Showing posts with label blogspotting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogspotting. Show all posts

22 August 2014

Some here, some there — August 22, 2014

by Dan Phillips

Remember to check back at day's end, as this may be updated without note through the day.
  • The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked some commentary from an array of sources. My friend Thabiti Anyabwile shared from the heart, very movingly and hauntingly, of his fears for his son in what he sees as a still-deeply-racist America. Jemar Tisby also gave some perspective that your average white man wouldn't know unless told. For seven years, I was member of a racially-mixed church, and some of the stories the black pastor and music leader shared with me dropped my jaw and saddened me, and have stayed with me ever since. Then Thabiti threw down a gauntlet, asking Is it "Goodbye evangelicalism" or "We join you in your suffering"?
  • Over at Cripplegate, Jesse Johnson added three excellent biblical principles for thinking about this situation.
  • Thabiti fired right back with Why we never "wait for all the facts" before we speak.
  • Al Mohler weighs in on not prejudging before the facts are known. While I don't share Mohler's seeming optimism about Eric Holder being at all concerned with a fair investigation, I just can't see my way to coming down on everything about this situation until more is confidently known.
  • That said, certain things may be stated categorically, no?
    • Racism is evil, and a sin.
    • Counter-racism is never the cure for racism.
    • Police should not kill people wrongfully, and certainly never for their skin-color.
    • Young men (and women!) should believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, continue in His Word, avoid evil associations, learn to work hard and be generous, never thieving, doing drugs, or cultivating evil associations.
    • No Christian should speak in a way that legitimately gives the impression of supporting abuse-of-power totalitarianism, or of victim-mentality license to commit crime(s).
  • Now, for many things completely different...
  • Fred Butler embarks on 20 Ways to Answer a Fool. And, like clockwork, one shows up in the meta. But this is no dainty RPB meta, concerned above all that fools not be made to look... well, foolish; so he actually gets an answer.
  • last week I shared Aimee Byrd's raised eyebrow on the subject of courtship. This week, Doug Wilson weighs in, in its favor.
  • Might be fun to do our own sardonic Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon regarding The World-Tilting Gospel. It'd be bloggers who love/link-to bloggers who love TWTG, but who themselves can't seem to "see" TWTG. I recently saw someone in Twitter literally offer to buy a copy of it for a high-profile blogger, if he'd read and review it. Didn't have the heart to tell the good brother that I knew for a fact that the blogger'd already been sent a copy. But I really, really appreciated the effort.
  • Embarrassingly, it's possible sometimes even to hear Christians making the argument that Christianity is to be valued for the benefits it provides, benefits that don't depend on the truth of the message. Ben Edwards, Instructor in Pastoral Theology at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, takes that argument apart nicely and Biblely.
  • Singleness: even though she works for Christianity Astray Today, Katelyn Beaty offers some very helpful, Biblely thoughts in this interview.
  • Pastor Andy Schreiber writes of the "grotesque anomaly" of the un-churched Christian. He notes that it is abnormal, and that the NT knows nothing of it. I'd say more: any Christian in the NT era would be absolutely, thunderously slack-jawed baffled at the spectacle of a professed Christian who chooses not to involve himself in-person in a single local church. As we have demonstrated forcefully again and again and again.
  • I imagine some readers read these posts and think, "Pastor pastor pastor. You keep talking about pastors, to pastors. I'm not a pastor." Let's see, how can I help non-pastors know what it sometimes feels like to be a pastor? Ah yes, I think I have just the thing:
  • It's good for a woman to say this.
  • As a rule and with no other exceptions, Old Navy commercials make my brain throb and crawl, in a bad way. But this music video is actually kind of cute, and might be useful to homeschoolers returning to classes?
  • On the other hand...
  • David Murray (whose blog, as I've said, should be a daily stop for you) found a fun video that shows how the sun would see us if it could see us. Which is to say, totally differently than we see ourselves.
  • So are you envy-proof? Really? Completely content, impervious to envy? Sweet. Take this test. Still? Great!
  • Seminary students and pastors need to read this from Michael Kruger, on attaining and retaining the Biblical languages.
  • When I taught Hebrew, I'd always give an entire lecture on the need for pastors to learn Hebrew and keep it alive. Yes, it was on the test. Always.
  • Holy mackerel...or, perhaps better, holy underwear. Glenn Beck illustrates why people who don't know Hebrew should probably not just talk about Hebrew. (I'm just talking about 2:10 and following.)
  • Good thing no one remotely Christian would say or pay to hear such claptrap, right?
  • Hm, did we just figure out where Glenn Beck gets his stuff?
  • That's all for now! Have you bought your tickets yet? Get 4 for price of 3 while you can; talk it up at your church, get some groups coming!

