May 2013

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Athanasius College begins classes this fall...

As I've written before, Clearnote Fellowship has founded Athanasius College and this coming fall our first students will start classes. The program and teachers are excellent and we invite inquiries from men and women who see the benefit of going through college or university in a community with a good Reformed church that has a vital ministry on the campus of Indiana University and deep integration of undergrad and grad students in our family life.

Central to the vision of Athanasius is cross-registration at Indiana University...

Losing the forest for the trees...

In response to the post "The death of motherhood..." in which I cited 1Timothy 2:15 ("Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty."), some have asked how 1Timothy 2:15 applies to men, fathers, singles, or barren wives? To which I respond:

First, it is Scripture that declares woman will be saved through childbearing. How and in what ways is debatable, but the statement is there.

May men be saved?

Of course—the Apostle Paul was a man and he was saved. May single women be saved? Of course. Childless wives? Of course.

Those who do not bear children, whether men or women, are not saved through the bearing of children, but this does not mean they aren't saved because they don't bear children. There are many means of grace.

But what about married women who are fertile and wholly or partially repudiate childbearing? Are they saved through childbearing?

It might be better to ask whether their repudiation of childbearing is rebellion against God and places their souls in jeopardy? The answer is...

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...

Longevity reappraised...

Pastor Steve Jeffrey of North London's Emmanuel Evangelical Church has updated the life expectancy stats for the UK by taking into account the slaughter of the unborn. Demographers brag about gains in life expectancy but they don't count the...

Are the weddings and marriages of your church biblical...

Back in 1976 when Mary Lee and I married, it was hip for brides to marry but not take their husbands' names. Some combined their husbands' names with their own maiden name: for instance, Taylor and Réze Schreuder-Bayly. Some husbands held back and kept their own name while their wife added her maiden to his: for instance, Taylor Bayly and Réze Schreuder-Bayly. Others chose for the husband and wife each to keep his or her own name: for instance, Taylor Bayly and Réze Schreuder.

Which is right?

For centuries it's been the habit within Christendom (the Western world which honored Christ and His Word in word, if not in deed and thought and heart) for wives to signify their movement from the authority of their fathers to that of their husbands by dropping their fathers' last name and taking their husbands'. It was no dishonor to the bride's father because everyone heard the minister ask, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?," followed by the father's response "I do." At this point he took his daughter's hand and transferred it to his future son-in-law's, went, and sat down next to his wife.

No one ever asked (nor asks yet today) "Who gives this man to be married to this woman?" The closest we come is President Lyndon Johnson's (then) novel deferral to Lady Bird Johnson by...

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Isaiah Bayly...

Saturday afternoon we celebrated the wedding of Taylor Bayly and Réze Schreuder. Here are the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Isaiah Bayly, sitting on their pickup truck outside the reception.

The reception was held...

Some pics for your enjoyment...

Lord willing, this Saturday our youngest son Taylor will wed Miss Réze (pronounced reesa) Schreuder, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Niek (Therese) Schreuder, and last night the Schreuders invited us over to meet their family members just arrived from South Africa and Namibia.

It was a wonderful and interesting evening with good conversation outside around a fire. (Niek did coffee and Rooibos tea over the fire.) Later in the evening we listened to Afrikaans music while oldest to youngest danced. There were lots of pics, some of the original family farm in the Namakwaland area of northwestern SA where Niek grew up and his mother still lives. Known for the georgous wildflowers that spring up in the desert during winter rains, here's just one pic Niek took when he and his family were home for a visit last year. I'm color blind and I was thunderstruck by the beauty of picture after picture of these flowers:

Other pics were from the siblings' homes. There were pics of...

Why is there no ADHD in France...

Sons want structure and authority. They rebel against parents who don't provide them. And do I really have to say that by "structure and authority" I'm not talking about haranguing, berating, demeaning, or beating our sons? Abuse destroys structure and authority.

Why move to Bloomington?

Here's a boosterism video for Bloomington telling you all the good reasons to go to school or move here—all the reasons save one: they missed mentioning Clearnote Church, Bloomington where there is zeal in worship, careful doctrinal and Biblical preaching and instruction, loving fellowship with much joyful hospitality in our homes, humble and excellent musicians leading the praise of our Triune God, and good fruit on both sides of the fence Reformed congregations rarely cross—both new adult converts being baptized regularly and the propagation of a godly seed (God has blessed us with about a hundred children under six years of age). So why don't the boosters mention us?

Nevermind; they used our chilluns. The family show on the hike at the beginning and at 3:22 and 3:31 is the Ben Crums—Ben, his wife Michal (my daughter), and their two sons Daniel and Zion.

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The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away....

Praise God for the faith of this Oklahoma family as they set foot outside their tornado shelter after the tornado has passed. Youtube link from NYT's The Lede.

See here for a longer version of the above video and an interview with Jason Lerger, the father of four who held the camera.

The difference between pro-life and anti-antiabortion...

If there’s one thing I have been convinced of over the years, it’s that some Pro Life® organizations try balancing an apparent allegiance to God’s “no” with a false notion of propriety. I say “balance," but what it comes down to is that some of these organizations absolutely will not ever say “no,” but then they’ll tell you “no!” when you actually say God’s “no”…you know?

Saying God’s “no” is antithetical to the peace they enjoy, but their peace is only what the world has to offer. God's "no" disrupts the equilibrium of an otherwise airy existence...

But then when someone else says God’s “no," it draws attention to the fact these Pro Life® groups won't say "no," and it’s embarrassing, really. Why they refuse to say “no” is quite principled, we’re assured; but I think it boils down to the following:

  • A false sense of propriety, and
  • Self-preservation

Some may balk at my number two, but keep in mind that there is no Pro Life® movement unless abortion continues. There are ministries and careers to preserve—not just babies. But more, no one wants to give money to organizations that are impolite. These groups need our money for their salaries.

Take, for instance, Oklahoma's Holy Innocents Foundation (HIF), a group dedicated to the adoration of the Eucharist on behalf of the unborn...

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