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I have recently prodded Vox to tell his readers what he feels the gospel is – to explain what it means to be saved – and I have expressed dissatisfaction with what he’s written to date.  And now I’m feeling a little guilty about that – because I have just finished re-reading his first Fantasy novel – The War in Heaven.

Towards the end of it, he pretty much completely lays out for the reader what salvation is. And here’s the good news – I almost completely agree with him. It’s classic Gospel. So I thought I’d share it with you.

Now I don’t want this to be too much of a spoiler, so I’ve edited out some details. To set up the scene – a major character, who has behaved poorly (to say the least) finds himself having a face-to-face conversation with Jesus.

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“… I’m pretty much going straight to Hell now, aren’t I? …”

“That depends entirely on you.”

“On me? I’m not… I mean, I’ve done some bad things. Really bad things, you know?”

“Yes, I do. . . you have worshipped at the false idol of your own desires.”

“So, is there really a Hell after all? But you said… well, what do I do now? I suppose I can’t change what I did.”

Lord Jesus smiled.

“Yes, there is a Lake of Fire. And you cannot change what you have done, instead, you must change who you are.”

“Change who I am? What do you mean? How can I do that?”

“Follow me.”

“Follow you? Where?”

“I speak not of a place, but a Way.”

“A way? What way?”

“The Way to the Father. The Way out of bondage, death and sin. It goes through Me. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

“I don’t understand. How can following your Way change who I am?”

“What is made may be unmade.” His voice was soft and caring. “You see, one day, you will stand before the Throne of My Father’s Judgement. And on that day you will be judged. Every word, every thought, and every deed must be deemed pure and right and holy in order for you to be deemed worthy of entering into the glory of My Father’s House.”

“But I’m already doomed, then.”

“You are, because you have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The glory of God is perfect, Christopher, and even one small sin in an otherwise saintly lifetime of righteousness would render one unworthy of His radiant glory.”

“That seems a little harsh.”

“Can you be just a little dead, and yet be alive? Nor can you be a little stained by sin. My Father is pure and holy, and He demands like purity and holiness from all those who would enter into His presence. This is right and just. But My Father is also merciful, and He knows that you are weak. That is why He [sent] Me to your world, to die, so that you may live forever in the Light.”

“Yeah, the cross thing. I’ve heard about that. But even if it were true, I should say, how does Your death help me?”

“Because My Father has promised Me that when He judges those who have pledged themselves to Me, those who have repented of their sin and walk in My Way, that on the Day of Judgement He will look at Me in their place and judge them as if My life had been theirs. And I am without sin, Mine is the only life that can be deemed worthy.”

“So what do I have to do?”

“Give up all that you have and follow Me.”

“Everything? Do you mean even all of… this?”

“Everything.”

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Isn’t that close to what you think Jesus might say?

You might ask why I say I ‘almost completely agree with it’. My agreement with it would be more full if it weren’t for the second sentence: (“That depends entirely on you.”) But what he writes about what a person must do to be saved is, I think, correct. I’d like any Calvinist reading this to tell me if they agree (or disagree).

In any case, good for you, Vox. My God be glorified by your books.

We’re redoing the kitchen in our home and much of the work is being done by Phil Carlson Custom Woodcraft. He (very reasonably) asked us to fill out a form describing our expectations for the work being done and any thoughts we had about how it should be done. We filled it out and rather than taking what we had written seriously, Phil seemed to be amused by what we wrote.  Please read what I wrote and see what you think!

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Communication and Expectations

What hours of the day can we be at your house?  When can we start and when would you like us out of your home?  Can we work on Saturdays if necessary?

We’ve got a sort of odd schedule and what would be most helpful is if you are only in our house on even hours on odd days and odd hours on even days.

Please don’t work before 11:30 AM or after 2:30 PM

Saturdays won’t work as we have our weekly Porcupine Owners Round-Up Meeting (P.O.R.U.M) at our place all day on Saturdays.

What is the best mode of communication?  When is it appropriate to call you?

The homeschool curriculum we’re using encourages engaging in different kinds of communication tools. So while calling us on the phone is fine, it would be great if you would refrain from using your voice – rather, use some kind of implement to tap out morse code. I can send a link to a website of how to perform the dots and dashes, if that would help. Or you could perform the clicking communication used by ancient Aztecs circa 1400 A.D, although the documentation about that is less substantial.

How involved do you want to be in the project?  Will you be present on the job site?  How much of what is going on would you like to be informed about (ie – tomorrow we are doing xyz, and next Tuesday xyz will be here, etc).

We’ve never done this before, so we’d like to be very involved, if only for learning purposes. For example, if you could show all of our kids how to hang a cabinet, we’d appreciate it.

Will your kids be home alone with either myself or my workers there?  Are you ok with that?  Just want to make sure you’re comfortable.

Ever since the ‘Rotto Rooter Incident’ – in which Foster somehow inadvertently (but extremely cutely) destroyed our sections of the neighborhood’s sewage system – we’re not allowed to have workers alone with our kids, due to a Court order – for the “protection of the nearby block section and those entering [our home]”. You may have heard about this situation in the paper, but I can assure you, the local press overplayed the story. In any case, the RoRoo employee has almost nearly fully recovered, with minimal permanent loss of gross motor functionality in his legs.