Thanks for reading. If you want to comment, please comment on items in this post. If you have tips for future posts, email me. Check back for more at the end of the day!

Dan Phillips's signature

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

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?

Dan Phillips's signature

29 July 2014

Some here, some there

by Dan Phillips

My "muse," apparently, is taking the day off. It happens. In the interim, here are some posts and thingies here and there, worth noting.

Dan Phillips's signature

11 January 2013

Briefly noted: TWTG on audio, God's Wisdom in Proverbs variouses, and CBC news

by Dan Phillips

Howdy gang. Having been happily benched this week, I'm taking this chance to sneak in a few bits of news of note.

First: some of you have said that you'd like to see The World-Tilting Gospel on audio book. While Kregel has no plans to put it in that format, I just saw a new-to-me feature on Amazon. It appears there's a way to "vote" for an audio version of the book.

If that interests you at all, go on over.

Second: others of you have been interested in seeing God's Wisdom in Proverbs in the Logos format. For my part, I think this would be of more value than Kindle; it's a "natural" for Logos' strengths. That said, here is the latest of several threads where Logos users are telling Logos of their interest. If that interests you, there's your opportunity.

Regular Pyro reader and commenter Joel Griffith (solameanie) finished working through the whole book, and has published his review of it. Check it out.

Finally: anyone on Facebook is welcome to "like" the page for the church I pastor, Copperfield Bible Church. It features links to sermons as soon as they are uploaded, and will announce any future events or seminars, as well as occasional notes and links on topics of interest to Pyro readers. Come aboard! Also, if you're interested, you can "follow" its Twitter account. Pyro readers find a warm welcome either way.

Finally-finally: Wherever you are, to coin a phrase: assemble in the Lord's household this Lord's Day when the service starts, to worship the Lord and hear the Word of the Lord. If you're capable, you know you should!

Dan Phillips's signature

27 November 2012

Notable posts on marital abuse, December 25, and a whole lot more

by Dan Phillips

Howdy, gang.

Thabiti Anyabwile unintentionally gives us a sad example of blogging at its best and worst. On the one hand, he provides a letter to an abusive husband that contains a lot of pastoral, masculine, godly wisdom. It's well-written and forthrightly addresses a miserable situation with the Gospel and with truth.

Immediately he's set upon by an angry, stubborn, self-righteous commenter who gives no evidence of having thoughtfully read anything below the title. Thabiti, God bless 'im, tries manfully and with incredible grace to engage the poor soul graciously and patiently and, as we Pyros could have predicted, it goes nowhere, and the meta has to be closed. Metas often bear out the truth of Ecclesiastes 9:18b ("one sinner destroys much good"), and this is a case in point.

So read the post, skip the comments — unless you want to see a Herculean model of grace in Thabiti's attempts to reach out and engage a scoffer. You might be thinking of Prov. 17:12, 27:22, and 29:9... and if that makes you wish you had a solid, in-depth Christian book that would help you read, apply, teach and preach Proverb — well, you know.

And BTW, Thabiti is there experiencing what drove me to the philosophy of strategery with which I blog.

You may know that N. T. Wright has sallied forth to speak down to us benighted bumpkins about what Serious Scholars know to be the truth behind (and contrary to) the words of Paul. Douglas Wilson responds once, yea twice, yea unto three times. Readable and witty, as usual.

In much lighter humor, Kevin DeYoung posted a couple of very cute videos.

This reminds me of one you might enjoy, especially you Joss Whedon fans. It's a literally-told Story Written By a Kid. You'll love it, and you'll never think of SWAT the same.

If textual criticism is your thing, you'll appreciate an article at Triablogue about recently-announced manuscript finds.

At that same blog, Jason Engwer tells us more about the December 25 date for Christmas than we would have thought it possible to know.

