together for the gospel & band of bloggers

My father and I have the wonderful opportunity to attend Together for the Gospel in just about a month. This will be the third time this has been held and the second time we have had the privilege to go. We are very excited about getting to go again and are eagerly awaiting the event. As was the case last year the speakers will be Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler as well as Thabiti Anyabwile, John MacArthur, John Piper, R.C. Sproul and special guest Matt Chandler.

We are also excited because we have signed up to attend the Band of Bloggers event just before t4g starts. We have not attended one of these before (this is their fourth event) but as with t4g, we eagerly await this event. In the past they have featured many respected Christian bloggers including Tim Challies and Dr. Russell Moore. This year the event will be headed by Justin Taylor, Trevin Wax, Jared Wilson, and Jon McIntosh. While I don’t blog as often as any of these fellows I eagerly look forward to hearing what they have to say about the topic for this year: “Internet Idolatry and Gospel Fidelity.”

With the advent of new media and the increasing influence of technology on our lives, it is important to address the relationship of the gospel to technology, especially the areas where we are tempted with idolatrous desire (power, identity, influence, acceptance, control, etc.). While the internet, with all of its platforms (such as blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can be a powerful tool to leverage our lives for the gospel impact, we want to examine our hearts to bring to light the various ways in which the idol factory of our hearts challenges and subverts the very gospel which we long to embrace.

I expect to have my computer with me to take notes and blog some while I am in Louisville, I hope I can concentrate well enough to write some good posts.

Band of Bloggers


A British Super Bowl

As I was drinking my coffee the other morning and reading The Wall Street Journal (we don’t actually have a subscription, but we used to, and it still randomly shows up at our door from time to time), I came across a little blurb about how the BBC carried live coverage of the Super Bowl this year. How odd is that?

I ran a few searches to see if I could find out what watching the Super Bowl would be like in Great Britain. For one thing, since the BBC carried it live, it came on at 11 pm and went until 3 or 4 in the morning. Obviously, only the die-hards would do something crazy like stay up all night and watch American football. Are there enough American expatriates to make it worth the BBC’s while? I wondered. But at least a few native Brits were up. I found a video blog on You Tube made by a young man who was having a Super Bowl party at his house (“nothing much, just 10 or 15 people coming round”).  Apparently he’s a fan of American football, and even though he can’t pronounce the names of some of the teams, at least he tries. Among the party snacks was a substantial amount of Red Bull to keep  everyone awake!

Another interesting aspect of the British Super Bowl was the complete lack of commercials. The Super Bowl without commercials? Who could imagine such a thing? But, as one article from the Times (London) points out, “If there is one thing we know about the BBC, it’s that it takes a dim view of…adverts and has never shown one.” So the poor British announcers who were given the task of covering this strange, foreign event were also given absolutely no breaks: “Every moment that, in the United States, would have been usefully spent hawking cheese-flavoured Doritos, Woodson and Carlson had to fill with animated conversation. This made them the first sports pundits in living memory to be on the screen for slightly longer, in total, than the game they were analysing.”

What an odd experience this must have been for our friends across the pond. I hope, at least, that they enjoyed it!


The Road Not Traveled

Yesterday, as I was walking through Wal-Mart (a detestable madhouse of chaos and confusion, even more than usual), I ran into one of my old high school teachers, whom I haven’t seen since graduation. After introducing herself to E. and cooing over Baby C. for a minute, she asked me if I had graduated college, and upon my reply to the affirmative, asked innocently, “So what are you working on now? Master’s, Ph.D, or are you teaching?”
Of course, I’m not doing any of those three things, but it’s funny to think about the fact that her question was a perfectly reasonable one considering the path I had been on in high school. As a driven student and a lover of all things academic, it seemed inevitable that I would go down that path; I was planning on it myself, in the event that I didn’t find anyone willing to marry me.
But I did find someone willing to marry me, and boy, am I glad. Still, I wonder sometimes what I would have been like if things had turned out differently. Would the Me who followed her academic dreams have been happy? Would she be a better/worse person? I like to think of this hypothetical Me as my Mirror Universe self (see: Star Trek). So much of who we are is determined by our choices and experiences and what we learn from them… so she wouldn’t really be Me at all.
But of course, that’s all completely fruitless speculation. God is sovereign, and he had my course laid in at the beginning of time. This is who I was always going to be at age 24. And, contrary to what some physicists and many sci-fi fans like to think, there isn’t some alternate universe out there where my life is playing out any other way. Thanks be to Jesus.

Random Idea #15

I have a coffee mug with all the names of coffee in different languages written all over it (coffee, cafe, kaffe, etc.). But here’s an even better idea: someone should make a mug with the names of all the hot drinks in Star Trek on it. So we’d have things like “Tarkalean Tea,” or “Coffee, black,” or “Tea, Earl Grey, hot.”  Nerdy, you say? Well, sure, but I’d buy it.

After all, I must have something with which to drink my raktajino.


I am hoping… but no promises.

Today I discovered that WordPress has developed an iPhone program that allows writing and updating of their blogs. This is my first post with the program and it seems to be pretty seamless.

This program will allow me to post pictures from my phone as well as write posts on the go.

Here’s to blogging more in the new year!



Calm down…this too shall pass.

This past Sunday, I read a particularly negative article in the newspaper (which, as everyone knows, is always full of negative stories). Not reporting anything useful, it spent its 2 columns groaning over the state of the world: gas prices rising, food prices rising, economy sliding, the never ending conflict against terrorism, etc. The writer of this article seemed to think that the whole world was degenerating into chaos, with no hope of recovery.

I beg to differ.

First of all, as believers we know that God’s sovereignty is the reality that overrides the apparent chaos in this fallen world. He institutes governments, directs leaders, and controls events with exacting care. Just read the book of Isaiah if you want particular proof of this Biblical truth.

Second of all, any student of history (even a non-believer) should be able to see the parallels between the current time and other transitional periods in history. Every generation has its own unique situation, but history tells us that there’s not much new under the sun. As our country struggles to move from an economy fueled by oil to one powered by other sources of energy, economic growing pains are a natural result. As so often in the past, conditions will get worse before they get better. Just look at the Industrial Revolution: the development of industrial technology came long before the safety standards and labor laws that were necessary to protect the many people whose lives were affected by this change. In addition, think of all the craftsmen who suddenly found themselves obsolete and unemployed! Conditions were pretty miserable for a long time, which predictably resulted in social unrest. But eventually society had time to catch up with the changes, and today industrialization is just a normal fact of life, not a cause of misery or unrest (for the most part).

I’m not saying that America is currently experiencing another Industrial Revolution; however, I am saying that the currently tough (and worsening) economic conditions are probably not permanent. It may not be fun to live with skyrocketing gas prices and unpredictable food costs, but necessity is the mother of invention. There are a lot of creative and capable people in this country working on new ways to increase efficiency, explore new avenues, and so on. This period of instability is not going to last forever.

And of course, if the whole world does completely degenerate into chaos and anarchy, we can still trust the God who’s ultimately in control of all human history.


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August 2019
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Thought For The Week

I want to clarify that there is no political problem that is not really a heart problem with hearts not connected to Christ. Only one Kingdom is really important, and this isn't it.

But just as it's sad to see poorly coded software, a badly built building, or an ugly city, it's even more sad to see a nation being thrown away. As custodians of this earth, we should do better.

-Mark Ritchie