Friday, 31 August 2007

Review books at Koorong

Koorong website has been allowing customers to submit reviews for books and music, etc for few months now. Help promote good books (and help others discern bad ones) by writing reviews!

Gospel Preaching

Gordon Cheng quoted from "The Priority of Preaching: Prepare and Preach Properly or Perish", in Selected Works Vol II, by D. Broughton Knox, regarding the... well, the title of the article where Gordon quoted says all.

Oh, how I yearn for the gospel to be preached at my church every week. Oh, how I yearn for the gospel to be preached to me everyday! I should pray more for this.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

To laugh, or not to laugh

If you read "If someone repents for his mistakes, then heaven awaits him" in a newspaper, would you say that is a gospel message and be glad? I wouldn't say that one line is a good presentation of the Gospel, it certainly lacks Jesus. But what if it did have Jesus, but like one in this newspaper in Malaysia.
It apparently shows Jesus smoking and drinking and appeared with the paper's daily spiritual message on its front page with the caption "if someone repents for his mistakes, then heaven awaits him".
When I read this news about that newspaper, I didn't know whether to laugh or not...

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Strange phone call

Just got a random phone call from some random person.
I thought he was from a telemarketing when he asked if he could talk to Mr. Douglas. I told him you probably had a wrong number and thought he would say something like, "sorry, thank you, bye" or if he needed to be more persistent, then "could I talk to the owner of the house?" or "congratulations, you've won a holiday to an island with a catch!" But then this guy didn't do any of the things I expected, but instead, to my surprise, asked me where I was from!

I said: "What? You called me (thinking he was referring to which country I am in at the moment since the telemarketer might be in India and made a mistake). I'm in Australia."
Random Guy: No, no. I mean, where are you from?
Me: (this might not a telemarketer after all) You asked for Mr. Douglas, and there's no one by that name...
RG: I think you are from India.
Me: (somewhat offended, why, does my English sound like an Indian?) no, what, no..
RG: Well, I'm from China, where are you from?
Me: (what does this guy want!? Is he a stalker?) I'm not from China, and why do I need to tell you where I am from? (hmm... why does telling him where I am from feel like a big deal now?)
RG: hey, man, what are you doing at home in Australia?
Me: (that's it, enough of this random game!) Have a nice day!
Then I hung up the phone.

Geez... What was that all about?
I wonder if that call was really random or someone was playing a game... I also wonder why I was so defensive about telling him where I was from. I'm from Korea. Why did I feel so protective of my identity and privacy?

Thursday, 23 August 2007

New office - 2

This was the photo of my desk over a year ago when our office did not have a window.

I took a couple of photos of my desk with my mobile phone camera.

Photos are definitely not doing it justice...

Google Earth

Google Earth was fun to play with, sometimes personally useful, and perhaps even educationally valuable. I sometimes used it to have a look at my sister's university, and where about my mum is now living and so on. I even used it to measure how long my running track was. But now, with the latest version of Google Earth (version 4.2+), I can see the sky as well! WOW!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

New office

My IT department got a new/renovated office last week. It was hard moving desks, equipments, and all, but it all paid off. I really like this new office. Unfortunately, I haven't got a photo of it yet. When I get a chance to take a photo of the new office, I'll post it up, even if it's taken from my puny mobile phone camera.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Beware of Spong's heresy

Al Mohler, the current President(Principal?) of The Southen Baptist Theological Seminary has written an article about John Shelby Spong's visit to Australia and Peter Jensen stopping Spong from speaking at the Anglican Sydney diocese.

Beware of heresy...

Monday, 13 August 2007

Thinking Christians

An article I read a few days ago talks about the (crisis of) health care system in USA with a little twist, WWJD?

I found the link to it through a blog entry by Justin Taylor. (Justin Taylor has co-edited - the other co-editor being no other than John Piper - a book called 'Suffering and the Sovereignty of God'.)

Now, I guess the devil is in the details, and without knowing much in depth about what they are talking about, I am not going to decide on which side I am on. But what is interesting and should be noted is that, the (seemingly) obvious answer to a question (as it was at my first impulse on this case) can be argued against in different ways (including biblically), and may call Christians to be thoughtful.

Killing at church

Read a news about a hostage situation which ended up in three people dead (so far) at a church in Missouri. When I first read the news, it was quite sketchy, and when I woke up I was starting to get worried about my sister who lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and my mum who is visiting her. I was quite sure that the incident took place nowhere near where my sister lives, but for some reason I kept on imagining about the worst case scenario... I sent her an email from work, but didn't get the reply till the end of the day (probably because they went to church and went out for some sightseeing afterwards), and I was getting a bit more worried than I perhaps should have.

When I read the news again this evening, it was clear that my family weren't involved in that tragedy at all, and I thank God. Then, I thought about the terrible ordeal all of those people (presumably my brothers and sisters in Christ as they were at church) had to go through yesterday, and the families of the dead and the wounded, and prayed shortly. Also, I pray for the gunman, that God may show His glory by reclaiming that man to one of His.

