Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Prayer Requests

* Praise for the apologetics class I have been teaching in Spanish which will conclude this week (which also explains the scarcity of posts on this blog). It was a good exercise for me, and I trust, very useful for our students. Pray that these students will be effective witnesses and defenders of the faith in Peru.

* Pray for continual acquisition of the language. We are conversant, but not fluent, and I think it is pretty ugly if not torturous! Since language is our primary tool, mine definitely needs sharpening and I need much more skill.

* Pray for personal holiness. This whole journey has been what my wife calls 'fast-track sanctification.' God is growing us in many ways, but we still need to grow in love, patience, trust & joy (and probably a lot of other areas that we don't know about!)

* Finally, pray for our university ministry here. Geraldo (the main campus minister) and I will be working over the Christmas break on our plan of action for the upcoming year. We will be trying to gather students into small groups, develop our philosophy of ministry, and become more effective in outreach. Pray that God would go before us, give us wisdom, and enable us to speak the Gospel in meaningful ways to the students here.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Free Audio Book: Jonathan Edwards

Not a few of you will be interested in this. In addition to having an All Saints weekend sale (which expires tonight, lo siento), the good folks over at Christian Audio.com you can download the audio book of Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections (unabridged). Fortunately, as Edwards might say(!), this offer doesn't expire tonight. During the month of November, you can download this classic work of New England spiritual theology for free. You'll need this code: NOV2007.

"God is glorified not only by His glory's being seen, but by its being rejoiced in...."

Anonymous The Coward

I hate even saying anything about this, but since "Anonymous" left the comment on my wife's blog, I feel compelled to answer. I normally don't respond to folks who leave comments but don't have the dignity or valor to back up their comments by affixing their names, but I'll make an exception here.

Here is the comment made about the Christian missionaries that was left on my wife's blog [without editing]...

protestant men dressing up as Catholic priests in a culturally Catholic country. Liars all of them. Such dishonesty should not be tolerated by those claiming to be men preachng Chirst. Deceit such as this can only be the work of the Prince of this World.

Think twice before taking on a collar! There is no need to hide you are or even by sight try to decieve the locals.

A couple observations...
1. We know that "anonymous" is a hypocrite because he said, "There is no need to hide [who] you are...." Thanks for your immaculate example.

2. Who is hiding? We are as open as we can be about who we are. Check out the websites. Read our Confession of Faith. Visit our churches. Attend our seminary classes. No one is trying to be Roman priests. Nothing is hidden.

3. Since when, "Anonymous," have you been given insight into our hearts? You charge us with deceit & dishonesty, and call us liars. Wow. Now this, to use your words, "is the work of the Prince of this world." I'm assuming that you call yourself a Christian (unless you've jettisoned that as well). So much for assuming the best about fellow believers! Have you taken the time to ask us why we do this? You may not like it, but don't attribute motives and slander us. THAT is shameful, demonic behavior.

4. Until recently, Christian ministers have always been identified by ministerial clothing, Romanists, Orthodox, & Protestant. Many Protestant ministers outside of Baptist and Pentecostal circles still "take on the collar." And there is good reason to continue this practice. For those who might care to be informed on this, the Rev. Jeff Meyers (presbyterian minister) has two excellent posts of this here and here. Again, "Anonymous," you are spouting your ignorance.

5. If you have bones to pick, leave the comments on my blog and leave my wife alone, especially if you don't have the guts to leave your name.

6. And finally, "Anonymous", you simply need to repent. And I'll be glad to post your apology along with your name and extend grace and forgiveness.

For my other readers, I'm sorry about doing this here. I have mixed feelings about doing so. I hope you understand.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Prayer Requests

* As some of you know, my father is in the middle of a battle with cancer. He is about 20 days into his first round of 26 treatments with radiation and chemotherapy, and he is fairly weakened from it. Please pray for strength, endurance, faith, & healing. It is frustrating for us to be so far away, though I may be able to travel to the US in December when he is supposed to have surgery to remove a tumor.

* While not nearly as serious (and I feel a little silly requesting this in light of what my dad is going through), I have had an upper respiratory infection since the middle of September. It bothers me mostly in the morning and at night, though I have coughing fits during the day too. Our friend from Illinois, Dr. Doolittle, examined me about two weeks ago when he was here and said that there is no evidence of pneumonia. At any rate, I have need for strength, endurance, faith, & healing as well.

* In the previous post, I mentioned my seminary in Apologetics that I'm teaching. A lot if not most of the concepts would be challenging to communicate in English, let alone Spanish. Pray for my language acquisition and continued development, and pray for my students as well that God would grant them insight, a love for the Gospel, and greater abilities to engage our culture as they participate in proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of Christ.

Reformed Biblical Seminary

I want to take just a moment to get you all up to speed about our Fall semester with Reformed Biblical Seminary (or, Seminario Biblico Reformado). The semester kicked off on Sept. 30th with a convocation service at our church in Larco. My ol' friend and classmate from Texas A&M, Wes Baker (pictured to the right), preached on Jesus as our model Shepherd.

Right now we have a handful of classes. Wes is teaching Liturgics (Worship), Allen Smith is teaching Hebrew 1, Bill Bradford is teaching Greek & Reformation History, and I am teaching apologetics.

Apologetics is a course on defending the faith against objections. I am enjoying it, though it is eating my lunch! Most of my time every week is spent studying, writing out my notes, translating my notes, reviewing my translation with my conversation partner, and teaching. My Spanish is very ugly, I know, so I've told my students that part of the design of the course is to increase their sanctification, especially in the area of patience.

Speaking of our students, I have anywhere from 5-10 students, depending on the day, week, holidays, etc. Several university students sit in on the class as time permits, including one non-Christian. One of our desires is to see God raise up future ministers and campus ministers, especially from our campus ministry, so please pray accordingly.

Here is a photo from the commencement service....

From left to right: Allen Smith, Bill Bradford, Yours Truly, & Wes Baker.

Heather's post is here.