Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His Servant?

Archive for September, 2009


Since Yom Kippur is around the corner (starts at sundown the 27th), a post on this is appropriate.
Yom Kippur War

See the information below from Hebrew Online on Yom Kippur. For some useful clips on the Yom Kippur War (1973), see this.

Yom Kippur (יוֹם כִּפּוּר, Day of Atonement) is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. On this day, G-d seals our fate for the coming year. The Torah commands us to spend this day fasting and praying for G-d’s forgiveness and a good year.

In Israel, this day feels very special – the businesses are closed, there are no vehicles driving in the streets and no broadcasting on the radio or TV; many people, dressed in white walk to and from synagogues, and children enjoy the empty roads by riding bicycles.


Dawkins vs. Mackay

This is an interesting debate (though I wish it was much longer and better) between Richard Dawkins and John Mackay.

Mackay certainly holds his own…but this is far too incomplete to declare a winner (in my opinion).

See Part I and Part II .

The interview was allegedly edited in favor of Dawkins (?).

Which Tribe Are You In?

I just listened to a very useful podcast from Michael Duduit.

It is an interview with George Barna about one of his latest books: The Seven Faith Tribes: Who They Are, What They Believe, and Why They Matter.

The tribe of most concern to me (as a teacher and pastor) is the Christian one (the rest are of secondary interest).  Unfortunately, the Christian tribe is split in two: the casual Christians (67%) and the “captive Christians” (only 16%).  The former group consists of Christians “who would not cross the street” to share the gospel with an unbeliever.  It is a group which “is not excited about sharing their religious belief…”  They do not create their lifestyle around their faith, rather let their faith “sip into their lifestyle.”

Wow.  What a challenge (weighty errand – to use Spurgeon’s expression) for pastors who stand up in their churches every week and preach to a large percentage of “casual Christians.” The goal must be to get the casual Christians become “captive Christians” (these are Christians who are really serious and knowledgable about their faith).  These are the ones “caricatured in the media, for whom their faith is everything.”

But who is adequate for this task?  No one.  Apart from the grace of God and the power of the Spirit we have no chance of success!  How great is the need for prayer before preaching and reaching out!  Please pray for your pastor, he needs a lot of help from above!

Which tribe are you from?  Listen to this podcast (if you don’t buy the book).  It may be eye opening!


David Calvin and Why Calvin Still Matters

On a more personal note, David Calvin (our second son) was born more than one month ago (July 31st).  He eats a lot and sleeps (of course he cries too!).

As most of you know, David Calvin Rata was born 500 years (to the month) after Jean Calvin and that is the reason for his middle name (NO – he is NOT named for Calvin Klein :))!

My wife has done an excellent job of posting all kinds of great pictures with our family.  Take a look when you have some time.

So – why did we name him Calvin?  Is it because Calvin once mattered?

[“There can be no serious doubt that Calvin once mattered. Any honest historian of any point of view and of any religious conviction would agree that Calvin was one of the most important people in the history of western civilization.”]

YES he was named after Calvin because of who Calvin was.  But he is also named Calvin because Calvin Still Matters!

Please pray with us that David Calvin will be a talented poet like David, and a man with a passion for the glory of God (like Jean Calvin)! AMEN!