Monday, February 23, 2009

CH-BOLC Phase 2 and 3

To those who still read this blog . . . this means you Nagel!

Well, I'm back at Ft Jackson, SC to finish CH-BOLC. Actually, I arrived about a week ago. Nothing really exciting to report. The only good news is that I passed my PT Test. All I can say is passing is pasing. Now I am free to eat and swell up with food. I am trying to increase my ministry of presence.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Good By USAR, Hello VA National Guard

Well, it seems that my tenure as a USAR Chaplain was short and sweet. Due to the fact that my USAR unit was nearly 3 hours from my house, I decided to transfer into the VA National Guard (Also, my living hero in the faith, David Nagel, serves in the CO Guard). One might think that a transfer between different components with in the Army would be a fairly simple task, well take it from me, it is more complicated than I ever dreamed. I am glad that I survived!

As for my studies, I only three classes and a thesis away from graduation. Lord willing all this will be completed in calander year 2009. Please pray that this is the Lord's will. . .

For those of you interested below is my thesis topic presentation/summary. . .

The Failure of the Reformed Tradition in America in a Display of God’s Glory: A Call for Racial Reconciliation and Integration.

For my integrative paper, I plan to write about the Reformed Tradition’s failure of reconciling and integrating a diverse blend of races within their churches. The heart of this paper arises from what Scripture says about the reconciliation that Christ has bought for His Church in Ephesians Chapter 2, and also how Scripture describes the New Heavens and Earth in Revelation Chapter 7. Ephesians 2:11-22 speaks of how Christ has brought down the divining wall of race and culture, and created a new society that is one in Him, all through the good news of the Gospel of grace. This vision of a new humanity is culminated in Revelation Chapter 7. Scripture here describes the New Heavens as place in which people “from every nation, from all tribes and people and language” are worshipping the Lamb who redeemed men and women without bias. While the Bible is exceedingly clear about the diversity of Christ’s Kingdom, the portrayal this reality has yet to be realized in His church.
If Christ has called His followers to pray for His will to be done and his Kingdom to come, on Earth as it is in heaven, then it is of vital importance that we examine the Churches failure to diversify its congregation, and look at what practical steps that can be taken to correct this problem, all for the Glory of God. Thus, this paper will examine the following topics:
A brief history of the Reformed Tradition
The history of race relations a the reformed tradition
A biblical definition of race and ethnicity
Modern race prejudice and its consequences in the Reformed Church
The Gospel – A Middle Class Privilege
· The monetary cost of hearing the truth
5. The State of the African American Church
· The reasons for the rise of the African American Church
· Liberation Theology and the Social Gospel
Difficulties and solutions to planting a diverse church for the glory of God
· The Cost of Discipleship (suffering and hardship)
· Need for Education
o God has revealed Himself through a book – literacy is needed
o Where the Gospel has been preached correctly, people have been educated
· Social Reform and Justice a Product of the Gospel

Some of the resources that I plan to use in completing this paper are as follows:
Westminster Confession of Faith Chapters 7 and 25
Neither Poverty or Riches by Craig Bloomberg
The Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll
Confessions of a Reformission Rev. by Mark Driscoll
The Forging of the Races by Colin Kid
From Every People and Nation by J. Daniel Hays
On Being Black and Reformed by Anthony J. Carter
The Decline of African American Theology by Thabiti M. Anyabwile
The Faithful Preacher by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Well, it’s been a while since I wrote so here is the latest update for those who still read this blog (this means you Nagel – my only faithful blog friend)

The biggest news since my last entry is the fact that I was boarded as an USAR Chaplain and got assigned to the 323 MI BN. While I was going to wait till I finished my seminary degree, I felt that God was calling me to get some practical experience under my belt.
(CH Seung Lee - They will accept anyone!)

In May I submitted my packet to the Chaplain Accessions Board. Since I already have a Master’s degree, over 36 completed credit hours of seminary, and the shortage of USAR Chaplains – the Army deemed me fit to be a Chaplain. What were they thinking?

The whole process was fairly smooth and easy, just a lot of paperwork and hoops to jump through. I first got endorsed through the Evangelical Church Alliance (I still intend to get ordained in the PCA, but for now the ECA will do). I then worked with my recruiter to compile all the needed forms. I have to give credit to my recruiter for his extreme patience.

