01 November 2006

You didn't even buy anything ...

by Frank Turk

Let me start this post with something really obvious: we had 27 entries in the contest, and 10 of them got ZERO votes via purchases. ZERO. That means people nominated t-shirts which they themselves were unwilling to buy even at the ridiculously-cheap price of $ 9.98. And we get about 4,000 readers a day -- and we only sold 35 items! Somebody get a caluculator and figure out the percentage of apathy that comes out to ... The only peson who has any excuses for doing that is the person who nominated Chrysostom, for whom I never got the spell-check updated. The rest of you -- that's just proof of my original thesis that these designs are not even one-up designs.

However, the rest of you have something to be proud of -- we did sell 35 items (shirts, mugs, infant crawlers) and completely funded the contest winner's prize, relieving me of the somewhat-emabarassing problem of trying to explain to my wife why, exactly, I'm buying t-shirts and junk for people I know only via the internet. That's good work, people, and God Bless you for being somewhat-careful with my reputation with my wife.

All that said, one last thing before we get to the results: even if we back out the "Orthodox Gangsta" design, the rest of my pawn shop outsold the contest entries by about 2:1. I offer that only to taunt you with the fact that the other junk in my shop, at a higher markup, apparently has more appeal than the ideas you folks had. Sorry -- some of us are actual snake-oil salesmen, and some of us are just victims of snake oil salesmen.

OK: before I say anything by which Phil will get addled, here are the results (poorly formatted by Excel, thank you very much):

CONTEST Slogan QTY
x Lloyd-Jones Total 7
x Whitefield Total 4
x Not Finney Total 3
x S Lewis Johnson Total 3
x Bahnsen Total 2
x Bunyan Total 2
x Chalmers Total 2
x Owen Total 2
x Pink Total 2
x Tyndale Total 2
x Augustine Total 1
x Berkhof Total 1
x Charnock Total 1
x Polycarp Total 1
x Sibbes Total 1
x Turretin Total 1
Calvin Total 11
Edwards Total 11
Luke 18:14 Total 8
Spurgeon Total 8
Orthordox Gangsta Total 7
Luther Total 4
apply to the forehead 3
Get schooled @ TeamPyro 3
Machen Total 2
TeamPyro 3
VanTil Total 2
Warfield Total 2
C. Hodge Total 1
Good Advice Total 1
Henry Total 1
Kuyper Total 1
Not just a homeboy Total 1
OG Calvinist Gadfly 1
TeamPyro! Total 1
Tea-Total T-shirt Total 1
VanTil Total 1


So the appropriate measure of congratulations and whoopla should be extended to our British reader Martin Downes (do you say "downz" or "dow-nez"?), who tendered the suggestion of making the Doctor a Homeboy at TeamPyro. Martin: e-mail me at my blogger e-mail address and we can work out the details of your prize being shipped to you. If you're really good, Phil has offered to deliver it himself when he's in London in December to save me the $20 in shipping.

Well-played all of you. Back to your dreary November. We'll probably have one last contest before the end of the year for Christmas, so keep your eyes open for that.


36 comments:

Dennis said...

I would have picked Owen. The reason I didn't buy a shirt is because I despise the 'homeboy' idea. It all started with 'Jesus is my homeboy'. I wouldn't be caught dead with that disrespectful shirt. I think it would have been disrespectful of these great men as well.

joey said...

I would have picked Lloyd-Jones...and I didn't because I am poor :(

I agree that the 'Jesus is my homeboy' shirt is shallow, and disrespectful, and I wouldn't wear it.

But I have a friend who wears a 'Kierkegaard is my homeboy' shirt he had made, and its funny and a conversation starter. Putting someone like Lloyd-Jones or Luther on a shirt like that is a clever way of drawing attention to these great men, and subsequently (at times), their great thoughts.

centuri0n said...

Here's what's funny: I think the "Jesus is my Homeboy" shirts which some of our lovely famous people have worn are really open blasphemy -- because, of course, Jesus is Lord and Christ.

The question is this: how do we combat this lazy disrespect for God? Do we do it by putting a smug look of righteous indignation on our faces -- which is frankly about ten miles above the actual events in terms of moral altitude -- or do we come back at the point of contact where these people have invoked the name of our great God and Savior and give them examples of people we can embrace as brothers and kin ("homeboys") to show that we have a family under the headship of a great God and Savior.

