I cannot believe this. I was looking up a picture of "L" from Death Note to put as my avatar on T-Web, and I ended up reading a major spoiler. I just cannot stand this stuff. I hate having things spoiled for me. I remember when I had the identity of father in The Scarlet Letter ruined for me – I was so pissed off. Gah. Why?

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I'll be blogging more about Death Note later. It is becoming one of my favorite manga.

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Yes, my few and faithful readers, I ask you the question because that is what the Bible is all about: Are you going to heaven when you die? For you see, when Jesus came to the earth, he came to offer a new way of salvation, to tell those pharisees that they couldn't work their way to heaven, but instead had to accept the message of the kingdom of heaven (short, erm, long for heaven) that Jesus died so you wouldn't have to spend an eternity in a devil's hell.

Gah. Well, I left Friday morning to visit my girlfriend's college with her family and my mom. It was a 4-5 hour ride, and after we finished her business in the college we went to see X-Men III. What an awesome movie.

Anyway, you might be wondering what that speal above and the title are all about. At the college, I noticed the evangelistic tracts were all entitled exactly or similar to my statement above: "are you going to heaven?" or "do you know you are going to heaven?" Now, I have been hearing this my entire life, and it is only recently since I've begun to broaden my biblical and theological by reading horizon (Wright, Witherington, etc) that I've realized that the message of Christianity is really not about your immediate post-mortem destiny. In fact, little preaching in the NT focuses on "going to heaven" or even about the dangers of the fiery pits of hell and how Jesus came so you can avoid going there. This puzzles me.

The gospel is so rich and complex, ruling and reforming every part of life (I'm not denying it affects the post-mortem destiny). This makes me ask: how do I preach the gospel? What do I say? "Cause of Adam we're all born with a sin nature and that means we sin and go to hell, so we need to ask Jesus to forgive us of our sin so we can go to heaven when we die for eternity." I mean, I think those things are true, but it just seems so, gah, I don't know how to describe it. Inadequate? Caricature-like?

I doubt that most of the people with whom I come in contact are very worried about God taking away the wall of partition and saying all, Jew and Gentile alike, can approach God now, when only Jews could before. Nor are they worried much about the eschatological hope of Israel being fulfilled in the death and resurrection of the Messiah. I don't say this to trivialize these incredible truths of justification by faith and national restoration, but I just don't know how to contemporize the message. Of course, we preach the crucified and raised Christ, but how do we tell people this matters for you?

So, how do you preach the gospel?

Home at Last

May 25, 2006

I am home at last. Got out of the hospital yesterday. It's very nice to be home. Don't take sleeping in your own bed or showering in your own bathroom for granted – they are definitely great commodities! I'm going on a trip tomorrow to visit a college, so posts will be slow, I think. I could be wrong though. I tend to find a way to get online. 🙂

New Testament Theology

May 21, 2006

I received The Face of New Testament Studies edited by McKnight and Osborne and New Testament Theology: Many Witnesses, One Gospel by I. Howard Marshall in the mail a few days ago. I began McKnight's, but it's fairly slow in the beginning, so I started Marshall's instead. And let me tell you, it is phenomenal. I'm about a hundred pages into it, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

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In the intro he quickly answers the objections to attempting an NTT, and then tells of how much caution is necessary in attempting such an endeavour. The texts are discussed in the following order: Mark, Matthew, Luke-Acts, Pauline writings, Johannine writings, and then the general epistles. I've almost finished his analysis of Mark, and I might post on some things I found interesting in that. I'm sure I'll have plenty more to write about this so-far outstanding book.

As for McKnight's, I might just go to the chapters that interest me. Who knows. I'm not a big fan of jumping around in books, though, but in a collection of essays, I guess such a thing is excusable.

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Hospital Life

May 21, 2006

Let me preface this post by expressing my thanks for all those at home and abroad who have me in their thoughts and prayers. May our Lord and God bless you richly. I also want to say that though my state of health may sound bleak, it is not really that bad at all.

I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was six months old. Until I was sixteen, I led a pretty regular life. Most "regular" CFers spend much of their time in the hospital – i spent none. Then in May/June of 2005, I started coughing up blood. This is my fourth hospitalization for the same problem. I really am a very healthy CF kid, so I hope it doesn't seem that I am too gravely ill from my posts.

What's frustrating is that I'm not quite sure what's causing this, and I don't know if the doctors know either. Today we complained a bit 'cause of miscommunication. I was just told that the blood is coming from my nose, not my lungs. But the ear/nose/throat doctor said he didn't think it was coming from there! What's the deal? Is it my lungs, my nose, my pre-trib eschatology class? 😉 Anyway.

On to hospital life. I have had several visitors. My girlfriend has come the past three days, and she might come tomorrow. I definitely smile a lot more when she's around. I've also had other visitors. I hope those people realize how much of a blessing and encouragement they are when they visit people in the hospital. When I get better, I am going to try to make it to my church visitation and encourage others who are trapped in these places. Okay, maybe I shouldn't say trapped. It really is important to get help when you need it. But it's just frustrating.

I've also been watching some movies on the movie channel. Tonight I'll hopefully catch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I saw it in theatres, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it again. I saw some of National Treasure and Spiderman-2 today as well.

That's all for now.  

Missing It

May 18, 2006

I am unfortunately going to miss my girlfriend's graduation tonight. I don't quite understand why this is happening. She, of course, understands that it is not my fault, but it pains me that I am not able to share such a momentous occasion in her life with her. But God is wise, and he has seen fit for me to be here tonight.

While I'm here, I'll be spending plenty of time reading blogs, checking theologyweb, and reading the books I ordered. Delivered today were "The Face of New Testament Studies edited by McKnight and someone else, and also "New Testament Theology: Many Witnesses, One Gospel" or something like that. I hope I will find them interesting and illuminating.

Arriving tomorrow should be the first two volumes of "Death Note," a manga about which I have heard nothing but good things. The basic details of the plot are as follows: A boy finds a book, and discovers that whomever's name he writes in there dies. So he decides to start using it to kill criminals, and all sorts of chaos ensues, I think. I hope it lives up to my expectations.

I was also hoping to get my tv and ps2 in the hospital room so I could finish up Kingdom Hearts 2 in pride mode and get that special ending, or maybe finish up Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, which my friend lent me.

As for the medical things which are ensuing: I am on IV antibiotics and doing aerosols. I am going to have a special head scan tomorrow to see if anything's wrong in my sinuses or whatever, but the ear, nose, and throat doctor thinks everything is fine. I am really hoping they find out what is causing this bleeding, and that they will eliminate it. The pulmonologist also told me that a fungus is growing in my lungs. They know this by the sputum culture they did yesterday. She says they're not going to treat it until they know which it is for sure. I had one of these in August, and the medicine they gave me for it gave me the most terrible joint aches. I hope I don't have to endure that one again.

Anyway, my few and faithful readers, be blessed, and….

CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2006!

Hello Hospital

May 17, 2006

Well, I'm back in . Don't know when I'll be able to post again. Keep me in your prayers please.