Growing up, my mother's bird feeders attracted every kind of squirrel and bird, but never bluebirds. Even putting up a bluebird house didn't do the trick--they remained elusive. So my life has been a quest for bluebirds. Bluebirds come only slightly lower than my wife, daughter-in-law, daughters, and grandsons on the scale of the wonders of God's creation. Then yesterday, while David was watching Chris VanderGoot tag muskies, Mary Lee and I were sitting at our dining room table, talking, when this bluebird landed on our suet feeder! My life is complete.
Al and Amy Parker run a Christian camping and education program called Canoe Creation based in southeastern Ohio and I commend them to you. I've known Al and Amy and their children for almost twenty years now, and I can't think of a better place for you to send your children to learn about camping and God's creation.
by David and Tim Bayly on August 24, 2011 - 9:00am
National Geographic breathlessly announces: "Even after centuries of effort, some 86 percent of Earth's species have yet to be fully described, according to new study that predicts our planet is home to 8.7 million species. That means scientists have cataloged less than 15 percent of species now alive—and current extinction rates mean many unknown organisms will wink out of existence before they can be recorded."
by David and Tim Bayly on August 30, 2011 - 4:42pm
A dear brother sends notice of the Academy's anthrophobia that's culminated in this howler from our intellectual superiors at NASA and Penn State. Without tongues-in-cheek, they warn that space aliens may be so righteously indignant over our incandecent lights and hot water heaters that they mount an assault against the only inhabitants of Planet Earth who bear the Image of God.
As Joe Sobran oft observed, some things are so spine-tingly stupid only the highly educated could ever believe them. Brother Tibbs writes:
You know how Paul warned that God would give people over to vile affections because they worship the creation rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever? Well, here's a very sad story about His judgment.
Hippies from outer space might arrive in their bong-ship to wipe out humanity in order to save the earth and punish us for blaspheming Gaia. Far out, man. Groovy. Pass the weed.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 9, 2011 - 9:28am
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. - John 1:16
The garden's winding down. Just a few butternut squash still on the vine. String beans waning and cantelope and watermelon and summer squash gone. Cucumbers still ticking, but only slowly. Lots of every kind of pepper still coming--especially jalapeno and habanero (see pic on next page) and poblano (there behind the basil). The basil bushes are huge and we've finally let them flower. Bumblebees are all over them today. Our tomato plants go on bearing fruit, denuded down the bottom third of the stalk but sputtering out enough for joy at every lunch and dinner...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 15, 2011 - 10:46am
Here is the Majority Report of the Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly's Ad Interim Study Committee on Women in the Military whose recommendations were adopted by General Assembly in 2002. Being this report's principal author, naturally I commend this document to our readers. If biblical Christians today studied this report and by faith embraced its doctrine of Creation Order sexuality, it would be a significant step toward the restoration of the unity of the Church. Too, these United States would again have salty salt and lighty light in the public debate raging over the meaning and purpose of sexuality. (TB)
* * *
MAN’S DUTY TO PROTECT WOMAN
We, the undersigned, endorse the Consensus Report, while realizing that Report lacks unity on the crucial matter of whether the recommendations it contains constitute the church’s wise counsel or a Christian’s scriptural duty. Believing that this is a matter of scriptural duty, we have joined together in writing this report to the end that we might set forth with confidence and clarity the full counsel—both New and Old Testaments—of the Word of God concerning this matter. Our report attempts to summarize three areas of evidence, as follows:
First, God the Father wages war in defense of Israel, His Bride; Christ our Savior fights to the Death defending His Bride, the Church; the Holy Spirit calls men as officers to guard and protect His Bride; the duty to protect the Garden of Eden and the warning not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was given by God to Adam; husbands protect their wives, not wives their husbands. Thus we are taught the binding nature of man’s duty to guard and protect his home and wife.
Second, woman is the weaker sex and part of her weakness is the vulnerability attendant to her greatest privilege—that God has made her the “Mother of all the living.” Men are to guard and protect her as she carries in her womb, gives birth to, and nurses her children.