Professor Matt Harmon. of Grace Theological Seminary, did me the great favor of proofing my Greek notes and translations for that little green book. You'll want to bookmark his series on the Gospel according to the Minor Prophets.

Sharper Iron ran a really terrific post by Gary Gilley (why do I know that name?; or am I thinking of Garry Graham, who used to beat me up regularly when I was a single-digiter?...but I digress) called Cessationism, Revelation & Prophecy. Gilley reads as if he were a regular Pyro reader conversant with our years of work on the endlessly-vital subject, and his robust and pastoral exposition is a very worthwhile contribution.

Then Gilley follows up with A Case for Cessationism, in which he argues (among other things) that "the position taken by most on prophecy—cautious but open—is untenable." he deals with the "God in a box" dodge and the dithery cowardice of refusing to commit robustly to the implications of really believing in a really sufficient Word.

Do you prefer your Carl Trueman crusty, or non-crusty? The latter? Sorry, all out!

In case you missed it, I offered a jazzy little rendition of a little dittie by a Reformer guy.

Finally, would you like to hear a sermon that discusses the notion of "the call to pastoral ministry," the concept of qualifications and unculpability, and what Titus 1:6 means about the pastor's family life? How about if it contains the words "Not just any idiot can be an elder. It takes a special kind of idiot." Ah, interested now? Then you're in luck.

Dan Phillips's signature

27 June 2012

The End of the End

by Frank Turk

I have no idea if you people study change management or the cycle of grief, but grief and significant change are understood by counsellors and MBAs as having a clear process in the life of the person subjected to change, and it can be charted something like this:

 Fig 1: Specific Examples Noted.

Generally speaking, people don't like change.  It upsets them.  It gives them a sense that their grounding has been ungrounded. It makes the future obviously unclear -- as opposed to its normal state of common opacity which is, as they say, what it is.    So when they get sunk into change, they move from their normal state of performance or self-esteem to a state of diminishing returns.  They go through denial, anger, and uncertainty -- everyone does.

But it is at this point that some people give up.  They hit that bottom of uncertainty and crash right through.  Rather than finding a place in the future for themselves, they see no place in the future for themselves.  They think the change -- which is usually neutral at worst -- is a death sentence for everything they had hope in, and they simply crash and burn.

Some people get trapped in uncertainty and keep cycling through denial-anger-uncertainty.  That's not really any better than those who crash through the bottom except that they can actually function for short periods in the world as it goes on.  They usually need someone else to help them get over the change, but they can get through it.

For those who do not time out in uncertainty, there is hope at the end of the change curve.  They accept that things are now different, and they take some ownership of their own future.  They seek to put together the future in a way that gets them back to a place of stability or productivity.

For those of us who are Christians, we have a Helper who points us in this direction -- and if I can be frank enough to say it, his name is not Phil Johnson.  Phil is my beloved friend who has also been my inestimable benefactor, but he is not the hope for my future, nor the one who defines it: Jesus is my Hope.  The Holy Spirit is the one who is my encourager who will, in the words of Jesus, teach me all things and bring to my remembrance all that Jesus has said to me.  They are also that for all of you reading this who say you are Christians, since I brought it up.

And I bring it up for a good reason: stop moping.

I have read more than one comment in the last two weeks which has said something along the lines of, "but what if the church will not have any more defenders?  If Johnson, and then eventually Phillips, and to a much lesser degree Turk, all go on permanent vacation, then what?"

Really?  It's really, really that bad?  God will fail in his purpose of the Gospel if TeamPyro closes the doors?  The church survived the death of Lloyd-Jones, and van Til, and the death of Spurgeon, and the death of Edwards, and the deaths of all the Puritans, and the deaths of Calvin and Luther, and of Bunyan, and backwards all the way to the death of Paul, and of course the death of Jesus.  In fact, we sorta needed the death of Jesus -- and if I have to explain that, Phil Johnson's retirement from his hobby of blogging is not our worst problem.

Yes: Phil is unique in a superlative way, but I think if he writes books it is a better legacy than fighting with people who are unique and superlative in the opposite direction in every way on the internet.  We ought to be pleased that he's going to implement his own change curve and put something out there which will affect more people than this blog does.  And as he does that, not only must we wish him well, we must ourselves man up and face the future with Christ and lost people on our minds.