Listen: TeamPyro repudiates Emergent religion -- no question. But in doing that, I think I can speak for the other guys in saying that we don't repudiate it for a sort of knee-jerk hyper fundamentalism which is so separated from the world that it never has any contact with the world. Wearing a "Calvin is my Homeboy" t-shirt, in my opinion, doesn't turn Calvin from being a man we honor and respect to someone with whom we (if you will pardon the expression) drink beers with: it takes our high-minded reformed ideas and puts them in the marketplace of ideas.

My methodology may, in the final account, be flawed. Honestly: maybe we should treat dead heroes of the faith as if they walked around on Earth with big dishes around their heads when they were here to show everyone how holy they were, and we should only mention their names in a proper speaking voice with the commensurate level of sombre and sincere tone. But maybe we have this opportunity to speak the Gospel in ways that have never existed before -- in the same way that, before the printing press, there was no opportunity to create dozens or hundreds of copies of sermon notes and books about the Gospel.

My opinion is that Calvin would want the common man to gain some kind of access to his work -- it ought to effect the common man in some way. Your opinion may vary, and I welcome you to share it.

centuri0n said...

And the tally table is now fixed -- sory for Microsoft being unable to make Excel's web formatting compatable with MSIE's ability to render.

Sheesh.

Sharon said...

Dennis:
The reason I didn't buy a shirt is because I despise the 'homeboy' idea. It all started with 'Jesus is my homeboy'. I wouldn't be caught dead with that disrespectful shirt. I think it would have been disrespectful of these great men as well.

I quite agree.

Also, I did buy my Pyro T-shirt and mug, and use both proudly (simultaneously, even, on occasion)!

So I’ve done my part—how about the rest of you?

Like the blog? Support the blog!

SJ Camp said...

Am sitting at lunch eating some amazing wild turkey and sage soup and had a few minutes to peruse one of my favorite blogs anywhere with Teampyro.

Two thoughts:

1. The percentage of apathy comes to .00875.

2. In the always droll and astute words of one of my favorite baseball theologues: Yogi Berra: "if people don't want to buy your stuff, you can't stop 'em."

Good stuff Frank...
Campi

PS: How about a Teampyro t-shirt with characterizations of all the boys of TP? I would even buy that one!!! (on a donation basis only, of course :-)).

A.N. Onymous said...

Frank,

There are certain aspects of this culture that we must reject as sinful. This modern propensity to hold nothing sacred is one of those things we must reject. Calvin, Augustine, et al are redeemed men made perfect who behold the face of their Father in heaven. They were also instruments in God's hands for the furtherance of the gospel and the increased understanding of it in their time and ours (I know they were just men, I'm not taking it further than that). To slap them on T-shirts though, and use slang in reference to them as if they were the Snoop Doggs of their day is disrespectful. I am all for finding legitimate new avenues to further the gospel and communicate the truth to this generation, but I reject using the world's mold to do it. I would suggest that we think a little harder about our methods....

Thanks,
A.N. Onymous

Libbie said...

I'm so glad you didn't permanently break the blog with this post :-)

~Mark said...

Wait... those shirts were real?

:)

C. T. Lillies said...

The question is this: how do we combat this lazy disrespect for God?

Of course Frank! Let's make T-shirts of most of the giants of the faith! Oh, and let's mock most of what they stood for by using language which brings to mind the bond of love and acceptance shared by organized gangs of thugs, killers, and drug dealers of every stripe.

Yup, that'll work every time.

Josh

centuri0n said...

A.N. --

One of the things I enjoy about fly-by criticisms is that they expect to be taken seriously. What about your comment should I take seriously -- given that you don't really want to represent it as your opinion?

Here's what I think about your frownie-face over these shirts: I think that there is no joke you would find funny, and there are no ways to reach people (in your opinion) by appealing to joy and the real closeness of friendship.

There's nothing demeaning about calling someone "homeboy". The word has been in the vernacular for about 2 decades, and it has no down-side -- except that it implies a very close bond like the one described in Acts 5:36, an oath unto death.

I am pretty sure that that's not a dishonor -- to say that I stand with Calvin, or Lloyd-Jones, or Edwards to the death on the matters for which they themselves were committed.

