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Clearnote Summer Conference: your children will love it!

Here's the e-mail that went out to fathers and mothers of children registered for our 2014 Clearnote Summer Conference this coming weekend, "Salt and Light: Confessing Christ in the Public Square," and it's one small evidence of the truth we repeat to those considering attendance: the Clearnote Summer Conference children's programs are second to none. Clearnote churches and Clearnote Fellowship are family-centered. 

We are very thankful to the many men and women who serve our children during the conference, and especially Dr. Ben Burlingham who has led them. If you have children and you're able to get out of town during the summer, make plans now to attend next year's conference. You and your wife and sons and daughters will love it!

A Parents’ Guide to the 2014 Clearnote Fellowship Summer Conference

We have a great program planned for the kids this year, and the purpose of this email is to ensure that they all arrive ready to hit the ground running...


The gates of Hell will not prevail against Her...

Our hope and faith are never in laughable schemes of political improvement. Rather, it is in God Who has been pleased to make His Church an armory of spiritual weapons for spiritual warfare, promising the gates of Hell will not prevail against Her.

[NOTE: Because of an e-mail pointing out errors in Shaunti Feldhahn's statistics, I've removed the link to her interview.]


The Hobby Lobby decision put in context...

The Supreme Court of these United States declares Hobby Lobby will no longer be required to submit to Washington D.C.'s oppression and we're supposed to be happy and grateful? Are you kidding me?

The cornerstone of our nation's principles of government is the recognition that all men have an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, yet Christians are tickled pink and giggling with excitement that closely held family corporations of a certain inordinate religiosity will no longer be obligated to pay for the slaughter of their employees' children. It doesn't take much for the court jesters inside the Beltway to make us grateful, does it?

Sometimes I think I have a clear view of the game plan. The relationship between Christian citizens of these United States and their civil magistrates is much like professional wrestling...


Alpha mothers...

My daughter, Michal Crum, forwarded this post on bad boy five-year-olds and it's excellent. How many times I have to give this little talk'; to mothers, usually—but also fathers who aren't pointing this out to their wives. Auntie Leila's post is an excellent reminder to mothers beginning their summers with lots of free time for the children day by day. Summer should be a joy for mothers because the whole point of bearing and raising children is for...


Affirming stuff, part one...

Christian faith has always unapologetically been affirming of “stuff” - physical stuff. So affirming of stuff, in fact, that the entire world is scandalized by it. Some might say that one problem with our godless generation is its denigration of stuff; like a child in formation within his mother’s womb. The reason such a child may be incautiously discarded (killed) is that it is said to be nothing more than a mess of tissue - you know, it’s “just” stuff.

The word 'gnostic' is so abused of late that it can refer to nearly anything—so nebulous, it defies concreteness. This is a sad irony. But the fact remains, Christians have always scandalized the world by our unapologetic affirmation of stuff—insofar as our spirituality is divorced from stuff, some form of dualistic juju is wreaking havoc on our very humanity. It is a violent form of dualism which rages against our identity—an identity created by God which is identifiable through our bodies... 


The invisible graduates...

This article was written by Kate (Yoder '07) Bedinghaus and Heather (Bayly '98) Ummel for the most recent edition of the Taylor University magazine.

Fill in the blank: More Taylor grads work as ________________ than in any other vocation.

  • Teachers
  • Missionaries
  • Youth Pastors
  • Business Professionals

​Answer: It's a trick question. We didn't do a statistical survey, but we're willing to bet the answer is mothers.

As young women at Taylor, our minds were consumed with endless tests, friendships, wing events, and cute boys. There were deeper spiritual questions to ponder. There were decisions about the future to be made. These thoughts left little room for the seemingly faraway possibility of motherhood. The idea of children was filed away under "Someday," after mission work, world travel, and a rewarding career...


Whose children are they: a modest proposal for Governor Pence...

Before he died twelve years ago, my brother Nathan was furious over the refusal of our United States Immigration and Naturalization Service to grant political asylum to Chinese couples who, if they returned to their homeland, would be forced to murder their unborn children. Those who have followed the one-child policy of China's Communist dictators implemented in 1978 know such horrors are commonplace. One friend of mine who's an academic at another university got a phone call from a former student in China whose wife had become pregnant. China's apparatchiks were going to murder their unborn child, so my friend arranged for the man to...


