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In arguing for the deity of Jesus Christ (i.e., that he is, in fact, God), many Christians will point to places in the Gospel accounts where Jesus is referred to as the Son of God. For example,

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

- Matthew 14:28-33 ESV

or, more specific to the point,

Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”

- John 19:4-7 ESV

Yet, when presenting these apologetic arguments, many times Christians will face the response that Jesus never claimed to be God but merely ‘the son of God’.

This, I think, is an unfortunate consequence of our current culture’s thinking (and, perhaps, most of Western culture). The mindset we are facing, and most times have ourselves, tends to see individuals rather than groups. When we meet someone who is introduced as so-and-so’s son we think along the lines of, “Oh, your name is Frank, and you’re John’s son.” Is it any surprise, then, that we have instances of surnames such as “Johnson”?

We do this all the time. “Hello Mary. Yes, I know your mother Kate, and don’t you have a daughter named Rebecca?” In such a dialogue, despite understanding the familial relationship between the mother – daughter – granddaughter, we assign (inadvertently, perhaps) more importance to the individuality of each person. Hence, the argument that if Jesus is the Son of God, then he is God, carries little weight with us.

However, this does not seem to be the case with the culture with which Jesus interacted. Consider this excerpt from the book of John,

The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

- John 10:31-39 ESV

Here we see that the Jews were ready to stone Jesus because, as they stated, “you, being a man, make yourself God.” In his response Jesus actually takes their charge and clarifies it so as to make it clear that, yes, he is in fact making himself out to be God. Note his reference back to his saying, “I am the Son of God”.

So, how does this all tie in with CS Lewis, Narnia, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?

At the beginning of chapter 2, just after the Faun (Mr. Tumnus) spots Lucy, we have the following,

“Good evening,” said Lucy. But the Faun was so busy picking up its parcels that at first it did not reply. When it had finished it made her a little bow.

“Good evening, good evening,” said the Faun. “Excuse me – I don’t want to be inquisitive – should I be right in thinking that you are a Daughter of Eve?”

“My name’s Lucy,” said she, not quite understanding him.

“But you are – forgive me – you are what they call a girl?” asked the Faun.

“Of course I’m a girl,” said Lucy.

“You are in fact Human?”

In these few short lines of text Lewis wonderfully parlays the aspects of cross-cultural issues in how we understand textual meaning. Notice how when the Faun asked “Are you a daughter of Eve?” he was asking if Lucy was “in fact Human”. Lucy, “not quite understanding him” (in true Western form), immediately looked to the individuality aspect of her status as the daughter of her mother – that they were two distinct, and therefore separate, persons. Luckily, the Faun understood this confusion on Lucy’s part and stepped her through the process, first by asking if she was “a girl”, and then asking his initial question in a point blank fashion: “You are in fact Human?”

The point here is that the title Daughter of Eve had nothing to do with the individuality of Lucy but everything to do with her being of the same species as Eve: Human. In like manner, when Jesus was referred to or claimed to be the Son of God it had everything to do with him being of the same “species” as his Father: God.

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    Aurora, and the Left

    Not to discount the severity of the killings in Aurora, but how long will it take before we hear the media and/or the Left paint the shooter out to be a right-wing fanatic, a tea partier, or someone influenced by hate-filled Republican rhetoric? How long before we hear that stricter gun control laws would have prevented this mass killing?

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      Fabulous Food Foto (# 018)

      The Carnitas Platter at Barra Barra, in San Diego, CA.

      Carnitas are typically made by taking pork shoulder, roasting it, and then broiling sections or chunks of it – all with exquisite and spicy seasoning, of course. This particular dish had guacamole and sour cream on the side, as well as the requisite refried beans and Spanish rice. It should be noted that the flour tortillas are made on the premises (a BIG PLUS in my book). The meal was very good, even if the carnitas themselves could have been a bit crisper.

      Enjoy!


      - image © 2012 A R Lopez

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        As We Celebrate Independence Day

        We should reflect upon the life of the forgotten Founder, John Adams, who made independence possible.

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          Rights and Responsibilities as Americans

          As Americans, we are blessed with certain rights guaranteed by our Constitution. However, as John Hawkins points out, there is are also responsibilities that come with being an American:

          We hear about individual rights, civil rights, human rights, and constitutional rights. Stop somebody from doing something he wants to do and as likely as not, he’ll tell you, “I have a right to do that and you have no right to stop me. After all, it’s a free country and I have my rights!”