There are a couple of things I would add to this rejoiner:
[1] Phil Johnson is my Homeboy
[2] Dan Phillips is my Homeboy
[3] Pecadillo is my Homeboy
[4] Jesus is *not* my Homeboy -- Jesus is Lord and Christ

I am sure that, if you want to, you can use my argument to then tell me that I have here dishonored Jesus Christ. For those inclined to go for it, first riddle me this: what can I say about Jesus that is not in the King James English which is honoring to Him? How do I determine what is not honoring to him?

With that, I am off to church. Please do not buy anything which your conscience tells you not to buy -- and please, find a way to enjoy something this evening even if it is not something I have created.

centuri0n said...

Josh: you kill me.

By 1985, "homeboy" had already crossed *way* outside of the "killers and thugs" usage into, for example, use by my brother's all-white Football team to denote friendship. It reached its cultural low point when one of the Wayans brothers developed "Homey D. Clown" for In Living Color -- around 1990. Maybe it was 1988 when Mickey Rourke release "homeboy".

Since then, all kinds of white people have adopted the term, and most of them have not been MTV icons or inhabitants of the drug culture.

It's an excruciatingly-mundane word. That it is raising this much hoopla indicates, I think, that many people should get out more often.

And seriously: I have to get to church. You Homies don't be dippin' in my Koolaid while I'm gone.

BReformed said...

Here's how I dealt with "Jesus is my homeboy" three weeks ago at the "chapel" service of the largest non-denominational Christian High School in the country (also my high school alma mater of 22 years ago):

I stood on the stage, looked the students sqaure in the eye and told them any professing Christian who puts "Jesus is my homeboy" in their blog bio or on their T-shirt should examine themselves to see if they are truly in the faith. Jesus is no one's "homeboy", and if Isaiah or Ezekiel provide any indication, our lips would not so much as twitch with that expression if were we in His presence face to face.

The school officially told me that 1) they disagreed, and 2) I would never be invited back.

Incidentally, I was the conclusion in a series of speakers during "spiritual emphasis week". The theme? It was "Jesus".

Sojourner said...

Frank,

At the risk of being de-linked and having my baptism checked, if your idea of "homeboy" is:

There's nothing demeaning about calling someone "homeboy". The word has been in the vernacular for about 2 decades, and it has no down-side -- except that it implies a very close bond like the one described in Acts 5:36, an oath unto death.

How in the world is a "Jesus is my Homeboy" shirt terrible? Is that too much like calling Jesus "Dude"? (Remember that one?)

BReformed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BReformed said...

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

homeboy - "person from one's hometown," 1940s, Amer.Eng., black slang, also originally with overtones of "simpleton." With many variants (cf. homebuddy, homeslice, both 1980s, with meaning shading toward "good friend"). The word had been used by Ruskin (1886) with the sense "stay-at-home male," and it was Canadian slang for "boy brought up in an orphanage or other institution" (1913). Short form homie attested by 1970s; in New Zealand slang this meant "English or British immigrant" (1927).

"Jesus is my bomeboy" is slang. It demeans the authority of Christ, the majesty of Christ, the sacrifice of Christ.

I am bought with a price; I am not my own. Jesus is not my homeboy: He is my sacrifice and I am His bondservant.

Jason E. Robertson said...

The Fide-O Rugby team always chooses "skins"... so no need for T-shirts.

By the way, 4000 readers and no real commitment: sounds like a few seeker-friendly churches I know.

Seriously, I thought the T-shirts were a great idea. Will they remain for sale for a while? I may some for staff Christmas gifts.

C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

Edwards and Calvin tied for first place.
That's cool :-)

I don't see W.G.T. Shedd even listed and where is Herman Dooyeweerd? Don't you guys read Dooyeweerd?

centuri0n said...

Jason:

All the Homeboy designs are now in one shop location; the contest shop is closed.

All items have been justifiably marked up. I'm sure someone will find fault with that, too.
___________________

Brad:

Dude. Because "homeboy" is such a mundane descriptor, I can't imagine how it applies to Christ at all -- because, as BR pointed out, what Christ has done for me and who Christ is makes me unable to be his peer. There's a place where familiarity is demeaning.

If my critics have any ground to stand on, it is there -- but given that they need me to set the argument up for them, I think my original criticism of them stands solid.

BugBlaster said...

I guess I really do need to get out more. Or perhaps go across the border to Buffalo more often. I had never heard of homeboy until a year or two ago.

I was perceiving homeboy similarly to that insipid whazzup growl that was on beer commercials a couple years ago. I had no idea of homeboy's long and distinguished etymology. I still despise the term however.

