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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Thursday, December 08, 2005
Is that -Me- ..?
Before I knew the Lord I remember hearing fiery preachers on the radio. I couldn't really appreciate what they were all worked up about. Why were these guys yelling at people? Were Christians hard of hearing?

When the Lord got a hold of me, and I began to listen to sermons as one who takes instruction, (rather than as a critic) I began to understand that they weren't yelling at people, they were simply full of passion. Well, some of them were, some were simply trying to affect that passion via volume/emphasis modulation in a very mechanical, obviously "put on" histrionic.

So it is with some horror that, having not thought about it for a long time, I one day noticed that as I preach I get pretty loud. For you people who have preached, I am not talking about the parts where you look at your notes - but the other times when suddenly you find yourself ten minutes into some tangent, having left behind that unassuming the little man you (only moments ago) happened to be - the one reading the notes - and are suddenly transformed into a person who, for all the world, seems like he is going to explode for all the passion being channeled through that thought you are currently expounding.

Like a man waking from sleep walking, who suddenly becomes aware that he is in his pajamas and not in bed - and it takes some time for his brain to piece it together - so too, sometimes when I am teaching I suddenly realize that someone has been playing with my volume control, because I am no longer reciting what I have to say, but I am delivering it like a singing telegram.

Now, I remember listening to John MacArthur preach on the radio when I first began to follow the Lord. I prayed, "Lord, please make me preach like that - with passion, conviction, and accuracy." I have thought better of that prayer since that time - not that I don't admire John MacArthur's style - I do - but that I have settled it in my Spirit that I don't want to preach like anyone else. God made me who I am, and my desire now is to preach as God would have me preach.

One of the things I struggle with, both in writing and in teaching, is not coming across as overly scholastic. One of the things that I have admired about truly brilliant men is that they talk on the same level as their audience without talking down to their audience.

I had a room-mate in University who, whenever he wrote, kept a thesaurus beside him and took every opportunity to replace simple words with more complex words - sacrificing simplicity for complexity in order to present an image to the reader that said, "I am highly educated, and have a profound enigmatical vocabulary." The entire university culture reminds me of what Paul had to say about the Athenians in Acts 17:21, "... [who] spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing." In this case they went one step further, and wanted to tell or hear some new thing in words chosen purposely to demonstrate the size of commodious nature of their vocabulary exalted vernacular.

I have always admired those writers who could communicate complex ideas in common language. God is like that. The NT could have been written in classical Greek - but it was written in Koine (the language used for shopping lists and recipes). So in my writing and in my speaking, I have made great efforts to keep my speech simple.

Not that I actually possess genius or hidden stores of brilliance - hardly - but that for me there is a temptation to pride. I love the written word, and a thought expressed well is a thing of beauty to me - and I can savor it as easily as one might savor the fragrance of new mown grass in the spring. So naturally I want everything I write to be beautiful.

There are two kinds of beauty in women- natural beauty - the woman who looks beautiful because she -is- beautiful, this is the sort of beauty that make-up cannot enhance - she is beautiful by God's design and not our own. Then their is the other kind of beauty - the beauty that comes from hair style, make-up, surgery, and did I mention make up? The kind of beauty no father likes his daughter to acquire.

The same is true of writing or speaking - there is a natural beauty, and then there is a polished style that can pass for beauty, and the temptation is always to go for the polished style. The large words, the old archaic erstwhile words from a bygone era, the $20 words that everyone has to look up - how we desire pine for these words to add color to what we have to say. That is the temptation.

Not that colorful speech is evil - hardly - but affected color, is a lot like faking an accent. I love an Irish accent brogue, but there is something fake disingenuous about affecting one in order to sound pretty.

So in the pulpit, and in my writings, I strive to keep it simple, and keep it honest - which is why I, when I find myself filled with a passion induced volume in the pulpit, I have noticed it like a man waking from sleep - huh, what I am doing yelling at these people? Not that I am catching myself being fake -that isn't it - but that I am catching myself full of passion, and perhaps worried that I am coming off as fake (oh pride - how you sneak into everything...Sigh...)

