it's a thinking man's faith.

a few basics
the Berean Call
Rock for Life
Moody Bible Institute
Wheaton College
other links

support freedom
Support freedom.

court - 22 | website
laurel - 19 | website
thom - 18 | website
thad - 21 | (no site)
jeannine - 22 | (no site)

Want to be a contributor? email me and tell me why! :)

topics discussed in the past include:
lukewarm Christians
"hateful zealots"
partial-birth abortion
the end times
free will
differing views
gender roles
pre-marital sex

dig throught the archives and see what we've had to say!

other christians in blog-land:
Well... I'll be blogged
my brain hurts
Mute Troubadour
Blog Veritas
h.n,b.p? (paulo)
An expected end
Dead yet Living
Saved by Piercing
Simply us
Miracle Rain
Chinaman's hat
Manna cabana
sacra doctrina
My 2 cents
Di's dailies(on hiatus)

stuff to buy
(things we have enjoyed)
C,L -Rock for Life shirts
C -Hinds Feet on High Places
C,L -My utmost for His highest
L -Macarthur Study Bible
C,L -Boy Meets Girl
C,L -Pro-life Answers
C,L -Left Behind
C -the Seduction of Christianity
C -Berean Call books
C -the God Makers
C,L -This Present Darkness
L -Chronicles of Narnia
L -the Great Divorce
C,L -Prophet
C -Don't check your brains
L -Straight Pride wear
more coming soon.
(also: see music below)

good music
Jars of Clay
Jennifer Knapp
the Supertones
Five Iron Frenzy
Audio Adrenaline
Caedmon?s Call
Burlap to Cashmere
Smalltown Poets
the W's
Phil Keaggy
Third Day
the Insyderz
DC Talk
Relient K

Sign book

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Comments by YACCS

    Thursday, August 31, 2000

 > > > >  court | 8/31/2000 03:03:09 PM | linky <

  Phew... finally some time to breathe! Life has been so hectic lately; I've barely had time to check my email, let alone surf the Net or type stuff up here. My apologies to the webmistress of "draconic" for taking so long to post a response to her latest commmentary regarding our theology discussions. In fact, If you wouldn't mind, would you post the reference to your last post about this stuff, so I could waste no time in writing a response? My free time is very limited these days, but I do want to continue chatting with you. Sorry if that's an annoying/inconvienient request. Working two jobs is just tough on me though. Thanks in advance :)

Thanks for posting, Thad! Gee, I thought you'd dropped off the face of the planet. :D Glad to hear things are going well. My 21st birthday went off pretty well. I thank God I'm still around, and that he's put me where I'm at currently. It's all coming together these days, in a lot of ways, if you get my drift. ;) He's blessed me. Thom and I were talking about marriage too, and how it's kind of like going to Disneyland or something - you can see the destination, but you have to figure out how you're going to get there. You have to rely on God. I'll pray for ya. :)

Gotta run now; hopefully I'll be able to respond to the latest "article" in the theology debate soon. God bless!


    Wednesday, August 30, 2000

 > > > >  thaddaeus | 8/30/2000 11:51:10 PM | linky <

  wow. it has been a very long time since I've written in here, and for that I apologize, and yet it is truly the first time I have been able to get on, not have a direct need for being on, so I thought I would drop a line to say hello, and also to tell of how things have been going down my way. I know what you feel, court, about the summer and "pete's sake" :) summer, fun, naaaaa. ya, I have been working about 70 hours a week. so I have kept myself busy. so how many people are reading this?? oh well, they can see into my life if they want :) I don't have tooooo much to hide :). other then work, I was really into bible study till the whole Eric and Jen thing. and nothing really got started till last week, so I am starting that again. and then there is all this time I was able to spend with Jeannine, and now I am kinda feeling a little bit lonely; maybe it's the right word to explain it. we did alot of talking about our future also, Court, and what will happen, and realizing that what I want and what Jeannine wants isn't nessaraily what God wants. Because if it were up to me I would already be married, :) J/k, but when I started to think with that mindset (of Marriage) I kinda got and am still getting hit with how little I know. like what is a husband? and what is a Godly Man? because is that what I want to be? what do I have to do to be the head of a home? and all those questions :) I mean it is great that they are all coming to light, because that is telling me that I am being conformed to his will. I just pray that the name of the Wife that He is preparing for me is the same that I am thinking. so that is how I am doing spiritually; Mentally, I am ok. Work just seems to get harder and harder with no break. you know I am working with the YMCA day camp. let me tell you it is the hardest Job I have really ever had. as for the Fun things I was able to do, well, I think I can list them all on one hand :) no, I am kidding, since I was with the day camp I got to go to many places, some I haven't ever been to, like the solduct hot springs, or the Seattle Center, or the beach. I went to Victoria I think three times, :) once with Jeannine, then with the Y and finally my Family when they were up for August. so that is pretty much it for me. I can say that you have done your studying over issues discussed, and for that I give you an hand; keep it up. the things about the end times was good. but in reading as fast as I did, did you put your beliefs? I would love to know what you think, not based on what everyone believes. I also agree with you about the attitude of the world sometimes. it can come across quite narrow-minded can't it? hey court, I can't be on too much longer, so I want you to come to my parents' College party we are having on monday. it will be starting at 1 pm and go till whenever. it is open to all college students of all ages so I want Thom to be there also. and don't give me this "maybe" crap, a yes will do. :) ok well this has been long enough so I will sign off and say good night. and GOD bless
Till the whole world hears
love, your brother in Christ