Are there any parking restrictions I should know about, whether in your driveway or on the street?  Do you have any neighbors we need to be extra careful around or respectful toward?

Our city ordinance prohibit construction workers from parking within 300 feet of the home in which they are doing work (for marketing purposes, I don’t claim to understand it).

We’d actually request that you be DISrespectful to our neighbor to the north (Lyle Blortenmurhen).  He’s kind of a pain. Could you toss some kitchen remodeling waste on his roof, for example? Or yell disparaging words at his dogs?

Where can I set my dumpster?

What would be great is if you could put it at the far south west corner (a mere three minute walk) of our backyard. We don’t want junk being stored on our driveway, obviously! Adding a wrinkle to that request is our fervent wish to keep trucks off our lawn, so if you ask any of the neighbors for permission to drive through their lawn to position the dumpster, that would be great. Option 2: Keeping the dumpster at your place and simply hauling all of the refuse there each night. Either is fine with us.

Can I store materials in your garage?  Is your garage available as a workspace for cutting materials and making a minimal mess with dust?

Sure, but only on pleasant sunny days. During inclement weather, we’d appreciate it if you keep the gear and do the work somewhere else (anywhere outside is fine, esp. Mr, Blortenmurhen’s front lawn) so that muddy footprints don’t sully our pristine garage floor.

Which restroom should we use?

Whoah, whoah, whoah, who’s ‘we’? What do you think we are, some kind of free lavatory service for whoever you want to invite to our home?

How tidy do you want the jobsite to be left at the end of each day?

Just as long as you can hook up the kitchen sink before you leave each night, we don’t care. After all, we don’t stop eating (and that means preparing food, obviously) just because we’re making our kitchen nice.

Do you have any aversions, sensitivities, or things that annoy you I should be aware of?

Well, dangling participles, for one. That sentence should read, “. . . or things of which that annoy you I should be.” Also, some of our kids are afraid of power tools. And loud noises.

Anything else?

Please see our attached list of music we’d like you and your workers to be limited to. Don’t worry, it’s a pretty diverse set and includes music ranging from ‘Carmen’ to ‘Sandy Patty’. And everything in between.

Thank you,

Phil

Right back at you, The Jamisons

No Bible, no breakfast.

I mentioned in my last post that our family sat in front of the Meyer Family last Sunday. I’d just like to add that it was blessing to see and hear person after person coming over and telling them how happy they were to hear that he was the guy.

One person, who told Jason he was ‘ecstatic’ about the announcement, asked Jason if there was anything he could do.

“Well you can pray like crazy!”

I have a feeling that many people are doing this. Good.

May God bless the Meyer Family.

With the announcement of Jason Meyer as the new preaching pastor for Bethlehem Baptist Church, there have been many misconceptions, misunderstandings and misrepresentations about the Decision Process. In this document, I have codified them, quashed them and now present them to you.

But first, one might reasonably ask: Who are you and what makes you a reliable resource on the subject? I’m glad you asked. Here are just two qualifications (of many!) that I can give you.

  1. I have personally spoken with Pastor John Piper recently. [Full disclosure - it was a ninety second conversation about a different subject, but honestly now, can you make that claim?]
  2. I (along with my family) sat in the pew directly in front of the Meyer family last Sunday.

Nine Myth Dispellations About The Process To Determine The New Bethlehem Pastor

1. His name is Jason Meyer, not Jason Meyers, Jason Mayor, Jason MyErr (Ha ha, really funny), Jason Mraz, John Mayer or Mason Jeyer.

2. At no point was this question (regarding Twitter competency) asked of Jason: Let’s say that Pastor [name of popular but on-the-edge evangelical pastor] writes a new book espousing a happy-feely but heretical view. What would you tweet? In four syllables or less. Bonus points if it rhymes.

3. In the documentation about the decision, it was stated that at one point, the elders had narrowed the field down to two candidates. The other person was not Kirk Cameron.

4. Neither was this plan ever seriously considered: “In lieu of live sermons, Bethlehem elders will stand at the pulpit weekly and read Jonathan Edwards sermons.”

5. The congregational vote is coming in only two stages (Associate Pastor for Preaching and Vision then Pastor for Preaching and Vision), not seven stages (Associate Pastor for Preaching, Associate Pastor for Vision, Associate Pastor for Vision Preaching,  Associate Pastor for Vision Preaching,  Associate Vision Pastor for Preaching, Associate Preaching Pastor for Vision, THEN Pastor for Preaching and Vision).

6. No, Jason was not grilled for several hours on his view of “Theodical Cyclonistry*” (seminary fancy talk for Tornado Theology).

7. The book written by Jason is “The End of the Law – Mosaic Covenant in Pauline Theory”, NOT “New Testament Cool Stuff”**

8. Jason doesn’t actually have “Bethlehem convictions and activities” literally written in his DNA. This was confirmed by blood test. But it was only a minor strike against him.

9. Pastor John will not “immediately” be starting a seven month leave to write “Don’t Waste Your Pastoral Transition”

* Apparently, the spell checker doesn’t think that Dispellations, Theodical, nor Cyclonistry are real words. It just goes to show how little it knows of these matters. Also ‘happy-feely’.

** Just checked in Wiki-Reformed-opedia. It turns out that New Testament Cool Stuff was at one point the working title for the book, so this myth was at least somewhat reasonable.

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