09 January 2015

Some Here, Some There — January 9, 2015

by Dan Phillips

Here we go. Remember, this is likely to receive updates through noon, TX time.
  • Here's a thoughtful dad's-eye review of the recent Disney musical Into the Woods. Unfortunately it's a Roman Catholic rather than Christian perspective, but still instructive.
  • I just saw, and loved, Through The Eyes of Spurgeon. Great film, joy to watch. I recommend it heartily.
  • Only two nits would I pick. One is, I didn't love the suggestion that Spurgeon was bipolar. It struck me as anachronistic and, as one who knew well someone afflicted with that disorder, not a good fit.
  • The other: I didn't love the suggestion that "Bishop" Vinter had lied to Spurgeon to get him to preach the first time. So I've put up the story in Spugeon's own words.
  • So here's another step in America's march towards an Are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been-a-Bible-believing-Christian? society: Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran fired (no pun) for being a known Christian.
  • Kevin Bauder has been doing a series on The Gospel Coalition, noting the oddities in its actual alliances and shunnings. Most recently, he notes its embrace of charismaticism. Bauder notes that "charismatic theology leads to some truly vicious extremes, a tendency that produces two other problems. The first is that even the more moderate charismatics (who may personally repudiate those extremes) seem unable to apply any sort of theological brake to charismatic thought as a whole. The second is that charismatics tend to embrace extreme figures on the basis of their shared charismatic experience." I do believe he's playing our song...or we, his. Either way, same song.
  • If you think you'll never hear a professed Christian trying to weekend-at-Bernie's the concept of shacking up... well, enjoy your stay in Neverland. Meanwhile here on Earth, Lyndon Unger begins a series on the subject with a robust affirmation of the sufficiency of Scripture.
  • On that topic, seriously, openings for the Sufficient Fire Conference are dwindling and unlikely to last too long: so register, and come.
  • Remember how the PCUSA jumped the sharked decades ago when it defrocked faithful witness J. Gresham Machen? And you know how relatively Biblically faithful people still choose to stay-in, you know, to be "witnesses"? You know what the PCUSA does to folks like that when they get too noticeable? Well... it defrocks them.
  • Duh!
  • Think of all the things the PCUSA doesn't care whether its ministers do. And it doesn't care if you disagree... as long as you keep the money coming in. But wait... shouldn't the Machen matter have taught us that?
  • So: are you not feeling enough of a cowardly, rutted failure at personal witnessing? No? Here, let me help:
  • You're welcome. (H-T David Murray)
  • Thom Rainer offers a post with a looong meta on the topic of church announcements. Years ago a pastor-friend's announcements seemed to go on forever, and I commended shortening them since he was simply restating what was already in the bulletin. He did shorten them, and said the result was that nobody knew what was happening, because they were used to not reading their bulletins.
  • One's tempted sometimes to say "We have a variety of meetings through the week. But you already know that. So let's pray and take the offering."
  • As long as we're dealing with things-that-are-bring-reconsidered, here are Bob Hayton's thoughts on the Sunday Evening Service. Hayton leans against, but links to arguments of the opposing view.

Dan Phillips's signature


Robert said...

The "Into The Woods" review was good. Sounded like the movie might be good at first, but the junk they put in at the end makes it something we'll have to pass on as a family until the kids are older.

Have heard about "Through the Eyes of Spurgeon"...will have to set it up and watch it with my family. I appreciate your post on the story of his first sermon. Certainly more of trickery than anything I would call a lie there.

Good article on the TGC and its association with charismatics. I like the fact that he explains Grudem's flawed dichotomy between OT prophets and NT prophets. I also like that he calls it a significant problem.

I enjoyed Fred's post on LGBT and evolutionary philosophy. It is amazing how inconsistent people are when they don't like what the Bible says and put forth their own systems of belief. That guy on Twitter can't seem to correctly identify a fallacy at all...he just doesn't want to deal with the implications of what he is saying. That is the problem with most people's thoughts/words/actions, though. They are inconsistent when you work out the implications versus what they say the believe.

Snoeberger must think we should just count on the interpreter for everything, I guess? Isn't that what commentaries and study Bible notes are for? We can read the actual text and think through it (with guidance from the Holy Spirit) and then use the notes for help, right? Aren't the writers of the functional equivalent basically trying to take the place of the Holy Spirit in making the true meaning of the Word known unto the reader? Or am I digging too deep in saying this?

Liked Lyndon Unger's affirmation of the sufficiency of Scripture., but man did those comments get wacky quickly. Granted it was only a couple of people going back and forth, but it was hard to read (need paragraph breaks).

I am registered for the conference and (thankfully) it looks like work plans for me to travel won't interfere.

Rachel said...

Thanks for the HT!