Those graphics are nice. I'd buy an Augustine at marked up prices if the homeboy part could be zapped.

Screaming Pirate said...

As a Young Christian Male I can honestly say with utmost respect that I could say "whats up homes", to my pastor and mentor. Just to kind of put it in modern English used by those under the age of 35(in which the word is most commonly used). To put it in the modern day common use it is like saying this guy is my best friend. Me and him are of one accord to put in the the KJV vernacular. What that is simply saying is that you can identify with him you are buddies. You could hang out together. You could spend an after noon together sitting on the porch talking laughing and having conversation like serious good friends. Ill be honest I hardly think a word like homeboy with disrespect, if any thing its an endearing term. So to say that John Owen is my homeboy is a hip way of saying me and john Owen agree on allot of stuff, and I am sure we would have gotten along. And if I have not cleared up what the word means Urban dictionary has a simple def "a close friend".

Sojourner said...

Frank,

I only bring this up because of the implications that such language has for the Incarnation. Would it be objectionable to have a shirt that said:

"Jesus is my Master and Homeboy"

Is the objection that the word "Homeboy" is derrogatory, or is it that calling the Lord "dude" and "homeboy" makes us uncomfortable because it makes Jesus too human? And by "too human" I mean it makes Him (see the captial "H") uncomfortably like us.

If the word is an off-handed put down, then there is no doubt that it is offensive to name the Lord Jesus as such. But if the objection lies in the fact that we are squeamish about Jesus being from the same neighborhood as us then we need to think this objection through a little better.

Of course, the defense of the word "homeboy" for Jesus probably a losing battle because most folks picture the shirt on some teen or movie star who needs a lesson on who the Lord really is. See, I think you were onto something earlier when you mentioned our righteous indignation about blasphemous movie stars and the like wearing the t-shirt. Isn't one of the "cool" things about Jesus is that he did become a man to save marriage hopping, ego-inflated, clueless movie stars who wear such finery with no idea of its true implications?

Here's why I'm cluttering up your spot here with this and why its important. I've got a kid in the youth group here whose father smashed their mom in the face with the telephone. Two have been competely abandoned by their parents and are being raised by their grandparents. You've got kids here whose parents don't want them, whose schoolmates think their "scummy" and won't socialize with them. There they are man, and they are everywhere and I bet many folks reading this know a few like them. I pray to the Lord that they are presenting a risen Christ who is King and Savior and Almighty God. But honestly, they need a Lord who can also be their homeboy. You follow me? And if that makes me a blasphemous, bleeding heart to some I'm okay with that.

I also concede that this is a bit much for me to pick at in a post about T-Shirts.

A.N. Onymous said...

Actually Frank, that really is my position on the matter. You don't think I want it to be taken seriously because I post under a pseud0nym?

I don't know why you asserted that I don't find anything amusing, I even think you're funny most of the time. Is it because I don't think you should treat the giants of the faith like pop culture icons that you think I don't have a sense of humor? I'm sorry you feel that way, but do you seriously think those T-shirts are "the point of contact" we need for the evangelizing of this generation? There are plenty of other ways we can make contact with our culture that are meaningful and relevant. I don't think taking popular worldly fads and Christianizing them is the path we should go down in order to reach our neighbors. You're welcome to disagree, but that is where Driscoll and his peeps are going, the Emergent crowd, etc. and I'd rather not sacrifice reverence for those things God calls holy for the sake of (possibly) grabbing the attention of a few frat guys with my wacky dead theologian T-shirt. But hey, that's just me...

A.N. Onymous

Gavin said...

Frank wrote "You didn't even buy anything ..."

Yes I did - I bought two mugs - They made it to Australia without breaking.

Every time I look at my bookcase I have Frank glaring at me :-)

Frank you should have used your current avatar photo on the let it blog mug - it looks better.

Kim said...

The only thing I don't like about the word "homeboy" is that it is used ad nauseum by the teenagers in our youth group, etc., and one does get tired of hearing it.

A.N. Onymous said...

Upon reading Josh "Ct lillies" comments, I would like to designate him as one of my homeboys. Word up, bro...

Dennis said...

