(Tim: this from Pastor Dave Curell on the ClearNote Fellowship Blog)
...There’s always that one guy who not only attacks the morality of
the film, but also claims an absolute authoritative
understanding of what is morally acceptable. He doesn't simply imply
that, in his view, something is right or wrong, but he claims his view is the authoritative view. And by this piece of chutzpah,
he becomes the worst of the killjoys—the dogmatic one. Why? Because his
conviction calls into question every piece of entertainment we consume. Nothing's sacred or safe any longer. Seriously, if he casts down Avatar, won’t Star Wars soon fall along with
Christians hate such killjoys. They're cosmic bummers.
(Tim) What must a preacher in New York know in order to appeal to his listeners? How should he contextualize his worship services and sermons so they're on-pitch for Gothamites?
A recent article in The New York Times featured an interview with Sting. Knighting him their "Renaissance man," the Times caught up with him in his "sumptuous Central Park West duplex" where he was taking a break from his "Symphonicities" tour.
Referring to his nineteenth century aluminum double bass over by the piano, Sting indicated he plays it regularly: "one little piece of Purcell every day and that's it." Referring to a pair of chess sets on a coffee table, Sting reported he'd played grandmaster Gary Kasporov: "Of course he beat me every time. But you know, he can't sing."
The article concluded with Sting giving this sketch of New Yorkers...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 7, 2010 - 10:08am
(Tim) From Augustine's City of God, let's sample a few notes rarely struck by pastors marketing their church as "in the city" and "for the city;" but really, rarely struck by almost any shepherd working in the pastorate today in North America.
Take, for instance, the matter of food: how would we compare our declaration of the Order of Creation and the meaning of the Sixth Commandment to the vegans and vegetarians in our own congregations--of which there are as many now as back in the time of Augustine and the Apostle Paul (1Timothy 4:1-4)--to Augustine's own declaration, here?
...some attempt to extend "Thou shalt not kill" even to beasts and cattle, as if it forbade us to take life from any creature. But if so, why not extend it also to the plants, and all that is rooted in and nourished by the earth? For though this class of creatures have no sensation, yet they also are said to live, and consequently they can die; and therefore, if violence be done them, can be killed. So, too, the apostle, when speaking of the seeds of such things as these, says, “That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die;” and in the Psalm it is said, “He killed their vines with hail.”
Must we therefore reckon it a breaking of this commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” to pull a flower? Are we thus insanely to countenance the foolish error of the Manichæans?
Putting aside, then, these ravings, ...when we say, "Thou shalt not kill," we do not understand this of the plants, since they have no sensation, nor of the irrational animals that fly, swim, walk, or creep, since they are dissociated from us by their want of reason, and are therefore by the just appointment of the Creator subjected to us to kill or keep alive for our own uses... (I:20)
Are we similar to Augustine in his work magnifying, making the most of the distinction between the city of God and the city of man? What a contrast he provides here to our effeminate attempts to blur all distinctions--particularly that essential distinction on which eternity hangs, drawing the line of God's election between the slaves of God and the slaves of Satan. In his comments, Pastor Beatty has illustrated typical attempts today to market the Church as not other or peculiar or God-fearing or holy, but "we're just like you, really; and you're just like us." Contrast this...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 11, 2010 - 7:52am
(Tim) From ClearNote Blog: The notable disciple of Spurgeon, Archibald Brown, warns:
The devil has seldom done a more clever thing, than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out the gospel, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses!
...In vain will the epistles be searched to find any trace of the 'gospel of amusement'. Their message is, "Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them... Don't touch their filthy things..." Anything approaching amusement is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon. (Read more.)
by David and Tim Bayly on September 15, 2010 - 5:42am
(Tim) Lane Bowman, a recent graduate of ClearNote Pastors College, writes: "I've been holding on to this for months because of the Subject, and thought I should pass it along for evidence that images of men are central to the personality cults of the evangelical world... You would think they would have "thought" through the implication of using the word 'see' instead of 'hear.'"
A word says a thousand pictures. Here's the brochure...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 25, 2010 - 11:54am
(Tim, w/thanks to Jesse) I never read which books are making which Christians how much money, nowadays. Growing up in the epicenter of Wheaton's giggling excitement over academic and publishing fashions, it's been almost twenty years since I made the commitment to stop subscribing to Christianity Today and Leadership, and to keep away from any and all news sources reporting on the latest product being offered by the Temple's moneychangers.
