I love detective shows. I’ve always been fascinated with the likes of Matlock, Perry Mason, and Columbo. The mystery, intrigue, and suspense they present are irresistable, at least to me. I have also come to love another detective show that has captured my attention, Monk. “Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub – pictured above) was once a rising star with the San Francisco Police Department, legendary for using unconventional methods and out-of-the-box thinking to solve some of the department’s most baffling cases. But after the tragic (and still unsolved) murder of his wife, a devastated Monk became obsessive-compulsive. Now plagued by various phobias, almost everything causes him angst: germs, heights, crowds – even milk. His condition eventually cost him his job, and continuously poses unique challenges as he goes about his daily life.” He is an unlikely hero. Think of Sherlock Holmes with the personality of Rain Man. He has an amazing ability because of his extraordinary attention to detail. Other detectives see what Monk sees, but they don’t see what he sees. Monk sees the world, an ugly world, like a child sees something for the first time.
Monk, in the second to last episode of Season 3 – “Mr. Monk and the Election”, says something that got me thinking. In this episode, Monk’s new assistant, Natalie, becomes a candidate in the upcoming school board election because her daughter’s school was about to be closed as a cost-cutting measure. Natalie’s frustrations with a jammed photocopier and other defective equipment bought at a police auction are dwarfed by fear for her life when a sniper fires into her campaign headquarters, further damaging the equipment and killing a security guard. The sniper also left a note demanding Natalie leave the election. Suspicion falls on Natalie’s opponent in the election, Harold Krenshaw, whom Monk knows as a fellow patient of Dr. Kroger’s (Monk’s therapist). Krenshaw also suffers from OCD but with slightly different characteristics.
In one scene, Monk and Captain Stottlemeyer are interrogating Krenshaw. Monk starts talking about Krenshaw to Stottlemeyer beforehand, “He has serious issues. He drives everyone he meets crazy.” In a scene soon after, Monk asks the question, “It’s not me, is it? Just tell me. Am I that guy? Am I that far gone?” Stottlemeyer then strokes Monk’s ego allowing him to think that he is, indeed, OK and reinforcing the idea that Krenshaw is the one who has the problems. Monk then says, “he will drive you crazy!” Monk also makes an interesting admission, “he wouldn’t have mis-spelled Natalie’s name because… because I wouldn’t…”
Continue reading Once There Were Two Sons and a Monk
What did Paul mean when he wrote 1 Corinthians 2:2, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified”? It is clear that he wrote in all his epistles about a great deal more than the death of Jesus Christ. It is also clear that the main subject of all his writings is the person and work of Jesus. Yet he also writes about matters concerning his personal life and the lives of his fellow Christians. This particular passage in 1 Corinthians is a useful place to start our investigation, for in it Paul repudiates the worldview of the pagan, the philosopher, and even the jew who attempts to get a handle on reality apart from the truth that is in Christ. “We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24). The reason for this Christ-centeredness is so that the faith of his readers “might not rest on human wisdom but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). This means that the only appropriate way to respond to God’s revealed power and wisdom is by being focused on the person of Christ. Elsewhere Paul defines the power of God as Christ and his gospel. …
Continue reading What Is Christ-Centered Preaching ?
One of the shows out in Television Land that has captured my attention is Keeping Up Appearances. The show demonstrates what people do instead of living out the Gospel. They keep up appearances.
Continue reading Keeping Up Appearances
Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM) briefly explains the law:
The Law is God’s instructions concerning the moral, social, and spiritual behavior of His people found in the first five books of the Bible. The Law is the very reflection of the nature of God because God speaks out of the abundance of what is in Him. Therefore, since God is pure, the Law is pure. Since God is holy, the Law is holy. The Law consists of the 10 commandments (Exodus 20), rules for social life (Exodus 21-23), and rules for the worship of God (Exodus 25-31). It .. is unable to deliver us into eternal fellowship with the Lord because of Man’s inability to keep it. The Law is a difficult taskmaster because it requires that we maintain a perfect standard of moral behavior. And then when we fail, the Law condemns us to death. We deserve death even if we fail to keep just one point of the law: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (James 2:10).
The law made nothing perfect (Hebrews 7:19). That is why the Law has shown us our need for Jesus and the free gift we receive through Him (Galatians 3:24).
Continue reading Keeping the Law
I have been contemplating revamping the site for a fresh start. Over the years, I have been partial to Movable Type as a publishing platform (still am), but the feature set is no longer where I need it (or want it). So I am switching to WordPress. If this doesn’t make sense, that’s ok. You can skip this post and wait for more to come!
Fresh Starts have always reminded me of the Gospel, 2 Corinthians 5:17–21:
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
In other words, the Gospel Changes Everything. It produces a Fresh Start. So, let’s get started.