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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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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.
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[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.
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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.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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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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Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Psalm Five
O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee.
Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my meditation.
Hearken unto the voice of my cry,
my King, and my God:
for unto thee will I pray.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning,

O LORD; in the morning
will I direct my prayer unto thee,
and will look up

I love the way the King James English captures the ebb and flow of this prayer! King David wrote this when he was distressed by his enemies, and the remainder of the psalm addresses that - but here we see David's opening remarks in prayer to God - the simple hope of the shepherd, asking God to hear his prayer. I shiver sometimes to hear David say "My king and my God" - O there is beauty in that simple statement, there is longing in it, here is a man who knows how to pray.

I read this and I just -love- David's heart - King David, the apple of God's eye, humbly asking God to simply hear what he is about to pray. Perhaps such humility is so beautiful to me because it reflects something of God's humility.

It rebukes me for all those times when I have leapt into prayer as a one who gives thoughtless dictation to his secretary, how dull and lifeless my own prayers seem compared to this simple, and eloquent introduction.

Would that we all regarded God as God - all the time.
posted by Daniel @ 11:02 AM  
  • At 1:28 PM, July 11, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    "It rebukes me for all those times when I have leapt into prayer as a one who gives thoughtless dictation to his secretary"

    No doubt, I can only imagine what the Lord has to put up with...us and our prayer list ramblings.

    I too appreciate the prayers and songs of David. He had such an ability to express the depths of his heart, and yet humble himself so often. Truly an example for us.


  • At 11:50 PM, July 11, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    Seeing how David prayed is a reason why I shiver when I hear someone call the Father "papa".

    I cannot judge their motivation, but it seems to me that they feel as if this is closeness, but to me it seems too casual.

    I wonder how many pray with any sense of majesty when they are alone with God? Or humility? Or earnestness? Or whatever? I wonder how many prayers are the same, basically, public and private?

    I am not saying I have the "right" answers to this, but I think we might be surprised.

    The reason I ask is that I pray the same way, sometimes "big" sounding, and sometimes "desperate and pleading, or wrestling, etc.", I pray all the same ways in public as in private. People seem surprised to hear some of the prayers I give from the pulpit, and especially when they have heard me pray when it is just a couple of us at the house.

    I have heard others pray this way, with intention, specific, fervent, and yes humble (look, we have to write the truth if we want real answers, and we can be humble and tell the truth at the same time).

    Why does it seem that many people are amazed at this?

    I would love to hear the private prayers of Spurgeon, Edwards, Mueller (yes I have read these men's prayers, they are wonderful)...but what I would find edifying is to hear the private prayers, public prayers, and any prayers of those people whom I see in the blogs, but don't actually know.

    A.B. Simpson (stop with the GBA, already!) wrote something like, (in my embellished colors) "before you go dancing on top of someone's doctrine, pray with the man". Neat, but would you pray with a Mormon first? No, so where to draw the line?

    What about people who say, "I'm praying for you, brother". I wonder how many give just a passing, "and we pray for brother so and so, and his so and so", or nothing at all?

    Daniel, I apologize for this long, and all over the place comment, but prayer is a personal "biggie" with me, and I would like to know others' opinions about it. Not what it does, or the theology of it, but how they see it and their praxis.

  • At 8:02 AM, July 12, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    JD, I too find my public prayer and my private prayer are very similar. I can't say they are exactly the same, as my pride doesn't allow me to weep publically as easily as I may privately (not that tears add anything to a prayer, but that you might see how ugly pride can be). Likewise, as a teacher, my public prayer can sometimes become a little explanatory for the "little ones" - be they children or new converts (sometimes we want those who are praying with us to pray in the same context, so we pray "avec commentary")

    I do love to hear godly men pray - I love listening to a recorded sermon and finding that the "recorder" didn't cut the tape the moment prayer started - and you get to here the man who was just instructing you speak to the Lord - it often says more to me than the sermon!

    I dealt with that whole GBA thing a few years ago. One of the young men in my church - a very bright, sincere, and well read believer noted that our old pastor continued to quote from Finney. Now our pastor had been preaching for longer than this man's grand parents had been alive, and had personally read through scripture cover to cover well over a few hundred times. The preacher's life was a picture of surrender and grace, and I should not be surprised on that last day to hear the number of converts under this man's ministry to be five or six digits - being an evangelist who has travelled the world.

    The letter this young man wrote was polite and "proper" but basically said - "Don't you know that Finney is a heretic? You shouldn't be quoting him in the pulpit!"

