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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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The Buzz


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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Sunday, March 30, 2008
Berean-Stein Bares.
I never did like the Berenstain Bears. It was too repetitive, and they always made the father bear look like a fool. Not my kind of kids book.

But I do like the word play.

First, This looks to be a promising movie. Check out the extended trailer.

Second, how many times have you heard that the term "Christian" literally means "little Christ". I have heard that in too many sermons to count, and read it on too many places to remember. So I was a bit shocked this morning as I was looking at the Greek word Christianos and trying to see where and how this meant "little Christ".

After some checking, it seems that Martin Luther actually coined the phrase, and it is by no means a literal translation. The ending -ianos came into the Greek through the Latin practice of appending an -ianus to the name of someone that somebody else was following, in order to identify a follower. We do the same sort of thing today with endings such as -ite (Hodge-ite, Ryrie-ite, etc.). Thus the label "Christian" - which was originally derogatory - simply means someone who is devoted to Christ.

As one who has regurgitated (rather uncritically) this myth myself, I should like to take this opportunity to repent of it altogether.

Notwithstanding, we are called to imitate Christ in the sense that we ought to be obedient to the Holy Spirit just as Christ was; and I certainly think Luther was on the ball in describing it as being a "little Christ" - the error is in suggesting that this is the literal meaning - when it is really a figurative one.

Finally, if you are interested, Here is the sermon I preached today in two parts, Part 1, and part 2.

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posted by Daniel @ 6:44 AM   1 comment(s)
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Back to work.
I had last week off, but there was a lot of work to do around the house and whatnot. It was nice to get a change though. I am still suffering from a great lack of time when it comes to blogging. But I thought I should post something today anyway, even if it is vacuous.

Here is the sermon I preached on Resurrection Sunday. I was thankful to the Lord that He gave me the privilege to share this message.
posted by Daniel @ 6:42 AM   9 comment(s)
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Nearly 2000 years ago, I rose from the dead.
No kidding.

I am not talking figuratively either. You see, I am a born again Christian, and I was on the cross with my Savior Jesus Christ. I died there, when He died; and I was buried with Him. He died, in fact, because I was there. Had I not been there, God could never have poured His wrath out on Jesus - well, at least not justly. But because I was there - united together with Christ - God was not only able to righteously pour His wrath out on me - He was obligated by His own righteousness to do just that. I died there, and because Christ and I were united, my Lord and Savior died too.

But He didn't have to be there.

He could have let me experience God's wrath alone, and if He had, there would have been no rising from the dead afterwards - because there is no reason for a righteous God to raise again to life a guilty sinner who has received the wages earned through living a life of sin.

Yet my Savior loved me, and demonstrated that love for me, not because I became a good person and suddenly attracted His merciful attention - but rather He had mercy on me at a time when I was entirely a rebel, and had no interest in Him whatsoever. When I understood that I could not get to heaven by being good, and that my only hope was to trust that God would forgive me if I would simply place my trust in His love, His mercy, and His forgiveness - if I would throw my sinful life into His hands and trust that He would accept me, and save me - sinner though I was - if I would do that - this God promised to save me.

I didn't want to trust Him for that, to speak the truth. Really, I wanted to just ignore it, and enjoy my sin. Why shouldn't I? I mean, as if God could really love me right? Yet I knew in the moment I heard the gospel, that it was not simply life - it was the only life there was. To reject it, was a greater crime to me than I was willing to commit. I gave myself to this God who loved me even though I hated him, and when I did, something changed. I stopped hating him.

When did that happen? It happened almost 2000 years ago where God dealt with my sin once and for all. I was united together with Christ in that death - and the part of me that God condemns in my life today - that part was on the cross receiving in full the entire weight of my condemnation - but because I was united together with Christ, my Savior, Lord, God - He received the full weight of God's wrath as it was poured out upon my sin - and that wrath killed us both.

I havn't experienced the death personally, but it happened none-the-less.

