09 December 2014

Some here, some there — December 9, 2014

by Dan Phillips

Christmas has come early!

Actually, I was looking forward to reading Frank's post... then I realized that it was "my" day. And so, since I was thinking all yesterday that I already had enough for an SHST, here is one early. Not sure whether I'll do another Friday, or something else. Suspense!

Have fun, it's quite the mini-assortment.
  • I've long said that secularists have no problem with Christians being Christians, just so long as we don't do it out-loud or in publicRick Plasterer (seriously) argues that that principle will fall heavily and possibly terminally on Christian institutions, given the current tidal wave of totalitarian, institutionalized immorality (including compulsory approval) that is sweeping what once would have been called Christendom.
  • The very people who now sneer at the fact that "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist party?" was ever asked, are having no problem with the same question posed of public persons, with the substitution of "Christian religion" for the last two words.
  • Reminding one of the immortal words of Cdr. Buck Murdock.
  • One last reflection on that article. Plasterer says this almost in passing: "God’s standard given in Scripture is obedience to Him regardless of pain." How many professed Christians don't even think it important to obey God regardless of inconvenience or effort, let alone pain?
  • Okay, this next item is not at all like the usual. I can only offer three reasons for including it... and they're stretches. First: it has footage from the Charlie Brown Christmas, including the reading from Luke, so: ChristmasSecond: it features one of the very best guitar solos ever recorded by one of the very best guitarists ever to play, so: common graceThird: it's awesome and I love it. So: my blog (in part)! Thanks to reader Keith Lamborn for alerting me to it. Enjoy, or move along to the next item.
  • I loved that the creator timed the clips so well to the song, but what really won me over was the dances during the guitar solo. Awesome.
  • And BTW, the song is about writing a song. In case someone's going to go all Johnny Todd on me.
  • In case you didn't see it — well, (A) shame on you; and (B) go to my blog and see this lovely version of The Wexford Carol, with Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss.
  • You know what's even weirder (to me) than having Rick Warren in effect say "pish-posh" to the Reformation? Having Reformation 21 publish an article lavishing praise on that wonderfully "generous" evangelical Richard Mouw! In case you don't remember, Mouw was President pf Fuller Theological Seminary for 20 years, which all by itself would be enough to raise my eyebrow. But what's more, Mouw is the man who threw Christian missionaries to Mormons under the bus, and who the Mormons love because he has proclaimed Mormonism not to be a cult.
  • Do you think Harold Lindsell is looking smug in heaven? Are other saints having to tell him to stop saying "QED!"?
  • So is Reformation 21 prepping an article praising the generosity of Rick Warren? Unknown.
  • But the president of Covenant College agrees. So there's that.
  • Well, now to something more directly seasonal, and as a reward for Frank — if he's read further than the post title — this:

Fun, eh? Now, what will I do Friday...?

Dan Phillips's signature


Patrick said...

You know, it was disappointing to realize that today isn't Friday, but it was great to read through this material.

Thanks for your efforts here.

DJP said...

Oh, sorry; I didn't even think of that.

Maybe that's because I love my job and Friday's just another day in a happy week.


Kerry James Allen said...

Maybe DJP was reading Joel Osteen's book "Every day a Friday!"

Terry Rayburn said...

1. I appreciate the nostalgia-inducing hat tip to Harold Lindsell.

When I was a new believer in the late '70's, hungry for the Bible and for Christian books, assaulted by Liberal and Neo-Orthodox influences swirling around at the time, Lindsell's The Battle for the Bible was a refreshing slap-in-the-face LITERAL God-send.

Fortunately it's still available "used", and I'd recommend it to anyone, not only as a good treatise, but as a slice of Church History from those interesting times.

(I see Amazon has a "new" hardcover available for $470. A bargain even at that.)

By 1981 I was sitting weekly in W.A. Criswell's First Baptist Church in Dallas, watching that giant of a preacher boldly battle for the soul of the Southern Baptist Convention.

And courting my now-wife of 30 years, who fell in love with Criswell as a preacher while she fell in love with me as a...guy.

Those were exciting times in American Christendom.

2. As a side-note, Dan, I hope you guys address the subject of BOOKS -- both theological and secular -- at the Sufficient Fire Conference.

Specifically with the rough question, "If the Bible is sufficient, what good are books?" sort of thing.

Re theological books, e.g., "Isn't the Bible all we need for theology?"

Re secular books, e.g., "What types of secular books might be harmful, even if not anti-Bible?" and/or "What types of secular books might be fine, even if totally unrelated to Biblical truth?"

I recommend that as a way of anticipating "objections" from your hearers and dealing with them beforehand, since those "objections" by sincere believers might not even be brought up, but might, in their minds, undermine your critically important main message.