Third, we are to renounce every thought and action which tends towards a diminishment of sexual differentiation since God made it and called it “good.” [E.g. Scripture’s injunctions concerning women exercising authority over men (1 Timothy 2), women or men wearing clothing of the opposite sex (Deuteronomy 22:5), sodomy (Leviticus 20:15-16), etc.] Rather than a stingy attitude which minimizes sexuality’s implications, we ought to rejoice in this, His blessing.
It is our conviction that these areas, taken together, provide a clear and compelling scriptural rationale for declaring our church’s principled opposition to women serving in military combat positions.
When a man loves a woman, he will lay down his life to defend her, just as Christ loved His Bride and gave Himself up for Her. Men have proudly fulfilled this duty from time immemorial, demonstrating what A. A. Hodge in his commentary on the Westminster Confession of Faith referred to as the law of nature, common to all nations, that is “unchanged” to this present day. Dying for their wives, regenerate and unregenerate men have done “by nature (the) things required by the law.”
Hodge divides the Old Testament law into four categories...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 28, 2011 - 8:40am
Mary Lee and I flew into Seattle, yesterday, and on our way down to Vancouver, WA, we stopped at Mt. Rainier National Park. We drove up to Paradise which is above the tree line, then hiked up a couple trails, starting with the Alta Vista Trail where this pic was taken.
It was a beautiful Fall day with bright sunshine. We didn't see or hear any elk herds. Glacier National Park was much better for that. But what majesty, telling atheists and Christians alike of God's great glory!
When we got to Paradise two fox--one red and one black--were hanging with one huge raven. They were all begging.
The were twenty or so cross-country skiers coming off the mountain when we started up the trail. The sun set while we were up on the mountain. When we got back to the car almost eveyone was gone. (TB)
by David and Tim Bayly on December 27, 2011 - 11:16am
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it? (Jeremiah 5:30, 31)
You may want to dismiss it as looniness, but this assault against God's Order of Creation is rebellion against the God Who made us. It's not naive or misguided. It's evil. Attacks on God's Creation Order are all around us and we must recognize that each of them is a part of Satan's conspiracy to grease the descent to Hell.
Feminism is a Satanic conspiracy against God's Creation Order. God made Adam first, then Eve. Thus those who conspire to place woman in positions where she teaches and exercises authority over man are rebels against Almighty God. They are false prophets calling souls to Hell.
Homosexism is a Satanic conspiracy against God's Creation Order. God made Eve--not Steve--for Adam. Thus those who conspire to legalize sodomy and promote sodomitic unions are rebels against Almighty God. They are false prophets calling souls to Hell.
Veganism is a Satanic conspiracy against God's Creation Order. God created adam alone--both Adam and Eve--in His Own Image. He did not create animals in His Image. Thus those whose morality has descended to Veganism and the claim of personhood and legal standing for animals are rebels against Almighty God. They are false prophets calling souls to Hell.
Satan has conspired to paint each of these revolutions a pretty face. Feminism is a long-overdue correction of patriarchal oppression. Homsexism is a long overdue correction of homophobic oppression. Veganism is a long-overdue correction of speciest oppression.
Satan has also conspired to silence the Church of Jesus Christ...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 10, 2012 - 10:16am
This announcement just went out to our church family from our daughter, Heather Ummel. I've regularly recommended Al and Amy Parker's work of outdoor discipleship, Canoe Creation, to readers of Baylyblog. You'd not go wrong using them for your Christian school, home school co-op, church youth group, father-daughter or father-son church canoe trip, or taking part in Canoe Creation summer camps.
Here is something that may be more convenient for you since the date and location have already been set. Think about it and let Heather know if you're interested. (TB)
Canoe Creation Summer Camp
Some of our church family will remember Al and Amy Parker, who lived in Bloomington and attended church with many of us years ago. If you were reading my dad's blog this summer in mid-July you would have seen pictures of a camp experience our boys had with their ministry, Canoe Creation. The wonderful news is that they're going to bring their camp to us this summer! They will be offering a 3-day, 2-night canoe camp right after this summer's ClearNote Conference (I Believe in God the Father). The conference will be Friday and Saturday, July 6 -7 here in Bloomington. Then worship with ClearNote Church, Bloomington Sunday, July 8, followed by you and your wife taking a couple days R&R while your chilluns are off on the water with Canoe Creations...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 11, 2012 - 11:54am
I don't write much about Indiana politics and government but it's caused me no small sadness to contemplate the term-limit-departure of our fiscally excellent governor a little over a year from now. Gov. Mitch Daniels will have completed his second term and will have to leave office.
