So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Guess Who's Back?

Nope. It's still not Slim Shady. It's not Slim anything. It's me honey. I'm back. After a week of running out to Waterloo and driving 3,300 km's back in my new Civic, that is. That's a lot of driving. I'm not kidding you. Interesting trip too...what with being the Armchair Theologian and all. Everybody wants a piece of this action, or so it seems. Had some crazy-go-nuts talks with some crazy-liberal people. I don't really argue much anymore, but I definitely am a question asking jerk.

One friend, who goes to a fruit-loop church, and I had quite a talk. We were talking about life and she was basically bragging about how her church was so 'tolerant' and whatnot and how she went to a 'multi-faith care group'. I was bumfuzzled at that comment, so I asked "What's a 'multi-faith care group'?" Well, apparently there are a few 'Christians', a Catholic, a few people of 'general spirituality' (aren't people with 'self styled' spirituality called "Pagans"...?), a muslim and a Jew. Isn't that great? Reduce the gospel to something along the lines of "God is love" and we can all get along...though that idea is foreign to Muslims...God can love things, but he cannot be love. How can a monad be love? Who did he love before man was around? Anyway, after a while of talking about church, it turns out that her 'tolerant' church 'ran off' a homosexual couple, because around half the church "was uncomfortable with their lifestyle". No biblical reason. It turns out that some people were just homophobic. HILARIOUS.

Even better was the Sunday school that I went to at a random church stop when I was travelling. Sunday Morning at a Mennonite Brethren church somewhere in Manitoba (a historically conservative denomonation). College and Career there were studying the book of Exodus, and on chapter 3 that week. Sounds good. The guy leading gave out photocopies of Ex. 3 to everyone so they could all follow along. Everyone read along and everything was interesting and even stimulating until they got to verse 6, where God introduces himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The guy leading then juxtaposed that passage against verse 14, where God says his name is "I Am who I Am". Apparently the teacher had a tremendous problem with this contradiction in the Bible. God apparently had TWO names? And then he went on...But apparently the problems didn't stop. What's more, Jethro was a priest of Midian. "How could this be?" he asked? The priesthood hadn't been given yet? Plus, what God was the god at Midian?

In the end, after a whole lot of questions about psuedo problems (and he missed 2:18 the priest of Midian's name was Reuel and in 3:1 the priest's name was Jethro. I didn't bring that up, I figured his head would have exploded.) and trying to sound 'intellectual', this was the 'answer' that he told the class:

Moses learned about the god (small "g") of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob while in Egypt. He then went out to Midian and met the god of Midian and got confused, thinking they were the same god when in reality they were two seperate gods. He had some crazy-go-nuts Hebrew gymnastics with verse 6 to make it say that MOSES said that this god's name was "The god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" but this god straightened him out in verse 14, telling Moses his real name. So the early Hebrews were polytheists, and they had multiple gods.

Wow. Wow. Wow. At first I was entertained, then I was angry, but then I felt really sad for him. Talk about missing the boat. I even questioned him on "who was Midian and why could there be a priest there"? He thought that was a good question and didn't have an answer. He just thought this crazy bible was full of contradictions and he, in his infinite wisdom, could sort through it all. A guy who thinks he's smarter than God is going to have a really frustrating life with a really shocking end. Without any sort of sovereign God or perspicuous scriptures (perspicuous means 'straightforward in content' 'it means what it says' allegory), you may as well be a witch-doctor or a Ba'al worshipper. How the heck can you know anything about God when the bible is that untrustworthy and you approach it assuming it's deceiving you? I tried to talk to him about the passage, but he had a degree from some jackass school and he knew Hebrew and laughed at my questions. I had a 'presupposition that blinded me from a clear reading of the bible'. I wish we woulda had another hour together...that comment gave me an open door but the Sunday school bell rang and everyone left, including him. Man! Education often breeds intellectual arrogance, ie pride. We all know what that comes before.