On children's preparation for manhood and womanhood...

Fascinating article on children's play forwarded by my daughter, Michal. There's almost nothing here that caused me to cringe or disagree. I'd simply like to point out that it may be better to think of much of children's play as simply little men and women practising for manhood and womanhood.


Take the time and watch this...

Wonderful testimony to our Lord Jesus Christ. Wonderful example of fatherhood after the Father Almighty, a mother in Israel, and brotherhood in Christ. Thanks, Taylor.


Fathers who withhold spankings exasperate their children...

Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. - Colossians 3:21

But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. - Hebrews 12:8

Here's a good post reminding fathers and mothers that God our Heavenly Father will hold us accountable for our obedience to His many commands that we spank our children:

You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul from Sheol. - Proverbs 23:14


Homeschooling family flees Germany (II)...

This is the second part of the interview with Pastor Walker, a missionary to Germany who was persecuted by the German government for homeschooling his children and now lives in a gypsy village in Romania.


Homeschooling family flees Germany (I)...

Pastor Matthew was in town to visit his son doing graduate work at IU and I had the joy of sitting down with him to talk. After several hours together, I thought it was a waste that no one else was in the room listening, so I asked Luke Trout, our resident video expert, if we could rerun the conversation with him recording it for the blog? He was kind enough to agree and here's the first half.

Pastor Matthew covers much ground, but pay particular attention to his what he has to say about American missionaries in Europe, the dangers homeschooling parents face in the European Union today, the attack upon fatherhood in Germany, the unique challenges he and his wife and children run into living among, and preaching the Gospel to, gypsies in their village in Romania.

Luke Trout has broken the interview in half and this is the first half. We'll post the second half in a few days.


A.W. Tozer: man of prayer, introverted pastor, and Evangelical mystic...

A Review of Lyle Dorsett, A Passion for God The Spiritual Journey of A.W. Tozer (2008)

A number of us have enjoyed the books of A.W. Tozer (including, The Pursuit of God, The Knowledge of the Holy, and Worship: The Missing Jewel of the Evangelical Church), but few of us know anything about his life and pastoral ministry. Years ago, I read James Snyder’s biography of Tozer and learned a lot from it. However, this more brief biography by Dorsett was based on interviews with Tozer’s family and friends, so it gives a more intimate portrait, though that’s a complicated word to use to describe Tozer.

He was born in 1897 in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains of Central Pennsylvania. The third of six children, Tozer’s family was poor and all the children learned the value of hard work that farm life teaches. His father modeled aloofness and insensitivity to his children. He was irreligious and his family did not attend any church, though he encouraged his children to attend school. Aiden Wilson Tozer finished the eighth grade, but that ended his formal education.

The key event in Aiden’s childhood took place when the family home burned down when he was ten years old...


Raising sons and daughters to love their sexual identity...

A man of our congregation e-mailed a link to a piece on another blog written by a pastor's wife lamenting her fears that her son would have to "prove" his manhood among the Christians in her community and church down in Mississippi. The man commented, "the point (in the post) I thought was most interesting (was her writing):

...and so I come back to my sensitive son, with his preference for imaginative games over competitive ones. I wonder if he will soon find himself a misfit in the Christian community, pressured to prove himself—not by his neighborhood friends, who won't care what he is—but by other Christians, who want him to stand up for a certain kind of disappearing manliness.

Responding to this quote from the post, the man responded: "I get that some boys will grow up to be poets, and writers. I was an English major. But, I can testify to the fact that I definitely needed wrestling, and football—not to prove anything, but to learn how to just be tough and a man."

So I went and read the post and left a comment, there...


An updated reading list on sexuality...

Here's a reading list of thirteen books on the meaning and purpose of the two sexes created by God—man and woman. It's been slightly reworked since it was last published.

