May 2014

Error message

I have had enough of your liturgies, homilies, and sacraments...

[NOTE FROM TB: Please note the apology and change to my comment below. I took an uncalled-for jab at attorneys, and therefore at my dear brother, Dan, below. Fact is, Dan and several other attorneys I know and love are precisely what I was calling for—faithful Christians who live out that precise righteousness spoken of by Isaiah. I praise God for them and their faithful service to many needy and oppressed!]

It's all well and good to say the Christian should not look for the civil magistrate to supplant the preacher of the Gospel in calling men to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. We don't need huge books to make that point. It's obvious. And yet I suppose it is precisely those obvious places where scholastics like to sit and ruminate. And if they pull off the supercilious thing well enough, they may be successful in enticing callow young men to listen to their ruminations; or better yet, buy them.

Meanwhile, the real action continues unimpeded. Brothers and sisters in Christ are being forced out of their calling, their work and profession, by civil magistrates, professional societies, professors, teachers, school boards, trade organizations, public monopolies like the AMA and Apple and Google, and state bar associations—all united in their attack upon God's Created Order and Law. It's impossible to miss. Everyone sees it every single day and its fruit of blood and damnation is piled up three feet high and rotting in our nation's public square...

Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 13...

Peter was trembling at the thought of offending the old guard in Jerusalem, and of having to face down their delegates just arrived in Antioch, so he caved.

He gave up God’s special revelations spoken of so clearly in Acts 10, and he gave up his immediate past practice there in Antioch—a practice he had followed with what we can suppose was joyful abandon until the day they arrived—and instead, put on airs and became a racist.

But really, “racist” is not nearly serious enough to address what Peter did because it was not simply a matter of Peter’s prejudice for his own kind and uncharitable condemnation of other people groups; in this case, what was at stake was not simply human prejudice, but the wideness of God’s mercy.

NOTE: This is number 13 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post...

Church fathers: only God is good...

Happy Father's Day, home fathers and church fathers!

For those who are impatient...

Are you impatient? I am and I found this section of Gregory's Pastoral Care convicting and helpful:

(Admonition 10.) Differently to be admonished are the impatient and the patient. For the impatient are to be told that, while they neglect to bridle their spirit, they are hurried through many steep places of iniquity which they seek not after, inasmuch as fury drives the mind whither desire draws it not, and, when perturbed, it does, not knowing, what it afterwards grieves for when it knows. The impatient are also to be told that, when carried headlong by the impulse of emotion; they act in some ways as though beside themselves, and are hardly aware afterwards of the evil they have done; and, while they offer no resistance to their perturbation, they bring into confusion even things that may have been well done when the mind was calm, and overthrow under sudden impulse whatever they have haply long built up with provident toil. For the very virtue of charity, which is the mother and guardian of all virtues, is lost through the vice of impatience. For it is written, Charity is patient (1 Cor. xiii. 4). Wherefore where patience is not, charity is not...

Rachel Held Evans: it's so scary to say "no" to a woman...

[NOTE: Not until after writing this piece and making my comments posted prior to May 22 at 5:21 PM did I realize the author of the piece I'm critiquing, Owen Strachan, serves as Executive Director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I'm sure I'd known who he was in the past but it wasn't mentioned on Patheos and I'd forgotten it. I note this because David and I have been critical of CBMW over the years, but this post was written blind to the fact that it was CBMW's spokesman speaking.]

My esteemed sister, Kamilla Ludwig, directed my attention to a long Patheos post critical of Rachel Held Evans's naming God "Herself." The post has many helpful things. Do read it, but as you read you will not be able to help noticing the post's endless handwringing. The author's discomfort at saying anything negative about someone else is the ethos of the piece that almost gags the critique itself. We get the feeling the author did his writing in the breakfast nook while being berated by his mother over in the kitchen. She kept saying to her naughty son, "A gentleman never hurts a lady. Bad boy! Judge not lest ye be judged. Bad boy! Love always expects the best. Bad boy! Very very bad boy!"

