As we prepare to bid adieu to August, and the temperatures here in Houston plummet to the upper 80s, one last look-around. Remember, updates through the day. Check in later.
Prepare for more change-ups than an early Chicago song.
- Remember the first time you were exposed to Calvinism?
- ...but then, much as you tried, you just couldn't get it out of your mind?
- ...until finally:
- Enough of humor, for the moment.
- I said, enough!
- In other subjects: Author Darrin Patrick tweeted that he would "love to hear thoughts on race & the gospel" from Phil, Frank and me. "Love to"? Well! How could I refuse? That being the case, I thought surely Darrin would be delighted to learn that I've written on this area a number of times, including in last Friday's post. Yet when I pointed Darrin to the 2012 post titled (hel-lo?) Racism, for some reason he seemed to lose interest. I still really, truly don't know what that was about.
Sometimes it's very hard to hear a new job title without bursting out in laughter. "You're the Director of Visioneering? Is this Disney?"
— Mister Church Guy (@MrChurchGuy) August 29, 2014
- A lot of armchair quarterbacking has been done on the Ferguson matter; Joshua Waulk, a brother-pastor who's a former police officer provides some helpful instruction and context.
- Fred Butler says: "It is grieves me, almost to the point of despair, that generations of black Americans have been taught to believe by their leaders, as well as a political party, that their fellow white Americans are racists at heart and there is nothing they can do to better themselves in our society because of that racism." Amen, among much else that could be said. Fred links to a multi-racial lawman round-table discussion.
- So once again: you don't fight fire with gasoline, you don't lose weight on an all-Oreo diet, and you don't cure racism with racism. The sufficient, effective, and only real cure is in the Gospel.
- In other news...
Celebrity Pastor Known for Foul Mouth and Bravado Suddenly Unable to Bear Reasonable Criticism
— The Gospel™ Corp (@TheGospelCorp) August 27, 2014
- You may have heard that Mark Driscoll is taking time off with pay while getting counsel of some unspecified kind, after which he'll get back to
the work of the American peoplepreaching. This is also being reported as "stepping down," though I wouldn't describe it that way. Doug Wilson weighs in, and manages to be at the same time characteristically incisive and insightful and (in my opinion) overly sanguine. Doug even manages very wrongly to extend cover for Driscoll's still-unrepented boast of receiving I-accuse-Grandpa-but-then-heh-heh-heh-I-could-be-wrong porn-sorta-visions. (Wilson avers to Ezekiel's vision of "abominations" which, by stark contrast, [A] was presented as a full-on prophetic vision without modern leaky-Canonism's wiggle-words, and [B] was defined explicitly in-context as visions of idolatry, not of X-rated porn enactments of the sexual sins of the citizenry.)
- I did, by the way, share a meal with Doug before going public with this. It was months and months before, and completely unrelated; but oh well. And, more recently, I dropped him an email.
- Seriously, that anyone can read Phil's thoughtful and relentnessly pastoral working-through of that appalling video, with the discussion that ensues in the meta, and say in effect "Well, that's kind of like Ezekiel, isn't it?" — yeah, just like Ezekiel. "Like" in the sense of opposite. In the sense that Howard Stern is like Charles Spurgeon... because they both talk. Less like, in fact.
- After Driscoll's "apology," someone asked in Twitter what I thought of John Piper's tweet, which (again, to my surprise) Doug Wilson quoted approvingly. I replied:
@ChrissCharoky Didn't see it, don't follow him. Was it along the lines of "I didn't serve this brother well by promoting him so heartily"?
— Dan Phillips (@BibChr) August 25, 2014
- Turns out, it wasn't.
- A Facebook connection said he believed Driscoll's "apology" to be sincere. However, another Facebook friend said: That was the most passive aggressive repentance I have ever heard. It is akin to, "I'm sorry you are so sinful."
- Jesse Johnson over at Cripplegate has a much better take on the whole affair. Surprisingly, parts of the ensuing meta are almost as bad as a TGC meta, which is saying something. This piece of "translation" also drops a lot of shots in the ten-ring, though I suspect I'd have less doctrinally in common with the author than with Johnson, Wilson or Piper.
- Trogdor has an acerbic analysis and prediction, fearing it will all turn out to have been a travishamockery.
- Wouldn't it be lovely, just for once, to be dead-wrong about such things?
- So all this being the case I thought you might be edified by some review on apologizing. There's Unpacking forgiveness in real life; there's "Sins" and "Mistakes"; the there was the politician who taught us how not to apologize. Then of course, there was that whole more-instructive-than-it-should-have-been Dixie Chicks thing.
- Clarity on this whole matter would be such a great thing, wouldn't it? For instance, John Lennon's murderer claims to be a Christian. In a just society, he would have been sent to Jesus long ago. Now what is he reported as saying about his murder? "I am sorry for being such an idiot." Uh... okay.
- Dramatic change of tone: in 3... 2... 1...
John Piper to Create Legion of Mini-Pipers So He Can ‘Speak at All the Conferences’ and ‘Write All the Books’
— The Gospel™ Corp (@TheGospelCorp) August 26, 2014
- A good sermon will do you a lot of good, right? Not necessarily, says pastor Joseph Franks, and he's absolutely right. Some wonderful needed jabs here:
We are informed but incorrigible. Our heads and mouths are filled with God’s Word, but it does not affect our hearts and feet. We know what to do, but do it not. And in the end, our miserable existence is made more miserable. We heap sin upon sin and wonder what is wrong with our minister, our church, and our holy religion. On Sunday we walk into the church, and walk the aisle, but on Monday we forget to walk after the model of Christ.
- Yowch. There's more, and it's all good. Read it.
- We seem to be living in a day when nothing is too obvious to require enunciation and explication. To that end, Heritage Foundation writer Ryan T. Anderson offers 7 reasons why the debate over same-sex mirage has nothing to do with interracial marriage.
- While we're enumerating, someone named Stephen Altrogge attempts to shred the Gordian knot with four rules to simplify Christian dating.
Creflo Dollar Sends Two Deacons to House of Church Member Who Unfollowed Him on Twitter for ‘Friendly Visit’
— The Gospel™ Corp (@TheGospelCorp) August 29, 2014
- Oh my gosh, everyone who has ever preached has to watch this ad for a book by David Murray. Absolutely hysterical. If my books had such videos... well, they'd be New York Times bestsellers and TGC would love me!
- On his way to commending Michael Kruger's posts responding to
PaulPeter Enns' latest attempts to make his stance not look like such a bad thing, Todd Pruitt notes that "unbelief is all the rage among some who identify themselves as Christians." I quote that because it lets my re-post one of my very favorite of Phil's Po-Motivators:
- C. S. Lewis' points on effective writing are featured and commented on over at the DBTS blog in a post by John Aloisi. Couple that with this lesser light's words for bloggers, and you should be all set.
- Favorite commenter Trogdor (Nathan Machel) asks and answers the musical question, Should I join a local church?
Just be careful what you pick.
(How'd they know what price to set?)