    I got to read the reply, and I wish I had kept it (it was emailed to me) - it was so full of grace it humbled me to read it - for I too had been judgmental of this pastor with regards to his quoting of Finney - and to be sure, I take some blame for fostering such an attitude in others. The reply outlined the difference between reprobate and heretic - one being a false Christian, the other a brother who lacked understanding on a few points that seem plain to others. He reminded the young man that Finney retracted much of his teachings in his latter years, and that Finney lived in a day when hyper-calvinism ruled the roost such that some parents refused to witness to their children for fear that their children might not be elect. He reminded the young man that Finney began preaching without a real mentor, and far sooner than he ought to have been - but that Finney had this going for him - what he knew of the Lord he obeyed, and that that was very likely something more precious in the eyes of God that the perfection of his doctrine.

    The case he made was that Finney was a brother in Christ, and that we had to extend grace even to him. He explained that every true believer is given to Christ and to the church - and that every true believer has something to add to edify that body - even Finney.

    I am paraphrasing what was said of course - but the bottom line was that we ought to judge as God judges and not as men judge. It was, to me at least, a very graceful, but powerful rebuke.

    I was thinking of posting on that - but well, it is too trendy right now. ;-)

  • At 8:05 AM, July 12, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    I got to read the reply, and I wish I had kept it (it was emailed to me)

    I should clarify - the young fellow emailed me the reply that he received back from the pastor - not that the pastor emailed me, but that the young man emailed me.

  • At 8:26 AM, July 12, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    As always, I appreciate your candor, and yes, I pray for you...

    To tell a similar story, I once wrote an email to a denomination about their website, praising them for being so forthcoming about doctrine and practice, unlike so many others who don't.

    A man wrote back, and with much grace explained that he was glad I found the materials helpful, but also explained that perhaps other organizations had not developed their websites to the degree that this large church had done so, and that he was sure they knew what they believed and would state it if asked, not that it was a matter of clandestine activity.

    I wish I would have kept that email...it was so gentle, and yet it "blew up" in my heart. Whether he meant it to or not, I felt completely exposed, and very, very bad...I wept, knowing that I was indeed far away from the maturity of this man, and nowhere near what I thought I was. Of course, I fell back into the arms of grace, and counted it as a loving rebuke from my Father.

    I am still learning that one...

  • At 9:00 AM, July 12, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    JD - one of the "hidden" bonuses of having a Christian blog is that people you have never met will be praying for you!

    It is going to be a humble day indeed in heaven when we see how many people have prayed for us. We imagine it might be maybe a gymnasium full of people - but I think it will be more like a stadium for the least of us.

  • At 10:29 AM, July 12, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Daniel, I too am blessed to hear godly men or women respond in grace to their detractors.

    Forgive my ignorance...what does GBA stand for?

  • At 11:21 AM, July 12, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    GBA = "Guilt By Association"

    If Andrew Murray believed in perfectionism, and someone publically quoted Andrew Murray on a few occasions - another could take this quoting Andrew Murray as 'proof' that the other agreed with or perhaps endorsed everything that Andrew Murray believed.

    While it may be possible that the one actually does endorse everything that Andrew Murray ever said or wrote - it is a speculation that is based on circumstantial evidence, and the association, in this case at least, doesn't warrant the conclusion. That is, the condemnation is assigned on account of an association that doesn't warrant it.

    We call that "guilty by association." In a nutshell it is the irrational condemnation of an entire group based upon the conduct or opinions of an individual associated with that group, but acting in a way that isn't representative of the group.

    Consider the "Calvinist" who doesn't witness Christ because he believes that it isn't necessary. This slackness doesn't come from his theology - it comes from his carnality. He is using his theology "selectively" to excuse his fear of man, and failure to be filled with and controlled by God's Spirit. The Arminian who hears the Calvinist say "I don't need to witness because God is going to save the elect anyway" - and then charges all Calvinists as being carnal, errant and proud - has held all of Calvinism guilty by attributing to them the error of this one individual.

    I hope that helps.

  • At 11:47 AM, July 12, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Thanks Daniel, that was quite helpful.

    It is rather funny how we can quote secular philosophers without being accused of GBA, but as soon as we selectively quote from christian brothers of the past, we are assumed to endorse the entire life of their writings or teaching.

    Something for us to really consider and use wisdom and discernment in knowing when to quote someone.

    In Christ,

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