16 December 2006

Directly to the forehead

by Phil Johnson

  • Michael Touhey at "Strangers and Exiles" posts an insightful riff about Red-Letter Christianity, and as a follow-up, he links not only to Dan Phillips's "Ed McMahon" post, but also to a post by our very own Frank Turk, from Frank's other world-famous blog.
  • Stephen Clouse, in his own BlogSpotting post, also linked to both Dan and Frank.
  • Scott Aniol raised some interesting questions about John MacArthur, contemporary music, and "contextualization." I promised to get a reply directly from Pastor MacArthur. Scott is looking forward to the answer. (Just a note: It may be a couple of weeks before I can post on this—or even a few days longer, since things are hectic around here during the Christmas season. But I won't forget.)
  • The question Scott Aniol raised stemmed from a discussion this week at SharperIron.org, the blogosphere's largest bastion of fundamentalists. Bob Hayton gave an analysis of that thread, in which he said, among other things, "Phil Johnson has jumped into the discussion with only a matchbox rather than a Pyromaniacs blowtorch." I couldn't tell whether he was pleased or disappointed by my diminished firepower, but his post, and the comments that follow, give a nice shorthand summary of some of the backstories in that thread. Fundies. This is why I love them.
  • Annette at "Fish and Cans" (there's a blogname with some graphic possibilities) found us via Dan Phillips's other blog. Wow. See? People do read your blog, Dan.
  • Our good friend Carla Rolfe enjoyed the video Adrian Warnock posted. I should mention that my own lovely wife, Darlene, was the videographer there—though I think that's pretty obvious, since she kept giggling in the background.
  • Jon Thorsen was just thinking about Ed McMahon the other day.
  • Jeff Wright likewise thought Dan's post made good reading material.
  • A lot of people, including Mark La Roi, recommended that same post.
  • On the other hand, longtime Pyro-critic Rod Pickett ("PastorRod") thinks we (and Spurgeon) are out to lunch for not thinking innovation is a good thing in theology. Rod borrows several gems of wisdom from a fellow at Harvard School of Business who is something of an expert on innovation techniques for secular business. Rod thinks we need to apply this guy's ideas to the church, treating the gospel as our "product." ("All truth is God’s truth, after all," Rod solemnly reminds us.) Our response to Rod's post would echo the opinion of his first commenter: "Could we run any of these ideas through the filter of Scripture?"
  • Nathan White, who is about to be a father, enjoyed Dan's other post this week.
  • Mathew Sims posts a good summary and overview of what we have said here about the lordship issue. Mathew definitely gets it. I think it's interesting that the point Mathew finds "decisive"—the biblical teaching about church discipline—has been utterly and completely ignored by the proponents of no-lordship doctrine.
  • J. Michael Wender (nice seasonal blogdesign!) lists the best o' "Where I am Right Now"® links.
  • Paul Huxley, whom I met in London, blogged about it. He's cool.
  • . . . and if Dave Bish is reading this, hi again. I gave Huxley a decal for you. Be sure you get it from him. I don't want him sticking it like graffiti on one of London's porta-loos or something.
  • Brian Thornton has no clue how vast my collection of Pyro-T-shirts is.
  • Andrew Jones, Tall Skinny Kiwi, wants an eye kept on me. Andrew, if you see this: I'm definitely going to try to meet you on my next trip to the UK. I'd suggest the Starbucks at Waterloo with Adrian Warnock—but given my track record with Adrian, I'm afraid a meeting like that would bring the whole world to a screeching halt.

    Sadly, that's all I have time for today. There are many other links I haven't BlogSpotted yet, and I apologize to anyone who got passed over. Keep linking here and eventually, we'll link back.

    And go to church tomorrow.

    Phil's signature


    Adrian Warnock said...

    You me and the kiwi... that HAS to be world-stopping. I am up for it - perhaps we better get them to put out some kind of alert though!
    Actually maybe I should meet the kiwi before you as we are in the same city.

    Unknown said...

    Thanks for the greeting. I shall be sure to get the decal from Mr Huxley next time I see him.

    Pastor Rod said...


    It just seems like a long time :)

    Thanks for the link and for keeping me on my toes.


    Brian @ voiceofthesheep said...

    Thanks for the blogspot!

    Maybe you can add a little color to your Pyro t-shirt wardrobe instead of just black. You know..red ones and blue ones and white ones and pink ones...

    Don't get me wrong, though...if I had a black Pyro t-shirt, you can bet I'd be wearing it!

    Ebeth said...

    Praying that God will give you the strength you need for the rest of the year for the ministries here.

    Bob Hayton said...


    I thought your approach was good. There were some honest questions, and I am glad you are interacting with them. But as my post shows, you sure had to wade through some hot and heavy "fundyspeak"!

    Thanks for the link.

    God bless you richly in Christ,

    Bob Hayton

    Bob Hayton said...

    Oh, and since you are going to be delving into the "is MacArthur consistent" question, you might be interested in some of the comments here which started the whole fiasco. Towards the end of the comments under that post, they claim that MacArthur has only recently started speaking up against CCM culture, and thereby is being inconsistent in reverse, if that makes sense.

    Just thought you might like to know.

    God bless,

    Bob Hayton

    Jerry Morningstar said...

    That was a rather - uh - 'interesting' discussion over at sharper iron. Master's College kids swaying to their music! For shame!! I wonder how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I also wish Lou would quit beating around the bush and state how he really feels about MacArthur. If that's fundamentalism - count me out. Good grief!

    Qohelet said...

    "Thou shalt not sway." Seems like I must have read that somewhere in Deuteronomy.

    Andrew Jones said...

    phil - your coffee in london took place 2 blocks from my CMS office in London (Church Mission Society) and 2 blocks from ScooterWorks Cafe which is the coffee shop of choice for these conversations.
    Adrian and i are working on something and yes - lets hook up next time and find out why people think we dont like each other.

    and if you are there on sunday. lets do the Met [since we share a similar infatuation with Spurgeon]. Dr Masters may show us some history if we are nice to him - like I was last time.

    Kim said...

    I enjoyed hearing your voices, because I am a very auditory person, and I like to hear. I would have liked to see Darlene's face, though, because I kept hearing her giggling, and I wanted to see her!

    Matthew Celestine said...

    Phil, do you mind my asking a question?

    How do you think the Lord's discipline of His people differs from church discipline?