So here's the roadmap for the next three weeks on Wednesdays:

Next Week, I am going to savage a book written by a young man I greatly admire expressly for the purpose of getting you to read it and either love it or hate it.  A year ago I received this book from his publisher and did nothing with it because I didn't want to hurt his feelings, but after having dinner with him I realized that I snubbed him by not treating him like a man.  Before he himself experiences a massive change curve in the near future, I want him to remember what the little people think of him -- and by "little," I mean the short fat bald guy with the hot wife and the exceptional children.

The Following Week I will publish the transcript of my talk in Tulsa at the "Call for Discernment" conference sponsored by Grace Family Bible Church.  Only Tony Miano will not hate me for it.

Then in Three Weeks I am going to review a recent book by Cruciform Press in order to light up on one of my favorite topics -- Popular Calvinism.  It deserves your attention and your conscience deserves its attention.  Pack a lunch for that one.

After that, who knows? I am teaching on the goodness of God in Adult Sunday School at my church on 29 July 2012 -- you might get that transcript. But think about this: if the only hope we have in this world for our faith and the church is this blog, then let me say it clearly: we are part of the problem, and we have our own idols to deal with.  We will do better to realize we are worshiping the wrong end of the log right now (cf. Isaiah 44:13-17) than we will to get caught up in the notion that God doesn't have a plan for his church past the last day of blogging for our favorite blogger.

22 January 2009

I'm the only one who would say anything

by Frank "stats" Turk

Click to enlarge; click here to see what I'm talking about.

BTW, we didn't make that happen -- you, the readers did, and God was gracious enough for you to find us. Thanks for reading.

30 July 2007

Less Edifying, More Funny

by Frank Turk
Updated 9:50 PDT by Phil Johnson (see update box below)

Yeah, so I took a sort of hiatus last week (I only posted comments), but then our beloved Phil posted links to some podcasts which you have to listen to, really, to believe.

On the "good" side, Todd Friel did 5 minutes with Kirk Cameron about Blue Like Jazz and Donald Miller. I'm not sure that the segment was perfectly unbiased in dealing with Mr. Miller and his work, but I think the segment was right-brained rather than left-brain, so Kirk and Todd can have a pass.

On the other hand, the Relevant podcast. Wow. Where do you start? Maybe we could start with the urine jokes -- those were funny. Or maybe with the Seafood-flavored snack foods -- quite a chuckle that. Then there's the reference to a "fundamentalist blog" -- you know, the one which last week was posting "successories"-style Emergent-See posters.

The part I really liked -- I mean, I listened to it twice to make sure I heard it right -- was the part where the hosts of the podcast said that bloggers ought to have better things to do with their time, like ministry. Dude, when I heard that, all the "earn the right to speak into their life" stuff afterwards simply had me doubled over in stitches.

See: urine jokes are pointing people to Jesus. Mocking seafood-flavored chips: that's edgy podcast humor. But holding up a sign which says, for example, this:

That's tearing down the body; that's dishonoring to Jesus, or failing to mention Jesus. Calling some blog "fundamentalist" -- that's not critical or reductive or, frankly, mistaken and wrong. That's not dividing the body up. That's good and measured criticism, and clearly they have taken the time to earn the right to speak into our, um, I mean the lives of those who run that un-named blog.

Happy Monday. Maybe we can get Friel to podcast the Relevant podcast -- that'd be good.

OK, I was going to leave all this in the sidebar, but since Frank went and made a post of it, let me add my three cents:

For those not wanting to slog through the whole thing, the relevant part of the Relevant podcast starts at the 32-minute mark. They begin that segment by responding to the Emerging Glossary on Anton Hein's "Apologetics Index" (which I linked to last week). When they make the segue into talking about the motivational posters, they seem not to understand that the Pyromaniacs blog is a whole different site.

One gets the distinct impression that they have never bothered to read any of our substantive critiques of the Emerging Church. In their view we are just "hard-line fundamentalists" whose main problem with the Emerging mess is "generational." To put it bluntly, if we weren't such old geezers, we'd see that they are right.

And when (remember, now: a full half hour of tastelessness and triviality has already passed through our iPods) some guy in the group responds to the mention of the posters with, "What's going to bring people to Jesus? . . . Let's point to Jesus", I was actually hoping one of them might be on the verge of an epiphany. Hey! Perhaps a lucid thought was about to emerge.