    Friday, August 25, 2000

 > > > >  court | 8/25/2000 06:42:43 PM | linky <

  thanks :D


    Monday, August 21, 2000

 > > > >  court | 8/21/2000 08:41:22 PM | linky <

  Ugghh... it's been a long, long day... got up at 6:45 to make it to the dentistry office where I'm training to be an assistant... worked till noon, then drove to my current job (where I'm riding out my two-weeks notice) and worked till a bit past 5:00... this is summer, for pete's sake! (hello real world! Gak!) I haven't even really been on the Net today. The dentist I'm training with is a real cool guy - an elder in my church and all - but he plays the cheesiest music in the office. There's some really cool Christian music out there (see the sidebar to the lower left for some nifty bands!), and then there's..... WAY lame and crappy Christian elevator music. You know what I'm talking about. But anyway. I think I'll be going to bed early tonight, seeing as I'm training for the next two weeks... I am so not a morning person... :)

Till next time, God bless!


    Sunday, August 20, 2000

 > > > >  court | 8/20/2000 06:34:23 PM | linky <

  I was very interested in your response - something that I noticed was that by default, some of the things I say will be immediately discounted by you based on your core beliefs, and vise versa - some of the things you say I will immediately disagree with based on my basic beliefs. I realized that no matter what we both say, there are always going to be things that I believe, and that you believe, that are not going to mesh at basic levels, and because of that we're not really going to do anything other than "compare" in a lot of respects.

But anyway. Let me respond to what you said... :)

One of the things I was thinking about was your statement that in your religion, there was no sin, and yet you could still do both right and wrong. Wouldn't the "wrong" be "sin?" What would it be wrong against? What is the standard? Whose standard is it? To say there's no sin and yet say there's a right and a wrong begs the above questions. To say there's a right and a wrong is to say there is universal Truth, and to say that, one immediately wonders who gives the truth; as I asked above, what is the standard. Obviously I am convinced that Truth is from God and God alone, and that He is the standard. But I am curious as to what you believe regarding that.

Don't you agree that sinning (or doing wrong) to someone else doesn't just impact you and your immediate life and surroundings, but it impacts them too? For example, take rape - one of the worst crimes in the world, in my opinion. Maybe the rapist will "get it" later in life, that is, as you said, have "bad" repaid to him, but what about the poor victim? She's been wronged horribly. She would want justice. She would surely view what he did as a terrible sin.

As far as if I really believe that humans can be all that evil, well, yes. Again - look at the world today. We constantly complain that people suck, and the world sucks, and society is terrible. And look at the desires of our hearts. It was said by some psychologist (can't remember the name) that for every murderer and rapist and criminal behind bars, there are hundreds of other people who have thought of doing the same things, but have simply not acted upon it. Would any of us want our innermost thoughts and feelings broadcast in front of everyone? We are all capable of the worst humanity has to offer, and though most of us don't act on those tendancies, we've all had thoughts in that direction, no matter how large or small the "crime."

What do you believe the afterlife will be like, if there "is no hell," as you said? Do you believe in reincarnation? Where does it end? How does it end? What happens if you do reach the end? What about justice for the balance of good and evil in the world? Is good combined with evil after death? How does that work? How does that flow with the universal right and wrong, the standard, the truth? Is it all nothing in the end? Why does it all matter, anyway, then?