But I get links. Boy do I get links. And every now and then, against my better judgment, I take a peek. Shouldn't, but do. So here's a video of a self-promotional spiel given by Ms. Custis James to the Religious Newswriters Association. They say the topic was "The New Calvinists," but after the first half, Ms. Custis James' talk inevitably turns back to the one string she perpetually plucks to the exclusion of her harp's other ten thousand strings...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 16, 2010 - 5:10am
(Tim, w/thanks to Scott) Some of Church of the Good Shepherd's work is a Saturday men's class called David's Mighty Men. Stephen Baker and I teach, then the men meet in smaller groups for accountability and recitation of their Scripture memory. It's a two-year course of study and as practical as true godliness will always be. We teach male and female, courting, marriage, childbearing, work, authority and submission, fatherhood, church, doctrine...
Right from the beginning, we tell the men that we're out to kill "guyland." What's guyland?
Particularly for young men, guyland's almost always pornography, sports, or video games. Do you know how many men in your church are flunking out of life because...
by David and Tim Bayly on March 21, 2011 - 12:04pm
(Tim) With sincere apologies to all the wee ones and their mothers, I think Disneyworld is too similar to hip preachers with full-service video venues to take the children for a visit. Really, do you want Disney's moral and spiritual authority to accrue to our Evangelical/Emergent theme parks?
No doubt readers have noticed I've been trying to take Doug's advice and "stop throwing rocks at the moon." He's so wise.
But occasionally I howl, and tonight you may hear me after some idiot sent me to JT's blog and I saw this ad. Twenty percent off? How can a man resist? Talk about preaching to my heart! And you pomos aren't scandalized!
Preaching has become a commodity and we consume it as if it were yogurt or socks.
Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse. (Malachi 4:5, 6)
(NOTE: helpful obscenities ahead) Almost always, an absent father, father-hunger, and hatred define The New Yorker profiles of the purveyors of our Godless culture. Here we have a profile of the hip-hop group, Odd Future, and its best rapper, Thebe Neruda Kgositsile (alias Earl Sweatshirt) who at the time of the song's release was sixteen years old. From The New Yorker's profile, "Earl Sweatshirt begins one track by sneaking some autobiography into...
Driscoll is a popular pastor in the Pacific Northwest. He heads a group of multisite churches that regularly draw 10,000 parishioners a week across 10 locations. He preaches live at one location, and his sermons are sent out by video to the other locations the following week, when the services are held with live music...
Driscoll said the sermon this week will be pre-taped, in part so he can attend a baseball tournament his son is playing in. The message, he said, comes from the Gospel of Luke and is about Zacchaeus, a crooked tax collector who found redemption...
If the preacher's a digital image, why "live music?"
A year ago, Taylor and I were at a large church in Evansville, Indiana, where the preacher only showed up for the later services and used video to feed the early service flock. During the sermon, the large digital image hanging from the ceiling in front of us asked those present to raise their hands if...
“Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name..." - Genesis 11:4
...if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment... - 2 Peter 2:6-9
We make it a habit to say less than we know when we oppose ministries and their leaders here on Baylyblog. We don't want to overreach. This has been true of our criticisms of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and her pastor, especially.
Back in the early nineties we first started recommending Redeemer to souls moving to New York City, and by now we have close to two decades of listening to those men and women who have become a part of Redeemer's congregations.
Our second thoughts about Redeemer started seventeen years ago...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 30, 2011 - 9:46am
Jesus said, "...whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. - Matthew 20:27, 28
One of Baylyblog's themes is the necessity of avoiding all the Evangelical and Reformed bling. There's gold in them thar hills and that's the point, dear brothers and sisters. Jim MacDonald and Mark Driscoll are out having Elephant Room conversations and want you to come pay them money to see how bright they are.
And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (Romans 11:23)
Yes yes, I know speaking in generalities about Jews today leads to the "anti-Semitic" smear. But hey, life is short and there are all kinds of truths just waiting to be let out of the closet...
USA Today ran a profile of James Levine and Roman Polanski's fellow traveller, Woody Allen, last week, and I noted this:
Does he worry that his films won't be remembered? "I don't care about my work lasting. I would like to last. They can turn my movies into guitar picks. Nothing lasts. Nothing at all. Not even the sun."
Given such disturbing insights, it is hard to know whether all those years Allen spent in therapy paid off--or just made his existential despair into fodder for future features. (USA Today; June 19, 2012)
Make no mistake: the existential despair of Christless Jews is the fodder of our entertainment...