Being a USAR Chaplain takes up more time than I ever thought it would. Thus far, I have only been to one weekend Battle Assembly, but I already got the month of August booked. I just got back from attending a Family Readiness Group (FRG) training. I am then scheduled to attend a Strong Bonds weekend in two weeks. After that, I’m off to the Chaplain Annual Sustainment Training.

It’s a good thing that I got a more fuel efficient car. Oh yeah, I forgot to let you all know that my unit is about three hours from my home. So on Drill weekends, it means that I am gone from my wife and daughter the whole time. On top of all this, I am still finishing up the last three classes and thesis for my seminary degree. I also plan to start studying for my PCA ordination (I estimate a one year ordeal for this one). All this on top of working my full-time job.

(Some pics of my beautiful bride and daughter at the beach while I was giving a suicide prevention brief at the FRG meeting)

I say all this not to complain, for I feel blessed to be given these opportunities to serve and further His Kingdom. I would just humbly ask for your prayers. Please pray for the Spirit’s sustaining grace and that I would bring glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ. For in the end, all glory is reserved for the one who saved (and continues to sanctify) a wretched sinner like me. I am truly undeserving!

I close with the Scripture verse that I have been memorizing – “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Jude 24-25

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Blocks of Wood

You've got to love the Reformers . . .

"We are not worthy to enjoy the condition of our first father, who was to live in a pleasant setting without having to work hard. Nevertheless, before sin entered the world, and before we were condemned by God to painful and difficult work, it was necessary for men to occupy themselves with some work. Why? Because it was against our nature for us to be useless blocks of wood.
- John Calvin

I guess I should get back to my studies . . .

Friday, March 14, 2008


Here is an interesting thought from one of my readings . . .

"We must remember that what is true for Jesus, Peter and Paul is no doubt also true for churches, since most of the Bible is written in plural and since the Scripture repeatedly show that the way of God is through weakness. If the church is most faithful to its true vocation as a created power through the weakness that gives way to God's tabernacling, then we must ask such questions as these:
1) Why have we turned pastors into successful CEOs instead of shepherds for the weak?
2) Why do we search for pastors who are handsome, sophisticated, charismatic - instead of models in suffering?
3) Who do our churches adopt practices of business life and its achievement models?
4) Why do we resort to gimmicks, or what Jacques Ellul calls Technique, instead of practicing an 'unadulterated handling of the Word'?"

I would guess the answer to most of these question arise from the fact that we all have become all too comfortable in our suburban Western lifestyle - wanting nothing to do with hardship and suffering. Thus, the Gospel has become another middle-class luxury and right that can only be bought when we have achieved the right financial and social status.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

My Latest Post

I don’t know if anyone still reads this blogg, but here my latest post since I have a bit of down time right now.

Well since my last post, not much has really changed. The only new thing that has come up is the fact that I completed Airborne School as a Chaplain Candidate this past February. Additionally, I’ll be done with my seminary course work at the end of the summer semester. I can definitely say that I have hit the academic “wall”. While I still have to finish a thesis to get my official degree, it looks like I’ll be able to accession as a USAR Chaplain prior to me completing the thesis.

With regards to Airborne School, all I have to say is that I have never felt my 33 years of age more than during those three weeks. Praise the Lord that he gave me the physical strength to finish. I also dropped 18 pounds. So if anyone is looking for a good weight loss program, Airborne is the way to go!

Here I am after my “combat” jump.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Well, the weather in the Old Dominion is HOT. Today we had our Organization Day at work; it's basically a day set aside each year to celebrate the accomplishments of our agency A.K.A - a free fun day with the family that is subsidized by the govt.

This year our Agency planned to have a good Old Fashion Picnic. Everything turned out great with the exception of the high temps. By 0900, the heat index was already at 100+ degrees. Let me just say that we cut the day short and left right after an early lunch.

Well, I'm signed up for three more classes this semester: Pastoral and Theological Studies, Isiah-Malachi, and Church and the World. I so glad that I'm almost done with seminary because my motivation for school work is slowly dwindling. Please pray that I make it through two more semesters!

Here's a thought from a book I had to read for the Church History class I took this summer:

"In Irenaeus's view the fall was a necessary stage in the growth to maturity, and the whole of human history is a long process leading from infancy to maturity. Christ does not simply reverse what had been lost in the fall: he brings to completion what had been partial and imperfect."
p. 67 The Spirit of Early Christian Thought

Finally, here are some Pics from our Org Day: