15 August 2014

Some here, some there — August 15, 2014

by Dan Phillips

The argument could be made that bloggers condition loyal readers to expect to receive high-quality product at zero cost. Is that the case? Hm.

Well, relax and enjoy. But don't be ridiculous about it.

BTW, it's the nature of this kind of post that it will likely expand through the day. You should check back at day's end, or tomorrow. For instance, I've been pointed to some posts, but they were long enough that I haven't been able to read them yet. Perhaps later?
  • Your kid's school sometimes has mice running around? Yeah, I guess that'd be scary to some people. Here in Texas, we have gators.

  • I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that turning a Jack Chick tract into a movie is one of the signs of the apocalypse. Well, not the apocalypse... but some apocalypse
  • Highlighted from Kindle:
  • Did anyone else think it was weird to see RAANetwork plugging a 1+ year-old piece about Bryan Loritts firing at Doug WilsonFirst, whenever I see the name Bryan Loritts, I think of this, and I really think everyone (including RAANetwork) should, until it's righted. Second, no acknowledgement or apparent awareness of the absolutely magnificent discussion that ensued between my friends Wilson and Thabiti Anyabwile (here's the wrapup). I just don't get the objective, here.
  • From race-relations to music...
  • I don't know from Vicky Beeching, but I am beginning to see why some people don't want to sing anything by anyone who's still alive.
  • Aimee Byrd chirps about courtship, dating, all that.
  • Our feeling was that our daughter could begin dating when she turned 34, and then only if Dad could come along.
  • Here's a dandy little short discussion on the place of evidences in apologetics, involving Scott OliphintDavid Powlison, and Kevin DeYoung. It only leaves me asking, "Show me how." (Its labor in that very vineyard is what I liked about Nate Busenitz' book.)
  • I love Denny Burk enough — just barely enough — to forgive his use of "impact" (A) as a verb and (B) not referring to colons or wisdom teeth. For so he surely did in his essay How will gay marriage impact [sic!] your marriage? 
  • BTW, if anyone, in this connection, says "But everybody's using 'impact' that way, and it's now gotten into the dictionary!" the universe may collapse under the unintended irony.
  • FWIW, five years ago I put on my turban, got out my crystal ball, and foresaw some of the bumps we'd encounter slipping down this slope. I also traced out some of the ramifications, last year, of forcing everyone to redefine a well-known word/institution, here (briefly) and here (less so, and parabolically).
  • Now to a more somber note.
  • The sad occasion of self-murder by the prodigiously-talented Robin Williams elicited much comment, most of it repetitive. Here are some notables: Matt Walsh spoke a great deal of needed truth, intended to de-glamorize the ugly reality of suicide. However, he left out the most important truth: the Gospel. (An avalanche of vitriol moved Walsh to post a well-written follow-up, which was clarifying, but still had no Gospel.)
  • Jordan Standridge over at Cripplegate served better in that regard, in a very well-written essay titled RIP? The Gospel can also be found in an earlier post on the occasion of yet another celebrity's self-murder
  • Somewhere in the middle, Erick Erickson made a perfectly valid point about not rushing to say hard truth in an insensitive way. My only "but" to Erickson's point is that in this situation. so many were rushing to say so much that ranged from the sentimental and untrue to the positively harmful, that to fail to respond was probably also a disservice.
  • It should be noted that Pyromaniacs has had a wealth of posts about depression as well, over the years.
  • Hm. No Resurgence conference this year. Cancelled.
  • Now for something(s) completely different...
  • Did you see where Kevin Halloran listed >250 free online seminary resources? Value will vary, of course, — but, still! Schreiner, Moo, Barrick, Vlach, Frame, Duncan? Duuude.
  • Fifty cents? Bloggers do it for free:
  • If Cornelius Van Til were blogging, he'd definitely use a picture from the "Thriller" music video.
  • I can understand why people believe in all sorts of things I don't believe in. I can understand believing in a local Flood, in varying views of the days of creation, in varying dating for the Exodus, in varying dating for Galatians... heck, I even understand why some people spatter water on babies and think it means something spiritual! But the hardcore KJV Only position exists in a world where facts, rationality, and logic cannot thrive. Fred Butler — a man of great learning and patience, who himself specializes in responding to such — points to a two and a half-hour conversation between an advocation and an apologist. If you want that sort of thing.

