Singing falsetto...

From Al's FB page:

20 incredible years as President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. (I) made many commitments 20 years ago. Have those commitments been fulfilled? Don't miss (my) passionate, grace-filled message to the Southern Baptist Convention.

And this:

Passionate leaders attract and motivate passionate followers. Together, they build passionate movements. When this happens, anything is possible.

This endless parading of our grace and passion is bathetic... Here on Baylyblog, I've restrained myself concerning the abuse of these words for years, but it is a thing-up-with-which-I-find-myself-no-longer-able-to-put.

Remember Johnson's observation of the correlation between words and character: "the louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." People are pretty loud about their passions, aren't they?

If a man writes ad copy claiming he's graceful and passionate, we may commend him for his aspirations but the whole world shares them. There's not a man alive who doesn't preen himself over his passions and wise men know this is the sure sign we're all jaded and can't feel a thing any more.

So let's give it a rest. When God pours out His grace and our hearts of stone turn into hearts of flesh, we won't have to blather on about it. It will be evident.

A word to the wise...

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.



<i> but it is a thing up with which I find myself no longer able to put. </i>

I see what you did there. :) It is a good example of why we should either discard the silly "don't end a sentence with a preposition" rule, or rewrite the sentence. Like, " but is something I can no longer tolerate".

Anyway, I love your blog.

I am passionate about being passionately passionful against passionate people who parade their passion as a premise, a promise, and a passionate proof of their passion for whatever it is that we are supposed to think is persuasive because they are so passionately full of passion about it.

Do NOT get me started on awesomeness and pinheads who think it is awesome whenever they find some popinjay proclaiming his passion.

Bill,  I come on here just to read your responses. Thanks for the awesome awesomeness of responding so awesomely to Tim's awe inspiring post! :-)

Related to the above discussion, I find the words "woo" (used by many pastors today to boast of their own approach to ministry), and "pastor- preneurial" to be in the same disgusting category.

Tim, your post made me feel so broken.

>>made me feel so broken.

My dear brother, it's because you're so very brittle. Go limp and see if you can't learn to bend. Find your inner double-jointedness.


Tim, you wrote once about bad writing having too many adverbs or adjectives. If the message has been cast as:

20 [deleted] years as President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I made many commitments 20 years ago. Have those commitments been fulfilled? Don't miss (my) [deleted] message to the Southern Baptist Convention.

then the whole thing would work a lot better. Likewise, if the second quote was:

Passionate leaders attract and motivate [deleted] followers. Together, they build [deleted] movements. When this happens, anything is possible.

I would also point out that if a British Christian leader used the sort of language that was on Al's Facebook page, no-one would take him seriously. Different strokes.

>>you wrote once about bad writing having too many adverbs or adjectives

Yes, my very dear brother; I'm quite concerned about this. It's truly disheartening to those of us really serious about the unfailingly sorry state of writing and speaking today. 

Truly, sincerely, obediently, and soberly yours from across the wide, blue, and flat ocean,

I only have one thing to say in response:

I love the word bathetic  

David Wegener wins the prize. Sadly, it's just a participation trophy.

Scott, the "up with which I will not put" is actually a quotation of Churchill's mocking of the preposition rule. Possibly apocryphal, but Googling yields this:

"Supposedly an editor had clumsily rearranged one of Churchill’s sentences to avoid ending it in a preposition, and the Prime Minister, very proud of his style, scribbled this note in reply: “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.”

Does that mean Tim is engaging in irony?

Tim et. al, I visit this blog for an unusual purpose among others. There are things here I learn, and there are things here which seem simply to reconfirm that, in the Spirit of God, Christian men and women have common thoughts--no matter the distances, or backgrounds, which separate them. It's the latter for which I often visit, not for affirmation so much of "ha, I'm right! Some old guys in MN think the same way!", but "ha! They also are being similarly led!" I started become "sensitive" to this sort of thing years ago, in the last [neo] "evangelical" church I attended, as well as seeing it in the marketing strategies and focus of these "churches". Point this sort of thing out in them, by the way, and you're a divisive unteachable unsubmissive unity-hurting how-dare-you-question-the-elders contrarian [idiot] in the "elder led" churches of our day: it wasn't even surprising that MacArthur and friends responded so angrily with the posts asking Mr. MacArthur to repent of the TNIV for instance: they like any number of [many thousands of] other "evangelical" church are terribly into the book "Biblical Eldership" which, apart from demands from biblical theology, ecclesiology, scholarship and word-handling, just becomes a harm rather than a real good: applied about as appropriately to a body gathering in the name [at least on lip] of Jesus as appropriately as dispensational eschatological and other assumptive frameworks are imposed over the text of Scripture. Same fads and thoughts carrying them along with very similar results, or the same kind of output of bull (in the old, odious sense--see n.3 I just don't think that the millions claiming Christ take the idea of "spirit" (or even "ideas have consequences") seriously. People can't even tell you what's in the gospels, let alone know what real grace (or/vs. "gracious[/ness]") actually is. I hope therefore that you men just keep mocking the dead who refuse to hear and be convicted and believe and repent and be made alive. Thanks for that.