          All that’s well and good, but know what you don’t hear a lot about anymore?

          Responsibilities.

          Responsibilities are the flip side of rights. In fact, the only reason we have rights at all is because there are people who fulfill their responsibilities. Yet, if you ask people what their responsibilities as Americans are, you’ll usually get vacant expressions and maybe a mumbled statement about jury duty or paying taxes.

          Take time to read his entire article.

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            Things Heard: e171v5

            Good morning.

            • An analogy, think of supermarkets run like schools. Sounds horrible, yes? OK. So why is schooling any different, eh?
            • An odd shaped microscope, with an interesting take on lens. Kinda fly-eye like.
            • So. They say Mr Obama is smart. …. So how does a smart man suggest something like this? Hmm?
            • Somebody else doesn’t think torture “works.” Riddle me this, batman. In WWII and the Philippines (Marcos regime) when a person in one resistance cell was captured and was going to be tortured. Why did the rest of the cell all have to move, get to new location/cover, and basically run like hell? Hmmm? If torture didn’t work … then nothing useful would come of it and you could just stay where you were. And let me point out for the crowd that thinks that “thinking torture works” means we should do it (or that I’m advocating its use). That doesn’t follow.
            • Portal and the DIY crowd.
            • Here are some “hopey/changey” suggestions for the CIA and Petraeus.
            • Real dogs of war.
            • Being a journalist in Belorus.
            • More liberal rhetoric and the deflation of the violence “mainly” on the right meme.
            • A book suggested.
            • A pessimistic view of Pakistani affairs, read the last link there (3 conjectures) too.

            Well, I survived the week (from a cycling perspective). I’d really backslid for some time now (4-6 months) as far as riding. I was down to about 1-2 hours a week (yikes) + an hour in the gym doing weights. This week, not including the weekend, I’ve done an hour in the gym + 4 on the bike … and hope to get two more in. It’s a start.

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              Things Heard: 169v5

              Good morning. Have a blessed Holy Week!

              1. Make that 3d and … pretty soon kids will be helping fold proteins and think it’s a game.
              2. On those not getting the Tea party movement.
              3. Washington and power, a symptom.
              4. Among the problems here, Ms Althouse isn’t conservative … and the allegations lack substance. But besides that, it’s just fine right?
              5. So, before you go check, what percentage of freight is hauled by the moribund railroad industry in the US? Now check.
              6. The ozone hole …. 
              7. Upcoming, 60 minutes goes to the Holy Mountain.
              8. Question, does the “hate crime” category exist just because of inertia? Or are there real live progressives who support it’s continuation as a viable legal notion?
              9. Oooh, spot the straw man. Mr Schraub apparently thinks the GOP wants religion mixed in the US Constitution. Problem. I doubt he’s ever met a real live Republican who believes that … or ever will. 
              10. Three budgets. We need one that drops faster/further though.
              11. An ordinary life in pictures.

               

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                Compassion for Japan

                The Salvation Army is in Japan (and has been since 1895) and helping with disaster relief. The best way to help from here is with cash; it’s much easier to transmit there, doesn’t spoil, doesn’t require expensive and slow shipping, and can be put to just the right use. There are 4 ways to contribute money to the Army’s relief efforts in Japan.

                • Text the words “Japan” or “Quake” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
                • By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
                • On-line at: www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
                • By mail: Send your check, marked “Japan earthquake relief” to: The Salvation Army World Service Office International Relief Fund PO Box630728 Baltimore, MD 21263-072800
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                  Rusty Nails (SCO v. 25)

                  Ignorant 2nd Amendment related comment by a pundit (# 1)

                  But whether you think a ban on police-style assault weapons such as the one Jared Lee Loughner used in Tucson is good policy or not, it is curious to see that Republicans are not even bothering to make legitimate arguments against such proposals.

                  Note: The Glock 19, used in the Tucson shooting, is not a police-style assault weapon (whatever that means). It is a semi-automatic handgun, used by military, police, and civilians in both law enforcement, self defense, and sport shooting.

                  ###

                  Ignorant 2nd Amendment related comment by a pundit (# 2)

                  Even the most conservative jurists held for decades that the Second Amendment was meant to protect state militias rather than an individual right to own weapons.

