May 2011

Straining at gnats, swallowing camels...

(June 2--Please note that TypePad only displays the first hundred comments on a post by default. Comments past 100 can be displayed by clicking the "More Comments" link at the bottom of the 100th comment.)

Is Federal Vision theology (FV) worthy of the intense opposition Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) conservatives dignify it with? I suspect not. For a number of reasons, I suspect such opposition to FV theology in the PCA is a sign of conservative weakness rather than strength; opportunism rather than courage. But first a bit of history.

Four years ago when FV was first dealt with by the PCA at her 2007 General Assembly (GA), conservatives rallied in support of a report condemning aspects of FV theology. The report was adopted and trials of Federal Vision supporters followed, the latest of which is the upcoming trial of Peter Leithart in Pacific Northwest Presbytery. It would appear, then, that the PCA is dutifully reforming herself and the cleanup is mostly finished.

But perhaps as noteworthy as what happened within the PCA at the 2007 GA and following is what did not happen. To understand this, we must consider a pair of strange couplings that took place that year.

The 2007 General Assembly was notable, not only for its debate and subsequent vote on the FV report, but also for several mésalliances forged in the lead-up to that vote. On one side, the middle-aged lions of the Keller/Redeemer/hipster/missional party provided some support for the FV camp. On the other side, the old lions of the southern/tall-steeple/rich/broadly Reformed party provided some support for the Truly Reformed (TR) conservatives of the PCA.

When the heat of battle passed, though, both the hipster middle-aged lions and the rich old lions woke up to strange bedfellows. Neither alliance could last. Redeemer hipsters...

Pleasure or pain: which would you choose?

Here's an excellent article by Brian Carpenter that's filled with wisdom for all of us, but particularly those of us learning how to raise our children in the Lord. Read it. Then ask your wife and children to read it and discuss it around your dinner table.

(TB: w/thanks to David W.)

Jamie Soles in concert at ClearNote Bloomington this coming Thursday...

215521_10150182474391937_575541936_7116855_829502_n ClearNote Church of Bloomington is pleased to be hosting Jamie Soles and family for a concert this coming Thursday evening, June 2nd, at 7 PM. Jamie is a prolific Christian songwriter of music for all ages (but especially children, I think). He hails from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, where he serves Christ Covenant Church as Chief Musician. He began writing songs back in the mid ‘90s for his own family to sing at home. Eventually, word got out that these songs were good, and people began urging Jamie...

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"I miss her, and the others we killed..."

FemaleFoeticide Across Asia the vast majority of unborn children being murdered are girls. In India alone it's estimated over nine million have died these past ten years. Look at the graph from India's Census and it's clear the slaughter is changing the sex ratio of the entire nation. This doesn't bode well for the peace of India or neighboring nations...

Bob Kaplowitz...

Bob_and_lucas Our dear brother, Bob Kaplowitz, had a bad spell early this evening, but now seems to have stabilized again. If you're wondering who Bob is, here's a post from 2008 that should make it clear to you that the entire congregation of ClearNote Church, Bloomington, is praying for Bob's recovery. The work he does among us is eternally important. Please pray for him, would you? And for what it's worth, the man draped over Bob's shoulders is our son-in-law, Lucas Weeks (Hannah's husband).

(TB)

Mars Hill Academy Commencement this Saturday...

This Saturday I'll be in Cincinnati to speak at Mars Hill Academy's commencement. If you'll be there, it would please me if you'd introduce yourself. Thanks.

(TB)

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Tornado hits Bloomington, Bob Kaplowitz improves, and Jonathan Edwards reminds us...

Playhouse Last night a tornado came through our back yard and moved on east wreaking havoc across the west side of Bloomington. Three lots down it rolled our son-in-law and daughter, Doug and Heather Ummel's, backyard playhouse which is the size of a middling storage shed and, being made all of wood, very, very heavy. A little way down Highway 45, it devastated Don and Heather Van Timmeren's yard, but left their house intact. Most of their trees are down.

Then it hit the trailer court on our son-in-law and daughter, Ben and Michal Crum's, street just a block from their house and just up the road from us. No one was seriously injured, but Michal took this movie and you can see all the trailers were moved across the court or obliterated, as were the trees. See the car flipped upside down?

Taylor's best friend, John Alberson, is a jarhead grunt just back from deployment on the Pakistani border of Afghanistan. (We praise God for his safe return!) Taylor and Jon were here when the tornado hit and went out with the chain saw and helped clear trees until 5 AM. (The storm hit about 11 PM.)

We thank God no one was seriously injured here in Bloomington, but looking at the many, many deaths in Missouri and knowing we could just as easily have been killed last night...

Children are amazingly resilient...

Lots of you have forwarded the story about the foolish couple in Toronto trying to keep their newborn's sex a secret. Hissy-fits and kudos all around, depending on your politics.

But really how different is it from the normal Christian home where, aside from putting body parts together when it's time for marriage...

The case--please hear me out--against the em dash...

Speaking candidly, I'm addicted to the em dash. I know it, yet seem incapable of change. If this irritates you, dear reader, check out this piece from Slate--I think you'll enjoy it.

(TB)

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So this hip-hop star walks into our art gallery and he's like...

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...

Coming out of the bathhouse...

Here is a helpful and wise autobiographical account of one man's life of sexual perversion prior to repentance, along with a warning against the tactics of the sodomy lobby that are taking Emergents like Tony Campolo and Rob Bell by storm today. The article isn't for the faint of heart, but this piece does such a good job of smashing all the pro-sodomy propaganda to smithereens that every pastor and elder and deacon or deaconess should read it carefully.

Note particularly how gays and egalitarians share identical hermeneutical strategies. Following the sodomites' hermeneutical technique outlined below, for decades now egalitarians have checkmated the Pollyannas of the Evangelical Theological Society. Mr. Lee records how all the debates over the meaning of this or that Biblical verse or word have born the fruit of "the gay rights apologists (earning) a place at the table from which they will never be dislodged." This is precisely the way the egalitarians have won their battle, also. When kaphale and authentein have been parsed into oblivion, the egalitarians walk home chortling over their victory--and rightly so...

Sexual immorality is of a fabric too....

Tim recently wrote a noteworthy post on the inevitability of rebellion against God's Creation authority leading to further forms of rebellion against God the Father.

To this important point should be added this corollary, that as feminism's denial of God's Creation order is not only rebellion against authority but a real form of sexual immorality, further and deeper acts of sexual immorality will follow in its train.

It should come as no surprise then to learn that early promoters of feminism in the Evangelical world went on in many cases to lives of increasing sexual immorality, including lesbianism in a number of cases. It's the way sin works. Unrestrained immorality fuels the maelstrom. 

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