February 2014

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Closing out the discussion of money and John MacArthur...

As we've said before, we're fans of John MacArthur and don't want our questions concerning money to detract from God's people looking to him for leadership and wisdom. It's often the case that particularities of our leadership can scandalize sheep who like to think of their pastors as perfect fathers, unlike their own. This is how the celebrity business works and different commenters under these posts have noted the tendency of individual Christians to compare their own local pastors to national celebrities to the detriment of their trust of their local pastors. After all, the sins of their own pastors are obvious whereas the sins of their pastoral heroes are not.

We hope to make it clear that no pastor is above criticism. As Dad used to say (and we doubt it was original with him), "Christians grow best in the manure of criticism." Some sins are public, others more private, and others secret awaiting God's Throne.

Doug Wilson, Lig Duncan, C. J. Mahaney, Mark Driscoll, and John Piper, are...

How to opt-out of the new Dropbox terms of service...

Recently, Dropbox updated its terms of service. There is a whole lot of legalese in there that few people have the stomach, or ability, to wade through and understand. Dropbox helpfully put up a blog post to explain the new terms of service here.

However, this blog post came to my attention. Here are the salient points:

No matter what they do (delete your data, privacy breach, overcharging, whatever), you don’t get to sue. Instead, THEY get to choose the arbitrator according to whatever criteria they want, and thus any dispute is decided by someone they’re paying.

Also, you can’t join a class-action suit against them. Which sounds like no big deal, but when a company takes advantage of a bunch of people all in the same small way (incorrectly assessing a service charge, for example), class action is how companies are made to clean up their act en masse, instead of waiting for thousands of people to call them up and demand their $20 back or whatever.

Yikes! If you're inclined to opt-out of the new terms of service, you have until March 24, 2014 to do so. You can opt out by clicking here (you will be required to login to your dropbox account).

In the Pittsburgh area, starting tonight at Providence PCA...

If you live in the Pittsburgh area, come on out to Providence Presbyterian Church (PCA) for their annual conference (scroll down to see the schedule) starting tonight at 6:30 PM and running through the weekend. At the kind invitation of Providence Presbyterian Church (PCA), I will join Dr. Jack Kinneer of Reformed Presbyterian Seminary speaking on the subject "Imago Dei: Male and Female He Created Them." Because of family business, I've been in Pittsburgh several times the past couple of years...

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Google's evil karma: user agreements...

Historically, Clearnote Church in Bloomington, Indiana has used Google Apps for email and calendars. It's basically Gmail and Google Calendar for businesses using their own domain name.

Google also gives 501(c)3 non-profit organizations access to Google Apps for free. You just have to submit some documentation regarding your 501(c)3 status. For quite a number of years, we have been using the free edition of Google Apps here at the church.

We continue to use Google Apps to this day. Recently, I needed to reapply for non-profit status with Google Apps. I was in the process of filing the necessary "paperwork" online when I ran into a snag...

Post on John MacArthur's money: answering objections...

Back on January 30th, we ran a post updating readers on the latest IRS Forms 990 filed by John MacArthur's non-profit companies and what they show about his annual income. Since the post, several commenters have questioned whether MacArthur really had any say over his study notes being packaged with the neutered New International Version, whether we're saying MacArthur's income is sinful; and if so, what specific sin we're accusing him of? Here are some responses to those questions and challenges:

Brothers,

I've been out of the loop for a while. I appreciate others who have responded to some of the more recent objections to this post. Now, a couple responses of my own.

First, John MacArthur himself had absolute control over whether or not to package and sell his MacArthur Study Bible notes with the neutered Bible now sold under the name New International Version. It was his decision and he alone is the man who could have stopped it. His elders board did not make the decision.  Zondervan doesn't control MacArthur's study notes. John MacArthur controls John MacArthur's study notes. This is how publishing works.

John decided he didn't want to lose out on one of the largest Bible markets in the English-speaking world, so after negotiating royalties (which unlike John Piper's royalties, remain a secret), he signed an agreement with Zondervan to sell his own study notes in the text of a Bible that everyone knows has gagged God's words for the sake of pacifying the feminists.

There's no debating these simple facts. Readers may differ concerning the reason MacArthur did this, but it's certain he made the decision to sell the neutered Bible he had previously opposed because of its unfaithfulness to the text of Scripture.

Second, the Bible commands us to exclude men from ministry who are greedy:

A week writing...

This past week, Juergen von Hagen and I have shared our second annual writing retreat up here in Sawyer, Michigan. Kindness of Dad and Mom Taylor, we have a place to stay as we work. We start writing around 9 each morning and break for nothing until dinner around 7:30. Juergen is working on a textbook on economics for seminarians and I'm trying to finish up the book on fatherhood. We've had tons of snow and today got six more inches. We took a walk that lasted a couple hours. It was snowing hard and our faces were snowmen when we got back. Before going into the house, Juergen had a hack at a little shovelling. Check out the icicles!

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Complementarians trying to defeat feminism through compromise...

This from Baylyblog correspondent, Fr. Bill Mouser:

* * *

I am encouraged by a recent expansion of Breitbart.com from where ever it is headquartered (California?) to include new centers of guerrilla journalism in Texas and London. The head of their London outfit is a fellow named James Dillingpole whose work I always enjoyed and took courage from when he was writing columns for The Telegraph.

What I want to share with you is his explanation for taking the headship of the Breitbart news organization in London.I encourage you to read it...

If you don't already have enough reasons to hold your nose about FB...

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On children's preparation for manhood and womanhood...

Fascinating article on children's play forwarded by my daughter, Michal. There's almost nothing here that caused me to cringe or disagree. I'd simply like to point out that it may be better to think of much of children's play as simply little men and women practising for manhood and womanhood.

The web's underbelly...

Good piece on cybercrime forwarded by son-in-law Lucas Weeks. Be on guard.

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Yes, Ms. Feminist; God does command older women to teach younger women to "be domestic"...

Today, a man sent an e-mail linking to a feminist heretic (you do know that's what they are, don't you?) dissing the Apostle Paul's command that older women of the church teach younger women this core curriculum:

  1. to love their husbands
  2. to love their children.
  3. to be sensible.
  4. to be pure (RSV "chaste").
  5. to be workers at home (RSV "domestic").
  6. to be kind.
  7. to be subject (RSV "submissive") to their husbands.

Ms. Heretic lampooned the words of Scripture, albeit in the mouths of self-styled "complementarians." (It wouldn't do to lampoon the Holy Spirit Who inspired the Apostle Paul.) It takes no imagination to come up with the scoffing and ridicule she trotted out in her post. To an old warhorse, this feminist making a living off Evangelical simpletons is immodest, indiscrete, vain, deceptive, dangerous, and thus very boring. And the great tragedy of it is that I have it on good authority that her father is godly. How his heart must break over his precious daughter's rebellion against the Father Almighty!

All this as introduction to two things below: first, my response to the brother who forwarded the feminist's attack upon Titus 2:1-5; and second, my sermon notes used to preach on this text. May God use both to keep us from the very seductive idols of our culture.

Please pray for me.

And now...

Scholars and the Fall...

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.  - 1Corinthians 2:12-16

Regularly, I warn academics that reason is not the one faculty of man that has escaped the Fall. To err is human, and institutions of learning both lower and higher are equally subject to this fruit of Adam's sin.

Reason and logic have been corrupted by the Fall. So, although we can say that all truth is God's truth, we must keep in mind that all man believes to be true is not. True.

The Fall's determinative impact on man's intellectual work is quite obvious to readers of Paul Johnson's Intellectuals. Again and again, Johnson demonstrates the connection between famous intellectuals' private sins...

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