My opinion is that the homeboy shirts are disrespectful of anyone. I would say that having Jesus is my homeboy on a shirt indicates the person probably does not have a correct view of Jesus. I would do the same thing breformed did in that situation. With that said, I would not hold it against someone if they had an Edwards or Owen t-shirt with the homeboy motif. I would like to see shirts like that but with maybe '100% Reformed' or maybe even nothing but the picture. Then I would buy one or more at a marked up price! I'm glad we all agree on the Jesus t-shirt!

C.T. Lillies said...

Frank I don't know whether to be ticked off at your "marketing" of the gospel like this or to laugh at the fact that CT was trying to be cool by using language that was edgy twenty years ago. "Watch us while we contextualize! Woot! We must be Baptists!"

The problem with the homeboy thing is that most of us can't honestly say that we could even walk down the street during the day in these fellow's theological neighborhoods without having to change our pants when we got to the car, let alone stop at Ye Olde Star Bucks late in the dark night for a cup of coffee...

Josh

Al said...

ozfoFrank,
You may have noticed that I purchased a Finney hoody after the contest was over...

We may assume one of two things. First, it may have been that I refused to participate in your divisive, hero hating, bourgeois contest, buying my hoody immediately after the contest's end to make a statement.

Or my credit card did not take back on the 18th when I first tried to order it and I did not check to see what happened until the 31st.

Either way I think I showed you something.


nuts

al sends

The Foolishness of Preaching said...

I just think they're a hoot ... bought three -- two for gifts and one for me.

For my part, I'm not trying to make a statement or disparage these men or in anyway. I just find them ironically interesting shirts. At the same time, I can, in good conscience wear them, as I agree with what these men stood for.

centuri0n said...

This is for those who are too dour to play

centuri0n said...

Brad:

I love you because you're a slimey mollusk.

centuri0n said...

| Actually Frank, that really is my position on
| the matter. You don't think I want it to be
| taken seriously because I post under a
| pseud0nym?

Yep. I have a blogger ID with an e-mail address, and (as your post is so kind to demonstrate) everybody knows who I am – I have a history, a record, a pastor, a family. The difference between me and you is that my “pseudonym” hardly shields my identity. You are 100% a blank – you could be iMonk, or some felon in prison, or any other person who simply wants to pop off without being responsible for his point of view.

| I don't know why you asserted that I don't
| find anything amusing, I even think you're
| funny most of the time.

That’s amazing! Given the premises of your original criticism, can you point to any of my posts either at my blog or at Team Pyro which do not violate the standard of humor you have established? Because I can’t find one.

| Is it because I don't
| think you should treat the giants of the faith
| like pop culture icons that you think I don't
| have a sense of humor?

Yep.

See: I think your view is that unless we keep the giants of the faith in our libraries, or solemnly in our hearts, or only in Sunday school, we are doing them some dirty deed. My view is that we should make them our popular stars and heroes – not praying to them as if they were greater than us, but openly expressing our affiliation with them and pointing others to their good works both in deed and on paper. We should admire them as saints, not venerate them as icons.

And it takes the smallest amount of humor to go from here to there – less humor than it take to know why demons and ghouls are always together. (answer: because demons are a ghoul’s best friend)

| I'm sorry you feel
| that way, but do you seriously think those T-
| shirts are "the point of contact" we need for
| the evangelizing of this generation?

The “point of contact”, A.N., is not my t-shirts: it is the place where those who have invoked the name of Christ dishonorably are standing. Please go back and read what I said in that post, and think about this: does making a lemon-on-my-lips face at someone like Madonna or Ashton Kutcher cross over from their sin to the Gospel? Or does showing them that there’s a difference between A.W. Pink and Christ cross over from their sin to the Gospel?

It seems to me that when Paul went to Athens, he stood in the Aeropagus and said, “You Greeks are covered in gods – ate up with them! But even with all these gods, you still have this one monument – just in case there is one you missed. You know what? You’re right: you missed the True God, and He is manifest in Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead.”

Now: did Paul blaspheme God by pointing out that these Greeks had a statue to “an unknown god”? Or did Paul use their blasphemy to point to who God truly is?

Listen: calling Jesus a “homeboy” is (Brad notwithstanding) blasphemy – but if all we do is huff and chuff and wag a finger at the blasphemy, we are not preaching the Gospel. If my method of getting after the homeboyolaters is no good, show me one that does it better. I’m all ears. Show me how to preach the Gospel to that form of sin taking the Gospel to that form of sin, and I’ll do that.

| There
| are plenty of other ways we can make
| contact with our culture that are meaningful
| and relevant. I don't think taking popular
| worldly fads and Christianizing them is the
| path we should go down in order to reach
| our neighbors.

