Monday, May 16, 2011

• Dr. Dobson will be our special guest-speaker at two upcoming events, both on Thursday, May 26th – first, our Pastor's Luncheon at the Universal Hilton that's free to all church staff and their wives, and second, our big listener event that evening at Lake Avenue at 7pm.  They're both free, but you need to pre-register with us at

400-408 – Lee Strobel (, one of the biggest names in Christian apologetics with his Case For series (Faith, Christ, Real Jesus, Creator), is out with his first novel tomorrow (May 17), a thriller entitled The Ambition, an intricate tale of power, politics and payoffs in a suburban megachurch, a big-city newspaper, and the shadowy corridors of political intrigue.  We've got 5 copies to give away today.

• Oliver Thomas (USA Today, 4/15/2011) Faith in America: Get ready for change.  Oliver Thomas is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors and author of 10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can't Because He Needs the Job).

The tricky thing about present trends is that they never continue. Things change — law, politics, medicine, transportation, all of it. Even religions must change. As soon as a religion fails to meet human needs — or even to connect with its audience — it begins to die. History is strewn with the wreckage of once vibrant faiths that became irrelevant.

// For starters, it appears that faith is becoming less creedal.

// Early Christianity was spiritually fluid, with an emphasis on prayer, worship and acts of charity. It would take several hundred years for this vibrant spirituality — for which thousands were willing to die — to calcify into the mere assent to a prescribed set of beliefs known as "orthodoxy." This stodgy elevation of doctrine over ethics has carried the day for centuries, but, alas, its days could be numbered. Exhibit A is the burgeoning number of Americans claiming to be "spiritual but not religious."

Young adults appear largely uninterested in our denominational joustings over "correct" doctrine. They seek opportunities to worship, serve and become part of a nurturing community that cares deeply for one another. Their God is a big God who is unbound by Scripture or learned scholarly limitations. Instead, they see Scripture for what it is: the witness of fallible humans to God's acts in history.

// Not only will faith be less creedal, it will also be less hierarchical.

"Apostolic succession" — the belief that church leaders derive authority via direct succession from Jesus, Peter and the apostles themselves — is largely fiction, according to professor Cox. In fact, there were no professional clergy in the early church. Even the great Apostle Paul was a tent-maker. Women were also in positions of leadership. The Acts of the Apostles refers to four sisters who were evangelists, and at least one woman (Junia) was an apostle. Paul refers to her in the last chapter of his letter to the church at Rome.

// Finally, faith is likely to become more countercultural. That is to say it will be less cozy with society's poo-bahs and more willing to criticize government than curry its favor or largesse.

413-423 – Lee Strobel  Is apologetics dead?

• USA Today (5/16/2011) Physicist Stephen Hawking rejects heaven or afterlife as a 'fairy story'.

// In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Hawking, who has suffered from an incurable illness since the age of 21, says the prospects of dying as a young man led him to enjoy life more.

"I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first," the 69-year-old scientist tells the British newspaper.

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," he added. //

428-437 – Lee Strobel  What's Ambition about?

443-452 – Lee Strobel  Gary Poole's "If you could ask God just one question and get an answer, what would you ask?"  Excellent question!  Based on his book "Seeker Small Groups."

458-508 – Sean McDowell, (, "Worldview Ministries"), head of the Bible department at Capistrano Valley Schools, and author of many books including his latest entitled Is God Just a Human Invention?  Coming up tomorrow night, Tuesday May 17th, at Capistrano Valley Christian Church in San Juan Capistrano (32032 Del Obispo Street), from 730-900pm, there'll be a student debate on the existence of God between the CVCS Apologetics Team and students from the Freethought Alliance.  Go and hear students present arguments on both sides, and bring your questions you want addressed.  Cost is just $5 for students, and $10 for adults.  100% of proceeds will be donated to support charitable causes!

512-523 – • Fox News (4/16/2011) Pennsylvania Man Survives Lightning Strike at Campsite.  Calls – What's your survivor story?  When have you been in a situation that was potentially life-threatening, and you obviously made it through?  An accident, a collision, a fall, a lightning strike, an illness, etc.?  (I share my "I made myself pass out while riding my motorcycle in the mountains outside of Tahoe" vagal response story.

528-539 – Calls

544-554 – Calls

558-608 – Calls

(2:00) Paul Karpf, Founder and CEO of Financial Recovery USA (, 800-385-0745), has an "A" rating with the BBB, and is one of just ten companies in America certified by the Attorney General as a "Certified Foreclosure Consultant."   • And if you call before 8pm tonight to schedule a "face to face," Paul will have you meet personally and confidentially with one of his counselors for free!  Offices in Orange and Woodland Hills.

612-623 – Calls

628-639 – • Fox News (5/14/2011) Huckabee Opts Against 2011 White House Bid.  Although there are many external indicators that say Mike Huckabee should run for the presidency – he's the only one to have been consistently beating Obama head-to-head in the polls – he announced over the weekend that he will not be running – primarily because he felt God was telling him not to.   Calls – When have you, like Mike Huckabee, made a decision to not do something even when all the external indicators said that you should?  How would you explain the leading of the Holy Spirit to a non-believer (like Chris Wallace)?

• (3:18) Huckabee, full. (Mike Huckabee makes his announcement that he will not run for president in 2012 on his show Huckabee Saturday night 5/14/2011.) 

Pray for me to have clarity in the decision.  Decision is a spiritual one.  All externals say yes.  Only when I was alone, did I have clarity and a peace that surpasses understanding.  My heart says no.  To be president without knowledge that God called me to it, would be horrible. 

(1:39) Huckabee tight. Tightened clip.

(:11) Huckabee 1.  "I'm a believer in Jesus… and that relationship is far more important to me than any political office."

(:08) Huckabee 2. "The decision is a spiritual one."

(:11) Huckabee 3.  "Only when I was alone did I have not only clarity, but an inexplicable inner peace."

(:14) Huckabee 4.  "To undertake it without knowing that I had God's full blessing is simply unthinkable."

• (2:23) Huckabee on FNS. (Chris Wallace with Fox News Sunday on Sunday 5/15/2011 asks Huckabee about his decision.)

(:07) Huckabee on FNS 1. "It was a spiritual decision."

(:10) Huckabee on FNS 2. "You didn't have the fire in your belly to go this time?"

(:16) Huckabee on FNS 3. "God doesn't speak in an audible voice to me, it's a lot louder than that…. There's a sense of peace."

(:36) Huckabee on FNS 4. "Up until just a few days ago, I really thought I was going to be in it…  As all the external things began to line up, the less the internal ones did… I still need to process my own feelings on this."

644-656 – Calls

• USA Today (5/15/2011) Mob attacks Christian protest in Egypt.

• Byron York (5/16/2011) Gingrich reaction: Republicans livid, accuse former speaker of hypocrisy in attack on Ryan.