Just for the books, here's my answer to that problem. Midian was the fourth son of Abraham and Keturah...and it stands to good reason that just as Isaac had knowledge of the God of Abraham, so did Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah - Abraham's other sons. We forget that he actually had 8 kids, counting those 6 with Keturah and 1 with Sarah and 1 with Hagar. Is it possible that seeing that all 8 knew God (including Ishmael, who had a promise to become a great nation - Gen. 23:18), could there have been some that were fervent worshippers of Abraham's God? Most definitely. Look at Job; he was around long before Abraham and he knew God well and was considered the most righteous man on the planet in his day...

Secondly, were there priests before Aaron? Yes. Doth we forget Melchizedek? He was a priest of "God Most High" and he officiated in Jerusalem, in Abraham's day (500+ years before Aaron). Is it possible that he would have had kids or followers who would have learned about this "God Most High"? Uh...YES! In fact, Melchizedek is spoken of in the book of Hebrews (chapter 7) as having a priesthood that preceded that of Aaron. (Now I won't suggest too much here, seeing the uncertain nature of Melchizedek...needless to say some people would've learned about God from him...) Only a fool thinks that the people who left Egypt with Moses had the only priests of God, ever. God had other followers, before and long after Moses and other priests outside of the Levites. Is it realistic to think that a descendent of Abraham could worship God, and even be a priest? Of course not. It's perfectly reasonable to say such things.

And as for God's two names? Uh, I don't know if he realises, but God is given multiple titles in the Bible. God is also known as:

El Shaddai (All-Sufficient One, Lord God Almighty)
El Elyon (he Most High God)
Adonai (Lord, Master)
Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner, The Lord my Miracle)
Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
Jehovah-Rapha (The Lord that Heals)
Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord our Righteousness)
Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord who Sanctifies You, The Lord Who makes Holy)
El Olam (The Everlasting God, The God of Eternity, The God of the Universe, The God of Ancient Days)
Elohim (God, Judge, Creator)
Qanna (Jealous, Zealous)
Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will Provide)
Jehovah-Shalom (The Lord is Peace)
Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts, The Lord of Powers).

Are these all seperate gods? If you think that, you're going to be very confused seeing that in many passages, God is called by multiple names within a span of 10 or less verses (I mean, which one is talking in Exodus 20, seeing that there are 3 different names mentioned multiple times in that passage? Who gave the law to Israel? Did all three? Which one is the one to serve then? Is one of them jealous and the other two uncaring about fidelity?). Does this mean that there is a pantheon of gods that Israel serves or one God who has multiple titles? What kinda clown cannot understand that God may have more than one title? I mean, most people these days do..."Doctor", "Mister", "Sir", "Professor"...are these all seperate people? Sheesh! The lengths some people go to in order to supress the truth is astounding. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Good News!

Good day everyone in Internet land! Well, I finally have an answer to the question that everyone always asks me; “When are you going to write a book?”. Well, the answer is now folks, now. That’s right all, I’m in negotiations with Banner of Truth Trust (a large English publishing house that prints reformed and puritan literature) and also Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing (something similar in the US) to help turn around the Christian publishing industry. There have been a lot of kitsch books come out in the last few years with totally crap theology and flaky, intellectual 'bacon bits' content. Some of the reformed publishing houses are worried about the non-cessationist, open theist, postmodern, liberal, word faith, evolutionary, ear-tickling pap that has been on the bookshelves. They feel that there needs to be some good reformed pap on the bookshelves. What’s worse, The Purpose Driven Life has sold more copies than any non-fiction book of all time except the Bible. The reformed publishing houses want to get a chunk of that market, which lead them to a problem. What to do? What to do?

Well, they needed someone who could write a book that would sell a few hundred million copies. They needed someone with the writing savy, the clever wit, the theological knowledge, the humility, the integrity and, for need of a better word, pennache, to pull a rabbit of that size out the proverbial hat. So, they came and talked to me, the Armchair Theologian. Why cought for the nurse when you can be diagnosed by the doctor?

