have part 3 of Gary Johnson's review queued up and ready to go, but I'm holding it till Monday because weekend traffic at the blog is sometimes low, and I don't want the end of that series to get overlooked.
For the second time in three weeks, Darlene and I are in Tampa on a Saturday morning, on our way back to Los Angeles. I'll catalogue as many BlogSpotting entries as I can in the limited time I have, but it'll be a comparatively short list:
- Kim Riddlebarger says Gary Johnson took the words right out of his mouth.
- Ingrid Schlueter highlighted a line from Thursday evening's post that a number of people have agreed with: "Evangelicalism right now is at least as much in need of Reformation as Medieval Roman Catholicism was before Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church."
- Not everyone agrees, however. Jeff Wright says: "I don't think trumpeting this as another (giant) sign of the apostasy of the church is the helpful approach."
- David Wayne likewise didn't think the fall of Ted Haggard was as big a deal as I did.
- Adam Omelianchuk totally misses the point, and pretends we blamed Haggard's fall and the decline of the evangelical movement on a particular "style" of doing church. Nope, Ochuk. Not even close.
- Keith Schooley wins the prize for being the first to haul out the "shoot the wounded" canard. He apparently figures anyone who would be disappointed or outraged over the fact that the President of the National Association of Evangelicals bought methamphetamines from a homosexual "escort" simply has too high expectations of their leaders. Keith echoes several voices around the blogosphere who have suggested : "Christian leaders are just people." Don't put them "on a pedestal." That "is a form of idolatry," and whatnot. But Scripture does set the highest standard for leaders, promises them a stricter judgment (James 3:1), and says when they fail morally, they should be dealt with publicly in a way that provokes fear among the people of God (1 Timothy 5:20). Christians shouldn't simply try to take such a high-profile moral failure in stride. That's bad advice. But, then, Keith thinks those of us who want to distance ourselves from the kind of "evangelicalism" that demands so little of its leaders are just being petty and opportunistic.
- Dr. Andrew Jackson, on the other hand, agrees with Ingrid and me.
- And Tim at "Logicus Blogicus" quotes an associate pastor at Haggard's church (Rev. Rob Brendle), who reveals something about just how low the church's expectations for their pastor have been.
- El Cid at "League of the Scarlet Pimpernel" says, "When you preach/teach/nag against something and people find out you're doing the thing you preach/teach/nag against, you are a hypocrite who deserves ridicule, especially if you're high profile."
- Pat Stream compiled a short list of helpful posts that expressed what he was feeling about the recent scandal.
- On a more positive note, Christopher Barnette has a nice, brief catechism on the Trinity.
- Martin Downes, winner of Frank Turk's T-shirt contest, shows why D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is his homeboy.
- Chris Barksdale is "taken aback" by the fact that I referred to Mark Driscoll's "apparent preoccupation with off-color terms and ribald subject matter . . . [as] a serious shortcoming." That's pretty much the only point I made about Driscoll, by the way. But for reasons Chris Barksdale doesn't get into, he figures that is tantamount to "just [writing] people off whom we don't agree with in a certain area." Apparently, Chris thinks the best way to avoid discarding our babies is never to notice when their bathwater gets filthy. I say by all means, hang on to the baby, but for the baby's sake, get rid of that gross filthiness you keep immersing him in.
- G. Brandon Hoyt doesn't read our blog enough. But he liked Frank's "Why I Blog" post, and he summed up the point well: "We are called to a mission field, not a voting booth."
- Adrian Warnock is ready to lay aside his Nerf® bat. But if Dan Phillips wants to go one more round, Adrian saysbring it.
- Ken Silva expands on something I hinted at regarding Rob Bell. Ken is moonlighting at Christian Worldview Network.com nowadays.
- Matt Brown confesses his obsession with stats. I can honestly say that I don't think I look at stats more than twice a month, on average. Darlene occasionally checks stats and reminds me how many unique visitors per day we average. That's the only stat I care about. I know that on a few of the most popular sites that rank blog-popularity, some of the data are terribly skewed or incomplete.
- Chuck Anderson collected some links to good Reformation Day posts.
- Darrin R. Brooker impresses me with a beautifully colorized Spurgeon graphic.
- Charlie Wear has some bad news for meand a tongue-lashing to boot.
- Reynaldo Reynoso expands on a thought provoked by our own Frank Turk.
- Note to Kevin Stilley: I'm still waiting.
For the umpty-gajillionth time, the blogtitle is a reference to Jeremiah 23:29 ("'Is not My word like a fire?' says the LORD")not the fires of hell, flamewars on the Internet, James 3:6, or even Charles Spurgeon's Sermons in Candles.
Anyone looking for reasons to pick a fight or accuse us can surely do better than making us complicit in the deaths of firefighters just because there are pictures of matches on our blog! My advice: Read the blog for a day or two. There's bound to be something you can legitimately disagree with. Then tear into us all you like.
Anyway, see you tonight from home, Lord willing.