Let me say frankly that there is no question: every time we make our methods sacrosanct, we have failed to be ministers of the Gospel. Historically, that’s the sin of the church – taking a utilitarian method (like the form of the mass, for example) and making that form greater than the objective of the method. The SBC is about to repeat this historic error by handing down some kind of uniform code of worship service in order to make Baptist worship more “distinctive”. Pheh to that.

But in that, we must use the methods we have available to us. The Greek NT is, for all practical purposes, the infallible language God used to tell us what He had to say – but reading the infallible Greek to Americans is about as useful as putting a page of the NT in the mouth of a fish and slapping people with it as they walk by. They won’t get it. You’ll look crazy or stupid for no reason.

On the other hand, I listen to an audio bible frequently on my iPod – it’s one of the most edifying things I do with my time. And in doing that, I have discovered that somehow the text of the Bible has become part of my normal idiom of speech. Think about that: as I talk to people, the stories and the narratives and the monologues of the Bible just come out – and people are often stunned by the kinds of things they hear because suddenly the Bible is present to them in a natural context.

We have to make the life of faith present to people in their natural context. That doesn’t mean we make potty jokes about Jesus, but it certainly doesn’t mean that when some unbelievers use our faith like a sweat band we should fold our arms and tap our toes in righteous indignation.

| You're welcome to disagree,
| but that is where Driscoll and his peeps are
| going, the Emergent crowd, etc. ...

That’s such complete garbage that I’m going to unpack it for you to show you all the banana peels and the smell old cans of soup you have just tried to walk out of your house and into my front yard.

Where the main line of “Emergent” is going is away from the Bible and away from the history of faith. The real irony, however, is that many of them have shrouded themselves in dead forms and extinct practices in order to pretend that they are somehow in touch with the history of faith when in fact they are in touch which those branches of practice which died because they were aberrant and useless.

For example, there’s this wretched idea in that crowd that somehow truth is only relevant if it is relational rather than propositional – it’s an application of post modern linguistic theory, and an attempt to leverage the concept that Christian faith rose out of a pre-modern culture against the necessity of specific language and specific beliefs to take the language and beliefs out of the theological picture. Somehow, they say, it is easier to love if we don’t talk about it so much – or at least not as much as they used to.

The problems with that, of course, are all over the place. For example, if propositions are “Modern” in the epistemological sense, why did the guys at Nicea come up with a creed? And then 1300 years later, why, when the greatest minds of the renaissance got together to translate the Bible from the original languages to German and English (among other languages) did they opt for formal equivalent methods rather than dynamic equivalent methods? These were pre-modern guys who were extraordinarily literate -- many of them able to speak, read and write a half-dozen languages. They were also in the midst of a renaissance in literature where translating poems from one language to another was common place -- yet rather than try to tells us “what the passage means” they chose to translate the words with a high degree of concordance. Why?

The Christian faith is inherently a propositional affirmation. When we walk away from that, we walk away from all of the NT. And when we walk away from the NT, which is the word of God, we walk away from the faith. Period.

That is the direction of the Emergents: walking away from Scripture for the sake of walking away from propositions. Their fault is not that they claim to love people, or that they claim to think missionally: it is that they have set Scripture aside for their own views and their own preferences.

And in that, to say that Cornelius Van Til is my Homeboy is hardly about whether or not we have denied or affirmed Scripture! Do I deny Scripture by bumping fists with my pastor? Do I deny Scripture by giving a “high five”? Do I deny Scripture when I have said something – like a mug with a TeamPyro logo – is “cool”? So in what way have I denied Scripture by making or wearing a t-shirt that affirms that I’m down with systematic theology, or reformed thought, or missional martyrdom, or thunderous preaching, or unshaking adherence to orthodoxy?

| ... and I'd
| rather not sacrifice reverence for those
| things God calls holy for the sake of
| (possibly) grabbing the attention of a few
| frat guys with my wacky dead theologian T-
| shirt. But hey, that's just me...

So which thing that God calls Holy has suffered for a lack of my reverence in this case? Name it, and line it out. The name of God has not been ridiculed; the Son of God has not been ridiculed; the word of God certainly has not been ridiculed; the church of God has not been ridiculed; the people of God have not been ridiculed. If anything, what has been ridiculed is the absurd idea that Jesus is just like any other man – and the absurd idea that Christians are not allowed to enjoy their faith and their relationship to the heroes of that faith who came before them.