"Maybe when all those people die off. . ." followed by peals of laughter all around, and then the obligatory, "It's a joke, people." And suddenly—now that the jokes are coming from them—they "get" the idea of hard-edged humor, and they stop decrying all satire as mean or unchristlike. (Even when it involves wishing for the deaths of one's critics.)

Now, we do have to give the Relevant podcasters credit for the one brief shining moment when one of them recognized the irony of pleading "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater"—even though that is precisely the dominant Emerging methodology for dealing with the deficiencies of 20th-century evangelicalism.

But despite that one flash of insight, the level of hubris reflected in this podcast is breathtaking—especially their stunned blindness to the glaring reality that practically everything they said in the podcast bolstered the dead-on accuracy of the Emergent-See posters.

Phil's signature

15 June 2007

In case you have a free weekend ...

by Frank Turk

About a month ago I got this e-mail from Phil (you know: Phil Johnson -- world traveler, fancy but invisible editor, BMAGTY [Big Man at GTY], blogger, friend) asking me and Dan to pick our favorite posts at TeamPyro to start a "best of" category in the sidebar. And we all got busy ... doing other things.

Then yesterday, as I put up a request for my readers to do for me what I was somewhat recalcitrant in doing for Phil, I remembered that e-mail.

Well, you all read this blog, right? And something over the last 18-or-so months has to have been interesting enough to call it "the best of." So you can help us to help future readers by going to the meta and linking to your favorite TeamPyro posts.

I realize I will get no votes, and I don't want to hear any whining about former members of this blog who don't have posts listed here anymore. That's all part of the deal. The blog is what it is and you can pick from what we got. To be sporting, you can also pick from Phil's original blog because it was that good.

Have at it. And for those of you who are curious, don't spend the whole weekend doing this: be in the Lord's house with the Lord's people on the Lord's day this weekend, and don't bother comparing your pastor's message to a blog. There's no way a blog will love you enough to really try to watch out for your soul.

14 June 2007

How Now shall we Blogspot?

by Frank Turk

o we even really do BlogSpotting anymore? It seems like we haven't done this in ages -- and it shows. The pickin's in the blogosphere for links back to this blog are so slim that I have had to go back weeks in some cases to find anyone posting anything about us. Maybe this will spur on a flurry of activity for something other than a post from Dan because somebody learned something from it:

  • The Search for Purpose liked the dose of Spurgeon this week. Didn't say much about it, though ...
  • London Blogger Doug McMasters liked what I said about church membership so much, he supplemented it with some Calvin
  • "Coop" at While Rome Burns says some, um, he says something about my "Why Join a Church?" post. At least he tried to comment.
  • I'm hoping this link will put Fred's nose back into joint.
  • Not everyone was happy with Dan calling Francis Beckwith's spade a spade, but Pastor's Perspective was.
  • EveryDay Mommy manages to link to both VeryMom and teamPyro in the same post -- and it's not to point out that VeryMom's theological short-comings as a Mormon! FOR SHAME!
  • Obligatory link to British Link Troll. And I only call him that becuase I know he hates it. But he mentions Phil's upgrade to the world of Mac, so good on him.
  • Rondom Thoughts from a Cluttered Mind linked to a page about Phil eating a candy-coated scorpion. But I can't get the guy to eat a burger at lunch. Go figure.
  • Jason Reed liked what Dan had to say about modest dress.
  • Bob Hyatt Calls Phil/TeamPyro "the smartest, most eloquent" ... but the smartest, most eloquent source of "waay off base slams" against the Emergent church. Open challenge to Bob: At TeamPyro, we offer critiques to everyone -- evangelical, emergent, reformed, arminian, smart, stupid ... we give everyone something to chew on. Can you personally name anything wrong with the Emergent church which anyone ought to be concerned about, or is Emergent free of any riff-raff? Think about that, bub, before you start with the "way off base" smears.
  • On the other hand, M-in-the-Gap gave us a "Thinking Blogger" award, and we never succumbed to that meme. Maybe when we're in Tulsa we can cull the blogopshere and provide our opinion about who makes us think among our blogging neighbors.

