Does the Resurrection Matter?

This whole story about the “tomb of Jesus” discovery has really shown a complete misunderstanding of the importance the resurrection. One thing that I’ve heard multiple times is that this doesn’t actually threaten the core beliefs of the Christian faith. They say that if this is true, that it doesn’t necessarily break the back of our faith in Jesus Christ. One of the directors that was being interviewed on Larry King Live said,

“Larry, we don’t challenge resurrection. We are not theologians. And actually, I don’t — you know, I spoke to theologians, they said, if he rose from one tomb, he could have just as easily have arisen from a second tomb.”

Who are these “theologians” and what theology are they studying? They completely misunderstand the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. They don’t see it as being an atoning death and they certainly don’t see that His resurrection means victory over the power of sin and breaking the chains of death. If he just had “arisen from a second tomb”, then there is nothing separating Jesus’ first rising from that of Lazarus’.

In fact, if Jesus did not raise from the dead three days after the cross, then the cross is not where your salvation was paid for. Then the Bible falls in on itself and Isaiah 53 is not true. The resurrection is crucial to our victory over our own sin, because it was Christ defeating what we could not. It was fully paying for the debt that was insurmountably stacked against us.

And this director and supposedly many theologians just go on like its not a big deal.

Later i will take note of another observation from this whole circus.

Welcome to the new site!

I hope that you will be patient with me as I move everything over. Unfortunately, I lost all of the comments, though when i was transferring everything over, it said that it was also transferring comments. I don’t know what the deal is with that. But I will get the links added and a new layout and we’ll be in business!


Who knew it would take James Cameron to convince me that Jesus was a fraud! For those of you who haven’t heard yet (and I guarantee you will) James Cameron, director of “Titanic”, “Aliens”, “Terminator 2”, and “True Lies”, has come out with a documentary about how he claims to have found the tomb of Jesus and his family. To be truthful, he doesn’t claim to have found the tomb. It was actually discovered around 1980, but immediately dismissed as being a possible connection with Jesus and his family. But according to Cameron and his investigative partner, the name of Mary Magdalene was not completely understood by the original archeologists, and we now understand that the name on her ossuary is hers.

This is no doubt going to make it onto Time and Newsweek. There will be a 20/20 or Dateline on it. I’m not going to take the time to fully explain it, you can look at the links at the bottom if you want. I want to approach it from another angle. The said thing is that many people will have sincere doubts over this. But how do we fight this doubt? Doubt is fought with the assurance of our salvation. For the past few months we’ve been going through I John and we have discovered how over and over again John is offering points for assurance of our salvation. He reminds the believer that we can have confidence in our faith when our sin is dealt with and forgiven.

Is it any surprise that people who suffer from severe doubts also struggle with sin? Let this be a reminder that unless we are dealing with our sin, there will be an absence of confidence. And an absence of confidence leads to an inability to fight temtation and abhor sin. It is a cruel road that must be avoided.

“News Story”

“Michael Spencer”

“James White”

“Scholars Disagree”


Al Mohler will be on Larry King tonight at 9 eastern. He’ll be on with James Cameron, executive producer, Simcha Jacobovici, director, and James Tabor, chair of religious studies at UNC Charlotte. They will follow an interview with First Lady Laura Bush.


Apparently Mohler cleaned house last night. I haven’t had time to “read the transcript” , but you can take a look at it.

Here’s another reaction by “Ben Witherington.”

Also, check out “Challies” for his comments.

The Strong Christian

The past month or so I’ve been trouncing through Colossians with the Jr High on Sundays. It isn’t like a normal exposition, though. I study the text, outline it in Greek, try to get the nuances, and then take it in to Sunday School. It is there that we go through the text as a group and outline it together and try to piece together Paul’s argument. I remind them of the context Paul is writing in and what Colosse was like. The basic purpose is to get the kids to understand how to understand the Bible on their own. So far, so good!

