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August 17, 2009

I am now using using WordPress in such a way that I can make matthewmcdill.com my direct address. Sorry to have to redirect you once more, but my site will reside now at matthewmcdill.com. If you have subscribed to the RSS feed at this site, you will have to resubscribe at matthewmcdill.com.

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Diversity for the Sake of Unity

August 12, 2009

Diversity is a popular and powerful word in our culture today. Because many use it to argue for moral relativism, Christians are often wary of the term. However, diversity is part of the beauty of God’s creation. The diversity of language, culture, and race are part of God’s design. Since religious freedom is critical for true faith, a religiously diverse culture should be expected. But affirming and protecting the necessity of religious freedom does not imply that everyone is “right” or that religion is man-made.

Even within the church we often struggle with our unity and diversity. Ephesians 4 helps us to understand how they relate (see also 1 Cor 12). Paul teaches that our calling as believers is inherently corporate and that we are unified by our faith in God (vv. 1-5). Within this unity and for the sake of building unity, various gifts have been given to individuals (vv. 6-16). There should be diversity of function and expression within the unity of the church. However, the unity of the faith and the accomplishment of ministry through the body is more important than its diversity, which is the means by which this unity is accomplished. Our culture makes diversity the ultimate value and purpose of individual distinctiveness. Individualism and diversity are indeed a beautiful and functional reality of the church, but they are not the church’s foundation or purpose. They are the means and expression of unity in Christ for the accomplishment of his mission and for the glory to God.

“To Go On Living Is Christ”

August 10, 2009

Please take the time to read this letter, “To Go On Living is Christ.” from BeckyLynn Black (especially if you know the Blacks). They are facing a very difficult situation with the grace that only the Lord can give.

Cowboy Coffee and Campfire Cuisine

August 7, 2009

100_2536This is the official report on the success of our camping vittles. First of all, I am happy to write that Dustin turned out to be an excellent campfire chef. The first night we placed foil packs full of chicken, squash, zucchini, and potatoes in the fire. Aside from some stubborn potatoes, it was delicious!

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The next night we grilled beef and vegetable kabobs over the fire. Dustin also used coals from the fire to bake biscuits and apple cobbler (if you can beleive it)! On the left you can see them baking on both sides of the fire pit in cast iron pots with coals placed under and on top. It was wonderful.

I made my grand enterance to campfire cooking when I grilled some toast over the fire on our last morning. Dana, Daphne, and Dustin also did some good cookin’ on our coleman stove.

Finally, I successfully brewed some cowboy coffee. I bought a percolator that we tried the first night. It took FOREVER and in the end just boiled away. So the next morning I took the percolator part out and tried the cowboy coffee recipe I posted. And it wasn’t just good, it was about as good as any coffee I’ve had. Maybe better. Or maybe the superior taste was enhanced by the fresh morning air and quiet moments by the fire before everyone got up.

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August 6, 2009

“We are now getting to the point at which different beliefs about the universe lead to different behavior. Religion involves a series of statements about facts, which must be either true or false. If they are true, one set of conclusions will follow about the right sailing of the human fleet, if they are false, quite another set.”

– C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Simple Ministry Strategy

August 5, 2009

“When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, ‘Why are your faces downcast today?’ They said, ‘We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.’ And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.’” Gen 40:6-8

Joseph exemplifies a simple formula for ministry:
1.    Tune in to the condition of the people around you.
2.    Ask about and show interest in their condition.
3.    Be a channel for God to meet the need.

Sorry if you were looking for some fresh, innovative, culturally-up-to-date strategy. This is the timelss, and thus ever relevant, strategy that always meets the human need: LOVE.

Plug for My Ancient History Class

July 31, 2009

“The first of a three-year program of classes integrating theology, history, and literature from Creation to the present day is being offered this year at the Blue Ridge Teaching Co-op.  These classes are based on the Omnibus curriculum provided by Veritas Press, a classical curriculum provider for homeschoolers and classical Christian schools.  From their web-site: “Omnibus is a Latin term meaning “all encompassing.” Our purpose is to have students grow in their appreciation of the unity of all knowledge—all disciplines are related to and under the Lordship of Jesus Christ….[Students will be led] through the study of the great works from antiquity, teaching with the emphasis on ideas, not simply information. …With Trinitarian thinking at the core of the study, students will learn to interact with timeless material, including the greatest works in Western Civilization, in a wise and godly way.  In Omnibus I: Biblical and Classical Civilizations students will cover history, literature and theology from the dawn of time to the fall of Rome. They will also apply and further develop their skills in composition, logic and aesthetics.”

This first year course being offered through BRTC is entitled “Biblical and Classical Civilizations”.  The theology/history class is being taught by Dr. Matthew McDill (listed as “Ancient History” on the BRTC site) and the complementary literature class is being taught by Mrs. Renee Fuller, (listed as “Ancient Literature” on the BRTC site).  These two classes may be taken separately or together.  There are no prerequisite requirements.

Next year, “Church Fathers through the Reformation” is scheduled to be offered, followed by a third year of “Reformation to the Present”.   Though students are not required to participate in both classes in any one year or in subsequent years of the program’s course, a student would benefit greatly from any one, two, or certainly all three years of the program, which would constitute the study of a chronological, Christian worldview, literature-based history of the world using primary resource documents and the “Great Books” of Western Civilization.

There are openings available in Dr. McDill’s and Mrs. Fuller’s classes.  Please visit www.hcchs.com, and the Blue Ridge Teaching Co-operative link for more information.