Dan Phillips's signature


Michael said...

Thanks for these posts, Dan. Some very interesting things I'd never have know about.

DJP said...

Thanks, Michael. Makes me think it's worth the time and trouble. (c:

Fred Butler said...

For the KJV Only folks, Church History is just a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this post Dan. I always benefit greatly from being pointed to helpful and interesting resources, and I appreciate that aspect of your blogging ministry. Keep doing what you're doing! Thanks again.

DJP said...

Thanks, Toph, that also encourages me. I used to do something similar at my own blog.

J. Brian McKillop said...

I have been looking hither and thither for a post just like this!


I didn't know that among his many skills Fred was also a poet!

DJP said...


These take a good bit of time. The way to keep them coming is (A) interact with what's actually in the post, (B) say thanks, and/or (C) tweet and Facebook and email and share.

The way to make me feel like it isn't worth the time, so I quit bothering, is (A) ignore, (B) snark, and/or (C) "Oh, that's nothing! I can be much funnier/pithier/eclecticker!" kinds of comments. Well then, get a blog and be funnier/pitchier/eclecticker. And I'll come and applaud your product, so you know it wasn't a waste of time (Matt. 7:12).

Jon said...

It's Hither & Thither on the Pyro! Nice!

I listened/watched the whole KJVO video at work yesterday and Mr. Anderson (no, not Neo's nemesis, but close) "felt" the KJV was authentic and other translations didn't have the same "feeling" of authenticity. James W. called him on it, but there we have again a "feelings" based theology.

Fred Butler said...

@ Jon,
I have always maintained that Independent Fundy Baptists are really closet charismatics when it comes God telling them stuff. Chick's tracts are filled with that kind of stupid thinking.

BTW, my authentication code for this comment is 1611. (I kid you not) Woah...Unreal....

Robert said...

I am actually surprised Resurgence was cancelled. I am sure Driscoll could have just put his leadership team and advisers up to being the keynote speakers. I wonder if any of the past speakers or people who invited him to speak are ever going to admit they were wrong to support him and that you and others were right to call him out from the beginning. *crickets*

DJP said...

Thanks for interacting with the contents of the post, Robert.

Robert said...

I forgot to mention that the series of posts from Fred on the KJO questions, as well as the one with the James White-Steve Anderson discussion you put here, are well worth the time to read. I am thankful for the time that Fred has put into covering this (and many other) topics in a fairly comprehensive fashion.

Silly Old Mom said...

Matt Walsh is a Catholic, you know.

And FTR, I agree with you and disagree with Frank Turk about the too-soonness of commenting on Robin Williams' suicide.

DJP said...

Oh no, I did not know that. Thanks. That's sad, but now I understand.

Fred Butler said...

@ Robert,
Thanks for the kind regards. It embiggens my heart to know there are folks who benefit from those articles.

Fred Butler said...

Walsh is a Popist? Why would evangelical homeschooling groups have him as one of their keynote speakers? Oh wait... I answered my own question. Evangelical homeschooling groups.

threegirldad said...

Really appreciate all of the links to posts discussing if/when/how to address a situation like Robin Williams' death.

That tweet from JoelNotJoel made me snort beverage out my nose.

I don't know from Vicky Beeching, but I am beginning to see why some people don't want to sing anything by anyone who's still alive.

"[T]he venerable dead are waiting in my library to entertain me, and relieve me from the nonsense of surviving mortals." --Samuel Davies

Kathy said...

Our 16 year old daughter saw the original post that Aimee Byrd responds to, and found it to be very confusing. I read both the OP and Mrs. Byrd's response. I agreed with my daughter that not only was it an unhelpful article, but parts of it could be quite harmful.