                  Note: Reference the Militia Act of 1792 (several years after the Bill of Rights, by the way). Regardless, the means to have a well regulated militia is by the enumeration of a right to the people.

                  ###

                  Ignorant 2nd Amendment related comment by a pundit (# 3)

                  Members of the narrow majority on the Supreme Court who believe that the Second Amendment establishes an individual right to bear arms would not hold that the Constitution protects one’s right to own a nuclear submarine.

                  Note: Darn! I’d been hoping to get one of them there nucular subs.

                  ###

                  Ignorant 2nd Amendment related comment by a pundit (# 4)

                  No one has argued that gun laws were the reason Loughner carried out his attack. What they suggest is that someone who wants to carry out an attack might be less able to do so without legal access to automatic weapons.

                  Note: Agreed. And the public has very little legal access to automatic weapons (which is probably why we use semi-automatic weapons).

                  ###

                  Why the euphoria over Egypt’s change in power?
                  Usually, a buyer wants to know what it is he’s purchasing before he buys it… So, Mubarak steps down, and there’s dancing in the streets, Obama applauds the Change, pundits drool over how Obama was – somehow – the catalyst. Yet no one is sure exactly who or what will replace Mubarak (other than the military, which is essentially what was there before).

                  Now, with Mubarak thumbing his nose at the president, the Obama administration may manage to achieve what only few governments in history have done: alienate their enemies as well as their friends. Worse, Obama’s actions have regionalized the Egyptian conflict. KSA has belayed Mubarak on the sheer cliff that he dangles from. It has forced a public confrontation between Mubarak and his regional allies and the unrest sweeping the Arab world. If Mubarak goes spinning into the abyss, the House of Saud will find itself pulled right after it.

                  ###

                  Border States tired of waiting for the Feds to act
                  Interesting. In New Mexico, the first female Hispanic governor in the U.S., Susana Martinez (R), issued an executive order directing police to ask the immigration status of criminal suspects, thereby ending the state’s sanctuary policy.

                  ###

                  Finger Motion Car Stereo Control

                  A new device is being presented to technologists this week that lets you control your car stereo by finger movements while your hands are still gripping the steering wheel.

                  Oh… I foresee some unexpected road rage incidents in the works if any of your finger movements, intended to turn up The Beatles, are misinterpreted by the driver next to you.

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                    Thinking about Tuscon

                    Like a lot of folks, I’ve been watching a lot of news coverage of this past weekend’s shooting in Tuscon. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

                    A couple of thoughts about the tragedy and its aftermath:

                    1. I never fail to be surprised at the lengths people will go to score political points from such a tragedy. I think most voters see such politicians for what they really are and they’ll get their just desserts the next time an election rolls around.

                    2. A Predictable Tragedy in Tuscon in today’s Wall Street Journal is a worthwhile read. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with political speech. Instead, it focuses on one of the most underreported aspects of the story: the fact that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, had untreated mental illnesses. As long as we continue to ignore the problem of how we as a society deal with treatment of the mentally ill we’ll see these type of events continue to occur. All you have to do is look back at similar events and see how many of the perpetrators had a history of mental illness.

                    3. A related point to #2 above: Tuscon police missed the warning signs about Loughner’s behavior?

                    4. Another question that is begging to be asked and answered: why weren’t the police at Congresswoman Giffords’ event? If the political rhetoric is as dangerous as Sheriff Dupnik says then why didn’t he have any deputies there to provide security?

                    5. A natural response in the aftermath of a tragedy such as this is to talk about passing tougher gun control laws. But consider this quote:

                    Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” –Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishment, quoted by Thomas Jefferson in Commonplace Book

                    6. Leave it to Michael Ramirez to provide astute media analysis.

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                      Rusty Nails (SCO v. 18)

                      Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room! From a news report headline, Gunman opens fire at school board meeting.

                      A gunman held the Bay District School Board hostage Tuesday in a videotaped drama, ultimately opening fire on them before being shot and disabled by Mike Jones, the district’s chief of safety, security and police. After being shot several times, Clay Duke, 56, turned his pistol on himself in front of the stunned group, ending his life with a shot to the head, Panama City Police officials said.

                      The chilling video, if you desire to watch, was aired on CNN.

                      How could this have happened? After all, the school board meeting was being held in a GUN-FREE SCHOOL ZONE. Per David Codrea,

                      In accordance with the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, employees of the District, parents of students, and visitors (with the exception of law enforcement officers) shall not possess, discharge or attempt to discharge a weapon as described in School Board Policy 7.203 on any facilities or real or personal property owned by the School Board.

