03 October 2014

Some here, some there — October 3, 2014

by Dan Phillips

Let's get started. Remember, updates occur throughout day, so check in again tonight:
  • Even the first paragraph is gold:
PAUL was now in bonds, yet not so close kept as to be denied pen and paper; God, it seems, gave him some favour in the sight of his enemies: Paul was Nero’s prisoner, but Nero was much more God’s. And while God had work for Paul, he found him friends both in court and prison
  • My famous cohort Frank Turk also blogs over at Ref21,  where he just did some of the very best writing I've ever seen him do—and that's saying something. It was provoked by a post by Mark Jones, and is a four-part series responding to the question: why might a Biblical Christian (i.e. credobaptist) suggest that the Lord's Table shouldn't be the first stop for a convert who has not yet been baptized, by any Biblical description of the word? Turk wrote one, yea two, even three, lo four parts. They are absolutely excellent, I could never have said it fractionally as well.
  • I can't really say "in response," so I'll say afterwardMark Jones first said he wouldn't respond because he's too busy, then wrote something which seems framed as some kind of response, but actually sounds as if he hadn't read anything Frank wrote yet. But, as he said, he's really busy. Nobody can read everything.
  • Alternate title of this very helpful and true post by Todd Pruitt: "Dude...It's Just Music."
  • An oldie but goodie: Jesse Johnson's 40 reasons to be part of a local church. Or as I've said, Bible teaching/preaching is like the lecture portion of a class, church involvement is like the lab portion.
  • Kerry Allen pointed me to this. Anyone know it, or Stephen McCaskell?
  • We Christians often wonder how many liberals (A) oppose, for instance, clubbing seals, but (B) favor "abortion rights." It seems like a cognitive disconnect. But I wonder how many reformed evangelicals (A) oppose elitism and the celebrity culture, and yet (B) run interference for them, deflect all criticism, and attempt to shame all critics into silence? Obviously, celebrities would be nowhere without willing shoulders to ride on.

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Chris H said...

I have a number of dear friends who are of the charismatic vein, and I tried to read some of this Charisma magazine, in the vain hope that I might find something edifying I might share (as in, have in common) with my friends.

I couldn't. I just couldn't do it. Trogdor's post is spot-on (as his is suggestion to check out Lyndon Unger's comments in one of the notably foul articles about a python); there is nothing worthwhile in this magazine on its own. As I see it, the only way God winds up being glorified and His people edified by this magazine is despite these articles, because He is glorious and infinitely creative when He's turning our folly for our own good.

Anonymous said...

Interesting and helpful, as always; thanks Dan.

Question: Are there any plans to live-stream the Sufficient Fire conference? Or will there at least be video available afterward, or only audio?

Look forward to the conference either way.

DJP said...

No, there are no plans at present to livestream or give away recordings. There are plans to give away a fair bit to those who come to the conference, however. Hope to see you there!

mike said...

I have read all the posts at REF 21 since the original post be Dr Mark Jones, and they all seem to have been carefully and thoughtfully written.
i agree that what Frank posted was very well thought out and defended.
where i am struggling with your summation above is, it seems that everything Frank wrote was that it seemed to me to talk past Mark's question, just as Marks response seems to have ignored most of Franks responses.

DJP said...

I call for public coffee mugs at 10 paces!

Angela said...

So...are you saying the conference is a "closed" conference??? Rats!!!

Um, I'm still having a hard time believing that the Charisma site is not a parody.

That book title and paragraph are off the chart serious gold for sure! A lot Frank's Ref21 posts, which were solidly backed. I thought the Jones' response was a parody, too. Maybe my parody sensor is too sensitive.

DJP said...

Nope, wide-open! Come, bring a truckload of friends. It promises to be edifying, much-needed, and very joyful!

Angela said...

"I call for public coffee mugs at 10 paces."

That would be great! Only make sure they are not filled with decaf. We don't want anyone claiming it wasn't legit or void.

mike said...

having spent several years at a church that was left-center-left on charismania, i found that it totally emboldened the post modern tendencies in the "hearer".
there became no ability to state "God has said..." as each person must by definition at least infer "to me".
error cannot be corrected, or heaven forbid, confronted, as "every man a priest", becomes "every man a prophet"

LanternBright said...

C'mon, Dan...we all know that the safer, saner types of Charismatic wouldn't be caught within a hundred MILES of the likes of Charisma magazine!

I mean--it's not like Michael Brown, Adrian Warnock, and Sam Storms have all written for it, right?


Brady Bush said...

I'm a Baptist but I find myself more in agreement with the Presbyterian here, if I read him correctly. The baptism ritual is most accurately performed by immersion, but Dr. Jones rightly points out that the only baptism that saves us is Christ's immersion into death.

"And without baptism, of course you cannot come to the Lord's table."

I fail to see where Frank is getting this from Scripture. What it sounds like to me is "without immersion you cannot be saved." I know that isn't what he believes... right...?

My bias is that my wife was baptized by sprinkling as a believer in a Presbyterian church. Neither of us have felt convicted that she should be immersed, nor have we seen it in Scripture. As far as I can tell, the ritual is merely a public display of allegiance to Christ. However, we are both ruled by Scripture and will submit to any clear evidence to the contrary.

FInally, it burns my Protestant heart to see another use the word 'sacrament' but I guess that's for another time.

Kyle said...

Funny how some churches will roll out a Fiberglas tub, fill it with water, dunk a believer and call that "baptism". Really? That's nowhere in the Bible, yet some proudly deny the Lord's meal to other believers who have been baptized by other means. What's that about?

LanternBright said...

Brady and Kyle,

Try rereading Frank's arguments again more carefully. Frank is careful to stipulate that immersion as the mode of baptism is the normal, preferred method, but that allowances can and should be made for extraordinary circumstances. (He uses the example of a soldier baptized by pouring in the absence of an opportunity to immerse). His argument with Jones focuses not so much on the mode of baptism as on the recipient: Frank is arguing, IOW, that the church should not be in the habit of baptizing unwilling recipients.

I'd love to know what either of you disagree with about that.

Brady Bush said...

One thing more, quickly. In the 'epilogue,' Frank says that he does not take communion as a visitor to other churches. He would not take communion with Presbyterians, for example. I find that odd and unscriptural, though I share his passion for the importance of denominations. And it is consistent with his closed-table view.

LanternBright said...


Again, you're wrong, and would benefit from a more careful reading. Frank doesn't say he wouldn't TAKE communion...he says he wouldn't DEMAND it. Recognize the difference, and read more carefully in future.

Michael said...

As to Frank's blog re: Baptism and the Lord's Table:
Jones was really focusing on immersion v. sprinkling. While Frank was focusing on Believer v. nonbeliever (infant).
I think Frank focused on that aspect of the original blog because he (Frank) sees it as the much more significant difficulty. That may look to some as though Frank was talking past Jones. I think it was Frank doing what he does so well: getting to the heart of the matter.