Friday, 10 August 2007

North-Korean move

I've been following news about South-Korean volunteer workers made hostages by Taliban in Afghanistan recently, and had some thoughts in my head all along. But, this news got me off-guarded.
North Korea urged the United States to take immediate action to secure the release of South Korean captives in Afghanistan, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Friday.

I am not sure why I was so surprised though... hmm...

Being counted worthy to suffer for Jesus.

A couple of days ago, I read about some military officers getting accused of taking part in Gospel work. I believe that there are almost always better ways to do things, even evangelism. I also think that the officers might have handled the situation a little bit unwisely given the circumstances.

However, I wonder if it is that much of misconduct as the accusing party of the incident claims. Ok, I admit, it is possible that the officers have crossed the boundaries permitted by regulations and law, and if they have, it is understandable that they are accused based on the relevant laws. But I can't shake off the feeling that if I was in the similar situation, that is, given an opportunity to promote the Gospel, if I was given a opportunity to say publicly that I am on God's side and He is on mine, even if it may be so close to a legal boundary that I am not sure if I am crossing it, how could I resist it, how dare I decline it? Even if I knew perfectly well that I was about to cross the legal boundary, that couldn’t have meant that I must’ve kept quiet! We, as Christians, operate on God-given freedom, under God’s rule.

To be honest, I am not entirely sure if I could actually jump at the opportunity and show everyone Whom I really work for and risk my career (and what not). I am too chicken for that most of the time. I probably would so easily rationalise the situation and think it is not good to do so if you look at the big picture. I do that all the time. But at that moment, am I acting upon God-given conviction and conscience, or am I reacting to worldly intimidation with my corrupt and timid mind which compromises so subtly? In fact, I would have to ask this question to myself whether I choose the way the officers seemed to have chosen or some other more subtle ways.

Back to the officers’ case, with such limited details of what exactly happened, and my lack of expertise in the area of politics and law, I would rather commend those officers as my brothers in Christ. I am not sure if they knew to full extent what they were doing when they appeared on the promotional film, and even now as they go through these troubles, some may be discouraged and disheartened by what they are experiencing. But, one thing I am sure of is this. If they are Christians, if they are indeed God’s elect, they will be singing and praising God about all the troubles they are going through now and count them as honour. Even if they can’t do so right now, they will be sometime before and as they enter through the gates of Heaven. That is the way of the disciples of Jesus.

Then [disciples of Jesus] left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name [of Jesus]. - Acts 5:41 (ESV)

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Tremper Longman III lecture

Well... the official title of the evening was 'Eliza Ferrie Public Lecture
and Book Launch' (held by the PTC Sydney at a Presbyterian Church in Burwood) which included a lecture by Dr. Tremper Longman III.
I did not know anything about Dr. Longman until my friend, Hanoh told me that he was one of the contributors to his beloved Reformation Study Bible. I then thought, "hmm... probably worth while listening to him." The lecture was filled with many jargons that I couldn't understand, and it wasn't Dr. Longman's fault. He explained any difficult words (eg. some abbreviations or some words/place names from ancient Near Eastern World) first time he used them, but there were just a bit too many of them for me to remember. Still, I think I understood some main points of the lecture.

1. Currently, there are two main views on the timing of the Exodus, 15th century BC, and 13th century BC.
2. There are archaeological evidence/interpretations supporting (or raising questions for/against) both views.
3. Even though it may not affect our ground for salvation, the historicity, ie. the fact that Exodus did happen (whether in 15C BC or 13C BC) is crucial in understanding the Bible as whole and trusting God as who He really is. (eg. Psalm 77)

There were probably few other important points Dr. Longman made, but alas, my mental capacity stops here tonight.

By the way, while this is probably beside the point of this post, you can find more information about the Reformation Study Bible here and here. I don't have it yet, but I recommend it if you want/need a Study Bible.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Australian Costume

After seeing this blog, now I'm really getting curious what the APECers will have to wear this year.
I really would like to see them (un)dressed in the aboriginal style of animal skin short pants (only) with some body painting! :-D

Quotes from "The Cross" 5/5 - on the Chief End of Man

So the question that I ask is not what sort of a life you are living. It is not that I am not interested, but that is not the first question. The question the Bible asks us all, the question that the cross puts to us, is not that, or how you spent last night; or whether you are moral or immoral; or what your thoughts are. No, its first question is: what is your relationship to God? God made man in his own image, so that he might live to his glory. The first great question in the shorter catechism of the Presbyterian Church, which I am never tired of quoting, is ‘What is the chief end of man?’ And here is the answer: ‘The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.’ God made us for that, and if you are not doing it, you are a terrible sinner. You say you have never committed adultery. I am not interested. You say you have never committed murder. That is not the first thing. The question is, are you living to the glory of God? Is God the chief end and object of your life? Is God the centre of your interest? Are you submitting yourself in obedience to him? That is the question.

- p. 160, The Cross, Martyn Lloyd-Jones

What is the chief end of myself? It is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever!