So, I'm currently working on own Institutes of the Christian Religion or Pilgrim's Progress or whatever. I'm unleashing the creative juices, so to speak. I have a few working ideas which I will now share with you, my faithful readers. Consider yourselves blessed and behold my genius, in utero:

1. Right away, hopping on the Purpose Driven Life bandwagon, I've got an idea for something that would be in a similar vein. Seeing that Dr. Atkins has recently declared bankrupcy and Rick Warren will shortly fade into the past, I figured I'd capitalize on both voids with a book about spiritual health. I'm thinking of something that would, in a Linda Powter meeks Max Lucado kinda way, nail down the body and the soul. Something that had some recipes for low cal, seafood based meals (fish is super healthy, non?) and ideas for spiritual development. Something that is most likely going to be known as:

The Porpoise Driven Life

Oh yeah. Reformed theology and New England clam chowder...that's magic waiting to happen.

2. In another similar vein, seeing that there are so many 'health and wealth/signs and wonders' books out there, I've been commissioned to write a rebuttal to the likes of Benny Hinn, Jack Deere, John Bevere, Jesse Duplantis, Joyce Meyer, etc. Benny Hinn wrote a hi-selling book years ago called Good Morning Holy Spirit and the expose of the 'health and wealth/signs and wonders' has the working title of:

Good Morning Holy Terror

Inspired. And Divine. Not necessarily both at the same time, but beggars can't be choosers.

3. What other topic has received so much press in the last 6 years as the prayer of a little known man in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, who ran by the name of Jabez. Since so many people have fallen into the habit of:

a.) Seeking to apply old covenant promises to new covenant believers


b.) Allegorizing old testament passages in order to 'find gold in the brownie batter' (i.e. find the "deep, spiritual meaning" in the text)

Somethine must be done. Hank Hannegraff wrote The Prayer of Jesus and John MacArthur wrote Prayer, but both of them had books that were physically too small and not aggressive enough in combatting the heresies and aberant theology of Wilkinson's magnum opus. Jabez's little sissy prayer is still infecting minds everywhere and needs to be stopped. I'm working on a title that will tackle both heresies which has the working title of:

The Prayer of Jebus

It will be a monumental work, analysing every single foolish and non-applicable (to new covenant believers) prayer in the entire scripture, teaching about prayer by process of negation. From Genesis to Revelation, in 184 gripping and yet informative chapters, I will sort through the seemingly inconquerable topic of prayer. This mystery will soon be accessible to the masses.

4. How many of us have read Wild at Heart and wondered "How can Eldridge get away with such flaming open theism"? Well, wonder no more because he's not getting away with it anymore. I'm writing my own work on 'how to be a man like God' called:

God's not a 90 pound wuss: Understanding that God's still in control of the universe even though you may not comprehensively grasp the complex technical inner workings of the universe and ultimate reality.

Let's be honest. The open theists are probably the most bizarrely irrational people around. The whole "I don't understand how the universe works so obviously God cannot understand things either" idea is such blithering insanity. If you can't make heads or tails of evil and suffering and their interrelation to divine omnicience & foreknowledge (let alone fore-ordination), you cannot argue that God has lost the reigns of the world on the basis of a spiritual temper tantrum. God didn't ask for your counsel when he made this place, he doesn't need your signature for its daily operations and he won't require your assistance to cash out and close up shop when everything is done.

Anyway, these are some ideas that I've been chatting about with my publicist. If anyone has any other ideas, please feel free. Also, questions are welcome too. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian

Saturday, November 12, 2005


There exists no dream worth chasing if it cannot satisfy

There exists no god worth serving if he cannot give you life

- Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Huh...I wonder what that means?

Wowzer. I must smoke crack or something. I've had this 'worship song' in my head for like 2 years and I couldn't remember where I knew it from. I even knew the words, although I couldn't remember the chorus. Well, I was just listening to some random music and I realized what it was... was actually the theme song for "Knots Landing", the old soap opera. Apparently I made up the words and I'm flamingly insane. Although, now that I'm listening to a CD of TV themes, I think there are a lot of worship songs that rip off old TV themes. Matt Redmond has like 4 songs that sound like the old theme song for Kojak and I'm sure I've heard 2 or 3 songs that sound like the old theme songs for Wonder Woman and the Bob Newhart show.

Next time I'm playing in church, I'll start playing 'WKRP in Cincinnati' and see if anyone notices. Yeah. That would really let the spirit move. HA! Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian