jumping into the fire...

welcome to ManOnFire, virtual reality ponderings, postings, and portals probing real reality and true truth. let us enter...

macs, movies, wii, nanos, iphones, xbox, american idol, playstation 3, jack bauer. virtual reality. we live and move and breathe in the land of blur. what is real? have you ever stopped to ask yourself deep questions of existence? are you searching for truth? do you ask "does truth exist?":

how do i live and move and breathe?
why do i live and move and breathe? where did i come from? does my life have purpose and meaning? is there such a thing as truth? if so, how can i know what is true? is something true because i believe it, or does objective truth exist outside of me? does someone have the answers? why do i believe what i believe? do i really believe that what i believe is really real? is religion a cruch for the weak-minded? was my great, great grandad a monkey? why is there pain? why does evil exist? why do we die? what happens when i die?

someone claimed to have answers. someone claimed to be the author of all that exists. as C. S. Lewis put it, He was either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. have you ever asked, "what is the TRUTH about JESUS?"

want to engage about what you've found here?


Soli Deo Gloria,

Dayton Loven

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sir Issac Newton on Atheism

"Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance."

--Sir Issac Newton

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Francis Crick on Design

"Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much. It is all too easy to make mistaken inferences unless the process involved is already very well understood."

Dr. Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, in his book: "What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery"


"The universe and the laws of physics seem to have been specifically designed for us. If any one of about 40 physical qualities had more than slightly different values, life as we know it could not exist: Either atoms would not be stable, or they wouldn't combine into molecules, or the stars wouldn't form heavier elements, or the universe would collapse before life could develop, and so on."

Stephen Hawking, quoted by Mark Cahill in "One Heartbeat Away" p. 24

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What is love?

What is Love? Is it loving for Christians to remain silent while damning their friends to hell, or speaking uncomfortable words of life?

"So, Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." Romans 10:17

Missional Church: Simple.

Friday, July 2, 2010


"Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, leading us to faith and worship, we have to see it as something done by us, leading us to repentance."

--C. J. Mahaney

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


"Today, the greatest challenge facing American evangelicals is not persecution from the world, but seduction by the world." C. J. Mahaney, "Worldliness" P. 22

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why was Jesus death necessary?

"Why was the death of Jesus necessary? Because all of humanity is corrupt and condemned, and we all have an acute tendency to deny the reality of our lost state before God."

--C. J. Mahaney
Humility true greatness


"Where there's worry, where there's anxiousness, pride is at the root of it. When I am experiencing anxiety, the root issue is that I'm trying to be self-sufficient. I'm acting independent of God."

--C. J. Mahaney
Humility: true greatness p. 75

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Offense & Attraction of the Cross

The curious paradox of the atoning death of a bloody Jesus rising above the plane of human history with a mocking crown of thorns is that he is offensive in an attractive way. It is the utter horror of the cross that cuts through the chatter, noise, and nonsense of our day to rivet our attention, shut our mouths, and compel us to listen to an impassioned dying man who is crying out for the forgiveness of our sins and to ask why he suffered. Tragically, if we lose the offense of the cross, we also lose the attraction of the cross so that no one is compelled to look at Jesus. Therefore, Jesus does not need a marketing firm or a makeover as much as a prophet to preach the horror of the cross unashamedly.

--Mark Driscoll
Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, page 33

The Invisible Hand

When God wants to drill a man
And thrill a man
And skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
How He uses whom He chooses
And with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out--
God knows what He's about!

--Author unknown

Quoted from SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP by J. Oswald Sanders

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The sovereignty of God. What do we mean by this expression? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the godhood of God. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God.

--A. W. Pink
The Sovereignty of God, chapter 1, "GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY DEFINED"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

"If your picture of a disciplined Christian is one of a grim, tight-lipped, joyless half-robot, then you've missed the point. Jesus was the most disciplined Man who ever lived and yet the most joyful and passionately alive. He is our Example of discipline. Let us follow Him to joy through the Spiritual Disciplines."

--Donald S. Whitney
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, page 24

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

"Learning and following involve discipline, for those who only learn accidentally and follow incidentally are not true disciples."

