ballpark after me. Now they tore the ballpark down, so they named a park after me and put up a statue.

“I say, ‘Why are you doing this? I was just doing something I liked.'”

One of my favorite stories about Lopez may be the time that he was thrown out of an exhibition game in Tampa after umpire John Stevens blew a call on the first day of spring training.

“I hollered, ‘John, are you going to start out the year like that? First play we have and you miss it. Are we going to have to put up with you all spring?’ Lopez said.
“He said, ‘One more word out of you and you’re gone.’ I said, ‘You can’t throw me out of this ballpark. This is my ballpark — Al Lopez Field.’ He said, ‘Get out of here.’ He threw me out of my own ballpark.”

Lopez loved to talk baseball, and would willingly give his opinion on just about any baseball related topic

“I don’t think he thought there were any players today that were better than Babe Ruth, and the old-timers he played with,” said the 63-year-old Lopez Jr.

Anyone who ever played for Lopez knew what a great manager he was.

“We called him ‘Senor’ Lopez,” said Jim Rivera, a center fielder for the ’59 White Sox. “He was very fair. If you did something good he would compliment you. If you struck out or made an error, he wouldn’t say a word, as long as you hustled and worked hard,”

Lopez’s second stint as manager of the White Sox ended May 2, 1969, when he resigned for health reasons with a career record of 1,422-1,026.

Lopez had lived alone in Tampa since his wife, Connie, died in 1983. He is survived by Lopez Jr., three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

“Probably the finest manager I ever played for, baseball-wise, running a ball club and just being the gentleman that he is. He wasn’t all that easy, he was the manager and no one ran all over him.”
— Hal Newhouser

Did You Know… that Al Lopez managed the 1954 Indians and the 1959 White Sox, the only teams to beat out the Yankees for first place in the American League from 1949-1964?

Did You Know… that prior to his death on October 30, 2005, Al Lopez was the last living player who had played a major league game in the 1920s?