Was that enough? That's going almost 4 weeks back. I hope that is enough. And sorry to Challies for correcting this post like 7 times after it was posted ...

30 March 2007

Down a notch

by Frank "stats" Turk

That's a screen shot of the top 5 referrers to Team Pyro, and it says two things to me:

[1] Most of you have bookmarked this page, which is amazing, and

[2] Most of the rest of you have used a search engine (Google) to find us or something we have said. Wow.

So because I'm curious like that, I made our Google Analytics give me a list of the top search items which brought you to TeamPyro. Here's the top of that list:

So for example, somehow "adultery" managed to be the #16 most frequent search term which drove people to TeamPyro. huh. It pleases me that "schmeradactyl" beat it out in frequency ...

But as you scroll through that list -- and this is only from visitors in the last 7 days -- you see that the Francis Chan video is still getting play. Listen: give it a rest. Let's argue about something we can all agree is wrong, like the contemporary obsession with the Gifts, and get on with our lives.

And be in the Lord's house on the Lord's day with the Lord's people. Even if they start speaking in tongues. Just don't let anyone prophecy to you with the caveat, "If I heard the Lord correctly."

20 January 2007

End of a bad week

by Phil Johnson

t's been a tougher-than-usual week here on the blog. We seem to have irritated a few people who aren't usually numbered among our critics. We really didn't need any more detractors, either.

Note: The following quotes illustrate why we didn't need any more detractors; not why this has been such a tough week. See further remarks on this below.

Faint praise for the PyroManiacs

Here's a sampling of some things various readers here and there have been saying about us—from our first foray into the blogosphere until now:
  • "These men have nothing intelligent to say to intelligent people. They are merely reactionary Fundamentalists who found a couple of things they liked in old records and haphazardly pasted them together regardless of internal coherence or external fit to reality. And you can't just TALK to them, have a decent brother-to-brother conversation. Their whole identity is at stake on every minute little position they hold, so any form of nuance is anathema to them."—Tim Enloe
  • "I was profoundly disappointed in the post that opened the week over at TeamPyro. I can think of few things that have disappointed me more in the past year than that post. It was as if a part of me died. . . .I'm dead serious when I say that what has happened over there is what Spurgeon would have called "downgrade." Reformed blogdom is a little less than it was before."—Chad Bresson
  • "This man has made a cult of C.H. Spurgeon. Spurgeon, a cigar-smoking, overweight pedant, is the darling of arrogant jackboot Baptist preachers and many other slow bellies. Preachers who love to use one text and jabber on and on showing their gifts of elocution read Spurgeon instead of their Bibles for inspiration . . . Watch this creep attack a classic bible-church fundamentalist."—Steve Van Nattan
  • "What you have [here] is independent Baptist fundamentalism, right down the line, with only a few changes. . . . Go and check up on names like Jerry Falwell, Jerry Vines, John R. Rice and Jack Hyles. You'll understand a lot more about what you're hearing."—Michael Spencer, "The Internet Monk"
nyway, let's see if we can do the usual weekend BlogSpotting without picking at any of those scabs:


Anyway, that's all I really have time for this weekend. See you at church tomorrow.

Update: For whatever reason, the iMonk is very keen for me to inform my readers that the quote from him (see above) is not anything new. Indeed; it's typical of the kind of thing he was posting about me at his blogs even before I entered the blogosphere.

The quotes above were deliberately juxtaposed to illustrate that our most determined critics cannot even agree amongst themselves about what is wrong with us. The iMonk and his drinking buddies constantly deride us for being too TR ("Truly Reformed"). Others evidently think we're a black hole through which everything that is actually Reformed is being drained out of the blogosphere. And according to iMonk, the only way to understand us is to study the evil legacy of Jack Hyles. But those who are more "Truly Fundamentalist" regard us as the mortal enemies of "classic bible-church fundamentalists." Those on a Romish trajectory apparently think we're so far off base that we must be answered with insults rather than arguments.

I defy anyone to plot all those criticisms on a graph and find a spot on the map where everything that is being said about us could possibly be true all at once.

Of course, that by no means proves we have achieved the perfect equilibrium. But it may well be evidence that some of our critics are pretty seriously imbalanced.

That was my point in citing the above four criticisms together. Sorry if that was too cryptic for some.

Phil's signature