June 2015

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Chesterton on gay marriage...

We can always convict such people of sentimentalism by their weakness for euphemism. The phrase they use is always softened and suited for journalistic appeals. They talk of free love when they mean something quite different, better defined as free lust. But being sentimentalists they feel bound to simper and coo over the word “love.” They insist on talking about Birth Control when they mean less birth and no control. We could smash them to atoms, if we could be as indecent in our language as they are immoral in their conclusions.”  - G. K. Chesterton, “Obstinate Orthodoxy” in The Thing.)

Imagine what Chesterton would have done with "gay marriage." My dear Mary Lee forwarded an article that tries to. It's a 2013 piece by Dale Ahlquist, head of the American Chesterton Society, titled "G. K. Chesterton: It's Not Gay and It's Not Marriage."

If you're hankering for a model to copy in your engagement with our decadent culture and the loved ones who have drunk deeply from its well, you simply cannot do better than Chesterton. Ahlquist has read him and here's an excerpt...

The UK's Matthew Parris mourns the Church...

You really must read this short piece by gay atheist Matthew Parris expressing his revulsion at the conduct of the Church's shepherds in the face of the homosexualist victory in Ireland. He wants someone to fight with, but the men who should be guarding God's flock only stand there applauding the wolves. A couple excerpts...

enGendered: Tim Keller and his Company Pastors vs. John Calvin and his Company of Pastors...

Just now I read Marvin Olasky's short review of World's Book of the Year in their "Accessible Theology" category, enGendered: God's Gift of Gender Difference in Relationship by Sam Andreades. Here Marvin tells us why he thinks this is this past year's most important work on doctrine for laymen and laywomen...

How should the church approach homosexuality (IV): what Scott Sauls gets right...

[This post is fourth in a series (the first, secondthirdfifth, and sixth) working through Pastor Scott Sauls and Christ Presbyterian Church's "Same-Sex Attraction Forum." More will follow.]

The forum hosted by Pastor Scott Sauls at Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA), Nashville, promotes a skewed view of sanctification and weakens the hope of those struggling against homosexual temptation. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

We need to talk

Still, Sauls makes a few points that we ignore to our peril. First he establishes a rationale for why we, the Church, need to be talking about homosexuality. Now. Another pastor at Sauls’s church sets up the problem...

New York Times obit for Elisabeth Elliot Gren...

For over a decade I've disciplined myself not to look at the New York Times. The men there are so entrenched in their godlessness and so cock-sure it is progress and will be victorious that they're a sort of Goebbels for the Reich of American Decadence. It would be one thing if they were able to keep their propaganda down at the thirtieth or sixtieth column inch, but it often appears at the very top, in the headlines. Yet they can't see it.

About once a month, though, one of my family members forwards a Times piece that reminds me why I have to discipline myself not to read it, and here's one of them: their obituary for Elisabeth Elliot Gren. Just keep in mind two of Elisabeth's hardest and most defining works aren't mentioned by the Times: Elisabeth was the first Evangelical who opposed their Zionism which has reigned victorious across Evangelicalism for several generations, now; also, Elisabeth spent the last third of her life worn out from the nasty work of opposing feminism. Other than that...

American Enterprise Institute's Deflategate report misappropriates the Ideal Gas Law...

Ben Burlingham, a prof at Indiana University with a Ph.D. in chemistry, comments under the post, "Deflategate: Wells Report's stats are faulty...":

The guys who wrote this are economists--they have their limits of knowledge. I will trust that they did their stats correctly, but I will also tell you (as a chemist) that the Ideal Gas Law that they throw around does not apply to elastic containers such as a football (without making a bunch of alterations to the law, which it isn't clear they took into consideration.)

Whoddathunkit. Well now we know.

The Apostle Paul was a comedian...

Few books have been more helpful to me thinking through the work of the ministry and the hypocrisies always clamoring for my devotion than Soren Kiergegaard's Attack Upon "Christendom". Here's an excerpt...

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Deflategate: Wells Report's stats are faulty...

Keeping in mind that the only thing the American Enterprise Institute's report deals with is the statistical evidence, and not the evidence of texts and e-mails exchanged among the New England Patriot's employees, it does appear the best explanation for the difference in ball pressure between the footballs of the Pats and Colts as it was measured by the officials at halftime is not cheating, but the temperature of the room the balls were kept in and the timing differential between the measurements of the balls of each of the two teams. AEI's Hassett, Sullivan, and Veuger summarize their analysis...

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Happy Father's Day...

Craig French forwarded a web page that included the poem "The Follower" by Seamus Heaney, the poet known best for his wonderful translation of Beowulf...

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Greece, again and again and again...

Pastors and Bible scholars love to bloviate about economics, but we're only posers. We're like young mothers who have dallied in alternative medicine and lecture other young mothers, and even the dieticians, physicians, pharmacists, and nurses of our congregation, on the dangers of pasteurized milk and the benefits of organic toilet paper. Sure, theft is wrong, even and especially when done by a government, but having said that, we've said almost nothing.

So I am fearful of being a fool in saying something about Greece, but I can't restrain myself. There are two headlines about Greece on Google's News Page just now. One is the BBC's "Greek debt crisis: Emergency EU summit due on Monday" and the other is this from Reuters: "Greece may offer more in debt talks as clock ticks."

Do they take us for fools? Speaking of a "crisis" and telling us the "clock ticks" can only be understood as communicating that time has run out and something dire is about to happen. But of course we've been around this rathole with Greece now for years, and long ago President Merkel made it clear she would protect Greece from bankruptcy. She plays her part well. The rest of the EU utters "World War II" sotto voce and what heart President Merkel has goes all a-flutter with the implications. And really, that's all there is to this whole debacle...

Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 15...

We are always in danger of adding works to the process of salvation. Yes, those of us living in the post-Galatians world are still not entirely willing to give up on ourselves.

There are many Protestants who deny the congruent merit and the infused righteousness of the Roman Catholic Church, but turn into a work that faith in Jesus Christ which the Apostle Paul so clearly states is the instrument through which we have imputed to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

How easily faith itself may become a work; how easily faith becomes the one thing Jesus has not done, and cannot do, for us—the one thing we must do for ourselves.

NOTE: This is number 15 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...

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd
March 28, 2004; AM
Galatians Series No. 15

For Through the Law I Died to the Law
Sermon Text: Galatians 2:15-19

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our fifteenth in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...

Nine brothers and sisters murdered in Charleston church...

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee. 

- John Donne

I grieve for the dead and their loved ones, but also the Church of Jesus Christ this day in the aftermath of last night's bloodshed in Charleston, South Carolina. There nine brothers and sisters in Christ who had come together for fellowship and instruction in the Word of God were murdered by a white man who identifies himself on FB in a jacket sporting the flags of Rhodesia and South Africa. The man arrested for the murders claimed to be acting in behalf of his race and nation, reportedly saying just prior to shooting, "I have to do it. You rape our women. You're taking over our country. And you have to go."

This wicked man was not acting in defense of any women, nor "our country." He was acting in submission to...

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