15 September 2006

Hitting the Ground Running

by Phil Johnson

es, I'm home from my mini-vacation. Darlene and I went to western North Carolina (Maggie Valley, in the Great Smoky Mountains), where we spent a few days with some friends. I preached on Sunday at Twin City Baptist Church, (they've already got the sermon on line, if you're interested in downloading it) and I was amazed at the number of PyroManiacs readers who showed up. I hadn't posted here the details of where I was going, so I appreciate the effort those readers made to find me. It was good to meet many of you.

We got back home late Tuesday night, but I haven't even had time to catch up on reading the blog, much less posting new stuff. It'll prolly be next Tuesday or later before I get a chance to write a new post—except for the standard weekend Spurgeon excerpt and BlogSpotting posts.

But I'm rested up. My mind is clear. I read a bunch of evangelical magazines while I was away and discovered to my surprise that the burgeoning evangelical fringe is in far worse shape than even I thought. So I'm eager to get back to blogging about it. So many aberrations; so little time.

But before I do that, I have some stuff to catch up on. My massive e-mail backlog, for instance.

Nevertheless, it's Thursday afternoon as I'm writing this, and in the 36 hours since I came back from North Carolina, here are some things I've been doing that will be of immediate interest to PyroManiacs readers:

  1. Teleconference with Jeff Williams. I don't know how Jay Flowers and my co-workers at Grace to You negotiated the timing with NASA, but yesterday morning our entire staff was treated to a live half-hour video conference with our friend Jeff Williams in the International Space Station. Of course, if you've been watching the news, you know that Space Shuttle Atlantis is docked at the International Space Station this week, and our teleconference took place a scant hour after the completion of a major spacewalk with the crew of Atlantis. They were installing two amazing solar panels, which were just unfurled today. So it's a busy time up there, and the place is rather crowded, judging from the video. But it was a great conversation with Jeff, whose descriptions of the marvel of God's creation are always enlightening.
         By the way, the crew of Expedition 13 have taken a record number of photographs, and hundreds of them are online and downloadable for free. Enjoy.
         Expedition 13's mission is nearly over. Jeff has been in space 168 days now, and he and Commander Pavel Vinogradov are scheduled to return in a Soyuz capsule on the 29th of this month. Thanks for keeping Jeff and his family in your prayers.
  2. Interview with John MacArthur. This morning, I taped a one-hour interview with John MacArthur on the Emerging Church Movement. He spoke with his usual candor about various trends in the post-evangelical wasteland. He said one of the worst tendencies of the "emerging" spirit is the way it exaggerates and venerates mystery at the expense of the Bible's clarity. Denying the perspicuity of Scripture has the same practical outcome as denying the truthfulness of Scripture. The essential message of Scripture is not unclear or uncertain, and Jesus Himself bore testimony to that fact repeatedly.
         Grace to You will offer a CD of the interview next month, but only to those on the mailing list. If you're interested in being on our mailing list, send an e-mail message with nothing but your complete name, street address, city, state, and Zip code to Pyromaniac@gty.org. Grace to You offers a major free resource—normally a book, CD, or video—every month. So if you're not on the Grace to You mailing list, you're missing out. And if you're not on the list and would like to receive a free copy of the interview that was recorded with John MacArthur today, that will be next month's offer. So you need to get on the list ASAP.
  3. Final work on The Truth War. While we're on the subject of John MacArthur and the Emerging Church, I'm in the process of making final editorial revisions on The Truth War. (That will be offered free of charge to people on the Grace to You mailing list sometime in the spring of 2007, so there's more incentive to get on the list.) Sometime after the manuscript is in final form, I plan to start posting snippets of the text at the Pulpit blog, to whet people's appetites. Watch for that.
  4. Miscellany. While I'm talking about the Emerging Church and doing commercials, here's a draft of the artwork for a two-message album from The GraceLife Pulpit. Will Moneymaker, who manages The GraceLife Pulpit, asked me for suggestions for artwork on that album, so I threw this draft together for him tonight:
Enough details on Where I Am Right Now. I mainly wanted regular readers to know that I haven't been goofing off this past day and a half, and I haven't lost interest in the blog. Now, let me get my suitcases unpacked and the lawn mowed, and I'll have more to write. Special thanks to Frank and Dan for keeping the blog going whilst I was gone. Actually, Dan managed most of it singlehandedly and superbly, but Frank's Wednesday post, "from vacation," was so spectacularly great that it deserves special mention. Thanks. Phil's signature


candleman said...

Great to see you and your wife have made it back to town, refreshed and ready for some blogging. And yes the link to Grace LifePulpit is well deserved, your 10/23/2005 sermon, "The Story of Calvinisim: A Historical Survey", helped me more fully understand this subject at a time when I was on a qwest to do so. You might even say I emerged from being a free willy to becoming a closet Calvinist.


Steve said...

Love that travel brochure Guided Tours of the Post-Evangelical Wasteland. I can already think of some prime stops for the tour.

Can't wait till Truth Wars is available. Fortunately I'm already on the GTY mailing list.

André Scordamaglio said...

Hi Phill,

Very interesting your post. Here in Brazil our situation isn´t much different than yours.

In fact, we´ve experienced the growing of Emergent Church while the trully reformed ones have been lose strength.

Reformed Hugs and congratulations for the awesome blog.

Sorry my poor english... =P

donsands said...

Thanks for the updates on Jeff. It has been quite a blessing to be able to hear about this brother. The photos are very cool. Thanks. Lord Jesus, bring Jeff back to earth protected by Your omnipotent hands to his family and friends. Amen.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

I hope you have time to comment on the September edition of CT.

Chris Pixley said...

Welcome back, Phil. I'm sure your time in NC was refreshing. I just spent a few days in that same part of the country, at the home of The Master's Mission. The beauty of the place is simply breathtaking.

Speaking of the GraceLife pulpit, I just listened to your two-part series on Galatians 4:21-31. Given some recent discussions about hermeneutics and the NT's use of the OT that have being going on in the blogosphere, I was especially interested to hear your thoughts. If I can join your PR team for a moment, I highly recommend those two messages to your readers. You did a masterful job of walking through all of the pertinent background issues and then bringing them to bear on your interpretation of the text. Very, very helpful.

Mathew Sims said...

Phil good to have you back and looking forward to future posts. The book does look great.

Soli Deo Gloria

Yankeerev said...


Laying the groundwork for Pastor Hardy must be rewarding. He will need our prayers as I am sure he will be facing some struggles.

The local college will surely be alarmed at his coming...but God is good. The people of Twin Cities will surely embrace him, especially Matt.

Keep up the good work...

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the book and the interview next month. The interviews you do with Dr. Macarthur are always very edifying and lots of fun to listen to. Keep up the good work over at GTY!

Yankeerev said...


The Q&A's at Shepherds and at Grace are my favorite traveling food...The group q&a this past conf. where John asked (and answered) the questions was especially good and extremely edifying.

St. Brianstine said...

Love the roller coaster picture....