08 August 2014

Some here, some there — August 8, 2014

by Dan Phillips

It is possible for a high-traffic blog to become an echo-chamber for others on the A-list. My vision is otherwise: I'd like to alert you to worthy material that may or may not be from the Top Men or their friends. So if you know of any low-profile, excellent, pithy and pointed material, email it to me. I'd love to expand the tent.

Such as...

  • As he is wont to do, Carl Trueman poses a question many won't want asked, let alone answered.
  • The problem, of course, is that what Trueman raises won't be dealt with seriously as long as there are enough "Leave Brittany TGC alone" types to shout down and vilify those asking even the most earnest, proactive, timely, brotherly questions.
  • But some hope murmurs softly. When an article titled in part Why Collectively Ignoring Mark Driscoll Isn't an Option is greeted by some bright lights as if that suggestion has never been made, and must now be taken seriously... well, the tardiness may be irksome, but "late to the party" is still at the party. And that's something. Right?
  • Some others think it's a big deal, too.
  • So let me just say my one main and only point: the tardiness issue has such a grip on me because "a word in season" (Prov. 15:23) spoken years ago by those with Mark's ear, might have pointed a very gifted man in a direction that would have spared him and others a lot of heartbreak, pain, and regret, and been good for the Gospel. That being the case, I'd like to see lessons learned to prevent The Department of Redundancy Department from descending on us all again to do what it does. Understood?
  • New topic!
  • Despite it being on CT, here's a really good, touching, thought-provoking piece from sister Trillia Newbell on why she remained in a predominantly white church.
  • Related reminders: we've weighed in here previously on racism from both directions, on the whole notion of deliberately-targeted-ethnicity Christian churches, and on how to think Biblically when walking into a church that seems not to be big on one's own comfort-zone. That last features the story of a man (Bill) who found himself in a situation similar to Trillia's.
  • I'll admit my heart did a happy little leap when professor Mark Snoeberger (in a great little article) spoke appreciatively of "Pastor Phillips" and his clear writing on the relation of the Gospel to sanctification. Yay, someone is showing how TWTG anticipated and speaks directly to the grace-and-sanctification kerfuffle! Ah, but the good doctor meant the very fine post-length treatment by Rick Phillips, not the book-length treatment in TWTG by that other Phillips. That the truth is spreading, I rejoice, and I love Rick's writing.
  • Jared Moore helpfully tackles 10 myths about lust. Seriously, that would be a great read after TWTG, as it's premised on a robust grasp of the transformative power of the Gospel.
  • But then again, this is all some folks will be talking about. Properly so.
  • Two (non-contradictory) ways of responding to "But the Bible was written by man" dodge: Timothy's, and NEXT!'s. At least one of those should help you if you run into it.
  • Finally: during my brief stint as an occasional church drummer, there was a song or two that I really didn't love ("Breathe" being the chief). So I compensated by trying to figure out an interesting way to accompany, that did adorn the song but also was more interesting to do. Is that at work here, in the mind of the drummer for one of the worst pagan-paean songs ever?

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Frank Turk said...

That's very nearly a Hither and Thither.

I'll take it.

MStephan said...

A hither and thither? Frank returning from hiatus? My Friday just got much better.

Daryl said...

I'm loving the throwback.

Wouldn't complain at all about the return of both Frank and Hither and Thither.

Things are looking up.

Jim Pemberton said...

The drummer was simply doing it his way.

DJP said...

No doubt. But he also seemed to channel some early Steve Martin.

Deb W . said...

Dan, lots of great links -- thanks!!

Side note: While I might be somewhat guilty of sticking up for TGC, I do find it curious that Carl always seems to find ways to make Marxist connections in his critiques. Makes it really hard for someone like me to relate to most of his "concerns" about issues of the church and culture and matters of faith. Maybe the pomos like it though.

Chris Dean said...

Hello Dan, a pastor whose ministry and blog is regular and invaluable to me, whose public and published works are also simply unique in evangelicalism, is that of Pastor Brian Croft of Practical Shepherding, found at PracticalShepherding.com.

Pastor Croft takes right orthodoxy, and while not focusing on that as the end to itself, shows biblically how to turn that into right orthopraxy for shepherds and saints to simply "do the work of ministry". The blog consists of mostly submitted biblically-answered tough ministry questions such as "How do you encourage a widow whose husband has been gone for many years?" and "How does a pastor shepherd his people when there is a lack of common interest with them?" Also Pastor Croft has published eminently useful books such as 'Visit the Sick: Ministering God’s Grace in Times of Illness' and 'Conduct Gospel-centered Funerals: Applying the Gospel at the Unique Challenges of Death'.

Practical Shepherding is well worth, very well worth all the Pyromaniacs' time to profit from and pass along.

semijohn said...

Are you going to have a worship band at Sufficient Fire? If so, see if he's available.

DJP said...

I published Chris' comment because I guess it's my fault for not being clear enough.

Please (A) EMAIL me (B) the URL,if you have (C) A SPECIFIC POST that you think is worthy sharing.

Thanks Chris, and all.

Joe said...

I hate that song, especially when the singer sings flat.

I love that drummer. He took my attention off the singer.

Brad Mason said...

RE Driscoll, I think that Presbyterian government and planting new churches with their own pastors rather than planting big TV screens with the fancy guy on them will curb much of these problems.

Jim Pemberton said...

Brad, you're on the money. Driscoll's a good speaker, but he's not a good teacher. He's a good leader, but he's not a godly leader. Too many people fail to make these kinds of distinctions. The best preacher is the one who cares for God's people enough to fear God and study both Him and His people. That's not Driscoll. If he cared for his people, he would let them have a preacher who knows them.