A reader of the blog posted this in yesterday's meta:
RE: MACHEN'S WARRIOR CHILDRENAnd I bring it up because, on the one hand, he has a somewhat-compelling point: there are a lot of fights not worth fighting.
See especially 7,11,12,13,14,18 and 21.
My sense of the Pyros is that you are at your best when you are writing about what is true and good and beautiful, you can be good when you write about what is false, and you can be awful about what is false.
The context of Paul writing about false teaching, or Machen's battle with liberalism, are far different battles than the ones we might have with, say, infant baptists, charismatics, or Anglicans.
I would much prefer to see your indomitable brains be put to work against atheists, relativists, theological liberals, social issues, and the ever encroaching Islamic world.
Now, rather than give a laundry list of those fights (and I'm sure some of you will resent that as you always need reality-TV-esque examples of what I'm talking about), I'm going to talk a little bit about the zeitgeist of our blog here as I understand it in order to refocus the complaint made here. If Phil or Dan or Pecadillo (he is still allegedly alive) have some addenda to add to the enda' this, so be it.
Believe it or not, TeamPyro is not an apologetics blog, per se. "per se" means "by, of, or in itself" – so I'm saying that's not the primary motivation of our little house party here. We may happen to provide an apologetic once in a while, or something useful, say, to Freakishly-Tall Todd Friel (sorry Todd; no offense -- I know you have a decent sense of humor but not all our readers get the jokes), but our goal here is not to assert ourselves as the premiere Protestant Apologetics blog in English. That's what AOMIN.org is for, and we're happy they have their own ministry and we are proud of their success in a familial kind of way.
TeamPyro is also not primarily a DebateBlog. In many cases, with all humility and respect and love, we don't really care what the "other side" thinks. We don't want to tell lies about them, and we don't want to straw man them, and we want to honor God as we encounter them in their many hydra-like manifestations. But our motive is not really to argue with people. Most of these people either aren't capable of arguments, or they aren’t really interested in arguments – only lectures (giving, not getting).
So what's it all about, Alfie? Whither TeamPyro? While we enjoy "All Your Base are Belong to Us" and "Apply Directly to the Forehead", Phil called himself "pyromaniac", and thereafter dubbed us "teamPyro", based on one verse of Scripture:
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? [Jer 23:26, KJV]And in that is the whole philosophy of why we do what we do here.
We are bringing the fire and the hammer of the word of God.
I don't want that to sound too, um, self-important – because it's not actually about me, or Phil, or Dan, or officer Pecadillo: it's about whether or not people are getting it when it comes to how God's word needs to be burning up the chaff and the stubble, and how God's word will and ought to break down the stoniness of our hearts and our habits and our preferences.
And let's face it: it's fine and obvious to go after the Rational Response Squad, and the Mormons, and the other clowns in the other clown cars trying to run the Gospel off the road. That's 100% the right thing to do with other gods and their schticky underlings. But if we make any headway against atheism and we call people to this so-called church of God, and when they walk in the door at last happy to be with the Lord's people in the Lord's house on the Lord's day they find out it's the same thing as joining KIWANIS or ROTARY, I think we're going to find out that we have a larger problem than whether someone has ever heard a person with a loud voice read John 3:16 to them.
What is at stake, then, is what Psalm 122 proclaims: that we seek the good of God's people first because that's where God's goodness should be praised.
Apologetics is fine – it is good, and worthy to be praised, in a Godly way. We are not apologists here: we are in the church, trying to get God's people to stop goofing off. If God's word is like a fire, and a hammer, let's burn off the fallow fields; let's break down the rotten renovations.
To my knowledge, we have had little trade with the paedobaptists here – because we're not really concerned about Baptist identity as such here. We count Presbyterians (for example, like Machen) as brothers in Christ and fathers in the faith – in spite of our objections to their misuse of the ordinance. We have had less-still trade with Anglicans because, well, they have made themselves irrelevant. They are hardly surging ahead and growing their churches by ordaining homosexuals and down-trading the doctrines of the atonement and Scripture, favoring instead a reconciliation ever-immanent with Rome.
And while it is true we have had much trade with the charismatics, it is expressly about the primacy of God's inscripturated word above and against emotive and experiential party favors. God's word stands true, and on that basis it must be the measure of what is preached and believed and exhorted in God's church – God's visible, incarnated, set-apart, adorning-to-His-promises church.
That's who we are. That's what we do. Welcome to the party.