Well, last week I was teaching through verse 9-14 of chapter 1 and we planted on verse 11 for quite awhile and I thought I’d plant my observations down here. The first part of the verse says “in all power you have been made powerful.” The words are the same in the greek, being used as a noun and a passive participle. The first observation is that it is with a power outside of ourselves that we are made powerful, or strengthened.

The second thought was an explanation of “according to” versus “out of”. Paul says that we are stregnthened according to His glorious might. It is an observation that I think is important when understanding the significance of the phrase “according to”. Here’s how I illustrate it. Picture a homeless person on the side of the road. He has nothing except a cardboard sign pleading for money and a dirty cup. The man is sitting there, begging for money, and what do you know, Bill Gates walks by! The homeless man looks up and recognizes this man as being wealthy and thinks to himself, “payday!” He watches as Bill Gates slowly reaches into his pocket. The homeless man imagines the hundred dollar bills that must line Gates’ pockets, and wonders how many were going to end up in the cup. He begins to imagine the warm clothes and food he could buy with this man’s money. In the middle of his imagination running wild he notices that Gates reaches out his hand and drops one bill down. The homeless man tracks the bill with his eyes, trying to see how big the number is. as it finally drops into his lap he sees a big “1” but no “0” following it. One lousy dollar.

The homeless man is absolutely depressed. Normally he’d be quite happy with a dollar, but not now. This is Bill Gates after all! He wasn’t giving according to his wealth, but out of. One dollar means nothing to Gates. One hundred dollars means nothing to Gates, but it would mean everything to this man who has nothing. What would it have looked like if Gates walks by this man and gave to him “according to” his wealth? He would have stopped, taken out a checkbook, and written a check for over $1,000,000! That is much more in accordance to his wealth.

So how does this understanding of “according to” and “out of” relate to God stregnthening us according to his glorious might? It means that God has given us all the strength that we could possibly need! God doesn’t give us stregnth out of his might in order that we might float on through life. God gives us stregnth according to His glorious might so that we might live life with endurance and patience. This strength isn’t in us, in and of ourselves. it is a foreign strength that originates from God’s glorious might, and is granted to us in abundance, according to His glorious stregnth.

Announcing… A NEW BLOG!

Greatness cannot stopped, nor can it be contained. With that in mind, Micah has decided to set up his own blog! Clearly he has sensed his own greatness and desires that the world also witness his intellect and charm. But we all realize that its a dangerous world out there. There are those that may want to take his knowledge and use it for evil. He hasn’t told me exactly who, but I think its North Korea. He says that he wants only ‘the chosen ones’ to be able to glean from his thoughts and experiences.

If you would like to apply for such a position, I will be handling the Micah Fanclub memberships. Just email me (tcostine at and I’ll let you know where to find his site. And please, help us protect him from Kim Jong and keep it private! That means no linking.

Life around Hollywood

Since I live in the LA area, I am constantly running across film crews working on TV show, movies, or commercials. It has been interesting to get a different perspective of the whole process and it has even become somewhat ordinary. I remember being totally excited the first couple times I saw a film crew, and now it has become much more ordinary. It is neat to know that the “Father of the Bride” house is near, as is the house that Marty’s mom grew up in, in “Back to the Future”. The church from “Father of the Bride” is down the street from mine. I even saw a Christmas movie being filmed there in the middle of the summer. We’ve rented out our parking lot a couple of times to TV shows to use while they film in the area. The latest was for the biggest failure of this year, “Smith”.

Last spring there was a house down the street from ours being used for a movie for a couple weeks. I was surprised how they just let us walk up and watch from across the street and how accessible everything was. I told leah it was probably a made for TV movie, a hallmark movie or something. We asked a crew member and he said it was a movie called “Though None Go With Me”. Then he said, “Yeah, its just a Hallmark movie.”

Probably the most common thing to see is a commercial. It is interesting to see how easy it is to know that it is a commercial being filmed. The crew is a lot smaller, and there is usually only a single camera. We’ve seen a few car commercials being filmed. One is still being run. It shows a car on the highway and it is going through a construction zone. There are two versions. On one, a chain breaks and a large cement tube comes rolling down and the driver is able to escape it. On the other version the car freezes and it shows a guy walking around the car talking about safety features or something. That commercial sent us on a detour off the freeway, so I don’t like it.