--Donald S. Whitney
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
Page 20

What is Free Will?--Mark Driscoll

Ravi Zacharias: Apologetic Struggle

Jarring quote from Ravi Zacharias (http://www.rzim.org/) on his May 22, 2007 radio broadcast of "Just Thinking":

"I urge you to hear me carefully. If there is one difficult apologetic question I live with, I have never stated this in public, but I’ve often talked about it behind closed doors to my wife, to dear close colleagues. If there is one apologetic struggle I live with, it is this question:

Why is it so many people who talk of a supernatural transformation show so little of the transformed life?

I want you to think about that. Why when we talk so much about the work of the Holy Spirit of regeneration within a life is it not obvious to the unbeliever anymore, who does not see the change but only hears our language?

Somehow, we must come to grips seriously in the academy that we possibly no longer need to convince the average student of the aimlessness with which the majority of people live, but somewhere that student maybe desperately needs to see a life that is consistently lived in its proclamation and deed."

Alistair Begg "Have you been grasped by God's grace?"

Hve you wrestled with Alistair Begg's (www.truthforlife.org) question, "Have I been grasped by grace?" Excerpt from his sermon "Man Overboard":

"'Have you been grasped by God’s grace?' I use that phrase purposefully because it gives all the initiative to God, you will notice that. The question is not, "have you ever invited Jesus into your heart?" It’s a good question. It’s never a New Testament question. You’ll never find anywhere in the New Testament that anybody is invited to ask Jesus into their heart. It’s a question that is common in circles such as ours.

There is a far more Biblical question and it is:

'Have you ever been grasped by God’s grace?'

Have you ever moved from a position where frankly the Bible was a closed and a dead book to you where suddenly the Bible became alive to you? Where the possibilities of attending worship were regarded as frankly a bad idea and you endured it as best you could whenever you came. Some of you may be still there this morning. And what happened was that the Bible suddenly opened up to you. The singing of God’s praise suddenly moved your heart and stirred you.That the issue of a dying Christ suddenly became the most pressing matter to you in relation to the fact that you realized that you were dead in your trespasses and in your sins and you couldn’t really explain what was going on.

The reason I ask the question in this way is simply this:

Phariseeism is alive and well, sadly, in churches like this.

Individuals who have not been grasped by grace, but who, in some short-circuited endeavor for a relationship with God simply exchange one set of external circumstances for another set. They’ve dumped the non-Christian list and gone for the Christian list. And simultaneously, they find in their hearts not a sense of empathy and compassion for those who are disfigured and who are spoiled and who are broken and know themselves to be broken. Instead of compassion being there, there is resentment there…I put it to you that is not the response of someone who has been grasped by grace. Because the individual who has been grasped by grace says:

'That was me. In fact, absent your grace Lord Jesus, that is me. Going there, doing that, thinking this, embracing that.'

Look at all these people with a word view so alien to our Christian worldview."

"When you Have Faith in Jesus..." John Piper

What is the Gospel? John Piper

Christ, football, sex, golf, pornography? What does your heart say? John Piper

Billy Graham on the Heart of Man from 1959

Mark Driscoll--THE GOSPEL TRUTH...

The Gospel

God created us to have a relationship with Him.
ur sin separates us from God.
in cannot be removed by good deeds.
aying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again!
veryone who turns from sin and follows Jesus has everlasting life.
Life everlasting means we will live with God forever.

CHECK THIS OUT: http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/2wtl/

C. J. Mahaney, "The Cross-Centered Life"

Hungry, New Mind--Mark Driscoll

"I done did that."

No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets. The life of William Borden

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire." -- 1 Thessalonians 5:19

William Borden's life

Quotations taken from Borden of Yale, by Mrs. Howard Taylor, Moody Press, Chicago as posted at


In 1904 William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school. As heir to the Borden Dairy estate, he was already a millionaire. For his high school graduation present, his parents gave 16-year-old Borden a trip around the world. As the young man traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, he felt a growing burden for the world's hurting people. Finally, Bill Borden wrote home about his "desire to be a missionary."1

One friend expressed surprise that he was "throwing himself away as a missionary."In response, Bill wrote two words in the back of his Bible: "No reserves."