The points that raised huge red flags for us were the author's advice to boys to not waste their time on a girl who asks him to meet her father before they go out on a date, and his advice to girls to inform their parents that who, when, and how they date is outside the bounds of parental authority.

The most helpful thing we got out of the post was some good discussion discussion material.

Jim Pemberton said...

I guess we could call the Resurgence cancellation "unreMarkable".

Bill O'Neill said...

Brilliant! Pyromaniacs is as necessary a read for the Christian as is Al Mohler's The Briefing a listen.

Anonymous said...

Oi! Those free courses h ave my attention. Thanks for pointing them out.

Also the reminder of the posts on race relations between Doug Wilson and Thabiti Anyibwile were helpful. As usual the comments in those are a mad combination of silly and insightful (mostly silly) but I was especially amused to read one commenter who identified Wilson as a KJVO guy...

Thanks for your effort on these post. They were a favourite of mine and now, with the new name, are again.

Much appreciated!

DJP said...

Thanks for the meaningful interaction, Daryl.

That series of posts between Thabiti and Doug were exemplary and marvelous. Both were models of grace and patience; it was quite the workshop.

All the more puzzling for RAANetwork simply to overlook it. What are they pursuing, I continue to puzzle?

Anonymous said...

The only thing I can come up with is that it's a big blind spot for them.
I realize that I say this as a white guy who has no clue what it's like to not be white, but I have to question the reason for a specifically African-American focused reformed network.
Nothing wrong with networks of believers with similar backgrounds but articles like that make the question almost inevitable I think.

It also raises (again) the very real potential for problems with para-church ministry over and against local church driven ministry.

Mark Hanson said...

The Chick film trailer is hilarious! I never knew that my college DM was training actual assassins and necromancers at his table. Somehow despite a dozen or so character deaths, we are all still alive irl ...

I wonder how the video is going over at GenCon?

DJP said...

Right there with you, Daryl. Where I used to live, in another part of America, there was a Chinese Baptist Church. Mindful of Matthew 28:18-20 and many other passages, I just boggled. It made no sense to me. I tried to imagine a "White People Baptist Church." Or moving to Iran, and planting a "White American Baptist Church."

Did. Not. Compute.

Head asplode.

Scott Myers said...

Great post. I enjoyed reading through the links. I'm glad others are pointing out the lack of the Gospel with Matt Walsh. I love his writing, and he has many opportunities to share and just whiffs it every time. As someone already pointed out though, he's Catholic. So... there's that... Anyway thanks again!

DJP said...

Yeah, Scott, thanks; I don't know where I got that he was a Christian. Maybe he said it of himself, as RCC's sometimes do. But I'm educated on the topic now, thanks to our readers.


trogdor said...

"How will gay marriage [affect] your marriage?" How would counterfeit money affect real currency?

"RIP" is one of those sayings like "God gave me this song" and "we're stepping out in faith by [doing something not scripturally commanded]". I know there may be good intentions behind it, but the things we say are supposed to mean things. And it would be great if what we say doesn't communicate falsehood. And like those other types of sayings, if you ever point out "you know, maybe we should be more careful about what we say", be prepared to be branded a divisive nitpicker.

If this keeps up I might start feeling an eensy bit sorry for Driscoll. All these people are racing to get the furthest from him and competing to see who can regard him as the biggest pariah. But the reasons they've been citing for separation are the same things that drew them to him in the first place. Funny how quick the fresh, exciting, radical thing becomes ungodly toxic waste.

Michael said...

DJP said: " I tried to imagine a "White People Baptist Church.""

I think you'd find them all over the country, just without the name on the sign. "White" churches simply didn't have to put it on the sign out front. But that's what they were all the same. There's a good reason minorities have formed their own churches in this country.

Silly Old Mom said...

I believe MW mentioned on his blog somewhere that he was married in the Catholic Church.

It's a tough thing, because I really like his writing and he's spot-on with so many issues. Many of my friends enjoy him as well, but once I pointed out his church membership and the room got REALLY quiet.

I hope he's one of the few in the RCC who are genuinely saved, but when he misses a chance to point out the gospel clearly, it doesn't inspire confidence.