Judaism, as far as I know, is so far from "goddess worship" that it seems inconcieveable to say one came from the other. The entire history of Judaism is detailed in the Bible, from the beginnings, and the days of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, to numerous painstaking censuses (how do you pluralize "census?" :) that counted every member of every tribe (check out the book of Numbers for a good example... zzzz :), up through the times of the prophets and finally the birth of Jesus. Throughout it all, the Jews remained as God's chosen people, following Him. The thought of worshiping anything else is a direct contradiction to "you shall have no other gods before Me" as detailed in Exodus, among other references. One of the statements in the Jewish creed is "I believe with perfect faith that to the Creator, blessed be His name, and to Him alone, it is right to pray, and that it is not right to pray to any other being besides Him." As far as I know, there is nothing close to "goddess worship" in anything about Judaism - in fact, I have never even heard of such an idea, and I'm curious as to where you learned it from.

As for the other "gospels of christianity" you mentioned, I am aware of those books. They were deemed historically inaccurate and inconsistant with the message of the rest of the Bible, and so were not immediately included with the other books upon their discovery. There are a LOT of other books out there that have been passed off (or attempted to have been passed off) as new gospels or books of the Bible, and unfortunately they fall short. The Catholic bible actually contains a few of these books, which were added to the Old Testament in a section called the Apocrypha. The reason they are not included in regular Bibles is they were deemed not canonical, by the following standards:

From Unger's Bible Dictionary:
"They abound in historical and geographical inaccuracies and anachronisms.
"They teach doctrines which are false and foster practices which are at variance with inspired Scripture.
"They resort to literary types and display an artificiality of subject matter and styling out of keeping with inspired Scripture.
"They lack the distinctive elements which give genuine Scripture their divine character, such as prophetic power and poetic and religius feeling."

Other criteria used:
-Is it authoritative - did it come from the hand of God? Does this book come with a divine "thus says the Lord?"
-Is it prophetic - was it written by a man of God?
-Is it authentic? (The early fathers had this policy: "if in doubt, throw it out.")
-Is it dynamic - did it come with the life-transforming power of God?
-Was it received, collected, read, and used - was it accepted by the people of God?

In fact, even the Catholic church didn't include the Apocrypha until 1546, at the Council of Trent.

As for the cloning discussion, you wondered if a clone could "grow its own soul." A soul is such an interesting thing, something hard to define and slightly foreign to us. Therefore it is unknown exactly what effects cloning will have... how could a clone, an exact genetic copy of someone else, grow its own seperate, unique, and distinct soul? Of course, no one knows. But the fear is, I'm sure, producing a bunch of soul-less drones.

Thanks for responding again, and I hope what I've had to say has at least made you think; trust that what you've said has made me do so. :D It's always good to research and remember.


    Friday, August 18, 2000

 > > > >  court | 8/18/2000 03:12:39 PM | linky <

  You respond very quickly! :)

One of the things that jumped right out at me as I read your post was the comment "I don't need to be saved" (paraphrased). I tend to disagree. :) There is a lot of sin in the world, it's all around us... wrongs are committed daily, often we wonder if justice will ever be served to the "badness" in the world. There is Justice. There is a right and a wrong (otherwise why would we feel cheated or wronged or disappointed when bad stuff happens?).

We ourselves sin, and can't ever "save" or rescue ourselves from our sin. We can't be perfect. In the universal Justice system, we're kind of leaning towards "bad." The good things we do never quite make up for the wrongs we commit. Therefore, we need to be saved, or we'll fall short in the end.

It's not quite "no cause or effect," as you were saying; that is, you do something bad and then say you're sorry to God and get off scot-free and forgiven, thinking "oh, He'll forgive me anyway, why not just kill this guy" or whatever - it's not true Christians who are doing that. In fact, at the camp I staffed at this summer, the speaker gave us a challenge, saying that if we copped that sort of attitude, we probably weren't Christians at all. In true Christianity, one tries not to sin, and tries to follow God instead, to show our love for Him and our gratefulness to Him saving our butts from the eternal consequences of sin. Unfortunately we still mess up from time to time, for which we must ask forgiveness. It's not a "get out of jail free" sort of system, it's more of a "total grace on God's part" system, for which we are grateful, and thus follow Him.

You were saying that my defenition of Christianity was not the common defenition, and by the world's standards, that's probably true. True Christianity, meaning "follower of Christ," is dependent on the Bible alone for truth. This is exactly why there's alot of confusion with that "label" and other people calling themselves Christians, because it's hard to distinguish the real from the not sometimes.

if you read the Bible you should understand or have a grasp on God's real plan for us. I know Catholics teach that those who are not priests or other ordained members of the Catholic church can't understand the Bible correctly, but the Bible was meant as God's instruction book for us, our road map for life, not just a confusing book only certain people can understand. The Bible should be the basis for true Christian faith, and anything that calls itself "christian" but does not base its doctrine and beliefs soley on the Bible is not truly Christian. It says right in there, "adding to the contents of this book" is a big fat no-no, and unfortunately a lot of "christians" (catholics especially) have added additional requirements for salvation, such as baptism, sacraments, traditions, masses, etc.