I think there is a stark difference between irony meant for entertainment and laughs at what is very sinful, or to drive people to support what it evil in the name of calling evil good (as the esteemed comedians of our day often do, besides also using it for good purposes), and between a sprinkling of irony vs. constant use, and irony used to withhold what God does not yet want understood by the hearers (same as the parables, e.g. Jesus telling them to "tear down this body"), or irony used rather to drive men to the good by pointing out their madness and destructiveness of themselves, of proper use of language for real communication, for sincerity, and so forth. Something like irony can be found in Jesus' words when he says to those who tried to entrap him with the divorce question that they were permitted divorce by Moses because of the hardness of their hearts: while indeed the divorce was permitted in the law, the point upon which their question turned concerned a passage which the Jews wrested to mean that if a man found anything he disfavored in a women but whose words indicate rather he could give her a certificate of divorce for finding something of real significance: sexual uncleanness, a la one who was not a virgin (or anything else but especially finding she who was supposed to be a virgin was not). So we read Jesus, rather than pointing out their error, which they should have known if they had just read the text for what is says with sincere hearts, saying rather that it was because "of the hardness of your hearts": it's almost simple abuse of those hearers, a rightful and proper show of utter contempt for those who corrupt the word of God with their corrupt hearts rather than being broken, softened, and repented by it to come unto God, His prophets and representatives, and Messiah--that is, Jesus. I'm 26 so willing to be corrected, but I think irony has its proper place and use, just as words of contempt, hatred, curve-balls in language, even mockery, all have proper and even needful uses.

Dear John,

So it's crystal clear, we very much believe in, and depend upon, the Biblical office of elder, and without the authoritative exercise of their office, the souls of our churches would be defenseless. Rebellion against authority is rampant in the church and we do not want to lend the slightest support to those who refuse to be under the authority of Christ's officers. As Scripture says, "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you" (Hebrews 13:17).

Not that you disagree, but some might think so.


>>...made me feel so broken.

Wow, it's great that you're so intentional about being real with us.  As someone who both exists and has intentions, I know how it feels to show the intentionality to really be real.  I've got a real respect for people who are intentionally real with other people.  Really.


I do agree.
I also think that the wolves took advantage of the dearth of biblical eldership, grabbed-onto books like that, and began tearing at sheep and what is biblical alike with their newfound, heightened claim to authority and the seeming legitimation of "copy these instructions, point at book, boast about how we're a team of multiple elders, POWER!!!" And...
I also think the Reformed have, generally, vastly impoverished what elders are (but not just the Reformed); who takes seriously the verses about "a one woman kind of man/husband of one wife" anymore? Or wrestles with the fact that the latter is suggested elsewhere when an elder is to have a household to rule, and that he must rule it well? Or with the fact that, at least according to readers of Greek, the former is suggested? Or with the fact that "elder" as a semantic component includes "aged"?
I know that in Scripture Timothy is spoken of as a youth, and also compare this with the fact that in the book "Biblical Eldership", the definitions of "pastor" and "elder" and "evangelist" and etc...are all collapsed: it seems they're epistemology or metaphysics are simplified, such that there is no notion that an elder might be an evangelist but an evangelist not an elder...a preacher or evangelists the one but not the other: maybe we could say that one of the labels/"titles" might be seen as subsuming the rest, but the rest don't require one to be an "elder": for such reasons I struggle when confessions identify the preachers of the world with those who serve the table, since the apostles appointed deacons so that those teaching the word wouldn't be distracted with having to "serve dinner" (I believe an older translation somewhere actually has something like that!), while the way the terms in use are sometimes used, one might think an elder might, just perhaps, do neither in some contexts, but instead use that same "rule" and...perhaps discipline a man and then warn a deacon that that man is not to be served communion until repentent. ("title" back there used, by the way, not in the sense of being divorced from reality, as a "title" today may have little to do with real things but be merely granted, but because it's about the best term available.)
In the cases of both the wolves who like to follow a pattern and conform themselves to a legitimating image and that of those who might be considered as having real doctrine (or at least some substantially better confession hidden off in some drawer), how many simply assert their authority, rather than gravely explain the responsibilities that eldership entails, do so in terror, and then committing themselves to it? Chrystostom I think it was that spoke of terror being God's gift to pastors (I may be mis-remember the [wrong] patristic--and yes I'm aware of my grammar there). Instead we see a lot of good-ol' boys happy about their authority and meanwhile elevating women (as you fellas complain about) and it's no wonder they're confused: early deaconnesses served to go feed the shut-ins, not as pastors and authorities. ; ) AND the elder women in scripture...were aged. : D Kind'a necessary to have a family and husband to know how to teach propriety, modesty, and so on: how many female Discipleship/life/group leaders, female ministry workers, etc., do that rather than preside over the teaching of God's word? How many old Reformed foggies do we encounter who are academics, perhaps exceptionally helpful in various doctrinal points (see Horton applying the covenants to marriage in "Covenant Theology"--which I've not read but the snippets I could find free online btw), but proud "I am not called to be people's friends, but to preach the word" (almost exact quote of a certain Reformed pastor I met not long ago, one whose church I may be trying to attend as much as possible, and who boasts of knowing Mr. Horton personally BUT...what is doctrine without love? Or for that matter, love without doctrine?).

[I chopped this off by mistake:] And with the idea of aged old women teaching the youthful, how many women in churches serve rather in capacities for teaching the word? Running the dang place? Even in Reformed (and particular-baptists-descending-from-the-Puritans, and conservative-Lutheran) churches? Such that...if confusion reigns there, how will eldership of men not be also confused, abused, collapsed (and made too much work for a single man)?

If the comments on irony were intended as a response to my remark, I'll just say it was a throwaway remark, not intended very seriously. I do understand the difference between irony to make a point, and that for pure entertaining mockery, which is usually pernicious. I just found it a bit amusingly ironic that one of the usually non-ironic Brothers Bayly was indulging in a bit of purely recreational (and IMO harmless) irony. It was not intended as a rebuke or anything of that nature at all.

xD I know, I'm typically just too serious. :)~

I visit this blog primarily for the jargon...although one could make the case that Friday's offerings are rich and plentiful, I still can't help thinking Fr. Bill's contribution is a trifle labored and one-dimensional.

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