One guy I go to seminary with actually stars in some commercials on the side. He grew up starring in a Disney film, and has done some other things since then. I believe he’s been in Star Trek and some other things. His name is Jay Underwood if you want to look him up on He gets ragged for it a lot. Anyways, he’s been in one of those “I’m All Advil” commercials. he’s the guy who’s wife gets him to do yoga and is standing on his head. He was also in a really stupid Hallmark Easter commercial last year. He said he just filmed a car commercial, so I’m keeping my eye open.

Well, this Sunday we drove up to church to see a commercial being filmed across the street and they were filming on our sidewalk. They were filming in a lot that was in between car dealerships. It appears to be a car commercial with a dancing chicken trying to stop cars. We watched them keep filming the same thing over and over. Here’s a pic of it, in case you want to keep an eye out for it.

Bruce Metzger (1914-2007)

I read this morning that Bruce Manning Metzger passed away. It could be said that no one has done more for New Testament textual studies in the last 100 years than Metzger. From everything that I can understand, he not only lived the life of a great student and scholar, but he also lived a godly life. He leaves behind two children and a wife of 62 years.

Another Pregnancy Update

Yesterday marked the six week mark until Micah’s due date! We’re having our last baby shower this Sunday and after that we’ll get BabyPrep2007 into high gear. Things have been going really well and we’re learning so much at our birthing class. It is just amazing how knowledge is power and how much most women don’t know going into the birthing process. Thankfully, we’re in a great class and feel like we both know all the options on the table and what they mean.

Since we have a one bedroom apartment right now, space is at a premium. Thanks to Ikea, we bought a smaller version of our dresser and it will also serve as a changing table. It has a thing on top that goes across the back and on the sides. We’ll buy a changing pad and ‘viola!’ you have a dresser/changing table. and its at the perfect height. So here’s a pic of me assembling it last night. With all of the furniture that I’ve put together, I could go into business assembling Ikea furniture. This makes 2 dressers, 2 nightstands, one book case, one desk, one coffee table, one bed, and one microwave table.

A lot of you have been asking for another ‘prego-pic’. Here we are at 34 weeks.

HOLY COW!!!! In case you didn’t catch it, here she was in August. And this is the exact same type of shirt that we took the latest one in. She couldn’t find the exact same shirt, but she had it in a few different colors.

Repentance vs. Penance

I know that I haven’t been consistently been posting and I don’t want it to turn into a thing where we have one post a week and its about Lost. The cause for this is that the Lord has seen fit that I should have to endure the fire in my last semester in order to graduate. One thing that I’ve had to do was write a 12 page paper about Repentance vs. Penance on Saturday. I strapped myself into my desk, armed with enough Mt. Dew to kill a donkey and my lexicals and went at it. Here are some of my observations:

1. Whether in the Old Testament or New Testament, the word conveys an idea that it is a conviction and sorrow to the very core of a person. And interestingly enough, the Old Testament word also conveys an idea of sorrow before one sinned against.

2. Anyways, today repentance and penance are often confused. The person thinks that things are made right by being really sorry towards the person and thinks they can make it right somehow. But true repentance realizes that there is absolutely nothing the offender can do. He must throw himself at the feet of God.

3. The main word for repent in the OT is almost always used of God, which is a whole nother story altogether. I made note of all the passages to be able to go back and study them, but in I Samuel where the Lord is deposing Saul, he says that he repents in one verse, and then says in the very same chapter that he will not repent. Both are the same Hebrew word and both are in the Niphil. This will call for further study.

4. One of the only times that it is used by a beleiver it was by Job in Job 42:6 (i believe, working on memory here). Job was using it in reaction to being confronted by the Lord and being humbled for questioning the ways and justice of God.