Catholicism was perhaps the first "organized" version of a church, but it was not the first emergence of Christianity on the planet; it had been around long before Catholicism, beginning, obviously, in the times of Christ. Christianity itself is the next step of Judaism (why it's commonly called Judeo-Christianity); Jews today are still looking for the Messiah, and Christianity believes that Jesus was/is the Messiah they're searching for. (I will go into greater depth on this if you so desire.)

As far as sex, it's mainly Catholics that teach sex is "bad." Sex isn't bad at all. God made it and designed it for us, for both reproduction and pleasure; in fact, there's a whole book in the Bible devoted to sex (Song of Solomon), and a lot of the metaphors are quite graphic, actually. One of my favorite quotes is "If I'd known how much sex and violence there is in the Bible, I would have read it a long time ago!" Sex is God-given and natural, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, in the right context. All God asks is that we respect it and keep it sacred, sharing it only with the one we're meant to be with.

As far as cloning, I really don't know; I assume it's because of ethical questions like "can you clone a soul?" and other such spiritual issues. I'll ask the pastor at my church and see what he has to say.

Well I've just about written a novel here... please let me know of any more questions you have. It's been fun discussing this stuff with you, by the way! Gets the ol' brain cells working... :D


    Thursday, August 17, 2000

 > > > >  court | 8/17/2000 11:59:23 PM | linky <

  OK... let me just respond here, because I believe the point was missed entirely.

What I am saying is that true Christianity is not what a lot of people think it is. It's not a "religion" based on what "the church" tells you to do. It's a relationship (rather than a religion) with God, based on His plan for your life. There are very twisted views of "Christianity" out there - the label itself, "Christianity," is almost unuseable because of the preconceptions now attatched to it. You do not have to go to church to be saved. You do not have to hang out with Christians to be saved. You do not have to say certain prayers or wear certain things or talk to certain people to be saved. It's between you and God, and nobody else. It's a personal decision about very personal things in your life, not just following empty rules and saying the same prayer over and over again. This is exactly why Catholics are not the "true Christians" at all. We've discussed Catholicism here before (see the archives), and just how immensly different from true Christianity it is. Catholics don't even really depend on Christ for their salvation... it's more praying to Mary for grace, and confessing to priests, and following sacraments, and the like. That is not how you become saved. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, not of your works, it is the gift of God, lest any man should boast." It's not what you do that saves you... nothing you can do could ever save you. It's saying you can't save yourself, you can't be perfect (who can?), and trusting in God ("saved throught faith") to take care of you. I could go on forever... what I could say has already been put very nicely by a few other people though, so i'll myself save the typing (unless someone wants me to put my feelings up). Some links:

What I believe and why, by Houghdy - excellent resource for the basics.
A write-up on my beliefs from Oct. '99.
Also, the archives of this blog contain a lot of interesting discussions about these types of things.

Please, if you'd like me to go into more detail about anything, or if you'd like me to answer specific questions, let me know. I don't know everything, but who does? I'll try to answer everything to the best of my ability.


 > > > >  court | 8/17/2000 02:44:39 PM | linky <

  I hate it when I come across things like this on websites:

"...Christianity, that religion makes me sick. I have always hated the idea of people telling you how to live your life. Plus most religions are potential fascists. They think they are so “holier than thou”. I don't believe that there is such a thing as “christian punk”. I mean, punk is about personal freedom and rejecting traditional values. Wouldn't that make religion one of those values?"

Not so much for the punk comment; but because hello people, that's not what true, real Christianity is like at all!! It in itself is about freedom. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." ... "when the Lord sets you free you shall be free indeed!" Freedom from the power of sin, from a life of death, from an eternity of death. Christianity is not about "people telling you how to live your life." It's not about people at all. It's recognizing and hearing God's infinite plan for your life. He made you; obviously, He knows just what is best for you, and the way that your life will be the most fulfilling and bring you to your potential. His plan is different for everyone, but it involves following Him and listening for what He has planned for you.

