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The World We Made: Coming soon...

UPDATE: There’s been lots of interest in this podcast, with about 2000 listens from 30 countries and counting! If you haven’t subscribed yet, we’ve added a few links to make it easier for those of you who aren’t on iTunes, which is most of you. (Welcome non-Apple fanboys.) Don't miss an episode. Scroll down and subscribe now.

"These are the confessions of American Christians recovering from American Christianity. This is the world we made."

Warhorn Media is pleased to announce a new podcast hosted by Jake Mentzel and Nathan Alberson and featuring Tim Bayly. The World We Made is designed to help ordinary American Christians think through the difficult issues we face in our culture today. Season 1 is about homosexuality.

Over the course of the first season, we talk with Tim about how we went from having anti-sodomy laws in all 50 states (just 50 years ago) to where we are today. What are the changes Tim has seen in his lifetime? What exactly do they mean? What part did the culture play and what part did the church play? How are regular Bible-believing Christians supposed to respond? What has Tim learned as a pastor to help equip us for the challenge of ministering to men and women tempted by homosexuality?

These are the questions we'll be unpacking over the course of eight 20-minute episodes. We'll start out slow and easy, and things will pick up steam as we get closer and closer to the end. You won't want to miss it, so check out the trailer (above), and go ahead and subscribe now in iTunes or Android (or wherever you listen to your podcasts—Google Play Music, Stitcher, TuneInRSS feed) so you're ready when the first episode drops (July 17). 

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The Christian Mind Conference in Spartanburg, SC...

This announcement from Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Spartanburg:

Evangelicalism has been gutted. The core has has been scooped out and little more than a thin shell remains. Churches are clubs, sermons are stand up, and the sheep are fed with the sawdust of entertainment. No wonder most Christians can’t define or defend basic doctrines of Scripture. Like the rest of the West, the church is amusing herself to death. 

The Reformed answer usually comes in the form of a toothless scholasticism. We find a way to do nothing that requires faith. Instead, we rest complacently within the technical confines of our confessions. In other words, we snore to Bach rather than Lady Gaga. 

This isn’t the faith of Calvin, Ryle, and Hodge. These men demonstrated that a mind possessed by the glories of biblical doctrines leads to a life of faith and holiness. Harry Blamires says, “The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking, and Christian thinking is the prerequisite for Christian action.”

In just a few weeks, Dr. David Talcott, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The King's College, will tackle how the church got here and what we can do to return to a Biblical way of thinking. We'd like to invite you to attend The Christian Mind conference at Trinity Presbytery Church in Spartanburg, SC on August 19 & 20. Then, in a Friday night concert, My Soul Among Lions will demonstrate the power the Psalms possess to shape the Christian mind. Both the conference and the concert are free. 

Here's a rundown of the sessions, followed by a link for more information and registration...

The Christian witness of Ben Watson...

The play will never be forgotten. It was during the 2005 AFC Divisional game between the New England Pats and the Denver Broncos. Watch the video. Pats tight end Ben Watson got his man. Watson is at it again, posting this excellent response to all the sturm and drang over North Carolina passing a law that forbids men from crashing the ladies room. Here are a couple excerpts: that gender and race are analogous ...could not be further from the truth.

In film exposures of Planned Parenthood, do ends justify means?

Pastor Doug Wilson recently did a helpful post exploring the ethics of tactical deception on the part of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). He got me thinking about what constitutes a moral obligation of full disclosure and whether parameters for godly deception can be marked out.

I have had discussions with Christians who are very pleased by CMP’s work, but are conflicted regarding tactical deception. They wonder if they’re giving into saying “the ends justify the means.” In addition to this, there are R2K proponents criticizing CMP for their “unethical” methods for infiltrating PP. The former are understandably conflicted, the latter are selectively squeamish—dare I say pietistic—about operating within the “common” kingdom.

Adding to the mess is the media’s selectivity in reporting on CMP's videos while also reporting names linked to a website dedicated to facilitating adulterous liaisons...

Mute dogs unable to bark...

His watchmen are blind, All of them know nothing. All of them are mute dogs unable to bark, Dreamers lying down, who love to slumber; And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one.

"Come," they say, "let us get wine, and let us drink heavily of strong drink; And tomorrow will be like today, only more so."  - Isaiah 56:10-12

One of the most discouraging aspects of the church today is the refusal of shepherds to say God's "no" as well as His "yes," and to say it in person as well as from the pulpit. We are mute dogs unable to bark.

The Holy Spirit commands us...

Yes, you did misunderstand Mayor Parker's subpoenas...