If I am comforted in our loss of Mitch's magnificent fiscal leadership, my comfort comes from this: that his likely successor is a man, Representaive Mike Pence, who promises to govern with the same fiscal commitments while adding a theological framework to those commitments that promises to extend far beyond fiscal discipline, on to principles concerning many other areas of governance including the battlefields on which the destroyers of our nation and its states are focussing their revolution: sexuality, the Image of God in man, the origin and nature of sexuality and marriage decreed by our Creator in His Order of Creation, and so forth.
As you read through Daniels' penultimate State of the State Address delivered yesterday evening, you will gain a hint of why I respect him. He has been unflinching in disciplining the educationists of our state by a host of private initiatives that have finally brought competition into public education. True, he brags about over half of our state budget going to edcuation, and he seems to see higher education as an unqualified good. I disagree with both things as I disagreed with President Bush on similar matters. Mitch Daniels is not a wild-eyed enthusiast. He's a realist who really changed our state. Definitively. And reading, you'll see what difference it makes to each citizen of the state.
But there's something else I want to say, here.
Some thirty years ago, I was at the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly to oppose their denominational abortion policy. My dear Mary Lee was pregnant and, since we were in the habit of having home births, I'd called the midwest representative of the PC(USA)'s self-funded independent medical insurance plan to ask if they'd cover the cost of our midwife? It was awkward. He hemmed and hawed and said he didn't know and would have to get back to me on it...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 12, 2012 - 1:48pm
This is a post showing how (it seems to me) shame over the Bible's history of Creation has led to the (maybe) decline of Covenant Theological Seminary. But first, a short back-story...
Some time back I had a man in my congregation who had grown up Baptist and was pursuing graduate studies in science. One weekend he was home visiting his childhood church and he came under the influence of John Armstrong who--whether through preaching or conversation, I don't know--convinced him to stop graduate studies in science and begin graduate studies in theology. Being PCA at the time, I encouraged him to go to the PCA's Covenant Seminary over in St. Louis and he matriculated there a year or so later.
Watching him across the years is part of the reason I've warned people to avoid Covenant. There's more to say than this, but two things are worth highlighting...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 18, 2012 - 5:05pm
For it is written, “He is the One Who catches the wise in their craftiness"; and again, “the Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.” (1 Corinthians 3:19b-20)
Could it be that "myth" is the right category for the kind of stories we find in the ancient world, whether from the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, or even the Hebrews?
- Jack Collins, Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
One liberal reviews another liberal's book and tells us the second liberal is going to get in trouble with his constituency when they figure out what he's selling. Several members of the second liberal's constituency read Baylyblog and write in to dismiss the first liberal's comments as sour grapes, and they tell the Baylys that they only need read Jack to see what a gift he is to the Church.
So why does the first liberal say the second liberal is too liberal for his constituents?
Well, you see, the first liberal's constituency group already wised up to him and fired him so he's blowing the whistle on the second liberal because misery loves company.
Something you likely didn't know and wouldn't guess is that Mary Lee and I are environmental wackos. Our home is a Touchstone/Energy Star home with a HERS raing of 52--geothermal with an ERV and all that.
The first two cars we bought were diesel VW Rabbits. The summer of 1979, one pulled a trailer weighing 1,950 pounds from Madison to Boulder. If I'd touched the brakes we would have crashed. Used third gear the whole way at 55 MPH and averaged 37 MPG!
A reader writes: Do you have any recommendations on books or websites that approach the environmental issue from a more Biblical, not so liberal, anti-hydrocarbon basis? I've done my fair share of research into the issue but I have grown exceedingly tired of all the global warming propaganda that is used, and have pretty much given up on such things....
Check out Cornwall Alliance. Cal Beisner's been a good egg doing much good work for decades, and this is where he's now shining the light into darkness.
Confessions weren't meant to sit pristine across time receiving fealty. They were bloody useful and their usefulness consists in calling men to show their commitment to the authority of Scripture by requiring them to describe and subscribe to the specificity of the Word of God in matters of controversy. But controversies change.