DJP said...

Because overt racism is so much better than covert racism?

The covertly and intentionally racist white churches should be ashamed, and should repent.

But if a church is predominantly white only because non-whites have bought into a "We need our special churches" mentality? What then?

It's not a simple issue, but the cure for racism is never racism.

DJP said...

Well-said, SOM.

Michael said...

I'm just pointing out that at least in the not so distant past minorities wouldn't have been welcomed in local churches in many parts of the country. It's not so simple today but even in a mixed congregation many minorities have to have patience and a rather thick skin that their white brethren can't always fathom. Being in a Bible-believing church that focuses on the Gospel does not 100% take care of all the worldly cultural biases found in fallen people.

DJP said...

Michael, did you ever read this?


Michael said...

Yes, I'd read it (and forgotten it) but I totally agree with it, er a, you. I just started this by commenting on you not being able to imagine a church calling itself a White Church in this country. Just saying, they didn't have to to maintain a white church. But today I think it's a shame that minorities feel the need to start churches for "their own kind." But, as your anecdote pointed out, it can be rough on the pioneer. I don't want to be a dead horse, Dan.
Can I just point out that probably the most color-uniform churches are not the most Bible-believing ones. They aren't getting fed all that well, white or black or whatever. One would hope Reformed types would be drawn to a good church first regardless of demographic.

semijohn said...

As far as a Chinese Baptist church goes, it's quite possible "Chinese" is not just an ethnic distinction, but indicating the language the service is in. If they didn't have "Chinese" in the name, they'd probably have a number of people come in who would have to be told that the service is not in English, who would then say best wishes and leave. Of course, if they have an "English" ministry/service that encompasses more than youth up to high school, that's a different story (visited a church like that in NYC).

Richard Ferguson said...

In regards to the Dark Dungeons movie (the parody based on the Jack Chick tract), this is why we as Christians need to be loudly proclaiming who the false teachers are!

His insane claims and conspiracy theories have been tolerated because most of his venom,bile, and outright lies were directed at Catholics and the RPG community; you know, those OTHER people that clearly God has decreed to be enemies, not potential future disciples. Even his rabid KJV-onlyism was tolerated and patted on the head by too many Christians as, "What harm can it do?"

Well, now we see what harm it is doing; too many people in the RPG community have a skewed view of Christianity because their only encounter with Christians were with the ilk of Jack Chick; the name of Christ is blasphemed because of those encounters.

Solameanie said...

Since my "Hither and Thither" commendation was already taken, I'll head in another direction.

I had seen the news earlier today about the lesbian "Christian" singer in the Christian Post, among other rather disturbing stories. Afterward, I happened to have a few extra minutes to read something and reached for a book that I knew in advance would be edifying and almost serving as eye bleach to what I had been reading in the CP. It was John Calvin's commentary on Jeremiah, and the passage being handled was where King Zedekiah had clapped Jeremiah in prison for daring to prophesy not only the captivity of the nation, but also the captivity and humbling of the king. Calvin made the astute observation - how wonderful would it have been if the king had shown a little humility and repentance. Who knows what impact that humility and repentance would have had since it would have begun from the top down.

These singers and church entertainers coming out of the woodwork flaunting their sin are not doing so in a vacuum. They're getting the message that it's okay not only from the culture around them, but also from their spiritual leaders, assuming they have any. It will be bad enough to hear "I never knew you" from the mouth of the Master as a supposed Christian not invested with any leadership or teaching office. It will be far worse for those who lead their flocks into dismissing or reinterpreting God's Word.

And of course, I'm a mean, heartless, insensitive, incompassionate brute for saying the above.

Brad Mason said...

Hmmm... Only things that bug in this here and there are a reference to splashing babies (done it) and a problem with "impact" as a verb. And as the latter is easier to deal with, have you read this chapter of a book I love?:


DJP said...

Joel "Solameanie," I'm so sorry for the delay. Somehow the comment got lost in moderation, and I never saw it until now. Thanks and, again, sorry!