There is a wonderful scene in Star Trek (the original series) where Kirk, Spock, and a few others are in a hallway when some alien entity zaps them. They are all in the hallway, and hear this noise that nowadays wouldn't even be used in a toy car alarm - but they all grab their ears, and do the "intense discomfort pass out" scene. What always makes that scene stand out in my mind is that Spock, being a Vulcan, is supposed to have this ridiculous metabolism, strength, and stamina etc. but like a good actor, Leonard Nemoy takes the direction, grabs his pointy ears, and drops like a bag of potatoes. Kirk on the other hand is still wallowing in his throes after everyone else is down (what stamina!), hunched over in the classic Kirkian hunch (you know the one where his elbows are tucked into his grown, and his sweaty face is looking up wide eyed in pretendfaux bewilderment and pain - his hands spread splayed out like a finger-flower, and then he stumbles this way, bangs into that wall, finally, gets to his knees - only to rise up once under some sheer-will-power driven mania, but pausing there in mock excruciation, he finally succumbs - wait - one last clawing motion as he drags himself a foot or more down the corridor, then he collapses.

No one wants to preach like a "William Shatner death" scene, but it seems many of us like to write like one. It would be okay if we lived like that, picture me asking my wife to pass the milk at the breakfast table <Shatner-over-the-top-ham-acting-voice>Pass....me.. theMilk..It's.. mymilk---It's.. MY... milk...</Shatner-over-the-top-ham-acting-voice>

Okay, okay, I sound like I am complaining about others now - I am not. This isn't about you okay? It is about me. (How can I say that and not sound self absorbed??) I suppose this is just another one of those "this is where I am right now" posts that Frank Turk hates so much.

My point is that I seem to have a real passion that only comes out when I get to talking about God. I have never seen it come out for sports, or entertainment - not even when I praise my own children. So when I find myself filled with that passion, it makes me pause and wonder. Just thinking about it now - I get that same passion when I share the gospel with a ready heart, but I don't yell when I am doing that.


posted by Daniel @ 6:36 AM  
7 Comments:
  • At 10:23 AM, December 08, 2005, Blogger Jim said…

    Dan, your honesty is refreshing. How many of us try to hide our weaknesses and faults, attempting to portray a larger than life picture of ourselves.

    You know, preaching does the same for me, I think it's because God has designed us to operate around His Spirit. Just like a trained war horse snorts and whinny's in anticipation of the battle, so too our spirit's rejoice when the anointing is coursing through our veins so to speak.

    Jim

     
  • At 10:38 AM, December 08, 2005, Blogger candyinsierras said…

    I've heard that when Jonathan Edwards preached, that he had his nose in his notes, spoke in a monotone voice, and occasionally raised his head to his congregation. On the other hand, I've heard that during Edwards preaching, the congregation was sobbing, repenting, and overcome with a sense of their own worthlessness before God and His majesty and grace.

     
  • At 10:53 AM, December 08, 2005, Blogger Sojourner said…

    Totally off subject, but why in the world did Tim Challies want the Centuri0n to de-link you? Do you have some dark secret that you are keeping from us? Do you pull for the wrong Canadian hockey team?

     
  • At 11:12 AM, December 08, 2005, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    "Like a man waking from sleep walking, who suddenly becomes aware that he is in his pajamas and not in bed"

    Or not in their pajamas and not in bed.

     
  • At 12:03 PM, December 08, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    Brad - Tim was being silly, in the comments section of this post by Frank. Frank mentioned that he wished he had the chutzpah to put a "Centuri0n is available to speak at your church" link on his blog (as kerry Gilliard) has done, and a few people thought the idea of Frank preaching was silly.

    I mentioned that I had personally sat through reformed sermons that were nothing more than poorly worded book reviews, and if that stuff is acceptable in the pulpit - I think Frank had nothing to worry about - an observation which Frank regarded as "very discerning"

    Tim responded that if Frank re-read my post he would see that my "discernment" was akin to your mother telling you "of course you are popular" - and instead of receiving commendation, I ought to be de-linked.

    It was all light and jocular, without ever a hint of malice.

    I thought since I hadn't linked to Challies yet (apparently you aren't part of the who-is-who Christian blogosphere until you do...), this would be a good opportunity, so I put the "heaping burning coals" spin on it for fun.

    Candy - I Praise the Lord for men like Edwards!

     
  • At 12:33 PM, December 08, 2005, Blogger forgiven said…

    C.H. Spurgeon Quote
    In our Lord’s love we have the best motive for loyalty, the best reason for energy, and
    the best argument for perseverance.

    I love your Heart
    Because it's His

     
  • At 10:24 PM, December 08, 2005, Blogger candyinsierras said…

    me too daniel. the kids I taught in History last year knew that if they mentioned Edwards, it was sure to gain major points with me.

     
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