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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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Saturday, February 23, 2008
I Had A Dream.
In the OT days new revelation came to the prophets in many ways: talking donkeys, burning bushes, visions, dreams, etc. God even spoke with Moses to his face! There are some Christians today who imagine that this is the way God speaks to His children all the time. To arrive at this place they must forget, or more likely - they must have never considered [1] how rare these occurrences were in the OT, and [2] what reason God gives for speaking to men in these many ways. Instead these imagine that the dreams they dream are in fact new and prophetic revelation, and that they themselves are modern day prophets.

While I should like to soundly debunk such tomfoolery, I haven't the time. It is enough to say that prior to the indwelling Spirit of God men drew lots to learn God's will, and from the moment scripture records the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, godly men were moved in their decisions by a unity in the Holy Spirit. Something changed.

I will spend one more paragraph on this before I move on. Just because I can't seem to brush past it without fleshing it out a bit. Before the New Testament canon was closed and the indwelling Holy Spirit given, God's revelation was ongoing. Before all scripture was recorded, that is before God had set on earth a complete and unchanging witness for Himself, a prophet was given special authority and inspiration to act as as a temporary witness, and in many cases to record that witness as part of the standing testimony of God (scripture). But during the years immediately following the coming of Christ, the office of prophet at least in the sense of recording new "biblical" revelation (scripture) came to a close. Yes, there was much prophetic activity afoot during the period following Pentecost and prior to the closing of the Canon of scripture - as should have been expected. The ending of the Old Covenant and the coming of the New Covenant made for a -lot- of confusion - and even when all the books of the Canon were written, they had yet to be compiled and distributed - which left room for prophesy.

Okay - one more paragraph, but that's it! I am not a ceassationist in the classic sense and to be frank, I find that the primary cessation argument to be historical rather than biblical. I see in scripture that even those who were most gifted (Paul), had their gifts fade over time (if a piece of cloth taken from Paul could heal someone one day, we should expect Paul to tell Timothy to rub the letter on His stomach and be healed rather than to take wine for his frequent infirmities...). I am satisfied that the gifts were a sign to authenticate scripture and those who were given authority to write it. Surely we see in that fellow Simon (remember he wanted to purchase the ability to lay on hands and cause people to receive the Holy Spirit) that it was plain that not every believer had the anointing given the Apostles. Many who argue for the gifts argue from a warped picture of the New Testament church - imagining that what we read of the Apostles (those who would influence the penning of, or pen directly, scripture) was true of all believers, and they rest their hope in the idea that every believer receives this sort of apostolic anointing. I find that sort of thinking undisciplined at best.

Did I say just one more paragraph? I am a wind-bag, tis true. I say, I am not a classical ceassationist, but rather a practical one. I believe that in a country where there is a bible in every house, and a dozen churches in as many blocks - you are not going to find any need for gifts to authenticate God's word - God's people now perform that duty (albeit, in some quarters, this is a most beggarly witness). Yet in those places where God's people are -not at all- present to authenticate His word - places where Jesus is not named, I think there is room for God to gift "authenticators" such that when I hear of miracles being done in countries where there is no church yet - I do not raise an arrogant nostril and sneer, looking to my own bible saturated culture (even if it rejects the bible) as the rule by which I determine how things work and look in a place where there are no bibles, no churches, and no Christians (even lukewarm and nominal Christians), no I say - I allow room for the gifts. I know that sort of moderation is unpopular by those who find their opinion in either extreme, but it is perhaps a necessary preamble before I tell you about my dream.

Ah - you say - finally. What of this dream?

Well, perhaps just a wee-bit more preamble, then I will get on with it. My relationship with God has been such that I try not to take anything for granted. If a prayer is answered or set aside, for instance, both tell me something about my relationship with God - a prayer that is hastily answered tells me that I asked according to God's will, and strengthens me in my hope and trust in God, an unanswered prayer tells me that I was not asking according to the Lord's will and sends me seeking to identify my true motives, to confess them, and to forsake them - and in this I am drawn closer to the Lord for my effort. Likewise various situations throughout the day are opportunities for instruction. A wise child knows the correction of his Father, and when I sense chastisement I am grateful and filled with joy to be so closely ordered by my Father's care. I have learned that God's care for my life is not far away and distant, but closer than the care of any brother, or mentor - it is personal, it is very close, and it is precious to me.

Many people think too much of dreams, and many more think far to little. To be sure, I know Christians who think that dreams are a sort of spiritual no man's land; that is, they think that you are free in dreams to pursue whatever lust and gluttony you are denied in your waking life, and that God is okay with it, in fact I have met some Christians who truly think that God sends us such dreams in order to compensate for what we are missing out on in our waking life. It is okay to shudder at that thought - in fact, it is a thing to marvel at if you don't.