Tom Chantry said...

I've been curious about Into the Woods. I saw the musical when it was on Broadway (long, long ago!) and enjoyed it, although I had a vague sense it was doing something subversive. I wonder how close the Disney version is to that original. (Disney being one of those arrogant companies that always ruins everything by always assuming they are smarter and can make it better.) So I appreciated the review.

Thanks also for the Kevin Bouder series - lots to read there.

On announcements, I once went to a church where announcements went on for 5 to 10 minutes at the start of the service. One morning the pastor was away, and one of the elders opened the service. He said, "Pastor told me he would leave a bulletin here in which he highlighted the announcements I need to read from the pulpit, but it looks like he's highlighted every announcement. Sooo...." He then read the first announcement, started the second, then set down the bulletin, looked out at us and asked, "What's wrong with you people? Can't any of you read?!?

Daniel said...

Saw Through the eyes of Spurgeon a few weeks back - didn't care for the postmortem bi-polar diagnosis either. I liked Spurgeon's telling of the first time he preached better than the documentary's.

If I follow Snoeberger's logic, he is suggesting that because this translation philosophy (arguably) has some merit in a few exceptional situations, translations that use this philosphy as the "rule" are "okay" (or something like that)? I am not convinced.

My wife's (secular) aunt took our two eldest daughters (11 and 14) to see Into the Woods. I will have to have a talk with them about that.

Terry Rayburn said...

Not to get all slobbery or anything, but I finally figured out why I don't want to miss anything Dan Phillips writes.

It's because of the FRESHNESS of how things are worded, as opposed to cliche-ridden same ol' same ol'.

Three examples:

Example 1: I read a couple of weeks ago (I won't bother looking it up) where he wrote, NOT "eat the meat and spit out the bones" about something -- but something like, "if you can eat a fish, you can read this".

Example 2: The wonderful dripping-with-meaning but tricky clause in today's post, "...here's another step in America's march towards an Are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been-a-Bible-believing-Christian? society:"

Example 3: Again, can't remember where this was, but I actually jotted it down on my "junky notes" card. It calls for a little explanation, as follows.

Obviously, the Bible is not sufficient for all things. If you are a plumber, for example, it will not show you how to fix a commode.

Then what is it sufficient for, worded in such a way as to discourage charismania?

Here's what Dan wrote: The Bible is sufficient for "everything for which we need a word from God".

Bingo, yes. But FRESH bingo. And succinct, to boot.

Final Example: virtually all of "The World-Tilting Gospel", which I love not just for the content, but for the writing.

Anyway, I say all that to say this: Even if I didn't follow the links in "Some Here, Some There" (which I invariably do, because Dan makes them tantalizing) -- but even if I didn't, I just flat don't want to miss something that boy is writing.

2 comments on today's piece:

1. Any punch to the jaw of N.T. Wright is always appreciated. That one was a good one. He is one of the most subtle of deceivers in the professing Church today. But who wants subtlety in a deceiver?

2. Dan clearly won the tiny NIV debate with the Prof, on the "flesh"/"sinful nature" point alone.

Dan was, of course, gracious.

The Prof's basic argument: no translation is perfect. In keeping with Dan's graciousness, I will not say "duh".

DJP said...

Oh Terry, how did you know I needed a word of encouragement today? Thank you for your kindness. I appreciate it.

AJM said...

"Elected because God selected otherwise I would boast."

Marla said...

Really good stuff this week Dan, especially the two-fer from Fred and the article on NT Wright (how does that guy get *any* respect? smh).

I should have know that Kansas church was Episcopal before I clicked the link. BLeh.

My older daughter went to see Into the Woods and said it was awful, for much the same reason. Keep up the good work, and snuggle that grandbaby. She is a cutie.

Lowell Van Ness said...

Maybe I missed something in the announcement, but it looks like the PC(USA) fellows--at least on the surface--booted the guy for attempting to pull his church out of the denomination.
While I'm reasonably certain that his reasons were unimpeachable, getting booted from an organization for leading an effort to leave the organization is common sense.
That having been said, the PC(USA) is a heretical organization, and, while there may be some point in remaining there, I see no cause to join and much cause to leave.

Larry Geiger said...

Do not even consider going to "Into the Woods". It's the lamest thing you will ever view. Total waste of two hours of my life. We could have seen "Big Hero 6" but this one was on at the right time. Had 4Rivers BBQ so the day was not a total loss. Taylor Marshall was enjoying it? Good grief, something odd about that fellow.

Frank Turk said...

Having seen "Into the Woods," let me say that it would have been better if the last 1/3rd was never written. Everything after the weddings was a flop.

Frank Turk said...

Also: Freddy FTW.

mennoknight said...

I second the comments made by Terry and thank you for the HT!