We're still on granddaughter watch. Yesterday was the due date, so this post could be updated.
But already a very full plate today! Let's launch. Tell me which ones are particularly chuckalicious, informative, thought-provoking, helpful, nuanced...oh wait, forget that. Sorry, got carried away.
- To start on a somber note: You may know that discernment blogger and pastor Ken Silva passed away. Chris Rosebrough held a sort of online memorial for him, which you can listen to here. Reader Christine Pack of Sola Sisters, and Phil Johnson, were among those who spoke of Ken's impact.
- Now, to the lighter side.
- If you're in Twitter, here's a fun little game. Then plug in your favorite RPB and chuckle. BTW, the Spurgeon account gets 100% on "upbeat"!
- Have you heard "Christianity is not a religion, it's a relationship" enough yet? I've had a few pointed words with its echoers (including Jefferson Bethke). Here's a good, full-orbed response from William Boekestein.
- The issue of celebrity pastors is often on our minds. Dave Harvey contributes some good thoughts to the discussion, sounding some vital warnings, and pointing to where our attention as pastors should really be fixed. (h-t Aquila Report).
How do you parody Sirius FM peddling Joel Osteen Radio in a TV commercial wherein Joel Osteen gives an empoverished village boy a high five?
— The Gospel™ Corp (@TheGospelCorp) October 9, 2014
- In the insightful essay Had Sex, Dumped Jesus, Joel J. Miller develops the correct causality chain in much apostasy (h-t Aquila Report). People have immoral sex; that creates painful cognitive dissonance; God or the immorality has to go for peace to reign; God goes.
- I wish I'd gotten down verbatim what I heard Josh McDowell say many years ago. He said he'd gotten to the point that, when some teen would come to him saying "I'm beginning to have serious doubts about my faith," his first response would be along the lines of, "Oh? who are you sleeping with?"
- This is a step aside from the usual, but it's genius. It's one of those things that, if Frank Turk actually read the posts here, he'd really like.
- Another step aside: ah yes, World War I. That's where the good guys fought the Germans... and the tripods?!
- Tone-change in 3... 2... 1...
- M'man David Murray offers a video he calls the most powerful illustration of the Gospel he's ever seen. It's worth watching. I teared up. I think I get what David's saying. Yet if it weren't for David, it just isn't what I would have thought. Instead, I can't help that a bunch of questions team in my mind, at the same time that I admire this man and am moved by what he did. That probably makes me a (or IDs me as a) bad person. You?
- Over at the indispensable DBTS blog, professor Bill Combs asks whether a person really has to be either Calvinist or Arminian, with no middle-ground. He answers, correctly, Yes.
- Here's one way I'd put it: either God's choice of me is the result of my choice of Him, or my choice of Him is the result of His choice of me. There's no middle-ground that isn't exclusively populated by weasels.
- We've noted a number of times how many issues The Gospel Coalition can't seem to be bothered with pro-actively. But there is one issue they're right on top of: Kevin Bauder shared some excellent thoughts on the subject, and yesterday TGC moved to prove him right yet again.
- Because I love you, I caution you not to hold your breath waiting for the appropriately nuanced, helpful, thoughtful presentation of the other view on this question.
- I had a comment up. Then it disappeared. Then it returned, and has been joined by some (far better) comments of dissent. At present, this is the reverse of the usual TGC situation: the comments are far better than the article.
- I'm tempted to write (on my blog) a response-piece titled "Is the Bible A Deceptive Book of Secret Code?" I mean, what can the TGC do to me? Hate me? Ignore everything I write about topics they claim to love? Blacklist me?
@ACupofKofi It's part of @TGC's "deride and conquer" strategy. ;) Probably @BibChr brought this upon us.
— David Pitman (@PastorPitman) October 10, 2014
- For my part, I've thought a certain amount of the animus against such things is fueled by jealousy. I mean, think of it: what would an amill end times movie look like? Nothing happens, nothing happens, nothing happens, and then the movie ends because the filmmakers wouldn't want to show the face of Jesus.
- So, in a way... every movie is an amill end-times movie, isn't it?
- Before you ask: no, this isn't how they fight Ebola in Texas, so stop asking.
- My brother from another mother Phil Johnson and I had an offstage disagreement about whether a certain literary-type thingie was witty and worthwhile, or whether it was obnoxious and offensive. Often, when I think I know what Phil will and won't find funny... I'm dead-wrong. Still. For instance, here's something to ponder: Phil sees something like this as high comedy. So, there y'go.
- Now: how's your heart? In need of a good stopping? Perfect. I think I have just the thing:
- If that didn't finish you: David Murray — who, I think, does not sleep — found this absolutely gorgeous and heart-stopping video of this gent biking on the Isle of Skye. If you watch as I did, you'll alternately gasp, hold your breath, yelp What?!, and murmur "oh my gosh." I had no idea a bike could do all that. Still not sure a bike should do all that. But now I know it can, if propelled by the right cast-iron legs.
- You probably know that Jonathan Merritt did a piece on Tony Campolo's son's apostasy, if that's the right word for it. The real news story that the article broke is that someone still thinks that Tony Campolo is "an influential evangelical leader." The rest of the post is a target-rich environment for sad and unsurprised reflection.
- That said, I say this: Francis Schaeffer was a fine and sound Christian leader, and Franky's defection is famous. Apostasy happens, and it's always the fault of the apostate, no matter how fine or how wretched a father he had.
- Lovecraft, Cabin in the Woods, Joss Whedon, and Calvinism? What? Oh, must be Patheos.
- Lyndon Unger doesn't think much of the movie Left Behind, only in his case it isn't because he's on the Dispie-Dissing bandwagon.
- So Joan, who's been attending for some months, comes to you wanting to trust and follow Christ. In conversation, you learn that Joan is really John, minus this and plus than thanks to surgical disfigurement. After you've swallowed your gum, what do you say? Russell Moore gives some refreshingly nuance-free and straightforward counsel.
- Amazing sculptures out of pencil lead make us think of God's more amazing living scultures out of microscopic material.
- This helped and challenged me: Leon Brown on the fact that sharing the gospel can be incovenient (so deal with it, re-set your priorities Kingdomward, and get on with it).
- Aquila Report found a very provocative perspective on dying from cancer, and on dying in general. Lacking Gospel, yet worth pondering.
- Here is a different perspective, this time with the Gospel (and a little LCMS sauce).
- M'man Denny Burk asks whether we have confidence in Christ that could handle Ebola.