Then, the author ends his essay with a footnote titled, "Brief excursus on the term 'heresy' and 'God as woman' language." Here is the text of the footnote, resplendent in its pomo timidity, self-doubt, and...

Gluten intolerance...

There are many things we don't normally talk about here on Baylyblog, some of which we do talk about in person, in sermons and elders meetings, and at home. One of these is the diets and food fads regularly coursing through our congregations. Everything God created is good, and to be recevied from Him with thanksgiving. But try telling that to the daughters of Carrie Nation in our congregations whose purpose in life is to keep track of unclean foods.

Back in the late nineties it was Weigh Down. Evangelical women across the country jumped on board and began confessing their gluttony. They lost some weight for a few days, but the fad died when the heresy of Weigh Down's prophetess, Gwen Shamblin, was exposed. "People don't care about the Trinity," Shamblin said, and over the next couple months most of the pounds went back on.

Since then there have been a succession of foodie-spiritualie fads. Recently I've heard the quest for sanctification in some PCA churches has veered into the neo-vegan program, Forks over Knives ("ORDER NOW!"). Their name is an allusion to the spiritual superiority of food eaten with forks to food cut with knives. Think spinach and parsley over chicken and beef. Of course the souls caught up in these Quests for Higher Life deny their disciplines have anything to do with moral or spiritual purity, but the fervor of their evangelization of others and their testimonies of body purification belie their words. What awful church feasts their fellow congregants must endure!

The mother-of-all food fads today is, of course, gluten intolerance...

Amish romances...

Half the mass-market paperbacks sold today are romance novels, and I'll bet you didn't know that “Romance novels are feminist documents written almost exclusively by women, for women, and are concerned with women: their relations in family, love and marriage, their place in society and the world, and their dreams for the future.”

H. W. Crocker's little book, Robert E. Lee on Leadership, is excellent. In it Crocker records this excerpt from a letter Lee wrote his wife...

Tully Tchividjian removed from Gospel Coalition...

Craig French sent me a link to a post by Billy Graham's grandson announcing he'd been booted from the Gospel Coalition franchise. Two things.

First, note that Mr. Tchividjian reports he was purged without the honor of itemized charges and a trial. He wasn't allowed to face his accusers. Some guy did their dirty work for them. They stayed behind the scenes and had some guy contact Mr. Tchividjian and tell him he was to be gone by this Thursday. That was it.

If Gospel Coalition's product is doctrine, why miss an opportunity to expose error? Isn't that the reason they purged Tully—that he is preaching and teaching false doctrine? Surely they're not purging him because of his sartorial ambitions, right?

"A profound relative lack..."

Under the subheading "Books," Google News has this headline:

Literature Still Urgently Needs More Non-White, Non-Male Heroes 

And here's their leadoff text: "As Vanessa Veselka wrote in The American Reader, there is a profound relative lack of female road narratives in the Western literary tradition. This absence hurt her..."

Whatever happened to...

It looks like Jesus...

We've pointed out before that most "pictures of Jesus" make Him look effeminate, but if you grew up with those pictures it might be hard to figure out what the problem is. After all, that's just what Jesus looks like in your mind. But I just saw a picture that I thought looked like "Jesus," and maybe it will help you realize what the problem is exactly.

Jesus was not a man who decided to become a woman, but kept his beard, which is what this picture is of.

Pay me $500, then clap...

Ah yes, Christian conferences. And now comes the Christian TED copping the style "Q." Audience members pay $500 for the curation of Christian insight and brilliance, ending up with some talking head from Christianity Today. It's like paying Beats $500 to curate sermons and you end up listening to Joel Osteen's smile.

Anyhow, Q was in N, recently, and the guys over at TF were invited...

Government is the enforcer for the middle class's predators...

Here's a short piece explaining that the modern state has no choice but to sink its fangs into the middle class and suck it dry. An excerpt

Pages