1. Scripture, starting with these texts
2. Henrik Ibsen: A Doll's House
3. Paul King Jewett: Man as Male and Female
4. Stephen B. Clark: Man and Woman in Christ
5. Walter Neuer: Man and Woman in Christian Perspective
6. Steven Ozment: When Fathers Ruled
7. G. K. Chesterton: What's Wrong With the World or The Thing
8. Doug Wilson: Reforming Marriage


God protects widows and orphans; blesses with fruitfulness and long life...

In my reading this morning, I took delight in several texts. First, this concerning our Heavenly Father's personal care for the widow and orphan:

You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. - Exodus 22:22-24)

Oppression of the fatherless leads to...


Day care back in 1649...

Back in 1649, Jeremy Taylor, author of the spiritual classic The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living and the Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying, preached a sermon titled "Of nursing Children, in imitation of the blessed Virgin-Mother." Here's an excerpt proving it's nothing new for Christian women to bear children, then repudiate motherhood leaving their own sons and daughters exposed on the hillside of daycare. Thus it is that their abandoned wee ones become, as Taylor puts it, "foster-children (who) are dearer to the nurse than to the mother."

Bishop Taylor's writing is hard for us today both because of its turgidity and it's directness. Concerning its directness, though, the Church today desperately needs a revival of such pastoral care and rebuke from her pulpits.

* * *

Upon these propositions I shall infer, by way of instance, that it is a duty, that women should nurse their own children. For, first, it is taught to women by that instinct which nature hath implanted in them. For, as Phavorinus the philosopher discoursed, it is but to be half a mother to bring forth children, and not to nourish them; and it is some kind of abortion, or an exposing of the infant, which, in the reputation of all wise nations, is infamous and uncharitable...


The death of motherhood...

This is the pic and headline topping Google's news page just now. But note the pic they chose—a mother home with her baby? Get real.

Take a look at the headline and ask yourself whether anyone anywhere thinks it's sad? Tragic?

Christians do, but why?

Because Christians know from God's Word that our Heavenly Father has ordered His Creation such that woman is made to be the "keeper at home." Start there. While acknowledging the exceptions that prove the rule, primary breadwinners don't outdo their husbands' earnings by being domestic. 

Beyond their rejection of the home, these primary breadwinners have turned their backs on motherhood, too. Working mothers are not mothers. They're chips and capacitors on the motherboard of the American GNP. Motherhood is the glory they have sacrificed for status, power, and money and they're not looking back.

Make no mistake: the cost of woman's repudiation of motherhood is...


Happy 96th birthday, Mom Taylor!

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praisein the gates. - Proverbs 31:30, 31

It has become a tradition each year for the Taylor children and spouses to gather in March to celebrate Mom Taylor's birthday with her. This year Mom turned 96. How beautiful she is, mind, body, and heart! Here are a couple pics to commemorate the occasion: first, a pic of Mom with nine of her ten children (son John wasn't able to be here); and second, a pic of all seven daughters.

(Back row left to right: Cindy, Mark, Marty, Janet, Becky, Peter, Mary Lee; front row: Alison, Mom, Gretchen)


He has denied the faith...

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. - 1Timothy 5:8

In a nation where the majority of citizens claim to have "a personal relationship" with Jesus Christ, how is it that babies keep being murdered at a rate of 1.3 million per year? How is it that women continue to take on more positions in which, by design and intent, they exercise authority over men? How is it that the family meal has died? That what my Dad called "that huckster" now owns the center of our living room and dying room? That no one practices hospitality any more—except perhaps at restaurants or hotels? That husbands love internet sluts instead of the wife of their youth? That one fifth of our nation's women now arrive at their early forties never having given birth to a child?

Really, the older I get the more sense it makes to me that the New Testament Epistles place such constant and heavy emphasis on simple (or should I say foundational) household matters. Do we really think that killing babies, women sleeping with women and men with men, children defying their fathers, mothers abandoning their children and home for a public life, husbands loving prostitutes instead of the virtuous wife God gave them, wives refusing to submit to their husbands and taking over the leadership of the church and state, smutty plays and drama and poetry, and spoiled cats and dogs are things unknown in the world of the early Christians?