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


LanternBright said...

Fred's combox is routinely one of the funniest things on the internet--ESPECIALLY when he's posting on KJVO lunacy or hard atheism.

My all-time personal favorite was from the former category:

Fred, are you a Roman Catholic? And if so, are you a Jesuit?

Morris Brooks said...

Regarding what it is like to be a pastor...the stairs aren't moving fast enough :)

Michael Coughlin said...

That was fun and I have read several of the linked to articles.

Kirby said...

Mark Driscoll. As much as I've always wanted to admire him, I just never could because every-so-often another chink in the armor would reveal a weakness. Then I'd have to sit back and ponder anew what I'm sure so many others pondered: how is this guy turning the Pacific Northwest upside down? That thought kept me at bay. I was hoping that he would at some great moment of clarity issue a sincere apology and step down for awhile, and seek the personal counsel of a nouthetic counselor.

The other part of this saga is [painfully] my ability to identify with some of his fundamental character flaws. At times as I read an article here or a tweet there, I've sucked in and said, "Whoa, I've been like that, and never clearly saw it." And I don't even have a mega-church to show for it. :)

Sadly, no matter what he does on Sunday, he has already become the case study for our generation. It can still end well, and I hope for his sake and MHC that it does. but I can barely see it ending well if the two remain together.

Brady Bush said...

With due respect to Pastor Anyabwile, I think he is acting the fool and doing a disservice to the cause of justice by using inflamed language such as 'I fear for my son.'

"Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil." Romans 13:1-5 (highlights mine)

This should be the unified, resounding message from black (and white) pastors after the Mike Brown shooting. If evidence of injustice emerges, we can talk about that. Until then, we have a 300-pound man (not a boy) robbing a liquor store and resisting arrest. We also have a culture of black young men being indoctrinated to despise authority and resist it wherever possible. Thabiti's comments are lighter fluid.

Pauerpleigh said...

I find it strange that Pastor Anyabwile does not see that he did indeed give the impression that he believed the Officer to be Guilty and the Teen to be the victim. "Ferguson is my fear."--- "So I’m watching Ferguson and I’m thinking about Titus. And I’m thinking about the long list of African-American men shot to death for no good reason."---"who talk of obeying lawful authority while witnessing the unlawful use of authority,"--- "call into question the teenage victim while granting the benefit of the doubt to the grown up perpetrator."

Unknown said...

This is admittedly off topic. But before you delete, please consider that, given the number of topics covered in this post, being off topic is kind of an achievement. Just wanted to ask some questions about your site.

If I'm still here, a few years ago I was a big time (post-)Evangelical blog reader. (I also tried to be a big time Evangelical blogger but ... never mind.) Anyway, what with one thing and another, I had to drop many of my hobbies and I haven't spent much time in the Evangelical blog world in many moons now. But I found myself with an unusual amount of time on my hands today and thought I would take a trip down memory lane and see how some of the sites I used to visit were getting along.

So, first, I notice that some of the posts say that you guys were cranking out stuff on a daily basis from 2006 to 2012 that offended basically everyone in the country except Howard Stern. But you seem to be still going strong, so what changed in 2012?

Also, you use the phrase "post-Evangelical wasteland". Are you rippong off poor Michael Spencer (who is actually doing better than any of us now that he has gone to his reward, but you know what I mean) here, or did he rip you off, or is this a phrase that gets tossed around alot and I just didn't know it?

Also, when did you guys become such big dogs on the hill that you could sponsor conferences and stuff?

Finally, the guy who writes/wrote the "Pecadillo" thing -- He was hilarious. Or scary. Depending on whether I had just finished watching Nova or world champioship wrestling. Does he ever post here anymore?

Well, if you decide to answer, thanks much. If not, oh well. Maybe I'll see you in another five years.

DJP said...

I'll answer the part I can. What changed for me in 2012 is that I became pastor of Copperfield Bible Church in Houston, TX, after a >10-year hiatus from fulltime pastoral ministry. That also answers the conference question: it is sponsored by the church I pastor.

We're doing the conference for this reason: Sufficient Fire IDed some of the miserable effects of walking away from a robust doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. At the Sufficient Fire conference, we're aiming at a positive exposition of the impact of affirming that doctrine.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out.

And "thunderously slack-jawed baffled" was quite the turn of a phrase. Well-put.