[NOTE FROM TIM BAYLY: A few minutes after I published my piece, "No, we did not misunderstand Mayor Parker's subpoenas...," longtime Baylyblog contributor, Craig French, asked me to review this piece he wrote. Reading it, I realized we'd both been working on opposing pieces without knowing it. So I simply changed the title of Craig's piece to make the point/counterpoint obvious, and now I'm publishing it. Please keep in mind neither of us knew the other was writing, nor what he would say. And yes, I'm happy for Craig's piece. Iron sharpens iron.]

My bad: on making theological retractions

“My bad,” is a pretty common expression when playing pick-up basketball. If you make an errant pass or let your man drive around you or lose the ball off the dribble, the standard way to acknowledge your error is simply to say to your teammates, “my bad.”

Contrary to Erich Segal, marriage means always having to say you’re sorry. Segal wrote this inanity because, as Sir Elton John puts it, "'sorry seems to be the hardest word." To say "my bad" to my wife is hard, but repentance is the privilege of the Christian and God has set things up so that "my bad" and "sorry" are a necessary part of the grease that keeps a marriage running smoothly.

In marriage, "sorry” can cover a whole multitude of issues, all the way from putting the wrong piece of clothing in the dryer to dropping a plate to an angry outburst.  But … How does a pastor or theologian say "sorry" or "I was wrong?" And if you’re a published author, it gets even more complicated.

I remember one time hearing a pastor … 

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...

Humble is as stupid does...

Recently Jared Wilson of The Gospel Coalition put up a quote from Doug Wilson's book Fidelity. The post (not the book) was meant to be an explanation of why women today are reading books like Fifty Shades of Grey, which include pornographic BDSM content. The simple version says it's because when we deny that authority and submission play any role in sex, we are lying to ourselves. Authority and submission are built into our nature, and rejecting them doesn't get rid of them. They just end up coming back to us in a "pathological form." Oh yes, and the quote also said, "This is of course offensive to all egalitarians." 

Then those who claim to be true sons of Abraham, but are in fact of their father the Devil, went on the attack. They were, quite appropriately, led by a woman in this battle--

Sexual by Design: A Series of Lectures with Doug Wilson

The Big Idea

"The only unnatural sex act is that which you cannot perform." – Alfred Kinsey

Kinsey was wrong. His quest to normalize perversion did not end in sexual liberation. It created sexual confusion and sexual brokenness.

Sexual by Design is a two-part lecture hosted by Clearnote Campus Fellowship and delivered on the campus of Indiana University featuring evangelical pastor, theologian, and controversialist Douglas Wilson.

In these lectures Wilson brings biblical wisdom and sexual sanity to the home of Alfred Kinsey. Why is heterosexuality central to bearing God's image? Why are sex and marriage so closely connected to the Gospel? These are some of the questions Wilson seeks to answer as he explores how sexuality relates to God's work in creation and redemption...

A switch in time that saved one...

To console themselves and shake off their bewilderment and shock of betrayal, many are trying to explain away why Chief Justice Roberts single-handedly amended the U.S. Constitution to authorize Obamacare. Some say it’s “judicial modesty.” Others say it’s upholding the institutional “legitimacy” and reputation of the Supreme Court. Still others say it's a stroke of genius.

Wait a minute. Is modesty supposed to be self-forgetful or self-important? Is it modest for a sentry to open wide the gate when hostile forces launch a sneak attack against the fledgling outpost? Imagine the sentry quietly lifting the entry barrier with one hand, while the other hand points a loaded pistol at the enemy. He then gingerly backs away as the enemy pour in to pillage and destroy.

Well, the sentry didn’t want to call attention to himself!

Where was this precious modesty when Roberts voted to overturn portions of Arizona’s immigration law and berated the City of Indianapolis in cases handed down just days or weeks before? Maybe “judicial modesty” means discreetly electing not to pick on someone your own size, like Congress or the President of the United States...

Appreciation for John MacArthur, warts and all...

(DB) In the 1980s I couldn't take John MacArthur. Every time his voice came on WMBI in Chicago, I turned it off. My mother would say to me that he was a better man than I thought. I didn't care. Something snide and self-assured seemed to emanate from from the radio when he was preaching.

And then in 1985-86, I spent a year in Fullerton, CA, as a pastoral intern under Paul Sailhamer at the Fullerton Evangelical Free Church while Chuck Swindoll was senior pastor there. As part of the year, Paul took the two interns to visit significant California churches. We did a trip to San Diego (on which Chuck accompanied us) and a northern trip to the Bay area.

We also went to visit Grace Community Church, where Paul, Dave Butler and I had breakfast with John MacArthur. 