But here is the awesome part... Because Christ was innocent, God could not let that Holy Person see corruption in the grave. God promised Christ that He could take up His life again if He laid it down in this way. What a profound promise that was - Christ had to lay down his life, but the promise was that if he did, he would be able to take it up again. Magnificent.

That is how a righteous God can be justified in saving a guilty sinner. It isn't that God put the gun to Christ's head, then looked at me and pulled the trigger, killing his innocent Son - the cosmic demonstration of how far God was willing to go for us in love is not that He was willing to kill his son instead of us - but rather to kill him in order to provide the ark through which we could pass through death.

You see, just as Noah's family passed through God's judgment in the ark, so too we guilty sinners pass through the judgment for our sin (death) by being in our ark - Jesus Christ. We cannot die and come back to life because we are guilty sinners - but Christ could. -That- was the demonstration of how far God was willing to go to show His great love for us. He was willing to send His own Son Jesus into the world, to live so that He could take into Himself a chosen people, die in union with the guilty so that His innocence could justify them being raised again through that same union.

God is love my friends, and no single act in history is a greater testimony to that love that the fact that nearly 2000 years ago, God raised me from the dead in Christ.

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posted by Daniel @ 10:20 PM   3 comment(s)
Monday, March 10, 2008
Fifteen Minute Window...
I have fifteen minutes I can use to blog today. Yay!

I was sitting with my little ones one morning last week. As we prepared to read scripture together, but prior to praying, I asked the question, "Why are reading God's word this morning?"

My ten year old son's reply was typical, "We are reading God's word so that we can learn more about God, and knowing more about God we will be better able to please Him."

I think a lot of people would answer that way. It isn't a -wrong- answer per se, it just wasn't the answer I was looking for. I slowed things down at that point, and before we even opened up God's word together we spent a couple of moments answering my question together.

First I asked my little ones - how can we please God? What do we -do- that is pleasing to God? Is there some work that we can do? Men asked this same question of Christ and His answer was to the point: "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Christ's answer was, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (c.f. John 6:28-29). Compare this to what the author of Hebrews tells us, by way of explaining that Enoch was a man of faith. Recall the author tells us that we know that Enoch had faith, because the text tells us that he pleased God. The author extrapolates from that a truth that we often quote - that it is impossible to please God without faith. That a person must believe not only that God exists, and is who He says He is (see Hebrews 11:5-6) - but that this same God rewards those who diligently seek Him. I might add -not with gold, platinum, wealth, or health or any such beggarly "riches" - rather God rewards the one who seeks him with Himself, as those who seek God with all their heart - find, not riches and wealth - but they find God. He is their great treasure.

We then capped it off with a dally into Romans 10:17, where we recall that faith comes by hearing God's message (my paraphrase).

I said to my little ones, yes, we read the bible to learn about God, but knowing about God is in no way pleasing to him. It is our faith that is pleasing to him - and it is through our faith that God works in us to will and to do His good pleasure - that is, we read (primarily) to increase our faith, as opposed to increasing our biblical knowledge.

When we opened the bible together, I wanted my little ones to know that we were not embarking on some effort to fill our heads with scriptural truths - since filling our heads thus is never recorded as a means of pleasing God - yet knowing that our faith will increase by reading the word of God, and that only in faith can we please God - then the reason we open that holy writ each morning, the reason we love it, and cherish it, and deny ourselves whatever the world would give us instead of it - the reason we place reading the word so high on our list is because we have been told by God in scripture that reading his word will increase our faith, and that it is this same faith through which we will be pleasing to Him, and in pleasing Him find our greatest joy.

I told my little ones, that we read the bible, because the faith that comes to us is going to be the very thing through which the greatest joy we will ever find in this life is going to be channeled - and God designed it that way so that our joy is not depending upon our cleverness, or our intellect - but rather just upon us spending time with Him in His word.

It is good to be full in our understanding, but is a sort of poverty to pursue understanding at the expense of pursuing God. We read the bible, not to fill our heads, but to fill our hearts.
posted by Daniel @ 1:45 PM   8 comment(s)
 
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