Michael Coughlin said...

What KJA said.

Michael said...

Enjoying my first cup of coffee in my new, made just for me, Pyro mug. mmmm

FX Turk said...

I came for the Peanuts Cetera.

I stayed for the Hulk.

Unknown said...

Man, I LOVE it when the Peanuts play some good ole Genesis songs!

DJP said...

Everyone slums. Even Chicago.

But not that way.

Jim Pemberton said...

Chicago has one of my favorite groups for a long time. I like the remake of 25 or 6 to 4 better than the first one - don't throw stones. Although the guitar solo is a classic, I wouldn't classify as the best. Here's an example of a cuatro de Venezuela played well. I love the Venezuelan people. Okay, so it's not really a guitar. How about a whole concert of real guitars?

Anonymous said...

Love the line about Harold Lindsell!

Paul H.

semijohn said...

Played soccer some with and against Derek Halvorson years ago. He didn't stand out as a "most likely to be a college president" kinda guy, but what did I know? Haven't really followed him since he took the helm at CC, but this certainly doesn't impress.

DJP said...

Soo... the Ref21 adoration for the Fuller pres who threw missionaries to Mormons under the bus and pronounced them not-a-cult doesn't surprise anyone? What?

semijohn said...

It certainly bothers me, especially since James White considers Mouw to be a liberal evangelical scholar, and he is being admired at Ref21. Then again, after Frank's tenure over there, maybe Pyro readers don't expect every Ref21 poster's priorities to always be in line with Pyro's (especially since Trueman's not around anymore). Kinda wish Frank was still there to push back on this.

Don't know much about Sean Lucas, but perhaps he is a bit blinded by Mouw's reformed background and credentials. Maybe expertise on Kuyper covers over a lot of sins for some people. Or maybe he just hasn't paid attention to the Mouw-Mormon issue. I didn't know much about Mouw, but his time at Calvin College and CRC connections are certainly yellow flags for me besides his tenure at Fuller. Not to mention the yellow flag of him using the word "generosity" in a non-tangible sense, but that's Brian McLaren's fault.

semijohn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
semijohn said...

I meant Sean Lucas using the word "generosity", not Mouw, though Lucas was using it about Mouw.

Aaron Snell said...

It was surprising. And it will be interesting to see if, without Carl and the Menace formerly known as Frank there, there will be any pushback from other Ref21 contributors. My bet is no. After the way Mark Jones slid out of direct engagement with Frank's direct engagement, I kinda think there's not much stomach there for that kind of stuff anymore.

FX Turk said...

Let's be careful not to imply that our friends at Ref21 are not as reformed as they claim to be, or that somehow there is something fishy about Mark Jones.

I left Ref21 because I didn't think I fit in. If we need to address unfortunate incidents over there over here, this is why we do what we do. This is who we have always been.

In the immortal words of James White, I haven't changed.

DJP said...

True; yet, nonetheless, I think if an article suddenly appeared at Pyromaniacs — maybe by a new writer — about what a wonderful guy Rick Warren or Brian McLaren was, what a model Christian gentleman, people would wonder who'd been messing with our Maypo, no?

Tom Chantry said...

Sean Lucas isn't a new writer, he's an old one. I'm not sure how to evaluate whether Ref21 is "Reformed" or not; there are so many contributors there, most of whom don't contribute that often. What I can say is that Lucas did clash in the past with other contributors at Ref21 - usually in a way that made one wonder how seriously he took the whole "being Presbyterian" thing, what with its well-established and understood Confession of Faith and all.

It's truly a pity to see him return to active posting.

FX Turk said...

My money is on his sanctification being more imagined than real, since that's how one writer over there recently put it.

FX Turk said...

FWIW: A lot like mine. But my excuse is that I am personally more imaginary than real, so I have a metaphysical excuse.

Tom Chantry said...

Is the "real" part of you the Captain America costume, or is it the other way round?

FX Turk said...

I don't answer obvious question like that anymore.

DJP said...

Like what?

Aaron Snell said...

I hear what you're saying, Frank, but I didn't mean to imply anything disparaging, fishy or otherwise, about Mark Jones, or the confessional orthodoxy of Ref21 as a whole. My point was actually exactly what you said about why you left - they're not a debate blog, and certainly not an internal debate blog. Mark Jones just did not seem interested in a protracted back-and-forth with you. It LOOKED to us as if he threw down a gauntlet, given the type if internet interaction we're used to around here, but it turns out he just sort of dropped a glove, and please excuse him while he picks it back up, no harm no foul.

FX Turk said...

Aaron: exactly.

DJP: Exactly.

Unknown said...


[glances sideways at Jim Pemberton]