                      Unfortunately, a “gun-free zone” mentality usually equates with a “reality-denying” state of mind.

                      ###

                      You just point, and shoot… right? If you watch the video referenced above, you may be asking yourself, “How could he miss at such a close range?”.

                      That’s a good question.

                      Let’s discount the fact that there is a possibility that the gunman intentionally missed (it doesn’t, after all, seem to fit in with his other actions). To better understand how the gunman missed I think one should first understand the dynamics of what happens when shooting a handgun.

                      1. Physics is involved. There is a cartridge chambered in a gun barrel and, when fired, propels a projectile (the bullet) through and out of the barrel. Obviously wherever the barrel is pointed is the direction the bullet will travel.
                      2. This then brings us to the human element – that of pointing, or aiming, the weapon in the direction of the intended target. Semiautomatic handguns typically have two sights on top of the slide: a front sight, and a rear sight. To achieve proper sighting, there is a thing known as a “sight picture”, which is the lining up of the target, the front sight, the rear sight, and the shooter’s eyes. This is not an insignificant point, as even the slightest variation in alignment will result in the bullet going somewhere not intended. This problem is only exacerbated with shorter barrels, which give a shorter distance between the front and rear sights.
                      3. Congruent with sight alignment is the shooter’s stance. When a handgun is fired there is a recoil from the force generated by the gases coming out of the barrel. To best control the effects of recoil on the shooter’s arms and body, the shooter should essentially stand leaning forward a bit, so as to use their weight to help absorb the recoil forces.
                      4. Another aspect of shooting properly is that of the shooter’s grip on the handgun. A proper grip, with two hands, also helps control the effects of recoil, thereby allowing the shooter to reacquire the target in his sights.
                      5. Lastly, shooting accuracy is also determined by the shooter’s proficiency at “trigger control“. Any errant movement on the handgun at the time the bullet is fired will affect the sight alignment, thereby sending the bullet off course. If the shooter “anticipates” the recoil of the handgun, he will inadvertently shoot high and to the right (if he’s right handed). If the shooter “yanks” the trigger, instead of gently squeezing it, he will shoot low and to the left.

                      In viewing the video of the school board shooting, it appears the shooter’s stance was leaning back, he had no sight alignment (the gun was not at eye level), he shot one handed, and he exaggerated the recoil effects not only on the upward swing but in returning to acquire his “sight picture”. While it seems unlikely for him to miss at such close range, in my opinion, none of his actions contributed towards him shooting his intended victims (which is very lucky for them).

                      ###

                      Let everyone sing (except, perhaps, those feeling closed in?) For the introverts out there who may be apprehensive at this most extroverted time of the year, here are some tips to help alleviate the stress:

                      • Hide in plain sight: On a group excursion to a mall or shopping district, while everyone else is distracted by shiny things, you can wander off… for some alone time.
                      • Sit in a dark room: Take the kids… to a movie.
                      • Make a “sacrifice”: Volunteer for supermarket duty. …you can stroll up and down the aisles, sing along with the piped-in music (Christmas carols, I presume), commune with nothing more demanding than Brussels sprouts and canned pumpkin.
                      • Have a project: I’m a fan of jigsaw puzzles during long stretches of house time with others. Set it up on a table and there it sits, for days, where anyone can work it when the mood strikes.

                      ###

                      Death and taxes, together forever When asked about the enormous estate tax, despite the deceased individual having paid taxes their entire life, the response, “You won’t be paying anything because you will be dead,” seems to me to expose the liberal mindset for what it is.

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                        For those in southern California, check out the Apologetics Conference at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, tomorrow (Saturday) at 8 a.m. Some of those speaking, throughout the day, include: Ergun Caner, William Dembski, Norm Geisler, and Lee Strobel. Best of all, the event is FREE!

                        Not in southern California? There is supposed to be a live stream of the conference at this link.

                        More Info:

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                          Rusty Nails (SCO v. 12)

                          Oil-eating bacteria had a feast on the BP Deep-Sea oil spill At Reasons to Believe, on the August 25th podcast, they discussed how ocean bacteria ate up a whole lot of the oil from the BP spill. It is very interesting that this phenomenon was unexpected, considering how much we know about the earth. What? We don’t know everything? Oh… maybe we need to be wary of dire predictions due to Global Warming Climate Change.