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Quotes from "The Cross" 4/5 - on Revealing Effect of the Cross of Christ

What fools we all are. What have you to boast in? Who are you? How do you live? You tell me you are a great intellectual, and I ask you, how do you live? What if everybody knew the things you do? What if everybody knew the things you think, or the things you play with in your imagination? Where do you stand? You, who are self-satisfied, are you ready to come up and to be cross-examined, and to be honest and admit how you live, and all the jealous, envious, rapacious thoughts, and how you commit murder in your mind? You have not done what that wretched assassin did in Dallas, Texas, the other day*, but you have done it in your spirit. You have murdered people. You hate them with a bitter hatred, and that is the thing that is damnable, and which causes the division, and builds the middle walls of partition. But it is only the cross that tells us that. There is nothing that will humble the pride of men, and of nations, except to see the truth as it is revealed by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

- p. 149-150, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Cross

* This sermon was preached in 1963 shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.

I am a fool. I am a murderer. I am boastful, and being so good at it I am so subtle that people may not recognise it all the time. But as Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges, in fact, as the Scripture confronts me, if everyone knew the things I do, and thoughts in my mind?God knows, and I must admit that I have pride, I have that bitter hatred. Oh, Lord, save me, and break my pride and make me humble once more, and every and each day in my life, that on the day I stand before you, I'll be found humble and I'll be known by You.

...God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ... (Gal 6:14 part)

Anyone thirsty?

Tony Payne has written a short article at the Matthias Media's CHN. I never knew that the "thirst" theme could be traced through the book of John.

From the article:
[Jesus] became thirsty so that his enemies might drink. And from the hearts of those who drink will flow rivers of living water, welling up to eternal life.

Thank God for Jesus.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Not the reason I like soccer

There are lot of this kind of soccer related videos. This is one of them.

Quotes from "The Cross" 3/5 - on Being a Christian

Now, there are many people who think they are Christians when they are not. That is not my opinion, the Bible says it, and we know that it has been true throughout the centuries. There are people who think they are Christians simply because they are born in a particular country, or for other reasons of that kind. But this is the test, 'what is your boast?' If you boast more in your country than in the cross of Christ, there is no need to argue about it, you are not a Christian. Does that sound drastic? That is Christian teaching. The apostle Paul used to boast of the fact that he was a Hebrew. He did not afterwards. He was still glad that he was. He does not derogate from his appreciation of being a member of the family of God's children on earth, even in a physical sense. But he does not boast of it. It must not be the big thing, the thing that moves us most of all. It must not come first.

- p. 86, The Cross, Martyn Lloyd-Jones

God! Take away my boasting, pride, things I glory in, except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for I am a Christian, and I want to be a Christian, and I know You want me to be one too. May I glory in our Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified on the cross, and in Him alone. May I glory in Him more and more... God help me...

...far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ... (Galatians 6:14, part, ESV)

Friday, 3 August 2007


record player made completely from paper (except the record of course which is made of nylon)

How to treat celebrities

Gordon Cheng wrote an excellent article at Daily Telegraph. In principle, I think that's how we should treat any celebrities, not only Paris Hilton. Applause when an actor acted well, applause when a singer sang well, but leave them alone and show them some respect when they aren't on the stage (as well as when they are).

Quotes from "The Cross" 2/5 - on Significance

The Christian is a man who says, I do not care what has happened; I do not care what may happen. I do not care what it is - atomic bombs, or anything you like. For me, nothing can ever approach in significance to the thing that happened there on the cross when Jesus of Nazareth died and was buried in the grave and rose again, and went back to the glory everlasting.

- p. 64, The Cross, Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Hope nobody's misunderstanding here. A Christian is not a man who is indifferent to anything and everything. He would know what is happening in the world, and he would be concerned about its well-being. However, if he is indeed a Christian, he is a man who is totally captivated by the cross, because it is the most significant, great, wonderful thing that has ever happened. And there will be nothing that can even come close to its glory ever!

...God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ... (Gal 6:14, part)

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Quotes from "The Cross" 1/5 - On authority

So here were people in confusion, and they are, as I pointed out, in confusion today. Nothing is more necessary than that we should be perfectly clear about our authority, and there are only two ultimate authorities: the bible, or anything else you like. There is no other choice. Everybody bases his opinion either upon this book or else not upon it. I do not care what it is if it is not on this. There are many possibilities apart from this, it does not matter, because they are all the same in that they are not the Bible.

- p. 40, The Cross, Martyn Lloyd-Jones

I often base my opinions on my experience apart from God's word. Sometimes on popular trends I base my opinions totally apart from God's holy word. I should read and know my Bible more in order to un-learn much of my knowledge. God help me.

Quotes from "The Cross"

I dug up some quotes from the book, The Cross by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I posted on xangaa while ago. It was refreshing for me to read it again, so I'll post them here as well.

Spoiling school children

I hate when someone tells me about a movie when I haven't seen it yet. Same goes for the books too. To my shock and horror, this primary school teacher did not really care about such things. Poor kids, how could she be so slack!