And regarding "They think they are so 'holier than thou,'" yes, there are some people out there who cop that sort of attitude, and that's unfortunate, because that's now how God wants it at all. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandments were, he replied love your neighbor as yourself, and love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Some people fail miserably in this area... but that doesn't make what God said any less true, or any less applicable. Just last week, the pastor at my church preached about how we should all love each other as much as we can, putting others above ourselves. One of the marks of a Christian should be humility and forgiveness... not "holier-than-thou."

Society has a very tarnished view of Christianity, due in part to several who call themselves "Christians" and have simply been a bad example, but I wish everyone could just see what true Christianity is like, for it is so different from what they assume. When Laurel gets back from England in three weeks, I'll have her post her testimony, because it deals with this very issue... she believed what she heard through the media without ever looking at Christianity up close for herself, but when she finally did, it changed her life.

It's definitly worth a closer look.

God bless...


    Sunday, August 13, 2000

 > > > >  court | 8/13/2000 11:43:26 AM | linky <

  Would you like to post to In the Light? Discuss the issues of Christianity? Talk about the hard stuff, and the good things too? Contact me and we'll talk about it! :D


    Wednesday, August 09, 2000

 > > > >  court | 8/9/2000 03:18:41 PM | linky <

  Are there any Christian blog webrings out there that anyone knows of? If not, it might be fun to start one. :> Spread the word if you know...


    Tuesday, August 08, 2000

 > > > >  court | 8/8/2000 07:19:36 PM | linky <

  This is an amazing story. Good for you! I'll pray for you! :)

Diane's website is gone! I can't believe it! :(

Another thought on my mind... give up what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose. (to paraphrase Jim Elliot)


    Sunday, August 06, 2000

 > > > >  court | 8/6/2000 06:30:39 AM | linky <

  the End Times, part 1 (notes from my Study Bible)

There are 3 main theories as to how the events of the book of Revelation (the end times) are going to play out. I used my study Bible (now out of print... unfortunately) to define and analyze the following.

Postmillenialism is the belief that Christ will return at the end of the millenial age, to usher in a "golden age" on the earth. The 1000 years is viewed literally by some but symbolically by others. This position was espoused by Martin Luther, John Wycliffe, and most of the Reformers. It basically states that Revelation is a kind of panorama of church history, from the time of the apostles to the end of the age. My Bible's evaluation was "the multiplicity of interpretation of metaphors and symbols quickly becomes intolerably subjective."

Amillenialism is the belief that there is no literal 1000-year reign of Christ on earth. Christ is viewed as presently reigning either in (1) the hearts of men, (2) heaven, or (3) the church. The 1000 years is understood symbolically as representing an extended period of time. This idea began in the Alexandrian school of philosophy and theology by Origen, and is maintained by mostly liberal, but some conservative, Bible students today. It's "basic thesis" is that the Apocolypse is not to be taken as a representation of actual events, whether past or future. It states that Revelation is only a symbol or metaphor to depict the struggle between good and evil. The evaluation? "As this method shows, pagan philosophy and Christian theology do not mix. The early fathers of the church are overwhelming in their support of Revelation as representing actual history in some sense."

Premillenialism is the belief that Christ will return to "usher in" the millenial age (the most popular view). Christ and his saints with Him will reign on the earth in fulfillment of O.T. and N.T. prophecy. The 1000 years is understood as predicting a literal future reign of peace and righteousness on earth. This view has wide acceptance among evangelicals around the world. Numerous church fathers from the initial Christian era were also advocates of this view. It states that, beginning with chapter 4 of Revelation, the events described are a prophesy for the future and reveal God's program for the "consummation" of the age. Evaluation: "The futuristic perspective is in perfect harmony with the message of the entire Bible. Far fewer interpretive enigmas are engendered by this approach."

A definition of the 1000 years from my Bible: "The characteristics of the Millenium are (1) the binding of Satan in the abyss, i.e. "bottomless pit" (Rev. 20:2,3), (2) the reigning of previously glorified saints along with Christ (Rev. 20:4), and (3) the monumental reversal of the curse of sin upon the earth (Is. 2:1-5, Is. 11:1-9, Jer. 31:31-34, Joel 3:17-21, Amos 9:11-15, Mic. 4:1-5, Luke 1:31-33, 1 Cor. 15:24-28). The purposes of this kingdom age may be explained as follows: (1) to fulfill the prophecies of the O.T. and N.T., which prophesy such an era, (2) to demonstrate the blessings of God when the conditions of his economy are met, and (3) to demonstrate that even under utopian conditions with Satan himself bound, men born during the Millenium demonstrate the innate sinfulness of the human heart, and at the conclusion of the age rebel against a good and merciful God."

More coming later...