                          ###

                          Oops Maybe the bacteria ate mostly gas and not oil. Hmmm… what was that you said about hot summers?

                          ###

                          More guns… Yes, less crime.

                          ###

                          Oops 2 Kind of reminds me of the misteaks I made at skool.

                          ###

                          Bush stumbled over his speeches But did we really think we could listen to great speeches for 4 years? Like Matthews says – get rid of the teleprompter!

                          ###

                          Maybe a bit premature Yet people are frustrated.

                          ###

                          Imagine a white Republican making similar statements Just remember that it came from the party of tolerance.

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                            From F.A Hayek The Road to Serfdom Chapter 2:

                            To allay these suspicions and to harness to its cart the strongest of all political motives — the craving for freedom — socialism began increasingly to make use of the promise of a “new freedom.” The coming of socialism was to be the leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom. It was to bring “economic freedom,” without which the political freedom already gained was “not worth having.” Only socialism was capable of effecting the consummation of the age-long struggle for freedom, in which the attainment of political freedom was but the first step.

                            The subtle change in meaning to which the word “freedom” was subjected in order that this argument should sound plausible is important. To the great apostles of political freedom the word had meant freedom from coercion, freedom from the arbitrary power of other men, release from the ties which left the individual no choice but obedience to the orders of a superior to whom he was attached. The new freedom promised, however, was to be the freedom from necessity, release from the compulsion of circumstances which inevitably limit the range of choice of all of us, although for some very much more than for others. Before man could be truly free, the “despotism of physical want” had to be broken, the “restraints of the economic system” relaxed.

                            Hmm. There is not just a little similarity with these arguments and the arguments posed for healthcare. Democrats argue that healthcare is not socialism. Pedantically speaking that may be correct. But that is, in part, just a technicality. There are parallels here.

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                              [I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]

                              John Perkins. Community organizer. b. 1930

                              John Perkins is a bridge from struggles of the civil rights movement to calls for evangelicals to “let justice roll down” to the poor and oppressed. A careful activist, Perkins inspires a new generation of Christians involved in social justice as chairman of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). He says he seeks to “fill the vacuum of moral, spiritual, and economic leadership that is so prevalent in poor communities by inspiring people to develop themselves and their community through the gospel.”

                              When John Perkins meets with colleagues on boards and planning groups, he doesn’t seem angry, but cheerful, even grateful. He listens more than he speaks, but when he speaks, he does so with conviction. Perkins is an outspoken but gentle speaking man whose words and actions have thundered and shaken the evangelical establishment and complacency about the needs of many parts of the community that are being left behind.

                              A sharecropper’s son who grew up in New Hebron, Mississippi, in terrible poverty, he fled the Deep South to California at age 17, after his older brother’s murder at the hands of a town marshal. He vowed never to return.

                              But after his Christian conversion in 1960 he returned to Mendenhall, Mississippi, where he and his strong wife Vera Mae, founded Voice of Calvary Ministries to evangelize and work in community development. There, VOC started a church, health center, leadership development program, thrift store, low-income housing development, and a training center. Perkins also started development projects in the neighboring towns of Canton, New Hebron and Edwards.

                              Other the years, he never backed down from injustice, and his support and leadership in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, beatings and imprisonment (he was arrested and jailed during a protest as recently as 2005).

                              In 1982, the Perkins family returned to California and lived in the city of Pasadena, where John and Vera Mae founded Harambee Christian Family Center in northwest Pasadena, a neighborhood that had one of the highest daytime crime rates in California. Harambee is yet standing, running numerous programs–including after school tutoring, Good News Bible Clubs, an award-winning technology center, summer day camp, youth internship programs, and a college scholarship program.

                              In 1983, while yet in California, Perkins and his wife, along with a few friends and other major supporters, established the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development to support their mission of advancing the principles of Christian community development and racial reconciliation throughout the world.

                              Perkins is the author of nine books, including A Quiet Revolution, Let Justice Roll Down, With Justice For All, Beyond Charity, He’s My Brother, Resurrecting Hope, and A Time to Heal, and has written numerous chapters in others.

                              His strategy has always included not only community action, but also infiltration of the largely white evangelical governing structures. He has served on the Board of Directors of World Vision, Prison Fellowship, National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), Spring Arbor College, and fifteen other boards.

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