Progress and Pain

11:02AM, Thursday, December 27, 2007

No, I haven’t forgotten about the Rob Bell tour review that I promised to write. I’ve got most of the critique written up, I just need to finish the last section and it will be ready for your analysis and feedback. My hope is that it generates meaningful discourse.

Life has been moving at a whirlwind’s pace this past month, though that’s not to say it’s been a terrible time. On the contrary, it’s been very exciting, and I consider myself undeservedly blessed. I started at a permanent job (Yay! No more contractor work!) working downtown in a NOC (network operations center for the ungeeked masses) just a few weeks ago. I’m enjoying the heck out of the work I do and the learning involved. It’s a great place to work, a great company to work for, and I have a boss who is an encouragement every time I see him. I’m working nights at the moment, which somewhat limits my ability to devote more significant periods of time to writing.

And certainly, there have been a few disappointments, the most significant of which are with a few brothers and sisters who have uttered lies and spoken ill of me to church leaders in at least two churches of which I know. Totally ignoring the commands of Christ concerning sins between believers (Matt 18), they have whispered not a word of this supposed grievance to me. Instead they have gone in secret to slander and gossip. I grieve for the loss of those who I might have once called friend to the hellish poisons of bitterness, unforgiveness, and unlove. I long to embrace them once again as brothers and sisters, but they are as unbelievers to me because they have hardened their hearts and have rejected my attempts to make peace with them.

Alas I am no chiseler of the cold and stony hearts of men. But I do know the master stonemason who reduced this man’s heart to rubble. I know the master physician who took that rubble and gave this man a heart of flesh. I am now able to love and forgive because of the great love and forgiveness shown to me. To this great mender of hearts do I commend them with tears and with hope. He is able to do what I am not. May it please Him to do this and bring us together once again around the dinner table to commune in harmony and love.


To My Friends

3:33AM, Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My hope is that you would remember the true reason any of us ought to celebrate such a season.

My prayer is that your heart is filled with the peace, joy, and love that only God Himself can give to a person. Though you may have heard the story dozens of times before, may the truth and beauty of the birth of Christ be an eternal spring of hope for you and your loved ones. For you see, this baby was unlike any other. He came to save men and women like us. This baby that was born so long ago is our only hope of finding what is truly life. This baby came so that God and sinners (which all of us are) might be reconciled. This baby grew into a man and taught us how to live, how to love God, and how to love one another. But this is not all He did. He took it upon Himself to see to it that we might completely reconciled to God by giving His life as a ransom for those who would humbly receive Him by faith.

My prayer for you is that you know this truth in the depths of your heart and that you cling to it as a person thrown into a tempestuous sea would cling to a life raft. If you do not yet know this truth, then please friends, write me back and allow me to be the bearer of most excellent news. But for those of you who do know this Christ as the one who loved you enough to die for you, I give this exhortation:

Since God has through Christ shown us great mercy, now go and show others mercy, most especially to your fellow brothers and sisters. If you have wronged someone, go and make it right. If someone has wronged you, go to them in love and forgive them from the bottom of your heart. Love as you have been loved. Forgive as you have been forgiven. If there is strife, let it cease. If there is division, let it be made whole again. If there is anything dividing you from a brother, a family member, an old friend, or *anyone*, go and be reconciled. In such things God is pleased and greatly glorified. May your households and churches be filled with the peace and love of Christ who came as a baby in a manger.

May you know joy,

Bill Carlisle

Fellow Torch-bearers

1:28AM, Friday, December 7, 2007

I’ve added Pyromaniacs to my blogroll in recognition of their commitment to the Truth of God’s Word. Check out Dan’s post entitled Fire!

In my humble opinion, it’s a rather accurate assessment of the two camps found within Evangelicalism today.

Review of “The Gods Aren’t Angry” Tour coming soon

3:02PM, Thursday, December 6, 2007

I’ve got almost two pages of notes that I took while at the Rob’s speech downtown last Saturday (December 1st, 2007). I will publish my findings here and on Facebook once I’m done analyzing what Rob Bell said, what the Bible says, and if what Rob Bell said lines up with what the Bible says. For those of you who like to read the end of books or fast forward to the last scene of a movie, I’ll go ahead and give you a spoiler on what my conclusion has been thus far.

********** SPOILER ALERT **********

Rob Bell is a highly talented storyteller and speaker. However, I am convinced by scripture and convicted by conscience that he is preaching something other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Bible. Accordingly, I remain unconvinced that Rob Bell is truly a Christian given the beliefs he espouses through his teachings. You may disagree and wish to defend him and his teachings. I humbly request that you withhold comments to that end until I have presented my findings both from scripture and from what was said during his speaking engagement in Cleveland.

I know I’m not going to win a lot of friends with my work and I am almost certain that I’ll be slandered as unloving and intolerant, but brothers and sisters, I cannot in good conscience let what was said in public go untested and unchallenged by what the Word of God says. As John Calvin once remarked: “A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.”

Neither can I remain silent given what I have heard.

Peace be with you friends, and may Truth be your light.

Salvation is Here

12:51PM, Thursday, December 6, 2007

What must I do to be saved? If you want to know the answer, read the new page (linked at the top of this blog) which speaks of what the Bible tells us we must do to be saved.