5. I looked through Psalm 51 and 32, to see the pattern of David’s repentance and he always associated it with a physical pain that he felt. That until he did repent, he felt a pain in his bones. The Lord would not allow him to be comfortable in his sin.

6. The paper was to be specifically geared towards the beleiver and repentance, since most of the passages that speak of repentance as a thing an unbeliever must do. I looked to the passages to the Corinthians, calling them to repentance for not dealing with the people who were involved in sins that were so gross, the world looked down on them. I also went to Jesus’ words to the church at Ephesus and Laodicea in Revelation 2 & 3. In both cases, they were not dealing with their sin in a way that Jesus wanted. And it is there that we find a consequence given for their sin.

7. The words for repentance also always come with the conviction that they turn completely from that sin and pursue a righteousness. In Isaiah 1 the Lord is confronting Israel for bringing to him a false worship. He says that he desires no more trampling of the courts, vain offerings that are an abomination and the like. Instead, he calls them to wash themselves and to make themselves clean before him. But those are just the first two in a series of 7 (if I remember correctly) imperatives. The final ones tell them to pursue was is right, seek justice, correct oppression, and the like. True repentance isn’t just a turning from sin, but a turning to what is required, to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.

The final observation that I made for my own life was to reevaluate how I went about repentance. When dealing with my own sin, can I say that I am rocked like David? Can I say that it breaks me to the very core. Good things to think about.

So as you can see, I do have lots to do, but they are all profitable. Nothing is useless and all is encouraging and profitable!

Random Thoughts

So I just heard that Chewbacca got arrested. No, not that tall british guy. The poorman’s Chewbacca in Hollywood got arrested for getting into it with an Asian tour guide. The funny thing about this is I’ve seen several run in’s that this guy has had. In case you don’t know, there are a bunch of random people dressed up in front of Grauman’s Chineses Theater in Hollywood. They are all horribly cheap imitations of people like Batman, Marilyn Monroe (who i think is played by a 65 year old), Gandolph, Michael Jackson, and other creepy people. One time I was walking over to the bathroom and there was Capt. Jack Sparrow and Chewbacca having lunch and I had to walk by Marylin Monroe on a smoke break and used the bathroom next to Charlie Chaplin, who was apparently with Marilyn. When I came out there was a security guard with two Asian guys talking to Chewbacca. Chewy was apparently up to no good again and had ‘assualted’ the older Asian guy who didn’t speak English. Its just a surreal sight. So I was interested when i heard that he got arrested for another run in with another Asian guy. You all have to go if you come to SoCal.


There were some good commercials during last nights game. Now i didn’t get to see the whole game since we had to leave for birthing class. The one I liked the most was the Robert Goulet commercial. It was just weird and brilliant. the snickers commercial really creeped me out.


Lost back this Wednesday. Time to hop up on caffeine and be alert after 10pm.


the little lady was watching a few minutes of Friends and it was an episode where Rachel (is that her name?) was pregnant. Now that I’m familiar with the whole process, I saw how ridiculous it was. She was very early on in her pregnancy and she felt the baby move and she put another guy’s hand on her stomach and he felt the baby immediately. Then it got ridiculous as the next day she started having big pains and they took her to the hospital and it turns out she was having Braxton Hicks contractions. so she started having the contractions within 24 hours of first feeling the baby. that’s so stupid.


we had our Invisible Children night on Friday night and it ws really good. we had quite a few people here and it was nice chatting with the team. it turns out that it looks like they’ll be releasing a new movie with 90% new footage and it will be released into the theaters. and from what I hear, they will not be welcome back into the country by the government after they reveal what they have found out. When i had first seen the movie, they had a section in it where they got bribed by a high government official, but were told that they better take it out or they will not be welcome back into the country. Well, they decided to take it out, get things going in Uganda, and burn the bridges later. It was nice to hear that they have been making huge pogress in Acholi-land. They also said that they will be turning their attention to Burma next. Burma has the highest amount of child abductions in the world. So stay tuned!