We must continue to confess our own faith in our own language and time. Dead men were faithful in this work in their own time and the battles of the past are not over. No heresy is ever dead, so we are privileged to stand on the shoulders of our fathers promising allegiance to the paths they've left for us. Along with Clearnote's officers I subscribe to the Wesminster Standards because they are a faithful exposition of the Word of God, removing many of the weasel paths unprincipled men might otherwise get away with were they not accountable to those standards.
That said, the Westminster divines were not intending their work to stand alone across time. All of us confess our faith in the words of other confessions inherited from other centuries. We take those confessions, also, to be faithful expositions of Scripture.
But what of today?
The attack against Biblical anthropology--Scripture's doctrine of the Image of God in man and the meaning and purpose of sexuality--is demonic and gaining ground across the Protestant, Reformed, and Evangelical Church. This attack against these doctrines is unprecedented across Church history and it requires the hard work of a new confession...
Friend of the Word of God, A. B. Caneday, is working hard to expose Francis Collins and his Gaia god, BioLogos. Collins founded The BioLogos Foundation to oppose the Creation Order revealed in Genesis, replacing it with the infallible and inerrant Science that provides the foundation of his own Human Genome Project. So here we have Evolution's latest stooge being used to usher unbelief and disobedience into the Church under cover of intellectual respectability.
Two quotes Caneday places near the beginning of a recent article do a good job illuminating Collins' grand scheme:
I find theistic evolution, or BioLogos, to be by far the most scientifically consistent and spiritually satisfying of the alternatives. This position will not go out of style or be disproven by future scientific discoveries. It is intellectually rigorous, it provides answers to many otherwise puzzling questions, and it allows science and faith to fortify each other like two unshakable pillars, holding up a building called Truth. (F. Collins, The Language of God, pp. 209,210)
[A paragraph has been removed here and a change made to the next paragraph to correct an error in which I confused Francis Collins with Francis Beckwith. I apologize for the error and am grateful to those who called it to my attention.]
As a teacher of theology I knew a fair bit about Charles Hodge, generally speaking, but reading Paul Gutjahr's biography gave me an inside view.
I knew Hodge used Turretin's text for his theology courses and didn’t publish his own Systematic Theology until the 1870s. Why did he wait so long? Gutjahr fills in the details. It turns out Princeton Seminary's governing board asked Hodge not to take his three-volume systematic theology into print because they thought it would cause a decline in enrollment if anyone could buy his theology text.
I knew his Systematic Theology was thin on the doctrine of the Church. I didn’t know ...
Those of you who, with me, wish you could have been there to hear the big bang of David's recent post, "Happiness on the Fourth of July," have to watch this video from a recent Texas Ranger's game. God thundered from heaven and the men on the field dropped to the ground or ran for the dugouts. Minnesota Twin Denard Span tweeted...
Yesterday, my three oldest grandsons and I went on an expedition to southwest Indiana. I'm big on I-69 and wanted them to see progress progressing. Gov. Mitch Daniels is way ahead of schedule building the Evansville to Bloomington segment, and so there are a number of places where the work is being done within eyesight of other roads. We watched the men and machines and it was just drop-dead georgous.
Then we stopped at the Daviess County Produce Auction. I gave my eldest grandson, Jonathan, my auction card so he could bid on some okra and cucumbers. He did a fine job, getting the okra for $1.50 per pint and the cukes for $5 per peck...
On our vacation out west last month, Mary Lee, Taylor and I were driving the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. We had just passed the Continental Divide going west and Taylor saw a marmot. Taylor wanted to feed him.
From the docket for the next meeting of Tim Keller's presbytery:
3. We recommend that Presbytery dismiss all Teaching Elders with calls to Brooklyn Presbyterian Church, TE Matthew Brown, Vito Aiuto, Christopher Hildebrand, David Stancil, Brian Steadman, Marc Choi, and Jamison Galt to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, pending their reception there.
4.We recommend that TE Tim Keller’s views on creation, historical Adam and evolution be found in keeping with our doctrinal standards, and request that the NYMP clerk inform Calvary Presbytery of our determination.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. - Joshua 24:15