God be with you as you think about these things.

A.N. Onymous said...

Well Frank, I'm not your enemy, I'm just disagreeing with you. You started the discussion with these words in your first comments here,

"Your opinion may vary, and I welcome you to share it."

So, I shared it. Also, my criticism is valid and not a fly-by. I'm not iMonk, nor a convicted felon. As a Christian I am responsible for my comments and my position before God. I'm not trolling to throw verbal bombs at you. I am conscientiously posting comments, I have just chosen to do so anonymously. If that is sinful, please make your case and I'll consider it. I know you have to deal with immature teenage spit wad throwers here, but I'm not one of them...

As far as your humor, you make me laugh. And I can laugh at your humorous disposition and the funny things you say, without agreeing with marketing our forebearers in the faith on T-shirts. Sometimes I think you go too far with it, not intentionally per se, I'm not putting a poor construction on your intentions.

Frank, I don't worship these men. The Roman Catholic parallel you made does not apply here. I don't think they floated about an inch and a half off the ground and that their heads glowed when they walked the earth, OK? I also don't want them stuck on dusty library shelves. So, all the stuff you've attached to me is offbase. You seem to imply that if we don't slap Calvin, Augustine, etc on T-shirts, bracelets, watchbands, etc. that no one will be exposed to them or the theology they represent. That's patently false. Making light of them doesn't translate into stirring interest in them. Also, I don't have a lemon-on-my-lips attitude about modern culture, or your T-shirts, that is a mischaracterization of what I'm saying. If you want to go to the place where those who have invoked the name of Christ dishonorably are standing, enter into their lives, sympathize with their struggles, come along side them and communicate the gospel to them in tangible ways with your love and faithfulness. T-shirts and Reformer novelty items are not in my evangelism plans. I've shared the gospel with the dregs of society in the city I live in, and they don't need Christian merchandise to replace their worldy merchandise. Obviously I don't have a problem with you going to the Aeropagus of your city and meeting your fellow man on their level when sharing the gospel. Is this T-shirt thing the way you suggest we get to their level? I'm not making my methods sacrosanct, how does wanting to give the great men of faith who lived before me their due honor make my methods sacrosanct?

You said:

"we must use the methods we have available to us. The Greek NT is, for all practical purposes, the infallible language God used to tell us what He had to say – but reading the infallible Greek to Americans is about as useful as putting a page of the NT in the mouth of a fish and slapping people with it as they walk by. They won’t get it. You’ll look crazy or stupid for no reason."

Humorous way to put it, I completely agree. I still don't end up with "Calvin is my Homeboy" on my T-shirt though...

Further you said:

"We have to make the life of faith present to people in their natural context. That doesn’t mean we make potty jokes about Jesus, but it certainly doesn’t mean that when some unbelievers use our faith like a sweat band we should fold our arms and tap our toes in righteous indignation."

Absolutely, and I don't fold my arms and tap my toes in righteous indignation either. I'm not an elderly school marm, Frank. You're trying to paint an awfully bad picture of me....

My point about Driscoll, and the Emergent movement, was that they're sacrificing something in order to obtain something else. Now Driscoll may be orthodox doctrinally, but his methods and the emergents bear some resemblance. Their point of view is that to remain culturally relevant we must speak the way the world does, we must step down so that the unbeliever can step up. I don't see that methodology in the Bible. This has nothing to do with bumping fists with your Pastor. I'm also not trying to deny you the pleasure of using a Pyromaniac coffee mug. I'm saying that God has raised up great men to do great works of faith, for which we need to show due honor and respect. Would you do the same to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Luke, Peter, Moses? If not, why not? Because they were in the Bible and Chrysostom wasn't?

Of course Christians are allowed to enjoy their faith and their relationship to the heroes of that faith. I never said otherwise. Thanks for your response, Frank. I look forward to what you have to say.

P.S. I'm not making this out to be more than it is, really. I don't make minors into majors, I was just stating my position on the matter.

A.N. Onymous said...

And Cent, I still love you man...

Gloria said...

I refuse to feel guilty for submitting a non-selling entry. It was a contest...I took a shot...I lost. Never said I'd buy or wear a shirt, just thought somebody else might. So there. ;-)