Even though young Borden was wealthy, he arrived on the campus of Yale University in 1905 trying to look like just one more freshman. Very quickly, however, Borden's classmates noticed something unusual about him and it wasn't his money. One of them wrote: "He came to college far ahead, spiritually, of any of us. He had already given his heart in full surrender to Christ and had really done it. We who were his classmates learned to lean on him and find in him a strength that was solid as a rock, just because of this settled purpose and consecration."2

During his college years, Bill Borden made one entry in his personal journal that defined what his classmates were seeing in him. That entry said simply: "Say 'no' to self and 'yes' to
Jesus every time."3

Borden's first disappointment at Yale came when the university president spoke on the students' need of "having a fixed purpose." After hearing that speech, Borden wrote: "He neglected to say what our purpose should be, and where we should get the ability to persevere and the strength to resist temptations."4

Surveying the Yale faculty and much of the student body, Borden lamented what he saw as the end result of this empty philosophy: moral weakness and sin-ruined lives.During his first semester at Yale, Borden started something that would transform campus life. One of his friends described how it happened: "It was well on in the first term when Bill and I began to pray together in the morning before breakfast. I cannot say positively whose suggestion it was, but I feel sure it must have originated with Bill. We had been meeting only a short time when a third student joined us and soon after a fourth. The time was spent in
prayer after a brief reading of Scripture. Bill's handling of Scripture was helpful. . . . He would read to us from the Bible, show us something that God had promised and then proceed to claim the promise with assurance."5

Borden's small morning prayer group gave birth to a movement that spread across the campus. By the end of his first year, 150 freshman were meeting for weekly Bible study and prayer. By the time Bill Borden was a senior, one thousand of Yale's 1,300 students were meeting in such groups.Borden made it his habit to seek out the most "incorrigible" students and try to bring them to salvation. "In his sophomore year we organized Bible study groups and divided up the class of 300 or more, each man interested taking a certain number, so that all might, if possible, be reached. The names were gone over one by one, and the question asked, 'Who will take this person?' When it came to someone thought to be a hard proposition, there would be an ominous pause. Nobody wanted the responsibility. Then Bill's voice would be heard, 'Put him down to me.'"6

Borden's outreach ministry was not confined to the Yale campus. He cared about widows and orphans and cripples. He rescued drunks from the streets of New Haven. To rehabilitate them, he founded the Yale Hope Mission. One of his friends wrote that he "might often be found in the lower parts of the city at night, on the street, in a cheap lodging house or some restaurant to which he had taken a poor hungry fellow to feed him, seeking to lead men to Christ."7

Borden's missionary call narrowed to the Muslim Kansu people in China. Once that goal was in sight, Borden never wavered. He also inspired his classmates to consider missionary service. One of them said: "He certainly was one of the strongest characters I have ever known, and he put backbone into the rest of us at college. There was real iron in him, and I always felt he was of the stuff martyrs were made of, and heroic missionaries of more modern times."8Although he was a millionaire, Bill seemed to "realize always that he must be about his Father's business, and not wasting time in the pursuit of amusement."9

Although Borden refused to join a fraternity, "he did more with his classmates in his senior year than ever before." He presided over the huge student missionary conference held at Yale and served as president of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa.Upon graduation from Yale, Borden turned down some high paying job offers. In his Bible, he wrote two more words: "No retreats."William Borden went on to graduate work at Princeton Seminary in New Jersey. When he finished his studies at Princeton, he sailed for China. Because he was hoping to work with Muslims, he stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he contracted spinal meningitis. Within a month, 25-year-old William Borden was dead.

When news William Whiting Borden's death was cabled back to the U.S., the story was carried by nearly every American newspaper. "A wave of sorrow went round the world . . . Borden not only gave (away) his wealth, but himself, in a way so joyous and natural that it (seemed) a privilege rather than a
sacrifice" wrote Mary Taylor in her introduction to his biography.10

Was Borden's untimely death a waste? Not in God's plan. Prior to his death, Borden had written two more words in his Bible. Underneath the words "No reserves" and "No retreats," he had written: "No regrets."