During breakfast I asked John if he was willing to preach on abortion. I had a private interest in the question: I had been trying to convince friends at Fullerton that Chuck should preach on abortion, something he hadn't yet done (he did the following year). Fullerton was willing to have then-surgeon-general C. Everett Koop preach on abortion, but not Chuck. So I secretly scored a point when John answered emphatically, "Yes, I'm willing. I've already preached two series on it."

Christian courage...

Northview Opinions PageAs the Obama administration works to advance the wickedness of homosexuality around the world, the gay battle against God and His Word progresses at home. 

Into this battle this week stepped a thoughtful and talented young woman who attends Christ the Word's youth group. Asked to provide her thoughts on homosexuality for a views page in her high school newspaper she wrote:

"Hearing about an individual choosing the way of homosexuality is disappointing. They have given in to the temptation to sin. Am I afraid of the person because of this choice? No. Do I hate the person because they have chosen to give in to a sin? Of course not. Christians are called to love others, even our enemies. I would not love a person any less for the reason of a sin they are committing. Fact is, we all sin and have struggles of our own, whether they are big or tiny, and it makes no difference to God. What makes the difference is overcoming the sin.

What if this kind of man had walked in on Jerry Sandusky...

Imagine, for a moment, a real man walking in on Jerry Sandusky in the Penn State shower room....

Imagine, for a moment, this kind of man walking in there, and how things might have ended...

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

(Other accounts reveal that the robber shot twice at the feet of the clerk before the man in this video took action.)


Vandy students have hissy-fits over open-air calls to repentance...


Back when I was an undergrad at UW-Madison, I was strengthened in my faith by the open-air preachers on Library Mall.

Once I was privileged to protect one of the men when the student body vice-president, Leon Varjian (see pic above from the famous Lady Liberty prank) assaulted him. Varjian was pelting the preacher with eggs. Clearly it hurt, so between Varjian's trips back to his wagon to stock up (he had many dozens), I picked the eggs out of his stash and smashed them on the pavement.

Varjian got mad, but back then I was a longhair and I think he realized if he could batter a man with eggs, I could batter the sidewalk. So he stopped what he was doing and I stopped, too.

Another time a man was picking the preacher up from behind and humping him while the law enforcement officers watched and laughed...

The 9/11 suicide mission of Lt. Heather Penney...

They didn't know it at the time, but Todd Beamer and his fellow stalwarts on Flight 93 saved the life of one woman intent on taking theirs--Kamikaze style. Ten years later, the Washington Post broke the story (in its "Lifestyle" section, of course):

Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.

Except her own plane. So that was the plan.

When they ordered her to scramble, did anyone know whether or not Penney was pregnant? And if she was, did they ask her little baby if he was willing to die on his mother's suicide mission?

"Round them heaps of corpses rotting away"...

First you will raise the island of the Sirens,
those creatures who spellbind any man alive,
whoever comes their way. Whoever draws too close,
offguard, and catches the Sirens' voices in the air--
no sailing home for him, no wife rising to meet him,
no happy children beaming up at their father's face.
The high, thrilling song of the Sirens will transfix him,
lolling there in their meadow, round them heaps of corpses
rotting away, rags of skin shriveling on their bones...
Race straight past that coast! Soften some beeswax
and stop your shipmates' ears so none can hear,
none of the crew, but if you are bent on hearing,
have them tie you hand and foot in the swift ship,
erect at the mast-block, lashed by ropes to the mast
so you can hear the Sirens' song to your heart's content.
But if you plead, commanding your men to set you free,
then they must lash you faster, rope on rope.  

- Odyssey 12.45–6 (Fagles)

 Honestly, it must be the water. We've always pointed out how the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is more concerned about being nice guys than defending the Faith, and now we see Russell Moore playing nice with the womyn paid by Christianity Today to run their feminist blog, HER.meneutics. Here's a snippet...

The deafening silence...

This piece, "The Deafening Silence" by Nathan Ed Schumacher, demonstrates that the silence of Emergent and R2K men in the face of the wickedness and oppression in our public square is of the same fabric. Fear of man is a principle that knows no boundaries. (TB)

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. - Matthew 5:14

He that is not with me is against me. - Matthew 12:30

Qui non improbat, approbat [He who does not disapprove, approves]

Causae ecclesiae publicus causis aequiparantur [The cause of the church is a public cause]

-Maxims of Law

When Obama started his latest war in Libya, I wasn’t surprised – but I did start looking for some reaction from those in official senior positions of Christian leadership...

Three gay men...

To know, know, know them is to love... (TB)

2011 ClearNote Conference Audio is Available

If you missed the 2011 ClearNote Summer Conference this past weekend, you missed something special. You can still listen to the sermon recordings, though: just click here.