Yet my dream was no such thing, I only give the preamble so that it is understood that I do not imagine my own dreams to be more than they are, or less than they might be - but rather that I take my dreams as part of the whole package of life that God has gifted me with, and part of the arena in which I live - if God can use events to chastise me so that I know His hand is upon me, if God can use situations to open my understanding of his word, he can use dreams with as much proficiency. So that when I speak of my dream, I do not suggest that the dream itself is of any import, but rather it was the vehicle by which God opened my understanding about another thing altogether.

Okay, we are ready for "the dream."

In my dream I was walking along several long blocks towards a street corner some few blocks further where my wife was supposed to be picking me up in our van. In anticipation I called her cell to see if she was already there and waiting, as we had earlier agreed. But instead of being happy to hear from me, she was quite annoyed by my interruption. In real life, when I annoy my wife, she typically (like most of us) reacts first in the flesh, then later in the Spirit. When my wife senses that she has no control in a given situation her flesh is inclined to grab control any way possible - which usually means she will begin to direct the conversation away from the matter at hand, and towards something else that she has control over.

So it was in my dream - in my dream my wife and I had agreed that she would be there and pick me up, which (in my dream) was not something that was being done for my benefit, but rather for hers. It wasn't that I needed a ride and she was going to give me one, but rather that she wanted me to be there for some reason, and even though it was a grand inconvenience to me to be there, yet for her sake I was willing to make sure I was there. So, as I say, I phoned her to make sure she was there, and found her annoyed with my intrusion, but more than this - I heard in the background a video game being played on our television. Being of an analytical persuasion I reasoned that my wife was not even on route, but had changed her mind about meeting me there and didn't bother to tell me. about it.

Now I am a sensitive fellow you know. I don't recall the conversation of the dream, really it wasn't important - what was important was that I had made a great effort to be there for my wife, and found that my efforts were not only unappreciated, but expected. In my dream the tears came rather freely - though I was in a crowd of people and inclined by my pride to hide them - I recall the surge of selfishness that drove angry thoughts into my head - Why should I bother giving so much? Why should I care for her when this is what she does with my love, with my sacrifice? But even as these thoughts hoped to take me, yet I saw them for the sin they were, and even in my dream I cried out to God to deliver me from them, to forgive this wicked heart within that could be so selfish, and to renew my love for my wife whom I desired to love regardless of how she refused to return my love.

I recall on waking the bitterness of her rejection. You know what that would be like - to go out of your way putting yourself at the disposal of someone else, only to have that effort spurned - as though it were expected of you. I felt the way a servant must feel who tries to please a master that cares nothing at all about him. I felt like the love that drove all I did was regarded as rubbish - was entirely expected as a matter of course - and that it was a small thing to impose upon that love.

I say, I take no thing in my life at face value, not even dreams.

You see the dream meant much more to me the moment I applied it to my relationship with God. How many times have set God aside in my life to pursue whatever else my selfish whims demanded? Was God not there? Was God not waiting in love for me? Was God not stretching His hand out towards -me- in love, and how did I shrug that off?

Consider my dream Christian. It isn't a prophesy, and it isn't new revelation, and it is probably more of a message for me than for anyone else - but if in it God can speak to you, then I feel I have shared for a good purpose. If you can feel the outrage I felt at being stranded for all my effort - spurned and ignored in the heart of all my love - if may well gain some perspective into what a crime it is for us to set God aside for anything else.

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posted by Daniel @ 7:15 AM   9 comment(s)
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Since I am Late For Work Anyway....
I missed my morning bus, and having a moment to spare (life has been trés busy lately), I thought I would quickly post a thought or two.

The transition from Hebrews chapter one to Hebrews chapter two is sheer poetry.

The thrust of what the author is saying is that everything that God ever revealed to us through his messengers has proven solid, rock solid in fact. The author reasons for us that if everything God sent through messengers has proven trustworthy, how much more so when God speaks to us directly through the person of Jesus Christ? If they did not escape who ignored the messengers Christ sent, how can anyone escape if they ignore Christ directly?

The wording speaks of salvation - how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? A salvation from what? A salvation from sin. How shall we escape the wrath to come if we make so little of our salvation from sin? Or put another way - anyone who thinks they are going to get to heaven because they now assent to the facts about Christ (however passionately or impassionately), but at the same time ignores their own salvation from sin - how will such a one escape God's wrath?

The New Covenant is not "you can sin all you want and go to heaven" the new covenant is "I will put my Spirit in you, pouring out my own love into you so that through my love you will definitely keep My commandments" But some have turned the doctrine of eternal security into a doctrine of unconditional justification. They forget that the justified are those whose faith produces obedience.
posted by Daniel @ 8:04 AM   5 comment(s)
Friday, February 01, 2008
The Time Of Refreshing.
Men. Are you feeling weary? Do you ache for a rest - a time of refreshing? Is your schedule (there is that word again) bloated and you feel that no one really cares or respects how much you do, and that carnal part of you yearns for someone to pity you, or at least give you a break in all your obligation?

Good.

Now you know how your wife feels if she is home with the kids all day.

Give her a time of refreshing, as Christ loves the church, love your wife.

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posted by Daniel @ 6:58 AM   5 comment(s)
 
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