Portions reprinted from Daily Bread, December 31, 1988, and The Yale Standard, Fall 1970 edition.

Chronology / Dates:

November 1, 1887 -- birth
1904 -- High school graduation (Chicago)
1905 -- Round-the-world trip
1909 -- Yale graduation
December 17, 1912 -- Sails for Egypt on way to China
April 9, 1913 -- Death in Egypt

Regeneration and Self-Denial... Food for Thought.

Billy Graham from 1949 On The Solution to Our Problem

Desiring God Blog

Richard Wurmbrand, founder: Voice of the Martyrs

Nominalism and the Gospel...John Piper

Spurgeon on Amusement in Church

Tribute to D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Willow Creek::Reveal

Me Church?

Pragmatism 101--How to Grow Your Church...

Pragmatism. Francis Schaeffer's "prophecies" written in the 70's and 80's look strikingly like what we see in the modern church. What is objective reality? According to Barna, "...only 9%of born again Christians have such a perspective on life." What perspective? A Biblical worldview. (Go to www.Barna.org and search "Biblical Worldview"). A question I find myself asking: Is it a Biblical worldview, or the power of the Holy Spirit renewing the minds of believers through God's Word that has a radical effect on life(Romans 12:1-2)? What is our view of God? Do we believe he was the first marketer? Do we believe God is trying to sell us John 3:16? Do you think that's a crazy idea? Some church growth books explicitly promote this view of God. It may be hard to believe. Here's a quote from "Beyond the First Visit," by Dr. Gary L. McIntosh. This is a direct quote form pages 59-60 to illustrate the thought pattern (i.e. theology) offered: "Actually the Bible was the first printed piece of advertising. Consider the familiar John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." All the elements of advertising are found in this verse. The product--Jesus Christ; the price--he's free; the promise--eternal life; and it's guaranteed! God was the very first advertiser. the principles of advertising were created by God!" If you believe God is a marketer and you are a salesperson selling His product then you will be okay with this book. Unfortunately, we've seen church done this way for so long it's hard to pick up on the absence of the power of the Gospel. Does this idea of God bring to mind Romans 1:21-23? "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." Does stating God is the first marketer seem to exchange the glory of the immortal God for images representing mortal man? Do we have a form of godliness but deny its power (2 Timothy 3)? Are we trading the central message of a Christ-centered atonement for a man-centered message of meeting felt needs? I urge everyone to think deeply about that. If you believe healthy church growth occurs when people are gripped by grace, drawn by the Holy Spirit through the power of the gospel, you will find this book light, superficial, and devoid of the power of God and devoid of a high view of Him. I realize I sound critical, but wasn't it Paul who urged Timothy and Titus to gaurd, protect, and preach sound doctrine? Didn't Paul tell them they had been given a stewardship by God to protect His Gospel message? I pray I am only following Paul's example as he urged Titus and Timothy to do. I'm saying hard things. I do so out of love for Christ, love for His bride, and love for all who might read this. Do we have a high-view of God and a high-view of His Word? Do we want our churches to grow wider, or deeper? Are we ensuring a Christ-centeredness in all we do? Have we gradually, unnoticeably slipped into man-centeredness? Do we trust the Holy Spirit to move as God's Word is exposited, or should we appeal to man's selfish desires? Are we presuming on the grace of God, or passionately persuing the God of grace who first pursued us? The Pragmatism 101 clip illustrates the need for greater discernment about how we do church. Please don't dismiss the message before thinking hard about it.

Church Matters: The 9Marks Blog

Truth Observed

Jesus said:

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35)

A Slice of Infinity

who is this caffeinated calvinist?

manonfirejer20.9 is me, dayton loven. a broken sinner following jesus sharing the journey with you.

has anything changed your life? in the words of switchfoot, are you who you want to be?

have you rejected the Truth of God's Word? is the hound of heaven on your trail? intrigued, annoyed, indifferent? if you're curious and want to explore questions such as "is God real?" "is there any evidence?" "is faith blind?"